Saturday, September 30, 2006

Doing things I haven't done in a while.

Had an awesome time at the Hudson Cyclocross today. It was only my 2nd cyclocross race, my first one since 1999. Jordan had fun in the C race. He didn't seem too excited at first, but he ended up loving it. I joined "inPainman", Skibby, and Goblirsh in the "A" race, all of us racing the 35+ category. inPainman and I decided to start easy, and ramp it up slowly. I was dead last over the first barriers, that is until the guy in front of fell into them. I knew these races are usually attrition, and it did not dissappoint. After a couple laps, the pecking order set in, and there I was, all alone. I got lapped by Aric and Bjorn 2 times, and once by several other riders. It didn't bother me, because I rode hard, and had fun. inPainman and Skibby felt the pain just like me. Goblirsh had an awesome race and finished near the front.

Skibby claimed his coveted last place, if you don't count the people that bagged on the race. I'm personally proud of my teammate. My opinion on this is, you are not last if people quit, unless they quit because of a mechanical or injury. I don't think quitting because you aren't doing well is a good excuse. Be tenacious and mentally tough, always finish if you can. Greg Lemond gained a lot of respect from the public when he finished the 1991 tour, even though he wasn't going to be on the podium.

After the races, I talked inPainman, Skibby and his girlfriend, and Linda into joining us for a boat ride on the river. We had a great time. inPainman even drove while I waterskiied, and then wakeboarded. The water wasn't even that cold.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

There's still time

Weather finally looks decent this weekend. I still haven't wakeboarded yet this year. May need the wetsuit, but I'm going to try to get a run in this weekend. However, first priority is the Hudson Cyclocross Race on Saturday. Jordan's racing too.

Got a great ride in tonight with Treb. Prior to last year, I pretty much stopped riding all together in September-December (When I would typically balloon up to about 240 lbs). Last year, I didn't stop riding during that period (and the weight stayed off). This year's training log mileage has finally caught up with my record pace of last year. Now I'm on pace the better that mark this year. Think I ain't?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Loop Part Deux

I would have like to join the team for the Stone Arch ride, but Treb and I wanted to do the loop again tonight. We got started earlier than last week in the hopes of beating nightfall and the rain. Treb got a flat leaving his neighborhood. It was a sign of things to come.

We decided to battle the wind first, and head south. Later, we would find that to be a critical decision. Awesome ride through Prescott, and headed towards River Falls. We came upon a closed road with a bridge out. No I-beam to balance across this time, just walked around through the field.

We could see the storm cells forming to the north, and we started to question the decision of going south first instead of east.

As we approached Hudson, we could see we were right on the edge of the storm front. Tons of lightning. It was actually moving away from us. The roads were wet, but it wasn't raining anymore. We started thinking we got lucky. Not quite. After we crossed back into MN, another cell nailed us. Driving wind and stinging hard rain. It lasted about 5 minutes. As we continued west, we could see new cells developing to the south. They were even more severe. Luckily, they stayed south, and we got back to Treb's without incident. However, if we would have done the route in reverse, we would have had to come through those severe storms. Probably would have been a phone call.

I wonder if the guys on the Stone Arch ride avoided the storms?

Monday, September 25, 2006

McLeod Road Race - Circa 2001

Way back when Treb raced, and the Donimator was a Cat 2. Woller was up the road in an 8 man break. I believe Bergman won that year.

Treb and I are taking advantage of the weather Tuesday evening, and doing the "Loop" again. Sound's like the guys are meeting for the Stone Arch ride too. Have fun guys.

Headwaters 100 Results and Photo Links

Click here for the Headwaters 100 Race Results.
Click here for photos of the event.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

A true epic

It was long, it was cold, it was windy, and it was wet. This year's Headwaters 100 had all the ingredients for an "epic".

Not sure how many starters, but I'd guess around 60. We were the only Tandem. No real big guns like last year. Bob Mairs and Steve Hunter were probably the most notable. A ton of Loons and AUC racers in the crowd. Skibby got lost and just made it in time to start.

Casual roll-out. Nothing of note for the first 10 miles or so. Anytime one of the GP guys would attempt to get away, one of the Loons, typically Skibby, or and AUC guy would bring it back. There were 2 Cat6 riders that were also active, as well as Rich Settergren from Duluth. After about 20 miles, Mairs and a Cat6 rider get a small gap. I'm close enough to the front to mount a chase, so I scoot through a gap, which big Joe Hamlin almost closed on me (Thankfully, Joe let me through). I work together with Skibby to get the 2 close, but then I notice Mairs look back, and instead of sitting up, like any normal rider would, he puts his head down and gasses it. Most of the field must have thought we were back together, because I gassed it too, and pretty soon it was just me and Tim Sproul crossing the gap.

Tim and I catch the leading 2, and the field looks to be playing it cool. With representation from all the major teams in the field, there is no one left to chase. I sit on the back, telling the guys it probably is not fair if I work, since I'm probably not going to be contesting for the win anyway. Mairs is doing most of the work, with the Cat6 guy and Tim taking shorter pulls. Suddenly, Tim pulls out, and goes back to the field. Too much too early for him. I foolishly stay.

I stay with the leading 2 for about 10 miles, but every time the road goes up (no real hills mind you, just rollers), Jordan and I struggle to stay with. Eventually, we give up, and look back to see a chase group of 3 coming across. I tell Jordan we will regroup, let them catch, and the follow. The 3 include Hunter, Rich S., and LSC's Bernie K. They pull Jordan and I back up to the leading 2. Now there are 5 plus us on the tandem. Once again, everytime we go up, Jordan and I drift back. At about mile 55, I'm on the rivet again trying to close the gap, and Jordan asks to take a nature break. I was worried about this happening, but strangely, I was greatful. We stopped, and I took the opportunity to adjust my brakes. The rear brake stopped working just after the start of the race, and my front brake was almost gone too. By the end of the race, both sets of pads were toast.

I explain to Jordan that we will roll at an easy pace, let the pack catch us, and then pick it back up. Before we stopped, we knew the field was about 3 minutes back. Unfortunately, we were left alone on a cross wind section. Even though we were attempting to re-fuel and rest, it was still tough. The field caught us at mile 65. As soon as the field caught us, my team started riding hard again, since they knew the break was probably away for good, securing Bernie's high finish. This is just enough to pop Skibby and I off the back. We chase back on several times, but at about mile 80, we we're both cooked, and off the back.

We rolled along together, and joined up with Hemstead's son Eric. Jordan and I were doing our best to ride a steady tempo on the front, and it turned out to be too much for Skibby and Eric. We ended up riding the last 10 miles alone. On top of that, Jordan asked for another nature break with about 5 miles to go. I made him wait that time. Nice Dad, eh?

Up front, the 5 became 4 after they dropped the Cat6 guy. Later Mairs and Hunter left the other 2. Here was the finish order:
1. Mairs
2. Hunter
3. Rich S. (the 2 50+'ers schooled this 18 year old, wow!)
4. Bernie K.

It was Jordan's first Century, even if it was on a Tandem. He tells me next year, he's solo.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Headwaters forecast looks soggy.

Headed up north after work later today. The weather looks about the same as last year. Fully commited to the race at this point. I've been telling Jordan all week to be prepared for a cold, wet ride. At least he won't have to deal with tire spray, since I'll be eating most of it in front of him on the tandem. Strangely, I'm looking forward to it. Maybe because a ton of Loon teammates will be there to share in the experience.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Mystery rider on epic ride

Who is this guy? Looks familiar, but just can't remember who he is?

That's right. Treb's back. How much is he back? Enough to be talked into riding in the dark.

It was just too nice of a night to resist doing what Treb and I affectionately call the "Loop". The Loop is crossing the St. Croix River in Hudson, riding south, crossing back in Prescott, and then riding north. We love the route because it requires a full commitment. No options to cut it short, because no matter what, you can only cross the river in Hudson or Prescott, which are about 20 miles apart as the crow flys. Tonight, we didn't go as far east as River Falls, but we did go through Woodbury. This put the loop at 60+ miles. We started riding at 5:30PM, so it got pretty dark by the end.

Missed out on the Boom Island Cyclocross training, but it was great to get a long road ride in with Treb. Hope Painman will forgive me.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Fill `er up

I stopped at my usual Super America to fill up on gas this morning. The sign showed $2.15/gal, which is as cheap as I can remember for some time. After filling up, I noticed the attendant had already changed the sign to $2.35/gal! It wasn't even an electronic sign, he had to change it manually. I'm just glad I don't drive a Hummer.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Battling the Fall Demons

They always come out in the Fall. This year is no exception. Got home from work tonight, and had an open window to go for a ride. Right away, the inner demons start their demotivational banter. "It's cold." "It looks like rain." "You rode yesterday." "You can ride tomorrow." Daylight is going away so fast this time of year, and I know I need to keep riding. I need to stay in shape for cyclocross, and keep the weight down this winter so I can ride domestique for a certain Loon teammate next year.

I reluctantly ignore the demons and decide to ride. The first bad sign was under-dressing. I had to go back in and add a layer on the top and bottom. Finally, I get going, with the intention of doing my normal 30 mile loop. Did I mention the wind? It's a strong one out of the West, which for me is the worst (crosswind, since I ride primarily North/South routes). About 5 miles in, the drizzle starts. Nothing hard, but enough to get me wet. But now I'm committed. I decide to alter the route by adding on a few miles (Demons be damned!). Now I'm going to be battling with daylight too!

The rain was spotty, and my roads were quiet as usual. I actually enjoyed the ride, and got some thinking done. Got home by dusk. I guess I need to start riding with lights soon. Do I look satisfied in the picture?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Annual Lake Pepin Ride

Went down to Red Wing this morning for a ride around Lake Pepin. I've done it each fall for the past few years, usually with my neighbor. Last year, Jordan and I rode it on the Tandem with a organized TCBC ride. There were a few loons there too. Pete S. nearly bought it on the way back after hitting some debris in the road and crossing oncoming traffic to come to a stop in the ditch on the opposite side of the road. He didn't actually fall, but he did set his bike down to have a seat and finish watching his life flash by.

This year it was just my neighbor, and Jordan and I on the Tandem. Strong NW wind meant a fast ride down on the WI side, and a tough headwind on the way back in MN. It was overcast at the start, but the sun came out in Wabasha. We ate at the Eagles Nest in Wabasha, very biker friendly. Fought the wind all the way back, with the bluffs giving us shelter some of the time. It's a great ride, especially on the WI side (small towns, less traffic, beautiful bluffs, more varied terrain, and good view of the lake). 75 miles in 4:15. We're ready for Headwaters next Saturday. Looks to be a pretty big crew from LSC going. Hope to see you there.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

My First Cross Clinic

Boom Island was great last night. Perfect weather (for a roadie, anyway). I was amazed to see how many people showed up. There must have been 50+ people there. I had no idea cross was so popular. I spent most of the night riding with "InPain-man" as he now refers to himself. A few guys ribbed me about riding a MTB, but it's what I've got. I only saw a couple other guys on MTB's, otherwise all were on cross bikes. Last night's lesson was re-mounting you bike, learning to avoid the infamous studder step, and scary looking superman technique.

The Mock Race was fun. InPainman and I started slow, and ramped it up. It's definitely more painful that road riding. You feel fast when jumping the barriers and in the tight corners, but I felt bogged down whenever the course opened up. I just couldn't get the bike rolling. I felt comfortable jumping the barriers, but the run-up killed me (it was soft dirt that sucked me in like a vaccuum). The constant speeding-up and slowing-down was also hard on me. I'm a ride fast and steady kind of guy. I awoke this morning to discover there are a few muscles in my body that need some work, I assume mostly from the running and jumping.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I'm Cross with Painman

That's right, I'm cross this year. Cyclocross that is. Only done it once. The pic is from the Afton Cyclocross back in 1999. Painman and I talked each other into doing a few this year, mainly just for fun, and to stay motivated. We're kicking it off at training session tonight at Boom Island. Come join the party.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Headwaters 100

I Planning on heading up for the Headwaters 100 on Sept 23rd. Jordan and I are going to do the 100 mile race on the Tandem. There were quite a few loons racing last year. Come join us.
Click here for info.
Click here for the registration form.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

WISPORT Finale - Cleghorn RR Recap

Cleghorn is a new race on the WISPORT calendar this year. The cold, wet weather kept many away, only 72 starters. It was only 50deg at the start, and drizzling. The race was to be 2 laps of a 22 mile hilly course on the quiet country roads south of Eau Claire, WI.

It stopped raining after about the first 5 miles. Jordan was feeling the TT from yesterday, and started struggling about half way through the first lap. I knew it was going to be a long day for him, especially with the opportunity to quit after 1 lap. He toughed it out and continued on through the start/finish for the 2nd lap. Then I asked "Are you going to be OK?". He responded with an emphatic "No!". Yikes. I had him slow and drink a whole bottle of gatorade. That helped, but he was definitely suffering the rest of the race. He finished the 44 miles in just under 2.5 hours, for an average speed of 17.9mph. What tenacity! There was only 1 other Junior < 14 racing, and he quit after the 1st lap, so Jordan took 1st in his age class. Click here for the results.

At the front of the race, Mark Brone won in a photo finish against his breakaway partner Lance Niles. Nice race guys.

Today's first place moves Jordan into 1st place for the overall WISPORT road race series for Juniors < 14. He also won the WISPORT TT series for Juniors < 14. Last, but not least, he and I won the WISPORT Tandem TT series. He's had a lot of fun racing, and I sure am proud of him.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

2006 ROY Series Finale - Henderson

That's a wrap. Henderson TT marks the official end of the MCF road season. Jordan rode very well. He averaged 19.4mph for the 15 mile course, and finished 2nd in the Juniors < 15. There was a brisk cross-headwind on the way out.

Here is the podium for the Masters 35+ at Henderson:
1st - JimmerC
2nd - Charles J.
3rd - Greg G. (This placing was key to Greg finishing 2nd in the ROY, see below)

The event also marks the last in the MCF Rider of the Year Series. Jordan ended up 3rd in the Juniors 14 & under category. Way to go! Dave L. finished a strong 2nd in the Masters 50+ category. Great season Dave!

I'm proud to say I ended up 1st in the Masters 35+ category. The last few years, I've always wanted to win the series, but could never put together a full enough season. Thanks to my family for putting up with all the racing this season.

New member Greg G. ended up tied for 2nd place with Mark M. in the Masters 35+ ROY category. They both had 1 - 1st place, 2 - 3rd places, and 1 - 4th place. It came down the the 5th score where Greg had a 5th, and Mlinar a 6th. Wow! Greg wins a tight contest. Congratulations!

2006 MCF ROY Juniors 14 & Under
3rd - Jordan

2006 MCF ROY Masters 50+
2nd - Dave L.

2006 MCF ROY Masters 35+
1st - JimmerC
2nd - Greg G.

One more thing of note, the Cat 1/2 category came down to a difference of 4 points. Dang!
2006 MCF ROY Cat 1/2
1st - Doug S.
2nd - Aric H.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Former Trackies

This is a picture of Ron R. and myself on the podium for the 2000 Master's District 3000m Pursuit. Don't see either one of us racing fixed gear up at the track anymore. Ron Raymond quit road racing in 2003, and only races MTB now. I haven't raced a fixed gear since 2001. I've made a couple of appearances this year for the TT's on my road bike. Sorry, that's it. I sold my track bike, and promised my wife I'm done at the track. Most think it's because of my faceplant crash at 2001 natz, but it's actually a time thing. I raced 40 days this summer between TT's, road races, and crits. My schedule just won't support anymore racing.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Going longer.

I've been wanting these cranks since they came out 3 years ago. The current crank arms on my TT bike are 172.5mm. After lots of discussion with the powerhouses on the TT circuit, I've decided to go longer, and upgrade from my old DA 9spd cranks. I remember riding with Matt Gates in 2004, who was riding the new DA cranks, and he stated "Having these cranks on your bike is like cheating, they're so stiff." Too bad there's only one TT left to test them out.

How close is too close?

So I was talking to Jordan yesterday, and he tells me he rubbed my tire during the Cameron race 4 times (yes, he actually counted). Cripes! He's already went down once, crossing wheels with me, during training (he was fine). He knows he has a good chance of going down. I'm proud of how aggressive he is riding, but man, I don't want to see him get hurt. I can't imagine how mad Carla would be at me if he crashed because he hit my wheel.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Cameron Recap

It was raining this morning when I left Hudson, but I could see clear skies to the east. Sure enough, we had perfect weather for the race. There was a slightly lower turnout (around 85) compared to the 110+ who raced at Shell Lake. Some new faces at WISPORT, super-rookie & Tuffy. The other usual suspects included Gordy Paulson, Dave Pramann, Mark Brone, Dan Casper, and a bunch of young speedsters with the Baraboo Sharks.

I rode with Jordan again, and had a great time. We started a little too fast, until Jordan spoke up and told me to slow down. We were still on the back of the pack, and I was getting sucked in. We settled into a pace and eventually joined forces with a couple other riders. I was doing my best to manage the pace so Jordan wouldn't bonk on this very hilly 43 mile course. He did an excellent job, especially with all the corners. We finished in 2:15, which was an average speed of 19.9mph! I couldn't believe it. Jordan was 2nd again in the 13&under age class, getting beat by the same 13 year old kid as at Shell Lake (who finished with the front group in each race, wow!).

For the overall, Matt Brandt (all of 18 years old) broke away with 15 miles to go, and Mark Brone joined him. Matt ended up winning with Brone 2nd. Checkout for the race results.

Oh, and just to cap off the day, I managed to get a speeding ticket just as I was leaving Cameron. Hate to admit it, but I deserved it too. Let's just say I was on my best behavior the rest of the way home. Lesson learned.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Shell Lake Recap

The weather turned out great this morning, and we had a great race at Shell Lake. I decided to pace Jordan, who is 11, and I was amazed the speed he was able to maintain. We averaged 20.7mph for 28.5miles. That's faster than his best speed at Black Dog which is 1/4th the distance. I kept thinking there is no way he is going to be able to maintain this pace, but even in the hills, he fought through the pain, and did great. He finished 2nd in the 13&under boys. Click here for the results.

Just after the start we settled into a steady pace with a couple other riders. Over the course of the race, we kept catching others, and our group kept growing. By the time we reached the climbs, there must have been about 20 of us. We all suffered through the climbs, and less than 10 were left in the end. Everyone kept giving encouragement to Jordan, which was great. I've never seen a WISPORT race from that perspective, and I have to say, it was a lot of fun.

Pete H. won (big surprise), Donimator and company gave him an awesome leadout and left the field reeling in their wake. Looking forward to Cameron tomorrow.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Nice Forecast

Incredible weather all week long. Luckily I got out and rode each night because this holiday weekend looks like a big bust for weather. At least there won't be any pressure to use the boat. It's a sad day when bad weather means you get the nod to race.