Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Chequamegon - what its really all about.  The bike race is pretty cool, but its really about the tradition.  Nothing beats the atmosphere of bike racing in the Northwoods.  We started the trip like always, loading up the Hyundai Touring, heading north on Hwy 43, turning the Ipod to the 80's, and dodging Harley's on the highway. First stop Subway in Phillips.  Usually we run into the Titletown crew, but this time around the Street Player had to do his hair in the morning so we missed them by 5 minutes.  A cruise through Park Falls, Ruffed Grouse capital of the world, and home to Jesse and Marko!

The classic start shot!

We pull into Telemark Ski area around 2:30 and run into Mike Anderson.  I am pumped as Mike is my favorite guy in the world to ride mountain bikes with.  We head out for the standard pre-ride.  Backwards on the course for 5 miles.  Take the secret short cut to check out the Firetower climb and then finish out the course to plan the race strategy.

After the ride its mandatory to go say hi to Demo Ken at the Trek trailer and then hop in line at registration.  The volunteer in line gives me a hard time about how many White Castle sliders are on the line if I win -vs- CVV.  We get out of there in record time, rock some 90's on the Ipod on the drive to Hayward for the standard pre-race meal at Coops.  Then we head over to the Northern Pine Inn, flip on the bad movie of the weekend(Fast and Furious) and settle in for a good nights sleep.

Happy that I don't have to wake up at 5am for this tradition!

We wake up and head over to Coopers for breakfast.  Back to the room for final preparations.  Luckily, and what might have been the game changer, Karate Kid is on TV for some extra motivation!  We drive over to the secret parking lot.  With no plans as to how to get bags, cars, or myself and my bike to and from the start/finish I am not stressed.  I know the tradition of the race and I will either see the Woodruff's or the Sova's in the secret parking lot!  And like clockwork there they were!  All set with water hand ups and fresh clothes at the finish!  Thanks!

At the finish my bags magically appear thanks to Woody!  A slight change of tradition when I don't get to look for Andrea coming across the finish line :( .  But a new tradition and possibly the new best part of Chequamegon race weekend.  Post race Pizza from Rivers Eatery in Cable.  If you haven't tried this place out you have to go there next year!  It was delicious and we had great company!  

Back to Hayward to pick up the car from the secret parking lot, showers, and more Karate Kid.  The traditional phone call to the Sawmill Saloon for more pizza on the way to the Awards ceremony.  The sharing of war stories, the slide show, and a late night drive while completely blown out watching for deer and bear back to the hotel in Hayward.

An early morning departure so we can be home to watch some football on a Sunday.  From here on out Sundays are reserved for CX not football.  A quick stop for breakfast at the Phillips Cafe.  Once again Marilyn, the Bears fan, is our waitress and we sit at the bar.  Street sleeps on the way home while I suffer to stay awake.  Packers on the radio, home to pick up Rosco from the In-Laws and watch the second half of the game!  Another Chequmegon in the books.  Thanks to everyone who helped make it happen, sponsors, friends, racers, promoters, etc...everyone has there own tradition and its what makes Cheq Fat Tire 40 a great event.


Anonymous said...

Great write up on the race Brian nice to hear what was happening at the front. We also discovered that pizza place this year, it is very good.

Nice job on getting win #4.

jmaloney said...

Couldn't have said it better, Chequamegon is tradition. I've been racing since I was 12, every year. Its a special race.