Saturday, December 29, 2007

Some Highlights

Here is our Christmas Card. If you didn't get one, it is because we didn't have your address!

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

Better late than never

I have been meaning to do a season closing blog entry...it is almost too late now, as I haven't raced in about a month. However, it is cold and I have some spare time to write this evening.

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

Wiiiiiii


Yeah, we were out in that. The unpleasantness wasn't so much from the 6 inches of snow or the 15 degree temps but from the driving wind.

Check out these eyebrows
After that it was on to some Wii action. We assembled a quorum and got wigglin'.
Chris and Jen boxing....Jen WON! video
Paul and Josh playing music...Paul gets in the groove. video

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Turkey Day

Our family has grown and it showed this Turkey day. My 4 siblings, plus 2 spouses, plus mom and dad, and 2 uber active babies makes for a full house in Rochester.
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.
video

Monday, November 19, 2007

Diversity

No, not the PC initiative, but my workouts this time of year.

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

CX etc

The weather this weekend was just awesome. It was sunny and 55 both days, so I made the most of it.
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!

Peace out.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Guest Post: Ben from Collegiate Nationals

Because Ben's blogging skills don't match his riding skills, I have offered to let him guest post about his recent trip to the Mtbk Collegiate National Championships:


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 ;)
STXC:
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!
Adios,
Ben"

Sunday, October 21, 2007

CX'n it

This weekend with a little coaxing, a little harassment, and some personal curiosity, I ventured into the world of Cyclocross.
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=)

P.S. Tegan learned to make pig noises.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Surprise!

Something very special happened on Wed night...the women's mtbking state champ got something almost as cool as a new bike (my wife would say even better, but I don't follow her logic).

Monday, October 15, 2007

BRF

Every year in the Fall, we go on a camping outing with anyone and everyone who we can round up. This year 12 of us ventured over to Hatfield Wisco (right by BRF or Black River Falls)...why Hatfield? Well, it is 1 mile from a 20-30 mile set of singletrack, duh!
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.
Cheers!

Monday, October 01, 2007

So busy...off season right?

While my posts are not as latent as Paul's they are lacking since St. Cloud. A lot has happened! I went to interbike and had a great time. Then I was back for 1.5 days before I headed out to Janesville Wisco for my Neice's baptism.
I-Bike:
So sweet.... I attended with my teammate Charly, Jo Mama, Tri. He is a riot and can sure ride those clown bikes (29ers). We rode 4 hours each day at the outdoor demo on everything from the newest Trek Fuel Ex to a $10K Cervelo. Because Fisher and I had been there before, I knew the trails and we ventured off on the "not-supposed-to-ride" cool trails. 4 flats later, we were ready for the show. We only had one day at the show which was barely enough.
I spent the show talking to prospective sponsors. I talked to a pretty sweet potential wheel sponsor, which I hope works out, and Charly talked to a few other companies for our team. I am not going to list any names until I/we have a chance to talk to these companies post-Ibike.
Stay tuned, but I could be riding an even lighter and faster bike next year....I will need it to keep up with all you fliers.
This last weekend down in Janesville, I hoped to catch up w/ Ben for a ride. Instead, he hammered and I got dropped. We showed up at Kettle Moraine to find a "timed ride" going on. It was some fall festival that they don't call a race for insurance reasons. Anyway, we were too late to race, but we did poach the unused trails over at Emma Carlin. They have some wicked fun single track there. It would be a great place for a 24 hour race. Ben said after, "I felt like hammering." To which, I replied, "I got sick of being anaerobic after about 2 hours."
Pictures:
Dt Swiss's $3300 mountain bike wheelset...come ON!

Calfee's Bamboo Bike

Cannondale/SRAM's Creation?
Grandma with Aubrey and Tegan
My sister Bri, Aubrey, and Tegan Playing in the Baptismal water
Uncle Ben explaining how to drop Brendan on a mountain bike ride


Sunday, September 23, 2007

The series....



Well, it is done, my season that is. It ended up being a tough race up in St. Cloud and a sprint finish between Sam and I for the series and 2nd place (Jeff won). I don't have a lot of time to blog about the race, as I am headed to interbike tonite and want to maximize time with the family.
By my calculations, Sam and I have the same number of series points, 1006 to 1006...crazy! The winner is then decided by head to head match ups. I beat Sam 6 out the 9 head-to-head races (we both missed Red Wing), so that makes me the State Champ.
In other awesome news, Jen Meyer wrapped up the State Championship again as well!
Overall it was a great day for Velo Rochester and our sister team WOW (Women on Wheels),as we repeated with both the Women's and Men's State Mountain Bike Championships!

Next blog will be a recap of Interbike! It is going to be a wild party with Portilla, Paul, and Jo Mama.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

CN

I have fallen behind on blog reading, but I found this on Jay's blog...a Cyclingnews.com recap of Maplelag...
http://www.cyclingnews.com/mtb/?id=2007/sep07/laddiesloppet07

Cool!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Long in the tooth...

Preface: I know a lot of people feel that Cheqaumee is a one of the most important races of the year. For me it is not, but they do put on a pretty wonderful spectacle. Sorry for my weak performance, I would have like to put in a good ride for my team, friends, family, etc.

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

Quiet

Wowsas, no racing this weekend. There was a WORS race, but I needed the rest. My brother went and said it was the course had one small section of singletrack and mowed doubletrack the rest of the 15 minute lap. He rode w/ Chris P the whole time and said that was cool.

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!
http://www.jensrunninblog.blogspot.com/

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

Super fun and some Team work!

The weekend up at Maplelag is the most fun race of the season. If you could dream up what a mountain bike race should be, this would be it. The cabins overlook the lake, the race course/singletrack is out the front door, the food is always on time and good, and last but not least, the racing is HOT!
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.
2 more left - Cheq, and MNSCS #10

Sunday, August 26, 2007

24 Hours of Climbing

I slept hard last night, and I haven't done much today....reports on Ben and Chris are similar. I haven't heard, but I am guessing that Paul isn't bouncing of the walls either.
This report won't be lengthy. We rode 38 laps out at Afton over 24 hours (5PM Friday - 5PM Sat) with no major problems. Then next team was 2.5-3 hours down so the race was not too stressful. Lap times were 35-40 minutes depending on the amount of light. Chris and Paul put up 33:58 and 34:20 laps respectivly around noon on Saturday! They must have found some fresh chamois=) Ben was consitently fast even though he was in a "base" phase for the Collegiate season...Go UW!
Probably the most amazing thing that happened at the race is that Rich "Richzilla" Omdahl sucked down 30 White Castle sliders between laps...who knew sliders were a substitute for Gu?


Paul brought the RV...making this the most comfortable setup yet

Walking to the starting line
Ben working itTegan and Cousin Jeff hangin'Grandpa and Tegan Fisher getting ready for another oneCarnagePaul...no longer a 24 hour virgin

Monday, August 20, 2007

Control - Alt - Delete

For you computer literate, yep, that is what I did this week. Start over with a restful easy riding week....the volume was the same, but I kept the intensity very low. The feeling I had last weekend is not one I want to feel again. I think the reboot worked.
I felt much better at Spirit Mt yesterday, and while the result show that I got worked by Jeff, I am content this morning. Off the start, I took the hole shot and Jeff followed. By 5 min in we had a 20 second gap or so, and I wasn't' riding under any pressure. Then all of a sudden, after a rocky section, Jeff and I look up the hill to see the field cruising by. They had all unintentionally cut at least 30-40 seconds off the course! Jeff and I flew up the trail and they let us pass. I was flustered, but they all let us by. We had a gap soon again, but a foolish crash left me alone with missing skin on my left hip. I waited up for Paul and the chasers who I finished the first 1/2 lap with (it was a 2.5 lap race and the first lap was a 1/2 lap).

At the start of the next lap, I got away by a bit again...then BURP! Yep, the tire burped, but luckily Mr Stan and my CO2 cartridge saved the day. Sam went by me and the chasers almost caught me by the time I got back in the saddle. I went hard and caught Sam, and from then on we rode together (save the time I twisted my handlebars and had to chase back again!). We gapped the chasers pretty good on the sweet new climb they added. I should not that this is the most fun and challenging climb I have encountered in the Midwest....rocky, rooty and steep. Thanks to all the Duluth trail workers and Scotty K for making a sweet course.
Going into the final lap, Jeff had 3 minutes on us, so Sam and I just sat up and took a easy lap. He was feeling pretty bad about cutting the course, and he said that I had him on the rivet during the climb anyway. In the end I rolled in ahead of Sam, as he burped a tire on the last climb and told me not to wait.

Summary: legs felt good despite 2 silly crashes and a flat. I definitely could have gone faster yesterday, but it just would have made the gap smaller to Jeff...what is the point of being a closer second? =)
24 of Afton this weekend...if it doesn't dry out, we are out.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Just one of 'dem days...

My face at the finish says it all: Welch really took it to me today. I kind of saw it coming, but didn't want to believe it and didn't tell anybody. My legs had been hurting abnormally this week. I felt it at Buck on Thursday, where Sam rode away from me, and it was the same story today. To be honest, I really wanted to quit, and I had to convince myself to keep riding. The reason that I kept going was to show the younger riders that never giving up is important.
The race:
At the start, Jason Wenk slipped a pedal or something and took me out. I was dead last before I knew it. I got clipped in and had to put in a hard effort to recover, but this put me into the red way too early. This was the worst scenario, as my legs already had lead in them. From there, I hung on to the leaders for about 1/2 the first lap...never really recovering.
At that point, I decided to cut my losses and just ride. Sam O is climbing like a crazy man right now and rode away from Ben and Jay. Sam told me on Thursday and again today that he is feeling amazing right now.
I don't know how, but I ended up only a minute or so down from Ben and Jay (according to my dad, I haven't seen the results). With dead legs, 4th is more than I deserved.
Me, no where to be seen at the startWorking my way up

Tegan telling me, "its ok, daddy, get em next time."
Next weekend is Spirit Mt in Duluth....until the, some rest.




Monday, July 30, 2007

Oh well...it was fun, right?

This weekend, myself, Ben (bro), Ben (Portilla), and Fisher set out to win. We didn't, but we did ride about 320 miles off road.

Everyone on the team did their best. The course was FLAT....PAN FLAT! Nothing like we are used to here in Minnesota or out in Col (for Ben P). The singletrack was rocky, rooty, twisty, and super cool. Between single tracks sections was flat double track.

We didn't win because of several things in no particular order.

1. We weren't feeling great. No one on the team was anywhere near a peak. Were weren't going bad, but we weren't going good.

2. The team that beat us was really strong, especially on a power course like that. Doug, a 2 time Cheqaumegon winner probably had it in the 44-11 on all the flats=) Jesse was awesome out there. Discounting the first lap (they skipped a section of the singletrack) Jesse and I were the only ones to pull sub 58 minute laps. Brian and Marko were consistently strong the entire time.

3. I had a rough night. In fact, it put the win out of reach. My handle bar light fell off 4 times on my first night lap because my mount was broken. It was a borrowed light and I didn't want to loose it, so I pocketed it and ended up riding the lap with only a small head lap. On the second lap, I was rolling through the rocks and hit one kinda hard, which burped my tire and popped a spoke out of my beloved Mavic SLRs....don't worry it WASN'T the red spoke=) I ended up having to put a tube in when it wouldn't seal...oh and my CO2 was acting up so I had to wait for someone with a pump to come by. The whole ordeal took more than 1o minutes. After fixing the flat and dealing with the spoke so I could finish the lap, I even took time to pee. Heck, it was 2:30 am, I was in the middle of the woods, I had Stan's gu everywhere, and I had just put us out of contention. What could a nice leisurely pee hurt? =)


I can't thank our support staff, Jen, My Dad, and Ben P's parents enough. They did their best to force feed us when we looked tired and demoralized. We couldn't have done it without them.
Next year we will be back if it is the National Championships...otherwise we will probably opt for Afton. For now, I think one 24 hour race a year is enough. Ask me in a few days if I am doing 24 of Afton.
Cheers

Monday, July 23, 2007

24x9

Our Team is ready to go for the Stars and Bars...

Ben Moore

Brendan Moore

Chris Fisher

Ben Portilla



Wish us luck. I am sure the Wisco boys will have a team there for some good competition.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Ninja

Last night was a perfect night for a mountain bike race...80 degrees, low humidity, a nice breeze.

With no Paul there (he is out at nationals) Fisher and Sam decided that I had to lead it out. I would rather follow, but duty called...

I rode reasonably hard on the hills and just let things flow in the singletrack. After the backside singletrack on the first lap, I basically rode solo the entire way for the win. My only contact with Chris and Sam was when in twisty the singletrack sections I would hear them yelling "NINJA." Apparently they saw Paul's little blog quip about me being a "Singletrack Ninja."

Afterwards, I got a fair amount of grief during awards....I may show up in all black next week.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Hammering

The Buck Hill Race last night was hard. Paul led a pretty hot first lap and then started to suffer so I put in a nice hard attack on the pavement climb. I got my nose in the singletrack and just tried to keep it upright (it was very dusty/sandy/washed out last night). I managed to pull a 10 second gap on the chase group of Sam, Chris, and Eric Thompson before the end of the lap. Eric really picked it up last night and hung tough. I continued to climb within myself and ride the singletrack as cleanly as possible. It ended up being a solo TT style effort from the attack on, and I rode it home for the win. Sam took second and Eric nipped Chris for third.
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.
Cheers.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Tres Chaud

Today's Bluff Riders Charge in Mankato was the hottest race I ever remember being in. I know I have probably said that before, but you know what they say about racing...you need to have a short memory.
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=)

Jeff Hall showed up for the first time in a long time...he had some good Euro-stories

Lucky for us, the race was only about 100 minutes because any longer would have made things a lot more difficult. From the gun Paul Hanson was going to have his way with the race. I was the only one who attempted to follow him, but my legs didn't quite have the charge I expected today. 1/2 way through the first lap I had to decide whether I wanted to blow up or ride my own race. The decision was easy, but it left me riding solo for 4.5 laps with Jeff Hall, Fisher and others a little ways back. I was only down 1 minute going into the fourth lap and ended up over 2 minutes down. There isn't much else to say other than that Paul was flying up the climbs and put on an impressive "pro" show. I was happy with second on a day like this and the strongest man won. Fisher put in a strong ride and came in 3rd. It is great to see him killing it again. Ben suffered but hung in there and refused to DNF. That isn't easy when it is hot and the legs aren't there.
All of the pics are from Paul's Dad, Thanks!

A new gnarly part of the course call "Quick Release"

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=)