Monday, August 26, 2013

4 down 4 to go

Preparation for the next race starts as soon as you cross the finish line - It'll be a miracle if I can pull off 8 weekends in a row of racing.  Probably not the smartest, but its whats on tap.  4 down after this weekend.  Sunburst, Ore To Shore, Franklin, & Suamico.  Up next Grand Junction, Lk Geneva, Chequamegon, & China?  Yup China!  More details to come on that first its Sumaico.

The weekend started like most - cleaning up the bikes from the previous weekend.  It was nice.  Just me and Oscor hanging out in the front yard on a perfect day making some bikes shine.  Not much looks nice than a freshly cleaned Shimano drive.

Current WORS Champs passing down knowledge!

Saturday morning we hit up the Farmers Market before heading up to Green Bay to coach the WIN high school mtb clinic.  Pretty awesome so see 21 kids registered and amped up on MTB racing.  Can't wait to see how WIN plays out over the next few years.  It for sure is going to up the level of WORS competition.

We did an hour of skills and drills and then headed out on the course for a pre-ride, talked tactics, and tackled a few tricky sections on the course.  All in all a great day. 

Sunday it was another trip up to GB for the WORS race, but overnight somebody plugged in the hair dryer and forgot to turn it off.  There was a stiff wind blowing from the West bringing in some pretty warm air.  Unfortunately the course was pretty wooded and there was no air flow back in the woods.  It was sweltering.  With the heat and a big race next weekend I wasn't eager to go all in on lap number one.

Cole took off in the first singletrack, but Nathan jumped between us and Cole was riding away.  I didn't feel quite as good on my bike as the previous weekend and even stopped during the first lap to try and let some tire pressure out.  It helped a little but not a ton.  After a lap Cole was up 1:30 and I went to the front to start to close things down.  I whittled the group down to just Tristan, Tyler, and Darrin, but only took about 15 seconds out of Cole's lead.  I got a little help from the other guys, but every time they went to the front the pace slowed a little too much.

Starting lap 3 I hit it pretty hard into the first bumpy singletrack and it was down to just Tristan and I chasing Cole.  About half way thru the lap somebody yelled something about Cole, but it was really mumbled and Tristan and I both missed it...turns out it might have been key.

Tristan and I were both suffering a little and just wanted to make it to the finish and jump in a lake, my hands were hot, my feet were hot, and my head was hot although I wasn't cramping at all.  I kept on the gas and felt little gaps opening, but only to be closed due to lapped traffic.  Finally at the end I had a little gap and realized Tristan was happy with following me to the line.  I think it was enough for him to wrap up the overall points series.  Little did we know that Cole had crashed out and we were battling for the win.  Its not often that you cross the line in first and have no idea you won until 20 or 30 minutes later.  Oh well....

Time to go clean the bikes again...they look about as nasty as my legs did at the finish.  Another solid race for Andrea in 4th.  Just lost out on the sprint for 3rd.  Next up The Grand 40!  Big Thanks to for taking some great pictures of the WIN Clinic and all the WORS races.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Figuring it out for the win

The week started like most cleaning up from the previous weekends races.  Red dirty bikes and iron stained laundry was what I spent most of the day Monday doing, Tuesday things were a bit more exciting.  I woke up early in the AM and headed West!

 TREK WORLD.  Always an exciting time!  This year was no different.  Lots of sweet new bikes and on my radar was the new 27.5 Remedy and Slash.  I spent the majority of the day ripping on the different models with some of the Trek product managers and even did a few hot laps with Moto Cross legend Ricky Carmichael!  Pretty rad.

What was most exciting about Trek World was the new Trek Cyclocross Bike:  Welcome the Crocket!  I'm really pumped about this bike.  The new geometry is getting great reviews and the option for disc brakes are what I've been waiting for a long time.  The bike at the show was spec'd with Shimano CX specific electric/hydro shift break lever.  That's right...DI2 shifting and hydraulic brakes!  Completely sealed shifting housing and brake housing.  No mud messin' with this bike!  Can't wait....time to get the race schedule dialed.

Then we took a quick trip up to Eagle River for some secret training!  OK Secrets out...its not really about the training up there but the rest and relaxation.  Sure we put in some miles, but it was nice to just unplug and enjoy fruits of the Northwoods.

From Eagle River to the Rock.  WORS #8 at the new bike park at Franklin Ridge.  Most of the race course was the same, but there were some changes that I thought were for the positive....with much more potential for the future!   I was pretty tired for some reason the morning of the race, but once they said go I knew I had great legs!  I ended up attacking middle of the 2nd lap of 5 and my gap grew each lap!  I soloed in for my first WORS race win of the year.

I have been playing with my position a bit on my bike and I think I finally have it dialed.  After 6 months of adjusting to riding the 29er I finally found its full capabilities Sunday!  Can't wait to let it rip again!

Monday, August 12, 2013


Another Ore To Shore is in the record books and another 2nd place finish.  Next year I'll have to get that Number 1 plate back!

Ellie Schouten little rockin'
This race was very much like many of the others, but at the same time different.  I think this is roughly my 10th or 11th Ore To Shore!  I've seen it played out many times many different ways.  This year was different yet the same.  A chaotic start on the paved lead out.  A mad scramble to the bottom of the luge climb.  But then things changed up a bit....the past few years we cruised up the luge climb in a neutralized fashion, but this year Cole was taking the bull by the horns.

I crested in the climb in seconds but then ripped the next descent and was half way across the gap and thought Cole and I could ride away from the beginning of the race.  The chase was on hard though and we were all back together through Ishpeming.  TJ Woodruff was the next to go and got a significant gap, but it might have been a little early in the race.  The gap was diminishing parallel to the tracks and then closed up the Power Line Climb.  I led the Power Line climb and had things stretched out, but again too early to go.

Then the big slow down happened and everything regrouped.  Seemed like there must have been 50 guys in the lead peloton.  I felt the pace slow even more after a slight descent, but didn't hit the brakes and took and inside line with some speed and happened to roll off the front.  I looked up and recognized the climb so I just went with it to carry some speed.  What I didn't know was around the next corner was a super hard sand section where I really wanted to push the pace.  So when I had a small gap and saw the sand I pinned it and really started stretching things out.  Fast on the descents and smooth on the climbs.  The Superfly100 was killing the entire sections of sand, bumpy grass, exposed rock, and hidden mud pits all the way to Misery Hill.  I looked back and saw a huge train of guys, but stayed on the pace.  To my liking Cole was coming across the gap solo up Misery Hill.  I was still within myself so over the top took a huge pull with Cole sitting on to allow him to recover.  Soon enough I knew he was good and he took a huge pull on the first section of dirt road and we were gone.
Cole takes his 2nd O2S

Bike Path Warrior post race
The rest of the race was Cole and I.  Very Very evenly matched.  He tried to drop me on a few descents, I tried to drop him down the sand pit, but we were pretty even.  He was definitely the stronger in the sprint.  I'll take another 2nd and some motivation for the next stop on the Triple Crown!

Andrea had her best race ever after a little chaos with a train loading, backing, and then taking off in the middle of the course.  Kind of crazy, but that's racing.  She finished 6th after a really good battle with Lisa Krayer from Adventure 212.  Again really impressed and very proud of her racing this year.

Sunday was again the best part of the weekend.  We headed out for a sweet day on the trails with the crew from Border Grill & Quick Stop Bike Shop.  So much fun!  I love trail riding and wish I could have had the Fuel EX along, but the SF100 definitely had both wheels off the ground pretty often!  All in all a great weekend and can't wait to get up to MQT again.  Love the UP.  Next up TREK WORLD!
Sunday Funday

Monday, August 05, 2013


Felt good to finally be at home for a while.  2 solid weeks and a full weekend between of solid training, routine rest, no traveling, and no racing!  It was awesome.  Feeling much better and more confident heading into this next big block of training and racing.

 Mom and dad even came for a visit last week and we had plenty of time to go check out some local culture!

Another good battle took place at the WORS Sunburst Showdown yesterday.  This time it was Myself, Cole House, Tristan Schouten, and a dangling Joe Maloney.  Tristan was off the front early after Cole took an early spill and then Corey Stelljes took an early spill that had me chasing for the first two laps.  Finally was able to close the gap at the end of the 2nd lap w/ Cole who then took over at the start of the 3rd lap.  Cole had the pressure on up the steep climbs, but was racing with no rear brake on a tight course so was limited on the descents.

I took over the pace half way thru the 4th lap and starting the last lap.  Tristan and I battled the entire lap, but he had a lead going into the final narrow descent where passing was impossible.  I took a few risks on some hot lines, but couldn't get around him.  I tried for the sprint, but it was just too close from the exit of the singletrack to the finish line.

Can't wait to do it again next weekend!