Wednesday, August 25, 2010

CASA Superhero Run

Sunday, September 19, 2010 at The Domain, 7 am.

Because “every child needs a hero, but abused children need superheroes,” CASA is hosting the 5th annual 5K, the CASA Superhero Run, complete with a chip-timed 5K race, Kids 1K and many chances for our participants to become their own superhero: obstacle courses, photobooth with superhero attire, healthy snacks fit for the strongest hero, a superhero costume contest and a chance for everyone to get their own superhero name and symbol. The CASA Superhero Run raises money to help ensure that someday every child in Travis County who needs their own superhero will have one! This event also serves as a chance for CASA of Travis County to publicly honor our superheroes, our CASA volunteer advocates, while offering a fun day for families and a professionally-organized race for the Austin running community.

Check out the CASA Superhero Blog here.


Monday, August 23, 2010

The AVIA Austin Triathlon is OPEN for registration!

The AVIA Austin Triathlon is OPEN for registration!

September 6th, 2010

Imagine a world class triathlon held in the front yard of one of the most active and outgoing cities in the US. Imagine a large event with the atmosphere and intimacy of a small hometown race. Imagine biking down the most historic street in Texas. Imagine the fun. That is The AVIA Austin Triathlon!

The 2010 edition of The AVIA Austin Triathlon will bring many of the features you've only dreamed of having at an event:

•A $5000 prize purse that pros and age groupers are eligible to win.
•Live music on the bike and run course, and at the finish line.
•Free post race massage and ART, with over 20 therapists.
•Free post race food, drink, beer, and treats
•Technical clothing & hats free in your packet.
•A multi-sport expo with over 30 vendors, with interactive games and prizes
•An incredibly spectator friendly course
•A challenging urban race course completely closed to traffic
•A finish line party you won't want to end
More Info Here! Volunteer Here!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sunday Shop Ride, Steiner Steakhouse Style!

Sunday August, 29th 8:30 a.m.
Jack & Adams / Steiner Steakhouse Sunday Brunch Ride.

Jack & Adams Bicycles and Steiner Steakhouse will be teaming up once a month to bring you a beautiful bike ride of 20 and 40 miles through the hills of west Austin. The first ride will be on Sunday August, 29th. This ride will take the place of our normal shop ride on this day. We will roll out of the Steiner Steakhouse parking lot at 8:30 a.m. for two rides of 20 and 40 miles. You are welcome to add on if you like. Jack Murray of Jack & Adams and Sid Steiner of Steiner Steakhouse will be on hand as 2 of the many shop ride leaders. Post ride, half price brunch will be available courtesy of Steiner Steakhouse. There will also be live music on the patio that overlooks Lake Travis. If you want, bring your running shoes and do a run after the ride. If you have questions please call us at the shop for more details.

Click Here For Directions!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Shop ride Sundays: South it is...

This Sundays see's all the shop rides going South. We start at 8:30a.m sharp with the Advanced ride, down to the gas station at the far end of Buda Main St, regroup and those that want to can add down to the 4-way stop at Kyle, making it about 40-miles round trip, or the group will do a 6-mile add-in loop before returning back to make 36-miles. Here is the route.

The Tempo Multisport Intermediate group leaves 2nd, and will head basically the same route for 1-hour out and an hour back. Mostly making a 28-mile ride, seen here. Then the "legendary" no-drop group leaves, again following the same route, but just 10-miles out and 10-miles back. Here is the ride, but start from the shop!

Now we "love" all our riders, especially those who race off the front and make it hard work for the group to keep up. However, the rides, and especially in the planning and taking the rides on the same route, are really there for you. If you want to sit at the back of the same group week in and week out, you are welcome. Sitting at the back of the no-drop ride is discouraged as it means you can be holding up the rest of the ride.

Afraid to step up to the next group? Don't be. Most Sundays we take similar routes, that means you can start with the faster group and if you can't keep up, simple stop, get your breath back and another group will come along in a few minutes. We mostly follow just a few routes in rotation, check back through blog entries tagged with "shop ride" to find links to maps.

Don't get stuck in a rut, in order to get faster you have to train faster. Every now and again we all have those off rides, you "bonk" for no apparent reason, if this happens to you, just come back next week and try again. I'm out for this week, be good and I'll join you again on the 29th for the Steiner Ranch Steak House Ride. ++Mark.


Please Be Kind….to Motorists - Part 2!

A few weeks back Tammy Metzger, a multisport coach and owner of Tempo Multisport, and Sunday shop ride leader for the Intermediate group, posted the first of her "Please be kind" articles, reminding us that as cyclists we have a duty to be predictable, to help motorists be kind to us. Here is the follow-up.

In last times column, I covered how to hold your line and where on the road to ride. The topics this week are among the most-often committed mistakes. Read on…

Common mistakes made by cyclists:

Regrouping at a stop sign or traffic light - I will openly admit that I have been guilty of this one myself. It’s not intuitive, but think about the following scenario. You’re waiting on a member of your group who may have fallen off the back of the pack on that last hill, so a few of you are huddled at a stop sign or traffic signal. Do the motorist who come through the intersection know that you’re waiting for Fabio to catch up? They don’t, so they are waiting for you to go, and you don’t go, and now they’re getting anxious because they aren’t sure what to do. Proper communication with motorists is the top priority to our safety. Regroup mid-block, preferably in a driveway or low-traffic parking lot. Avoid putting motorists in a situation where they have to figure out what you’re doing, because they’ll typically get it wrong. ·

Wearing audio devices - “I have it on very low”, is a typical response I get when I request a rider lose their ear buds. That’s great, but why do you have it on at all? You have it on because it distracts you from the discomfort of your exercise. Did you read that? Let me repeat: It distracts you. So if you’re wearing an audio device while cycling you are 1) distracted from your environment, thus endangering yourself and everyone around you, and 2) are announcing to the world that you are not mentally strong enough to deal with a little bit of physical discomfort. Whether riding solo or in a group setting, leave the ear buds at home. This is a hard and fast rule for the Jack & Adam’s Bicycles shop rides. No discussion.

Stay tuned for further blog entries. Let’s work together to further each other’s knowledge on keeping cyclist:motorist relations on the best possible terms. A little mutual respect and kindness will go a long way. Please share your comments, suggestions, and observations and pass this information with anyone you know who rides a bike. Be safe out there, and have fun! Coach T.

Tammy Metzger is a multisport coach and owner of Tempo Multisport, LLC, which offers a multitude of skills clinics for cyclists and triathletes, as well as private training sessions. She holds a Master’s Degree in Sport & Exercise Psychology, with an additional concentration in Sport Science & Nutrition, from the University of Texas at Austin. Her undergraduate degree in Exercise Science & Wellness was obtained from Bastyr University in Seattle, WA. Tammy has been a certified USA Cycling coach since 2005. She can be reached at


Friday, August 13, 2010

Shop ride Sundays: Mystery of the East

This Sunday all rides go east. The plan is to ride out to 183 in groups to avoid traffic problems and be predictable, etc. Once we get the groups out at least to 183, or preferably to the Bud' distribution center, you can have at it. For those on the advanced ride, I'd challenge you to do 2x loops of the lake, we've done it before!

Here is a the no-drop route - the Tempo Multisport and Advanced groups then add this loop by turning left on Decker Lane. Are you fast enough to do two loops?

For ride leaders and escorts this week it will be me(Mark), James and Drew, and Tammy with the Tempo Multisport Intermediate ride.

Also, don't forget, although not an official shop-ride, we will be riding the Austin 70.3 course on Saturday, starting 7am sharp from the entrance to Walter E Long park. The course is through the magic of yellow spray now has direction arrows. Last week we had 11-people ride, split in two group groups. I'm expecting similar for this week. See you on your bike Saturday or Sunday! ++Mark.


Shop ride Sundays: August and September schedule

Here is the shop ride schedule for the next 2-months. We may make changes based on ride leader and ride escort availability, but this is what we have planned.

Most important to note is that on August 29th, we will NOT be riding from the shop at all. The ride will start from the Steiner Ranch Steak House off R620 up near lake Travis. If you've been on the shop rides for the last 2-years the topic has come up many times, why don't we start the East ride, for example, out at Decker Lake, rather than ride out there? Mostly we've always kept the start point at the shop, because, err, it's what makes it a shop ride.

So, this time Jack and Sid from the Steak House have hatched some plans for after the ride and we are going to try it out. We'd love to hear your feedback and since 8/29 isn't a major race day will be seeing how many riders show up. We'll have at least 2-rides, no-drop of course and a longer ride.

8th No-drop tackles Shoal Creek, Intermediate and Advanced go separately North West
15th All rides go East; No-Drop goes to Decker Lane; Intermediate and Advanced add Lake loop; (24/30/30+)
22nd All rides go South (20/30/38)

5th All rides go East; No-Drop goes to Decker Lane; Intermediate and Advanced add Lake loop; (24/30/30+)
12th All rides go South (20/30/38)
18th No-drop tackles Shoal Creek, Intermediate offers Tempo Multisport Climbing Clinic; Advanced goes North West
26th All rides go East; May repeat Shop Ride Special from Steiner Steakhouse, let us know what you think! Check
See the updated schedule here.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Two of Hill County's finest community oriented organizations, Hill County Paw Pals and Hillsboro Police Department Community Outreach Programs, have joined together again to launch their third annual Waggin' Trail Bike Ride on Saturday, September 25th. The event is planned with five routes to meet the needs of the avid cyclist to the casual rider, including 66, 54, 40, 26 and 10 mile distances.

The planned routes offer cyclists a unique tour of Central Texas. Hill County is 986 square miles of rural area that is joined together with miles and miles of splendid paved farm-to-market roads. On many areas of the bike ride, cyclists can see for miles around - the splendid beauty of open land - flowing creeks, pastures with cattle and horses grazing, farmers' cultivated fields and proud, rural communities.

This year's event has been planned in conjunction with Go Texan Cotton Pickin' Fair and Roadhouse America Elm Street Rod Run (car show) - fun for the entire family!

Register HERE!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Shipping Your Bike

Many who plan to participate in out-of-town triathlon events find that one of the biggest logistical challenge is often transporting their bike to the race site. The best way to find out who is offering shipping service is for a particular event is to go to their website and see if they designated an official shipping service company. If the race did not designate, then local/area bike shops are great resources for information and are most likely offering some type of service to accommodate out of town athletes. For instance, J&A is the official bike shop for the 2010 Longhorn 70.3 event. We offer a shipping service that helps athletes with bike assembly, bike transport to the race site, bike disassembly, and boxing & shipping the bike (shipping fees not included).

Most major bike transport services will ship to all regions. Tribike Transport, for instance, services multiple races around the U.S and even offers a charter flight for bikes to the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. Some transport services are specific to a state or city like Tri Team Transport which offers bike transport for athletes in the state of Texas to major Ironman and Half Ironman events.

Athletes often ask us whether it is better to ship a bike or take it with them when they fly to the race. There are a few disadvantages to shipping a bike. Depending on the service you select, bikes may be passed through multiple hands which can lead to possible damage. In rare instances it can get lost or stolen. The best part about shipping a bike pre-event is that you do not have to travel with a bike, which can be very stressful. You will have to lug it around the airport and there are potential fiscal surprises you may face when you are checking in your luggage (i.e additional fees the airline might tack on when they see that you are traveling with a bike). There have also been rare instances where the bike does not make a flight, goes MIA for awhile and arrives much later than the athlete. The best part about flying with a bike is that you can train on it longer. Some athletes also feel better knowing their bike is always "with" them, so to speak.

Once you've chosen your method of shipment, it's time to prepare your bike for departure. If you would like to take your bike with you on a plane, then you will have to rent or buy a bike box. J&A offers Trico Hard Cases for rent or purchase. You or your local bike shop will also have to disassemble your bike to pack it in the bike box and then reassemble it upon arrival at the race site. (J&A can help you pack your bike before departure.)

If you plan to ship your bike you should take your pedals and rear drink system off to prevent snagging and breakage. To protect the bike's finish you can wrap the main tubes in padding (pipe insulation or bubble wrap). As previously mentioned, you will not have your bike for a week leading up to your race. If you plan to ride, then you need to make sure you have a second bike (yours or borrowed) or have access to a stationary bike at home or in a gym.

Once you arrive at the race and pick up your bike you should reinstall your pedals and drink system and give it a short ride to make sure everything on your bike is ready to race. This only needs to be around the block, you do not want to have to replace a tire because you ran over glass the day before your big race.

After your race you can drop you bike off with the transport company. They should be set up near transition, probably where you picked up your bike. They can help you take off your pedals and drink system and they will take your bike back home for you. They will send you an email once your bike is at the bike shop that you chose. Once the bike arrives at the shop you should make arrangements to pick it up or have your shop clean it for you. Energy drinks and sweat can be very harsh on your bike if they are left on there too long. Even if you are not ready to ride again, your bike should be ready when you are.

Keeping it Fresh with Michael Lovato

If you spend much time around the shop during the cooler months Austinites affectionately call winter, you'll probably see a tall, tan guy with a big smile standing around talking triathlon with pretty much anyone. Accept no imitation - this is none other than two-time Ironman Champion, Michael Lovato. With all his enthusiasm and cheerfulness, you'd think he was a newbie to the sport, rather than a veteran who's been successfully competing since before most of us knew the term "multisport." Therefore, we think Michael is the perfect person to talk to about avoiding burnout and keeping triathlon fresh and fun for years to come.

J&A: How long have you been a triathlete? Did you begin as a pro or an amateur?

ML: I have been a triathlete since 1992. I began racing as an amateur, and not a very fast one, I might add. My first race was the intramural sprint tri at UT. I didn't realize it was possible to get lapped that many times on a 15-mile bike ride. Nor did I realize how hard it would be to run 3 long miles afterwards. Clearly I was hooked on the sport as soon as I reached the finish line.

J&A: What first attracted you to the sport? Was it friends, a job, the sport itself or a combination?

ML: My first draw to the sport was the challenge of it all. I remember thinking I was going to kick some serious butt in my first race, but then I struggled all the way to the finish - loving every bit of it. I was inspired by the bad a** guys - and gals - that smoked me, while wearing nothing but their bathing suits. (I was modestly clad in soccer shorts and a muscle tee.) Further confirmation that I had found my calling was the gathering of beer-sipping, Speedo-clad athletes I encountered at the finish line. The sport represented everything I loved about athletics: challenge, competition, good fun, good folks, oh, and beer. Over the course of the next few years, I met people who have become the best friends I have to this day. I suppose you could say it was a combination, however, the job aspect was never really part of the initial attraction.

J&A: Many people (including us) love triathlon because it's a mix of three great events and find it more difficult to become bored with one. Do you find this to be the case or can a swim/run/bike schedule become, well, routine after a while? If so, what do you in your training to keep it interesting and new?

ML: Most every triathlete appreciates the ability to cross train, or to mix things up. This is definitely the case for me, too. While the schedule can certainly become routine, it very rarely becomes boring. The beauty of our sport is that if you don't feel like partaking of one discipline on one particular day, you just don't have to do so. One of the most effective ways I know to keep things interesting is to remain flexible. Not holding to a rigid plan can be the best thing. Swapping around the days to accommodate training with a friend can make all the difference.

J&A: When you've had a long training day, do you have any hobbies that put a little distance between you and your career/sport?

ML: On off days I hone my skills as an archer. I shoot targets from a small treehouse in my backyard. Normally I wear a Robin Hood costume, you know, to get in the mood. I can sit in the trees for hours just plucking away at my bow. That or I grab a good book and read. Or I go to the movies with my wife.

J&A: If a race or training method isn't working out, what are steps you take - both mentally and physically - to get yourself back on a positive track?

ML: I try to remember that there really are no secrets to triathlon training. The best coaching plans, and therefore the best training methods, are a simple combination of swim, bike, run and rest. Without overcomplicating things, I try to remember this when I am reaching too far in training. As for racing, the key for me is remembering it's an enjoyable process. I love to compete; I love to push myself; and I love to measure up against others. As long as I go out there with those goals in mind, and I don't think too much about paying the mortgage, things tend to work out well.

J&A: Your wife, Amanda Lovato, is also a talented triathlete. What advice can you couples or good friends to keep their training together positive, fresh and non-competitive?

Amanda and I have been together for over ten years now. We met when we were both age group triathletes so, as athletes, we have developed together; and together we have progressed to the pro level. With that history, we have always been each other's most committed supporters. It's hard to get competitive with the one who wants more than anything for you to succeed. But with regard to other couples or friends, I think they key is to know one another's needs. If the tendency is to want to beat the sh*t out of your spouse or amigo, perhaps that is not the best training partner for you to chose. My advice is to keep the marriage or friendship alive and healthy, and sometimes that means training with someone who wants you to do well, not the person who wants to flog you.

J&A: Do you incorporate training methods from other sports into you training routine (other than swimming, running, biking)? If so, what sports do you draw from?

ML: We have taken to paddle boarding: stand up, to be precise. The sport is relaxing and fun, and it's a great compliment to triathlon. When doing SUP (Stand Up Paddle Boarding), the core is engaged, and the development of proprioceptive muscles in your legs is incredible. Balance and strength - as well as flexibility - are heightened. When lying prone on the board, the paddling can really strengthen the swim-specific muscles, and boost stroke mechanics. We use our Surftech boards any chance we get!

J&A: How has your perception of triathlon change from when you first began? If it has changed, how so? Do you like or dislike different things?

ML: Whoa! This question could take way too long to answer thoroughly. I guess I had better be concise. Triathlon has grown to be a much more inclusive and welcoming sport than when I first started. It was always a welcoming sport to those that chose to pursue it, but not many people chose to pursue it. It was still considered a bit extreme, and the average person did not see himself as cut out for the challenge. Nowadays the Ironman has become what the marathon was of the eighties and nineties. It's tough, but possible. To me the greatest byproduct of that change is that people really feel they can do anything - can overcome any obstacle - once they have done an Ironman (or any length triathlon). It's pretty empowering to those that allow it to be. On a less philosophical level, the sport has changed a bit for the worse in that its entrance into the mainstream seems to be coinciding with the "wussification" of triathletes. We all used to "ooh and ah" when an extremely challenging course profile was announced. Now triathletes tend to search for the "flat and fast" descriptors. Triathlon is not supposed to be easy - thus the sense of accomplishment it delivers - yet somehow we hear more and more complaints about choppy water, hot air, wind, hills, and even bumpy roads. This ain't golf, folks; let's toughen up a bit.

J&A: What makes every day for you a little different in your sport? How do you keep what you do interesting fresh?

ML: Every day is as different as we allow it to be. Do we have our "Groundhog Day" moments? Sure. However, we chose to pursue this career, and we do so knowing we are in control of our own schedules. I think the main difference for me from a job perspective is that I see different "coworkers" and "offices" every day. Just because I turn up for 7:00AM swim practice, doesn't mean that Joe Cubicle from Accounting is there, so I face a bit less tendency for burnout. Plus, even the worst day riding a bike through a hailstorm in the mountains tends to trump a sore back earned from too much keyboard time. To keep things fresh I try to do different things. Run a different loop, swim with different folks, and start at different times of day. It's amazing what subtle changes can do for your perspective.

J&A: You work with Ironman, correct? Does working with triathlon, as opposed to racing, the sport give a new perspective? Do you suggest athletes do something similar (ie: volunteer or work to plan a race)? Do you feel it helps you as an athlete?

I have done some work for Ironman for about four years now. Jumping to the other side of the fencing and barricades definitely gave me a different perspective, but it really only made me appreciate a bit more the time I spend on the race course. I see how hard the event directors and their crews work, and that is an invaluable bit of insight. I definitely feel that athletes will get a nice boost to their appreciation of our sport by volunteering at an event. The first time I handed out a bottle to a cyclist at an aid station was the first time I truly knew why those volunteers scream and cheer when I - as a racer - grab aid from them. It really can be thrilling to give back. Do it. (And do it at the Austin Tri, September 6th; contact Jack and Adam's for details...)

7th Annual Conquer the Coast Ride

For those of you looking for a great ride but maybe with a change of scenery and location check out the 7th Annual Conquer the Coast Ride. The event is scheduled to take place Friday, September 24th and Saturday September 25th along the Corpus Christi shoreline. Riders will have the opportunity to take a ride along the Corpus Christi shoreline or ride the 65-mile course that takes you along the scenic views of the Coastal Bend and the chance to cycle with dolphins!

For the first year ever a shorter 10-mile ride designed for beginner and younger riders will be offered. The new 10-mile course will follow the same route as the 25-mile ride along Shoreline and Ocean Drive. The 7thAnnual Conquer the Coast™ will also give riders an opportunity to own a special element from this year’s ride, a commemorative Nolan Ryan number “34” rider jersey that honors the Hall of Fame pitcher’s record 7-no hitters during his magnificent 27-year major league career.

The Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce and Epic Sports & Entertainment are offering cyclists four total course selections. The 10-mile and 25-mile cruise along the Corpus Christi shoreline, the 65-mile course ride through several cities plus the “Toughest 18 miles in Texas” and for the avid competitor, the Criterium, also known as the Crit will place rider against rider reaching high speeds of course racing.

Still not challenging enough? You can compete in the toughest 18-mile time trial in Texas within your 65 mile ride!!!!

Proceeds generated from the event support the Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi Tarpon Foundation, STARRS (South Texas Area Runners and Riders), and South Texas ALS Association.

For more information on the 2010 Conquer the Coast, log on here for details about registration, schedule, criterium, and maps.


Friday, August 6, 2010

This Just In! Timex GPS Global Trainer

This just in! Jack & Adam's now has the Timex GPS Global Trainer with our without heart rate. Here are some of the great features the watch offers:

  • Pace, Speed and Distance in Real Time

  • Display up to Four Data Windows

  • 20-Workout Memory with Dated Summary

  • Interval and Countdown Timers

  • Hands Free Chronograph operation

  • Performance Pacer Tracks On-Time Goal

  • Multisport Mode Records Activities and Transitions

  • Altitude Ascend and Descent Rates

  • Record Waypoints to Create Routes

  • Recall 50 Custom Routes for Pace Tracking

  • Long-Life Rechargeable Battery

  • Water Resistant to 50 meters

  • Indiglo Night Light


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Austin 70.3 aka Longhorn triathlon course rides

Though not officially a shop ride, I'd like to extend an offer to J&A blog readers to come ride the Austin 70.3, aka Longhorn course with me. The first ride will be this Saturday, August 7th, leaving Walter E Long Park at 7 a.m. prompt.

Other "escorted" rides are planned for August 14th and then not until September 11th, 18th, 25th. There are no planned rides in October, but if you come to some of the early rides, hopefully you'll meet up with others you can ride with. Full details here on my personal blog. ++Mark.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Save the Date September 3rd, Zilker Relays!!

Save the date Austin for the 8th Annual Zilker Relays ! This friendly running event is designed to introduce area runners to the fall racing season as well as encourage the Austin community to get out and get fit!!

The Zilker Relays are comprised of teams of four, with each member running one loop of 2.5 miles around Austin’s Zilker Park before handing off to a teammate. In addition to the post-race band, participants are offered complimentary beverages and dinner provided by an Austin Original - Tacodeli. Proceeds raised from the Zilker Relays will be donated to the Dick Bearsley Foundation.

For the first year ever, the relays are launching the 1379 Kids Relay. The kids race was added in hopes of expanding the event to all ages and levels while keeping it fun and promoting fitness.

Look for a J&A kids relay out there this year!!! It should be a fun event. Hope to see you there.