Monday, July 30, 2007

Oh 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.

Monday, July 23, 2007


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


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


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.

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 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 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=)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Compatability on Vacation

I keep teasing myself that my brother and I will have a nice endurance ride one of these days, but let's face it, we aren't compatible that way. Every ride ends with both of us crying "uncle!" Some you have ridden with us and can attest to this, and usually it is Fisher that keeps us in line. Today the two of us went out for a friendly cruise in the Iowa countryside. After 2 hours of head wind we turned around and turned it up. Geez....we took the last mile back to the resort easy anyway after we looked at each other and agreed that the legs were completely cooked.

The best part of doing this on vacation is that we spend the rest of the day by the pool.