Tag Archives: Chris Hartzler

Welcome Hartzler Haus

Going to take a little break from writing about the bike, training, and racing. Today I’m just going to take a moment to say a big thank you and introduce you to a new sponsor of the Low Cadence blog. One of the great things about this blog is the wonderful people it has allowed me to meet and how it has brought talented people together to help me.

Chris Hartzler is a co-worker here at the University. He is the creative director for Creative Services. He is also a cyclist.

Chris has helped me with RideForMike.com in the past, but this year he has taken it up a notch! Through his own freelance shop he has created a new brand for Low Cadence as well as been a conduit for finding the necessary suppliers for my fund raising items. This year RideForMike.com is going to be more fun than ever. I’ll owe a lot of that to Chris and Hartzler Haus.

Need branding for your company or idea? Perhaps you want a really cool kit for your organization (or blog!) I recommend Hartzler Haus. Look for more of the work in the days to come. I think you’re going to like it!

Sun, rain, wind, and hail

It was time at noon on Saturday to start my fundraising ride for BJU The Ride. The goal was to get as many miles possible during a five hour period riding around a .85 mile course. Yes, you read that right… 5 hours going around a .85 mile loop. I’m still going round and round in my head!

The coolest thing about the whole day (other than the weather) was the fact that my son rode over to the event with me. It was his first ride on his new Specialized Allez! He earned it working hard in school and getting this multiplication tables memorized. I kept looking over at him with a big smile on my face. Yep, life was good.

We got there and we started right up. On the first lap it was obvious it was going to be a tough day! After the nice slightly downhill where we were protected somewhat from the wind by large buildings, we made a right hand turn into a howling headwind. It was going to be a long day for my friends, Eric, Dave, Mike, Kirk, Chris, and me.

2010 The Ride

The six official participants finish a lap (Photo Eddie Helton)

Not only was that headwind strong, it was coming straight down the only major climb on the course. It made that 40 feet or so of climbing that much harder. Before the day was done, I would hit that climb and wind 105 times.

The road then curved that made the headwind turn into a crosswind. Turning another corner put you on another downhill — but back into the headwind. Really, on the whole course, you only had one short respite from the wind.

Jonathan Jr. hung with us for several laps. His little body was nearly being stopped by the wind! I tried to work with him to help him find shelter, but it was his first group ride and he wasn’t that confident coming in close to some of the other bikes. It was a little too much for him. I was proud of him though and he did well! I’m looking forward to riding more with him in the days, months, and years ahead.

I was very fearful about the rain. The forecast was calling for it. Thankfully, we only got a few brief showers for the most part. There were a few times when there was rain on the back side of the course and dry as a bone on the front side. Overall, the rain was not an issue. Until later in the ride…

Before long it was every man for himself. The varying riding abilities of the different riders made it so that it was hard to stay together. A few times I thought I was pulling the crew and looking back realized I had dropped them. I mean one of these guys hadn’t ridden in some time. He finished all five hours!

It was really neat to see Eddie Helton show up for the ride. Racers will recognize him as the photographer that takes some great pictures of our events here in the Greenville area. He was so kind to take some pictures of our little event AND get out his bike and ride with us! Several other riders came over to encourage us as we made our laps. It made my heart warm on an otherwise cool day.

Kirk Flinte was there and we ended up connecting and riding for a good bit of time. The two of us put in some hot laps, but for the most part just rode tempo and talked. Shortly before the four hour mark, Kirk went in front of me and pulled me through the wind for about 10 minutes. Then he was gone and I was alone again.

I eased up a bit in that final hour. My legs were starting to let me know they hadn’t ridden this far since October! The wind picked up even worse and the clouds were threatening. The last 30 minutes could be brutal!

With only about 15 minutes to go, I was starting up that climb into the wind. It had just started the rain and the wind was whipping my bike about. Then the rain started to hurt! It was like it was cutting my face. “What is going on?” I thought to myself. I had to bind my head to keep the rain from hitting my face.

As I looked down, I noticed the “rain” was bouncing! “That’s not rain,” I thought. “It’s hailing!” Then I made that turn from the crosswind to a headwind. I could not look up to see where I was going. Thankfully, the brim of my cycling cap was protecting my face.

Before the lap was complete, the hail let up and not longer afterward the rain did as well. The wind never did. It fought us the entire time.

I have ridden 100+ mile numerous times in 5 hours. This was one of the hardest rides I have attempted. The course wasn’t exactly thrilling, but it was the conditions that made it hard.

One thing I know. It is the hard rides that you remember the longest. The easy rides are most enjoyable at the time, but they are so many they all meld together. “Remember that ride where we got hailed on?” Any one of us can say that and it will bring the ride back into full focus.

The funny thing is that time will make the pain enjoyable.

Over the mountain and through the wind

Nothing unusual for today’s post. Last night I went out on a ride by myself that started at my house and headed out over Paris Mountain, down Old Buncombe, through downtown to Cleveland Park, and then to home.  I made it back just as it started to rain.

I was a little disappointed because I left the house and headed over to the university before going to the mountain.  I wanted to do a lap of the course I will be riding Saturday during the fund raiser.  As I finished the circuit, I pushed what I thought was the lap button on the Garmin.  It was the Start/Stop button.

I didn’t realize I had done that until I was near the top of Paris Mountain.  All the power data of the climb was lost!  I put it out of my mind just to enjoy the opportunity to enjoy a beautiful day.

As I started along the back side of the mountain I was very fearful.  It was the first time going down the Furman side since my accident.  To make matters worse, there was a level of fine sand in the turns along the top.  The fun finally started once I got below the sandy turns.

I forgot all about the computer issues as I looked out over northern Greenville county from the top of the mountain.  Out over Travelers Rest there was a thunder storm.  I could see the dark clouds and the wall of rain out in the distance.  There were flashes and the rolling sound of thunder, but it was so far away I had no concerns that it would reach me before I got home.

Old Buncombe introduced me to a headwind.  I saw my teammate Blair heading the other direction.  I envied him because he was enjoying the tailwind.  Finally, I made it through downtown Greenville and to Cleveland Park.

Once there I connected with Chris Hartzler.  We did several laps together.  There were a good number of cyclist out.  Some were just spinning along and others were hammering it pretty hard.  Just as we were finishing up, I saw Kirk Flinte with, I believe, his brother.

A lot of times you can learn riders by the clothing they wear.  It also helps to learn their bike.  However, with Kirk it is a little harder.  He is always showing up with some cool Hincapie clothes that are probably not even on the market yet.

The wind really picked up as I neared home and the temperatures dropped a bit.  I figured the rain would arrive soon.  After taking my bike to the garage, I went inside to change before eating some homemade enchiladas.  As I exited the bedroom, the rains arrived.

What a wonderful feeling to site with happy muscles, eating a delicious meal while nice and dry, and the rain falling outside.  Life is good!

Crawling out from under a rock

I got up this morning to join David “Locomotive” McQuaid for a couple of laps of the USA Cycling Pro Championship Road Race course. We both plan to participate in the ride on Labor Day weekend. The goal is to do as many laps as you can in four hours. We figured we needed to get out there and get a feel for what it would take.

We’ve done a lap of the course before and I think we have done two before, but I can’t remember. Anyway, going out there again today definitely showed us what we need to do! We covered 2 laps – about 44 miles in 2:49 of seat time. If you count the time we spent at stop lights and waiting for Chris Hartzler and his brother-in-law, it took us over three hours.

I felt bad about leaving Chris and Bruce. I’m certain Chris could have kept up with his, but his brother-in-law is just beginning to pick up riding. So, he was only able to hang with us until we reached the bottom of Paris Mountain. Chris connected with us at the top and told McQuaid and me to go on. I think they ended up completing one lap.

Here is a link to my upload from my Edge 305 to Motionbased account. The most relevant portion of the report is the elevation graph. Two climbs of over 1000 ft in just a couple of miles.

The big problem for me is that once I finished, I crashed — not on the bike, but my body. I thought I would be fine as I had a chance to eat within the first 30 minutes after the ride. However, I ended up just dragging myself around and ended up dragging myself right into bed where I slept pretty solid for an hour. It wasn’t until shortly before I started typing this that I felt like I was getting back in shape.

Why? Sure, the climbing was part of it. However, I think it was the way I did the climbing. My first time up I came across the remnants of the Carolina Triathlon shop ride. Of course, that is a carrot and I wanted to pass them all. I did, but my HR spiked at 192 bpm. That push combined with the rest of the ride must have done something to me. I felt better on the second climb because I didn’t push myself.

Bottom line is that I’ve got a lot of work to do before September!