Texas Time Trials, Glen Rose, TX
Bling from the Texas Time Trials. I finished the Tejas 500 in 35h06m, ninth place overall, seventh not counting recumbents. I was worried the whole time I wasn't going to make it, because I chose to do the 36-hour start. I just kept an eye on my heart rate and average speed and hoped I didn't have any flats or other issues. There were a lot of amazing and inspiring racers there, and Dan Driscoll and Pamela Wright and all the volunteers put on a great event that lets everyone test their limits while having a good time and meeting great people. I also got a trophy for the Texas Ultra Cup - I finished two 500 mile races, a 383, and a double century in Texas in the last 12 months.
The Texas Time Trials in Glen Rose Texas always draws a large group of riders from around the country and usually an international field. This year would be no exception as this race was the Ultra Marathon Cycling Association 500 mile World Championship Race and the rider roster ensured that this was going to be a strong field and a hotly contested race.
I was looking forward to the race but maybe more so getting to work with Dex and Joni Tooke who would be crewing for me here and will be key parts of my RAAM crew in 2015. We had not been able to spend much time together so my plan was to start the 503.5 mile race on Thursday night at 6pm and hopefully finish on Friday night so we could get a full nights sleep and spend Saturday watching the other racers, planning for RAAM and getting to know each other better. I was also fortunate that Josh Fisher came down from Ohio to crew for me and get a taste of ultracycling Texas style. So I had a great crew taking care of me and all I had to do was ride my bike.
The weather had been very humid leading up to the race with daytime temperatures in the nineties and lows in the mid seventies. Rain was possible but it did not look like it would be a full blown washout.
So a large group of riders gathered at 6pm on Thursday night and we were off. My plan was to just ride consistent and be careful not to go too hard early and hurt my legs while they were fresh while focusing on calorie intake and keeping hydrated. I was about ten miles into the first lap and it started to rain pretty steady, enough to wash the salt into my eyes and get everything wet but it stopped in about a half hour and the wind came up on the second lap but it died down as we moved into darkness. My crew was taking great care of me and I rolled through the first twelve hours completing nine laps and I was about four miles into the tenth lap when the other competitors started at 6am on Friday morning.
It was nice to see the sun come up and I stopped after my tenth lap to take my lights off and saw Dave Haase go flying past while I was in the pits. Dave has been on an incredible roll coming in to the event having won Race Across Oregon and the Hoodoo 500 where he beat the entire solo field despite doing it without a support crew. So the race was on and apparently I was the rabbit and setting the pace for everyone to chase after.
As the morning hours rolled on we had light rain, which made the course slippery and Dex told me specifically to slow down and watch the corners as some riders were having their bikes slide out from under them and going down. It was late morning to around noon when the sun broke through the clouds and mist and it got really hot and humid. Our game plan was to be conservative during the hot daytime hours and save some energy for the last few laps when the sun went down. So I stopped and dunked my head in cold water, used an ice sock and cold packs on my back while consuming lots of calories and fluid and we worked well as a team and I felt good as the evening came. I had not been keeping track of my split times but I knew it was a pretty good race and we were on pace to set the course record that has stood since 2009 (28 hours 16 minutes by Patrick Hager).
But I wondered what were those guys doing behind me that had started twelve hours later? As I finished my seventeenth lap of this hilly 26.5 mile course, I stopped and put on my lights, Joni was shoving food down me and I was off for the last two laps. I felt pretty good as the direct sunlight faded away and I completed lap eighteen and took a bottle hand up for the last lap. In Texas Time Trial style the place erupted as I crossed the finish line with a time of 26 hours 16 minutes.
It was a true team effort, my crew was so helpful, my coach, Ralph Frazier (Frazier Cycling in Suwanee Georgia) had me well prepared and it is sure nice to see a plan come together.
My congratulations to the other riders as Ron Swift finished second and set the recumbent course record while four riders broke the thirty hour mark including Dave Haase and Rob White. Indeed it was a strong field and many rode incredible races. Thanks to Dan Driscoll and Pam Wright for putting on the race and all the volunteers that create a great atmosphere for racing and good fun.
The 2013 Texas Ultra Cup (TUC) wrapped up in September at The Texas Time Trials and the results are attached. Congratulations to all those award winning racers for so many miles ridden! Below is the link for the 2013 TUC and The 2013 Texas Time Trials recap
The 2014 Texas Ultra Cup kicked off October 12 & 13 in West Texas with No Country for Old Men. Dex Tooke, No Country for Old Men Race Director had a fabulous race. Follow the links for his photo story and website:
NCOM Photo Story
Great job NCOM racers! See the attachment for Texas Ultra Cup 2014 results from the race.
We are thinking about a few minor modifications to the rules and a possible redesign of the trophy for The Texas Ultra Cup 2014. Stay tuned for more details. TUC information may be found at:
The next event in the 2014 Texas Ultra Cup is The RAAM Texas Cycling Challenge to be held on March 8, 2014 in Marble Falls, TX. Registration will begin on December 15. This is a premier cycling festival featuring the best of the Texas Hill Country – with something for everyone – rides and races, expo and post-event party. The 400 mile, 200 mile and 90 mile races will be a part of TUC again this year. Registration opens in December. Follow the link to the website for more information: http://www.raamchallenge.com/rs/index.php?N_webcat_id=267
The Texas Ultra Cup (TUC) is a series of different ultra races spread out across Texas and spread out through the year. TUC rewards participation with a TUC trophy for all! The Texas Ultra Cup was formed in an attempt to make Ultra racing more fun, add more camaraderie, prove that you do not have to win or be in the best shape of your life to have fun, build an Ultra Racing Family, add another Award to your Trophy case, entice you to do more than one Ultra event a year, urge you to travel this great state we call Texas, allow you to bond with fellow like minded riders and to help grow the sport. We feel The Texas Ultra Cup Challenge has the ability to do all this and more. By teaming up with your comrades, sharing travel expenses and crew, maybe even a tent, we hope that friendships will be formed, memories created and a new high in Ultra riding achieved. Knowing that the team next to you will most likely be at the next race in the series should create more camaraderie.
Hope to see you out there!
90% of the course comes from part of the Goatneck route only it goes in the other direction. It’s a 20mi loop. It’s hilly and unrelenting to do repeatedly but well worth the effort. I’ve been a part of this ride for 4 years now either volunteering or riding. I believe this was the best year. I rode the 12 hour (well, not all of it- haven’t ridden that long all year!) and traffic was better than in any year I can recall. Considerable effort has been put into making this course safer and it shows. Dan Driscoll who puts on this event brings together a crack team of great supporters who sacrifice to pull this off every year and he always pulls in cool goodies from sponsors. Every single person that rode walked away with an award. Dan takes time to at least speak to everyone out there- a rare thing. If you’re afraid of this event because it’s an actual race, don’t be! Everyone gets cheered, everyone gets respect for going out there and giving it their all- however much their “all” may be. Riders cheer riders. You will be pleasantly surprised to find not everyone that races a bike has a huge ego and attitude! The new 20 mile TT is a great event for those who don’t feel like going out for the longer stuff. I will be back in one of my two capacities next year for sure!