By Mark McGraw | The Campus Gypsy
For those of you who missed the LSU trip, here’s a rundown from my point of view (riding in Men’s C with Carlton Mathis, James “Rosie” Rosenbaum, and Chris Standley).
Team Time Trial (Saturday morning) – beautiful, windless, smooth, flat 10 mi. loop near the Mississippi River south of Baton Rouge.
The four of us took 20 second pulls, rode hard and smart and did a good job of talking to each other. We only needed to finish with 2, so we intentionally rode hard enough so that at least one of us would have to drop. Chris Standley valiantly hung with us to about the 8 mile mark, gave a ginormous final hard pull and the remaining three of us finished in a sprint. Rosie and Carlton edged me at the line and Rosie’s wheel counted for our time. As it turned out we needed just about every second to edge out UT and LSU to get 2nd in the Men’s C TTT behind Tulane. We did about as well as we hoped.
By Mark McGraw | The Campus Gypsy
No one in the Men’s “C” group looked back or missed a pedal stroke when we heard the stomach-churning sounds of lycra-encased flesh and a carbon fiber bicycle hitting gravel at speed. It was too early for sentimentality. We were on the first of four eleven-mile laps of a collegiate road race. There were still many tactical moves to be played, much gravel to churn through, and endless pain to be meted out and endured over the next two hours. This was Tunis-Roubaix, the Texas A&M Cycling Team-sponsored event famous for sending unsuspecting riders down tennis ball-sized gravel roads (I believe this year’s course was actually much, much tamer than in years past). What wasn’t tame was the weather: about 52 degrees with a 17 knot north wind gusting to 25 and intermittent rain.
By Chad Haga
The day began slowly, and kind of cold, as the freshly freed students trickled into the middle school parking lot blurry-eyed but eager for the adventure that lay ahead. Under grey skies, we trekked westward into the forbidden land; for on this day, the rocky and hilly trails of Austin beckoned the Aggies.
Upon our arrival, we prepared for battle, checked our weapons, and our 9-strong battalion rode past the children’s playground to lay siege to the trails frequented by our arch nemesi (plural of nemesis?). Like a pack of wolves charging towards prey, we were salivating in anticipation for the first obstacle that would dare impede our progress. But alas, just 2 minutes into the trail Cody needed to stop to rehydrate the starved Earth.
Back on the attack, we pushed onward. There was a fork in the trail, and we took it. The going became difficult, if not treacherous at points. The trail was littered with impassable passages that forced us to dismount our steeds and question our decisions. We relied on the strength of our comrades to get us through the rough times, and as a unit we succeeded. A passersby informed us of our errors, and we quickly rerouted onto the actual trail, passing leering enemies still bitter from the loss in the battle nearby on the Day of Giving Thanks.
By Shane Haga
The second race weekend of this year’s mountain season found a handful of Aggies taking a trip to Lake Conroe. I’ll do my best to accurately describe the events as they unfolded, but my mind has had almost a full week to forget/ embellish what may or may not have happened.
The trip began with a sleepy 6 am drive to Coldsprings. At this point I would like to mention that all the racers comfortably fit into two rental vehicles—this is unacceptable. We need more people racing if we want to maintain our conference win streak! But I digress. We arrived early with much time to spare before the 9:30 start for the time trial. We quickly unloaded the trailer, registered, and went out for a couple laps to get used to the course. Let me go ahead and put the rumors to rest here: It has been said that the trail is dangerously flat and lacking in technical difficulty—these rumors are entirely true. The course was somewhere in the neighborhood of “3 miles”, and reasonably wide, though lacking in markings.
By Andrew Carlberg
While most of the team was out racing mountain bikes for the weekend, several Aggies ventured to the Alkek Velodrome for Elite Regionals and National Qualifier. This event would bring some great talent to the Velodrome and gave us a chance to see just how fast on the track we had become. One of my favorite things to do on the track is warm up. I know that seems really strangle but going around in circles for 25 laps slowly getting faster until you just have one lap left and you’re spinning is like crazy oddly awesome. First up in a busy weekend of events (3 sessions in 2 days) was the Team Pursuit. Pretty much its you and 3 other guys going as fast as you can for just 4 kilometers. Team Maroon Flash consisted of Austin Throop, Brian Hare, Carlton Mathis, and freelancer Brenden Sharp quickly set the best time of 5:34 (it helped that they were the 1st of 8 teams).
Race Report by Mark McGraw
In early June 2010 I did a road race with my brother out in the Texas Hill Country at Doss, TX near Fredericksburg. I had just joined the A&M cycling team (I’m an older than average grad student) and had just gotten the kit and my brand new USAC license. My bro is a pretty experienced rider and we agreed to meet out there to do the road race.
Let me specify that this was not a “ride.” I’m new to cycling but I know the difference. I’ve done the charity rides and they’re great, but his was a race. For the serious dudes. The course featured two loops of a 22 mile course on farm roads with some cattle guards and water crossings. By some cattle guards I mean about 40. By water crossings I mean 1. There was also a twisty, steep downhill portion and many small hills. Oh, and one big nasty hill was about 6 miles into the course.