Friday, June 30, 2006

Should I just Copy and Paste?

Seriously...last night was the 3rd sprint finish in a row at Buck! Since we lost the majority of the single track, all the races have been close. Chris and I have duked it out each time; the only difference last night is that Luke was involved. The summary of the race is that it was hard and fast, and I ended up following Chris's wheel through the finish line again. Oh well, my legs felt a little better than Sunday but still not 100%. They will come around though.
The highlight of the evening for me was listening to all Paul Hanson's stories of his World Cup adventures.

I am leaving this afternoon for Colorado, and I will try to update with some pics if I have internet access out there. I am sure my brother and I will be doing just a little bit of climbing=)

Can you believe that Basso and Ullrich are OUT OF THE TOUR?

Monday, June 26, 2006

Just One of those Days

Sunday was just one of those days when I woke up tired with dead legs and unmotivated to race. Ever since Afton, I have just been feeling exhausted....I know that race took its toll on me, and I should have taken it a little easier this week (although I was taking it easy when I got in that wicked crash=).
Anyway, Mont Du Lac is a fun course and the weather was great so I went. The start was really hard up the steep hill and it was reaffirmed to me that my legs weren't there. I followed Chris for a while and then he crashed leaving me in front, I was going so slow that I had to let Jay Richards, Luke Nelson and Chris Peariso by. I caught Chris P. soon after and followed Luke and Jay at a 10-30 second distance for the rest of the race. About mid race, Chris Fisher bridged up to me and then the 10 seconds to Luke and Jay. Going into the last lap, the group of 3 was still only 20 seconds up and I could see them on the climb...even that wasn't enough motivation for my darn legs to get going! Either way, I rolled it down the hill for 4th about only 1 minute back...what would have been if I would have even been feeling moderate or decent, who knows? Oh well, I was glad to see my teammate, Chris, out-sprinted Luke and Jay for the win. He is in a super peak right now. Hopefully he can keep it rolling!

I am headed out to Colorado on Friday for a family vacation and will try to do some updates from there...I am sure Ben and I will sneak a few rides in=) I hear Mt Evans calling...


Friday, June 23, 2006

Another Sprint

Just a quick update on last night at Buck...Chris and I rode together for all 4 laps. The only time we were apart was when I waited up for him when he crashed and he waited for me when I did. They weren't really crashes I guess, but it was loose and tough to keep the front tire from sliding out. He outsprinted me AGAIN! If we were on the road, we would have been given the same time. For me it was a really hard race, and after Duluth on Sunday, I need some rest. Ben rolled in 3rd with a strong ride. It is always good to be on an all Velo Rochester podium=)

In other news, I got in a head on collision down at the River Bottoms trail Wednesday night. It wasn't either person's fault other than neither of us had a bell. It happened around one of the many corners that become blind as the weeds grow higher. The result of the crash for me was a tire and bruised body with a small chunk missing from the bottom of my chin. The other guy, besides falling in stinging nettles, didn' t sustain any injuries but his front wheel went Mexican on him (Taco'd for those of you who didn't catch it).


Sunday, June 18, 2006

Best of the Rest and A Not So Pleasant Surprise!

The Afton Avalanche kicked off today at 1pm for the elite class. There were good crowds for cheering, a strong field to contend with, and a beautiful hot day to top things off. The course was basically the same as last year except "Larry's Revenge" (a newer section of trail) was substituted for the "Shady Lane" climb up the south slope. Given the hot temps, that was a-OK with me, except the race organizers decide that we should do 5 laps because the exclusion of Shady Lane. I am not one who complains about courses much, so I just did what I could. It was a pretty long race though with the additional lap and about 800 feet of climbing per lap.

The race started off with a typical Hollywood lead out and eventually with Chris Fisher and I off the front. After the first big climb, Chris was hurting so I jumped in front and took a flier. My legs were ok, but not great and I figured that building a lead early might help my chances. At the start of the second lap, I had about 30-45 seconds on Jeff Hall and Sam O.

At that point, I was looking for fresh water bottle but never found one=( Jen was helping a woman that had a really nasty crash and was unable to get me some libation. I did the first 2 laps on one bottle which is a HORRIBLE way to start off a hot race. Jeff passed me at the end of the second lap and dropped me like a bad habit. He said afterwards that after he warmed up he was feeling pretty good dispite having raced a national race in W. Virginia the day before. What can I say? The guy is at a different level! Here is a pic of the pass/drop....

I put it in cruise control, and began to cramp. Finally, the water bottles started coming, and as I would put them down the cramps would subside only to return after a few minutes. I was left doing damage control up the hot slopes for almost 3 laps. My legs started feeling more and more dead as the 4th and 5th laps went by. Luckily, I was descending pretty fast, and was able to hold of Brian Narum, a past Trek pro, for second. I crossed the finish line with a finish time around 2:15, 6 minutes behind Jeff. I don't feel too bad about that given that he is ranked top 10 in the national series. What at hot long ride! Results here:

The Nasty Surprise: What is wrong with this picture???

When I got home, I discovered a nasty but pertinent surprise regarding my lackluster 4th and 5th laps....I had been riding with a broken spoke and my rear wheel had been rubbing for both laps! Crap! I heard it break right before the start of the fourth lap...actually I heard that loud "ting" sound and figured that is what it was. I didn't stop to check it because that wouldn't have done any good. I not only need to replace the spoke but I burned off most of the break pad. The only good to come of this was that I can explain laps 4 and 5.

After the race we had a great picnic over at Afton State Park with my family and Jen's family. I wasn't able to eat much, but I did take a nice dip in the St. Croix=)
Happy Father's Day Dad! and Bob!

This week's plan includes Buck Hill on Thursday and Mont Du Lac on Sunday.


Friday, June 16, 2006

Some New Trails

This week at Buck the Penn team cut some new trails that helped mitigate the loss of the North woods. Rather than screaming down the hill, we got to traverse from one side to the other and was fresh, bumpy, and sandy...challenging. Combine new stuff with the lumpy climb up the tubing hill, and I think Buck has gone from a hardtail course to a dual suspension course.
On to the action....
I put it down from the gun and was feeling pretty descent. I had been resting a lot since the weekend because my legs were fried on Monday and Tuesday. Chris and I had a good gap right away, but on a fast corner, I laid the bike over a bit to far and went down. I lost my chain, and quickly Sam 0 and Luke N were on our tail for the traverse of the hill. I never got my groove back after that. Chris and I managed to pull away again, and I followed him for 3 laps. The only really exciting thing that happened in the 3 laps was when a Sport class rider fell on Chris=) He called out a pass way early, but the guy didn't want to let us by so we went on his left in one of the many wide "sandboxes." It ended up not being a big deal, but the little snaffu did significantly reduce the gap back to Sam and Luke. When it came down to the end, it was a sprint up the hill to the finish and I was in back. Chris went hard and took it home for the win. Velo Rochester 1-2 again=)
They gave out series awards last night for the first of the 2 six-race series. I ended up with the series win with Chris in second and Sam O in third.

Sorry for the boring post with no pics...I will post them if I find some.

Next up will be Afton this weekend. Should be hot and fast.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

A Cool but Pleasant Weekend

With no race this weekend, I decided to get some longer rides in because I have been getting plenty of short intense rides through racing and other weekday rides. So on Saturday, I set out for a graduation party. My wife drove and I hopped on the 9.9...I took the long way around the cities and ended up in Shoreview. We kicked it with good company and great food at our friends place on Turtle Lake. Sunday, Ben and Chris had suffering on the mind, so we set out on the road with our mountain bikes from my house for a nice long ride. We had to fight some morning showers, but 3 laps at Terrace Oaks and 3 laps at Lebanon Hills later, we were ready to head home. After 4-5 hours of "friendly" Velo Rochester secret training, we were ready to eat and relax...Ben and I ended up with 1500 calorie Chipotle burritos...I am sure Fisher stopped on his way home to grab his staple, a 10-taco Grande Meal at Taco Bell. After feeding time was done, the sun was shining, it was a perfect temp so Ben and I settled in for a long hard afternoon =)

Friday, June 09, 2006

Buck Hill #6 No More North Woods

Last night was the start of a new era for the Buck Hill Thursday night races. The "North woods" were purchased by a developer and all the singletrack in there is now off limits=( Either way, the Penn Cycle crew found a way to make a good race course. The course was fairly short with a lot of climbing and we did 5 laps.

Both Fisher and I had a bad start, as we got caught in some loose gravel. I stayed on the gas though and ended up following him up the hill with Ben, Sam, and Luke right behind. By the second lap we had a fairly good gap on the chase group (Ben, Sam, Luke). Laps only were taking about 12 minutes, so we started lapping people on the second time around....definitely a test of handling/passing skills!

Fisher was attacking at the pavement climb each lap because he new that if he didn't, I would=) On the third lap, he actaully heard me move over for the attack (I found this out after) which prompted him to stand up and go full throttle...funny. On the forth lap, I lead him up the hill and attacked, but he was right there...until he crashed in the singletrack. From there I gapped him and rode it home. Sam put the hurt on Ben in the last lap to take third.

A clothing note: I did represent Velo Rochester with the new bibs, but I couldn't deviate from wearing a just wouldn't be right.

Race results at

No race this weekend, but you won't find me laying around on the couch=)

Sunday, June 04, 2006


1 pm today marked the start of the second MNSCS race, Rochester Cycling Steeple Chase. A strong field showed up despite a WORS race taking place on a pan flat course in Wausau. The course included a bumpy hilly prologue followed by the start of a really fun lap. The lap was about 4.5 miles, which started out with a technical off camber descent down the side of a hill. At the bottom was some flat bumpy double track, and the lap ends with a singletrack climb right up the side of the hill.

Ok, so the race start was fast and furious as usual. About 10 minutes in, a select group had formed Chris Fisher, Brian Eppen, Me, Paul Hanson, Justin Rienhart, Jeff Hall and my brother.

We stayed together until the end of the lap when Jeff put in an attack. Unfortunately, I was out of position, and I couldn’t chase…a little further along and one rock to the pedal later, I was in the superman pose (going over my handlebars)…DOH! My front brake lever was bent down making brake modulation quite a challenge. I chased back and spent too much effort doing so. In the 4th lap, Paul and Justin went off the front. When Paul went, I was again out of position. After a quick pass in the single track, I was able to run down Justin with Ben on my wheel, but I couldn’t see Paul. Ben was riding super strong until he held a big yardsale putting him in his words “15 feet into the woods.” Justin and I traded punches and I started to cramp really bad. I sat up, let him by and drank most of my bottle. About 5 minutes later the cramps subsided. I was able to chase Justin down and put in an attack on the final climb to take 3rd place. Jeff and Paul were 1 and 2. Ben and Fisher rolled in 5th and 6th.
The ugly-pain-face Award goes to Ben as usual ...

I am not displeased with the result, but I did make two big mistakes, hydration and positioning. I will do my best to fix those two issues next time!
Results here

See for some of these pics and more.

Next up is Buck Hill on Thursday.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Battle at Buck Part 5

Last night at Buck could be described as perfect weather, tough course, and even tougher competition.
Weather: 80 and sunny cooling to 75 and perfect for the awards
Course: loose, sandy, bumpy, and one super steep climb like “The Wall” at Welch. Buck is putting in another chair lift, so the bottom corner is like a sandbox…sketchy at 25+mph. The fuel would have been better than the Niner-niner….
Competition: Doug, Jay, Luke, Chris, Paul, Sam..etc; probably and equivalent field to the MNSCS races

The race started out with a sprint traversing the bumpy, hay-covered side of Buck. Paul leading me, Chris, and Doug. It was the 4 of us for the first lap with a pretty immediate gap. By the start of the second lap, Doug had blown Paul and I. Fisher had caught us, and Paul told me directly “Dude Doug totally blew me up.” I could tell he was hurting to so on “The Wall” climb and the final backside climb I punched it. I got a good gap right away. In the singletrack I caught Doug who ended up being not that far off the front and had gotten a stick stuck in his wheel. I lead Doug until about ½ way through the third lap. He passed me in the woods, as I was gassed not riding the singletrack very well, which is disappointing. Here is a pic right after he passed me

The gap to Chris and Paul was about 30-45 seconds, so I had to stay on it. I could see Doug most of the time so I never really let up too much until I knew I wasn’t catching him and Paul and Chris weren’t catching me. I rolled home 30 seconds behind and about a minute later, Chris out-sprinted Paul for third. The sprint was pretty sweet because it included the high speed sandbox corner=)
Afterwards, Paul and I agreed that, all things considered, the race was one of the tougher Thursday night we have done. I thanks goes out to Paul's dad for taking a bunch of super sweet pics!

Next up is Rochester Steeple Chase on Sunday. The bike choice will probably be the fuel, but I will be bringing both just to be safe=)

Until next time…later.