Saturday, January 30, 2010

The beauty of losing

New season. New sport. A new way to lose.

I've always been a relatively average triathlete, and after several years of spreading that mediocrity amongst three sports I have decided to put all of my efforts into one activity. My plan is to focus on cycling for this next season and see where that takes me. I mean, it's simple math. If I am a 5 out of 10 in three separate things and I spend the same amount of time training each week in only one thing... Well, presto. 15 out of 10.

As I found out this past weekend at the Tour of New Braunfels, this may not exactly be the case. I was, what cyclists commonly call, pack fill. Kind of towards the front, but ultimately not a factor in the results. Basically, a mirror of my triathlon career. That's OK, really... I would like to share with you all a little secret that I stumbled upon some years ago. It's something that has kept me coming back to the sport. A ridiculously simple way of looking at things, and one of the easiest ways to build speed... Get dropped! Get lapped! Run, ride or swim with people faster than you and when you ultimately fail, get excited! Not every day, but certainly put yourself into that situation occasionally. Don't ever fear it.

Losing a wheel and not have anything left is a beautiful thing, because we are never more alive. Drooling, slobbering, form out the window. Or maybe in silence, watching the group in front of you drift away. To be at your absolute maximum. To push beyond that, even for an instant and then crack spectacularly is the secret and basis for not only truly knowing who you are, but also for figuring out how to last a second, an inch or lap longer. Go out and get dropped. Come back, get dropped again. Repeat.

Endurance sports aren't about overnight success. We may sometimes trick ourselves and certainly some people have a natural inclination for the sport, but ultimately it takes time... It takes years... It takes flippin' forever... It's really not a thing for the impatient, I guess. The key is to embrace losing and secretly savor the feeling. It's better than doing taxes, or grocery shopping, or watching TV. In fact, it's better than pretty much most things.

I'm a dude. I haven't cried in a decade at least. I laugh at awkward times and don't really ever get angry. There are so few venues in our society that allow us to reach the bottom of everything we are, both physically and mentally. We just don't really have that opportunity very often. So when it comes along, savor it. With each loss we get a little faster, a little wiser, and we learn to better appreciate our victories.

In other news, I just purchased a sick (that means awesome, you squares) new Felt road bike. It's pretty much gonna change my life forever. Above is a picture of the lovely beast.

It's sorta like I'm Avatar, and my bike is that big bird thing that the Avatar guy jumped on to get respect from all of the other Avatars. It's how I'm going to unite all the Cat 5 cyclists at my bike races. Inevitably, they will proclaim me their leader and escort me across the line... Or maybe I'll just keep learning how to be an awesome loser on a shiny new bike. Either way, I'm having a blast.


Friday, January 29, 2010

2010 New Profile Triathlon Clothing @J&A

New at Jack & Adam's 2010 is the Profile Design Triathlon Clothing line. I decided to try on a top and some shorts to give some feedback.
I was pleasantly surprised. The sizing was dead on. so the majority of athletes will not have to size up or size down. The fabric was super soft with minimal stitching (read,"minimal chaffing"). I was especially surprised with the built in shelf bra...super supportive without feeling restrictive. On top of all these great features, you can purchase a complete triathlon outfit including top and bottoms for under $100 ($89.99 excluding tax)!

Stop by Jack & Adam's this weekend to check out the new clothing!

Here I am trying to look tough!


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Interview: Matt Seagrave

I first met Matt while racing as a junior on Team Diabetic-Mapei several years back. We had several rides together including one that turned into hiding out under an overpass on Mopac during a thunderstorm. At the time, he seemed to me a PRO. Someone whom I wanted to become. Already an established Triathlete, Matt turned to road racing early this decade and quickly moved up the ranks of local bike racing. His race exploits have given him "legend status" many times.For example, early on, he once raced the at the Pace Bend road race as a cat 4 and, after breaking away early on, he won by over a minute. The very next day, while still a cat 4, he lined up with the cat 3s at the Lago Vista Primavera and pulled the same tactics, again, winning by over a minute. After the race, they asked for his racing license and upgraded his category on the spot.

To say Matt is a great cyclist, is an understatement. He is a class guy, exceptional rider and a part of the family here at Jack and Adams. Back in 2006, after several seasons proving himself both locally and nationally, he set off to Belgium to race amongst hardened Euro elite and PRO cyclists. Prove himself he did, placing many times in the top 10 of races that go over the same roads as the Classics.

Me: Explain yourself.
Matt: Matt Seagrave, Athelte, Mentor, Coach

Me: What does the phrase "to be Belgian" mean to you?
Matt: From my expereince living and racing in Belgium. When I think of a person who can call themselved Belgian. I think that person to be a hard worker, with alot of determination. Who also likes festivals/parties in the town centrum. Anything that I think of that is Belgian I think of being tough or hard and well worth the experience good or bad.

Me: What is really the best embrocation for Belgians?
Matt: I could not tell you the name of the stuff I just know its smell is really strong and makes the legs warm. Also make sure you dont still have it on the legs when gettting into a hot shower or your legs will feel as though they are on fire.
Nutella or Peanut Butter? I really like Nutella, but when you combine both together it is perfect.

Me: Do you ever say that you are from Belgium to impress the ladies?
Matt: No, because most American girls dont really care about that.

Me: VDB or Museeuw?
Matt: Museeuw

Me: Boonen or Devolder?
Matt: Museeuw

Me: Flanders or Roubaix?
Matt: Tour of Flanders hands down. I have raced most of that course, brutal.

Me: How steep is the Koppenburg? (27%, ludicrus steep, hope i dont die steep?)
Matt: All Im thinking in my head is got to get to the front so I can get on the smooth concrete section and hopefully make it to the top without stopping. (like the steepest part of jester but with cobbles steep)

Me: Waffles or Frites?
Matt: Waffles covered in sugar or chocolate.

Me: Hold your line or "Stomme eikel, recht rijden?"
Matt: Hey.

Me: What is "the beer" of the Vlaanderen people?
Matt: We had free Augustijn.

Me: What stylish haircuts have you seen during your stay in Belgica?
Matt: Everything from a shaved head to a crazy russian mullet that the whole team was sporting.

Me: Ok more serious questions...What led you to go to Belgium to race?
Matt: Just figured if I was to have a go at racing my bike I shoud go to Belgium so I did.

Me: How long where you there?
Matt: 7months (120 day longer than legally supposed to, never got a visa)

Me: What is the typical lifestyle of a bike racer there?
Matt: Fair amount of training, good bit of recovery and good bit of reading or movie watching.

Me: What type of training did you do while racing?
Matt: We raced so much that once the season got going real training was not happening (3months straight I raced 3-5days a week of one day races, with riding to and from races so could be an extra 1- 3hrs on top of 3-5hrs of racing)

Me: Explain the Kermesse racing system. What is the typical course, riders/field, conditions, aggressiveness, days, etc.?
Matt: Kermesse is more like a curcuit race in the U.S., but the spectators can wage money on the riders. The course is usually say 10-15km in length. The cost to enter the race is 5euro with the refund of 3euro when you turn your number back in. Now if you dont turn your number back in you are suspended from racing for a week by the belgian cycling federation. The courses usually start in a small village and can be on really smooth roads the whole time or crappy cobbles just depends on the course. Living in Gent (Ghent) during the summer you could chose from 2-4 different races a day within riding distance of the house (15min-1hr bike ride). The races are agressive just "get to work when they say go."

Me: Explain the bookies over there. How long did it take to be on the boards? Is that a big honor locally?
Matt: For me I was on the boards on my second race in Europe first race in Belgium. had a good first race and just never looked back. Yes getting on the boards is an honor and good feeling when the people waging money on you are checking how you feel before races and buying you a pint post race. Also had a few times where I would hear "hey look the American is here today you need to watch him." Sometimes the rider will get a kick back if the wager makes enough money off your success, but on that note if you lose them money because you took a chance during the race then they would let you know this also.

Me: Did you get a chance to race over the same roads/courses as the Protour riders?
Matt: Yes, I had a chance to race and train over the roads of Tour of Flanders, Gent Wevelgem and other Protour races. I even had a chance to race against team such as QuickStep, Unibet, Dovitomin Lotto among others. This was a good experience and made me stronger/ smarter racer.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Basic maintenance at home

Even though the mechanics here at Jack and Adams are more than happy to work on your bikes, there are a few things that you can do at home to keep your bike in good working order. One of the most important things is to keep the proper air pressure in your tires. If your tires have the right amount of air in them, not only will it be easier to ride, but you will get less flats and your tires will last a lot longer. Another important thing to do is to keep your chain properly lubricated. If you keep your chain properly lubed it will not only work better but your bike will run smoother and the life of your chain will be prolonged quite a bit. The easiest way to make your bike last longer and look better is to keep your bike clean. Not everyone can use a hose and bucket at home, but anyone can at least wipe down the bike if it is just a little dirty or you know someone with a yard and a hose that you could borrow for a few minutes. When you keep your bike clean, everything not only works better, but it will help lengthen the life of your drivetrain and help you to find any issues with your bike whether it is finding a crack in your frame or simply keeping your hands clean when you have to change a flat. I try to wash my bike at least once every couple of weeks under normal riding conditions and after every ride that is wet or muddy. One bonus of keeping your bike very clean is that Sam may upgrade your status from amateur to pro or if it is really clean maybe even get that coveted Belgian status. If all else fails bring it to us here at the shop and we would be happy to clean it and if you want we can show you some tips on how to clean your bike quickly without skipping over anything.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Road I.D. and You

The staff here at Jack & Adam's recently had the opportunity to invest in some road safety equipment. Thanks to P.J and Ed over at Road ID we all now have identification bands for cycling, running, and really any outdoor activity just in case an emergency occurs and we are not able to communicate to the first respondent.
Personally, I don't plan on ever needing it out on the road but there is never a guarantee. But with the help of Road ID I feel more confident knowing the emergency personal will have my medical history, emergency contact, current health information, and additional personal information right at their fingertips just in case I cannot respond. The ID comes in several different options ranging from anklets, arm bands, and even dog tags and comes in all different color options (I went with the red wrist id elite band). You can customize the plaque information to list anything you want someone to know about you if you are in need of emergency care and cannot communicate. I would also recommend upgrading to the road interactive model which allows responders to access vital information (like blood type or insurance info) online or by phone beyond the information listed on your ID.

Jack & Adam's will soon carry Road ID and Road ID accessories so stop in sometime to check on availability. If you just can't wait for their arrival here at the shop please use discoutn code to ThanksAngie608341 to receive $1 off any Road ID order.
Be safe out there!


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tri Unites

No matter what side of the red/blue line you stand on, triathlon can be a sport that unites. Take Massachusetts Democratic Senator John Kerry and newly elected Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown for instance. The two stated today that they plan to participate in a triathlon together, well, as soon as Kerry's hip feels better.

Kerry is well known to be a cycling enthusiast. When I met him at Lance's 2005 Tour de France victory party at the Ritz Carlton in Paris, I thought he was there for the same reasons Lindsey Lohan was there - the free food and drinks. But the guy actually does like bikes and is pretty good at riding according to former pro cyclist and Garmin team director Jonathan Vaughters.

Scott Brown also appears to be an avid cyclist. Not only that, but he's a long distance runner and swimmer and has competed (and placed) in many triathlons and duathlons.

I'd like to cordially invite Kerry and Brown to go head-to-head at the Rookie Tri in New Braunfels on May 9th. If the Rookie is good enough for Texas Governor Rick Perry's first tri, then it's good enough for two Yankee senators. But they better sign up soon, because the event fills up quickly!


Monday, January 18, 2010

Transition 101

Personally, I'm not super excited that the shop has been getting busier. I much prefer being paid to look at cycling websites and come up with nicknames for my co-workers (Incidentally, I now answer to the name "Goat Nasty"). But people have been stirring this past week, several of you have come by asking for information on training groups and tips on getting started in the sport.

There's nothing I can really do. Chug a chug a... It's out of my hands. Chug a chug a... That giant diesel engine has started, and 2010 is already picking up speed. Get on board or get out the way. Or, if you're like me, get all of those crumbs off your shirt, change out of your house slippers and kind of stumble on board.

This is a post aimed at improving your transition speed, and I will be offering up videos to illustrate how efficient transitions can buy you a little more couch time this season. Triathlon is hard, that's why we like it. Not because it is just another check on our bucket list, but because we want to challenge ourselves. We want to burn all of our matches and borrow some more on credit. Racing is a draining thing. A beautiful, passionate endeavor that demands so much of our time. Standing on the edge a new season it's sometimes hard to dive in, to make that final push and accept that you will suffer.

If you are already swimming around out there, great. Perfect your transitions to decimate the competition. If you're still thinking about how cold the water is, ignore that last sentence and take solace in the fact that these videos are the intellectual equivalent of a free pair of Zipp wheels.

Brutal... I could really dissect what went wrong and how, but it would kind of be like finding meaning in a Miley Cyrus song. Pointless...

Next, we have the worlds fastest child, showing us a proper T1.

Sweet Moses! With transition speed like that, I could probably make it through all of the American Idol auditions before I needed to get my feet wet.


Friday, January 15, 2010

USAT licenses explained

Have you ever signed up for a triathlon and then been forced to pay $10 extra at packet pickup? Maybe you are doing your first triathlon this year and you've been told that you need a USAT license, but you don't really know what that is or how to get one? Here's all you need to know:

What is a USAT licnese?
USA Triathlon (USAT) is the governing body of the sport of triathlon in the United States. ( It's overseen by the the United States Olympic Committe. It provides many services to athletes, coaches, and race directors. One of the key services it provides to race directors is event sanctioning, through which it provides event insurance. The insurance covers the athletes, volunteers, and the property that is part of a triathlon. This insurance is usually so expensive that most race directors would not be able to afford it without the assistance of USAT. Without the insurance, many races wouldn't exist. One of the requirements of sanctioning an event is that all participants must be USAT members. Therefore, anyone who signs up for a USAT sanctioned event must show proof of USAT membership. This proof is commonly referred to as having a USAT license.

How do I get a USAT membership?
USAT memberships may be purchased several ways:
  • USAT provides registration services online at
  • Many USAT sanctioned events have USAT memberships available for purchase as part of their online registration.
  • All USAT sanctioned events have USAT memberships available for purchase at packet pickup.
Should I buy an Annual Membership or just pay the One Day fee?
The annual membership costs $39. The one day license costs $10 and may only be used at the event at which it is purchased. It's a no-brainer to purchase the annual membership if you do at least 4 events per year. It typically makes sense to have an annual membership even if you will do less than 4 events per year, as there are many other benefits to having a USAT license, as described on the USAT membership benefits page: The One Day membership is good option if you are likely to do less than one event per year.

When should I buy my membership?
I don't recommend waiting until packet pickup to purchase a license as you'll have to wait in a second line and make a payment. Buy the one-day membership online with your event registration if you can. Buy the annual membership online directly from USAT anytime before your first event. Make sure you bring proof of you online purchase with you to packet pickup, as well as a photo ID.

USAT will give you credit for $10 towards an annual membership if you show receipt from a one day membership purchase.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Jack & Adam's Has Fleas!

Wait! before you think ewww gross, I'm not writing about the common flea pictured above, nor am I referencing the musical genius and fashion forward thinking Michael Peter Balzary of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Its the incredible Blackburn Design Flea light. This light is available in your standard white front and red rear light styles but it's genius comes from how you recharge it. Solar or USB! Check it out.

- now with solar and USB charging.
- Ultra compact rechargeable Li-Ion headlight

- Uses four super-bright White Nichia™ LED’s

- 40 lumen output

- Includes USB charger and SOLAR charger

- Flexible and compact mounting system

- Standard, Overdrive and Flash modes

- Superlight at 17 grams

- 3 hour runtime steady, 5 hour runtime flash

- Compatible with 1.5V chargers (available separately)
LED's: 4 Ultrabright Nichia WhiteRun Time (Steady/Flash): 3-5hrs Batteries: Internal Lithium Ion RechargeableCharging: Solar and USB included

Next time your in the shop and checking out our Fleas, have a look at the new 2010 Easton EC90SL Carbon Clincher. This wheelset is touted by Easton as the world's most advanced carbon clincher. Easton's proprietary ThermaTec™ sidewall material and absence of any post-mold machining are what seperate this carbon clincher from other offerings. At a scant 1460grams this wheel is turning some heads!

I'll be back in a couple of weeks to kick-off our 2010 Tri Apparel Preview. Clothing, wetsuits, and swimwear. We'll have a look at all the new stuff! -Pops


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Heroes of cycling

When I was a young spud, just barely into my teens, I was introduced to the romantic world of professional road racing in Europe. I quickly fell in love with the images of the matched colorful jerseys, fast paced sprint finishes that ended in ecstatic victory salutes, the strained faces of riders torturing each other with attack after attack in the high mountains. It did not take long before I began to emulate the PROs. In fact. almost immediately I understood the importance of white bar tape, a clean bike, and matching kits (although, much of this took some time before I could afford such elegance).

One thing that does not have a true monetary value but is earned over many miles and time on the bike, is your style. There are many names you can put to it: form, fit, PRO, euro. How you attain it takes time. In some cases, it takes a lot of time and effort but the unique thing about it is that once you have it, it will never leave you. It is this same style that no matter how out of shape you feel, you still manage to hang onto the group ride or still teach the younger riders a lesson or two.

While getting to this point takes some patience, there are many riders that have raced before you that serve as examples in your quest to become PRO. These can be past or present riders that have a unique and recognizable style that you can emulate and build off of. While there are many riders that I have watched or raced against that I admire, there are only a few riders that, growing up, I called heroes.

My first was Marco Pantani. I remember the Cycle Sport magazine back in 1999 that had him on the front cover. The title, "From Hero to Zero" was undoubtedly about his victories in both the Giro and Tour de France the previous year, only later to be overshadowed by doping allegations the next. His is a story of great highs and sad lows. I was very saddened to hear of his death in 2004 when just a year earlier, I had such joy watching him in the Giro when he attacked on the Colle Fauniera, giving us a shining glimpse that the man was indeed returning to the top of the sport. In fact, that same climb was later dedicated in his memory during the 2005 Giro. Still, this was a climber unlike anyone before him. His ability to attack while in the drops on the steepest of grades can only be described as elegant. Marco even considered himself more of a poet than a bike racer. While he was not exactly the prettiest man, no one else in cycling has ever come close to looking as Euro with a shaved head. (Yes, even Steffano Garzelli. Come on, even he shaved his head because Pantani was his hero and friend.) PRO.

The next hero of mine was also an italian. He even shared the similar style of attacking steep climbs in the drops of the handlebars, although these climbs where much shorter than the epic "beyond categorie" mountains of the grand tours. No, Michelle Bartoli was more of an all-rounder. A classics specialist with the ability to leap very quickly off the front of a group while racing over the steep cols of such classics as the Ronde van Vlaanderen, Liege Bastogne Liege, and Amstel Gold. He earned the nicknames of "il gatto" and "the warrior." The way he attacked was always the same; sprinting out the saddle while in the drops, leaning low on the machine while the fluid motion of his lengthy legs sped off leaving other riders struggling for wheels. It was simple but heroic. Smooth but forceful. I could only do but smile with excitement watching it.

The last, competed at the same time as both these riders. His past, like Pantani, was riddled with drug problems, doping allegations, family problems, and the like. But he was a hero to many. Despite Frank Vandenbroucke's history, he was on his way back to being healthy and competitive at the top end of cycling before he passed away late last year. As well as a good climber, he, like Bartoli, was more of a classics specialist. He attacked with such confidence and panache that he amassed 51 wins over his career. His style was truly PRO and a picture of the Belgian hard-man style. Legs covered in embrocation and the arm warmers pushed down to his wrists. He was great to watch. His attack over the La Redoute in the 1999 L-B-L was nothing short of amazing. Watch him and Bartoli duke it out.


Jim Felt Talks About the S32

If anyone knows bikes, it’s Jim Felt, founder and owner of Felt bikes. Despite his busy schedule, Mr. Felt had time to answer a few of our questions about the S32. His answers are confirm a lot of the same thoughts we’ve had here at Jack and Adam's as we’ve seen many of our customers ride to success on the S32, but it is still great to hear it from the source!

J&A: What was your goal for the S32?
Felt: I really saw the need to make an affordable entry-level tri bike.

J&A: Could The S-32 be used to set the Ironman Bike Course Record?
Felt: Anything is possible with a Craig Walton aboard!

J&A: If so, how would this rider’s run be affected off of this bike?
Felt: Same as any other Felt [bike], as the geometry is almost identical throughout our Tri line-up.

J&A: What is the biggest obstacle in producing the perfect entry level TT Bike?
Felt: Really it’s the [technical specifications]. It is really hard to keep the price points down without sacrificing quality but that’s one of our strongest points.

J&A: What type of rider do you see purchasing and riding the S32?
Felt: First year triathlete, or someone who already has a road bike and is now thinking that a tri-bike might be the next step for them.

J&A: Why have aluminum bikes gotten such a bad wrap in the past 5 years?
Felt: More like 20 years! This drives me crazy. This came from the early days of Cannondale and Vitus who did not engineer the tube sets that went into those bikes of the past. They rode very harsh and had many, many failures. Today’s alloy bikes are some of the best riding bike out there.

J&A: When beginner triathletes are deciding between a time trial bike versus a road bike, what type of advice do you give them?
Felt: Always a road bike first with a clip-on [aero-bars].

J&A: How would you trick out your own S-32?
Felt: Because the frame is so good on the S-32 the sky is the limit on what you can do to that bike. Zipp [wheels], electronic [shifters, like Shimano’s Dura Ace Di2], bars, etc.

J&A: The 2010 S32 looks awesome. Are there any changes or improvements to this years model that you'd like to highlight?
Felt: The overall look is very aggressive and has a very good spec. with quality parts.

J&A: In one sentence wrap up the S-32?
Felt: The best entry level tri-bike for the money for 2010!

J&A: In one word wrap up the S-32?
Felt: Value!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Getting Prepared for Race Season

The 2009 Triathlon season is definitely over and for some of you the 2010 season has just begun. Being a part of Jack and Adam’s we are fortunate to get to talk to a great deal of people about their training, often hearing great ideas and all too common mistakes. So here are 8 ideas we thought we would share to perhaps help any or all of you get a leg up on your yearly sporting endeavors.

1. Take an off-season and have a plan for pre-season: All too often people take too much time off, loosing all the fitness and discipline they gain from a season of training. Therefore frustratingly spending the majority of year 2 fighting to regain their year 1fitness. A proper off season can be as short as 2 weeks and as long as 6 weeks, if taking the right steps. Don’t get me wrong, take time to rejuvenate, let that burning desire come back, but plan ahead (see #5) don’t waste the gains from the previous season. If you don’t have a plan, take the advice below and step toward a preseason.

2. Return to having fun or playing: Most will experience a desire to take break, but don’t fall victim to a break that will set you back. Every season should involve some regression to build to a new level of fitness, but in this case return to some group activities, add new activities almost immediately post a season. Take an 8 wk strength class, heck, Jack and Adam’s offers a free Monday and Wednesday Core class each week. Play games to maintain fitness and to get off of running straight lines: play Ultimate Frisbee, volley ball, pick of games of soccer, try mountain biking, or take that weekend hiking trip you wanted. Have fun with this side of things and fitness will slide, and not go away.

3. Evaluate your previous season: During your first couple of weeks, off of training take a small designated time to evaluate your season by asking some key questions:
  • Did the season turn out the way I planned? Why didn’t it? (Set definable goals, even if only for enjoyment, will help you answer this question quickly.)
  • What did my preparation lack: strength, speed, consistency or frequency?
  • What were my weaknesses, no plan, poor consistency…? (In my experience it isn’t usually volume, it is often frequency and consistency.)
  • What is my physical condition, very fit, tired, strong, but not fast, injured, too light, inflexible and how can I make changes?
  • Will it be motivating to try to impact two or three of these areas and how might I go about doing this?
4. Plan your new season and set goals: Once you’ve answered some questions you can more effectively take time to look toward your coming year, freeing yourself of this burden when you pick back up your weekly swim, bike, run session. Pick out that race, be more specific, fun can be defining your goal (measurability and achievement time is very helpful to goal attainment); the key is in understanding when you need to readdress those goals if they appear to be out of reach. Remember, most people in triathlon are participating for a better life, pursuing better fitness, health, and challenge. Setting a goal isn’t limiting fun it assures you have the experience you set out to have.

5. Build upon this past season: Hopefully only one and a half to two weeks have gone by following the process to this point, allowing for ample time to create new motivation. There isn’t great reason to go right back into a complete recovery phase and completely rebuild from fitness “scratch”, if you aren’t laid up with an injury. There is great evidence that you can transition to smaller amounts of swimming, biking, and running and maintain contact with more intensity and make greater gains. You still have to remain aware of needs, but this reduction can assure more fitness and more time to develop areas that require more time attention. So rather then taking a break because of previously building a schedule that lacked frequency or consistency, hopefully step #3 helped define a better direction. Consider free group training, commitment is mild without financial ruin and often the pace is just right: Jack and Adam’s offers some great quality opportunities even for early season participants; group quality and long trail runs and of course moderate paced, social rides.

6. Train your weaknesses: To this point, there is obvious suggestion that planning is critical. It isn’t easy trying to improve from year to year after all. “Train your weakness and race your strengths” Mike Walden the famed founder and long time coach for mid-west Wolverine Club used to state. The idea being to devote isolated or more time to those things you aren’t so great at, while putting the things you are proficient at on the maintenance stage. The result will be improvement possessing fewer weaknesses and the ability to race like Mike Walden suggested, using strengths rather than weakness.

7. Re-introduce your strengths: Once you have devoted some time and noticed some improvement to your once weak areas, now you can balance out your training routine to meet the needs of your typical or new routine.

8. Stick to a basic and achievable routine: Apply the K.I.S.S. (keep it simple silly) principle. I know there are some elaborate methodologies detailing great training gains via ‘individualized’ adjustments to weekly sessions and I can attest to seeing some of those plans work quite well. Honestly, if the 3rd and 4th place males and 1st place female athletes in the Olympic Triathlon can follow the same basic routine with minor adjustments to key workouts for the better part of 12-20 weeks prior to the Olympics, so can you. That is right. Those individuals followed the same basic routine for the majority of their preparation. It doesn’t have to be impossible, just challenging and consistent. Consistency is what builds fitness, strength and ultimately yields performance.

By Zane Castro, Fit Specialist and USA Triathlon Level II Coach

Monday, January 11, 2010

proper air pressure

There are a lot of questions out there about how much air a road bike tire should have.
This has been a hot topic among wheel and tire manufacturers and most of the major companies have put a lot of time and money into testing what is really faster. Nearly every test had the same results. Most people were a little surprised about the results. The tests showed that the pressure that had the least amount of rolling resistance was actually around 90 psi. The general rule of thumb up to this point was the higher the pressure, the less resistance you had. Most people simply aired their tires up to whatever the tire was rated to. What the tests showed was that when the tires were aired up to more than 120psi the tire actually bounced on the small bumps that all pavement has. This bouncing caused the tire to lose momentum and it took more effort to keep the tire going at the same speed. When the tire was aired up to 90psi the tire deformed over the bumps and kept the momentum going. This same result also showed up when using 23mm tires versus smaller "faster" tires. The 23mm tires deformed over the bumps and the 19mm tires bounced on the bumps. If you want to know more about these tests, here is one that is pretty good and it shows you how to figure out exactly what your perfect pressure is for you weight and tire size.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Sunday Bike Ride Cancelled

Hi everyone! Unfortunately, the shop bike ride will be cancelled tomorrow. The forecast shows that the temperature will be about 26 degrees, but it will feel MUCH colder. If you do decide to go out, there could be ice on the roads so be safe... You might end up looking like this!

Sleep in and hop on the trainer. See you next week!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

2010 Resolutions and Goals

If you've made New Year's resolutions to de-clutter, get into shape, or do a triathlon, then let Jack & Adam's help you out:

DE-CLUTTER: Do you have about a million race t-shirts or water bottles cluttering up your closets and cabinets? Instead of tossing them into the trash, toss them into one of our Green Team Bicycle Re-Cycle bins. There are bins for tubes/tires; bike gear such as chain, pedals, and shifters; and one for cycling & running shoes, workout clothes, race t-shirts and re-usable water bottles. You might consider it trash, but someone else might really want that neon yellow volunteer race shirt.

FITNESS: Get into shape FOR FREE by coming to the community workouts that Jack & Adam's has to offer. We have classes Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday:
  • TUE @ 5:20 PM: Shop Track / Run Workout - Coach Mixon Henry leads a great FREE run workout every Tuesday starting at Jack & Adam's at 5:20PM. All levels training for all distances welcome.
  • SUN @ 8:30 AM: SHOP Ride - Followed by tacos ~ 30-50 mile group @ 17 to 20 mph. 20 mile no drop ride. Join us for our weekly casual road ride followed by breakfast tacos and coffee.
    • When: Meet at 8:15am and roll out at 8:30am
    • Where: Jack and Adams parking lot
    • Distance: 20-50 miles; 3 hours
    • Pace: Steady intermediate pace 17-20 plus mph. Mostly flat with some rolling hills and regrouping points. No drop 20 mile ride pace depends on the group. We wait for the final rider.
    • Bonus: Finish up with breakfast tacos at The Shop!
To get reminders of these workouts, sign up for the Texas Tri Series Group on Facebook!

TRI GOALS: If you've been thinking about doing a triathlon, then let 2010 be the year to do it! Get on board early & sign up now to have a goal to keep you motivated! The Texas Tri Series offers a build up of distances starting in May and ending in September. You can do all of them, or pick and choose. The first ones of the series (The Rookie Tri and Skeese Greets Women's Tri) are sprint distances of 300 meter swim, 11 mile bike and 2 mile run. "Sprint" doesn't mean you have to sprint! Get off the couch, sign up now and don't look back! Make 2010 a great one!


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2010 "Year of the Seminar"

This year starting in Feb. Jack & Adam's will be hosting a series of Triathlon and Cycling related clinics. They will start in Feb. and run through Oct. We will be bringing in a special guest for each one. Some of our guests will include professional athletes, bike manufactures, professional coaches, and many more industry experts to help educate. We are rounding out the topics for all of the clinics and would like some feedback on what you would like to know more about. Please feel free to let us know what you are thinking so we can make sure we are really covering what you want to know about.

Thanks The J & A Crew.


PROper Roadie style

Being the "PRO" fashion consultant of the shop, I want to create a series of posts that will aim to help give you examples of proper "Euro" style and etiquette

Hairstyles: PRO vs. Belgian and amateur

Victory Salutes: PRO vs Belgian and amateur

The Pain Cave: PRO vs Belgianand amateur

Shoe Covers: PRO vs Belgian and amateur

Winter Training: PRO vs Belgian and amateur

I pity the fool, that don't shop local!

There are really only two options here...

1. You can purchase a Go Local Card for ten dollars at our fine bike shop, and get discounts at hundreds of Austin owned and operated businesses.


2. You can pack up your things, Craigslist your cycling equipment and move to Houston... I know that sounds drastic, but now is the time for drastic things. The tipping point is nigh, my friends!

Well, OK. Maybe I'm being the tiniest bit dramatic, but let me say this. My Go Local Card is pretty much the only coupon discount thingy I use. It's easy, which is great because I'm extremely lazy. It's wallet sized, which is great because I carry a wallet. And it saves me money, which is great because I'm cheap.

The card is ten bucks and expires one year from the time of purchase. At Jack and Adam's you save 10% off of all purchases with the exception of bikes. We're talking race wheels, bike shoes, X-labs and all of the other endless bike related accessories. I've recently finished some pretty advanced mathematical calculations and discovered that basically any purchase over $100 will effectively pay for the card. Peruse the rewards section of the Go Local blog and you will find similar discounts all over town. My personal favorite is the free body mapping from ARP Wave Austin. This, of course, is the process of drawing a map of the city all over your body so that when your iPhone breaks you will not be lost.

Below is a sampling of some other Go Local members in an extremely popular format.

Eat this
Not this

Drink this
Not this

Read this
Not this

Oh yeah, and if you pick one up at our shop be sure to say that Thomas, sent you in. Not because we have a sales contest or anything, simply because Jack and Angie, have been talking trash about their card selling abilities.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

Super mechanic & husband James playing with his "new toy", a Felt R&D cross country mountain bike frameset that he didn't think he was getting. Bet you can guess what his New Year's resolution is now that he has a new bike...RIDE MORE! Next time you are in the J&A neighborhood stop in, say "hey" and check out the new ride.
Happy New Year!!
The shop will be back to regular scheduled hours of operation starting tomorrow. For Store hour information click here.