Thursday, June 21, 2012

Austin Mystery Clue!

In a town as weird as Austin, it’s hard to stand out in the crowd. This local business, however, has been doing just that since 1987. Where else can you buy an espresso, a bleeding eyeball, and a narwhal in one stop? No place that we’ve found. Find the place in Austin where you can get a Sarsaparilla vegan float and you’ll find the location of the FIRST mystery checkpoint as Sunday’s Austin Urban Assault Ride. 

"Bye buddy. Hope you find your dad." 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Boston DIVA DASH: New Training Boot Camp! BSC-Woburn!

Were you one of the lucky ones who registered early enough to get an entry into the SHAPE Diva Dash in Boston?

Now it's time to start training!!!

The latest addition to our FREE training programs for registered participants in the SHAPE Diva Dash is being offered by the Boston Sports Club in Woburn!

Here are the dates for BSC-Woburn's DIVA DASH BOOTCAMPS!

1 of 4:  Wednesday, July 18 at 6:30 pm
2 of 4:  Tuesday, July 31 at 6:30 pm
3 of 4:  Wednesday, August 15 at 6:30 pm
4 of 4:  Friday, August 31 at 6:30 pm

These bootcamps are only being offered at the BSC-Woburn location - 400 Presidential Way, Woburn, MA

Register for one or all of the bootcamps with Lindsey Norse - or 781-933-3055.   There will be 4-6 personal trainers and fitness staff onsite, available for questions on running, cross-training, help with obstacles and other pertinent info.  Space is limited, so please email to request a space on the list.  We're excited to meet and train with you!

For more information on this and other Boston area training programs, check out the Diva Dash - Boston training website!

10 Years of UAR: Vote now!!!

The stories have been rolling in, and we've selected our five finalists. It wasn't an easy decision, with stories from all over the country, highlighting all of our favorite aspects of the race.

Our Grand Prize winner will take home:

Free Pair of KEEN Shoes
Free Pair of ZEAL Sunglasses
Road ID Gift Card
Free Box of Clif Bars
1 Year Subscription to DRAFT Magazine
Story Published in Bicycle Times Magazine

Everybody who votes will be entered for a chance to win a pair of ZEAL Optics sunglasses or one of five Road ID Gift Cards!

Hope to see YOU at the next Urban Assault Ride. Help us get started on our next 10 years of UAR memories!

One entry per person - duplicate entries will be deleted.
Winners of the contest will be announced on June 24th at the Urban Assault Ride in Austin. Winners not present will be notified by email within one week following the Austin event.
Email address is required to notify the winner of the pair of ZEAL sunglasses.
This contest is not affiliated with or endorsed by Facebook or Twitter.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

10 Years of UAR: Tim

We added one new city to the nation's biggest bicycle obstacle adventure series tour in 2012. We've heard stories from the oldest UAR city, and now we'll hear one from the newest UAR city. Tim's story comes from Richmond.

Last year, my Dad was deployed in Afghanistan in the 29th Infantry Division of the Army National Guard. When he came back, after around thirteen months, you can imagine the excitement and relief of the whole family. The Urban Assault Ride was something fun I did with my Dad, just him and myself.  
We entered just for fun in the family division, but it ended up that we actually had a chance.         
Something my Dad and I share is the love of biking. During his service in Afghanistan, he wrote an article explaining how he rode his bike every day to work in the military base that was later published in the Bicycle Times magazine. When my Dad came back from Afghanistan, we started mountain biking together, and the difficult tracks we ran increased my passion for biking. When my Dad found out about the Urban Assault Ride coming to Richmond, we knew immediately that we were going to do it together. 
We started biking together even more to train for the bike race, and got our bikes all fixed up for the race. Soon, the race was coming up just around the corner. We were all pumped, and extremely excited. The morning came, and we got up early, and headed downtown to the meeting/starting area. Eagerness was in the air that entire time we were down there, up until the starting time. 
As soon as the sound went off, we raced to our bicycles. I was riding a GT mountain bike, and my Dad was riding a Canondale mountain bike. We were racing and pedaling like crazy, and we were bursting with thrill in the moments that our adrenaline took over. At the first stop it took us a while, but we made it through, and continued to follow our route. We came through the next few stops, including the mystery stop and the one at the YMCA where we jumped in the pool. 
We were having such a great time, and were really impressed with ourselves to find that we actually finished the race pretty early. As we waited for all of the other contestants, we ate lunch, and tried the fun little mini games that were set up. After everyone was back, the award “ceremony” began. We ended up winning second place, and then the fun began, with relay races and dancing contests. In the end, the Urban Assault Bike race was something extremely fun and exciting that my Dad and I loved doing together.

10 Years of UAR: Paul and Grace

The Urban Assault Ride is about to celebrate its tenth year in Austin. As we've said, we've made some great memories over the years. A select group of people have been there with us all along the way. This story comes from Grace, who, with her husband Paul, has participated in every Austin UAR since its inception, and will be there with us on Sunday!

Committed to Some Crazy Race
Ten years ago I approached my husband with the idea of being my partner in a crazy bicycle race around Austin.  It appeared to be an awesome adventure to me, but he didn’t quite see eye-to-eye with me on this one.  He just looked at me as if I’d had one too many glasses of wine and said “Let me get back to you on that”.  On the morning of the race, as I moped around, he reluctantly agreed to join me in the 1st ever Urban Assault Race.   
This is the day “Team Resistance” was born.  We had no plan and no strategy; just the two of us and our bikes. We joined about 60 other teams as we made our way to several check points, but unfortunately we were more like the turtles than the hares.  The winning team finished in a couple of hours, while we sweated our butts off to cross the line after about 4 hours. 
The next year came and we had to try this challenge again; maybe we could improve our time.  We trained for the race this time and when the checkpoints were announced we devised a strategy.  We improved our time immensely but still…not good enough.   
We continued to train and work on our strategy for each and every Urban Assault Race…this year will be the 10th.  The race has grown in numbers each year, and we continue to improve.  Being super athletic doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to kick butt in the competition.  Strategy plays a large part in your results here.  As we continued to improve our finish time with each race, we felt particularly confident one year.  But our podium dreams were shot down after we misinterpreted a clue to a checkpoint.  Our time was dismal. That’s why it’s called and adventure race! 
Now with 850 teams in the Austin race, we are among some of the most “seasoned” racers (translation: oldest racers).  For the last few years we have been placing in the top 3-4 coed teams (out of ~350 coed teams) and we claim this as some of our fondest accomplishments.  We see teams half our age dashing for that finish line long after we have put our bikes away and are enjoying the post-race beers.  Not only has this race given us the challenge we needed to improve and train hard, but the confidence to compete in other races.  My husband now bikes in 100 mile rides and runs marathons.  You can’t tell me that this race didn’t make an impact on “Mr. Resistance”. 
This will be our tenth attempt at winning this race.  Okay, maybe we won’t win, but we’ll be out there alongside 1700 other nuts who really enjoy the wackiest race Austin has ever seen.  Thanks Josh for this wacky idea that has evolved into an Austin tradition. 
Paul & Grace 
Austin, TX

10 Years of UAR: Halie

Not all of our favorite stories came directly from the Urban Assault Ride. At Adventure Fit, we believe there are few problems that bikes can't solve. We think bikes are pretty fun, and we think the more ways you can incorporate them into your every day life, the more fun your life will be. Halie embraces that ideal in getting a whole neighborhood of kids to ride their bikes to school. Check out her story!

Trying to keep exercise a priority in my family’s life, my kids bike to and from school each morning possible.  Living only ½ a mile from the school that is tucked away in our neighborhood, my 7 and 8 year old love the independence this provides them.  
Encouraging other families on our street to do the same, we arrange a “neighborhood assault ride” each year that encourages the kids and parents to get up and bike to school.  Our first year we had a total of 17 participants ride to school in a single file line in the bike lane.  This year on Bike to Work Day we recruited more!  22 kids and 10 adults gathered in our driveway for doughnuts and juice before attacking the bike lane! 
The looks of drivers and crossing guards were priceless as we approached the crosswalks.   A 32 person bike caravan is definitely out of the ordinary in our neighborhood but the kids cannot wait until I plan the next one!

10 Years of UAR: Debra and Lauren

Debra and Lauren submitted their story from Minneapolis. It involves intense Big Wheel training and carefully crafted costumes!

I believe the first year we participated in the UAR was the first year it was in Minneapolis.
I could hardly wait! And I was especially excited to ride the Big Wheels! A neighborhood kid, hearing about our upcoming race, had a lot of fun showing me how to do a power slide. Not so easy for an adult on a kids big wheels! But the day of the UAR I was ready to put my practice into action. We were nearly the first ones to arrive at the obstacle checkpoint with the Big Wheels. It was so much fun! By the time we reached the end of the obstacle course a waiting line had grown - this was my opportunity to show off! I nailed a big power slide right into the parking spot! The crowd broke out into applause! And I will bet that the rest of the day there were power slides on every run! :) I did my "teacher" proud!
Another aspect of the UAR we enjoy are the costumes. We were among the few costumed riders in the first year in Minneapolis - riding a tandem bike and dressed in Minnesota Vikings vs Green Bay Packers (legendary football rivals). Another year we rode as a devil and angel (again, legendary rivals working together on a tandem). It has been fun to watch more people get into the the costumes and other antics of the UAR as each year progresses!

When we have to miss a year, like this year, it just leaves a big ol' hole in our fun quotient for the year!
Thanks UAR and all your great sponsors! We look forward to joining in again next year and making more great memories! 
Debra and Lauren Gagner

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Minneapolis Mystery Clue

Her seldom seen but more famous cousin hails from Scotland. Find this Minneapolis celebrity and you'll find the location of the first mystery checkpoint at Sunday's Minneapolis Urban Assault Ride.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

10 Years of UAR: Josephine

The stories keep rolling in! The latest entry in the 10 Years of Urban Assault Ride contest that we'll feature comes from Josephine. Tell us your story and maybe you'll find it featured on our blog soon, and if it's our Grand Prize winner, maybe you'll it featured in Bicycle Times Magazine!!! Enter today!
Team "We Go Both Ways...(over passes that is)” was back to defend our title. Started off great - were  first to multiple stops, found the 2nd mystery checkpoint and got to the finish line ~15min before the next team! So what went wrong?

#1: Second to last stop = South College Pool. Objective = jump in & grab 3 different cans of New Belgium beer. Jumped in, searched around, found 3, DONE! Got out then realized that I couldn't see...haven't been swimming in a while, but apparently if you wear contacts you're not supposed to open your eyes underwater...SO off we went to the finish blind as a bat – thank god for Kim! 
LESSON #1: If you wear contacts don't open your eyes underwater if you want to see later

#2: You earn a bead for your chain at every checkpoint. I decided that it's faster to put the beads in your mouth as you the finish I gracefully spit out the beads & reach down for our chain - it's gone. Time doesn't stop until all beads are on your chain, SO now I'm running around yelling "I need a chain, who has a chain!?" We're so early that the only people there are volunteers with no chains - FINALLY found one, got the beads on & clock in at 1hr 15min, hell yeah. BUT WAIT! We only have 7 beads & they're saying there should be 8...what? 
LESSON #2: Put on the beads as you go!
#3: I usually procrastinate, but I love UAR so I mapped out our route as soon as the checkpoints were posted. Unfortunately a checkpoint was added a week before that I never noticed & therefore didn't have on my list...turns out it was on our route & we rode RIGHT by it, BUT this was after the pool so I couldn't see, we missed the checkpoint & therefore missed a bead. We were told that missing a bead was a 10min penalty & it wouldn't be worth it to go back. 
LESSON #3: Double & TRIPLE check that you actually have ALL of the checkpoints on your map

#4: Thought we were in the clear & won since the next girls came in at 1hr 25min, 10min after our "official" time. So we're celebrating, drinking, having a grand old time till we learn that missing a bead is a 10 HOUR penalty, not 10 MINUTES - sad day. New official time: 11 hours & 15 minutes 
LESSON #4: READ the rules! 
SO in the end we destroyed the girls, but lost...still had a great time & learned some lessons along the way!
Thanks for sharing your story, Josephine!

Share YOUR story today, and register now to be a part of the next ten years of UAR memories!