Friday, April 29, 2011

Matrix Challenge Race Report P/B

This is a race report from the Matrix Challenge Sunday win by none other than the great Michael "Brownie" Brown. Proudly presented by Richardson Bike Mart.

After the Price/Burke 1-2 finish on Saturday there was only one question that needed to be answered. Who was going to step up and be THAT rider for Sunday. Well, crits are not like road races...or are they?. In a RR it's easy to have a protected rider and everyone just works to keep that rider out of the wind and fresh to easily get into or across to breaks or win the field sprint. That same theory carries over to crits except there is no protecting a rider from the wind and on such a tight course like the Matrix Challenge, you can't just say "hey brownie, get on my wheel and I'll take you to the front. The race is too fast and by the time you got to the front things would surge and you haven't recovered and there you go back to the back again.

So my personal goal for that day was just to stay as close to the front as possible without having to do any work. But I wanted to stay close enough that if a break did get away without a MVC member I could easily go across by myself within 1/2 lap. But I never had to really worry about that because everyone else knew their roles during the race and executed them perfectly to keep things fast and together to let our sprinters do their thing. Brad Price, Larry Price and Clay Hobson went to the front multiple times and just drilled it to keep the pace high and basically just wear people out. That makes it easy for the sprinters to sit in and rest if you could do that on that technical course because it was just "power on" the entire time. As Brad, Larry and Clay did their part, Patrick was busy cleaning up two primes and I got the other two.

The race pretty much stayed together until the last three laps when Chris Hamilton from Dallas Racing attacked off the front to either try it solo or make us work chasing him while their sprinter Jorge Merle sat in. The problem was they didn't have a Brad Price. When Chris attacked, Brad immediately went to the front and just pegged it for 2 laps. When we rounded the corner leading into the long back stretch on the bell lap Hamilton had a 30 yard gap. I was sitting 4th wheel out of that corner and feeling extremely fresh (I had been laying on the beach in Nevis, British West Indies, Virgin Islands for the past 3 days). I told my self I would jump the second Brad hit the cross street halfway down the back stretch. The second he hit that little water patch on the course I ripped by him and headed towards Hamilton. I had jumped so hard that nobody got on my wheel and I flew by Chris like he was standing still. He had just made a solo 3 lap effort so I knew he would have no sprint if I could catch him. The only problem for them was that their sprinter lost my wheel when I jumped. I crossed the line and had plenty of time to celebrate with a two arm salute. The was a good day for me because it's been a long time since I won a crit. And if I had to chose one to win the entire year it would be that one just because it's so technical and hard. I had a lot of friends show up to watch the race and it was just a great team effort all the way around. Brad, Larry, Patrick and Clay did their part to perfection to get me into the right position. And the best part was that we never said one word to each other during the race. Everyone just knew what they were suppose to do. The team is really starting to gel.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Red River Riot Report P/B The Pub McKinney

Brandish's Red River Riot report brought to you by the Pub Mckinney

Red River Riot II (2011)

I had done this event last year so I knew how hard it was going to be. Only difference is, last year I was actually doing long solo gravel rides leading up to it so I was sure I could do it. This year I haven't done any rides over 4 hours on the road or gravel. So I have to admit to being a big nervous about how things would shake out for me. It was good to know that we had a short afternoon option if we needed to use it.

Marco headed up Friday night with the bus but Mike, Bill and I had to come up morning of since we had things to take care of at work or home on Friday. It was an early start but we arrived in plenty of time for this low-key event. I figured it would be a nice easy and relaxing start until I found out Brian Fawley had created a KOM competition for the first leg of the event. So after the rider meeting we were off and running and not really taking it easy. Another problem was, some riders had no intention of doing the full distance and were not afraid to push the pace early knowing that their day would be done by noon. I tried to stay toward the front of the group anyway.

The KOM competition consisted of 3 checkpoints. The 1st at roughly 20 miles, 2nd at 40 miles and the 3rd at roughly 60 miles in. By the time we made it to the 1st checkpoint there weren't really that many folks in the lead group. It was myself, Jordan Chaney, JP Williams, Bryan Fawley (though he told us he was not participating since he would simply blow everyone away) and another guy on a 26" Moots mountain bike (props to him for hanging with a bunch of Cross bikes). Marco would have been with us had it not been for his choice of tire pressure and subsequent pinch flats that morning. The second checkpoint was a real brute. This is the climb I remembered from the previous year. We had hit it at mile 95 last year it was wet and almost impossible. This year the conditions were much better and we were only 42 miles in. It was still tough. I rode on the front of the group as we neared the climb, geared down and rode straight up. You can't just stand up and hammer up this climb. If you try to do that you will lose traction in your rear tire, you have to either stay seated and grunt it out or if you have to stand and do it you have to be careful to keep most of your weight over the rear tire. I did a combination of these, standing for a couple and then sitting back down. When it began to flatten out I turned the cadence up and rode away from Jordan. I had taken the first 10 points of the competition and by the time we made it to the 3rd checkpoint there were only 3 of us and I had clinched the KOM. We finished up the first 72 miles of the event in roughly 4 hours. Nothing too speedy but considering the wind and terrain and lack of a good pack to share the work I figure an 18mph avg. was pretty good.

I went and signed in for the 2nd half and then headed back to the truck to refuel.

A while later Mike and Bill rolled in and told me that Marco had been so unfortunate as to have 5 flat tires along the way. It was a good thing he brought his trusty pump. Also a good thing folks were nice enough to lend him spare tubes after he had run out. Marco finally rolled in on a flat tire and came back to the truck to refuel and discuss the mornings events. We had to make a decision now weather to just call it a day or go back out for either 30 or 65 more miles. Mike and Bill called it. They were done. I still wanted to continue to hurt myself. Marco was inclined to as well. We agreed that we would go tackle 30 more miles and call it. So we got packed up, said bye to Mike and Bill and went back out for more punishment.

After the first 3 or 4 miles we started feeling better and better as we went. It was decided then that since Marco had the full 65 mile route mapped in his GPS that we would go ahead and give it a shot. We caught up to the head of the race and rode with a small group till one flatted. We decided as a group to go back and wait for the guy and continue on as a group. Good thing for him that we did. He had not packed a tube, pump or tire lever and his day would have been done. But that is one of the good things about this type of event. Most folks are very friendly and willing to lend a hand. I gave a tube and Marco saved the day with his trusty pump once again! This pump would come into play one more time for me around mile 110 when my Vittoria PitStop failed me. We continued on as a group once again but eventually it came down to just Marco and myself. Hats off to him as he rode away from me in the last mile or so. I was cooked.

We were blessed with perfect weather while on the route but that changed shortly after as a great storm cell rolled in. The event coordinator had to pull a few folks off the course for their own safety. This was a great event and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for an enjoyable day on the bike.

Great course and great folks participating in and running the event.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bike The Bricks Update for the ladies

We've looked under car seats and pulled up the couch cushions and found some extra money for you. Women's 1/2/3 now racing for $1,000, plus BtB II is the 1st of 4 legs in a Memorial Day race weekend omnium just for you. The ominuim pays an additional $625 to the five 1/2/3 women who earn the most points at BtB II, the Gary Glickman Memorial Crit, the Skill-Based State Crits and the Age-Based State Crits. Details in our updated flyer:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Mind Is Racing: Bike fits and weak hips

My Mind Is Racing: Bike fits and weak hips:

This is a guest post from Chad Haga. Chad is one of McKinney's own sons and a friend of MVC. His little brother started racing in our club before he got called up to race for Super Squadra in Austin. Chad is currently racing at the elite level in Colorado. Follow his succes on his blog. This is a great write up about the excellence of bike fitting and the importance of core stability work.

"I was finally able to squeeze into the schedule of one of the most sought-after fit specialists in the industry, Sean Madsen. He's the head..."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ouachita Challenge

Decorated MV Correspondent Pedro "El Guapo" del Busto (pictured here on his road bike), files this report on the 2011 Ouachita Challenge:

Larry Price [ed. a/k/a "Blue" or "LP"] and myself headed out to Arkansas this past weekend to participate in the 10th anniversary of the OC. This is a very hard 60 mile MTB ride through the Ouachita and Womble trail systems just east of Mena.
Larry went out and did both the tour on Sat and the Race on Sunday! Not only did he ride both, he killed it! On Saturday, the route bypassed "Blow Out Mountain", but added a few more miles to the route.
Well, Larry decided he felt strong and was never going to let a couple of Plano guys show him up, so he went on to finish FIRST with an amazing time of 5:03 (Larry, correct me if I'm wrong because that seems awfully fast).
On Sunday I decided to join and do the race. I was able to beat my goal of sub-6 (by 3 minutes). Larry went on to finish very strong with a time of 5:45!

This is an amazing event. It is put together very well, the volunteers are noticeably excited to be there, everyone in town seems to know about it, and the trails are outstanding. We even had nice and sunny weather this year!

Hope more of you can join us for the 11th edition!

Bike the Bricks II - May 27, 2011

Bike the Bricks 2011
When: Friday, May 27, 2011 from 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Where: Historic Downtown McKinney

McKinney Velo and McKinney Main Street are proud to announce the second annual “Bike the Bricks” closed course “crit” bike race in Historic Downtown McKinney on Friday, May 27, 2011. The focus will be to deliver a nail-biting and interactive event that will draw increased exposure not only to health and wellness but highlighting McKinney's one-of- a kind Historic downtown. The event will include six races along with a mayoral cup invitational, live entertainment, food and drink. The climax of the event will draw in racers from across the state and beyond as these cyclists square off and chase a purse in the amount of $20,000.

Event spectators of all ages will enjoy a Friday night free event in Downtown to enjoy cycling, live entertainment and an opportunity to purchase food and drink. We are estimating up to 500 cyclists participate in the event, and thousands of spectators to enjoy event amenities. A portion of the proceeds raised from this event will be donated to the McKinney Education Foundation and Spokes for Hope.

For more information on this event, please visit