by Michael Hast
Praise the LORD and congratulations to Gary and Michael for placing on the podium at the 2017 Arizona State Time Trail (TT) Championship. Congratulations also to our competitors Kevin, Greg and Scott.
We got up early Sunday morning driving to Arizona City. I decided to ride in the 40+ Merckx category because I don't have a TT bike. I also thought to myself, it would be good training for the upcoming Bike the Bluff Cat 3 Road Race Championship, staying in the aero position as long as I could. Gary started in the Cat 4 category.
My goal was to keep my threshold power as steady as I could. I have never raced with a power meter before and knew that it would be challenging to keep that power up. Right before the race I remember that I hadn't calibrated my power meter and in the rush of heading to the start line, the calibration failed. Well, I should have done this at warmup. Once I started, my Garmin showed nothing for power. I thought to myself, well, the power meter battery must have died, even though I just replaced it 2 weeks ago. Ok, heart rate it is. I started out hard, my heart rate went into race zone and I started to wonder if I am pushing it too hard. I caught the rider who started 30 seconds ahead of me in my category fairly soon. That gave me even more reason to speculate if I am hitting it too hard. After passing the rider, boom, power data was showing again.
Calibrated or not, I was glad it was back and now I focused on my threshold power. It was very hard to stay at that number, the bumpy road, the perceived head wind, the fatigue. I was very glad to see the turn around point. I passed a few riders on the way to the turn around, but after that no more passing. That made it much harder going back, even though there was no head nor tail wind. I saw Brandon and Jesse who raced in the Merckx Under 40 category in the far distance, but never made any gain on them. It is alway nice to have a target ahead of you. I tried to stay as aero as possible on my road bike, continuing to focus on my power data. After 1:02:26 I crossed the finish line, winning the Merckx 40+ category.
#togodbetheglory #howihammer #christiancyclingtucson #christiancycling #timetrails #arizonastatechampionship
by Michael Hast
We raced in various categories in the Campus Criterium on Saturday and then on Sunday in the Oracle Road Race at the Santa Catalina Omnium. Congratulations to Steven Terry for placing 3rd in the Omnium in the Cat 4/5 35+. It was a strong field where Philip Brown from Aggress won.
Men Cat 3/4
The Campus Criterium course was clockwise around the mall at the UfA with a sweeping corner on the west side and a hairpin corner on the east side (at Campbell). Every time we accelerated out of both of those corners which took a toll on the field. My strategy was to make it hard for the first 10 minutes of the race to shake up the field. On the 4th lap there was a crash on the hairpin turn because the first rider went into the turn with too much speed. We all went around him, I took the lead and a prime was announced. I was able to lead the pack around the course and won the prime, a box of R Bars. I was also able to win the second prime, a pair of tires from the Bicycle Tire Club. My plan wasn't to win the primes, but to find someone in the field to work with for a possible break. But nobody in the field thought it was a good idea. I eventually faded from all those accelerations and was passed through to the end of the field. I stayed there until the end of the race. But the accelerations kept on going.
The Campus Criterium was already a tough race with all those accelerations, but the Oracle Road Race with over 4000 ft. of climbing on a 54 mile course was even more challenging. The climbers among the racers were definitely favored to win in the road race. My plan was to stay with the field until the final climb. And I should have listened to my plan. On the first climb 2 riders broke away and stayed away. After the turnaround in Oracle we headed into a headwind and nobody wanted to work to chase down the 2 riders. I attacked and wanted to bridge to those riders to potentially work with them and get a head start on the second climb. I caught the first rider Peter, but he wasn't able to stay with me on the downhill. After that I worked hard to catch the first rider, but never able to. The field caught me right after the turnaround at the bottom of the climb. Now the final climb was upon us. I stayed near the end of the field of 20 riders to protect myself from any cross or head winds. It worked out pretty well, but when the attacks started to happen my legs did not respond as I wanted them to. There was a decisive attack heading into the outskirts of the town of Oracle which I was unable to respond to. The winners of the race had about a 30 second lead on me when crossing the finish line. I placed 9th and was pretty happy with my first Cat 3/4 road race.
by Michael Hast
Men Cat 4
he first day of the Crit-Mas Series was a very windy one. The temperatures were quite different from El Tour de Tucson. I think winter starts now ;-) When we setup the venue, I wasn't quite ready to race. I was quite busy with learning how to setup and work the registration for our event. Right around 11 am everything with regards to registration calmed down and I felt this was a good time to warm up for the Men Cat 4 race. I got myself ready and before you know it, without a real warmup, the race started promptly at 11:40 am. We had a group of 13 racers. Because I rode without teammates and wanted to save some energy for the Men Cat 3/4 race, my strategy was to stay with the pack and watch out for any breakaways. I attacked a few time during the race to see how the group would react, but found myself very fast back integrated into the group. The strong headwind didn't help with any breakaway efforts. With 2 laps to go, Lynn pulled away and his teammates blocked for him. That was my cue to move up in the group to 4th position and when we turned the corner into the headwind to attack and bridge over to Lynn. Now there was only 1 lap to go. I passed Lynn and pressed on, trying to increase the gap to the group. On the tailwind side, I tried to recover as best as I could with my legs screaming at me. I had to save a little for the couple of 100 feet against the wind to the finish line. I was first through the last corner, but Dustin "dusted" me right before the finish line and took 1st. I came in 2nd with Chris finishing 3rd. I was very glad and hoped I had some left to race with Buzz in the Men Cat 3/4 race.
Men Cat 3/4
I thought Buzz would join me in the Men Cat 3/4 race, but he said his bike needed some rest and didn't even bring it to the venue. So I race again without teammates. My strategy was pretty much the same as before: initially try to conserve energy and make my move when a breakaway forms. I watched the Men Cat 1/2/3 race where Jace and Johnny from the Bicycle Accident Attorneys placed 1st and 2nd. Those two were the guys to watch for. The race started pretty casual without any major surges. Riders tried to find our other riders strength. At one point Jace attacked with the wind and had a pretty decent lead. When we turned against the wind, I attacked and bridged over to Jace. We started working immediately. For the next couple of laps our lead was only 5-7 seconds. We switched the lead every half lap, Jace pushed hard against the wind and I hammered down the trail wind stretch. Jace's teammate worked for us in the group trying to slow them down as best as he could. After about 15 minutes that payed off. The gap increased to 30, then 40 and 50 seconds. After it was clear that the chasing group could not catch us, they re-grouped and started to strategizing for their final lap and their sprint to the finish. We kept the same pace which enabled us to catch and pass the field. I know now that I should have not passed the field but rather keep a safe distance with Jace and prepare to just sprint against him. But I was so exhausted that I was ok with placing 2nd and didn't want to fight it out in a sprint. Jace deserved to win because he did so much more work than me.
by Jimmy Davis, Jr
My race began last year. I learned a lot during the race last year and I did not want to make the same mistakes again. Also, I have been suffering from low back pain for several years which had been a limiting factor for me during races.
This year I decided to go get my back looked at and discovered that there were some issues with my back and I was referred to a physical therapist. This was a hugely important step as they really helped me with some core issues and weaknesses.
I also planned to ride the race completely different than I did last year. I would not go in any breakaways or find myself alone on the front. My plan was save energy, draft, be smart and stay out of the wind.
There were some things that I kept the same this year, for example, I still did a proper warm up on the trainer. Connor Johnson was holding a place for me in the corral so I wasn't worried about my start position. There were 1152 riders in the race!
The beginning of the race was pretty nice, not too fast, not too slow. I sat near the front for about 20 miles...there were plenty of folks willing to sit on the front. I was wondering if all the folks were going to be able to maintain the pace. I concentrated on staying within myself and tried very hard to be patient. This was difficult because on several occasions I wanted to take off.
It was not until we got to the hill right before Rancho Vistoso that things got interesting. I figured that someone would try to hit the small climb hard and someone did but was not able to sustain it. We mostly stayed together through Twin Peaks and Silverbell Road. However, we had a strong cross-headwind on Silverbell (my time was 20+minutes slower this year). We had some strong riders in our group namely, John Howard the previous land speed record holder at 152 mph, the current female land speed record holder Denise Mueller at 148mph both on a tandem, Connor Johnson director of the Speed School, Mike Kozda's, Julian Turner And Lorenzo Molteni.
At some point on Silverbell the tandem attacked the group but Mike closed it down. Mike, Julian and Lorenzo did a lot of work during the race and Lorenzo took some pretty long pulls into the headwind on Silverbell. I'm not sure what happened but we lost our police escort and ended up getting stopped at Grant Road. The traffic officer cleared the way once we advised him that we were the lead group for the 55 mile race. I continued to only rotate short periods of time during the race. One highlight during the race was passing by my dad's house and seeing him video tape us as we went by. He was yelling, "That's my boy, that's my boy!". I was really beginning to get encouraged at this point because I knew the race would come down to a sprint...my strength!
The final leg of the race is about .8 of a mile to the finish. When we made the final turn I wanted to be positioned close to the front about 4-5 riders back. Just as we turned for the last stretch Mike K. attacked. I did not chase because I had chased last year and I knew it was too far. I was pretty sure that John and Denise were going to gain speed and close the gap so I waited. Sure enough I saw them coming from the back so I got out of the saddle so that I could get on their wheel as they went by. Once they caught Mike I stayed behind them until they overtook him. At some point I became aware of Julian and Connor with us. Once I saw Julian and Connor start to sprint I went to the right (dodging a rider who was finishing from the other race). I kicked and just tried to hold on to the finish. Praise God I was able to hold on for the win!
The podium was an amazing thing. It was huge and they did a little interview on the stage. I also really love the Conquistador Trophy that they present to the top three racers in each distance.
I felt blessed to be there and I was really glad to have the opportunity to race with such great folks. I'm looking forward to next year! I know that there will be folk looking to get that trophy...I'll be there to defend!!!
Thank you to God, to my family and friend and also to our national and local sponsors!
Very honored to race with such classy guys as you see below
by Michael Hast
The plan for the Bike the Bluff road race was to start our attacks early and potentially send a teammate ahead of the peloton and then to bridge to him later in the race. It all started according to plan. Jimmy and I released Gary and Evan from Tolero Racing. They got about 50 feet from the peloton, when a bunch of riders started to chase them down. I launched an attack right before the highest point of the race, Juniper Point, trying to see who would be willing to stay with me on the uphill. A junior racer from Team Winded was glued to my wheel and took off with me. I signaled him to work with me, but initially he didn't want to come around. He finally did on the downhill after Juniper Point, but due to his junior gearing, he spun out and it was hard for him to keep the speed going downhill. The peloton caught us and I went to the middle of the peloton. The junior rider was still glued to my rear wheel.
A group of about 5 riders took off after my attack. We let them go to about a distance of 200 yards before we started a pace line to wheel them back in. The pace line didn't really close the gap, so I attacked with the intent to bridge to the 5 riders on the last climb before the turn to Clay Springs. There were about 5 riders with me, one of them being Leo Carrillo. I wanted Leo to be in my break because Leo is a very strong Ironman. He knows how to time trial and can put out an immense amount of power on downhills or straights. I did not want him to chase me down. After we bridged to those 5 riders, some of them broke off and we ended up with an 8 rider break. Going through Clay Springs we had about a lead of 100 yards. I was asked if we could make the break succeed and answered with a confident absolutely. Coming out of the last corner of Clay Springs I went to the front and hammered as hard as I could to the final hill before the next 20 mile downhill. On the downhill Leo went to the front and increased our lead quite considerably. Our group worked well together all the way to Taylor, where our strength started to fade.
We climbed the finals hills from Taylor back to Show Low without any attacks. The chase group didn't get any closer and we prepared ourselves for the finish. Everybody did just enough work to get by. On the last hill where our speed went down to 10-12 mph, I was planning to attack, but because of the strong headwind I decided to wait. After the 1 mile to go sign, I launched an attack and had a little gap. But I faded rather rapidly due to the aforementioned strong headwind. Another rider attacked, but had a cramp in his hamstring. Then I remembered my teammate Jimmy's observation, be first or second on the final corner and be first or second on the podium. I saw the corner, attacked, went first though it and then pedal, pedal, pedal, don't cramp hamstring, pedal some more. Right before the finish line, I saw 2 front wheels in my peripheral vision, but I held on to win.
What a wonderful moment to be able to win the Arizona State Championship Road Race in Category 4.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." (Eph 1:3)
I wanted to thank my family for coming with me to Show Low and spending their morning with me on the race venue. Thanks to all my teammates, especially Jimmy and Gary for their support, insight and wisdom before and during the race. Many thanks also to all of our sponsors!
#christiancycling #christiancyclingtucson #ic3tucson #bikethebluff #togodbetheglory #statechampionship
by Michael Hast
On May 18, 2016, the Ride of Silence traversed and united the globe as nothing before it. Cyclists took to the roads in a silent procession to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways. Although cyclists have a legal right to share the road with motorists, the motoring public often isn't aware of these rights, and sometimes not aware of the cyclists themselves.
With the killed and injured cyclists in Tucson earlier this year, this was especially bittersweet for some riders.
Brendon Lyons from 'Look! Save A Life / Arizona' had a display of his accident and what distracted driving can do to a cyclist. He had information about his campaign to make texting while driving illegal in the State of Arizona which is now banned in Pima County.
GABA organized a great Ride of Silence. We had a police escort of 3 motorcycles and 1 car all the way. It was an amazing ride with all riders being silent for the 1 hour event. We rode East on Broadway to Wilmot Road, then back on 22nd Street. The turnout was great, with a bittersweet fellowship afterwards.
by Michael Hast
We had another Service Worship Sunday at the Good News Community Church repairing bicycles from church members and members of the surrounding community.
"What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." (James 2:14-26)
by Todd Huff
We had a wonderful time last Saturday as 23 of us gathered for the annual Lasagna Dinner. It was a great time to relax, enjoy friends and family and some great food. The weather was absolutely perfect and the patio setting was cool and comfortable. We played some Pictionary and other games as everyone got to know each other better in a setting other than a bike ride. It was nice to see Pat and Cindy... first timers, at the event and we had several returnees. If you missed it, we missed you too! We look forward to another opportunity to be hosts again in the future.