Riding This Week


Chainbuster MTB Racing Series - Georgia's friendliest MTB racing. 6 & 9 Hour Endurance racing for solo or teams.

Dirty Spokes - Duathlon and Trail running series. Love these guys. First class events.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Biking with the Family

This weekend I taught my oldest daughter how to ride with clipless pedals. She did great in the back yard so I decided to take her and her sister out to the trails the next day. We had so much fun I can't begin to explain it...so I made a video.

After the ride we had ice cream and Ellie, my ten year old, asked a question I couldn't really answer. "Daddy, why do you call them clip "less" pedals if they actually do clip in?" Hmm. I had no answer. So when we got home I google'd it. Here's the quick answer:

But why are they called "clipless" when they are actually "clips"?  Good question.  These days you'll hear them being called clipless pedals and clipped pedals just to confuse you even more.  Originally they were called clipless to explain how they were different from the old fashioned "toe-clips" we described above.  Hence "clipless" meant "not-toe-clips" but something new and different.  The name has stayed with us and only recently are people calling them "clip pedals" now that toe clips aren't seen as much.

 And there you have it. More miscellaneous information to fill your brains with.

And now I'll pass along the story of Trace Nabors race in Huntsville, Alabama. A race that would not have been possible for him if he wasn't my friend. Let me explain. I called to see if he wanted to ride on Saturday and he said we'd have to go early because he was heading to Alabama with the family. At which I said, "You should race in Huntsville if you're close." Turn's out...they were planning on staying right there.

I'm a magnificent friend...just sayin'.

So here's the story from Trace Nabors.

This past weekend, I headed to Alabama to celebrate my grandfather’s 90th birthday.  It was an amazing time.  My grandfather has seen and done a lot, and it was fun to celebrate that with him.  My kids finished up school talking about space, and since we were going to be an hour and a half away from Huntsville for the party, my wife decided it would be fun to stay Saturday night there and go see the Huntsville Space and Rocket Center on Sunday.  I had mentioned this to Chad and he told me about a race weekend that was going on in Huntsville that looked pretty good.  I checked it out and found that the race Sunday was about a mile from the hotel we were staying in.  Hmm…a plan was hatched.  I brought my road bike with me and we decided to take a long lunch break on Sunday for me to go do the race.  We started the day with a little church service in our hotel room.  Then we headed out to find the race registration area to go ahead and get signed up.  We found the place and the plan almost ended right there.  I never carry cash with me.  While I was filling out the paperwork, they told me that they only accepted cash or checks.  Oops.  I was about ready to give up, when my daughter piped up and said she had her wallet in the car.  Maegan is my youngest and she rarely spends her money.  She gets some for birthdays, Christmas, etc. and usually it piles up in her wallet.  If she does spend money, it’s usually to get something for someone else.  She offered to pay for me to race!  She is a sweetheart.  She will be paid back, but I thought it was a nice gesture. With that done, we headed to McDonalds for breakfast.  
The Nabors. Suited up and ready to fly.

After that, we were able to get to the space center right as they opened at 9:00.  We spend about an hour there and then went back for me to race.  I started with a warm-up.  The course was a 3 mile loop in an industrial park.  There were races going on so the only part of the course I could see before my race was the finishing straight.  That’s all I needed to see to know that a win was not going to happen for me.  It was a hard right hand turn and then about a 200 yard flat sprint to the finish.  I am cautious and knew that I would not take the corner like the crazies.  My goal at that point was that if there was a break-away, I would be in it.  The race started at 11:05 and it was a pretty big field.  Probably 30 or so.  All the cat 5 age groups were together.  I picked out one guy that looked like a sprinter and decided to follow him.  As soon as the race started that proved to be a good idea.  He was always at the front and attacking to try to get away.  He was brought back every time and after 3-4 laps things settled down.  For a little while.

During the 4th lap, I believe, the big sprinter guy came up alongside a smaller guy, in a red jersey that I had not noticed and began talking.  I listened in as the big sprinter guy was asking red jersey guy things like “so, when are you going”, and “are you going to solo in this time”.  That’s when I decided to start watching red jersey guy.  I had lost track of the laps and the whole group was all still together, when we crossed the line and got the 2 to go sign.  About 200 yards after we got the 2 to go sign there was a big crash.  The guy to my right crossed wheels with the guy in front of him.  He shot to the left, right behind me and went down hard.  All I could hear was screaming brakes and the popping of carbon.  I looked back to see a big pile of bikes and people.  I found out later that everyone walked away, but half the field was done.  

The Sprint
While we were looking back at the carnage, red jersey guy decided to attack.  The rest of us turned around and he was 50 yards or so off the front.  He was chased down, but he attacked again on a small climb on the back side of the course.  I was right on his wheel and when we got to the top of the hill I heard someone say there was a gap.  I looked back and there were 4 of us and a small gap.  Usually Cat 5’s don’t work well together, but we took quick turns pulling and by the time we got back around for the last lap, we could no longer see the field.  That’s when 2 of the 4 decided to sit on and let me and red jersey dude work.  It was fine with me, since my goal was happening.  We came to the last turn and, as usual, they gapped me a little bit and the sprint began.  I was able to catch back up but didn’t have enough to go around anyone and finished 4th.  One of the wheel sitters won and red jersey guy got second.  It was a really fun race.  Then we headed back over to the space museum to finish our tour.  The plan came together.

Trace Nabors

Trace Nabors and his girls, Anna and Megan.

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