Saturday, January 31, 2009

James Balentine: Service Manager & Super Mechanic

Today I thought I would blog about service manager & super mechanic, James Balentine. I might be a little biased, I am afterall his wife. But I think most of you will find that if you were to ask other cyclists/triathletes about James the words "awesome mechanic" might come up!

It was obvious even as a kid that he was passionate about bikes. His parents found him with his first bike...completely taken apart! He wanted to see how it worked and how to put it back together. He was only 7.
James wanted to learn everything he could about bikes so he got his dad to sign some paperwork allowing him to start working at the local bike shop. By 12 he was sweeping up the shop and asking a lot of questions.

His cycling career started around the same time by commuting to/from school and to/from work. From there he started riding BMX bikes, mountain bikes, and even road bikes (though he doesn't ride road bikes that much anymore because there are not enough jumps involved). By age 22, James became a pro bmx cyclist and was racing and traveling all over the country. In 2002, the racing slowed down...he met a certain female triathlete, now wife, and the nights of riding turned into nights of dating!

2003 was full of opportunities. James traveled with me to New Zealand for Olympic Distance Worlds. I made him bring all his tools just in case the U.S.A team mechanic needed help. Luckily he did and James was helping him prep all the athlete's bikes. From that point on, James was a USA Triathlon World Team mechanic. In addition to his J&A work, he also gets to travel about 2 times a year all over the world helping U.S athletes with their pre-race bicycle needs and he also wrenches for the Lone Star Circle of Life Tour.

Next time you are at the shop stop by the service window and say "hey" to James. He might seem quiet but he will appreciate the "hey". He recognizes most athletes/cyclists by the bikes they ride so putting a face to the bike is always a good thing!



Friday, January 30, 2009

J&A is World Wide!

What do all of the following places have in common?

Dominica, Israel, Peru, Morocco, Machu Pichu, Ireland, Galapagos Islands, Greece, Russia, Costa Rica, Germany, Croatia, Vietnam, Venezuela, Mexico, New Zealand, France, Italy, Puerto Rico, Tour de France, Lake Placid, Grand Canyon, Alaska, , Chicago, Colorado, Hawaii, New Mexico, Utah & the last day of play at Yankee Stadium…

That’s right, J&A has been to all of these places! Well, ok, our shirt has!

A year ago when we announced that J&A was having a photo contest we never dreamed that it would take us around the world! We asked you to submit photos of yourself sporting the J&A t-shirt and the pictures started pouring in!

In December of 2008 we asked you to cast your vote for your favorite picture and you spoke.

The Winner is... Elizabeth McQuinn! She wins two round trip tickets on Southwest Airlines!

About the photo, Liz writes, "I'm standing on the bow of the CHUGACH, a boat that took us out to see the Northwestern Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. Our captain had to guide the boat through a bunch of icebergs to get us up close to the glacier, which descends from the Harding Icefield into the Northwestern Fjord."

Congrats to Liz and many thanks to everyone who submitted photos & voted!

Here are a few more pictures...

Visit J&A on flickr at to see all of the pictures.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Erin Krielow Lahr Memorial Fund

Austin T3 is selling blue memory bracelets in honor of Erin Krielow Lahr who passed away during the Dallas White Rock Marathon. Her T3 teammates and friends in the running/triathlon community will be wearing these bracelets as a way to remember Erin throughout the upcoming season. 100% of the bracelet proceeds will go to the Erin Krielow Lahr Memorial Fund and will be used to sponsor a race/event for the Austin community in the future. Stop by Jack & Adam’s Bicycles to purchase your bracelet today!

For more information, please contact Austin T3 at or 512-899-2482.


Riding Tip: Preventing Flats

Tired of monkeying around with flat tires? Then check out these prevention tips:

What's the number one cause of tire problems? If you guessed too little air pressure, then you're right. Having a good floor pump is essential in helping to prevent flat tires. The pumps usually include gauges and are made to inflate tires faster and easier than the pump you carry on your bike for emergencies. Checking air pressure before every ride is a good idea.

It's also important to keep an eye on your tires for wear and tear. Road tires generally last about 1,500 miles when used on the rear and about twice that on the front. If you go any longer than that, flats are more likely to occur.

Besides watching for wear and tear, regularly check your tread for cuts and debris. Flats aren't always caused by outside objects. Sometimes the culprit is something sharp inside the rim. If the hole is on the "belly" of the tube (the same surface the valve is on), something inside the rim popped the tube. If the hole is on the outer surface, it was caused by something that penetrated the tire and tube.

For punctures on the tube's belly, make sure that the rim strip is fully covering the nipple holes and that it can't move out of position. If you find anything sharp on the rim, sand it smooth with a file or sandpaper.

If you follow all these steps and still suffer more than your share of flats, there are several additional options available, such as flat-resistant tires, tubes, and tire liners. Just ask and we'll discuss your tire trouble and recommend a solution to make flat tires things of the past.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Green Team Tip: The Life of a Race Shirt

If you are anything like Michael & I you have a lot of race t-shirts piled high in the closet. But not all race shirts are created equally...

There are the favorites, the ones you always wear and choose to pack when going on trips. There are the back-ups, the ones you occasionally wear around the house or toss on for the drive home after a workout. Lastly there are the bottom of the barrel ones, the ones you have never worn and never plan to.

Michael's favorite shirt is the grey long sleeve from the 2004 Buda 30K. Ironically, I was the one wearing mine when we took this picture in Boston. My favorite race t-shirts are from the Skeese Greets Tri because they come in women's sizes & are soft American Apparel brand.

Each type of t-shirt has its own life and we're here to help each of your t-shirts have the most productive life possible.

For those shirts that will never been worn, the best idea might be to quickly donate them. There are a number of Austin organizations that accept donations of lightly worn clothes. Among them are East Side Community Connection, Safe Place, Lisa's Hope Chest, and Goodwill.

When you need to pack your bike for a trip, it's always useful to bring along some rags to help keep things a bit cleaner at your destination. Worn out back-up t-shirts are perfect rags. They can also be wrapped around the bike to serve as a bit more protection during travel. After your event, you can use the shirt to wipe off the "dirt." The hotel you stay in will be quite happy with your choice of using an old t-shirt instead of their white towels.

For those t-shirts that you never want to part with, they can be saved forever or recycled into a quilt. Unfortunately this means learning to make the quilt or convincing your mother to spend her time making you one. My collection for mom is waiting eagerly for the day it'll become something else.

What is your favorite race shirt? What do you do with the unwanted ones?



Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Austin Tidbits: Free Workouts

The J&A Core Class has been going strong every Monday & Wednesday night for almost 5 years. Word continues to spread about this popular class, from Runner's World Magazine to today's Austin Tidbits newsletter. The free, twice weekly editorial e-subscription featured the core class and included two other free workouts as well. Check out Austin Tidbits - "The inside scoop for the gal about town."

This is their write-up on the core class:

Gym memberships, home workout equipment, workout wardrobe, motivational magazines pages you tape to the fridge—it’s a high price to pay to stay fit. We’ve found three great FREE workouts in Austin that are open to the public. Now you can tone your entire body without spending an arm and a leg.

Light as a Feather, Stiffen your Core
If you are in the market for an intense hour-long core class, look no further than the parking lot at Jack and Adams. Held on Monday and Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. (give or take a 10 minute lag time), you’ll do a mix of planks, push-ups and crunches that will leave you crying. Bring a mat, some water and a prayer book—this workout is tough.

Check out the other two free workouts HERE.
Thanks Austin Tidbits!


Monday, January 26, 2009

Volunteers Needed: Marathon Water Stop

Are you, or someone you know, looking for a fun way to enjoy the AT&T Austin marathon & 1/2 Marathon without entering the race?

Returning for its second year, 26 Miles for 26 Charities raises awareness of the work of select Austin charities during the marathon. The Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas (DSACT) has once again been chosen as one of the spotlighted charities.

DSACT will be hosting the water stop on 15th, along the half marathon route. We are looking for volunteers to join us as we cheer on the runners and hand out water. Not only will you get to have fun helping out, you'll get a volunteer t-shirt (if you sign up by Feb 2nd), and you'll help support a great organization.

For more information about the water stop please contact the DSACT water stop coordinator, Michelle Garel ( If you'd like to learn more about DSACT, check out the website:

What: Volunteer for DSACT AT&T marathon water stop

When: Sunday Feb 15th.

Where: Water stop at the Wells Fargo on 15th*

Why: To get a free t-shirt, have fun, and volunteer

Theme: DSACT superheros

Info: contact Michelle Garel:



Saturday, January 24, 2009

Coach's Corner: Food Before Races

Pat Evoe This post is pulled from the J&A newsletter archives of Sept. 2007. Here, Pro Triathlete, Patrick Evoe discusses fueling before workouts and races:

Food Before Morning Workouts and Races

I've been asked several times by athletes as to the best foods to eat in the morning before a race or workout. The answer to this question is almost always "it depends."

For shorter activities...
If the activity is immediate, in an hour or less from the time you have to eat, put something in your stomach that will not cause you issues once you start. For morning workouts and races with around 1.5 hours or less duration, your body is usually already fueled (if you've been eating and drinking correctly in the days before). Usually a couple hundred calories and some fluids will suffice to increase your blood glucose level and replace the fluids lost overnight. I've found that a banana and sports drink or water are enough that I can almost immediately begin warming up. Similarly, something like Clif Bloks and water offer quick calories and fluids that also don't give me gastrointestinal issues.

For longer activities...
For a more prolonged event like a marathon, long bike ride, or Ironman, it's important to take in more calories and fluids, while allowing your body longer to move the food along in the digestion process. Morning meals rich in carbohydrates are important for getting fuel in your system to be utilized later in the day. Therefore it is important to allow enough digestion time for these larger meals. This is completely personal. I've found that I can eat a large meal three hours before a long distance event and not feel full at the start, but two hours is not enough time.

What I eat...
Different athletes have their different morning rituals. You'll hear talk of bagels, oatmeal, pancakes, or pasta. My preference is to fire up the waffle maker in the hotel room and enjoy waffles with syrup at 3:30 am the day of a long distance event. I've read that Rutger Beke, a top Belgian pro triathlete, eats twelve pieces of white bread with jam the morning of an Ironman. The commonalities among these opinions are that all the meals consist of carbohydrate rich foods.

The Final Word...
In summary, if the duration of the event is fairly short, then taking in small amounts of calories with fluids should get you ready to go. The longer the activity, the more food and fluids you need to take in race morning, but also the longer you need to allow for digestion. The key is to experiment with all nutrition changes in your training. Don't wait to see if Beke's white bread and jam works for you until the morning of your Ironman. For me, I'll stick with my waffle maker.

Check out Pat's website!


Friday, January 23, 2009

Jack & Adam's Talks Peanut Butter Recall

Lately, the word on the training circuit is about the FDA's investigation into the Peanut Corporation of America for salmonella. From what I hear, I think a lot of athletes are concerned if the recall is effecting their training nutrition.

I am happy to report that Jack & Adam's is in the clear regarding any tainted products. The majority of our nutrition manufacturers contacted me directly and provided me with the sell by dates for the lots of nutrition effected. I also searched all nutrition websites of products that we carry to confirm our product safety.

If you are interested in researching you can visit the following nutrition websites for more information:


Knuckle Ink Picture for Beaux

Many of you have inquired about the status of our friend Beaux Benson who was involved in a recent cycling accident. On Tuesday afternoon he was transported from Brackenridge to the Texas Neuro Rehab Center.

He has made a lot progress over the past couple of weeks but still has some hard work ahead of him.

During the beginning of his stay he will undergo a lot of testing. As his friends, we're hoping to show him our support without distracting him from his main concern, getting better.

We've decided to round up some of his friends for a group knuckle tattoo picture before the 3M half marathon, this Sunday. Possible ideas for knuckle tattoos are "HEAL FAST", "UKIC ARSE", "STAY TUFF", "BEAU XROX" (pictured above), or anything else you can think of.

WHAT: Group Knuckle Ink Picture

WHEN: 6:10 am, Jan 25th

WHERE: In front of Star Furniture, Gateway Plaza - Austin TX

WHY: To support Beaux

Please bring a sharpie or pre-ink at home.

See you Sunday morning!



Thursday, January 22, 2009

J&A Shop Ride Details

Want to kick-start or re-start your cycling in 2009?

The Jack and Adam's Sunday shop ride is the place to start. Here is what we plan to offer for 2009.

January 4th through February 22nd: A 26-mile no-drop ride starting from the shop at 8:30am prompt. We’ll take some less used roads out through East Austin to Decker Lane, a short ride down Decker Lane and then back over the same roads. The distance for the ride is almost exactly 26-miles.

If you are not ready for the full 26-miles, you can cut the ride short and turn back at numerous points, but you’ll be on your own unless we catch-up with you on the way back. We provide a detailed ride cue sheet with directions, distances and road names.

This ride will get you up to speed for the Rookie and Skeese Greets Women's Tri. It will also be a good base for Shiner, MS150, Tour De Cure, Couples Triathlon or any other early season sprint races.

March 1st through June 28th: We’ll cover the same route as the start of the year, but add-in a full Decker Lake loop. This has some real hills and will add approximately another 12-miles to the route, making a 38-mile ride. Again, these will be no-drop rides.

We expect that by mid-May, many will be riding off the front and working on their speed for races like the Rookie, Couples, and Danksin Triathlon. So having the Decker Lake loop in will be a great experience.

July 19th through September 20th: We are thinking about extending the ride to include the Longhorn 70.3 course. This would yield ride of some 92-miles. This would need SAG support, and because of the long distance, and vastly different speed or rider, would probably only be no-drop rides for the first 4-weeks through August-16th. So this has to be confirmed. Again, we’ll provide cue sheets if we decided to go ahead with this.

Ride Cue sheets: We’ll provide a detailed route cue sheet for the ride. These will contain the distance from point to point, plus the total distance, the turn directions and the street names. These will be posted on the shop website.

GPS Files: We’ll also provide .gps files which can be loaded into various devices including the Garmin Forerunner 205/305 so you can track your ride. These will be posted on the shop website.

Google Maps: We are also experimenting with providing the routes online. You can see the 26-mile route online at Bikely already.

What’s a no-drop ride?
A no-drop ride for us, means that either Jack Murray, one of the Jack and Adam’s shop managers, or Mark Cathcart, a former triathlon club chairman and 2003 British Triathlon volunteer of the year, or another designated rider, will always come back for you if you can’t keep up with the group and check that you are ok. We may not ride the whole course with you, but we will make sure that someone comes back for you before EVERY turn.

Hopefully once the rides have been going for a few weeks, groups of similar riders will form and you’ll have someone to ride with for the whole ride. Again though, even if you do get dropped and we’ll try to find a pace that accommodates most riders, we will come back for you, and make sure you don’t get lost or stuck alone in case of mechanical problems or punctures. We will ask the group to wait at the turns, but that will be up to individuals based on their training needs and time available for the ride.

Will there be SAG support?

No. At this point we do not envisage providing any food, water, or mechanical support for the rides. They are group rides that start and end at the shop, nothing else. We expect all participants to take the same precautions and come prepared as if you were riding alone. If you break down, we will do our best to help out on the ride, but if we cannot get you back on the road, you’ll need to make your own arrangements for pickup/rescue.

There are Gas stations and shops in the first and last 10-miles of the ride, but nothing around Decker Lake. Once the weather gets warmer, you’ll need to make sure you bring enough water for the temperature and based on how much you sweat plus any food/bars/gels etc.

Experienced and faster riders: There is normally a faster group that goes off from the shop, you are welcome to go with them, or start out with us and ride-on, on your own but using our cue sheets for guidance.

Brick sessions: Because of the proximity of the Jack and Adam’s shop to the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike trail, some people will want to run after the ride. There will be no formal run support, but you would be able to do anything from about 1-mile, out to Riverside and down past the Long Center, round to S 1s St and back along Barton Springs Rd; to either a 5k or 10k loop on the trail itself.

Rain days: On days when there is heavy rain or the roads are very wet, we will likely cancel. You are welcome to show-up with the route cue sheets and do the ride, but we probably won’t, you’ll be on your own!

Cost: Since the rides are unsupported, there is no cost for them. They are free.

Thanks to Mark Cathcart for putting together this plan!


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Product Review: iphone TriCalc

As some of you may have noticed on the J&A homepage, Glenda Adams has created a great new application for the iphone.

Personally, I do not have an iphone but my trusty gadget loving sidekick does (no surprise there). As a result, I know how thrilling it can be to see a great new application for the iphone. Picture a grown man jumping up and down like a little kid with cotton candy.

There aren't many applications specifically created for triathletes so that makes this one quite exciting. Glenda has created a quick way for us to calculate our pace, set training goals for workouts, and track our progress.

We spent some time investigating this application once Michael, and his iphone, came home from work. Overall we'll give it a thumbs up.

The user interface is clean and easy to see. It has automatic conversions between English and metric, which is great when switching between pools or the track and road. You can use the keyboard or the cool dials to enter data while increasing your thumb dexterity. Plus, it's quick... faster than most of us can calculate the differences by hand.

Those characteristics make it simple to play around with, even when you're in a state of post workout oxygen depletion.

If you're curious about TriCalc or Glenda's other iphone applications, you can check out this website:

Have fun with your training!


New iphone Tri Calculator!

The Tri Calculator was developed here in Austin by Glenda Adam's, one of Jack & Adam's customers. TriCalc lets you calculate running, cycling, and swimming times/distances/paces, and can track the total estimated time for a race. Simply put in your distance & pace for each sport, and your times and total time will automatically show up. Or if you have goal times, you can figure out what pace you need to achieve in each sport to hit them.

Here's a link to the app: iphone TriCalc


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Event News: The Rookie Tri Teams With Pure Sport

Jack & Adam's Bicycles & High Five Events are proud to announce Pure Sport, the new class of sports drink, as the official sports drink partner of High Five Events, and presenting sponsor of The Rookie Triathlon.

The Rookie Triathlon is a short event that has broad appeal from the true beginner triathlete to the accomplished veteran. The event is known for its safe course and family atmosphere, and it is the perennial kickoff event to the Texas Tri Series. 2009 will mark the 6th edition of the race, and it is once again expected to sell out several months in advance.

"The Pure Sport drinks are phenomenal products.", says Dan Carroll of High Five Events. "We pride ourselves on creating a great environment for a rookie triathlete, and putting Pure Sport in their hands at their first race definitely adds to that experience."

Pure Sport is used by many of the world's top athletes, including Michael Phelps, and offers both workout and recovery sports drinks.


Featured Event: Tour of New Braunfels

Coming up on the 31st is the Tour of New Braunfels. This two day event starts on Saturday with the Criterium at Canyon Lake. Participants will race their way around a scenic and winding 2.1-mile course overlooking beautiful Canyon Lake. You can catch the Cat 1 Men, racing last, at 12:50 for 60 minutes. The person with the most laps wins. The Grand Prix is on Sunday in Freiheit. The top men start at noon.

Crits are exciting and fun to watch. Last year I saw two - The Austin Downtown Crit & the Vegas Crit in conjunction with Interbike. Crashes occur pretty often during this type of event; watch where you stand so that you don't become part of the pile-up!

Below, the Governor of Texas gets in on the action at the '07 Downtown Crit in Austin. (Rick Kent Photo)

Directions to the Crit: Crit: Take IH 35 South (from Austin) to Exit 191, FM 306. Head west and proceed for 17.7 miles. Turn left on Canyon Park Road (marked by a yellow blinking light). Proceed 1.5 miles to the guard house/gate.




Monday, January 19, 2009

My First Tri: Amanda Lovato

The following article was pulled from the J&A Newsletter Archives - April 2008

As you prepare for the upcoming Skeese Greets Women's Tri, know that even pro triathletes had to start somewhere. This is how I started...

I needed a goal. I was chubby, unhealthy, unhappy, and only 25 years old. Being athletic in my high school and college career, I realized I needed to try something new to help me focus on being healthy again. After a lot of consideration, I signed up for my first triathlon in February 1997.

That February, I made a commitment to compete in the
St. Anthony's Triathlon in Tampa, Florida only two months after my "start to train" date. I did this purposely. I needed a goal that wasn't too far in advance. I needed to make sure that I stayed on task with my training and my goals.

The first thing I did was hire a
coach. I knew I needed some assistance in learning the "ropes" of triathlon. I had never swam in my life. I mean I could possibly save myself if I had a life preserver strapped on, however, I didn't know proper technique. My coach invited me to join the masters swim program and after day one, I was hooked. I'm not sure exactly why as I look back on that fateful day. I was splashing around in a cold pool at 5:30 in the morning. I was kicked. I was yelled at. I nearly drowned. I didn't know anything about pool etiquette. In fact, before workout that morning, I informed Coach that I could swim 1500 meters in 19 minutes. I believed this because at the time my college boyfriend swam a 15:14 in the 1500 at the Olympics. In my mind, 19 minutes was equivalent to a 10-12 minute mile on the track. I was SO WRONG! Nevertheless, my coach helped me to believe that I could actually finish a triathlon.

I trained so hard leading up to the race that I was very tired every single day. I celebrated my days off on Mondays! As the day of the race quickly approached, I was more nervous than ever. However, I was determined. I was determined to race as hard as I could. And I was determined to finish! Coach and I talked about everything before I left for Tampa (from Baltimore). He encouraged me to have a bike shop look over my bike before I raced. He told me what time to eat the morning of the race, as well as what to eat. He told me exactly what sort of times I should be expecting for each segment. I felt very encouraged to have this much support. As I arrived, I followed everything he told me to the "T". However, I do wish he had told me to not eat a huge steak the night before the race at 8pm. That was definitely a rookie mistake!

As the gun went off, my heart nearly stopped! But then my competitive juices took over and the feelings of being scared and nervous disappeared! I was in the mix of all of the kicking and scratching for an entire 30 seconds before everyone seemed to disappear. I was alone - swimming along for 1500 meters. I kept on encouraging myself to keep going. I could do it! It took me 36 minutes to swim the distance - I did it! Now off for the bike!

The bike seemed to be the most effortless of all. I loved the feeling of going fast. I could really push myself! Unlike the swim, I could work really hard and feel like I was going somewhere. I was pushing as hard as I could possibly go!

As I entered the second transition, I knew that I had the run in the bag! What I didn't anticipate, however, is what my legs would feel like after getting off the bike after riding so hard. I hadn't pushed myself to the limit on the bike like that, so when I got off I just wanted to lay down! I was so tired! I lumbered along in the run. I struggled. I walked. I worked as hard as I could to finish. My run time (for the 10k) was 55 minutes! I was ecstatic! I had finished my very first triathlon! I was absolutely hooked!!!

I never would have thought that eleven years later I would be doing this as a profession and telling the story of how I first started. It just goes to show that if you put your mind to something and if you make goals for yourself, you can do anything!

Go for your dreams!

To learn more about Amanda, check out her website or read her blog.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Felt Women's Specific Bicycles

In the past, what differentiated a girl's bike from a unisex bike was a downward top tube on a cruiser. Today, Women's Specific Bicycles have many features that make cycling easier and more comfortable for females. As bike companies start catering towards women, there have been many improvements in design. So many improvements, in fact, that here at Jack & Adam's, almost all the shop ladies ride a women's specific bike.

One bike company in particular has taken women's bodies, with shorter torsos and longer legs, into consideration. Felt has done a great job catering to this generalization with their women's line. For those women who ride a size 51 or 54 bicycle, the geometry is the same which gives you even more options for choosing your bicycle. The other great thing about the women's line is that Felt makes bicycles available for petite to small women. The size small is still available in 700c wheels!

A few other differences between a women's specific bicycle and a unisex bicycle is the handlebar size. A women's bicycle comes equipped with narrower width, shorter reach, and shallower drop handlebars. These features make it easier to maneauver the brakes as well as shift the gears. Women's specific bicycles also come with women's specific saddles.

Here are just a few samples of the Felt Women's Specific Line:

Stop in if you have questions or check out Felt's Website at



Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Event News: The Austin Tri Teams With Avia

High Five Events is proud to announce AVIA, the leader in endurance sports training products, as the official running shoe partner and presenting sponsor of The Austin Triathlon.

2009 will mark the 3rd edition of The Austin Triathlon and the event is expected to cap at over 2000 athletes. The event is held on the front yard of Austin’s renowned Town Lake Hike and Bike trail, and the bike and run course feature challenging and very spectator friendly loops through historic and eclectic downtown Austin. The event features Olympic and Sprint distance triathlons, and has earned a reputation as an extremely well organized, fun, and athlete-centric event.

“We are thrilled about this partnership with AVIA,” says Dan Carroll of High Five Events. “AVIA brings a level of excitement, energy, and innovation to the sport of triathlon that matches our own, and their partnership will allow us to bring an even better experience to the athletes.” The event will once again host a $5000 all-comers prize purse and multiple prime prizes.

“AVIA is proud to be the presenting sponsor and join forces with The Austin Triathlon”, says Julie Vieselmeyer of AVIA. “High Five Events puts on an outstanding series of races that really draws upon Austin’s community spirit, attracting both the elite and newbie racer. We are excited to further build upon this great race in a place that has become a mecca for triathletes.”

The 2009 Austin Triathlon will be held on Labor Day, September 7th. AVIA joins Jack & Adam’s Bicycles as presenting sponsors. Visit for more information.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Featured Event: 3M Half Marathon

The 15th Annual 3M Half Marathon & Relay is set for Sunday, January 25th. This local favorite is a fast, downhill race with a 4.8m drop. You can sign up as an individual or grab a friend for the relay. If you've never participated in this 13.1 run, then why not check it out & go for a PR! It's a great place to do it.

Here are some of the other highlights:

  • USA Track and Field certified, TX06017JF
  • Rolling urban setting
  • Mostly (but not exclusively) downhill
  • Long straightaways
  • Chip-timed
  • Water every other mile
  • Power drinks at miles 4‚ 8 and 12
  • Mile markers every mile
  • Split timers every other mile
  • Dry clothing drop-off at start
  • Police-controlled major intersections
  • Entertainment and medical support along the course
  • Food at the finish
  • Return bus transport from the finish to the start upon completion
And I hear they have a great schwag bag full of 3M products.

For more info visit the race website HERE.

Also, don't forget about the River Road Run coming up this Saturday near New Braunfels.


Monday, January 12, 2009

My First Tri: Jack Murray

Almost every day customers visit our shop seeking advice on participating in their first triathlon. When I have the opportunity to help someone in this situation, I share with them the story of my first tri in hopes of helping them feel more comfortable about their endeavor.

It was the summer of 1994. The event was the Victoria Splash & Dash in Victoria, Texas. I had trained for a few weeks and was sure I was in peak condition for an easy victory. I was, after all, fresh off a 1600 meter run victory and bronze in the 3200 at the Texas State Championship Relays. How hard could a little tri be? I thought I knew all there was to know about swimming, biking, and running. Turns out - I knew nothing!

The morning started with me loading my bike into the trunk of my mom's car and driving with her and my sister to the event one hour away. I arrived around 6 AM for an 8 AM start. This was before on-line registration, so I registered for the event that morning and picked up my packet. As people started to arrive, I noticed the differences between my rusty old mountain bike and some of their $2000 race machines. My confidence, however, was not crushed; I was still sure I could win. After racking my bike, I headed over to the pool area where everyone was warming up. As I got closer, I noticed everyone was wearing tight swimsuits and goggles. I was sure, however, that my baggy Umbro "soccer shorts" and lack of goggles was the best way to go. My plan was simple - go as fast as I could for as long as I could.

They were letting swimmers go every 5 seconds and we had to snake up and down the pool for a total of 300 meters. I patiently waited in line until 5,4,3,2,1 go, I was off. I swam as fast as I could to the other side and then back again. 50 meters down 250 to go. By 150 my arms started to hurt and my eyes were stinging from the chlorine. By 200 I was kicking off the bottom every few strokes and swimming with my eyes closed, by 250 I was just trying to get out of the water alive, and without my shorts falling off. After the swim, I was sure I was still in good position to hold my own on the bike.

I grab my bike out of transition and head out on to the 12 mile course. As I start to ride I realize I am not catching anyone. The rusty, old mountain bike that I borrowed from my high school track coach was not the stallion I thought it was. Riding around the block a few times for training was probably not the riding that all these people were doing. The fact that my bike could not shift was more trouble than I thought it would be. And looking back, my saddle was also about 5 to 7 inches to low. Towards the end of the ride I was being passed by a 10 year old girl and her mom; it was then that I started to feel my big victory slipping away. Still I was determined to blaze through transition and light up the run.

Transition to the run was probably my most memorable moment. As I speed to the transition area, volunteers are yelling at me to dismount my bike. As I go to lift my feet off the pedals, I forget that they are hooked in by cages. The combination of speed and my feet getting caught was enough to send me crashing like a bowling ball into a bike rack with about 6 bikes on it. The volunteers quickly help me up and as I throw my bike in the grass next to a picnic table (the rack was down), I remember thinking how much fun I was having. The whole day was something I had never experienced before.

It took about a mile into the run before I got my legs out of bike riding mode. I had no idea how riding a bike would effect legs on the run. As I rounded the final stretch I saw all these happy people cheering for me, eating, drinking, and just having a good time. I talked to people for about an hour. I met a guy my age that had been doing triathlons for years. I met some members of the Corpus Christi tri club and was invited to their next meeting. I signed up for their monthly newsletter. In short - I was hooked. It was nothing I thought it would be. It was fun and I discovered a whole different type of people that did not exist in my 5000 person hometown.

Through the years of collegiate running, duathlons, sprint tri's, half Ironman events, Ironman events, and working in the shop, my first tri memory will forever help me keep our sport in perspective. It is not about where you finish, what type of bike you have, what you do for a living, where you are from or where you are going. It is about having fun and that is it. You can have many goals in our sport without forgetting this key element. I am constantly reminded of this by some of the greatest in the sport like Michael Lovato and James Bonney. If you ask either of them why they have dedicated and built their lives around this sport, they will tell you the same.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bike Accident Victim at Brackenridge ICU

As many of you may have heard, our friend Dwight "Beaux" Benson had an accident during a ride last Sunday. He hit a crack in the road in Manor and went over his handlebars. Although he was wearing a helmet, he suffered major head trauma.

His home for the past week has been Room 8 of the 1st floor at Brackenridge Hospital ICU. He is still in a coma but shows positive signs of improvement every day.

Visiting hours for the ICU are:

5-6 am
10-11 am
1-1:30 pm
3-3:30 pm
5-6 pm
9-9:30 pm

We are unsure how long or what the recovery will entail but we do know the support of friends is always helpful. Please keep him in your thoughts.

The staff at Brackenridge is doing a wonderful job. His doctors and RNs are knowlegeable and friendly.


Coach's Corner: Running Softly

In the November 2007 Jack & Adam's Newsletter, the Training 101 section, written by Derick Williamson of Source Endurance, talked about a running technique called "running softly." Recently we received an email from a customer informing us of how much the technique has helped him. Because of that, we wanted to repost the article:

Run Softly

It seems that the inherent beating our legs take while on training runs often leads to some of the most nagging and potentially severe injuries we face as triathletes. That dreaded pain on the inside of a shin, the chronically inflamed IT band, a perpetually tight hamstring, and the list goes on. Too many times we chalk this up as part of the process. What many athletes do not realize is that by applying a few subtle technique changes to running form, common injuries can be eradicated and running speed can be gained. This happens through increased economy of movement which can be achieved by just being quiet while you run, in other words, run softly.

While on a run, leave the ipod at home and prepare to listen. Listen to your gait. Is there a heavy sigh from the ground on every foot strike, or do you notice a shuffling sound similar to autumn foliage moving along at the pace of a breeze? If you are picking up on sounds that are more audible than not, it may be that you need to work on your foot strike and run more softly.

Running soft allows your foot to strike the ground and transition from the initial contact, often considered heel strike or a mid-foot strike, with less breaking force (ground reaction force). This means that less impact is transferred from this brief, but violent stop throughout the body. Think of a plane that lands gently at an optimal angle versus the landing that comes down a little hard and jolts the entire cabin. This is not entirely dissimilar to the jolt your body takes each time your foot lands. When coaches tell athletes to run with light feet, this is precisely what they are referring to.

On runs, occasionally think about foot strike and quick transition. As the heel comes in contact with the ground, try to roll the foot forward to the mid foot, then to the ball of the foot and then to a strong propulsive toe off. Work on doing this seamlessly and without interruption. Another important key to this skill is never allowing heel strike to be forward of the knee. The heel strike should occur directly under the knee and the knee should be directly beneath your center of gravity. Look down while in heel strike to mid-stance of your stride. At that point you should see no more than the tips of your toes extending from beneath your knee. If you see more than just the tips, then you're creating a greater ground reaction force and more resistance - setting you up for a higher risk of injury.

Like anything, running softly takes time to develop, but remind yourself every once in awhile that doing so can have a huge impact.

To sign up for the J&A monthly newsletter which contains info such as the above article, click


Friday, January 9, 2009

Epic Ride or Epic Flats?

What do you carry on your training rides - CO2 or a mini pump? If you carry only one CO2 cartridge, consider this story from one of our super shop guys, Thomas.

Thomas was out on an Epic Ride Tuesday with shop mechanics Sam & Louie when the flats began. The roads were still a little wet as they rode southeast. They decided to ride "Eurostyle" that day, which means they carried only one tube and one CO2 cartridge each. This strategy works great if you only get one flat. Unfortunately for Thomas he got three flats during that one ride. But luckily for Thomas and Sam, Louie doesn't think "Eurostyle" and is more realistic. He saved the day with his mini bicycle pump. The guys made it home safely thanks to Louie.

Hopefully Sam & Thomas will learn to modify their "Eurostyle" beliefs and carry more tubes and CO2, or better yet, carry a mini pump!

The shop has several options for mini pumps: The Topeak Mini Morph, which fits conveniently in your jersey; The Topeak Road G Morph which attaches to your bicycle; and Planet Bikes MicroPro. The pressure capacity ranges from 80 to 160 PSI. Stop by and check them out!

Already have a mini pump? Here's some of the other gear we received this week:

New bento boxes for those long weekend rides
saddle bags
Sport-Wash detergent
blinky lights
Vittoria Rubino Pro II tires.

Happy Training!



Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Product Review: TRISWIM

Believe it or not, I've had blond hair and huge quads for over 30 years. Yes, it's true... I've gone through three decades as a girl who has never colored her hair.

Trouble is, myth-busters hasn't done an episode on blond hair turning green in chlorine so I live in constant fear when I swim in pools. Not only could my hair turn colors, Michael also hates the smell of chlorine on my skin. Personally, I think he's using this as an excuse not to swim but we'll just pretend he's actually repulsed by the smell for now.

So... to solve this horrific trouble which face all triathletes, we need to look for some serious solutions. From the title of my blog entry I'm sure you know where I'm going with this: TRISWIM

These guys have designed shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion to help us get rid of some nasty swimming pool residue. If you've got a keen sense of smell you will definitely notice a difference using the TRISWIM.

Aside from the standard 8 oz containers, there are also some new "shot size" bottles if you want to give them a quick try or carry smaller containers to the pool.

Here's to three more decades of blond hair... hopefully it won't turn grey before that

- mich

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Featured Event: River Road Run

Why not start the year off right with an awesome 12 mile River Road Run near New Braunfels, TX! The event takes place on Jan 17th just north of town on beautiful River Road. The rolling hill course is a 6 mile out and back starting at Camp Hueco Springs at 8AM. In addition to the 12 mile run, new this year is a 4 mile walk. So if you want to take some family & friends along, they can do the walk as you rack up the mileage. Then afterwards you can all enjoy the post race food, drinks and awards party. This laid-back event is a great and healthy way to bring in '09.

For more info visit Seidel Productions.



Monday, January 5, 2009


Happy New Year! Do you have your resolutions set for the year? Well we do, and one of them involves YOU!

As always, we are looking forward to welcoming you to the shop and helping you prepare for a wonderful 2009 season. We also have some new ideas in the works which will be revealved throughout the year.

In the mean time, one of our resolutions is to become more diligent about collecting emails, mailing addresses, phone numbers, and birthdays from our awesome customers. Don't worry...we're not going to send you a bunch of junk you don't need; we just want to be able to say, "Happy Birthday" or "Happy New Year" and other fun stuff like that when the time arises.

It also means a chance to win some free stuff... Everyone who emails (send to an update of their current contact information and birthday will be entered into the drawing for some cool free schwag.



Friday, January 2, 2009

New Products: Jack and Adam's Hats

Happy New Year! Well I started my year off right with a massive New Year's Day group ride. It was my longest ride, 3.5 hours, since training for Buffalo Springs. I was so ready to be done but also happy that I did it! One thing I am shooting for in '09 is more time in the saddle so I am already ahead of myself from this time last year! Not only did I ride but I dragged my sister out (see picture) to ride her bike next to me while I ran. Her reward was an awesome new black Jack & Adam's hat by Headsweats! Yes they have arrived! While recovering post run I also sported my new Jack & Adam's hat...military style. We received four new J&A Headsweat hats this week: military style, black cotton crew, white race hat, and a black visor. Prices range from $15.99 to $19.99 depending on which style you select.

See you at the shop!! Don't forget to work on your New Year's Resolutions!