Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My L knee was pretty bad for about a week and it is still healing. I limped heavily, did the RICE thing, some estim, then added HVPC (high volt pulsatile current) towards the end of the week. Wish I would have thought of that sooner. It took almost a week for me to be able to go upstairs using my left leg. I finally (today) can go downstairs using my left leg. I tried to ride the trainer the weds after it happened, but after raising my seat twice my knee range of motion was not good enough to actually do anything but move my leg back and forth. I tried again three days later and felt like I had enough motion to attempt to ride my bike. It wasn't pretty and my pedaling was quite asymmetrical, but I managed 40 minutes of sorta riding. It felt good to be outside. Scott and I missed the WORS cup due to my injury. It would have been fun to race, especially cuz at the Chain drive race I actually felt quite good, except for my knee. I joked with Scott after the race that I crashed because my new bike is too light. I definitely wasn't used to my bike as it was only my second trail ride, and the first trail ride was to ride some of the course the day before.

Scott attempted the Mankato race this past sunday. I was bummed that my leg was not good enough to try to race. (I gave it a 50% rating that day). Kiera and I hung out and did a bunch of fun stuff, while Scott tried to race in 80s and high humidity. He felt terrible and decided to call it a day after two laps. He is not sure what was wrong as the previous week he felt like his racing was finally coming together since getting rid of our cats (he is allergic to pets).

Scott and I rode today on trail for the first time since my crash. Our bikes feel so easy to pedal, even with a bum leg. It was so nice to be able to ride with Scott (thank you Grandpa Irv!). My knee is healing up and is not as sore as earlier this week during and after riding. It is definitely still bruised. I am very lucky I did not break my kneecap as I landed so hard right in the middle of it. I just cannot belief how bruised my knee and lower leg still is.

On another note, I am sad to hear of Kyia (Malenkovich) Anderson's retirement from MTB racing. For a long time she has been the face of women's mountain biking in the midwest. We will really miss her on the race scene. I really hope we have not seen the last of her racing yet.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Sadly,we will not be at the Subaru Cup this weekend since Sara's injured knee will keep her off the bike this week. She got it looked at today and the ortho doc said he's 95% sure she didn't break the knee cap but that she must stay off the bike (and off it as much as possible) for the remainder of the week.

Good luck to everyone else this weekend!

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Sara's knee isn't looking so hot after yesterday's race. That said, she was able to ride pretty hard all things considered and luckily, was able to win another Chain Drive - her fifth in a row. The crash happened about six miles into the race so she raced about 24 miles in a bit of pain. Hopefully, she didn't do any serious damage by finishing instead of pullin out, but only time will tell. She's hobbling around and will need xrays if it doesn't get better in a few days. The crash also pulled her front derailleur cable out of adjustment and she couldn't get into her big ring so she had to ride in the 29. Our neighbor and good friend, Diana McFadden finish 2nd and Michelle Peariso finished 3rd - the same podium at the 2005 or '06 Chain Drive.

On the way to Houghton a bear ambled out of the tall grass off of Highway 2 near Maple, WI and did its best to become a hood ornament on the Volvo. Luckily, I was able to lock up the brakes and do a little slide to avoid the thing. We were pretty excited to see a bear, but it would have been a lot better if it would have just hung out by the side of the road instead of meandering across it.

Once we arrived in Houghton, we went to the Best Western to check in but they didn't have us on their registration list. After a couple of phone calls, the kind folks at the front desk upgraded Sara's free room (a perk to both the male and female winners thanks to Best Western)upgraded her to the honeymoon suite!

As you can see, we had a great view of the harbor and a mac daddy room. Thanks Best Western!

After a pedestrian start, the race finally kicks in about 2 miles out from town at the base of a pretty steep, winding blacktop climb. This year there was a prime for the men so the front of the group started ramping it up at the base of the climb before entering the single track. Mike ended up taking the $50 prime and I was fifth going into the single track and immediately a gap opened up when the fourth place ride went down, blocking the trail. I got close to Brian Matter, Mike Anderson and Chad Wells (MI guy) by the end of a short section of singletrack that spills into a bunch of undulating two track but couldn't really push any harder without going into the red. I sat up and Chris Peariso flew by so I grabbed his wheel and he pulled us up to the group. As soon as we latched on I got spit off and rode about 29 miles in time trial mode. I could see the group of four for about eight miles and spectators kept saying I was 1:30 down on Chris. I crashed pretty good going uphill with about 3 miles to go and basically shut it down and rode in. At the finish Brian outsprinted Mike to take the win, Chad was third, Chris was fourth and I ended up fifth.

All in all, it was a great day minus Sara's knee injury. To do it all over again, I probably should have talked Sara out of riding her new Trek since she didn't get to really ride it before the race. We spent an hour on the first section of single track Friday night at 7:00 PM dialing in the bikes. It's fine for me, but I think it was a little too tough for Sara. Even though they are very similar to last year's bikes, they are lighter - especially our wheels and tire selection - and that can change the responsiveness of the bike quite a bit.

Thanks to all those involved for putting together such an incredible event. This must do point-to-point course is FANTASTIC! The majority of race is single track and each year the group adds more. Furthermore, there are a ton of other trails in the area and the folks are top notch.

Kiera had a sleep-over at Grandma Sally and Grandpa Tom's house in Two Harbors. Needless to say, she was exhausted when we picked her up last night and for the first time in many months, slept until 9:00 AM.

Friday, June 18, 2010

This is what Kiera's been up to when she hangs out with our good friend Mary:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thanks to Jay Richards and for the pics!

For more pictures, Jay's weekly skinnyski report and results, go to

The last time I raced in mud that deep was at the Norba in West Virginia in 2003. I've got to admit that I love a super mucky course to race on now and again. Sara pounded out the win and even worked her way into 11th overall in the men's results, five seconds out of 10th! I ended up 2nd behind Jack Hinckens. After catching him near the end of the first lap, he upped the pace and dropped me easily and went on to take the win. Jack just returned from a stint in Europe with the US U-23 mtb team, so it's no surprise he took home top honors.

Up next is the Chain Drive this weekend in Houghton.

Sara and I got our Trek Top Fuels earlier this week so we are excited to race the new bikes.

Thanks Trek!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Scott and I both raced the MN Series Dirtspanker race at Mont du Lac this weekend near Duluth. (We skipped Afton because I was sick). It rained the entire week leading up to the race. While the course, we are told, was quite good the day before the race, neither Scott nor I prerode as we didn't want to get our bikes dirty. (And Scott clean them again!) Scott did a great job of getting our bikes all set, including cleaning them (spit shine) and selecting mud tires. I was lucky that we had a set sitting around and Scott got lucky that The Ski Hut could get a 29er set in quickly. It worked out really well to still have our last year's bikes to race so we would not have to get our new ones all dirty (they just got here today! :)

The climb out of the start at Mont du Lac is always tough! Straight up the hill. Luckily this year the climb wasn't quite as tough as there is a new road up the left side of the uphill. I was thankful for the gravel. Once on top the trail dips into singletrack. As soon as I got down the hill I was basically off my bike running up the first climb and around expert riders. The course really slowed everyone down and created quite a bugger of things! The right tires on the bike made all the difference! I was third heading into the singletrack behind Jenna and Chloe. It was fun to race with them for part of that first lap. I am not too sure how much fun they were having though. Chloe fell in front of me and somehow I got around her without going down. I felt lucky when I caught Jenna, but I don't think her tires were clearing the mud very well. I didn't think it would be as bad as it was in the woods. It was like racing in thick pea soup with deep ruts in the middle down some of the off canter downhills. We have not seen race/mud conditions like this since the Norba National in West Virginia in 2003. I felt really lucky to have won this race. There were many fast and fit women and I think I mostly just got the right tires on my bike (thank you, Scott!) Skinny ski ( has some really great photos of the race that captures the conditions quite well.

I was really happy to see Scott do well and place second overall! He has fantastic mud skills and he was saying after the race he probably should have run more as it would have been faster at times than riding. He was pleased with his race and finish. It is so nice to see him race well again. As hard as it was to get rid of our cats, it has been the best thing for Scott. He was really allergic to them. It is also nice to sleep through the night for the past month as Kiera has finally taken to sleeping though the night (about time!) As hard as it is to be sleep deprived all the time, I wouldn't have changed all the extra time we got to cuddle with the babe at night. We won't get that time back and someday she'll have a complete adversion to cuddling with either one of us!

Grandpa Irv was nice enough to bring her out to the race after she woke up from her morning nap. She was running around, making friends, getting all dirty, and basically enjoying being outside; especially while wearing her favorite green frog boots! Her and grandpa are good buddies.

Our next race is the Keewenaw Chain Drive. This race is a lot of fun and has really great singletrack! Scott and I also really like Houghton. It is very similar to Duluth, but smaller. It is also nice to stay at the hotel at the race start (Bridgewater Best Western). This year we will leave Kiera home instead of having her ride that far in her carseat. Last year she was not happy and was really fussy. We got to Houghton really late at night and were both completed exhausted before the race. It is still tough for me to leave her home.