Friday, July 30, 2010

Shop ride Sundays: No-drop until you stop!

Sunday is the "legendary" Jacks Generic Triathlon, part of the Texas Tri Series, so as is customary, we are just offering the no-drop ride this week. I'm sure there will be others looking for pick-up rides, but we don't plan to have ride leaders/escorts and no other pre-defined routes.

We can't guarantee you'll lose weight, we can't guarantee you'll get faster but we can guarantee you won't get dropped, and we'll do our best to see you have fun! Sunday we'll be heading down to Atkins High School on South 1st. 10-miles out and 10-miles back. The ride starts at 8:30am prompt, pump up your tires, bring a spare tube and a great attitude and we'll do the rest, including hopefully breakfast tacos afterwards!


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Please Be Kind….to Motorists

Tammy Metzger, a multisport coach and owner of Tempo Multisport, and Sunday shop ride leader for the Intermediate group, has written some useful advice for coexisting with motorists in our increasingly busy city roads. She's agreed to split these up into a few blog entries we'll post here over the next few weeks! Thanks Tammy.

We’ve all seen the “Please Be Kind to Cyclists” bumper stickers, and support this misson of this organization. While this is an important message to get out, many cyclists would do well to remember kindness works both ways.

This is the first of a series of blog entries in which I’ll cover how cyclists can better coexist with motorists, and by doing so, can make the road safer for yourself!

According to the League of American Cyclists, over 700 cyclists died on US roadways in 2008, and (get this) over 40,000 were injured! 99.9% of motorists do NOT want to harm a cyclist (excluding JoeBob and his cousin-brother in their pickup truck!). Yet, when a motorist doesn’t know what to expect from you, the possibility of hitting you scares them. And anger typically follows fear. No one wants to face an angry motorist, least of all a cyclist. So let’s all do our part to Please Be Kind to Motorists.

Common mistakes made by cyclists:

• Riding unpredictably (not “holding a line” in traffic)

“Hold your line” simply means that you ride in a straight, predictable line. As you pedal, your bike should move forward in a straight line, not veer from side to side. If you’re doing the later, work on learning proper pedaling technique so that you aren’t simply focusing on the push down part of the pedal stroke. You may also be carrying too much tension in your arms and shoulders, which is transferring to your handlebars, making you unstable. Work on keeping equal tension all around the pedal stroke, with a relaxed upper body, and soft elbows.

It’s also important to practice keeping this straight, predictable line while removing one hand from your handlebars. Signaling, looking over your shoulder for traffic, and eating/drinking on the bike all require you to remove a hand from your bars. If you don’t practice this beforehand, you could end up in the lane of traffic unexpectedly. Find an empty parking lot, and practice riding along the painted lines while removing a hand to signal, take a drink from your water bottle, etc. Mastery of this skill will increase your safety on the roads, and make riding with you much more enjoyable.

• Riding in the middle (or on the wrong side!) of the road

Finding the safest place to ride depends on the environment (how wide is the road, how fast traffic is going, etc), but riding over the yellow line (into traffic) is never a good idea and is just as illegal for cyclists as it is for motorists. There are a surprising number of people who do this on group rides. Why? Because they are not comfortable riding with the group, and feel too “boxed in.” Get comfortable, attend a skills clinic, and work through it, not around it. There’s more than your own safety at stake.

As you turn a corner on your bike, remember to follow the same line you would if you were in your motor vehicle. Stay wide before the turn, and come into the new lane exactly where you ride. Cyclists often cut the corner, going blindly around it into the oncoming traffic lane of the next road. Experienced cyclists know to start wide, and come in tight. If you have a chance, get out to watch some criterium racing at The Driveway on Thursday evenings and watch how the Pro/1/2 field takes a corner.

Stay tuned for further blog entries. I’m passionate about keeping all of us safe out on the roads. 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

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Shop ride Sundays: Back to the start

After last weeks ride we had a big group, plus a photographer taking pictures for an upcoming issue of Bicycle Magazine, this week it's back to the start.

Most of the ride leaders and escorts are out this week. Lisa Buckley from the advanced group is about to head out to Iraq for her 2nd tour of duty as Warrant Officer in the National Guard. Lisa only just missed out on an Army Tri team qualifying time at CapTex, and she's only got one more shot at Waco tri tomorrow before she leaves. So, me, Tammy from Tempo Mulisport, Kelley from Velosimmo, Bekah from T3 and a few others are all headed up there to race and cheer Lisa on.

With Zac the advanced group ride leader, and Shane from Tempo Multisport both out injured(don't ask..), we are calling up the old guard for Sundays ride. Yep, for the first time in a long time, Jack and Drew are coming out to ride.

So, it's an interesting coincidence that this Sunday all the rides are scheduled to go out east. Way back in time now, the Sunday shop ride started with Jack, Drew, and some friends and shop folks heading east every Sunday, and so the shop ride was "born".

Here is a ride map. The no-drop ride goes out to Decker Lane, makes a right, goes down to Loyola Lane and heads back for a 26-mile ride. The intermediate and advanced group make a left on Decker and follow the triathlon course around the back of the lake, to the front of the park and then back into town.

Anyone wanting a longer or fast ride should form up at the front of the group once the ride gets across Airport on Springdale, let the ride leaders know and then go off the front. See if you can get two loops of the tri course in before the Intermediate group have finished their first!

Have a great, and safe ride, see you next week! ++Mark(not the Aussie)


Friday, July 23, 2010

What is Jim Felt Cooking Up?

If you've been to the shop in the past few weeks you may have already seen some of the incredible new rides that Felt Bicycles has to offer for 2011. The line-up for 2010 was solid from top to bottom but that did not stop Jim and the team at Felt from working hard to improve it.
Our Felt Rep Steve Jolly shot us this picture of Jim from their meeting this weekend (that is Jim on the right, Steve on the left). All of the reps and most of the staff of Felt are viewing the entire new line this weekend. That's exciting because we'll soon get to see it. You can bet when we do, we'll share the pictures and details with you.
Until then, stop by the shop to see some of the 2011 bikes already in stock including the new F95, the women's ZW95, ZW6, and ZW5 as well as the B16 carbon tri bike. Killer!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Get Fit & Give Hope Austin!

Join Fox 7 News Anchor Loriana Hernandez this Friday, July 23rd at the Rough Hollow Yacht Club for a beautiful lakeside gala* benefiting Maggie’s Hope. The festivities begin at 6 p.m.

Maggie’s Hope is a non-profit organization, founded by Loriana Hernandez, to help fund therapy and treatment for autistic children.

Not able to make the dinner? Donations are graciously accepted at (enter promo code “rough hollow”).

The lakeside gala is the kickoff event for the Dell Fox Fit Weekend with activities starting Saturday, July 24th. The weekend activities include a Runtex sponsored 10k & 2 miler; FREE donation based Jack & Adam’s Hope Hill Challenge 6,12, and 18 mile rides (very hilly); FREE Yoga with Lifetime Fitness; FREE gluten free & autism resource fair; FREE tennis clinics.

To participate in any of the activities listed above click here.

*Tickets for the dinner are $125 each, with entertainment provided by Austin’s very own Rick Trevino. To reserve your seat please contact Lisa Wade at or call her at 512-289-5887.

For more information on Maggie’s Hope or event questions, you can reach Loriana Hernandez on facebook, twitter or by email at

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Shop ride Sundays: NW, Hills and South

This week is one of those rare times we will be all going our own way. I'll be taking the no-drop ride South, 10-miles out, 10-miles back; The Tempo Multisport Intermediate group will be doing the popular Hill Climbing/Descending clinic; and Zac will be taking the Advanced group NW for a longer ride with hills.

But we are not done there. As always there will be Taco deli tacos afterwards, and cold water. This week I'll be doing a repeat of my transition clinic post-ride to practice for Jacks Generic Triathlon.

We'll go through the basics over in Butler Park and you'll have a chance to practice mounts and dismounts. You can then try out some of the speed tricks like mounting with your shoes already in the pedals, I'll also explain what not to do so you don't end up like this fool.

Yes, after 10-years of lightening fast transitions, I made a stupid mistake at last years Marble Falls triathlon, no harm done. So bring running shoes, hats even a towel if you want. At last weeks Couples Triathlon my T1 time was 1:32 including the run up the hill, and my T2 time 1-minute...

Photo by Kevin Saunders of KGS Bikes, San Antonio.


Friday, July 9, 2010

Shop ride Sundays: Couples choices

This Sunday is the High Five Events Couples Triathlon, the 2nd race in the 2010 Texas Tri Series. I'll be out there racing in the Mixed Couples category with IM Hawaii 2009 Qualifier Shellie Thompson Oroshiba as Team MASH. A number of other well know faces around the shop, including Cassidy, Jack's sister, who is racing with Billy Harllee, and many others. Billy is already talking tough about their chances.

For those of you not racing, we have a "couple" of choices(no pun intended). The No-Drop head up Shoal Creek again, a repeat of the popular alternative ride we did just over a month ago. It's about a 24-mile roundtrip, with numerous regroup stops, suitable for everyone with basic cycling skills. If you can't change gear on a hill, or need basic cycling skills, stop by the shop and ask about the Austin Cycling Camp clinics, or chargeable one-on-one coaching from Intermediate ride leader and Tempo Multisport coach Tammy Metzger.

Tammy will be taking the remainder of the ride northwest for variable distances, here is a map for those that don't know the core route. It's a short, but hilly 20-mile route with a number of options for those that want to go further.

Just a reminder for next week(7/18), after the ride I'll be holding a triathlon transition talk, demonstration and practice session. The session is suitable for beginners, intermediates and experienced athletes, I help you learn how to get out of transition in a minute or less, really! Ever wanted to try a running mount with your shoes already on the pedals, this will be your chance.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Get to know your coaches!

You may have seen them encouraging you to give it that extra "oomph" in core class. Or maybe riding beside you as you tackle an especially big hill during the Sunday ride. All of our coaches with J&A's free training are as excited about multisport activities as you are - so we thought it would be cool to fill you in about their background and how they come to do what they do: inspire us all.


Lisa Bender Thiel

Lisa has been involved in the fitness industry for over 8 years with experience in one on one sessions, small group training, and corporate wellness programming. She has a passion for bringing CrossFit to runners and multi-sport athletes to improve performance and prevent injury. Lisa has been a competitive endurance athlete for over 15 years and a CrossFitter for 2 ½ years. Her recent athletic accomplishments include 2008 Fittest Games Chall Champion and 2009 Boston Marathon Finisher. Lisa has a BA degree in Exercise and Sport Science from UNC-Chapel Hill and was a former Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist by NSCA. She holds a certification in CrossFit Endurance and Running, CrossFit Nutrition, and is CrossFit Level 1 certified.

Alex Janss

Alex is a former competitive volleyball and basketball player and track runner. While attending the University of Texas she was on the University Of Texas Rowing Team. Alex was selected for the Boston U.S. Development camp, Won 1st and 4th at the U.S. club nationals and this past year competed at the Canadian Henley placing 2nd in the Champ 8. She graduated from the University Of Texas with a BA in Theater and Dance. Alex is a Level I CrossFit Instructor. She is very passionate about fitness and is available for small group training as well as one on one personal training.


Mixon Henry

Coach Mixon has been coaching runners for over 20 years. Over the years, the level of runners attending workouts range from Olympians to beginners. His personal running experience includes everything from 5k's to marathons. His philosophy of running is that it should enhance your life - not dominate it.


Tammy Metzger

Tammy is a multisport coach and owner of Tempo Multisport, LLC. She holds a Master’s Degree in Sport & Exercise Psychology, with a 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 comes from a sedentary background, and found a passion for cycling in early 2002, which quickly became a passion for triathlon, leading her to the eventual completion of 2 Ironman triathlons (Ironman South Africa in 2008, and Ironman Arizona in 2009). While her education and personal experience provide her with the know-how to prepare you to meet and exceed your athletic goals, Tammy’s unique perspective of having not been a life-long athlete provides her with a deeper understanding for those new to an active lifestyle. She believes that the importance of the psychological aspect of embracing healthy behavior change cannot be understated, "Where the mind goes, the body will follow."

Zac Dashner

Zac has been an "avid" cyclist for roughly 7 years. The bulk of his experience is in road cycling, though some in mountain biking. He is moreso a dedicated roadie, though he has competed in 3 sprint distance triathlons and 1 olympic. He has raced for 3 years - criteriums, time trials, stage races and road races from 8 miles to 80 miles. He is currently training for the longest single-day road race in the country, at 206 miles. The race is dubbed/named LOTOJA (, which is something of an acronym in that the LO in the name are for "LOgan, Utah", the TO in the name is simply for "to", and the JA is for "JAckson, Wyoming." It is a point-to-point race that starts in Logan, Utah and finishes just outside of Jackson (Hole), Wyoming. While he enjoys competitive cycling (racing), he thoroughly enjoy recreational cycling, as well, hence why she shows up on Sundays to help out. his goal/ambition in helping with the Sunday shop rides is to help others a) get into the activity/sport of cycling and enjoy it, b) help teach others how to be self-sufficient on the bicycle, c) help demonstrate/teach the "rules of the road" and proper etiquette, as well as set a positive example for others, and d) help create and/or foster some camaraderie and unity among the cycling community so that others will try to do the same. Zac is a runner, as well, having run a myriad of 5ks and 10ks, about a dozen half marathons and several marathons. Having played soccer since the age of 5, his college years and the years immediately thereafter were as sedentary as he'd ever been and his shape/fitness level was indicative of such. He pursued running and cycling (and, briefly, triathlons) to get back into a more active lifestyle and get back into better shape.

Mark Cathcart

Mark is a 12-year triathlete and has competed in more than 60-triathlons, including 2 Ironman distance races and 8 half distance races; he has taken part twice ITU World Championships for Great Britan plus one European Championship; was a 2003 British Triathlon Volunteer of the year and formally Chairman of UK Triathlon club Tri-Force for 4-years. Professionally Mark is currently a Director a Dell; and lives in Bouldin Creek not far from the shop. These days he specializes in sprint distance races and has placed in four of his last five races.

Hugo Garza

Hugo is a 6 year marathon runner and has ran in 4 marathon and 8 half marathons, and is a 8 year cyclist and has taken part in 2 ms 150 rides and one livestrong ride. Professionally Hugo is an electrican; and lives in South Austin not far from the shop.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Post race bike maintenance

So everybody knows how much you think about everything leading up to your big race(equipment, training, nutrition etc. ) but most people forget about what to do to your bike after the race.

There are only a couple of things that should be done, but if they are done as soon as you get home after the race it will keep your bike running smoothly. The first thing to do is wash your bike. Make sure you get all of the gels and drink residue off of your bike. If you let all these gels and liquids sit on your bike they will cause rust and can affect the finish of your bike if they are acidic enough. The last thing to do once you have lubed your chain is to switch back to your training wheels and readjust your rear derailleur to the wheel.

Once this is done you are ready to start riding again without any mechanical issues.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Shop ride Sundays: Just no-drop

As it's a holiday w/e (OK, I admit it, American Indepence day, but don't expect to find the Brit' celebrating), we've only got the no-drop ride scheduled for this week. We'll be heading south to Atkins High School and back. The ride will proceed at the pace of the slowest rider.

What that means is that while riding, we ask the group to stop after any traffic lights or left turns and wait until the rest of the group joins them. I'll be riding at the back encouraging those to do their best to keep up, but no more than that.

If anyone on the group has a puncture or mechanical problem, same rule as above, only I'll make a decision on if the group should wait or ride on, and that will be done in conjunction with other J&A Sunday shop ride escorts!

All we ask of you is 1. Turn up with a positive attitude willing to do your best; 2. Make sure your bike is roadworthy before the start, pump up tires in the morning, bring a spare tube; 3. Know basic bike handling skills, how to brake, change gear and mount dismount, and laws of the road! Also, and I cant state this enough, NO MP3 players.

See y'all Sunday, you can come remind me how the upstart Americans ran the Brit's out of town, just don't mention tea bags! ++Mark.

ps. I'm sure there will be pickup rides from the shop with riders who don't want to ride no-drop, you'll be on your own this week for those!