Sun & Ski Rotating Header Image

Stage 6: All About the Benjamins

If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to our RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!

At the Tour, winning is not everything. The most obvious prize is the Yellow Jersey, or maillot jaune, of the leader. Next are the individual stage wins, which are obviously also important. But did you know that there three other jerseys up for grabs, and an additional two competitions?

We’ll save those for another day, and today focus on money. It makes the world go ‘round, and it makes the Tour go ‘round. More specifically, it is one of the main reasons for the long breakaways we often see that might have you scratching your head. “They never win, so why do they do it?” It all comes down to $$$. Or, actually, €€€.

The easiest to understand are the mid-race prizes. Each time there is a sprint or a ranked climb, the first rider(s) over the line get money; anywhere from €200-800 for first. Win a couple of those, and it’s not a bad day’s work.

However, the even bigger prize is TV time. In the 2010 Super Bowl, a 30-second TV commercial cost $2.6million. Teams are funded by sponsors who want to see their name on TV; lots of TV time means more sponsors, bigger paychecks and job security. If a breakaway lasts for 5 hours, that’s a lot of TV time! If we compare the number of viewers of the Tour to the Super Bowl, and assume a break is just on TV for 2 hours, that’s nearly $25million worth of advertising.

You better believe the directors of the smaller teams are telling their guys to get into the day’s breakaway – they can’t afford not to!

Steen A. Rose is an elite cycling and triathlon coach. He started coaching in 2003, and has been an Elite Coach with Training Bible Coaching since 2009. Steen is also captain of the Sun & Ski/Subaru Cycling and Triathlon teams. He has been racing since 1997, holds a Category 1 license, and has 13 state championships, 3 national medals, and 4 international podiums to his credit. He can be reached at srose@trainingbible.com

Stage 5: Rubber Side Down

If this keeps up, I will be talking a lot about crashes during this year’s Tour, even though I’d really rather not. First, a little plug for my coaching blog, where I’ve got a two-part write-up on how to treat road rash: http://www.ontracktriathlon.com/?p=221 If you look around, there’s also a post on why crashing is beautiful, although I’m sure the guys in the Tour might not feel that way today.

What can we learn from the pros in the Tour to keep us “rubber side down” on our rides? First, big groups contribute to crashes. If you’ve ever ridden the MS-150, or the Hotter’N Hell, you know this already. But if you’re newer to cycling, you know this instinctively if you ever drive in a big city. I grew up in Houston, and now live in Dallas. I know there’s a much greater risk of a fender-bender on 610 or 635 at rush hour than on FM1175 at 8am on a Sunday. So be extra cautious if you do have to ride with a large group. Also avoid riding where there is a lot of vehicular traffic.

The second thing we can learn is that nervousness leads to crashes. If you are nervous, you’ve got a tighter grip on the bars, and probably locked elbows. A little bump, on the road or from another rider, is likely to make you fall, and you’re less able to make quick steering adjustments. If this sounds like you, practice riding, practice relaxing, and stay near the back of the group. If you see someone around you that looks nervous, just give them a wide berth. It’s also perfectly acceptable to ask someone to ride at the back, or even leave the group entirely if they are posing a risk. Of course if you’re not comfortable asking that, you can always choose to leave the group. Better a solo ride than learning what road rash is like!

Steen A. Rose is an elite cycling and triathlon coach. He started coaching in 2003, and has been an Elite Coach with Training Bible Coaching since 2009. Steen is also captain of the Sun & Ski/Subaru Cycling and Triathlon teams. He has been racing since 1997, holds a Category 1 license, and has 13 state championships, 3 national medals, and 4 international podiums to his credit. He can be reached at srose@trainingbible.com

Stage 4: He Who Hesitates is Lost

Today Thor Hushovd hesitated, and it cost him dearly. Although he retained the yellow jersey, he lost a shot at the stage victory and precious points towards the Sprint competition.

Of course Thor is not the only rider who hesitated as the race rounded the final left hand bend, but as one of the biggest guys in the race, wearing bright yellow, and a favorite for a sprint victory, he was easy to spot!

In a normal sprint, there is a lead-out train the delivers the sprinters to about ~200m to go at absolute top speed, at or near 40mph. Today the finish was tactical because of the climb. Contador and Gilbert both tried to attack, but the bunch was obviously expecting this, and they came up short. As the climb flattened out towards the top and the field came around the final bend, the gap to the very front riders closed. Instead of accelerating around these riders, Thor and several others sat up ever so briefly. Cycling is a game of momentum, and they lost theirs. It’s easy to see Thor slow, then never quite get back up to speed.

Opening the sprint at that moment would not have been ideal – it was probably still a skosh too far out. However, you have to play the cards you are dealt, and it even if it didn’t net him the win, it would have resulted in a better placing and more points towards the Green jersey.

So today’s take-away is to seize the moment. It may not be perfect, or even what you were expecting, but when the time comes, don’t hesitate (funny how sport is a microcosm for life like that).

Steen A. Rose is an elite cycling and triathlon coach. He started coaching in 2003, and has been an Elite Coach with Training Bible Coaching since 2009. Steen is also captain of the Sun & Ski/Subaru Cycling and Triathlon teams. He has been racing since 1997, holds a Category 1 license, and has 13 state championships, 3 national medals, and 4 international podiums to his credit. He can be reached at srose@trainingbible.com

Stage 3: America’s Day!

Garmin-Cervelo started as small pro team with hopes of one day making it to the Tour. “We want to get an invite to the Tour within 3 years,” is something I remember Jonathan Vaughters, the team director, saying.

Now, just a few years later, here they are with the yellow jersey and two stage wins. Better yet, an American rider, on an American team, won a stage of the Tour de France on Independence Day.

With a little luck, a lot of hard work, and the right people with the right attitude, anything is possible for a little pro team with big dreams. Or for a brand new country who decides to declare their independence.

Here’s to more wins for American teams, and another 235 years of the American dream.

Steen A. Rose is an elite cycling and triathlon coach. He started coaching in 2003, and has been an Elite Coach with Training Bible Coaching since 2009. Steen is also captain of the Sun & Ski/Subaru Cycling and Triathlon teams. He has been racing since 1997, holds a Category 1 license, and has 13 state championships, 3 national medals, and 4 international podiums to his credit. He can be reached at srose@trainingbible.com

Stage 2: Ride Like the Pros

The fastest teams on paper usually don’t win team time trials, just like the most talented teams don’t always win the championship in American sports. Rather, it’s the teams that work seamlessly, like a well-conducted orchestra, that prevail.

The lesson that all cyclists can learn, even Cat 1 racers, is that working smoothly together trumps raw power. And yet, nearly every time I ride my bike, I see people mess this up. Let’s look at the three keys of an effective pace line. First, and foremost, is to ride a steady pace. Often the stronger rider(s) will increase the pace as soon as it’s their turn to pull. This is a mistake, and it’s harder on everybody, even the person pulling. The key is to roll through at the same speed or effort level (speed should drop on hills, increase on downhills). If you are that much faster than everyone, take a longer pull. Pull for 2, even 5 minutes, but keep the speed the same.

What’s the correct speed? It’s the speed of the slowest rider. If Bob happens to be the slowest guy, ride at a speed that Bob can maintain. Otherwise the line will get disrupted, you’ll have to regroup, and will actually be slower than if you’d just ridden Bob’s pace. Of course you can go on ahead by yourself, if you want to be that guy.

The final key is to draft effectively. This means angling back and to the right if the wind is from the left. But it also means riding close enough to get the benefit of the draft. If you are 2-3 feet behind the next rider, you are working much too hard.

Learn from the pros, and ride in an effective pace line. I promise your rides will be faster, easier, and more fun.

Steen A. Rose is an elite cycling and triathlon coach. He started coaching in 2003, and has been an Elite Coach with Training Bible Coaching since 2009. Steen is also captain of the Sun & Ski/Subaru Cycling and Triathlon teams. He has been racing since 1997, holds a Category 1 license, and has 13 state championships, 3 national medals, and 4 international podiums to his credit. He can be reached at srose@trainingbible.com

Stage 1: Choose Your Battles

Phillipe Gilbert is one of the best cyclists in the world. Indeed, in the middle of June he was ranked #1 in the World Cycling Tour. Today he gained a few more points towards that ranking, his first ever Tour de France stage win, and his first ever maillot jaune.

If you follow pro cycling, even marginally, you probably heard about Gilbert’s string of victories in April, taking 4 massive wins in 11 days. Any one of those results would make a rider’s career, and to string them together was just spectacular.

Last week, he gave a hint of his form and a foreshadowing of what we can expect at the Tour, by winning the Belgian National Championships. Okay, you’re asking what you, the average cyclist, can learn from this. Well, I’m glad you asked. Gilbert was winning everything in April, and is winning again now, but do you know what he was doing between then and now? He was training. No races. Too often we as cyclists get caught up in events, and forget to train. Racers race every weekend. Rally riders do every rally then can get to. How many people do you know that haven’t missed a group ride since Clinton was president?

Your goal may be as dramatic as the state championship, or as humble as finishing the Saturday ride with the group. Whatever it is, make it your chosen battle so that you arrive fresh, fit, and hungry.

Steen A. Rose is an elite cycling and triathlon coach. He started coaching in 2003, and has been an Elite Coach with Training Bible Coaching since 2009. Steen is also captain of the Sun & Ski/Subaru Cycling and Triathlon teams. He has been racing since 1997, holds a Category 1 license, and has 13 state championships, 3 national medals, and 4 international podiums to his credit. He can be reached at srose@trainingbible.com

TOMS Mystery Box – Guess What’s Inside!

The TOMS Mystery Box unveils the next chapter of One for One. For TOMS, the next chapter starts on June 7th, when they wont be just a shoe company anymore, but the One for One™ company. What’s your next chapter? How do you want to build a better tomorrow?

Join us at the Memorial City Sun & Ski Sports or the Grapevine Sun & Ski Sports, June 7th, for the launch of the new product from TOMS. Take a guess of what’s in the box for a chance to win a $100 Gift Card from Sun & Ski Sports!

Haro Bikes – Ramp It Up BMX Demo Force

Come watch Haro BMX riders Allan Cooke, Dan Sieg and Land George demo Haro bikes. Plus, test ride a Haro bike on our mobile park set up. You choose the bike, we provide the fun!

Bay Area Sun & Ski Sports
June 10, 2011
11 AM – 6 PM
View Store Location

Westheimer Sun & Ski Sports
June 11, 2011
1 PM – 7 PM

http://www.sunandski.com/Articles.asp?ID=226

View Store Location

Katy Mills Sun & Ski Sports
June 12, 2011
11 AM – 5 PM
View Store Location

Cambodia Trails – Running it in Houston – Memorial Park

Memorial Park – Cambodia Trails

Today we’ll be taking a look at the memorial park green trail, also known at the Cambodia trial. This trail is marked as an advanced trail due to the nature of the terrain. It is only 1.77 miles long, but requires intense concentration and a good pair of trail running shoes.

This trail is designed for mountain bikers, so please run with caution and always give the bikers the right of way. When you hear one coming, just step off to the side and wait tell they pass. I would highly recommend that you run this without earphones or music. The trail is very narrow, and if you’re not listening for bikers they’ll be on you before you have the chance to get out of the way.

The Cambodia trail has got to be one of my favorite runs. It keeps me on my toes with it’s terrain changing qualities, and helps me forget I’m in Houston.
Memorial Park has so much to offer to us that are here in Houston. You’ve got everything from soccer, baseball, tennis, football, rugby and volleyball courts, to a wonderful 3 mile easy trail, mountain biking trails, horseback riding trails, a fitness center and a swimming pool. You even have some very nice playgrounds for the kids and nice places to barbecue.

I rank trail into three categories: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.

Beginner Trails are under a mile, usually only gravel, asphalt or concrete

Intermediate trails are over 1 mile in length, and under 3 miles. They consist of gravel, asphalt or concrete

Advanced trails are over 3 miles in length or are off road trails that are not paved, usually used by mountain bikers. The terrain of these trails requires intense concentration and a good pair of trail running shoes.

I give the Cambodia trails an advanced ranking. It can be treacherous if you are not careful. I’ve twisted my ankles more than three times already. It is difficult to see the roots and stumps sometimes and extreme caution is needed.

The danger aside, it is one of the funnest and most exciting runs in Houston. It’s like moving zen when you’re running through this trail. a total meditation.
The trail is marked along the way with green pylons and there are a few maps which were recently installed. As long as you stay on the trail, getting lost is hard. There are some trails with posted signs that say, no mountain bikers beyond this point. I would recommend to stay off those trails until you become very familiar with the park. I took one once and was lost for over an hour.

The trail consists of three different surfaces. You have some concrete stones, soft ground, hard rocky ground and spots with lots of roots.

This is an out and back trail, which means that, although the trail is only 1.77 miles long, you will have to run more to get back to your car. You can either run back the same way, adding another 1.77 miles to your run, or you can run back along Memorial Drive which will only add a .79 mile more to your run, for a total of 2.56 miles.
The trail is located next to Picnic Park LN. Which is a good spot to drop off your car, or you can opt for over 4 miles by parking where the tennis courts are and running around the 3 mile trail, adding in the Cambodia trail along the way. I’ll usually run it this way, adding in the purple trails as well.

It’s an adventure running through these trails. Join me on a peaceful, spirited run.

Trail Running in Houston – Arthur Storey Park

Arthur Storey Park – ChinaTown

Location: 7400 W Sam Houston Pkwy SHouston, TX 77072
Trail: outer loop 1.72 Miles
inner loop 0.62 Miles
Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Arthur Storey Park Pavillion

Arthur Storey Park Pavillion

Arthur Storey Park Trails – Trail Run Video

Satellite Image of Map

Arthur Storey Park Trail Map with Elevation

Arthur Storey Park official layout

Hello, My name is Erik Calderon.

Welcome to My video blog on Trail Running in the Houston and Surrounding areas.

Today we’ll be taking a look at the Arthur Storey Park Trails located just outside of Beltway 8: in Houston China Town, off of Bellaire avenue on the West side of Beltway Eight. 7400 W Sam Houston Pkwy SHouston, TX 77072.

Although the park has a lot of parking space, it fills up fast in the mornings and on weekends. I’ve seen people parking in the Home Depot next to the park in order to visit.

Entering a bit into the park is a wonderful fitness station where you can begin your run with a warm up of Pull ups, push ups and situps.

After warming up you can easily enjoy a 1.72 mile run around the outer loop, then add bit to the end by including the inner loop around the small pond and pavillion, or you can easily construct a short run by just going around the inner loop. The inner loop is approximately 0.62 miles.

While jogging around the outer loop you’ll get a peak at the beautiful buddhist temple, as your winding around some detention ponds and the braes bayou. The view is absolutely relaxing and peaceful.

This is a Beginner to Intermediate Level Trail Run.

I’ve ranked this trail as Beginner to Intermediate because the outer trail is over one mile, and you also have inner trails that are under one mile in length. So, you can construct an easy run or you can opt for a run of 1.72 miles or longer around the outer loop.

I rank trails into three catagories. Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.

Beginner Trails are under a mile, usually only gravel, asphalt or concrete

Intermediate trails are over 1 mile in length, and under 3 miles. They consist of gravel, asphalt or concrete

Advanced trails are over 3 miles in length or are off road trails that are not paved, usually used by mountain bikers. The terrain of these trails requires trail running shoes and focus on the ground is essential.

The trail consists of three kinds of running surfaces: Asphalt, Concrete and gravel. Most of the outer loop is Asphalt with a small stretch of Concrete. The inner loop is mostly all gravel.

For those looking into some recreation, they have swings for the kids, a wonderful playground, a few pavillions and a beautiful pond.

This Park is name after Arthur Storey, who at the time of naming the park was director of the Harris County Flood Control District. He came up with the idea to create parks around flood control properties.

The Park has some wonderful areas for bbq’ing, and big open fields. I often see people playing soccer in these fields.

The park also as a wonderful kidfit center, complete with rock climbing, ropes, junggle bars, pull up bar, sit up station and more, designed specificily for kids in mind.

Being in the heart of china town you can catch people doing tai chi in the mornings. The park has a wonderful Yin Yang pavillion, where I often spend time doing some martial arts myself.

For more information with map layouts, please click on the links included in the blog.