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Meet your 2019 Jack’s Generic Tri Ambassadors

Jack’s Generic Tri Ambassadors are triathletes just like you and they’re here to help

If you have a question about event details or are looking for advice from a JGT veteran, your Jack’s Generic Tri Ambassadors have the answer. Whether you connect on social media or within the community, you can be sure that there is always an Ambassador ready to chat with you. Take a few minutes and get to know these folks.

Vicki Ford – JGT Ambassador

Vicki Ford

Ford is an adventurer, explorer, student, dog lover, athlete, and yoga instructor. Her first athletic love, what she comes back to year-after-year, is triathlon. “I really want to show the next generation what this is all about. How much fun you can have at an ungodly early hour of the morning, racing your heart out, and cheering on all the other athletes and volunteers.” Connect with her on Facebook.

Jane Ireland

I’ve done a lot of triathlons, including JGT a few times. I’m a member of several local teams/clubs (Beef Team, Team Radioactive, and Austin Triathlon Club) and I know a lot of triathletes. I enjoy triathlons and would like to get others interested in trying a tri. Connect with her on Facebook.

Heidi Maldonado – JGT Ambassador

Heidi Maldonado

I was hooked from my very first super sprint triathlon at the 2013 CapTex Tri. I’ve raced all distances, from sprint through IRONMAN, and completed the Texas Tri Series almost every year since. I love mentoring newer athletes and volunteering with High Five Events every chance I get. They’re wonderful people and put on the best-run events. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Aaron Shapley

I’ve done Rookie Tri three times and JGT twice. Although I’m out there to compete against some of the best local triathletes, these races offer some of the best environments for those new to the sport. In addition, my background as an NCAA Division I swimmer gives me the opportunity to provide some education and strategies in approaching the discipline (swim) that keeps most people away from the sport.

Troy McHenry – JGT Ambassador

L. Troy McHenry

Born and raised in Carson, California. After graduating college I moved to Austin, Texas, where I met my beautiful wife. We have one daughter. I have participated in two triathlons over the last three years, but have gravitated to doing more cycling events. I want to give back to the tri community by helping others reach their goals and felt becoming an ambassador was a great way to get started. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Alvis Prince

If you swim, bike, or run in the ATX I want to know you. Lately, you can find me biking a couple of days a week around the hills by Decker Lake (JGT’s bike course), swimming at Quarry Lake, or enjoying a run on Town Lake. Where do you train and how can we help you get better or faster? Whatever you’re working on, let’s do it together. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Amy Scarborough – JGT Ambassador

Amy Scarborough

JGT has been there to create a community as well as a challenge for me in racing. I want to spread the word about the mission and the community JGT has created. It’s perfect for people looking to do their first race (but don’t know where to start) or those wanting to get back into racing. Triathlon is a way of life for me. Connect with her on Instagram.

Thanks to our 2019 Jack’s Generic Tri Ambassadors for spreading the love of triathlon with others and helping grow our JGT family.

Transition Details – What You Should Know for a Smooth Race Day

Knowing transition details will make for a smooth race day

The best way to ensure a successful and generic Jack’s Generic Tri is to be prepared. Here are some transition details that will help guarantee a smooth experience the morning of August 25th. Jack’s Generic Tri is located at Walter E Long Park in the beautiful city of Austin, Texas. Transition opens bright and early at 5:30 a.m. and closes at 7:00. Don’t forget to grab your goggles and head to the water before the race begins at 7:30.

Body marking

Volunteers will body mark the participant before they enter transition. Body markings are written in marker on arms and legs to identify the participant with their bib number and age.  Arms and quads get marked with the participant’s race number and the right calve gets the age of the participant.  Relays get an “R” for relay in place of age.

Triathletes should have bib information and age (age on Dec. 31st of race year) ready for the volunteer to make the process go faster for everyone.

Bib Numbers

Have bib numbers and wristband ready. Put the bike sticker on the seat post of your bike before you get to transition on race morning.  Put the helmet sticker number on the front of your helmet. You will also need to wear your wristband in order to get into transition.

Racks

Transition will have racks assigned to each age group. It is open racking within your age group. You must be body marked and wearing your athlete wristband before you enter transition. Only participants are allowed in. Friends and family (including children) must wait outside of transition.

City Limit Cycles will be available outside of transition for any last-minute needs. They’ll have bike pumps for airing up your tires. Once transition closes, you will not be allowed back in. Make sure and arrive early.

Pro tip: Remember where your bike is by keeping track of which rack your bike belongs on. This will be predetermined according to age. (?)

There will be designated racks for the participant to put their bike on. It is very beneficial to become familiar with the flow of transition. This means after the swim,  should know where they will be entering transition and where they will be heading out on the bike.  After the bike, they should know where they will exit for the run.

Relay corral

Relay team members will rack together. Team members will wait in the relay pen near the rack. Their team member will return their items to the rack and then meet the next team member in the pen to exchange the chip.

Bike check out

Bikes will not be allowed out of transition until the final cyclist has completed the bike course. It is expected that this will be around 11:00 a.m. Participants will be allowed back into transition after they finish, but bikes may not be removed from the racks.

Location

Know where transition is located by checking out this map on our website!

Ascension Seton Named Official Medical Provider

As Official Medical Provider, Ascension Seton to focus on participant well-being

High Five Events announces Ascension Seton as the Official Medical Provider of the 17th annual Jack’s Generic Triathlon. Ascension Seton and their experienced team will have an on-course presence throughout the event. They will have a tent near the finish line. Jack’s Generic Tri will take place on Sunday, August 25th, at Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park in Austin.

“Ascension Seton is proud to support Jack’s Generic Triathlon as the Official Medical Provider,” said Adam Bauman, vice president, orthopedics & sports performance, Ascension Seton. “We are excited to expand our partnership to include not only our running community, but also our cyclists and swimmers in this great race.”

As the Official Medical Provider, Ascension Seton doctors and nurses will work together with Travis County EMS to focus on participant’s well-being. Ascension Seton is part of the largest nonprofit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system. They’ve expanded their Austin footprint, partnering with the Austin Marathon and Austin Bold FC.

“One of Jack’s Generic Tri’s main focuses is the participant, from their overall experience to their safety,” said Jack Murray, co-owner of High Five Events. “Our growing partnership with Ascension Seton ensures the well-being of our participants continues to be the highest of priorities.”

17th annual Jack’s Generic Tri

Jack’s Generic Triathlon will begin at 7:30 a.m. It will feature a 600m swim, 11.2-mile bike ride, and a 5K. The aquabike will consist of a 600m swim and 11.2-mile bike ride. Relay teams of two or three can complete all three disciplines. Jack’s Generic Tri was created 17 years ago with the participant in mind and is well-known as one of the more participant-friendly triathlons. Registration is open for Jack’s Generic Triathlon. Volunteer positions are available as well.

Each participant receives a commemorative 17th Anniversary shirt, water bottle, and swim cap. They will earn a finisher’s medal, post-race food and beer, and the signature swag toss. Professional timing, a wonderful volunteer crew, hundreds of supportive spectators, and an electric finish line festival will ensure the 17th Anniversary of Jack’s Generic Triathlon is one to remember.

Bike Tune-Up Advice

Extend the life of your bike with this bike tune-up advice

When does my bicycle need a tune-up? This is a common question. The answer is not cut and dried. Every bicycle is in a state of getting out of tune due to riding, transporting, and/or storing it. All these things wear on your bike in a way that will make the ride less than perfect. This bike tune-up advice below will keep you and your bike happy!

There are a handful of cyclists with mechanical skills that allow them to work on their bikes before and after every ride. For most cyclists, that is not the case. On average, tune-ups are only scheduled once a year. Other cyclists will wait until the bike needs work beyond the standard tune-up. This can lead to more costly repairs involving component replacement.

To be blunt, anyone who truly cares about having a smooth running bicycle should learn some basic bicycle maintenance. This can include derailleur adjustments, eliminating squeaks, and wheel truing.

Bike tune-up frequency

In general, if someone is okay at derailleur adjustments and wheel truing, they can get one professional tune-up per year. This could include a new chain, tires, and handlebar tape. If you service your bike frequently, you will increase the life expectancy of your components. You will be happier and more comfortable with one bike for a longer amount of time.

There are several factors that may cause your bike to need extra attention each year. The first is numerous race wheel swap outs. The second is transporting the bike on a regular basis. The third is racing your bike. Please know that it is okay to swap wheels, travel, and race. But you should also know that there are some issues associated with each.

If you want a very smooth ride without working on the bike yourself, you should schedule tune-ups more frequently. This could be as many as three times per year if you are a high-mileage cyclist.

If you take care of your bike, it will take care of you. If you don’t take care of your bike, call James Balentine with City Limit Cycles!

What’s That Noise?! How to Fix a Squeaky Bike

Fix your squeaky bike with these quick steps

You manage to get ready, on your bike, and ready to zen out for some miles when all of a sudden you hear it – squeak… squeak… squeak… AND IT IS SUPER ANNOYING!

Many of us have been annoyed by having a squeaky bike from time to time. The question is, what is it and how do we stop it? There are a few things we can re-tighten and re-grease that make a world of a difference.

sprint triathlon - jacks generic triathlon - austin texas- stop squeaking bike

Jack’s Generic Tri 2016

First, check your pedals. They do come loose and will make a creaking noise. You should re-tighten and re-grease your pedals periodically, especially if you travel or ride in the rain. Using a bike specific pedal wrench will make it easy to get enough leverage to tighten the pedals properly.

Second, check your shoes and cleats. They may need to be lubed and tightened. Loose cleats can not only lead to annoying squeaks but can also be the cause of pain while riding. Speedplays are notorious for having noisy and “sticky” cleats and pedals when they are not lubed properly.

Third, your brakes and wheel alignment. Check both your front and back brake to make sure they are centered. Realign the brakes by pushing them with your hand. If you find your wheel leaning to one side, simply release the quick release lever and let the wheel center itself.

Forth, your chain. Rub your fingers along your bike chain. You should have a light amount of chain lube come off on your fingers. While it may have some color to it, it should not be gritty or thick. If it is, it’s time for a bath or possibly a new chain. If it is dry, be sure to get some chain specific lube on it.

Fifth, your saddle. Check the railing on your seat. If your seat is broken or the railings are loose they will move each time you pedal. If this is the source of your squeaky bike, then don’t keep riding. A loose or broken seat can be dangerous.

Last but not least, check the bolts on your crank arms and cranks. They do come loose and need re-tightening and re-lubing from time to time. If you are uncomfortable with tightening any of these, just stop in your local bike shop. The mechanics are happy to help with a quick safety/squeak check.

Bike transportation is a big culprit when it comes to stuff getting knocked loose. Take your time when loading and unloading your bike. It is also a good idea to do a pre-ride safety check each time you ride. Also, lube is your bike’s friend and it’s not a bad idea to add it to your saddle bag.

Now you can stop the squeaking and enjoy your noise-free ride.

Two Reasons for Skipping Chains

Learn what causes skipping chains and what you can do about it

There are two main causes for skipping chains. The most common cause is the misalignment of the rear cogs and the chain itself. The second most common cause of skipping chains is wearing on the chain, cassette, and/or the chainrings. Read below to see what causes each and how you can prevent chain skipping and extend the life of your bike.

There are several things that can cause the misalignment of the rear cogs and the chain.

  • Improper cable tension. When the tension is incorrect the chain does not sit inline with the corresponding cassette cog and it is trying to jump to the next cog.
  • Dirty cable. The dirt prevents the cable from moving like it needs to.
  • Slightly bent hanger for the rear derailleur. Can affect the alignment.

Learn what you can do about skipping chains on your bike.Skipping chains will wear on the chain, cassette, and/or the chainrings. The chain is the most likely to wear out first since it is made entirely of small, moving parts. Those parts tend to wear out faster when they are dirty or ridden dry. Chains on most modern drivetrains usually last anywhere from 1500 to 2000 miles. This can change depending on your riding style and how well you maintain your bike. If you keep your drivetrain clean and you tend to spin at a slightly higher cadence then you will get more mileage out of your chain. Follow these six steps to clean your drivetrain.

When the chain wears, it no longer sits evenly on the cassette cogs and chainrings. As this goes on the chain will eventually start to jump since the chain wears much faster than the cassette and chainrings. If you let your chain go too long it will start to wear down the teeth of the cassette first and then the chainrings. If the chain is replaced before it is too worn the cassette and chainrings will outlast the chain many times over. You’d much rather want to replace your chain than the cassette and chainrings.

Use this bike tool to measure chain wear at home. You can also call James Balentine at City Limit Cycles. He can measure it for you and make any necessary adjustments and/or fixes.

Pre-Ride Safety Inspection

Use the 8 tips below when conducting your pre-ride safety inspection

Before each ride, perform a safety check of your bicycle. This pre-ride safety inspection should take a minute or two. Click To Tweet

This pre-ride safety inspection will help prevent avoidable accidents and keep you spinning happily!

  • Check your tires for proper inflation (marked on the side of the tire)
  • Check the tire treads for excessive wear or other damage, such as embedded glass or other objects
  • Check the brakes; spin the wheels to check for rubbing and apply the brakes to ensure they stop the bike smoothly and evenly
  • Check the brake pads for excessive wear
  • Check the cables and housing to make sure there is no fraying or splitting
  • Check the wheel quick release levers to ensure they are secure
  • Check for any loose parts or other mechanical problems
  • Do a slow-speed ride and inspect bicycle, brakes, and shifting before you leave your driveway

Following this pre-ride safety inspection guideline will go a long way to enjoying your bike rides. It’s easier to remain motivated in the offseason when your bike is in great shape. It will often help you prevent unexpected incidents or a long walk home.

16th Annual Jack’s Generic Triathlon Memorable

1,000+ people showed up to celebrate 16th annual JGT, including a 2x Olympic gold medalist

On Sunday, August 26th, nearly 700 triathletes participated in the 16th Annual Jack’s Generic Triathlon (JGT) at Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park in northeast Austin. Spectators came from around Central Texas to cheer on friends and loved ones. The Drunk Athlete Podcast Relay Team featuring Ricky Berens, 2x Olympic gold medalist, Andrew Willis, national champion ultra cyclist, and Cate Barrett, 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials hopeful, lived up to the hype with a scorching time of 56:11.16th annual Jack's Generic Tri featured a unicorn!

“This was fun, even better because I didn’t have to bike or run!” said Berens, who finished the 600m open water swim in a blazing seven minutes and 58 seconds. “Thanks to High Five Events for a great event and to the Drunk Athlete Podcast for assembling an awesome relay team with Andrew and Cate.”

Peter Murray took the overall victory with the time of 57:15. Second and third place overall featured a sprint to the finish. Pablo Gomez (58:27) narrowly edged out Adrian Cameron (58:28). Haley Koop (1:06:14) was the first female to cross the finish line . Second place finisher Brandi Swicegood (1:08:51) and third place finisher Brandi Ruthven (1:10:51) rounded out the women’s field. All participants cooled off from the Texas heat underneath a 6-foot tall inflatable unicorn that sprayed water.

“As always, JGT was a great race and the 16th anniversary was well-organized by High Five Events,” said Gomez. “I look forward to this race every year because of the excitement, energy, and competition. I especially loved the Sweet 16 cake!”

16th annual JGT can now legally drive

Participants received commemorative 16th annual shirts, water bottles, ROKA swim caps, beer, finisher’s medal, post-race food, Sweet 16 cake, and the signature swag toss. Professional timing, a wonderful volunteer crew, hundreds of supportive spectators, and an electric finish line festival made the 16th annual of Jack’s Generic Triathlon one to remember. Jack’s Generic Tri was created with the participant in mind and is well-known as one of the more participant-friendly triathlons.

Jack’s Generic Tri would like to thank all of the volunteers for coming out because they made yesterday’s event memorable. Their willingness to arrive extra early, lend their time and energy, and cheer on every participant truly made the 16th anniversary unforgettable. JGT would also like to thank sponsors City of Austin, Travis County EMS, Austin Police Department, Travis County Sheriff’s Department, City Limit Cycles, Medicine in Motion, Clif Bar, nuun hydration, RunLab Austin, Dynamic Sports Medicine, Oskar Blues Austin, and Ben Phillips, Real Estate Advisor for Engel and Volkers Austin. Jack’s Generic Triathlon participants can see their times here.

Jack’s Generic Triathlon Celebrates Sweet 16 this Sunday

Sweet 16 to feature super relay team consisting of an Olympic gold medalist, ultra cycling champion, Olympic Marathon Trials hopeful

The 2018 triathlon season continues with Jack’s Generic Triathlon’s Sweet 16. The event will take place this Sunday, August 26th, at Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park in northwest Austin. More than 800 participants will participate in the 16th edition of this beloved Central Texas race, including Ricky Berens, 2x Olympic gold medalist, former University of Texas swimmer, and world record holder in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay.

Andrew Willis is the bike leg for JGT's Sweet 16.

Andrew Willis is the bike leg for JGT’s Sweet 16. Image credit – Joni Tooke

“I’m very excited to be competing, honestly pretty nervous!” said Berens, swim member of Drunk Athlete Relay Team. “This will be my first time ‘competing’ in five years and in a much different environment. I have swum in open water before, but never in an actual race. I’m just going to do my best to not let my teammates down and see how fast I can go!”

Berens’ Drunk Athlete teammates for JGT’s sweet 16 include: Andrew Willis, owner of Holland Racing, national champion ultra cyclist, 2018 24 hours in the Canyon champion (pedaled 448 miles at the World Ultra Cycling Association’s National Championship), and Cate Barrett, former Baylor University runner, current coach and runner for Rogue Running, 2017 Orange Leaf Half Marathon female champion (1:25:18), training for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials. All athletes have been featured on the Austin-based Drunk Athlete podcast.

Sweet 16

Jack’s Generic Triathlon’s sweet 16 will begin at 7:30 a.m. The new distance for Jack’s Generic Tri, which was first held in 2003, will feature a 600m swim, 11.2-mile bike ride, and a 5K. The aquabike will consist of a 600m swim and 11.2-mile bike ride. Relay teams of two or three can complete all three disciplines. The venue move from Lake Pflugerville, just north of Austin, will mark the first venue change for Jack’s Generic Tri in five years.

Cate Barrett is the run leg for JGT's Sweet 16.

Cate Barrett is the run leg for JGT’s Sweet 16.

Participants will receive commemorative 16th Anniversary shirts, water bottles, and ROKA swim caps. They’ll also receive post-race food, beer, finisher’s medal, and the signature swag toss. Professional timing, a wonderful volunteer crew, hundreds of supportive spectators, and an electric finish line festival will ensure the 16th Anniversary of Jack’s Generic Triathlon is one to remember.

Jack’s Generic Tri was created 16 years ago with the participant in mind and is well-known as one of the more participant-friendly triathlons. Registration is still open for Jack’s Generic Triathlon. Volunteer positions are available as well. Packet pickup will take place at Mellow Johnny’s.

Pros and Cons of Bike Frame Materials

Bike frame materials breakdown

If you’re in the market for a new bike, you might be overwhelmed with the different types of bike frame materials from which you can choose. Be prepared; know the type of bike you want and what you want it to do. When researching online or speaking with a dealer you need to be prepared with as much knowledge as possible. Comfort, weight, corrosion, and repairability are major factors to consider when searching for your next bike. Read our list of pros and cons for different bike frame materials. This will come in handy when purchasing your first bike or upgrading from your current ride!

STEEL

Pros:
•  comfortable
•  absorbs shock
•  durable
•  repairable
•  “skinny tubes” = classic looking
•  can be almost as light as titanium

Cons:
•  heavier than aluminum
•  rusts if not maintained
•  “skinny tubes” = old school

ALUMINUM

Pros:
•  can be very lightweight
•  new aluminum is more comfortable
•  does not rust, resists corrosion
•  stiff for good energy transfer

Cons:
•  the low end has a harsher ride than steel
•  not as repairable as steel

CARBON FIBER

Pros:
•  very comfortable
•  stiff for good energy transfer
•  does not rust
•  “cool factor” and aero
Cons:
•  can be expensive
•  hard to repair

TITANIUM

Pros:
•  comfortable, similar to steel
•  does not rust or corrode
•  lightweight
•  durable
Cons:
•  usually more expensive
•  difficult to repair due to the strength of the material