Friday, December 10, 2010

907 is coming tooooo town.....

While my blog has been idle, I have not been to say the least.
Check out the sweetie below. At least half of the snow biking crew that I frequent with is now on or is converting to 9Zero7 (area code of Alaska) bikes from Chain Reaction cycles. This includes endurance specialist and multiple time 24 Afton champ Dan Dittmer who after a first attempt at "trying" the Arrowhead race will be "racing" it this year. Let me say it this way, I work with and ride w/ a bunch of gear-head engineers and all but one of them is on a 9Zero7.

The build below is a full on XX suite w/ Bontrager bits, which enables a complete snow bike to be 26-27 lbf.

My Mechanic commenting the build and bike.Yes, that is reflective 9Zer07 branding...sweet!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

For Sale 54 cm Cervelo R3 Sl

I am selling my road bike, as it is underused.

Here are the details:
54cm Cervelo R3 SL. It should fit anyone that is between 5'7" (my wife rides it comfortably), and 5'11". 6' may work depending on your torso and leg length.

This is a stock 2008 Cervelo R3 sl road bike....full 7800 Dura Ace w/ FSA carbon cranks, FSA carbon bars (standard ones not the ergo ones in the picture), Syntace Stem and Seatpost, and Hed Bastogne wheels.
The bike weighs 15lbf w/out is a rocketship.
Here are the reviews:

$3100. It retailed for 6500 when I got it just over 2 years ago and only has 3K miles on it. It has never been raced or crashed.

Contact me at if interested.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Its been fun...

I wrapped up the Mtbking race year at Elk River this past weekend. This is the first time I have ever cheated in a mtbk race: I had an aero advantage. The photos below are from Matt Weissenborn at awesome pics.

So that is it... the season is done and it really went by quickly. I ended up doing ~35 races, which is plenty given the other things on my plate, and I felt relatively fresh at the end of the year, which isn't always the case.
I would sum up my season like this: it was muddy often, and we did a lot of racing in less than ideal conditions. I am definitely stronger and stand a better chance against the competition in dry warm conditions. That said, I was pleasantly surprised with my results. I am still not the mud rider that some of my competition like SamO and Jack are, but I am a better mud rider than I was a year ago!

Next, I have to thank several people/groups for their support:
First and foremost I have to thank my wife, kids, and dad for being there. It doesn't happen w/out me not feeling guilty or being stressed about racing.
Secondly, my sponsors were fantastic. It is no accident that I had very little equipment or nutrition trouble this year. Trek and Bontrager set me up w/ the best equipment in the world (I have said enough about this already =), Rochester Cycling and Fitness (stop in and see them if you are ever in Roch...awesome store), and Penn (especially Tyson at the Bloomington store) helped out on maintenance and the little stuff, and Gu (the Roctane Rocks!) kept my muscle glycogen above zero most of the time.
Finally, I want to thank the MNMBS for stepping it up to be one of the premier mountain bike series in the nation. You do not get enough praise and thanks for what you all do.

See you on the trails...snowy or otherwise.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Flying Fall

Fall has been busy! Since my last race, we have not had one open weekend...the weekends have gone something like this: marathon (Jen), camping, Trek demos, visit Rochester.
I still have been riding a lot, more than during the season in fact because I love to ride. I have kept up on some intensity with our work group rides here at work (I have been relegated to my mountain bike while trying to keep up... or attacking depending your perspective ;-) , hockey, and my innate ability to punish myself on a bike even when I don't have too.

'Cross: Although it may seem this way, I haven't been purposely avoiding cyclocross. Life has been busy, and with 2 kids if you something isn't a priority, it is very unlikely to fit in. All summer, mtbk racing IS a priority, but come fall right, wrong, or otherwise, cyclocross just hasn't been.
And to keep the excuses rolling, I currently have a cracked/bruised rib from hockey that make any pulling on the handlebars painful. Stack on recent head cold and throw in some knee tendentious, and I feel like my body is rioting a little bit right now. Rest would help, but that would mean not riding or playing hockey. And as my wife would very emphatically tell you, the chances of taking a break from either of those two is probably as remote as seeing me at a 'cross race.

I have a mtbk event this weekend and will do a season wrap post after that.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Trek Demos

Hey everyone, if you didn't know, the Trek Demo truck is coming back this weekend. It will be at Lebanon Hills Saturday and Murphy Hanrehan Sunday. It is great opportunity to ride really expensive awesome bikes for free=)
Details here:
I will be out there Saturday and probably some Sunday too. If you see me stop by and say hey. If you want to ride, I will be taking people out on group laps for those that are interested.

See you out there!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

6.481^2 by 4^2

Single speed racing is heavily dependent on bike set up...get it wrong and the race will be a lot harder than it needs to be. Get it right and you can almost be on par with a geared bike on many courses. I lined up next to the speedy Cody Larson at the SS State Championships knowing that it would be a battle, and the equipment differences were interesting:
After the first lap of slipping and sliding the equipment differences shaped my strategy. Cody was cornering faster with more grippy tires and with the smaller gear and rigid bike able to accelerate quicker. However, I was faster in the open sections and in the really tight stuff. It became apparent that I would have to attack on one of the open sections near the end. I did so, and I was barely able to hold him off. Had the course been dry, I think my choice of gearing would have been better (and a lot easier on my lower back!).
About 1.5 hours after finishing the SS race, I mounted the trusty Fuel for the elite race. Cody and I worked each other pretty good so I was content to hang out 3rd wheel. Cody managed to explode his derailleur region of his bike on a rock (parts were just kind of hanging there), which ended his day. I was comfortably riding behind Samo when I had a stick grab my rear derr...I think it was like revenge of the derailleurs on those that chose to single speed earlier in the day. 3 stops later I found the culprit, a small stick lodged between the spokes and freewheel (causing my freewheel to not spin an thus kicking my chain off every time I coasted).
I pedaled my way back to third w/ little acceleration in the legs and a knot in my back. I guess that is what you get for only riding a SS once a year.

Wow, I can't believe that is it. Mountain bike race season is (for the most part) over. What a great year it has been for the MNMBS and Midwest Regional Mountain bike racing in general! Participation is up, the atmosphere at the races couldn't be more family friendly, and the competition keeps getting better (dang whippersnappers). I want to say a special thanks to ALL the people who have volunteer at an event I have attended. I owe you all, so if you see me out somewhere and beer is an option, remind me and I will buy you one!

The coming weekends are quite busy but not with bike racing.
I will be out at the TC marathon supporting my wife as she covers 26.2....I owe here more than a few hand-offs. The following weekend is a fall camping trip. Then Oct 16-17 the Trek Demo truck returns to Lebanon Hills and Murphy Hanrehan, which as a team member I will be a part of (more details to come on this but it should be a fun time for all).
Cross/beer racing will fit in there somewhere around the rest of life...


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Coming down to the wire....

So, it looks like we will be riding in at least some mud this Saturday up at it goes this year, and it will still be a blast.

One thing I did notice and the reason for the post is that second place in the series comes down to this race between Cody and Samo (note that the scoring on the MNMTB website is currently screwed up and not throwing out the lowest races). That should be an exciting race for all to watch! Hopefully I can have a front row seat=)

Who do you think it will be??? It might depend on if Cody does the SS race in the morning, as both are very skilled riders in the twisty stuff.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Shredin' the Lag

I am not sure what to say about Maplelag that I haven't already said in previous posts. Needless to say, it was hard to leave Monday.

The racing was hot this year with some Road/CX pros showing up to spice up the TT and STXC. Also, Jason Sager, a top national pro who runs and rides for the Jamis mtbk team, flew in to checkout some Midwest racing.
TT: It was cooler and more damp than last year. I contend that this is the most painful 10 minutes of my entire year. This year I didn't feel great and it showed with a time of 9:57, 7 seconds slower than Jason. The only good news is that my course record from the previous year of 9:36 still stands.
STXC: This was the fastest STXC to date up there. It only took a few minutes before it was me, Jason, Doug, Patty Cakes Lemieux, and Adam Bergman. Adam and Patty worked hard to blow us all up w/ relentless attacking. In the end, they blew each other up, and I was happy to see Doug take the win and the MN STXC State Champ t-shirt=) I just rode at the back of the pack and finished 5th. It would have been smart of me to move up a few spots to avoid the whiplash around every corner. Either way, I felt ok and didn't want to dig too deep with the impending XC race destruction. My only comments on the post race shenanigans are below in the picture caption.A face we don't get to see around the Midwest enough anymore

The lead group in the STXC
When roady tactics meet mtbking prowess and "never say die" attitude mountain bike racing can be frustrating for some=) I have never seen anything like this at a mtbk race, 'nuff said.

XC: It took a while to get things going and after following Jason's horrible line that wrapped me a round a tree (I gave him a hard time for that!) and dropping my chain 3x (not sure what was going on there because it went away the last 2 laps!). The 2nd and 3rd lap saw me catching Samo after he had ridden away and reeling in Jason. The reeling was too little too late though and I ended up 30 some seconds back as the first looser;) I have to say that on the second 2 laps, I felt pretty strong, which is encouraging this time of year when both fitness and motivation tend to slip. The XC finish was good enough for another second place in the omnium.Discussing the finer points of tire choice w/ Jason...he was on Geax Tubulars, I was running Bonti XR1,0.
How the singletrack rolls up at better always be paying attention!
Ah, the Lakeside Drops...not the most difficult thing on the course, but probably the scariest looking. % grade? Who knows, maybe 50%?

Fun: Along with me came my parents, Jen's Parents, Jen's sister Amanda, Ben, Casey, and Tegan. We had wonderful accommodations overlooking the Lakside Drops. Tegan had a blast playing w/ Jon Richards and the Grammas/Pappas. Casey is pretty attached to Mommy and Daddy right now, but I know at least a few folks got some time with her away from us.

Pictures: All the pics above are from as usual.

Next? Hmm, not sure. I won't be up in Hayward on the 18th, but I will be in St. Cloud for a couple (or three) races the following weekend.

Anything I missed? Oh yeah, I went running today...CX is coming soon.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

the 2-4

Fisher, Ben, Samo, and I went in to Salsa 24 w/ the only goal being to have fun and keep rubber side down. We basically accomplished that other than a little missing skin on Fisher's hip.
This year, we all put in one pretty hard lap and then started pulling double laps. With the shorter laps, double laps ranged in time from 1:10-1:30 which is perfect (on par w/ the Moab lap times).

The weather was perfect, the new race director Amanda did a stellar job, and the course was the rockiest, bumpiest and most technical I have seen it, awesome.

The only downer was that I didn't get any sleep. Tegan spent the entire time out there w/ us, and when I had a 3 hour window to catch a nap (2 am to 5 am), he decided to cry, whine for mommy, and pee through his diaper. I guess those are the perils of being a daddy racer!

My family and I can't wait for Maplelag.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Better than Spirit Mt?

Man, that was a cool course on sunday (MNSCS #9 at Lester Park in Duluth). I am not sure it is better than Spirit Mt, but it definitely ranks up there.
My race? Oh, it was pretty much a culmination of some bad luck that I hadn't had in a while. It started about a week earlier with the onset of a head cold. Thursday and Friday were rough achy days. My wife encouraged me to stay home on Sunday, but she knew what my answer to that would be.
Yes, of course the race was muddy...thick clay filled mud. I think nasty conditions can just be assumed for 90% of the races this year. But the Bontrager XR2s strapped to the Fuel made navigation easy and after as strong lead out by Mr Chequamegon himself, Doug Swanson, I found myself riding very comfortably with SamO and Erik Tonkin. I was under very little pressure and wasn't going to let either one of them slip away until bad luck started. My LCR friend Jim turned his bike sideways in front of me on one of the slippery ski trail downhills just as SamO snuck by. I took his tire in my chest and have an imprint of his tread on my arm, but it actually doesn't really hurt today. I got up and quickly chased back up to Sam and Erik...just in time to hear pssssttttt. Yup, a puncture through the tread. I was following close and took a hard hit on a rock that I might normally avoid. After fiddling with CO2 and the inability of Stans to seal the hole 5 min, I decided to run with my bike to the next feed/tech zone for some help (I need to start running anyway if I am going to do some 'cross =).Running practice capture by Jay...I think we were both laughing at my misfortunre as I went by.
There, I got a pump, a tube from a friendly racer, and even a pliers because my tubeless valve was stuck. The fix took a LONG time, but I HATE to DNF. I was determined to finish, which I did.
My takeaway is that my fitness is relatively high for this time of year, and if I can stay healthy, it should bode well for me up at Maplelag, St. Cloud and into 'cross season.

For now, the bike is a 30 lb disaster of clay filled mud, the bike (at least one of them) needs a small chainring put back on it, I need to kick this cold, and I need to get those lights fired up for 24 Hours of Salsa/Afton this weekend! Luckily, I have a my mechanic, Tegan, pumped up about helping with this stuff....

Update: So, I wanted to inspect my rim before posted this, but my Bonti XXX lite carbon mtbk rim still appears to be fine despite the flat on Sunday. The tire is shot. I thought this might be interesting to some folks, as I too was once a skeptic about the use of carbon rims on mtbks.
The fact that the rims is intact is pretty amazing considering how hard I must have hit that rock (was only running 20 PSI for grip reasons). The flat both bruised/cut the bead area and punctured through the tread area of a fairly "safe" 580 gram tire. So a rock smacked right through the tread, through the sidewall, and down to the rim. Any aluminum rim would have been dented and probably ruined.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

5 in 10 and R&R

Better late than never, here are the happenings over the last couple weeks.
The Border Battle ended a 5 xc race in 10 day stretch for me. 3 of the 5 were at Buck and one was an offroad TT at Murphy Hanrehan, a local 10 mile singletrack loop.
The Murphy TT was Wed and as per the norm this year, 10 minutes before the start, a cloud blew up and it rained. It did not rain at my house 8 miles away, but it poured for 10 minutes on the trail, just enough to make it really slick. I played it safe around corners and across the many bridges, but ended up working very hard to accelerate back up to speed. I think about 90% of the folks out there crashed...some pretty hard. I managed to avoid crashing and take the win but it was no record setting day.
The last Thursday Night at Buck is always a blast and with live music and pyrotechnics thrown in, this was no exception. My plan was to ride 2 laps hard and then tempo it in. I did so and it was good enough for second place, with Cody Larson taking the win. I knew going hard for all four laps would make the forecasted hot and steamy conditions at the Border Battle that much tougher.
The Border Battle was a great race and a recap can be found here and an interview here. I was the hottest race I remember doing, and as I drove away the radio reported a current heat index of 103. I am not sure I could have avoided the cramping in those conditions.
I followed that stretch of racing with my families vacation in the Dells. We rode the ducks, went to a circus, did a lot of pool time, suffered a little (or a lot in some cases), and had a very fun week. One of the highlights for me was 4.5 hour ride my brothers and I did on a 95 degree day. My younger brother Brad had is first full-on-bonk-cramping-in-every-muscle (including hands) experience. It was a sight to see and his is a stronger man now than he was before.


Monday, August 02, 2010

66 and counting

By my estimation, upon completion of MNMBS#7 and 10 of the 11 Thursday Night Penn Series I have somewhere in the range of 66 laps in at Buck Hill this year! We have done this course forward, backward, upside down, and right side up. I am not complaining, mind you. It is a good race course in a very convenient location, and the races are always run well with more than adequate facilities.

Sunday was AND humid. 88 degrees and 69 degree dew point according to Jen's iphone. While the race was short in time, it was long in pain. I don't think any of the elite racers would have asked for more than the 6 laps that we did. That said, the second half of my race was much better than the first.
I lead the first lap but had some gut rot (maybe due to heat, I am not sure) so I kept the pace reasonable. Cody lead the next lap and went hard enough that it was only he, Eric Thompson, and I left with SamO just dangling. The third time up the main climb, Cody's pace slowed, and I attacked with Eric the only one still hanging on. The fourth lap I did the same and was able to get a gap on Eric. By then my stomach was feeling better and it must have showed on my face because Jay Richards said I looked a lot stronger (and I felt a lot stronger) on the last 2 laps. I finished all alone at the front, not necessarily exhausted, but still hurting from the short, hard, very hot effort. SamO caught Eric near the end and nipped him at the line to round out the podium. The picture above was taken by Jay.

Equipment wise, I did ride the Top Fuel out there rather than the hardtail. I was debating given the climby, punchy nature of the course. I have gone back and forth this year at the Thursday nights, but for me right now the fuel is faster, period. The tire combo of Bontrager 2.2 XR1 front and XR0 rear has proven to be faster and more supple than last years Rocket Ron and Racing Ralph combo, but the Ron definitely has more bite as a front tire in the loose stuff than the XR1. The XR2 is more comparable to the Ron, but you have to trade off weight (100gs heavier) with durability (Ron's cut very easily just ask Jake Richards about his running race yesterday!).
If you get a chance to try some of the new XC Bontrager treads XR2, XR1, and XR0, do so.... if you want to race them, be sure to get the Team Issue compound.

I am not sure what my plans are this week other than commuting. I would like to hit Murphy Wed, Buck Thurs, and the Border Battle Sunday, but there is only so much zoom-zoom in the legs and likely I will only hit one of the weekday races.
Most importantly, we are heading to the Dells on Sunday for our family vacation where we have 3 condos rented to house my parents, the 5 of us kids, 4 grandchildren, 2 spouses, and 1-2 significant others. I am excited to hang with everyone and to get away for some R&R...oh wait never mind, Tegan won't let that happen=) Ben will be there too so I am sure some light pedaling will occur....

Does anyone know if Devils Head still has any trails open? Riding there used to be awesome, and we will only be 20 min away.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Face Brake

Dang, I need to stop crashing. For whatever reason, I crashed on these stairs (that I have ridden dozens of times) on Sunday at MMBS #6. How to properly ride the stairs....
The crash happened at the beginning of the race and made for a long day chasing a fast riding Cody Larson. My face is pretty chewed up - I won't be shaving my chin for a while - and my shoulder is bruised pretty good, but I don't think I sustained any permanent injuries.
Other than, that and dropping my chain once, the event was awesome. Rich puts on one of the best shows in the series and the volunteer help was AMAZING!
Although I got 2nd to Cody, my time was actually 2 seconds faster than last year on the exact same course and very similar conditions. Last year I won by a couple minutes beating a tough crew of Jeff Hall, SamO, and TJ that day so that tell you how good Cody was going.

Riding wise, I am not sure what to do right now. I am overly tired too often...maybe partly due to being a 2x daddy and the fact that neither of my kids sleep through the night (although Jen DEFINITELY takes the brunt of that). E.g. On Sunday morning, I could barely stay awake and fell asleep several times at home and on the drive up to the race.
I also may be in a fitness lull or there is something else is wrong physiologically. Only time will tell.
All I know is that IT isn't all their right now....

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Different Purpose

This weekend, rather than riding around in circles with a number attached to my bike I pulled 100+ pounds of boy and gear to a local campground about 12 miles away.This is my new all weather all conditions commuter that Trek hooked me up with. It is a Trek 6000 ht mountain bike w/ a rigid fork, full fenders, and a rack. I still am yet to drive to Seagate since starting work there a couple weeks ago=)

Needless to say, we had a ball camping. My cousin Jeff, Dad, friend Ted, and his boy Brody met us there (they all drove), which made things easier on Tegan and I. We couldn't have fit any more in anyway!
Tegan slept on both the out and back trip....I did not have that luxury. Tegan and Uncle Jeff (technically not an uncle but has earned the title)
Sunday was a chill day with the family. I was wearing my faux white t-shirt.

This week brings another Buck Hill and MMBS#6. I am not doing the National Championships out in Colorado. The recent job change has left me vacationless, and I know based on previous Col vacations that I would need at least a week of time out there to acclimate if I wanted to compete at a reasonable level. As a side note, in the spirit of competition, I am not sure that starting nationals at 7K+ feet sets a level playing field for all the nations riders...

Monday, July 05, 2010

Head Brake

Sunday was ANOTHER mudfest. 4 out of 5 MNSCS races have now been muddy/rainy.
Basically, I was feeling pretty good and strong at the start, but I couldn't steer and went to hard trying to compensate. Then I crashed and used my head to stop myself. My helmet broke and wouldn't stay on my head, but I managed to limp to the finish in 3rd. I guess I looked pretty disheveled at the finish with the helmet barely hanging on:
Maybe the next one will be dry....

Monday, June 28, 2010


I pulled the double XC this weekend.
It started at the Subaru Cup in Wisco.
Summary: great course, great fans, great organization as always from Don, 7th row call up, pinched off into the fencing at the start, 50-6oth going into the singletrack, passed 20-30 riders to get back to 28th place, and didn't feel very strong (but have had worse days). I ended up riding with Brian Matter most of the race and I don't think either of us were on our game but so it goes. Also, I am just not aggressive in the way of cutting people off, throwing elbows, and the other semi-illegal tricks required to start well from the back of a National Pro race.

Then I got home at midnight Saturday...up at 6 am with my beautiful little to Mt Kato for round 4 of the MNSCS. It is hard to turn down a face like this even if your are fried from a hard race and little sleep=)

Summary: course was anywhere from VERY muddy to peanut buttery to tacky, took me a couple laps to get the legs moving, started to go faster throughout but climbing was slow, hardtail was awesome, Bonti XR2 tires were perfect (handle mud bud still roll well), reeled in Jesse at the finish line, ended up 2nd.

For now, a couple days of rest...and the start of a new job back at Seagate!

Friday, June 18, 2010

And the show must go on...

Gotta love Pink Floyd.... I don't listen to enough of it any more.
With insane wind gust, tornado/thunderstorm warnings all around, the race, albeit more sparsely attended, went on at Buck last night. The last lap of the advanced race saw us headed to the highest point in the county as cloud to cloud lightning was putting on a show...that wasn't too cool. Either way, I finished out the first 6-race series and got in a good intense mountain bike ride=)
Next is some rest in preparation for my planned double XC weekend at the Subaru Cup and then Kato.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Du Lac and the Puppy

If the big ring is the dog, the small ring is the puppy right? Yesterday was mostly puppy.
My legs weren't there in warm ups and I knew it was the fact that I was going into my 4th XC race in 10 days. To top that off, Mont Du Lac had the most epic conditions I have ever ridden in. How epic? The median Citizen class time was 2 hours w/ several riders near 3 hours. For reference, citizen races a shorter course that usually last 30-45 minutes. Great work to all of you who stuck it out!
The mud on the trail was so thick, deep, and sticky, that many quit (25% of the elite field!) because it was too hard to push bikes, much less ride them. I have never seen singletrack so DESTROYED. It went from a tight twisty Midwest style track to a 5 foot wide cow trail. Yep, most of the trail was like this

So, after the brutal start we were immediately off our bikes running up the first singletrack hill, and that is where my race effectively ended.
You know I don't have my game face on when I take time to toast the camera=)
I don't do "running" mountain bike races... well at least. I still finished. That said, I never entered the realm of anerobia again the entire race, as I sat up, had fun, and learned more about mud riding. It was actually quite fun once I started to get in the groove, and I was disappointed that they were pulling us after only 2 short laps. I had a lot more in the tank and after chain suck force me into the big ring for most of the second lap, by default I was starting to go a lot faster. IMO, they should have left the elite class out there for 3.
Jack rode very well and used his new Euro superpowers to ride away from everyone and get the win for our team. Awesome! I think Ben would have been going for the win today sans horrible conditions. He rocked the start and after a week of reasonable sleep/rest was feeling "really good again."
Good times...hard not to laugh. Great to see TJ again, and Chloe is trying to figure out how to get all the mud off!
The clean up begins.
Summary: I had fun, my bike and body are relatively intact, and I am a better mud rider today than I was before I raced. Pics are all from Jay Richards/

Much needed rest is on tap for next weekend.
P.S. Ben and I weighed our bikes after. Each had about 10-12 lbf of wet mud on them=)

Monday, June 07, 2010

Afton and the Dog

It is almost impossible to stack more climbing in a 2 hour xc than the MMBS Afton course does. How do I know? Simple, 95% of the time you are going up or down (that is my estimate anyway), and it would be pretty tough to have any less than 5% flats given start/finish areas and transition areas.
With Cam Kirkpatrick, Tad Elliot, my brother, Doug, Samo, Jesse and the rest of the strong men there, I was expecting a battle. It did not disappoint.
I took the hole shot, but not on purpose. I would have rather followed a wheel, but I put a gap on the field and no one would come around me in the starting loop.
Just checking everyone out at the start
With Doug and Tad dangling and SamO gaining, we pounded out the first lap, and I made my only mistake; I didn't hydrate enough. For whatever reason, my legs didn't feel great so I was full on to keep the pace up. At this point I was just trying to convince my body that racing is a good idea, because it sure didn't think so.My face pretty much tells the story of my first lap.

At the end of the first lap, Tad caught me as I slowed to take a bottle from my Soineur (Dad=). I asked him if he wanted the lead, again wanting to play it smart and see what everyone else had in them. He kind of grunted a response, which usually means "this hurts", so I kept the pace nice and high. A gap opened across the rolling terrain at the bottom of the ski hill, and he was out of site by the time I ascended Shady Lane. I had a good gap and my legs were starting to come around, but I paid for my first lap mistake and started to get the pings (cramping) on the third lap. That really stunk because my legs had a lot more in them than I could used the last lap and a half. I rode conservatively always checking my gaps when I could. SamO was in second but flatted as Doug was catching him. I finished with Doug in tow and Jesse behind him. Michael McBurney, another young star, put in great race to beat Tad who came in 5th. Ben ended up w/ a broken-spoke-stuck-in-the-cassette mechanical and sat up a bit chalking up the day to just riding for fun.
Ben with one of his classic suffer snarles.
Oh, and a worthy note: out of stubbornness or stupidity, maybe both, I used the Dog, a.k.a the big ring, the entire race. I guess I just wanted to see if could do it=)


Friday, June 04, 2010

2 Bucks

There was no racing on Memorial weekend for me. Instead, it was a solid block of family time spent down in Rochester. Needless to say, we had great time. The only on-bike excitement came when my dad crossed wheels and crashed on a ride w/ my bro and I. Other than some missing skin and bruises he is ok and came away with a cracked helmet rather than a cracked skull.
Family Time
My bro, Brad, with his Thai style mohawk (he just got back from several months in Asia) reading to my kids

The last 2 Buck Hills have been equipment experiments for me, which seemed to have worked out in my favor. In both races, I was able to ride off the front in the first lap after really hard starts by Chris Fisher last week and Doug Swanson yesterday.
The experiment: I recently got a new Trek HT built up and have had the itch to try hardtail racing again. It has been 3-4 years since I raced a hardtail in an XC event, and I have to say I have been pleasantly surprised. First, the tuned ride of the Trek w/ the extended seat mast is awesome. It is a much more supple ride than I have experienced in the past w/ hardtails, and I can see why many manufactures are going to the extended seatmast on their top end bikes. Second, it has forced me to work on my "skills". The hardtail is a sharper tool and sometimes I get lazy with the dually.
All that said, for most full length XC races the Top Fuel is a better bike. I really notice this on the bumpy sections of the course (whether flat or not) where the hardtail makes you work a lot harder. With only a 1.5-2 lbf difference between bikes, weight is not a big factor.
Ok, enough rambling about bikes, but technology and trying new stuff is part of the fun!
Afton on Sunday is next. I am going to try to chase the U23 National Champion around, which should be entertaining=)

Sunday, May 23, 2010


I came out of last weekend with a cold, stayed home from work on Monday basically in bed, but proceeded to commute on Tues and Wed. I should have taken another day off to recover but the weather was just too darn nice!
At Buck Hill on Thursday Jack was drilling it. I didn't have the snap in my legs and was barely hanging on when in about 1 minute I crossed wheels with a lapped rider and had another lapped rider crash into me sending my OTB. Neither were really my fault or the fault of the lapped rider and that is part of racing especially at Buck Hill. Jack kept on it and got the win.
Saturday was the first MMBS race that saw a rain delayed start and peanut buttery tacky course for the the elite race. The sport riders had it rough right after the rain with some uber muddy conditions, but they pounded most of the rain out of the course for us. Thanks guys and gals! Doug Swanson has been doing more mtbking this year, and it showed as off the start I followed his wheel to a nice gap after 2 hard laps. The race was shortened from 5 to 4 laps to "preserve the course", and on the 3rd lap it was my turn to do some work in the blustery conditions. I put my head down and drilled it for that 3rd lap and managed to get a gap on Doug. The only thing I was certain of was that I did NOT want to sprint against him, as he wins almost every sprint he is in. The 4th lap was more of the same any I cruised home for the win. While the race was short, it sure wasn't easy. Props to the volunteers who stayed and made the right decision by not canceling the race.In other news, my brother Ben rocked a win in only his second race of the year out in the east coast Hudson to Highland Series. He said he lead from start to finish and said he felt strong all day. He is coming home in a couple weeks for some family, fun and racing; he will definitely be up at the front somewhere at the next 2 MMBS races in Afton and Du Lac.
I will be at Buck this Thurs, and heading to Rochester this weekend. Maybe the Rochester 29er crew will let me come on one of their secret training rides.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Trek Demos!

Trek is bringing the demo fleet to the Twin Cities for you to do real world testing on their best stuff.

Saturday, May 22 at the Freewheel Frolic – MNMBS Series Opener from 9:00 – 3:00
Sunday, May 23rd at Murphy Hanrehan from 10:00 – 3:00
Monday, May 24th at the Human Powered Trails (HPT) in La Crosse from 2:00 – 7:00

The men's and women’s demo rigs will be at all the events, and Jack Hinkens and I will be out at Murphy for some group riding and chilling/grilling on Sunday.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Back at it

Racing has resumed with rigor. On tap this past week were Buck Hill, the Cable Off Road Classic, and the Velo Rochester training camp (they still invite me despite me moving to Trek=).
Buck Hill on Thursday night was cool and rainy. We all slopped around in the mud a little and had fun. I was able to hold off a hard charging SamO, who is notoriously good in the slop, for the win.
On Friday I cruised up to Cable where Charly Tri hosts the Velo Rochester Team training camp every year on the same weekend as the CORC. This makes for very fun weekend of racing and riding one of the best trail systems in the US. The CORC was at 10am Sat, and we were lucky to get perfect weather and near perfect trail conditions. During the 3 mile gravel road lead out, I lead the entire way but not by choice. No one would come around me so I just set my own pace and I guess it was good enough for everyone else. Oh well, it worked out ok as I got the holeshot (my goal was to be in the first 5 wheels going in). After the first section of singletrack, I was with Scott KJ and Jack was ~15 seconds back. Scott pulled through nicely as we worked together through the only other significant gravel road section in the race. I was like "Scott, what the heck are 2 dads doing up here at the front of the race? Shouldn't the young kids with all the time and quality sleep be up here." We both got a good chuckle over that. I managed to get a little separation near the end of that road section and never looked back.
Oh and the course? It was demanding and so SWEET that I forgot I was racing. Time wise, it was probably 60-70% tight, twisty, rocky, rooty midwest-style singletrack. It was the kind of course that reminds me why I started riding mountain bikes.
Anyway, I cruised home for the win with a smile on my face. In the picture sequence below, my friends Dan Dittmer and Jake Richards are sprinting it out. I think the kid got it!
Sunday was a tour of several of the CAMBA trails with the Velo crew. Rock lake ROCKS!

A couple notes on different gear I am trying this year:
First, I tried the new Bontrager XR2 tires, which I will be using for general riding and less than ideal conditions, for the first time in slippery conditions at Buck. They hooked up pretty well, but not as good as a true mud tire.
Second, I finally got to race on my race tires (XR1 front XR0 rear)... simply awesome. Faster than the Racing Ralphs IMO.
Third, I am using a Fox RLC fork rather than a SID this year. It is stiffer, more tunable, and smoother than last years Rock Shox SID for sure, but I haven't ridden this years version.

Pics above are from Jay Richards.
Next up is another Thursday Saturday combo with Buck Hill and MMBS (formerly MNSCS) #1.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Racing is hard

This pic was taken as I was telling Jay that every off-season I forget how hard mountain bike racing is. I remembered quickly this weekend at Maplelag.

It rained a good amount the night before the race making the already difficult Maplelag course slippery, peanut buttery, and muddy. However, riding slippery rooty rocky courses is one area I don't get a lot of and need more "practice", and this was a great opportunity for just that! There were no easy pedal strokes out there, but I managed to hold off the O-bros.

Great pic taken by Jay of SamO rocking it up the steep lakeside drop.

As always, my family and I are very thankful for the good times and hospitality up at Maplelag.
Next up will be the Elk River Spring race. As it has been noted on the Sandwich 50 blog I wussed out on that race ;)

Friday, April 16, 2010


In our family, when Ben and I ride we almost always ride hard. When we ride hard, it is know as a "drool on the top tube ride." It sounds like Ben, who may be back here in MN by mid-season, has been doing a fair amount of drooling this spring.
Yesterday, the wind was so strong it was a "drool on myself ride."

Racing wise, I plan to open it up here next weekend down in Decorah. All I need now is a couple rainy days to force me to rest=)

Friday, April 09, 2010

Passion and Jealousy

Maybe I am too pragmatic in my approach to this blog. I do enjoy the near poetry that some use in the bike blog-o-sphere, but I am no poet. Either way, I need to put more in here that is not equipement or race related....

This morning as I was riding in to work, I had a small revelation that each year I find a new aspect of cycling that drives my passion for it. I didn't start riding only to race, and I need to remind myself sometimes that I still don't.
This year, my passion has been refuel with commuting. I commuted some in the past when it was convenient but in recent months that has changed. To use a cliche, variety is the spice of life: since last fall, I have pedaled to work on 4 different bikes, 6 different wheelsets, using at least 10 different routes, on surfaces of ice, snow, sand, dirt, and pavement, with round trip times ranging from 1.5-4.5 hours, and in conditions ranging from freezing rain and blizzards (when schools were closed) to floods to sunny beautiful days like today.
For me, there is no more refreshing liberating mode of transportation than a bicycle. Seeing others commuting on bike when I do drive to work, which is require on the 2-3 mornings a week I play hockey, evokes feelings of jealousy.
What can I say? I love to ride my bike.


Wednesday, March 31, 2010


....a heafty 21 lbs as pictured.
The specs are close to a stock 9.9 (full XX suite) except a few personal touches:
  • Wheels were rebuilt with some aerolite spokes and DT 190 hubs (Thanks Tyson!) - a little lighter
  • Swapped Fox RL fork with RLC - set it and forget it is my MO
  • SLR Gelflow XC saddle - on all my bikes, even my fits my butt well
  • Bontrager XXX lite riser - I have raced on this bar for 4 years now...nothing wrong with the stock bar, but I didn't want to change.
  • Tires - oooooo, lots to say here. I will be running some combination of Bontrager XR0, XR1, XR2, and occasionally the MudX. Right now I am thinking XR0 2.1" rear and XR1 2.2" front. I am excited to be trying some new rubber and Bonti has really stepped up last year and this year w/ new treads and super supple casings. More to come on this when I actually get to put them through their paces.
  • Road bar tape wrap for grips - can't beat it IMO
  • Twin Ti egg beater pedals - I don't trust Ti spindles... the twin Ti has a CroMoly steel spindle
  • Bontrager RXL Shoes - ok not part of the bike but still critical. After trying them side by side with Shimano's top shoe these win hands down. I can't put my finger on why, but the power transfer is better.

Thanks to Trek for the sweet ride and accommodating my personal touches, and more to come on the Trek Mountain Bike Coop Team. We will be hosting a facebook page as our primary media portal, but I still plan to keep this blog chugging along.

Pink Floyd "butts" poster in the background courtesy of my lovely wife (although she will only let me put it up in my mancave=)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Mancave Chaos

Specs and weights will follow for the new rig. Suffice it to say, it is lighter and sweeter than last year...I didn't know that was possible.
Oh, and the training? I think that is coming along nicely.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Pugfest Video

Cool video of Pugfest put together by Sue:

If you don't have a pug, I bet you want one now!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pugfest '10

There was a whole lot of phat going on up at Hillside last Sunday....Rich and his volunteers put on an awesome event as they always do. Thanks!
Racing a 33 pound 4" tire rigid bike on snowy singletrack is new to these legs this year, and the challenge will keep me coming back next winter for sure=)
And while Pug racing season is over, the watt gobbling season of 2lb Nokian studs and 4" fatties isn't even close to done! In fact, I just had Nokian-driven near bonk experience commuting this morning...