Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Murphy Menace 50

A first time and not widely publicized 50 mile mountain bike race rolled at Murphy Hanrehan last Saturday morning. I took it as another opportunity to try endurance racing...and it was nearly 100% singletrack, so plenty of fun was to be had. The plan next year is to try to expand this race to 150-200 entries.

My form is certainly much better than when I did the Sandwich 50 this spring, and I finished the race at a good pace with plenty left in the tank (the course is easy peasy compared to Afton!). The only bummer was that my front chainring appears to be shot, as the new chain meshed so pourly that I could not stand up with any power the entire race. Other than that, the top fuel was the perfect bike for the day keeping me fresh, and the super light EC90 wheels made all the seated accelerations tolerable.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

More Love

The Andrew Morris benefit at the Famous Daves in Janesville (Andrew's daddy is the GM there) blew me away. It was hard to hold back tears when we first arrived. So many people care for Andrew and his family.

We had a great weekend hanging out w/ our family and Ben even made the 15 hour non-stop drive back for the weekend. You would think that would wear Ben out, but I only used 2 cogs on our ride Saturday so clearly it did not.

An update on Andrew: He still loves to swing on his new Rainbow Playsystems swingset several times a day, and he and Daddy make frequent trips to the grocery store to buy "Queen-car Patta" (Lightning Mcqueen Mac n Cheese). They had over 10 boxes of it in their pantry. Other than that, it seems that he mostly sleeps due to the heavy dose of pain meds. His breathing has become labored in recent days, which is really hard for everyone to see. He is still drinking but not really eating (thus the build up of Queen-car patta). Our hope is that he does not suffer too much.

Monday, August 15, 2011

16,000+ = tired

I decided to go out and do the 8 hour race self supported at the Salsa 24. I rode for 7.5 hours before I called it "good enough," as I was getting tired and had accomplished my goal of testing the endurace racing waters. I am unsure of the exact numbers, but I was told that the lap was 7.5 miles long and ~1500-1600 feet of climbing putting the race total for me at 16000+ feet of climbing and ~80 miles.
I felt strong through about 6 hours, and then I started to fade a little. This is better than I expected given my rides in the summer don't get much longer than the XC races on the weekends...many are significantly shorter like Buck Races or casual rides w/ friends and family. I only cramped twice on Saturday and both times were on the Manhandler climb (bottom to top up the ski hill), so my nutrition plan of Salted Nut Rolls, Gu Brew, Gu, Honey Stinger waffles, and endurolytes worked just fine. I even had to stop and pee once, which was a good sign!

Today, I am still a little tired (even my Madone felt slow on the commute in) and am intersted to see how long this recovery will take. The TT at Murphy on Wed will tell me somthing. After that it is off to Madison to visit my Nephew and attend a benefit for him on Sunday (i.e as I mentioned last entry, no Border Battle unfortunately).

Equipement wise, I went with the Bonntrager XR2 tires at Afton. It is a more durable, versatile, and slightly heavier tire. It worked well because I didn't have to worry about traction in the slippery first laps or side wall cuts in the later laps when my riding got a little sloppier.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

5 in 11.. or 6 in14

There has been lots of racing going on lately contrary to what I expected. It has been a wait and see game with Andrew, and he is now at home under hospice care, which has been much more peaceful for my sister and her family. While we did not expect him to last this long, he still continues to have some happy times and that strong cardiovascular system has kept him going.

Why so much racing? Well, I am home here in the Cities waiting for the inevitable, so I might as well race. It clears my mind.
This has ended up being a strenous stretch, maybe my toughest yet quantity wise, and it is not over. I did 6 mtbk races in the past 14 days. For the most part, none of them had drafting, coasting, or tactics involves...it was go from the gun and rest when you are done. I mentioned Elk River and the Andrew Morris Benefit Race at Buck Hill already. In addition I have hit Time Trials at Murphy Hanrehan (a 10 mile singletrack course <8 miles from my house) and the MNMBS up at Lester Park.
The Murphy TT's have been great, but I am perplexed on how to break 38 minutes out there. The twisty single track has been the limiter, not legs and lungs. Freewheel puts on a great show with a kids TT and food and drinks after the adult TT. There is one left next week so come on out!
Lester Park is a true gem of a race (or just ride) course...much like Maplelag with rocks, roots, steep ups, bridges, etc. It is a must ride for any midwest mountain biker if you find yourself in Duluth. I would suggest printing off a map prior to riding, as it can be confusing when it isn't marked for racing.

Next up, maybe some endurance racing this weekend...
It looks like I will miss the Border Battle unfortunately, as we will likely be headed to Janesville next weekend to see Andrew and Family.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Thank You MN Mountain Bikers

Thank you again for all the support at the Andrew Morris benefit at Buck Hill this past Thursday. Also a super special thanks goes to Dawn and Pat, who orchestrated this event. Over $3000 was raised for my sister's family. While the generous donations will not heal Andrew, it will ease the stress on the family, and I am hoping help pay for a family healing vacation after all this is done.

We sure had a great time Thursday, and the adult race on kids bikes was harder on me (especially my calves) than the adult race I think! Even worse, I suffered a demoralizing defeat to a trash talking Tyson Meyer riding a pink bike. My manhood definitely took a hit from that=)

I will leave you with this (I didn't want to be long winded on Thursday and it can be tough to hear): Andrew's favorite past time during the past weeks has been walks with his daddy, Joe. ~10 miles of it per day! Well, last week, he just got fed up with walks on pavement, and now DEMANDS all walks be on dirt and wooded singletrack=)

Monday, August 01, 2011


The outpouring of support for Andrew and his family has been unreal. Thank you all so much.

Andrew continues to worsen and is now on a pretty heavy constant drip of morphine. That said, his waking hours are pleasant for the most part with long walks, swinging, and playing cars. He is on a steady diet of cake and fried food...that is what the little man wants so that is what he gets!

For those that haven't heard, this Thursday night's Buck Hill race is a benefit for Andrew and his family. I hope to see you all out there, as we celebrate his short life.

Finally, some of you may have heard Jenn tell Andrew's story on 98.5 KTIS this past week. It was followed by the heart wrenching song, "He's My Son" by Mark Schultz. Powerful.

Sunday I won a tough one for you Andrew....