Thursday, July 31, 2008

Jordan vs. Jimmer

2007 Average Time: 18:21
2008 Average Time: 16:31

2007 Average Time: 14:55
2008 Average Time: 14:50

1min,50secs vs. 5 secs improvement. He's closed to within 1min,41secs of me. The day is soon to come...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Another HOT night at the Dog

Timmer looks to be rested and ready for another run at his Firehouse 50 TT record on Saturday. He ran his fastest Black Dog time of the year, 14:16, followed closely by arch rival Dan Casper in 14:25. Should be a good battle between the 2 of them this weekend.

I suffered in the heat, but no ill effects from last weekends crash, so I'm also ready to take on the Firehouse 50 on the Tandem with stoker Linda Sone.

This week, I started 30 seconds behind Shishilla, so I was hoping for a fast time. I went out pretty hard, and had closed to within 15 seconds at the turnaround. That was all I had though, and he gained ground on the way back.

Carla and I had the perfect warm-up on the tandem tonight, only to have the chain drop to the little ring at the start. It took us several seconds of soft pedalling before we got it back into the big ring. We rode very well after that, but lost too much time to show a good result, I figure around 15-20secs. We still rode a respectable 16:41.

Fastest Times:
Timmer - 14:16
Casper - 14:25
Jimmer - 14:58
Kostik - 14:59
Shishilla - 15:05

Sunday, July 27, 2008

MN State Crit

Hanna wins the Cat 1/2's over Dan Swanson
Woller wins the Masters 35+ over Mike Phillips
Jordan, Carla, and I headed down to the Capitol today to watch the racing. I woke up feeling very, very sore, and opted out of racing today. It was fun to watch all the races, especially the one I normally compete in.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mellen - Jordan's Last WISPORT race

Jordan was having a great race today. He was with the front group of about 20 riders 7 miles from the finish of a 47 mile race. I was so proud. Then it happened. A rider touched wheels in front of Jordan, and down we went. Jordan had no chance, and I was unable to avoid it as well. I think about 8 guys went down. I popped right back up, and went to help Jordan. He said he though his wrist was broken, but I coaxed him back onto the bike, and we limped in to finish 16th and 17th overall. Serious tough guy points to Jordan.

The EMT's triaged him, and then we headed home to the Hudson ER. Sure enough, Jordan was right, his wrist is broken. They even had to sedate him to pull it back into alignment. As you can see from the picture, he managed to break his fall with his face. He has abrasions just about everywhere. Vicodin is his friend right now.

Carla and I felt so bad for him about not being able to race Nationals, but he wasn't too disappointed. He said "There's always next year." What a great attitude. We're so proud. We're still going to California anyway. Now we have more time to spend at Disneyland and Hollywood. We'll still watch some of the locals race too.

As far as my injuries, mostly my pride. I flopped on my back, and my bum took most of the impact. I only wish I could have swapped places with Jordan.

Friday, July 25, 2008

SAQ & Countdown to Junior Nationals

Maren has been attending SAQ (Speed, Agility, and Quickness) training and running regularly this summer in preparation for Cross-country this fall. Great to see her working hard now so she can reap the benefits later. Can't wait to see her compete.

T-minus 12 days to Junior Nationals in Anaheim, CA. Jordan has begun his taper, and looks to achieve his 2nd peak of the season just in time. Wish him luck. His personal goal for nationals is to finish in the top 10, and more importantly, to have fun.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Congrats 2008 MCF Rider of the Year Winners

Not official yet, but I'm pretty sure this is accurate. Congrats to all the winners. Still some excellent racing left too.

Men 1/2Tim MulrooneySynergy
Women 1/2Shana SturlaFlanders
Men 3James LockwoodBirchwood
Women 3Laura KruegerBirchwood
Men 4Ben SchinkeSilver Cycling
Women 4Patti KoehlerBirchwood
Master 35+ OpenJim CullenLoon State Cyclists
Masters 35+ 3/4Dan BerhowSilver Cycling
Masters 50+Dave HerbertSilver Cycling
Women 40+Sue SwiftAUC
Junior Men 15+Aaron ShawMNJRC
Junior Women 15+Dano BarrettMNJRC
Junior Men U15Jordan CullenLoon State Cyclists

Tour of Granite Country Juniors Recap

Only 7 showed up to race, 4 older, and 3 younger. Jordan won all 3 events and the overall omnium for the younger juniors. He got 3 cool medals and a trophy for his efforts.

Jordan had a great TT, almost catching Aaron Shaw for 1 minute. His time of 17:47 was fastest younger junior, and 2nd to Ben Hulbert in the juniors overall.

Jordan attacked early in the circuit race, but was chased down by a newcomer, Jim Wynia. Wynia towed Hulbert and Shaw up to Jordan, and then continued to pull the other 3 all the way to the finish. Jordan opened up the sprint, and both Hulbert and Shaw were able to come around him.

In the road race, Jordan attacked early again, but was eventually reeled back in. On Jordan's capture, Ben Hulbert attacked and got away solo for an easy win. Jordan and Aaron got away from Wynia and Levi on the climb. Coming into the rollers, Jordan had some gear trouble I jumped out of the car to assist, and he was quickly rolling again.

At this point, Jordan was stuck in his big ring, causing him to suffer a bit in the rollers. At one point, it looked like Wynia might make it up to them, but Jordan and Aaron were able to finally pull away. Jordan was able to win the sprint for 2nd over Aaron. Wynia came in 4th, Levi 5th.

Jordan's performances against all the Juniors:
TT - 2nd (1st younger)
Circuit Race - 3rd (1st younger)
Road Race - 2nd (1st younger)
Omnium - 2nd (1st younger)

McLovin Retires from Blogging

Just not his thing I guess. Besides, he's got his dad to keep him in the press.

Tour of Granite Country Masters 35+ 1/2/3 Recap

Excellent stage race this weekend. Lightly attended, as can usually be expected mid-July.

Here are the highlights from the Masters 35+ 1/2/3 field:
only 11 starters
7.1 mi TT - 65deg and rain
28 mi Circuit Race - Sunny and moderate wind
76 mi Road Race - Sunny and moderate wind

Time Trial:
Pouring rain
45 min start delay due to lack of starting list
Headwind out, Tailwind back. Lightly rolling terrain.
1. Bagley - 15:31
2. Jimmer - 15:35
3. Christenson - 15:50

Circuit Race:
Sun came out
5 laps on a 5.5mi circuit, time bonus sprints each lap
Bell and Muyers broke away last lap
3 yellow line penalties (Muyers, Bagley, Coyle)
1. Bell
2. Muyers
3. Jimmer

GC after Circuit Race:
1. Jimmer
2. Koeneman @13sec
3. Evanson @46sec

Road Race:
Sunny and HOT!
3 laps of a 26 mi course with some challenging hills.
Time bonuses at top of first climb and finish.
Snider attacks solo on first lap. Coyle joins soon after. No chase.
Evanson and Jimmer go for time bonuses at top of first climb, and try to bridge up.

End of 1st lap:
Coyle and Snide Leading
Evanson and Jimmer @ 1:30
Field @ 2:00

Evanson and Jimmer fail to bridge up, and are caught on backside of the course. Attacks ensue.
Grandstay uses their numbers well, and eventually Bell gets away and bridges to the lead 2.
The field essentially stops racing, and the lead 3 easily pull away for the top 3 spots on GC.
1. Coyle
2. Bell
3. Snider

Final GC:
1. Coyle
2. Bell @ 28sec
3. Snider @ 50sec

A huge congrats to Coyle and the GrandStay team for great team execution, and deserving results. Congrats to Bell on winning the circuit race.

The weekend went as well as I could expect given I was solo in a small field dominated by GrandStay and Silver Cycling. I had a good TT, getting aced by Bagley. The circuit race went well for me, scoring enough bonus seconds to take the lead.

I was certainly hoping for good luck, leading the GC prior to the road race, but I knew the odds were against me. I chose to mark Koeneman, and do my best to cover whatever else I could. It was an easy choice to let Snide go early, but when Coyle went, I knew I was in trouble. If I chase, there will be a counter attack, and then I'd really be in trouble. I chose to wait for the hill, and try to bridge up.

I attacked in the feedzone, and only Evanson was with me. We continued over the top in pursuit, but the field was giving chase close behind. The 2 of us worked together well, and made progress on the lead 2 initially, but their lead stabilized around 1:25. Evanson started to tire, and I wasn't feeling great either. We both knew it was curtains if the field caught us, but it was inevitable.

The field caught us in the rollers on the backside, and immediately the attacks started. Christenson and Koeneman were the primary animators, with Bagley, Muyers, and Bell taking shots too. At this point, I was forced to cover everything, and it really, really hurt. Bell eventually got away, and I tried to attack from behind to bridge up to him, only to be covered and counter attacked by Koeneman and Christenson. It was everything I had to cover that move.

As we finished the 2nd lap, I could see that Bell had bridged to the leading 2. My bottles were empty, I was out of food, and exhausted. I resigned to keep my eye on Koeneman, and race for 4th place. I had nothing left to go on the attack, and the couple times I did put in efforts, I was attacked and suffered to get on. Even sitting in, I struggled to cover Koeneman's attacks.

I was desperate for a bottle the final time up the climb, but Jordan had left the feed zone after the 1/2's came through. For a second, I thought my race was over. Then Koeneman graciously offers me a full spare bottle and saved me. What a sportsman.

Koeneman and Christenson attacked some more on the backside on the way to the finish, but each time, I dug deep and kept in contact. Coming into the finish, Christenson was on the front and I had Koeneman boxed in a bit on my left. I opened the sprint at about 200m, and was able to hold Koeneman off for 4th. The final 8 second time bonus was little consolation for a tough 3.5 hours in the saddle, knowing I had dropped from 1st to 4th on GC. Oh well. I did my best, and have no regrets.

Christenson continues to earn more and more of my respect. And what can I say about Koeneman? What a great competitor, just having returned from severe injury, and more so, what a great person. Congrats to everyone on a hard fought stage race, even if there were only 11 of us.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Tour of Granite County Day 1 Results

Sorry, slow hotel internet connection. Here is what I was able to upload.

Master's 35+ 1/2/3 Overall

Cat 1/2's

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Oh No You Don't Painman

This week at the Dog, for a change, Jordan was Painman's 30sec rabbit. Painman caught him at the turnaround, but then Jordan regrouped, and they rode side by side, trading the lead the rest of the way home, and finished together. Both ended up riding fast times in the muggy heat. Jordan tied his PR in 16:16, and Painman was just shy of his PR in 15:46. Nice ride boys. Jordan got some cool shwag from Hollywood for his birthday, and we all shared cookie cake.

I improved over 2 weeks ago, riding a 14:50, but I'm still searching for more. The heat was a bit too much for me on my second ride with Carla on the Tandem, and we rode our slowest time of the year, 16:37. Painman's wife Hollie did her 2nd Dog of the year. Crazy impressive, considering she gave birth in early May! Jake won the father/son battle this week, beating his dad Steve by 19 seconds.

Casper returned, after skipping the last Dog for Natz, and ripped a 14:29 for the win. Toftoy rode an unofficial 14:39 after a mechanical forced him to restart. Timmer rounded out the Podium in 14:45, one short day after another TT in hot conditions at Withrow.

Top Times:
Casper - 14:29
Toftoy - 14:39 (Unofficial)
Timmer - 14:45
Kloss - 14:47
Jimmer - 14:50
Shishilla - 15:03

Bday Party at the Dog

Jordan has been 13 for a whole 5 days now, but we still plan to celebrate at the Dog tonight.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Categories vs. Age

The debate rages on about too many categories. Everyone has their opinion, and generally they are self-serving. It boils down to what motivates the average cyclist. For most, it is performing well, or at least improving. There are very few cyclists who will continue to race frequently if they are usually dropped in races.

There is no question that field sizes are down this year, and it's not just due to overcategorization. There are economic factors at work too. It's easy to point at a small field from a particular race, and suggest combining or eliminating that field.

A cyclists performance is not simply a product of training. You also have to consider natural talent, mental toughness, and tactical ability. Koeneman is a perfect example. He was in the hospital 6 weeks ago with a collapsed lung, and he is already back to impactful racing with the 1,2's. Some riders can train as much as they want, but are unable to perform beyond the Cat 4 ranks.

Masters racing has been around forever, and is here to stay. The question is in what form. Get rid of the Masters 1,2? Where do you think they will race then? Same question for Masters 3,4 or even Masters 50+? Bottom line. Don't assume that if you eliminate a field, those riders will race up in category. They may downgrade, or even stop racing.

Here is a suggestion to limit races to 6 separate fields:
Cat 1/2/3 - Use for Cat 1/2 ROY
All Masters - Score current ROY categories separate
Cat 3/4 - Use for Cat 3 ROY
Cat 4/5 - Use for Cat 4 ROY
Women - Score current ROY categories separate
Juniors - Score current ROY categories separate

My hunch is that doing this would make for larger fields, but decrease overall participation in a race. It would also probably make it easier on the promoter and officials.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I pimped Jordan's Ride

No more breaking position to shift. It takes me about a half hour to switch between his drop bars. It's a bit of a pain, but how many 13 year olds do you know who have separate road and TT bikes?

Battling Crosswind at Stanley

Jordan and I opted for the Stanley TT on Sunday. The old course couldn't be used due to construction, so instead, we did an out-and-back 16.4mi course south of town. The course ran N-S, so the strong WNW wind made for a fast tail crosswind on the way out, and a very tough cross headwind on the way back. In case that wasn't enough, the course rolled quite a bit, with the low point at the turnaround.

I had a good ride of 38 flat, averaging 25.9mph. Unfortunately, it was only good for 4th. Ian Stanford beat out Lance Niles for the victory by 9 secs, in 36:20 (27.1mph ave). Mike Clapperich came in 3rd in 37:06. Both Jordan and Jake won their respective junior classes.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Sprinters Classic Road Race

The muggy heat from Friday disappeared, but in came the gale force winds. The course was advertised as flat, and I mostly agreed. There was just one section on the backside by the feed zone that stretched the legs a bit.

The short version:
3-man break on 3rd of 4 laps including Maxwell, Coyle, and myself. I won the sprint for 1st, followed by Maxwell, then Coyle. Bell won the field sprint.

Results Posted

The long version:
Only 12 showed up for the masters 35+. That happens this time of year, but we came to race, and that we did. 3 GSCA, 4 Silver, 2 GrandStay, 1 MCT, 1 Flanders, and myself.

The first lap was happy groupetto until Todd Heiser (Silver) jumped away. A bit later, Jim Bell bridged across, and still no one chased. There gap grew to over 2 minutes before GSCA decided to quickly close to within a minute (with help from Johnston and Evanson). On the 2nd lap, Heiser came back, leaving Bell all alone. This brought Muyers (Silver) to the front, and he and Maxwell brought Bell the rest of the way back just before the feed zone hill.

I had been sitting on Maxwell and Muyers, and as soon as Bell came back, Maxwell pressed the pace. I followed him up the feed zone hill, and looked back to see Coyle, and then a gap. I started working, and the three of us were off. Each of us gave it 100%, but the chasers kept us close. At first our lead stretched to over 30 secs, but then they closed to within 15 just before turning into the headwind.

The headwind turned out to be the chasers undoing, and we pulled away. The 3 of us stayed committed to the common cause all the way to the final turn into the tailwind with about 1.5K to the finish.

We went though the 1K to go sign 3 abreast. I did a false jump, and then Maxwell opened up his sprint. I jumped, but then my bike started making this terrible noise. It distracted me a little, and Maxwell got a couple bike lengths on Coyle, and a couple more on me.

I quickly figured out that my fork mounted sensor had gotten into my spokes, and was banging away. I simply ignored it and pursued Maxwell and Coyle. Within a few seconds, the sensor broke free and went sailing into the field. I was able to make it to Coyle's wheel, but he wasn't closing on Maxwell. At the 200m to go sign, I jumped around Coyle, and made it passed Maxwell for the win. I was exhausted and elated at the same time.

Jordan did 2 races. He raced the older juniors in the morning, and finished 2nd out of 4. Then he raced the younger juniors in the afternoon, and help set up his teammate Jake Mittelsteadt for the win, with Jordan taking 2nd. I got some bonus mileage following the younger juniors as coach.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


It wasn't originally in our plan, but we decided to do the TNT Time-trial in Medina on Tuesday night. A strong west wind made for a challenge, but the times were still pretty fast. Results Posted

Just to make things interesting, I spent over an hour before the race, in the parking lot, swapping out Jordan's drop bars for a full aero setup. We opted for a late start, and I lucked out with Jey Carlson as my 1 minute rabbit. I just caught Jey before the finish, riding one of my faster times of 24:08. My average speed was identical to the Hamel TT on Sunday.

Jordan rocked the 10.9mi course with his new full aero setup, in 28:09. That's over 2 minutes faster than his fastest time last year of 30:14. He had a much better day than he did at Hamel on Sunday. However, it looks like he's coming down with a cold.

Newcomer Toftoy took the win in 24:41, with Timmer 2nd in 24:48. I was 3rd, virtually tied with Matt Anderson.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Forgotten One

Maren say's she wants to start a blog and call it "The Forgotten One". Ouch!

I remember when I was her age, and my Dad coached my brother's hockey team. I was not into hockey, and felt a bit left out. My dad was supportive of my running and XC-skiing, but I was a little jealous of my Bro. 25 years on, I harbor no ill feelings about that time towards my family, but I can certainly empathize with Maren.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Hamel TT

Hot day. I was happy with my ride. I was 4th overall, and 1st in the Masters 35+. Pete Maxwell has closed in on me big time, even beating Chad Christenson.

Jordan had a tough ride. His computer wasn't working, and a problem with his bike forced him to stay in his big ring the entire time. Even though he wasn't happy, he still went fast and won the younger juniors.

Top Times (12.56mi):
Doug Swanson - 26:32 - 28.4mph
Timmer - 27:27 - 27.4mph
Casper - 27:36 - 27.3mph
Jimmer - 27:49 - 27.1mph
Maxwell - 28:07 - 26.8mph
Shishilla - 28:07 -26.8mph

Friday, July 04, 2008

Nice finish P-slim

The podium is so sweet, is it not?

Northfield Crit Recap

Snide and I giving it an early go.

Perfect day for racing. Northfield is one of my favorite crit courses. The whole family was there to watch, including Carla, Maren, and my in-laws.

34 starters in the Masters Open. Finally, a largish field. No teammates again, so I stayed up front to keep things in check. I attacked early, and drew out Snide, but we were quickly caught. From there, I tried to stay around 4th wheel for most of the race. A dangerous move with 3 guys (GP, Silver, and GSCA) got away, and I thought not again. Thankfully, Borgenheimer came up and helped reel it in.

Hollywood got away solo late in the race, but GSCA went to the front and reeled him in. Things amped up on the last couple laps, and I sat about 10th wheel at the bell. I tried to move up, but just didn't have any snap. Pete Hanna led out Ed Alpasa, but Chris Black was able to take the win. I ended up 8th in the sprint.

I started the Cat 1/2 race, in hopes of helping Horrigan. I went to the front for a couple laps to reel in a move, but that was all I had. After 20 minutes, I sat up, saving it for another day (photo below says it all). The race was very animated after I dropped. With a few to go, Timmer and Ellis got a nice gap, and looked like they were going to hold them off. Unfortunately, they were caught on the last lap. Turns out Horrigan did just fine solo, finishing an impressive 3rd behind Bergman and Hanna.

Put a fork in me, I'm done.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Black Dog #5 Results

Some people improved their times, but generally a slower night. It was a crosswind both directions, with a particularly tough ride back. Jordan improved by 2 seconds over 2 weeks ago, while I rode 23 seconds slower. Our tandem time was 16 seconds slower. I was a little bummed, but I can't expect to improve each time. Anyone that rides the Dog regularly knows that. It's a fickle beast.

Top 5:
Toftoy - 14:33
Timmer - 14:40
Kloss - 14:51
Jimmer - 14:58
Shishilla - 15:03