Saturday, December 29, 2007
I have been doing some cold weather riding (a chincicle on my balaclava)
Tegan had a lucrative Christmas
Our townhome is now on the market...looking to buy a house.MLS # is 3476087
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Here are some of the season Highlights (and low-lights):
I ended up racing 32 times on my mountain bike...1 of which was a road race and 2 of which were CX races. I won 16 of the 32 events....hitting .500 I guess.
Races I felt best at: Afton and Maplelag UCI
Races I felt worst at: Welch and Chequamegon
Races I had the most fun at: 24 Hours of Afton and Maplelag MNSCS
Most proud moment: When I beat Fisher in a beer chugging contest to win the first Buck Hill Series
Goals not met: National 24 hour Team Championship
Goals met: Turned pro and repeated as State Champion.
I have to say a special thanks to my Wife and my Dad for all their support at the races. With out my dad doing hand-offs, many of us wouldn't have finished the races. With out my wife's support, patients and willingness to let me train, I would need my granny gear.
There will be less frequent updating during the winter, but I will definitely keep y'all up dated on my training and equipment for next year. For now, I will leave it that I will have and even lighter bike coming thanks to Trek....dual suspension that could tickle 22lbs.
If I don't write again, I want to wish EVERYONE a Merry Christmas. I hope you can be with the ones you love!
Now, back to my couch potatoing.
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I can sum up the eating this weekend by saying that for leftover lunch on Friday I at 3 pieces of different pies along with my turkey sandwich. So sweet.
Ben and I managed a few rides...one of which was on Thursday morning with the a group of Rochester riders. It ended up being a good ride, but less intense than the race pace end to the Swanson Turkey fest.
After the ride, we practiced our skills.
Monday, November 19, 2007
I try to switch things up this time of year with different activities.
Here is my typical fall week:
Monday - Run at Lunch
Tuesday - Night ride at Leb
Wed - Early AM hockey and ride at lunch w/ coworkers
Thurs - 5 K Turkey Trot race at Seagate
Friday - Early AM Hockey
Sat - Wussed out on State CX but went for Run to shake the legs out
Sun - Eventually got in a good ride...see below.
The cool thing is that I was only away from Tegan for the Tues and Sunday rides. People ask how to make a family work...flexibility.
The highlights of the above activities started Tuesday night where on my 3rd and final lap, I fell off the log ride at Leb and slightly separated my shoulder. I has since healed but lesson learned not to push my luck when things start getting wet from dew/frost.
Next was the 5K. While a couple of my co-workers who are runners did 18 minute 5k's I managed 21 minutes flat. Given that I had only run 3 times in the past year, I knew I would be sore...yup, so sore that State CX on Saturday was out of the question.
Sunday, oh man, carnage.... 4 FLATS! I haven't really flatted all year other than a burp or two. I was trying to ride Mammoth and pinched my rear tire on the train tracks twice. The Stan's was dry. Then I put a tube in and pinched that on Skull loop. I walked my bike back to the car defeated.
Our plan was to head up to Bob and Julies (Jen's parents) to hang out that afternoon, so I decided I should ride there via the River Bottoms to the Sibley house, across the 35E bridge, and then all the way up Lexington to Shoreview. I ended up finding Chris, Danno, and Wenk down at the River on their group ride, so I rode w/ Chris....until a stick grabbed my valve stem and ripped it of! Fisher and I spent 15 minutes trying to extract a mangled valve stem before getting rolling again.
I finally made it to Shoreview after riding in Rain/Sleet/Snow for the last 1.5 hours. Not the most pleasant weather, but I stayed reasonably warm. In the end, I got some riding in, but I think someone up there was trying to tell me not to=)
Monday, November 05, 2007
Saturday, I waited until the last minute (spending time with my little dude) and headed up to race CX at Ham Lake...on my hardtail of course. I got there 20 minutes before the start, but as seems to be the norm, it ended up starting late.
The course was pan flat but fun with some pavement and some doubletrack in the woods. The start was a bit of a cluster: down hill 2-3 bikes wide with a barrier about 1/4 mile up. I got to the line late and was in the 4th row or so but a few nice guys pushed me into the 2nd row before the start. I stayed near the middle of the 40 man pack because I had never dismounted for a high speed barrier before...I ended up making it! After the first several laps, I found myself in a group of ~8-10 riders. While I easily broke away in the twisty wooded areas, they would work together and easily haul me back on the 1/2 mile flat stretch of pavement. At that point, I just decided to ride in the group. It was basically a tempo ride pace from there on, as we slowly picked off and dropped people. In the end, Patty Cakes (GP rider Pat Lemiux) and I were the only ones left out of the group, and he outsprinted me for 6th place.
Once again, I had fun, worked hard but not too hard, was the only A racer on a mtbk, and learned a lot about CX. Equipment lessons learned for next time (rules I broke this time): water bottles, cages, and knee warmers aren't necessary or cool =)
You can read about Sundays adventure at Battle Creek here. Riding that 100 foot retaining wall was cool!
Monday, October 29, 2007
On Wed evening my dad, Dallas Fowler, and I made the 14 hour drive from Madison down to Banner Elk, NC for Collegiate MTB Nationals hosted by Lees McRae College. When we got there the whole mountain was engulfed in a cloud and everything was wet. It had been raining for two days straight before we arrived, so I expected a mud-fest. We decided to preride the course shortly after arriving. The xc course was a 5 mile loop on campus that consisted of mostly singletrack, much of which was off-camber, with many steep climbs, and some truly gnarly descents. The descents brought back memories of Vermont but they were not nearly as rocky. Being a newly built trail, the soil was very loose, and this made for very sloppy mud. Although I was rocking some knobby-ass Bontrager Mud X tires, I was already off my bike walking up the first slight incline and was sliding all over the place in the 4 inch deep off-camber leaf covered poop. All in all I was able to ride maybe 40% of it in the pre
ride, and the going downhill consisted of uncontrolled chaos. Dallas, who was using road shoes and pedals was not happy with the conditions :) We were definitely in for a treat when 90 riders hit that course all at once.
The XC race was held at 8am on friday morning, about 20 minutes after sun rise. It was cold and wet, and I was nervous. It was 7:55 and the race was about to begin, and I really had to take a poop, but there was no time. Man this is going to be uncomfortable. But then they announced a 10 minute delay, just enough time. Ahhhh sweet relief. The officials then proceeded to call-ups which consisted of all the conference champs (overall points leaders of the conference), and then all the schools "at random." Of course they called up lees mcrae and all the colorado schools first. suckahs. I got a crappy second row call-up because although I won regionals xc and stxc I was not the conference champ. The start would be hard. The gun went off BANG! I found my right pedal immediately and I was in the big ring hammering. I managed to avoid the crashes and found some good lines putting me into the top ten. At the end of the 1 mileish lead out I was in around 5th or 6th place going into t
he singletrack. Of course we were almost instantly running upon entering the singletrack. That hurts after a hard start. I then slid right off a mud-covered bridge crossing and a bunch of guys past me. I gathered myself, still around the 10th place, and continued on through the first lap. The running with a 50 lb bike was taking its toll, and I got passed by more and more guys who were digging the conditions more than me. The downhill on the first lap was a mess. I crashed 10 times and got passed by more and more people. If you lose momentum on that downhill you might as well run/ walk because it is way faster as I found out. Starting the 2nd lap I put it into damage control and told myself to just try and finish. More running, more crashing, more getting passed. I was having a crappy race. By the fourth and final lap I was tired and wanting to sleep. Running turned into walking, and the legs were threatening to lock up. Finally I made it to the last climb which was on a grav
el road. I went hard knowing that the finish was just over the hill, but then my inner thighs began locking up. I could barely pedal. I finally limped across the line in 22nd place of around 90 starters, truly exhausted. My bike was hacked up. come to find out my rear rotor was taco'd, and my rear wheel would not even spin once. Who knows how long it had been like that, but it is a good excuse for my slowness ;)
Sore and tired from the previous day, we got ready to hammer out the short track race on saturday afternoon. The course consisted of a grassy field, followed by a climb, followed by a muddy technical singletrack descent. thankfully it was all rideable. I ran the Karmas for this race and they were perfect. The call-ups went the same way as they did for the xc and I again was in the second row. The start would be crucial in this race because when 75 riders funneled into that muddy singletrack, there was going to be a mess. Bang! the gun went off and I again hammered myself through some holes got into the top ten. It was brutally fast up the first climb and by the time we got out of the woods there was a couple guys off the front. Soon there was a chase group formed with none other than Eric Thompson, myself, and some guys from Fort Lewis and some joker on a cross bike from NC state. Soon me and Eric were setting the pace in 3rd and 4th. There were some surges though, and I was
soon back in 6thish place. I settled into a comfortable (relatively, I mean I was going pretty freaking hard) pace. Then with about 10 minutes to go I was shifting to my middle ring for the steepest part of the climb and my front derailleur clamp came loose, and it twisted. Soon my front shifting was gone and the big chain ring and the chain were rubbing horribly on the derailleur. I tried shifting frantically, and my chain fell off. HAMBURGERS! I had to stop and put it back on, only to have 3 guys pass me in the process. I got it in the middle ring, but the rubbing was horrible, and it made pedaling difficult. I knew I had to hang on for just a few more minutes. I held on to the wheel of a Fort Lewis rider for the remainder of the hard race, and managed to hold off Bryan Alders from CU for 10th of 73 finishers. Dallas, also rode strong for a 15th place finish! Come to find out the hinge pin on the der clamp snapped and that is why the thing came loose a
ll of a sudden. What luck! Oh well I was very happy with the race. I feel like I proved I could ride up with the fast guys and that made me feel good. After a mediocre XC this was a good result for me!
Thanks to TJ and all the others in the woods for yelling and keeping me going.
I would especially like to say thanks to Dad for all he did for me this weekend, bottling for us, feeding us, helping us clean up and just generally being incredibly supportive. Couldn't have done it without you, Dad. Thank you so much!
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Fisher and I headed over to Hutchinson MN for the Twineball race. The course had 1 big climb in it, with the rest of the course rolling doubletrack.
I went in with not much fitness (no hard riding since St. Cloud about a month ago) and no expectations. It is kinda fun to do a race with that attitude. I did 2 warm up laps and hopped barriers for the first time. I am by no means fluid or efficient, but I managed to get by.
I registered for the A1 race because my USA license says I am a Cat 2 CX...who knows how I got to that level. I think it was automatic with my Pro mtbk upgrade. At the start of the race, I just took it easier and sat middle of the pack. I didn't want to get in anyones' way at the first barrier. From then on, I just rode a hard tempo pace. When I started to really suffer, rather than keep cranking like I do all season, I would just ease up. That is a really good feeling=) It was kinda like a Buck Hill race but less painful. Anyway, I worked my way up the whole race and never got lapped. My final placing was 6th overall (mcf.net has results). In the end, I achieved my goal of having fun.
Saturday night was the MNSCS awards ceremony. It was great to see everyone. A good time was had by all and the trophy's this year were really nice.
Sunday I woke up planning to do another race, but I have a cold coming on and felt very achy. I opted out of the Mill City race, and instead, I biked there (easy, well, easier pace anyway) so I could watch the race with Tegan and Jen. We followed that with 9 person group meal at the Edina Grill...oh man, those sweet potato fries are to die for!
Next weekend, we have a baptism in Chicago, but the following weekend I may try my luck again at CX. My goal will be the same, but I might try to hang at the front a bit more=)
Friday, October 19, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
The attendee list: Wenksta, Paul, Jeff, Jen, Jen, Mat, Jodi, Andy, Audrey, Erin, Fisher, and I.
The weather on Saturday was beyond perfect, and 10 of us ended up going on a 4 hour ride that had us up on senic overlooks and hauling through flowing Midwest style singletrack. By the end of the ride, there was neither a drop of water nor a cliff bar unconsumed, and I think everyone was getting close to bonksville. The ride was supposed to be 2 hours, but I underestimated a couple of the loops=)
That night we spend climbing trees, swinging axes, and taking down Jagerbombs. Yikes! My wife went to bed early, but came back out around midnight for a bathroom break. She said we were all just sitting around the fire giggling like school girls. Good times...Good times!
Sunday was rainy so we just headed to Grandma and Grandpa's (Jen's parents) house to pick up Tegan.
This weekend is the MNSCS Awards, so we will probably be doing a ride on Saturday weather permitting. Let me know if y'all are interested.
Monday, October 01, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Ahh, the start....there was the token big crash sending people to the hospital....all I heard was crunching metal and some groans/"oh craps". To add to the sweetness, some guy in a Fassa Bortolo jersey slapped Fisher in the face on Hwy 77 (apparently he didn't like getting passed???). I have heard of road racers fighting, but never mountain bikers... either way, Fisher was a stand up guy and just raced on w/out retaliation.
For me, the race ended early, and I fell apart in the first 5 miles. The pace wasn't absurd, but I could feel it coming when warming up. In the crisp weather, my legs just weren't responding (and tend not to). I rode the middle 15 miles up to Fire Tower hill at a very easy tempo pace w/ the O boys and some others. At the hill, I just climbed it at my pace and found my self in no man's land w/ one other guy. As I passed people going to the finish, I was in a steady temp mode. I guess I finished 20th (overall). The posted results are apparently screwed up, who knows. The biggest surprise for me was too see that I was only 5 minutes behind the winner...with they way I thought I was riding, it felt like I should have been 20 minutes back.
The rest of the weekend was awesome. Our family friend let the Fishers...I mean Jen and Chris, my brother, my dad, and myself stay at his cabin. We had a nice bonfire Sat night on the shores of beautiful Gull Lake. I wish every night after a race was spent that way.
I haven't talked to him, but it looks like Fisher did well today at the STXC. I was going to go but with the long season, I don't think my legs have too many more races left in them before they are going to scream for rest=)
If you are wondering about Ben..he had a wicked cold all week and almost didn't come. He finished 49th. He was feeling so crappy that he slept for 4 hours after the race. Hopefully he doesn't get more sick.
I only have 1 more race planned this year, and it is next w/e at St. Cloud. Our weekends until Nov are booked so I can't make Sheboygan or any of the other season closers.
Monday, September 10, 2007
There is a video on Erics blog http://ericoftedahl.blogspot.com/ of me climbing Suicide hill in the TT last weekend. Eric said I was the only one of the experts who just sat and pedaled up it.
Tego got his 6-7 month pics taken this weekend. We are fortunate enough to have a neighbor that does professional photography, so he just came over and took the shots. They turned out really well!
In other news, my second road-style race of the season, Chequamegon, is this weekend. No expectations from me...I go for the festival atmosphere. The actual race? It will be fast for sure.
Monday, September 03, 2007
My parents made the trip up, as they became "empty nesters" this week when they sent my youngest brother Brad off to college. Wow...it only took 28 years! It was really great to hang with them, and I know they loved Maplelag. Maybe we will make this a yearly thing.
On to the racing. The TT was Saturday morning on a 3 mile double and singletrack course. I ended up winning it by 5 seconds over TJ. I was pretty darn close to full on.
The STXC that afternoon was really exciting and hard. There was a lead group of 7 from the start: Sam, Doug, Dan, Paul, Chris, TJ, and Me. Doug took some 'fliers but with a group that big, no one was getting away. When it came down to the last two laps I pulled up on the side of the Chris and told him to follow me. I knew he stood a better chance in a sprint and wanted to give him an opportunity to win. Unfortunately he didn't know it was the last lap, and after I strung the field out, Dan made a hard effort and took the win....my effort was rewarded though with Chris getting second. Everyone I talked to after the STXC was saying how fast we were going. I saw some video, and usually videos are lame, but we do look fast=) I will post some if Jen Meyer gives them to me.The XC went like this: 1. Lead group forms with TJ, Paul, Sam, Chris and I; 2. I get on the front because I was getting frustrated riding behind people in the singletrack and I feel no pressure; 3. I start to bonk for no reason...combo of 2 x 24 hour races in a month and the previous day I think; 4. Sam and TJ get away, and Chris pulls me up to Paul. 5. Chris pulls the ultimate Teammate move by talking me out of my lack of energy, and he pulls me around for 1.5 laps. He sacrificed his overall 3rd in the stage race so I could stay close to Sam. The MNSCS series will come down to the last race in St. Cloud.
For those who haven't been there the "Lakeside Drops" are steep...go to Skinnyski.com under the XC Sport class photos (about #65) to see a SWEET crash.
Chris pulling Paul and I aroundGiving Prop's to my Chris for his help
The final podium plus my little stud muffin.Chris and I soaking our legs after the XCIn other Velo Rochester news, Jen kicked butt and got the overall expert womens trophy! She is such a good technical rider and ended up beating most of the Comp Mens field. So in the end 1st TT, 6th STXC (lead group though=), and 3rd XC...and I am totally fried. It has been 4 hard weekends of racing in a row with the last 2 being 24 of Afton and the Maplelag stage race...lots of racing and I know I didn't fully recover from Afton. As Jay said last night, it is time to rest and then cash in on some of this hard stretch of racing.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Tegan telling me, "its ok, daddy, get em next time."
Monday, July 30, 2007
Monday, July 23, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
Friday, July 13, 2007
The race was hard and my legs felt fine...much better than in the heat at Kato.
I was going to ride down to Rochester this afternoon, but right now my body is screaming for rest. I am going to listen.
Next race is at Buck in one week.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
The exact numbers are difficult to say, but my car said 95 in the shade. On the side of the ski hill, who the heck knows. Combine that with 70+ degree dew points and you get the picture. Heat indexes well into the 100's. I should stop complaining now=)
All of the pics are from Paul's Dad, Thanks!
Seeing exactly how hard I have to go on the last lap...no other experts in sight=)
Having way too much fun during awards.
There is a couple week break now from weekend racing....I wonder what the next race will be? I can tell you that it will be an important one for me...and 3 others=)