Sunday, June 24, 2007

Fredericksburg

Last weekend Sharon and I went to Fredericksburg for a little vacation. A nice weekend get away if you will. I'm glad we did it, it was very relaxing. I thought I'd share some pics. This is a great little town with great history, good shopping (if you're into that), tons 'o wine tasting opportunities, and some pretty good dining as well.

Here's the room we stayed in. It was right in the middle of downtown on the main street. Perfect location really. Beautiful rooms, it was actually a little apartment, and a nice relaxing balcony that overlooked the street. We could go downstairs, be right in the middle of everything, or go back up and be isolated from it all. A very well designed space.






The balcony was especially nice. We could sit there in the mornings an drink coffee while enjoying the peace and quiet, relax in the afternoon and watch the old people shop, or drink some wine in the evening and wind down in the nice glider bench.



We took full advantage of the balcony. It was especially relaxing as the whole town pretty much closes down at 6 pm.

I'll post more pics later this week.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My first Crit!

A little secret here. I purchased a racing license a while back, like March or so. Until today I've always come up with an excuse not to use it. Today was the day I ran out of excuses. I'm glad I did. This was definitely an experience.

The crits are sponsored by Team Bicycles Inc. this year. It's a pretty good set up, and not too far from the house. I rode over as a warm up, checked in to get my number (I was in the C race with the Cat 4's and 5's), and took a few laps around the track to keep warm and to get a layout for the course.

It's a 1.7 mile loop with gentle bends and not too many elevation changes. I got to the start line right as the race started (for the record it started about 5 minutes early). I wasn't quite ready for the start, so I was immediately behind. A gap of about 5 bike lengths from the start. Of course, since this was my first race I wasn't sure what to expect, and frankly I was a little nervous. Let me tell you it's not like the charity rides I've done in the past. These boys started off fast and stayed that way. For the first loop I averaged 24 mph, and they shelled me off the back quicker than peel and eat shrimp at an all you can eat buffet. I certainly didn't expect those guys to be as fast as they were!

I tried to gain some ground in the second lap, but somehow a car got onto the course and decided to go 15 mph. I actually had to hit my brakes so I wouldn't run into the back of him. Unfortunately, there is a center line rule in effect so I couldn't pass the auto. The other unfortunate thing was that I had to follow him about halfway around the course. When he finally turned off I poured it on. I can't tell you how fast I was going because this was the point where my computer quit working. The display froze at 23.5 mph and didn't change for the rest of the race. Since they were so far ahead of me, my goal was to just finish. I tried to push my frustration aside and make up as much ground as I could.

Eventually, around lap 4, the leaders caught up to me and lapped me. I tried to tuck in behind them, but I was pretty much worn out by this point. Riding alone as long as I did, at the pace I did, with the wind against me had taken its toll. I was only able to keep up with them for about half a lap. Luckily I was able to finish without losing too much ground.

My observations about this ride:

First... I've never spent so much time in the big ring in my life! Wow, that was an experience in itself. 53x12 will definitely wear you out!

Second... 12 miles doesn't seem like much when you're getting in some training miles. However, in a crit... it's a whole different experience.

Third... The six mile ride from home is more than enough of a warm up for me. Especially when it's 90 degrees with 70% humidity outside. The two additional laps I took when I arrived to stay warm were probably overkill.

Lastly... I need to muscle my way up to the front in the very beginning and do everything in my power to stay there. It's much easier to cruise at 27-28 mph in a pack than it is to struggle behind on your own at 24 mph. Especially since I don't solo at 24 mph often... make that ever!

Also, a special thanks to my cheering section. It's always nice to see a friendly face at something like this, and I had several in the crowd. Micah, Carola, and their kids just happened to be there to watch the crits and they became my own little fan club. They really helped out. The last two laps were agonizing for me, especially since I had been lapped by the main group. I wanted to quit so badly, but every time I went past the line they were there cheering me on. I just couldn't give up and let them down. It's too bad Sharon and Gracie couldn't have gotten there earlier, I would have loved to have seen them at the finish line. However, their train didn't get in early enough. Oh well, maybe next time. I do appreciate them picking me up and giving me a ride home though.

Next week I'll be more prepared!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Important meeting concerning FW Rail Corridor.

This week, the "T" is having meeting concerning the future of our rail corridor. I would have posted this earlier, but I got back into town last night and just found out about it.

From the City of Fort Worth website:

Input on New Rail Corridor Solicited for Public Meetings

The public is invited to attend a series of public meetings on the proposed Southwest-to-Northeast Rail Corridor project. Presented by the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T), the meetings will take place June 19-21 in Fort Worth and Grapevine. Meetings will cover the project scope, schedule and activities. During the event, attendees will have the opportunity to comment on the proposed rail project.

Times and locations for meetings include:

* 6 p.m. June 19; TxDOT Regional Training Center, 2501 SW Loop 820, Fort Worth 76133
* 12 p.m. June 20; Intermodal Transportation Center, 1001 Jones St., Fort Worth 76102
* 7 p.m. June 21; Grapevine Community Activities Center, 1175 Municipal Way, Grapevine 76051

The proposed commuter rail route would follow existing rail lines from Fort Worth’s Granbury Road/South Hulen area through downtown area, northeast to Grapevine and into DFW airport. The recommended route would connect to the Trinity Railway Express in downtown Fort Worth. Cities in the corridor area include Colleyville, Fort Worth, Grapevine, Haltom City, Hurst, North Richland Hills and Watauga.

For more information or to make a comment about the Southwest-to-Northeast Rail Corridor project, call 817-215-8785, e-mail info@sw2neRAIL.com or visit www.sw2neRAIL.com.


I can't tell you how huge this could be. While this is being proposed as another commuter rail, this could be a next logical step towards a viable light rail for Fort Worth. Plus, a commuter rail that connects us to this part of the world would be great. I know many people that would love to have the same options that are available to people that commute between Fort Worth and Dallas by rail.

If you have a chance, head down to one of the meetings. If you can't do that, at least e-mail your support so that they know people are interested.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Finally, number one!

Actually, there are two that are my favorites right now. I've been debating all week which one to give the title to and I still can't decide. Well, I did decide one thing. I'll leave it up to you, my faithful blog reader. Well, all three of you actually... which is nice as that should help alleviate a tie.

Watch both, decide which one you like the best... then vote on it.

Contender number 1:

Team Hoyt, an amazing Father/Son team that is humbling beyond words.



Or, contender number 2:

Just a nice feelgood video that always makes me appreciate not only my life, but those in it that I love... and some that I miss dearly.

Free Hugs



Finally, here's the poll. Don't disappoint me. I need at least three votes to make it count, so everyone that reads this blog needs to step up to the plate!


Number Two

Sorry I missed yesterday. Busy day at work.

Hint of language in this one, however it's bleeped.

Number two:

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Number Three

This one is actually a two parter.

Warning, there is some bad language.

David Blaine Part I

Part II

Monday, June 4, 2007

More Youtube Greatness

Ok, here is number 4. While this one isn't fantastic, I'm always a sucker for parodies.

UFC 75

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Youtube Greatness

Since we got rid of the TV last year we don't see that many shows, or TV commercials for that matter. However, we have a new addiction. Yes, we have succumbed to the mighty youtube.

Pretty much anything that we would want to see on TV is there, or at least the highlights. Plus, instead of spending hours watching TV like we used to... instead we watch a little youtube now and then. There are a few shining jewels that show up from time to time. I'll use this week to showcase some of the better ones we've seen lately:

Here's my first submission. One of my recent favorites and what I'll call number 5. It's a longer video, so it's not exactly bandwidth friendly. You've been warned.



This one if from the 1990 Track Match World Sprint. This is a good video because it shows an incredible level of skill, in both pure sprinting ability and the patience needed in this type of race. A skill that I'd like to someday obtain, but never will.