Friday, December 19, 2008

Monster Bike

I turned old yesterday but my wife softened the blow:

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tweener Season

I don't think anyone really likes the 'tweener season...the time between when the great fall riding ends and when the cool snow riding begins.
However, I have kept myself entertained lately with lots of variety: running, commuting on bike, riding trails when they are frozen, hockey, some core strengthening, and most importantly, chasing Tegan around. For the record, the most strenuous (but also my favorite) activity in that list is the last one=)
Racing wise, the only thing I have done recently was a 5K held here at work. It took me almost exactly 20 minutes, and my takeaway is that I would much rather suffer on a bike.
My plans for the winter will be much the same as previous years, which includes the list above with some snow shoeing thrown in. I generally depend on hockey for most of my intensity training, and RARELY hope on the trainer for more than a 30 minute easy spin.

Anyway, I am rambling, but I will have some good updates coming in a couple months. Next year bike is going to be a rocket ship, and I should have it together sometime in February.
Until then, I will write if anything interesting happens.

Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Afton CX

I race for the first time in 5 weeks this weekend at Afton. It was fun and hard...harder than I have gone in a while mainly due to the running and jumping. My results weren't great, as I finished 9th on the knobbies in the A race.
The most fun part of the course was the muddy steep "barrier+ run up" that I bunny hopped and rode up=)

The toughest part for me was the 6 barriers per lap. This is the third time I have ever tried to clear them...the first two times were in CX races last year and they only had 1-2 per lap. I lost at least 5 yards to whoever I was riding w/ at every barrier. This was is frustrating and takes a lot of energy to make up that time, but I should practice if I want to do better...


There are some more cool pics here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/halvorson/sets/72157608371771629/show/

Thursday, October 09, 2008

It has been a while...

While the blog has taken a post season rest, I have not. I will wait until it is cold to do that=)
The mtbk racing season wrapped up for me at St. Cloud. The course is flat, fast, and twisty. It is a great course for the end of the season because it requires more skill and less leg snap. After the first lap, Jeff and I rode together for a while until he dropped me in the "obstacle course" section on the 3rd lap. He was riding that section at a brisk walking pace...I was riding it at a slow/normal walking pace=) It was fun either way, and I finished a minute or so behind him.
Since then, it has been family time, hockey playing, camping, running, and riding w/ no agenda. I love the fall because it is beautiful and the temperatures are great, but I also love the fall because of the diversity of activities I have more time for. I am thinking about doing a 1/2 marathon this fall to see how it goes. A full marathon has been on my list of "to do's" for a couple years, but I figured I should start w/ something shorter.
Hmm, what else...oh, I was promoted to engineering manager now at Seagate with a small group of engineers under me focused on developing new manufacturing technologies. What does that mean? My Group gets to play w/ really cool and really expensive equipment to see if we can improve how we build hard drives. The new job is definitely more demanding, but so far has been really challenging in a good way.
The economy? This is a bike blog, so maybe a comment on how it will affect biking: I think the bike industry will definitely have a tough year because much of their income comes from people buying "toys". With people feeling less wealthy - I say "feeling" because a lot of what people are loosing are non-liquid funds anyway - they are probably less likely to get that carbon wheel upgrade for their road bike (i.e. me=). Seriously though, it is amazing and sad what greed can lead to.
A final comment on cyclocross. I would like to do some...not sure when or where, but some. I really need to take a bit of time off (couple days at least) to get the leg ready for racing, but I am having too much fun right now for that!

-b

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Wisconsin World Championships

My main goals in Chequamegon, given the super scary mass start and pack/road style racing, are to keep rubber side down and to be in the front group coming out of the Rosies field (for those that haven't done the race it Rosies field is where the race goes from pavement to ski trail).
On the pavement lead out, there was a large LOUD crash right behind me...it actually hit my rear wheel. I was a couple feet from being hauled into it and when it happened, my heart almost stopped. I found out later it was two of my friends and really strong racers, Aric Harlan and Scotty KJ...I hope you guys are alright!
After that, there was a split in the field as the 4 wheeler lead-out dropped the hammer (twisted their wrist a little more=) and I was spun out in the lead group in my biggest gear...that means in the low 30mph range. We hit Rosies and I was in a long line but still in the front group. Then crap hit the fan for me....About a mile later, one of the Grandstay guys had a yard sale that saw him tossing the bike right in front of me. I hit his bike and went OTB landing on my head and neck. I got up, remounted but was still quite disoriented. The next 5 miles were all about collecting myself and making sure the damage wasn't severe. My back and right calf hurt but I definitely didn't need to stop.
The rest of the race was uneventful and I was riding at a tempo pace in the second group not under very much pressure. I was ok with this though because I has lost my impetus to go hard and was sore from the crash. I ended up just inside the top 20 and definitely didn't have the race I could have.
On a more awesome note, Jeff seems to be back in form. I raced him a couple times earlier this year and figured that he was only a couple weeks of training/rest away from being back at the top. It is too bad he couldn't hold Page off.
This morning, my neck is quite stiff, my calf has a new bulge from swelling, but my legs feel fine so I am going out on the roady for a nice fall ride...during Tegan's nap of course=)
St. Cloud next w/e will wrap up the season for me. I thought about pulling the plug, but it is such a fun course that I can't pass it up. Oh, and CX will be thrown in as time and body permit.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Monday, September 01, 2008

Mapleblog

Lame title I know, but I couldn't think of anything better tonite.
Labor Day weekend up at Maplelag for a stage race and MNSCS#9 has become a tradition in our family. Jen and Tegan get as excited for it as I do!
I took the day off on Friday so we could roll out early, avoid traffic, and have some R&R once we arrived. It worked out great because Jake took me on a lap that afternoon and showed me all the fast lines.
Saturday morning was the time trial w/ the additional carrot of $50 extra to anyone that could break 10 minutes and win. The course was 3 miles of up and down ski trail with several sections of singletrack. It included suicide hill of course. My winning time last year was several seconds over 10 minutes but I figured I could do a little better. I went out too hard and while 10 minutes doesn't sound like much, this race hurt more than any other during the weekend. I finished up with a time of 9:50...point something. TJ came across soon after with a time of 9:50...but a couple tenths of a second longer. I wasn't counting my chickens though because Doug hadn't come in and he was fresh off a win at the state road race. He pulled an even faster time so I had to settle for second in the middle of a rigid 29" Superfly sandwich.
The rigid 29" Superfly vs 26" Trek (I rode my rigid 9.9) continued in the STXC. I was going good and not struggling to hang w/ TJ and Doug when we broke away. I went to the front and started to push it...up the steep side of the bowl my bike stopped. My wife got a perfectly timed pic of it: I zoomed way in on the pic and it looks like my tire is in a rut the width of one tire. How it got there???? The bike was pointed forward...hmm. I am sure I couldn't do it again even if I tried. Anyway, I went airborne sideways, and I quickly remounted w/ about 10 PSI in my front tire (it burped). Soon after the chase group caught us. From then on, I couldn't use the legs that I had because I had to corner like I had never ridden a bike before. Oh well, I finished 4th unable to really sprint.
The XC is on one of the coolest courses in the midwest. It is 1420 feet of climbing per lap, 3 laps, and is all punchy climbing with the longest sustained vertical gain less than 100 feet. Combine that with temps near 90 and you are bound to hurt. Doug went out like a wild man and TJ and I followed. I shouldn't have followed immediately because I popped and started making dumb mistakes. I let SamO go and rode for a while with Eric O. Later in the lap, we caught Doug who did the same thing to himself that he did to me. After that lap, I went to the front and started to pull away from Eric. I came close to pulling back TJ and SamO by the end...45 seconds and 30 seconds respectively. I wish I had it to redo because there were two dumb crashes that were just due to being so cross-eyed. Those cost me some of the time I needed in the end.
After the race a bunch of us headed for a dip in the lake. Man, it felt SO good on the legs. Every race should end that way. Follow that with Steak for dinner and you have some happy mountain bikers.
In the Omnium I ended up second to TJ who won it for a second year. SamO had 3rd, but more importantly for him, he wrapped up the MNSCS title. Of course I wanted to win it, but I couldn't have lost it to a more stand-up hard working guy. Nice work Sam!
Another noteworthy performance was turned in by Jake Richards. The kid is a mad man on the single track and can clearly generate the watts too because he was Top 10 in the Expert Omnium..in his first set of expert races.
Skinnyski.com has a ton of pics and all the results.
I only have 2 races (other than cx) left on my schedule, Cheq and MNSCS#10 in St.Cloud.
Cheers and it was great to hang out w/ everyone who was up at Maplelag=)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

#2 and #8

First, the most exciting news. Number 2 is on the way! Jen and I are both really excited....Tegan hasn't a clue. I don't know what it will mean for training or the longevity of my racing, but only time will tell.
Second, a race report. Today was the Border Battle, as WORS race that counted as both MNSCS race number 8 and WORS race number??. The course was flat, which I expected, but had lots of singletrack, which I didn't expect. Anyway, I got to catch up w/ a few Wisco dudes before the race and at the starting line. It is always good to see them.
At the gun, my chain fell off which wasn't cool...still don't know why. Up the first hill I rode in the woods to get back into position. We were going pretty slow through first singletrack so I made a move at the next open section. When we entered the second section of single track, I grabbed for a gear or two and there was nothing...the rear derailleur stopped working. I tried to figure out what was going on but just decided to go with it (turns out I couldn't have done anything anyway, see below).
I was left with a single speed dual suspension and a 34-11 gear ratio. I don't know much about single speeding, but that seems a little tall to me=) Anyway, rather than get frustrated and quit, I had fun with it learning how to race a single speed for the first time. It took me a bit, but I started to get the hang of it by the end. I have no idea how I finished (Tego was in need of a nap, so Jen and I made a quick exit), but it couldn't have been good. I am lucky the course was flat because with that gear ratio, I would have had to run a lot or DNF on one of our typical hilly courses.
The mechanical was unfortunate because I had good legs...in fact they didn't hurt at all afterwards. Oh well, life goes on. I had fun, single speeding was mildly entertaining, and it leaves me feeling good about the coming long race weekend up at Maplelag.
BTW, it turned out that the failure was with the cable housing...it exploded! I didn't know it could do that.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Do the Dew


Not much exciting for me happened last weekend. The only racing for me last week was a TT at Murphy Hanrehenan....10 sweet miles of singletrack at a zoom zoom pace, and I set the course record.

The more exciting happening for our team was a Solo win at 24 Hours of Afton. With our normal team out due to 24x9 being 2 weeks earlier, Dan Dittmer represented Velo Rochester on the hills of Afton.
For those that don't know Dan, he is my co-worker who I recruited for Velo Rochester so Jo Mama wouldn't have to play alone at endurance events. Dan's background is in College level track and Semi-Pro/Pro adventure racing....more recently, he has been climbing mountains (Mt. McKinley this past spring and Kilimanjaro last spring) and doing painfully long mtbk races.

I don't have a race recap, but he got to quit riding 3 hours early because of the large lead he had built up through the night. I do have some cool stats from him for your enjoyment (hey we are Engin-nerds this is what we do).
From Dan:
Here are the stats from the Salsa 24. The laps were only 6.5 miles according to my GPS but there was 1100 feet of climbing per lap. I ran a 8500 calorie deficit despite drinking copious amounts of high fructose corn syrup.

Tally for 21 laps:
136 miles
23000 feet of climbing
pre-race meal - 3 slices of pepperoni pizza
During the race:
12 bottles of Gatorade - 1200 Cal
5 scoops Perpeteum - 650 Cal
5 scoops Heed - 500 Cal
15 cans Mt. Dew - 2550 Cal
3 packages of Shot Bloks - 600 Cal
8 chocolate chip cookies - 400 Cal
_________________________________________
Total consumed during the race = 5900 Calories
Total calories burned during the race = 14300 Calories


15 Cans of Mountain Dew???? Seriously!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Bumpin' Buck

MNSCS #7 was moved from the popular course at Welch Village Ski area to Buck Hill at the last minute due to construction. While Buck is a good venue, it is too bad we missed out on the Metric Drop and the Wall (a ~35% rocky rutted climb up a ski run).

The race organizers still put on a good show out at Buck, and even with 6 laps our times were the shortest I ever remember in a MNSCS race. Don't get me wrong...I am not complaining because I still have a little case of the 24 hour legs=)


Most of the normal hard hitters lined up, but Ben was replaced by the familiar face of Jeff Hall. Heath Wiesbrod, a newly crowned semi-pro, took off like a mad man at the start. Mid way up the first climb Jeff and I caught him and I put in a little effort up the gravel/pavement climb to get into the singletrack first. You see, the course was basically a 5 minute climb and 7 minutes of winding your way back down so getting clean look at the singletrack after the climb was key.Jeff hugged my wheel the entire race, and we slowly pulled away from everyone. We sort of shrugged our shoulders when lapped traffic started to get heavy through the later laps. We chatted on the last lap and agreed that the proper way to finish would be a sprint. The only hiccup came about 3 minutes from the finish when lapped traffic caused us to do some crazy maneuvering in one of the sand pits...Jeff cracked himself right in the seeds. I let up a little to make sure he was ok=) Coming out of the last down hill, I had the lead into the sprint and held him off for the win.

Tegan was working hard too and cheering everyone on "go guys, go guys" (for that matter any time he sees a picture of bike racing he says that=)


Next, I may try to hit up a Murphy Hanrehan TT. I have always wondered how fast of a lap I could do out there. There is NO race this weekend...we are not doing Afton, as that would end my season doing a second 24 hour race in 3 weeks. It is too bad that they were so close because 24 of Afton is one of my favorite events.

After this weekend is the combined WORS/MNSCS. I have a wedding the night before in Duluth, so we will see how that works out. From what I hear, it sounds like some awesome singletrack but no hills.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Last Buck of the Year..Almost

Last night was almost the last Buck Hill race of the year...this weekend's MNSCS #7 will be the last Buck race of the year. By my calculations, this weekends race will be laps 46-53 for me out there this year. I think that will be enough for a while=)

The race went fine. I won it over SamO, but we both agreed that the legs had very little snap. I always forget how long it takes to recover from 6 one hour time trials over one day! As an added bonus last night my long time friend and the guy who took me on my very FIRST mountain bike ride, Paul Oldenburg came out for the event, as he recently moved back here from Denver. It is great to have you back in Minnesota Paul!

I don't want to comment too much on the start (people messing with eachothers equipment, trash talking in an unfriendly way, pushing eachother over, and eventually almost a fist fight amoung some racers) other than to say it was a small irritation for me, but a true embarassment for our sport and the Minnesota mountain bike scene. I didn't like any part of the situation and to be honest it is still bugging me today.

Onward and upward.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A very Velo 24x9

This past Saturday-Sunday our Velo Rochester team including My brother, SamO, Chris, and I were in Wisco for the 24 hour National Mtbk Championships. We took second last year and were gunning for the victory this year. In our way were teams from North Carolina, Indiana, Michigan, among others. There were a total 1000 racers there competing in everything from the 6 hour duo competition to the 24 hour solo category. The course was 14 miles long with ~600 feet of climbing per lap. The terrain was a 1/2 and 1/2 mix of double track and rocky, rooty, twisty sweet singletrack.
SamO lead us out on the LeMans start and was quickly in a good position. Unfortunately, he didn't know that a guy from the Cannondale team (from NC) was up the trail. He didn't totally kill it and was about a minute back after the shortened first lap(they cut out the first section of singletrack to avoid trail clogging). I was worried, but hopped on and started pedaling. My legs didn't seem like they had any zip, but in the second single track section, I had already pulled in the lead rider.
I continued to roll in the lovely singletrack section that was most of the second half of the lap. I guess I was going fast enough because with the help a flat tire, I had put 19 minutes into the previous leaders. Chris was next and ended up breaking his seat off and riding 2/3 of a lap w/ only rails left attached to this bike...we lost about 9 minutes there. Ben brought us back w/ a hot one. We continued this trend through the day and first set of night laps.
At that point we went to our tried and true rotation schedule that had Sam, Me, Sam, Me, Chris, Ben, Chris, Ben. This got us through the night and allowed us to each to have a 5 hour break for some rest. I actually had a lot of fun and fairly fast night laps. My light setup of a Princeton Tec (thanks to them for hooking us up) Duo helmet light and a Tri Newt handlebar mount made is seem like daytime on the open sections. The really twisty singletrack was a little slower at night leading to 3-4 minute longer lap times. Everyone else was solid as well and Ben put in the fastest overall night lap that I could see in the results
An aside on why we do the different rotation: The 5 hour break is key when you are essentially doing 6 separate 1 hour time trials in 24 hours. It is a much sharper kind of pain and suffering than the solo riders experience. For us and our XC backgrounds, it suits us better.
Anyway, after those night laps in which we luckily had no issues, we each had one more lap. My legs felt like tar, but once I found the singletrack groove, I was able to roll a decent last lap time. Ben was our anchor man and the team trailing us didn't get to go out on their 24th lap because they came in after 24 hours...We had it WRAPPED! Ben knew this and was nice enough to help out woman's team rider who had a flat. While it is illegal to actually change her flat, he calmed her down when the tubeless system failed and talked her through a tube replacement.
Going into these races, I have 2 goals...the first and most important is to win the team competition. The second is to do the fastest lap and have the fastest average lap time. In this case I accomplished both with my first lap being just a hair over 56 minutes..and that was a full lap, not the shortened first lap=)
Some team stats: 14k feet climbed, 340 miles ridden, 4 sets of wrecked bodies
Very comprehensive results can be found here: http://www.grannygear.com/realtime/public/nm_index.php

At this point, I want to thank all the help: Matt at Rochester Cycling and Fitness for keeping us fed, hydrated (I probably had 15 bottle of Gu2O during the race), and riding sweet equipment, Maury and Trek for the sweet Top Fuel rocket bike, and most importantly, our pit crew of My DAD and JEN MEYER. Without them catering to our every need through the ENTIRE night, we couldn't have won....they deserved a jersey too. Oh, and Tegan did help out some with some bike repairs...thanks little man!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Stars and Bars!


National Champs! Race summary to follow....

Monday, July 28, 2008

Still In Vermont?

Spirit Mt (MNSCS #6) was a great way to reintegrate into Midwest racing...it felt like we never left Vermont. Well, it is a little different. The course is much tighter and twistier but has just as many or more rocks, and the main 700 foot climb is about 2/3 rocky rooty singletrack....down right dreamy. The entire race was only 2 laps, but there was 1300 feet of tough climbing per lap.

They started us right on the hill, which made for a cluster at the start, but I got out front chasing down my teammate, CHARLY TRI, who got the holeshot (he REALLY wanted me to mention him in my blog, so tell him how cool he is next time you see him). I slipped on the first sharp turn on the lead out hill, but quickly remounted...sorry to those who I hindered.
I caught back on by the top and Jay, my bro and I followed Scotty Kylander Johnson all the way through the first lap. He built much of the trail and there is probably no one faster than him descending it. At the start of the 2nd lap, Ben and I had a little gap, but Scott and Samo (who caught Scott on the climb) closed it down to about 20 seconds on the descent.
Ben got hung up on some rocks when we started the climb causing me to dismount. My calves locked up, and it took 5-10 seconds to get going again. We continued to march on and Samo passed me in the last 1/8th or so of the climb. I just didn't have the climbing legs to hang. I yelled up to Ben that Sam was coming and impressively, he turned it on to hold the gap to Sam. So there it ended, Ben then 10 seconds to Sam then 20 seconds to me.
I am super proud of Ben for riding strong the whole race and it was a well deserved victory. Honestly, the only thing better than me winning was watching my little brother take it home.

As far as how I felt?? Well after my debacling at Vermont I wasn't expecting much. Hydration was a challenge w/ only 1 mid race hand off, but for the most part I stayed cramp free. My descending was just fine, but my power, especially on the climbs, was not very good. On the great to horrible scale, I give the legs and OK on the day=) I am hoping this mid season lull in fitness will allow me to have more late season fitness at my favorite race, Maplelag=)

Next up is our bid for the 4 Man 24 National Championships. Our original team was Paul Hanson, Ben Portilla, Fisher and Myself (my bro thought that he would have already moved to Albany). However, a couple crashes later, Paul has a torn rotator cuff, and Ben P has a broke back (this past weekend; he is in pain but will make a full recovery). Our team has been modified to Ben, Me, Fisher, and SamO.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Good to be home.

Buck #?? was last night...anyway there are only 2 left. Fisher went off like it was the Nationals short track, with his wild bike whipping sprinting technique that has the fuel looking like a wet noodle. I followed him and we got a clean run through the first singletrack. When we hit the pavement climb (don't know why we call it that, it is almost all gravel now), we had a little sprint, and I caught his handlebar on my thigh when he started his sprint again. I am not sure if I was too close to him when I went around or if the handlebar swinging got me...probably a little of both. Anyway, all was ok by the top, and I got a clean look at the backside singletrack. By lap 3 the legs started to come around more, and I ended up w/ the solo win by about 3 minutes, with Dave Oachs in second and Fisher another minute behind him in 3rd.
It was good to be home and to have Tegan and Jen waiting for me at the finish line.
Spirit should be tough this weekend and I hear it might only be 2 laps because they are so long. It should be entertaining either way, as they have the most technical course I have encountered in the midwest.



Monday, July 21, 2008

US Nationals

I am sitting here in a hotel room in Albany NY waiting for my flight .... this trip was fun, but from a riding perspective not successful.
To start the weekend on Friday, Ben Portilla and Ben my brother both were on the podium in the Semi-Pro XC race. That was awesome to watch.
From Thursday until my race on Saturday at 2, it was just a lot of sitting and waiting...hard to deal with and something I am not used to back home where other obligations keep me busy up until race time.
The XC course pre-rides went well and I LOVED the course. It was basically a 20 minute climb and a downhill. The downhill was about the most fun one I have ever done.
However, in the XC I had my first DNF ever...this was very embarrassing and hard for me to swallow. I never thought I would quit a race for physical reasons, but I couldn't turn the cranks over after a strange start. The start was a cluster, and I was a little surprised at some of the areas that had pro level mountain bikers off their bikes. I did no less than 4 track stands in the first 2 miles because of people in front of me dabbing, slipping, etc. I got frustrated, had to run the whole first section of singletrack, and then the legs shut down. I shouldn't take for granted that I get to ride my own race most of the time in the Midwest!

On happier note, I also did the Super D....a very interesting blast of a race. The Super D is a mostly downhill time trial that pits XC guys, 4 cross guys, DH guys, etc against eachother. The course was GNARLY! It was about at the limits of my capability on my XC race bike. Schnell, Craig, and all of those going for the win were on their 6&6's (6" front and rear travel) and 2.5" downhill tires. The start was a run (w/ your bike) up a 30 yard rocky grassy hill before mounting your bike and heading down. I was right behind Adam Craig at the top until we hit the rocky 3-4 foot whoops/drops at the top. I followed Jay Richards down the rest of the way just making sure that I would get to the bottom in one piece. I never really over did it and rolled across the line with a smile on my face.

Looking forward, I will probably reboot this week with 3 (or as many as 7) solid weeks of racing coming up. Hopefully a second wave of fitness will be hitting later this season.

Cheers.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

What sound is worse than finger nails dragging across a chalk board?

The pssssssssssst sound coming from your tire as it is going flat....

Let me start from the top. I got the holeshot at MNSCS#4 held in Mankato today. I was going hard, but not out of my comfort zone. After the first lap I had about a minute on SamO and Cam Kirkpatrick. Near the end of the second lap, I had held the gap and was riding at a maintainable pace. On one of the technical rooty downhills call "Quick Release" I hit an off-camber root sending my front wheel sideways and me OTB. I was fine, but the air was rushing out of my tire. I flipped the bike over and tried to get the sealant to work but to no avail. I inspected further and found a bunch of mud trapped between the tire bead and rim. I pulled it out as Sam and Cam went by. I let the CO2 fly and the tire seemed to hold so I hopped back on for the chase. I knew it would be hard having lost several minutes, but I was just happy that I didn't have to DNF. I spent laps 3 and 4 catching Cam and getting to w/in 15 seconds of SamO. Unfortunately, the hard effort was too much for me, and I couldn't hold on (cramping again!)....with all the chasing, I hadn't been hydrating appropriately. I rolled home in 3rd very disappointed but accepting the fact that mountain bike racing on technical courses can get you sometimes...my face says it all.
The next few weeks are going to be focused on family vacation (near Two Harbors WI), mid season recovery, and rebuilding for National Championships in Vermont. After 12 races in less than 8 weeks so far this season, I am feeling a bit shagged.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Good and The Bad

Good - I won Buck last night without wearing myself too thin for Kato. I tried some new tires and liked them. I need more evaluation time before committing to a complete switch.

Bad - Paul Hanson crash hard on the first lap and was in a world of hurt (I found out after the race). I don't know what the latest is this morning, but I hope he is back soon....we need someone to kill us up the first hill every race=)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Mont Du Sludge

I love the Mont Du Lac course...when it is dry=) We got poured on several times yesterday and it made for tough conditions and a seriously muddy bike. THat is mountain biking though.
I didn't have the mental edge yesterday and it showed. I was riding quite comfortably until it got greasy. Rather than stay cool and ride smooth, I got frustrated and started crashing. Anyway, SamO, Jay and Ben were all riding great and SamO did it on the same tires I had (SMB8's).
The highlight for me yesterday was getting up from a crash on one of the steep whoops that I wasn't sure my bike or I would make it through (although my seat shifted and I had to uncomfortably w/ my saddle pointed up - right into my seeds - for the rest of the race)!

Kato and Buck this week...

Friday, June 20, 2008

Thats a Wrap

Last night we wrapped up Buck Hills first 6 race series. After a lead out and some trash talking by Scott Ralston, Paul and I went to the front and got a quick gap. I put in an attack on the first pavement climb and backside single track, and from there I was solo. I ended up winning the race and the first series.
The only other significant note is that it was HOT @ 85F! I like the heat, my legs always feel better in heat, but it takes a few hot races to get acclimated.

Next up is Duluth...not Mankato.

Keep em turning over!

Friday, June 13, 2008

No More T-shirts

My tradition of racing in cotton out at Buck Thursday Nights was broken yesterday. The new skins suit was in full effect and they don't have a pocket so the only opportunity to wear them will be in shorter races. Either way, I have to admit that it fells a lot better to race in lycra.

On to the race....an unfamiliar face showed up to the races. Josh Bezecny a Trek VW pro rider from Boulder was at the starting line (I didn't know who he was, but I talked to him afterwards and found out that he raced here in MN back in the late 90s - early 00's). Absent from the starting line were SamO and Paul. I took the hole shoot, and kept the pace high. Josh and I had a 20-30 second gap by the top of the hill. I pushed on the pedals a little harder through the single track and opened up a small gap. From there, I was able to extend it a little in the second lap. Finally in the 3rd lap, my legs started to snap-to and in the last 2 laps, I grew the margin to almost 2.5 minutes. I rolled across the line to a little guy name Tegan begging for the left overs of my orange drink mix (He knows when I am done he gets a sweet tasting drink =)

I think the legs are coming around, and I haven't moved my cleats in almost a week. I really struggled with that earlier this season when I was switch shoes. 1-2mm of fore or aft movement makes a world of difference in power for me.

This weekend I will not be going to Wisco for the WORS cup. I think my legs are good enough to do well, and my wife told me to do whatever makes me happy...what an awesome wife. Honestly, being with her, Tegan and my parents, getting a little training in, and watching the Nature Valley Grand Prix with friends is about the perfect fathers day weekend for me. I know the WORS cup would be fun...it is the 9+ hours of car time and the 1.5 days away from my family that sealed the deal. I guess it is pretty obvious where my priorities lie... it may sound lame to some, but I think most daddy's would understand.

Next up will be Buck again and MNSCS#3 in Mankato.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Looking good is important while suffering...

Any time you show up to Afton for a race, you better be ready to climb. Luckily the whole VeloRochester crew was looking really good in our new team kits while we suffered!
The MNSCS #2, Afton Avalanche, was a 24 mile bruiser of a course w/ 5000-6000 feet of climbing thrown in, and the median finishing time for the experts was over 2 hours and 40 minutes....good preparation for Mt. Snow.
The race started out up a small-ish hill (but big enough) to allow for "natural" selection. The Velo crew hit it hard of the start.
I got the hole shoot at the top of the first hill, and just kept it a at a good hard pace. To my surprise I was gapping the rest of the field. I wasn't trying to attack, as I knew it would be a long race to try and go solo from the start. However, by the top of Shady Lane (the first of several time each lap you fully climb the hill) I had 20 seconds or so on Ben, and I wasn't under too much pressure so I pushed it on the punchy climbs and technical descending portions of the trail. The gap continued to open and was nearly a minute by the end of the lap. After that, I just set a maintainable climbing pace and rode fast and smooth on the downhills. By the third lap, I had nearly 3 minutes on Ben and Jeff Herrera (who was up from Arizona), but my legs started to get crampy...I HATE that. There was lots of power left in them, but was unable to use it because they were freezing up...darn! I tried a different drink mix for the race and will be going back to my tried and true double top secret formula next time. I rode a pretty slow 4th lap knowing that I had time to spare. In the end, I had a little over 1.5 minutes on Ben. He rode a really strong race and a very strong last lap.
Fisher suffered a flat but hung with it...here he on a typical Afton decent.
Tegan and others provide a great cheering section. If you hear a little voice saying "go, go, go" by the water stand, that was him=) Jen said that he cheered for everyone!
Thanks to Bruce at Skinny Ski for all the pics (except the one of Tegan..that was Jen)

Next up is Buck on Thursday and maybe the WORS Cup on Saturday. I hear the WORS Cup course is a fun one...the only down side would be that I have to start in the second row.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The race must go on.

Sorry for the late update, but I have been busy.
Anyway, the storm warning sirens turned off around 6 pm last Thurs so we did race. It was 55 and raining=( It sure didn't feel like the end of May. Ben took it to me and I did not have a lot of fun out there, but "the race must go on!"

Other than that, here is Ben's update from this weekend in Wausau...it sound like he had fun, but suffered the same fate as may other riders:


Well the race yesterday didn't go quite as well as would have hoped. The start was weird, slightly downhill/flat double track lead-out gave way to a few miles of rolling doubletrack/gravel roads. As such it was fast for the first part of the lap with drafting and pacelines playing a major role. Jesse Lalonde put in an early attack but it didn't materialize, Eppen took the reigns for a bit through the first sections of singletrack but sat up a bit when we got back on the road. Soon I found myself sitting on the front, I worked hard but soon started to feel some pain so I slowed up a bit and Lalonde and Eppen came sprinting past me followed soon after by Marko, Tristan, Guerra, and Matter. I soon found myself in 7th place in no-man's-land blown to pieces. I sat up a bit as there was no one within sight behind me. I ate and drank and began to feel a bit better when Paul H and Bender caught me. I hopped on Pauls wheel and we began to work pretty well together. On the las
t lap I took to the front and was feeling pretty good, about to catch 4th place when in one of the extremely rocky sections of trail I heard two horrifying sounds: pssssss pssssss. Rear tire went flat immediately. I frantically and in vain tried to get two holes to seal with my co2, but the holes where took big. Stans was squirting everywhere. I had about half a canister of air left when I noticed that my front tire was down to about 5 psi. Simultaneous double flat. With only enough air for one tire and one tube, the situation was unresolvable. Defeated, I strolled back to the start/finish in a cloud of mosquitoes and called it a day. Come to find out like 40% of the field fell victim to the sharp rocks as well. Mike Phillips, Tristan Schouten, Brian Matter, among many others flatted out as well. I've never seen so much flatting on a single course before. Those rocks must have been razor sharp.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Why Buck Hill Races Rule!

Here are some pics from Dana (http://www.dschoppe.smugmug.com/) capturing our family fun during and after the race. Thanks for sharing Dana!
Ok so it doesn't look like I am having fun, but I think this is right after I put the hammer down=)
Tegan and I having fun
Jen Fisher keeping the big man fed
Tegan and Uncle Ben

Tegan cracking/bonking at the end of the night (1.5 hours past his normal bedtime)



Mom is there to save the day





Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Buck #3 and Estes Park

Buck Hill number 3 saw the normal crew plus my brother Ben shooting it out. After a good lead out by Paul, I laid it down a bit on the hill traverses. I opened up a gap and just rode my own race from then on. It was great to get my first win of the year, but I am still waiting on that snap in the legs.

Immediately after the race, Ben and I headed down to Des Moines to rendezvous with my parents. After a short stint of shut eye, we got going to Estes Park CO early the next morning to attend one of my good friend's wedding. Lucky for us, the wedding wasn't until 4 on Saturday.
You will never guess what Ben and I did to fill the time=) Devils Backbone in Loveland definitely lived up to its name...we didn't have a camera, but here is a pic I found of one of the climbs. Technical, rocky climbing is probably my favorite thing to do on a mountain bike. There was no shortage of this at the Backbone.
The wedding was in a scenic little church in the shadow of Long's Peak and Meeker Mt.

And the reception was at the hotel that inspired Steven King to write the Shining...No JOKE! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Hotel
Before heading home I got out on a really fun hike with my brother Brad...we hoofed it pretty hard up to Deer Mountains Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Oh, and the new team kits are in....with NEW colors. I am really happy about that because all my chamois and skin suits are pretty shelled=)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Update from Ben in Wisco

For those that don't know, my brother Ben is living in Madison this summer before heading out to grad school in Albany, NY. Given that (and gas prices), he will be riding more WORS that MNSCS this summer.
Here is his update from this weekend:
Race at Lake Geneva went pretty well, I rode with the Lalondes for a few laps before I wussed out and got dropped. I rode the last 2 laps solely with Tristan S. I crashed really freakin hard on the 4th lap and he passed me. Due to pain and lap traffic I was unable to catch him and ended up 4th. The course was super fun. It brought back memories of old Buck Hill; it was at a ski hill with about the same length of climbs and with some fun singletrack. The singletrack was fairly twisty, flowy and technical with some short punchy climbs sort of like Buck Hill. The ST also brought back memories of Welch in some places. All in all the best WORS course I have yet to ride.

Monday, May 19, 2008

CORC and VR Training Camp

This weekend was a blast! The first annual VeloRochester training camp was held up in Cable Wisco at Charly's cabin (SamO and Paul were invited to come as celebrity guests when the VR turnout was lower than expected). The cabin is literally 1/2 mile from Telemark and the Camba Trail system starts in his back yard (he rents it out weekly for super cheap if you are interested).
Cable Off Road Classic was on the agenda for Sat morning. I didn't really feel fully recovered after Buck on Thursday night, but I figured I would give'r and see what happens. The start was not as crazy as Cheq because it had a "selection" hill...Cool! I hit the singletrack in 4th behind Doug, Paul, and Jesrin. Doug and Paul started to get a gap so I went around Jesrin. I started to pull them back, but then I went off trail in a spot where the leaves were thick and I couldn't tell which way to go. Oops! Jesrin caught me by the time I got back on the trail. We soon hit an open section. From then on it was another tough solo effort, and I knew it would be almost impossible to catch Paul and Doug if they worked together. I didn't see ANYONE for the next hour (other than trail officials) until about 4 miles left when I started to catch Doug. Paul had put the hammer down and pulled away for the win... a deserved win for sure! I never caught Doug and ended up 3rd.
My comments on the course: one of the most fun courses I have done, and definitely the best point to point I have done. The singletrack was stellar and that is what keeps me coming out to races.
After the race, we biked 3 miles back to Charly's as a cool down. We planned to ride again later in the day, but storms derailed our plans. Instead, we just cooked dinner twice and at almost everything=) We followed that with a camp fire that got a little hot.
Sunday we took an epic ride that saw us hitting the Ojibewe (SP?) loop and then some Rock Lake trails. Again, all the singletrack was awesome. We rolled home with a few last hard pulls on road back to the cabin.
Racing so far: the race season started for me 10 days ago and is already 4 races old. The starts so far have been pretty painful (more than normal) for me. I am still waiting for the extra kick in the legs...I haven't had it yet this year. I think warm (or even average) weather and a few more races will help.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Buck #2

Another sufferfest is over and I got dropped again. Paul was riding very well and dropped me on the third pavement climb. We had a big gap to the rest of the field already so I just cruised it on in for second about 20-30 seconds back. SamO put in another solid ride followed by Fisher, Eric Thompson, and Luke Nelson.

All in all, I wouldn't say that I felt bad or good last night (in the race), but I sure had a fun time chasing Tegan around after the race...he really gets me going every time he does his little squat-knee-bend dance w/ the head bob=)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dana's wonderful work: I couldn't resist

Some of the pics of the mud pit were so funny that I couldnt' resist another post:

A fish (Fisher) in the mud
How deep? Deep!

Going for a swim
All these great pics were provided by Dana Schoppe.

Monday, May 12, 2008

#2 at MNSCS #1

Flat does not equal easy...in fact, most of us agreed after the race that often flat can equal harder. I am referring to the lack of climbing out at MNSCS #1, as it is a fast twisty course that offers no respite. Throw in a bunch of really fast guys and you get suffering of the toughest kind.
Oh, and my knee felt fine. It didn't hurt at all to pedal, but it still hurts a little with any twisting motion. I guess I must have sprained it a little on Thurs.
The race:
Paul led out the prologue with Hollywood, myself, Doug, and the rest of the field in tow. I was very comfortably following and managed to follow Paul and Doug into the single track. The MORC guys (race organizers) always do a good job of finding a way to start the race w/out creating a total cluster even given the the lack of a selection climb. After a few minutes, Paul started to pop a little. He let me go around him and I pulled in Doug who was on a self described "should be illegal on this course" rigid superfly=) I hung on for the first lap and fell 10 seconds back through the second. Then I sunk my tire in the big mud pit and had to dismount OTB. At that point, I knew he would be tough to catch because the gap jumped to 40 seconds. Paul, SamO, and EricO were all riding strong in a pack behind me so I tried to keep the gas on. Given the 20-30 mph head wind on some of the open sections, I knew it would be hard to hold them off. Doug was riding superbly again and was not to be caught. I ended up soloing it home for second.

Lessons for the day:
1. Ride my own race if possible - Compared to last year where I/we were stuck in a pack of riders, this was much better. I got to ride my own race...it just wasn't good enough for the win.
2. Hydrate more - I started to cramp on the last 2 laps because I didn't drink enough on the first two....drink, drink, drink.

BTW, pics posted are from Skinny Ski
Next up is Buck Thurs and Cable Off Road Classic/ Velo Rochester Training camp this weekend.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Buck number one, race number one, not won

Well finally I had an opportunity to race last night. A hot field was present w/ Doug, Sam, Paul, Chris, Tom, and at least half of the MNSCS expert field. Up to the race, I was feeling ok, but I cracked my knee REALLY hard on a tree in warm ups when my front tire washed out. It was in the same area that my brother almost died (not really) in a wicked crash two years ago. Anyway, it was stupid and my fault that I was talking rather than paying attention.
I had to pretty much continuously pedal up to the race so the knee wouldn't freeze up (and it did after the race), so sorry to those who thought I was being ant-social. I did get a few hello's in, but I would have rather been chatting than pedaling.

The race was hard. Doug attacked on the first pavement climb. I caught him, but he was flying. The guy is straight-up super fit and winning almost all the spring road races right now.
After I let up a little, SamO eventually caught me. I was ok w/ that because Fisher warned me that he has some serious climbing legs right now. On the last lap, I took the reigns and rode pavement and the twisty stuff a little quicker getting a gap. That is how it ended. Doug up about 50 seconds on me, and Sam 30 seconds or less behind me. Paul was coming on super strong at the end but never quite got us. Fisher had a great race considering he has been sick for 2 straight weeks.

This morning I awoke to the norm: my son begging to come wrestle on the bed. I obliged. It hurts badly to walk, but that will probably only be affecting my out of the saddle pedaling...I hope. It should be a lot better by Sunday, fingers crossed, which is MNSCS #1 (on Mothers day??? come on...there are 2 weekends open after it).

Well it was great to see everyone again...I look forward to the rest of the year.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Global Warming...I want some

Well, it looks like we MIGHT hit an average high temp (~60-65 degrees) 1 time in the next week or two. First, we need to finish out a stretch of 2 days straight of rain followed by 2 days of 20-25 degree below normal temps and a possible record low for tonite=)

Seriously though, riding on Saturday was one of the more miserable experiences on bike that I have had in a while. For the first 1.5 hours, I rode strait into the wind. Then I headed south along the ridge of the Valley down by Jordan...it was CRAZY! I had a 30-40 mph head/cross wind... I was leaned into the wind about 30 degrees. How do I know the wind speed? Well, on the way back with the tail wind, the wind was still going faster than me. My spin out speed on a mtbk is in the 30-33 mph range. In the end, I limped home with a cold wind-driven bonk. I feel bad because I greeted Jen with a scowl when she asked how the ride was. However, one toothy smile from Tegan later, all the pain I was in disappeared.

Ok, I am done whining. It could be worse right? Yep, I am sure up at Maplelag, Jay and the boys are wondering how they are going to ride in all that snow!

On the bright side, as of last Thursday night we live in our new house and really like it. There is so much space that I was able to claim entire room (unfinished basement area), a guest room closet, and a wall of the garage JUST for bikes and related gear. I should probably order a new one up soon (madone or super six??? that is the question), as there are a few open hooks=)

Onward and Upward.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Fishers

Yeah, I know it has been a long time since my last update, but things have been very busy in the Moore household.

First and foremost I want to congratulate Chris and Jen Fisher on tying the the knot! It was a wonderful wedding and reception and Jen and I were honored to be in the wedding party. Now Tim and Pat can't give Chris any crap at the Buck Hill races...well at least about that=)

We had a bachelor party for Chris combined w/ Wenk's birthday down in Kato last weekend. Wenk, Fisher, Danno, Pattycakes, Tom, Paul, and I headed out in 30 mph N winds and 35 degrees. It was a great ride complete w/ attacks, suffering, cursing, and bonking. We followed the ride with Mexican food, beer, corn whiskey (see below), mojitos, beer, darts, pizza, beer, sleepy (in that order).
Yep, read the label...corn whiskey in a mason jar
Tom and Dave after taking a shot of red bull and corn whiskey...disgusting!
The big news at our house is that we are moving (those that read Jen's blog know and those that don't can see pictures there). Moving is NOT fun until it is done. We have been packing with almost every spare moment.
So between moving, being in a wedding, working, and being a daddy/husband I have been training. I think I am doing ok fitness wise, but it is always tough to tell until the first race. Today I hit dirt for the first time (other than Singapore) and the new bike felt great. I had to make some minor adjustments, but I was quickly and comfortably at home on it by my second lap at Harmon....I even got to ride w/ the newlyweds on their first day as a married couple=)Racing wise, I am probably headed down to Decorah for a time trial this weekend. After that, we will see if Paul and I hit up Iola or not. I am still hoping for the local Hillside Park race that weekend to avoid driving so far. The spring cup (MNSCS #1) is the weekend following that.


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Zoom Zoom

It has been a while, but I was traveling again... I was gone most of March actually. This time it was pure leisure in Marco Island FLA. Tegan, Jen and I had a great time w/ her family down there. I was happy to be away from this crappy spring we are having=)
The view from our condo:
My little buddy stretching w/ me: =)
Me and my Sweety:
Now on to the juicy stuff:
The new ride is in full effect as Vanilla Ice would say. It is a Trek Fuel 9.9 SSL.
Mostly stock except:
Bonti Carbon Riser Bar
Selle Italia SLR XC Saddle
Small Block Eights of course
and the coolest change....the Industry Nine ultralite wheelset....yeah, check out the red spokes!

I have to thank Maury, Deb, Matt, and Charly for their support and help making this dream ride a reality!
I will update on the new look hardtail soon too.
Oh, BTW, if you were wondering about the weight, it is 22.5 lbs on the nose...with pedals.
Word to your mother...