Sunday, April 29, 2012

Xterra Bluebonnet

Xterra Bluebonnet
Reveile Peaks Ranch

Finished 4th Overall and 1st in Cat.
Click (Full Results)
Click (Event Photos)

I spent my Saturday in awe of such a great view. This photograph far off from capturing the full 360degree Panoramic view that I found myself surrounded by for the majority of the weekend. With much time on hand I got in a pre-ride of the (bike course), riding without a back brake, noted to self as an epic fail. It had been damaged during transport. The terrain was relentless, if mother nature had a jaw like a Great White Shark I would have to say this bike route went directly through the rows of shiny porcelains in the form of jagged rocks. Later, I would find out just how ruthless these rocks are.

Pre Race food was (Quinoa), Carrots, Broccoli, Sweet peas, Olive oil and Tuna.

My dwelling for the weekend race. It was peaceful although difficult to setup as a "One man Wolf pack" in the wind. 

 I made use of this pool for recovery after I pre rode the course. I would have used the natural "pool" had it not been 2inches thick with algae. The swim start on race morning was messy, I made sure to put in a hard interval as the gun went to avoid the feeling of being churned up in a green smoothie. I rounded the first buoy in about 4th place, the swim was a two lap with a quick run along the Volley ball court and a plunge off the floating dock. I came out the water in 6th place and about a minute back on the leader.

Here with the strength of mother natures jaws, her jagged terrain left no margin for error. About 3 miles from the second transition I got too aggressive and sliced my tire about an inch long. Although never a great feeling, I want to say I had anticipated this was going to happen, fortunately several nights before the race I made the choice to re-do my tubeless tire sealant setup (how-to blog to follow). Thankfully, I am on board with an amazing new sponsor. I owe Orange Seal Cycling a huge thank you for their magnificent product. The proof is in the pudding, there is no other sealant out there that could seal this gnarly gash on my side wall. 

After I bombed my tire with a Co2 cartridge I decided to nurture my tire and ride more conservatively to the next transition. I lost 2 positions and about 1:30 seconds off my time. With every pedal rotation I kept a close eye on my rear tire. I was losing air. "Sh#t", I said to myself. I stopped for the second time to bomb my tire with the left over gas in my cartridge only to find I was losing air but not through the side wall cut, I had forgotten to close off the valve. After I realized this I put the hammer down to make up my lost time.

Transition went smoothly again, and with having to nurture my rear tire, I kept some energy in the tank for the run and set a comfortable tempo.  With the last two miles to go, I decided to leave it all out on the course and chase down the positions I had lost.  Passing one competitor to finish in fourth.

At the end of the day two places given up to a puncture was better than not finishing at all, which is what would have happened had I not had Orange Seal in my tires.  

A good day out even with the "slices and dices" the course lay down.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Do you wanna "sea" Orange Seal???

After my race at Xterra Camp Eagle I had the opportunity to chat with Steve and Chris on a new product launched, formed in the place they crown "keep it wierd' based in Austin TX but is storming wildly across the US and in time im sure it will progress to an International stage. I am delighted to back this brand because for sure this is no ordinary product. The science goes beyond that of any other product of the same nature found on the shelf. 
On that note here is a preview.

Tire Sealant

"The days of using tubes in the tires of bicycles are quickly coming to a close. Tubes add weight and another item to the list of bicycle parts that can fail and leave you walking. With new rim and tire technologies, rim tape, and a good liquid tire sealant you can create a system that is lighter, more resilient, and better performing. Weight savings occur because tire sealant and rim tape weigh less than a tube. In the event of a puncture to your tire Orange Seal quickly clogs the hole and stops air from escaping thus allowing you to continue riding without stopping to repair a damaged tube. So if you haven't already made the decision to go tubeless now is a good time with a top product like Orange Seal you wont look back.

Orange Seal Formula
The liquid formula tire sealant uses nanotechnology and variety of solid particles of varying sizes that are suspended in a proprietary liquid solution. Without divulging trade secrets suffice it to say that multiple particle sizes in Orange Seal solution means that the product can seal larger punctures and seal them quicker than other tire sealants.

Why Orange Seal
We are Cyclists with professional backgrounds as diverse as the terrain we ride. We ride, race, and love the business of bicycles. With roots in Austin, Texas we believe in supporting local businesses, creating custom boutique products whose quality exceeds the mass produced standards and that products should work and work well! Orange Seal is committed to quality, customer satisfaction at adding value at every opportunity. Ride more drive less, live BETTER.

Pic by Rafael Manias

Orange Seal Tubeless Sealant works fast every time. For those of us that have made the switch to tubeless wheels, we have all experienced successes and failures with the sealants on the market. These failures usually come in the form of either clumping of the product, or its inability to do its job of actually sealing a puncture. Orange Seal performs with success in mind. Orange Seal is the new “Gold Standard” in tubeless sealants by being light weight and utilizing nano technology to help seal the toughest of punctures. Orange Seal can seal punctures that other sealants cannot. Our sealant is compatible with most bike tire systems and is eco-friendly. Orange Seal Tubeless Sealant works hard so you can reach the podium.

Nothing on your bike takes more “wear and tear” on a daily basis than the drive-train. You need this important component to always be clean, smooth, and efficient. Orange Slide is formulated with sub-micron lubricating particles to keep your chain running smooth in all types of conditions, while keeping your chain clean since Orange Slide does not attract dust. Like all Orange Seal Cycling products, Orange Slide is easy to use and is eco-friendly. Orange Slide keeps you and your drive-train working efficiently.

Your bike is a work of art and you want it to always look its best. Orange Shine Bike Cleaner is going to speed up the cleaning process, while protecting your investment. Orange Shine cleans, polishes, and protects your bike in one easy step. Our formula cuts dirt, polishes to a shine, protects from UV rays, and repels dust while not drying out or damaging cables and other moving parts. Orange Shine is easy to use and is eco-friendly. Keep that brand new bike look with Orange Shine Bike Cleaner.

(write up from Orange Seal website)

I can now say that after using Orange seal shine my carbon frame is cleaner than ever before, my chain runs smooth and i am destined to never have issues with a flat tire. 


" The bicycle continues to prove itself as one of the most efficient means of transportation. The bicycle offers an environmentally sustainable, clean, economical and healthy means of getting around. At Orange Seal Cycling we firmly believe in and actively pursue a Ride More approach to cycling.

Most of us spend a great deal of time stuck in our vehicles. That's time we could spend with our families, working, learning, relaxing or riding our bikes. To recoup that time, use less fuel, and showcase the power of pedals, Orange Seal Cycling commits to Drive Less.

Regardless of your reason for riding, when you get on the saddle, apply pressure to the pedals and glide down the road or trail you feel a sense of freedom, flying or perhaps a hint of your youth. We share that feeling. At Orange Seal Cycling we think bicycling helps people Live Better ".

(write up from Orange Seal website)

Pic Complements of Orange Seal Website.

Interesting story (the above pic) Matt Barkley chose to race using  Orange Seal in his tubeless setup and  has raced over 65 Hours and still manages to podium despite punctures.

For more technical information visit ORANGE SEAL (click the highlighted words)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Xterra Camp Eagle

Xterra Camp Eagle Rocksprings, TX

7th Overall
1st in Age Group


about 6'14" off leader

The calm before the storm, awaiting the start of the race and listening in on a few jokes been thrown about like hot potatoes. The swim was unique in its own right, the Nueces river had been starved of consistent flow from a year round drought in the greater Texas area and had us wading across to a dam wall after 800yrds of swimming through a narrow channel where we would climb a ladder and take the plunge on the other side to complete the 1mile swim.

With the jokes posing as distractions among the group I some how managed to single out the race director with the starting horn and got the jump on everyone else while eyes were finding the digits on various timing devices and mouths were broadcasting sweet notes. My Garmin yet again coming through with accurate data from an epic day out.

The swim was somewhat of a doubled edged sword with  low water levels  it was hard to navigate to deeper water but once I found the channel (which was actually only about 2-3ft deep) I got into a comfortable tempo and took the point for 200-300yrds, then managed to find some feet and latched on to conserve some energy for the later part of the race.

On my Specialized 29er I found great speed and comfort and got done with the 30km bike course which had us climbing up loose rocky terrain slipping on a marble like surface and proceeding onto a challenging river bed with some shear  rock face drop offs. I found myself on the ground on one occasion where I lost concentration for just a second and missed the right line around a corner.

The 10km run took us across a suspension bridge some 200yrds from the transition, I had some great concern when crossing it as my legs turned to jelly and a floating sensation tingled about my body. I tried to make contact with the bridge but just kept missing the forefoot strike. It wasn't a few seconds later when I realized there was someone hot on my heels and the cause of the oscillating bridge was the sensation I felt in my legs. I breathed a sigh of relief, tightened the screws and hit the trail. A great venue at Camp Eagle and a well organized event by Joel and his crew from Race Revolutions.

A big THANK YOU to Rafael Manias for the Photographs.