Sunday, May 31, 2009

It's been a while...

Hadn't done any long rides since Easter. It was a perfect day to join our Flanders teammates for a ride down to Blakely. Scored a hundo in under 5 hours. What a great group to ride with. The best part of long rides is getting to know people better, an aspect that Jordan enjoys too.

Applying sunscreen like a good Father should.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

East Union Circuit Race - Another Windy Race

Sorry, no pictures this time.

Flanders had a very good day at East Union. The team took the top step in 6 of the races:

Men Cat 1/2: Michael Woell
Women Cat 1/2: Teresa Moriarty
Men 35+: Mark Skarpohl
Men 50+: Scott Flanders
Women 40+: Teresa Moriarty
Juniors 10-18: Jordan Cullen

The team rode very well in the Men Cat 1/2, with Woell notching his first Cat 1/2 victory, with a brilliant attack with 2K to go. Teammate Froemming went with Woell, and helped him secure just enough of a gap for the win. Teammate Zim won the field sprint for a 1-2 finish. Very well done guys. Way to ride as a team.

Jordan was a marked man in the cat 4's. SPBRC had their usual suspects, and they rode well as a team. They kept attacking, and forcing Jordan to chase everything down. No one else seemed to have the desire and/or strength to help Jordan out. Jordan took the initiative to attack several times, but they knew better than to give him any rope.

Between the attacks and the strong winds, the group shrunk to about 10 riders. In the last few miles, Rob Beyers of SPBRC got away solo, and pretty much only Jordan chased. Rob rode strong and held on for the win. Jordan managed 5th in the field sprint, for 6th overall. SPBRC deserves kudos for riding well as a team. Each race gives Jordan more experience on what works, and what doesn't.

After the Cat 4's, Jordan raced the Juniors 10-18. 7 kids towed the line, and they agreed to stay together in the first tailwind leg. Once they hit the crosswinds, they split up. Jordan and the 3 older juniors stayed together, until Jordan attacked in the headwind and got away. Jordan soloed in for victory, with the other 3 sprinting it out for 2nd. Aaron Shaw 2nd, Merill Lutskey 3rd.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Jordan at the Snake

News coverage of Quad Cities

From Quad Cities online:

"Also, in the youth divisions, Minnesota's Colton Barrett (Juniors 15-18) and Wisconsin's Jordan Cullen (Juniors 10-14) were the big point-winners in the Lance Armstrong Junior Road Series races."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Snake Alley Winner's Trophy

Way cool trophy.

Quad Cities Criterium

Note to Jordan: Smile dude. You won!

Jordan went 3 for 3 in the Juniors under 15 this weekend. He won Snake Alley Saturday, Muscatine on Sunday, and Quad Cities on Memorial day. Well done Jordan.

Jordan doubled up again on our 3rd and last day of racing. This gave him a total of 7 races in 3 days. The Quad Cities Crit course in Rock Island, IL is a flat, fast 8 corner crit right downtown.

Juniors under 15 raced 1st. Jordan attacked off the line, and drew out 2 riders, Pete Davis and Evan Hartig. He kept the pace hard, and attacked them on the last lap for his 3rd solo victory of the weekend.

The Juniors 15-18 race started immediately following the younger juniors race. This was the fastest race of the weekend for Jordan, and he once again found himself fighting for position. Unfortunately, he got caught up behind a crash half way into the race, and ended up chasing solo. The field lapped him on the final lap. He took it in stride, and savoured the success of his weekend.

I did the Master 30+ 1/2/3 race, which was a blast. I covered a couple early attacks, and then sat in the back and rested for the middle part of the race. With about 5 to go, I went to the front, and worked to close a small gap to 3 riders who were off the front. I gave it may all for 2 laps, and that was all she wrote. I rolled in solo, off the back. Teammate Doig scored another 8th place, to match his finish at Weed Park.

The Pro/1/2 race was a unbelievable to watch. Adam Bergman won from a 2-man break that got away late in the race. Teammate Woell rode a great race, and finished 15th. Nice. Zim was right there too, but got caught behind a crash in the last lap.

The best part of the weekend was it offered 3 different types of courses. Snake Alley is a challenging race of attrition. Weed Park is a cool circuit race in a beautiful park. Finally, Rock Island is a true criterium.

Pouring it on in the Juniors under 15

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Melon City Crit - Experience for Jordan, Podium for Jimmer

Jordan opted for 3 races at Muscatine on Sunday, Older Juniors, Cat 4's, and Younger Juniors. The course was an Opus-like (only in beautiful Weed Park) mile circuit, with a fast down hill, and a power climb followed by a tight corner to the finish. Positioning is everything to finish well.

Older juniors was his first race. He was well positioned for much of the race, but the speeds were very high. He found out how tough it is to hold position in a fast race, especially on the power climb. He found himself frustrated at the back of the field in the final laps. It was a tough lesson to swallow, but this kind of experience is the reason we came down to Quad Cities.

Cat 4 was his next race. He fared much better, and rode aggressively. He got in several moves, and held great position through out the race. Unfortunately, he got boxed in the last time up the climb, and was shut out of the field sprint. Another valuable lesson. Use the rest of the race to judge how the finish will set up, and figure out where you need to be when its money time.

Jordan's final race was the younger juniors, which he won solo. The win cheered him up a bit, especially the podium interview.

I raced the Masters 40+ with 35 or so racers. Dale Sedgewick was there to animate the race, and was off the front for most of the race. I followed the un-written rule of don't chase down your local racer, and stayed tucked in the pack. At the start of the bell lap, Sedgewick was out of sight with Brian Koeneman and another rider as company. Another group of 3 was in between the pack and the lead 3. I attacked at the top of the downhill, caught the group of 3 at the base of the climb, and sprinted past them. By the time I got to the top, I was surprised to find myself passing Sedgewick. A look over my shoulder at the final corner, and I had an ample gap to cruise in for 3rd. Koeneman won, with James Cochran 2nd. It was definitely not according to any plan, but I was thrilled with the result.

I also opted for the Masters 30+ race, but pulled out after a couple laps. My head just wasn't in the race. Teammate Doig finished 8th.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Snake Alley Criterium

Jordan shined at Snake Alley Saturday. He won the juniors under 15 solo, breaking away the first time up. There were 18 riders, his nearest rival being Jonathan Shilling, a strong 14 year old from Missouri, who he battled at Jingle Cross and Cross Natz last year.

Immediately following, he lined up with 57 riders in the Junior 15-18 category. Many of them are Cat 3's, and some are even Cat 1/2's. With Snake Alley being so narrow, a good start is critical. Jordan had good position at the line, but a rider in front of him pulled out of his pedal, and Jordan dropped back to the bottom 1/3 the first time up the climb. He just kept drilling it, and picking riders off. By the end of the race, he made it up to what was left of the main chase group. Cat 1 superstar Chris Wallace and local Colton Barrett were off the front. Wallace won, Colton 2nd, and Jordan finished 6th in the chase group for 8th overall. What a great ride.

I raced the masters 40+, and loved it. I started in the middle of our group of 30 or so riders, and worked my way up to the main chase group, with 2 off the front. I struggled the last couple times up the climb, and ended up losing touch with the chase group. I finished 8th.

Local MN riders ended up winning 5 of the races at Snake Alley:
Junior under 15 - Jordan Cullen
Master 50+ - Charlie Townsend
Cat 4 Men - Dylan Knutson
Masters 30+ - Dewey Dickey
Pro/1/2 - Adam Bergman

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Black Dog #2 - The wind is getting old...

Results Posted

Can't seem to catch a break from the wind. This was the 3rd blustery time trial in nearly a week. First TNT, then Synergy, now Black Dog. This time it was HOT!

This weeks Black Dog was the 2nd of 4 events in the Nature Valley Grand Prix Qualifier Series. Overall turnout was unusually low, considering there were 100+ racers 2 weeks ago. As expected, more fast guys showed up than normal, including Doug Swanson, who broke the course record (13:48), setting a new record of 13:44. Very impressive given the windy conditions. GrandStay swept the top 4 spots with Stanford (14:09), Casper (14:26), and Brabbit (14:28). Timmer finished 5th in 14:37.

The pavement is now patched (still pretty rough though), and the police were there in force to keep riders on their best behavior. Not nearly as much traffic as 2 weeks ago, so I can't imagine there were any complaints from motorists. Staging in driveway, and not allowing people to warm up on the course cut down greatly on start area congestion.

Jordan found out first hand how mean the dog can be. He felt much better than this past Sunday, and thought he was flying. He was dissapointed to see his time was 15:28. How many of us Black Doggers have had that happen to us? Probably all of us. He was clearly spun out on the way back in his junior gears, and it didn't help that I neglected to fully inflate the tire on his disc.

Carla felt crappy the whole ride, almost throwing up. To top it off, she got caught at the turn around behind cars coming at her, and from behind.

They sent all the NVGP qualifier riders off last. Therefore, I rode the Tandem first, with stoker Dave Zimmerman. We made a modest effort, hoping to open the legs up, but not burying it, for a 14:20.

I started 2nd of the NVGP qualifier riders, 30 secs behind Zim, and 30 secs in front of Yorgos. I knew it would be a lonely ride, and it was. The toughest parts were approaching the power plant, and the open section just before the turn around. The wind seemed to be coming from everywhere. At the turn, I looked to be holding Zim @ 30sec, and Yorgos didn't appear to be closing. The return was fast, and it was critical to get on top of a big gear and fly. I saw 24-27mph most of the way out, and 29-35mph on the way back. I actually rode the 53x11 from the power plant back to the start. That never happens. I posted the exact same time as this past Sunday, 15:04.

To top the night off, we somehow managed to lock the keys in the truck. Hollywood came to the rescue, calling back the locksmith who had just helped Matt Stein unlock his car. $75 later, we finally headed home. What a night.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Charity TT - A beautiful day at Black Dog


It was a beautiful day for a TT Sunday. A far cry from the blustery cold on Saturday. Registration was very smooth compared to past years, and the porta potties were a HUGE welcomed addition. The starting line was moved back to the parking lot to avoid road congestion.

As expected, Stanford ruled the day in 13:54. Casper 2nd in 14:24, and Timmer 3rd in 14:34. Zim (14:40) and Brabbit (14:42) were the only other riders to break 15 min.

I started 30 secs in front of Jordan again. I had a much better ride than 1.5 weeks ago and clocked a 15:04. Jordan felt the effects of the previous days 40K, and rode a 15:18. Who's your daddy now? Accounting for the added distance from moving the start up, you can deduct around 5 seconds. So I would have went sub-15. The legs are coming around.

Jordan and I both won our divisions. Jordan won the Cat 4's by a mere second. I eeked out the win in Masters 35+ with 3 of us posting a 15:04. They went to the tape, which shows 100th's of a second, and I had the edge. Mlinar 2nd (Dang he's fast this year), unknown 3rd.

Jordan is learning that the Dog can be fickle, and at the speeds he's running, results are not always as one might expect. He's got to work for every second and MPH now.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Synergy TT - Friggin' Windy

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of
The Synergy TT is always a big challenge. The first 40K of the year (actually more like 42K), and this year, windy as all get out. The wind didn't seem to affect the fastest guys as much as the rest of us. Jordan clocked a 1:01:06, placing him 18th overall out of 102 racers. Very nice.

I had a somewhat disappointing ride. I noticed my rear tire getting soft coming into the last corner. By the time I was through the corner, it was all the way flat. It's a clincher, so there was no way to ride it flat, my ride was over. I had a fairly reasonable first lap, clocked in at 31:55. I could tell my second lap was not as strong. I estimate my time would have been around an hour flat and change, but that's only a guess. The flat was the result what appears to be the sharp end of the remnants of a safety pin. I'll live to TT another day.

The after party at Sal's is always a great time. After that, Skibby, Dave Gray, Jordan, and I hit Brown's Ice Cream Parlor in Stillwater. They serve the biggest ice cream cones ever. The couple shots below are after they are half gone.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Another Triple for Maren

Strong Finish, 3rd in the 800m in 2:45

Start of the 800M



Even though she has a bad case of tendinitis, Maren still ran the 4x800m, 800m, and 4x400m at the Hudson Big Rivers Conference JV meet, taking 1st, 3rd, and 2nd respectively. She posted personal bests in the 4x800m (2:40), and the 800m (2:45). Very nice.

2001 Elite Track Natz Crash - By popular demand...

It was one of the points race qualifiers races at 2001 Elite Natz in Blaine. Coming into turn 3 early in the race, a rider dropped down, without looking, right into Doug Beck. He hit Beck so hard, that he fell to the center of the track. I was at speed right behind Doug, and had no where to go. I went over the bars, hitting face first on the infield, and rolled to a stop. Amazingly, a photographer captured the latter part of the crash. Nothing broken, but my face was pretty torn up. Black eye, deep laceration below my nose, and a fat lower lip.

I briefly thought about giving up on bike racing, but it didn't last long. I raced the rest of 2001 on the track, but didn't return to pack racing there until 2008.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

TNT - My kid beat me again...

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Jordan and I did the TNT time trial in Medina Tuesday night. The course was reversed, starting at the old turn around. Gusty cross winds on both the way out and way back made for a tough ride. If that weren't enough, there was a downpour just before Jordan and I started. It quickly stopped, but we still got soaked.

Casper wanted to start 1 minute behind Jordan, so I started in between them (30 secs between each rider). The change in course means you have to go up a 3-5% hill just after the start. The winds were gusting across the road, and I could only hold Casper off until just before the turn around. At the turn around, it looked like I was holding Jordan at 30 secs, but not making much ground.

The gusting cross winds on the return seemed worse. I kept thinking how is Jordan staying upright? We were both riding deep section front wheel and rear disc. Nearing the finish, I could barely see Jordan, and I knew it was going to be close. He ended up getting me by 2 secs. Well done Jordan, especially given the conditions.

The course is marginally longer, maybe a 0.1 miles, and most people rode slowish times. Jordan rode a 25:06, improving his previous best from last year of 28:09 by over 3 minutes. Very nice. I rode a 25:08, about 1min20sec slower than by PR on the old course.

Curt Wood had a good ride at 23:32, with DKT @23:40, and Casper @23:42.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

So Pro

Kicked off Mother's day with a great ride with Bjorn and Dag Selander. If you haven't met either of them, they are 2 of the most down to earth, nicest people you will meet. Roger Parenteau even joined us at the start of the ride.

Time to go celebrate Mother's day, "Carla style".

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Jordan's 3-Peat

Jordan won his 3rd Cat 4 road race in as many weeks Saturday, this time at the historic Sibley County Road Race. In the final miles, 5 were left to make the bid for victory including Jordan, Benn Hulbert, Nick Vetter, Ben Schinke, and Brian Kozicki.

The course has a mile long gradual climb, with the race finish at the top. There is a similar downhill on the other side of the course. They did 3 laps for a total of 54 miles. Jordan attacked the hill each time, and would string out the field, and open gaps, but every time, there was a general regrouping at the top, due to the wind. Jordan was a marked man, so he remained patient.

On the final lap, Jordan again got a gap on the hill, but then suffered chain "suck" and was delayed. He got it fixed, and chased solo after the front group, only to have it all come back together again. In the tailwind, the group splintered again, the afore mentioned group of 5 formed.

After the downhill, the front 5 were not cooperating very well, seemingly keeping an eye on Jordan. They were at risk of getting caught by few chasers, so Jordan seized the opportunity to attack with about 4 miles to go. Hulbert was the first to react, but couldn't get Jordan's wheel. Jordan slowly opened the gap to around 10-15 seconds, followed by Hubert, and the other 3 further back.

Jordan maintained a steady rhythm, and stayed away for the victory. Hulbert 2nd, Vetter 3rd. Nice race guys.

So the obvious question is when will Jordan upgrade to Cat 3's. The short answer is in July, after he gets some Crit experience. The long answer is the Cat 4's have a large field with some strong riders who are also ready for the Cat 3's. The Cat 3's fields have been very small, and not conducive to learning how to race in a pack. Moving up to the Cat 3's would likely make for harder racing, but Jordan needs to learn tactics too. Therefore, he will probably upgrade in July, just in time for Junior Nationals, and race the August MN road races as a Cat 3.

Neutral Rollout from Henderson

The final selection of 5


I joined my Flanders teammates for the Sibley County Road Race on Saturday morning. The course hasn't been used since 2004 during the Tour of 10,000 Lakes. Glad to see it return. It was a prelude to the MN State Road Race in the end of August, which will use the exact same course.

A nice change of pace, was the finish was moved to the top of the long gradual climb on the south side of the course. Years previous, it finished in front of the Church in the valley.

We had a neutral rollout from Henderson all the way to the top of the hill, where we were released. The crosswinds at the top caused everyone to seek shelter. I was up front, when Doig attacked solo. He was quickly joined by Brabbit, Sedgewick, Niles, and Lavick. A little later, Koeneman and Hollywood went after them, for a total of 7 riders. Muyers was there for a while too, but came back to the field.

With basically every team represented, most with a bankable prospect for the win, it seemed to turn into a group ride. Bjorn Selander was in town, but tired from the Gila, and content to sit in. Patty Cakes and Bergman were certainly chomping at the bit, but waited patiently. By the end of the 1st lap, the gap was around 4 minutes and growing.

The second lap was very animated. Timmer attacked in the crosswind, and the field shredded. There were gaps everywhere, and Patty Cakes, Bergman, Doug Swanson, Bjorn, and a couple others seized the opportunity. I worked hard to help my teammates where I could, including drilling it down the hill to a GPS verified speed of 54mph, where it all basically came back together.

We seemed to settle back into the group ride mode again, and even some of the riders that were dropped regained the group. The 3rd lap was fairly tame, and it was pretty certain we were all racing for 8th.

I worked the front for most of the 3rd lap, and dropped off on the hill prior to the bell lap. I knew the final lap would be very hard, and I was pretty spent.

As expected, the break stuck, with Brabbit taking the victory, followed by Niles, Koeneman, and Doig. Doug Swanson won the field sprint.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Maren triples up, with 2 PR's

Maren in the 800m

4x400m Relay

Maren had a track meet Thursday in Eau Claire. Jordan and I opted to ride our TT bikes to Menomonie, have Carla pick us up, and go watch Maren run. The strong west wind made for a fast ride. We clicked off 45 miles in well under 2 hours.

Maren was only planning on running the 800m, but the coach had her do a couple distance relays too. We missed her run the 4x800m. She ran a PR of 2:50, anchoring the team to victory. We got there in time to watch her run the 800m in 2:54, taking 4th place. Finally, she ran the 4x400m. She ran a PR of 1:13, and the team finished 2nd. Way to go Maren!

Presidential Physical Fitness Test

Jordan opted out of running track this spring, since he has a history of ankle issues associated with running.

I'm sure many of you remember the Presidential Physical Fitness Testing from when you were a kid. Jordan's class is doing the testing right now, and they ran the mile on Thursday.

Without any running specific training, Jordan did a 5:35. He passed.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Black Dog #1 - Jordan surprises...

Top 5 times at Black Dog #1:

Daniel Casper - 14:25
Jonathan Toftoy - 14:36
Tim Mulrooney - 14:38
Micah Moran - 14:56
Jordan Cullen - 15:03

I knew based on our training together that Jordan had gotten fast, but he far exceeded my expectations at Black Dog. His fastest time last year was 16:16. I'm at a loss for words.

I rode a slowish time of 15:22, certainly amplified by a legitimate 19 second beating by my 13 year old son.

Redemption came on the Tandem with Linda Sone, where we rode a PR time of 14:28.

Carla rode women's stock, and set a PR by 8 seconds. Way to go Carla!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Good Humor

After the Juniors 15-18 Lacrosse Crit, one of the juniors complimented Jordan, by saying "I'm glad I turn 19 next year."

When Jordan started racing (age 9) on the tandem with me, people would often say "I think it's so great that you and your daughter are racing together."

Jordan has gotten so tall recently, racers often mistake him for being age 16 or 17. He's 13. He turns 14 in July.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

LaCrosse Crit - Juniors Races Recap

Carla, Jordan, and I got up EARLY Sunday morning, and drove down to La Crosse, WI for their inaugural Criterium. It was a perfect day, with a nice course right on the Mississippi River.

Jordan did back-to-back races, starting with Juniors 10-14, then Juniors 15-18. Each race fielded around 10 riders.

It was great seeing a new flock of younger juniors out their racing and having fun. Jordan joined an early attack by IS-Corp junior phenom Pete Davis, and the 2 of them were off. Later, Jordan attacked, and got away solo, lapping everyone except Pete. Nice ride Jordan.

The older juniors was the main reason he came to LaCrosse, and he loved every minute of it. There were only 9 racers, but lots of attacks and counter moves, each time resulting in a regrouping. There were 2 riders from Thunder Bay, including Sam Loud, who packs a very strong sprint. Loud won both primes, and then late in the race, while everyone was watching him, his teammate got away solo. That left the field sprint for 2nd, which Loud took handily. Jordan finished 3rd in the sprint, 4th overall. Well done.

We didn't feel like sticking around till late afternoon for my races, so we grabbed a bite to eat, watched the Women's Cat 1/2/3, and drove home. Second week in a row I opted out on Sunday.

Start of the younger juniors (10-14)

Racing with the older juniors (15-18)

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Jordan wins Cat 4 Marty Road Race

The look on his face says it all.

Jordan rode a smart race, and was able to pull off a win at Marty in the Cat 4's. Congrats Jordan. Hats off to all the racers who battled and conquered the strong WNW wind.

42 riders towed the line in the Cat 4's. 3 laps on flat 14 mile loop, with one short hill that served as the feed zone. Jordan attacked up the climb, but there was a general regrouping the first 2 laps. On the last lap, an out of town rider got a small gap, and Jordan waited for the hill to try and bridge the gap. He took Dylan Knutson and Nick Vetter from SPBRC with him. They bridged, and held a small gap on a chase group all the way to the right hand turn to the finish. Jordan drilled it through the corner, and rode away for the win. The out of towner just piped 18 year old Dylan Knutson for 2nd. Results Posted

Perfect day for a bike race.

Attacking the hill on the first lap

Checking the damage the last time up the hill.