Austin Tri-Cyclist Blog

Monday, November 25, 2013

Run/Duathlon at the COTA F1 Track

The Circuit of the Americas is one of Austin’s most exciting race venues. The track, opened in 2012, is the first in the U.S. built expressly for F1 racing. It’s not a tame, flat oval, but rather a 20-turn, 3.4-mile undulating circuit with a flare for the dramatic, featuring a 133-foot climb up the first turn. COTA hosts special events like the F1 United States Grand Prix, the ESPN X Games, motorcycle races, live music performances, and the first day of the Tour of Austin, a popular criterium series put on by Holland Racing. On December 14, it will be the site of the HITS Endurance Multi-Sport Event.

HITS offers a series of distances on race day, including 1 mile, 5K, 10K, half marathon, marathon, and sprint duathlon options. The sprint du is a 2.25-mile run, 14-mile bike, and 2.25-mile run. (The bike portion does not take place on the racetrack.) Military discounts apply, and the marathon has a two-person team option. Great for spectators, most of the races are easy to view, and there will also be a Fitness Expo featuring product samples, clinics, and fitness-related vendors and services.

The HITS Running Festival promises to be an event worth lacing your running shoes up for. Check out the links below for more info.


2012 HITS Marble Falls Tri

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Well-Heeled Dillo:
ATC's Run Shoes

The winds of change have blown through Austin Tri-Cyclist this year, carrying with them many good things. Along with the ATC 360 location and the renovations to the downtown store, you’ll find an important new addition to the dillo’s workout ensemble—a primo selection of road and trail running shoes!

ATC carries Zoot, Asics, Newton, Altra Running, Pearl Izumi, and Hoka shoes. Currently available at the ATC 360 store, they’ll also be in stock upstairs at the downtown location when the remodel is complete.

Zoot – Tri-specific, this brand was born in Kona in 1983. “Swim, bike, then say goodbye to the competition”...
Asics – A classic, Asics have been a staple of runners since 1977. ATC has 8 models in stock, including the Gel-Nimbus 15 and Gel-Kayano 20.  
Hoka – The new rage, Hoka shoes make an unmistakeable fashion statement. Despite the platform look, however, fans say they’re unbelievably comfortable and lightweight. Their unique midsole, with its rolling rocker design and “oversized, increased forgiveness,” is great for recovery runs.
Newton – Newton shoes are designed to encourage a natural running motion. A more level-to-the-ground platform with minimal drop helps you find the right position as you run. Many runners swear by them.

Altra Running – Like Newton, this company is based in Boulder. Altra Running shoes are known for their cushioned “zero drop,” which places the heel and forefoot the same distance from the ground. The design is said to reduce aches and pains like shin splints, runner’s knee, and IT band pain.
Pearl Izumi – ATC stocks two of Pear Izumi’s tri-specific shoes, the women’s EM Tri N1 and the men’s EM Tri N2. These lightweight tri flats provide a supportive, sock-like fit with built-in quick laces. Pearl Izumi's trail-running shoes will also be arriving soon.

ATC also carries run accessories like long-sleeved run tops, visors, and running gloves.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Cannondale Demo Days

Tristan Uhl on the Scalpel
You might not have the wheelie-popping skills of Peter Sagan. Or the racing prowess of ATC's own local legends, Tristan Uhl and Brandon Smith. But who says you can't have the bike? 

Take top-of-the-line mountain bikes and road bikes like the Scalpel 29, Trigger 29, Supersix Evo, or new Synapse Carbon out for a test ride at Cannondale's Demo Days. The events will be held today at ATC's Westlake location, and on Sunday at ATC's downtown location.

ATC 360, Nov. 14, noon-7pm 
ATC Barton Springs, Nov. 17, noon-5pm 

Brandon Smith on the CAAD10
What to expect: 

During the Demo Days, the bikes will be on hand for you to test ride, or you can reserve a particular model and time slot here. Depending on availability, you can take the bike out on the road or the trails for up to one hour. (Trail transport is not provided, so bring a car equipped with a bike rack or space in the backseat.) 

The bikes will be completely tuned up and ready to go, and staff will help you get set up. Just remember to bring your riding clothes, helmet, shoes, and pedals, as well as a driver's license and credit card for security reasons. 

At ATC's 360 location, park behind the store. From the main parking lot, take one of the roads that cut through the Davenport Village stores to park at the top of the hill.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Bike Lights
Light & Motion

One thing all commuters, elite cyclists, and casual riders have in common is the need to see and be seen. Winter is a time of year when it’s hard to avoid low-light or no-light conditions while riding. A high-quality bike light is essential for safety, allowing you to see potential obstacles in the road and, perhaps even more importantly, allowing the four-wheeled, multi-ton variety of those obstacles to see you.

Good lights are an important investment. When choosing the brand and model, here are some factors to consider:

Light & Motion's VIS 360+
  • You’ll want a white light for the front and a red for the rear. 
  • Flashing lights are a plus for riding in traffic and usually prolong battery life. Many lights allow you to switch between a dim, bright, and flash setting. 
  • The brighter, the better. Brightness is measured in lumens. 
  • How large of a beam does it cast? (Light & Motion's website has a handy Beam Test feature for their models.) 
  • Where do the lights attach? And how secure is that type of attachment? Depending on your typical type of ride – trail vs. road, for example – you may want to make this your chief consideration. Which is more convenient for you – lights that stay put, or those that you can move on and off your equipment between rides?   
  • Helmet-mounted lights have the added bonus of pointing wherever you look. Lights that attach to your bike may be more convenient to leave on the frame permanently. 
  • How are the lights powered? Do they charge by battery or USB? What is their run time? 
  • Is the design durable? Simple? Attractive enough to attach to your daily ride? 
  • Common-sense tip: Ask another rider if he/she can see you easily. If your typical position and/or commuter gear on the bike obscures your lights, consider attaching them in a different place or trying a different model. 

ATC recently began carrying the Light & Motion commuter brand, rechargeable, high-powered lights that pay off ten-fold in the long run. The lights have received, dare we say, “glowing” reviews. Below are the models that ATC currently carries in stock.

VIS 360+
A helmet-mounted, 250-lumen beacon of awesomeness. Attaches and detaches fairly easily to most helmets without tools, so you can use it when you need it (the rear snaps into an unobtrusive mount you can leave on). Micro USB charged. A multi-colored LED indicator lets you know how much battery is left. Side lights provide enhanced visibility. The fit is very secure, and this light is BRIGHT. Run time 3 hours on high, 16 hours on flash mode, with additional settings. $189

VIS 180
50 lumens and super compact, these tail lights offer 180 degrees of visibility. Attaches at the back of your bike (or rack) and the side without tools. Reportedly 10 times the light of most powerful AA tail lights. Micro USB charged. Run time 4 hours high, 6 hours high pulse, with additional settings. $99

A 200-lumen handlebar light billed as the “lightest, brightest, most compact light in its class.” Side lights provide enhanced visibility. Attaches without tools. Micro USB charged. Run time 2.5 hours high, 24 hours on flash mode, with additional settings. $79 

**Other models may be available. Call us to check if what you're looking for is in stock (ATC 360: 512-382-1273 ATC Barton Springs: 512-494-9252). These make great holiday gifts!