Sunday, September 19, 2010

Scott and my race started the night before the race when we realized our rear brakes didn't work correctly and our rear wheels wouldn't spin. After 5 hrs of fighting with our brakes and Scott almost severing off the tip of his ring finger he was convinced our bikes wouldn't work and he was not racing. The morning of the race we decided to take a chance and hope to find someone at the race that could help us out. Thankfully, Ken Derico of Trek was there and was able to get my rear brake to work perfectly, while Scott had to remove the pads and race without a rear brake.

The start of the race was the best ever in terms of safety. We both got decent starts. Scott rode in the approximately 12th place for most of the race, bridging up to the lead group on three occasions before popping. Once I caught Jenna in the first few miles, I ended up in a really fast group of men that I thought I could hang with for the race and didn't realize at first that Jenna was not in our group.

Unfortunately, both Scott and I started cramping (Scott around Firetower and myself at "00"). Scott ended up 25th, a good result, but a bit of a disappointment due to where he was riding the majority of the race. He was still happy with his efforts, considering all the adversity leading up to the race.

I led the woman's race up until about 5 miles to go. I lost my group a bit earlier and then cramping kept me from tagging on to additional groups for too long. I had to ride a few long stretches of open road by myself which took its toll. I think I had a 2 minute or so lead at one point, but then obviously cratered toward the end, but able to hold onto second. It was fun to see how well I could ride as I was with really fast men and had my gamble paid off, and I was able to finish in the group where I rode the majority of the race, I would have had a great result. I still had a good result, learned a lot, and feel my fitness has come a long way from the start of the season, even with being injured and unable to race for almost a month mid-season.

Our Trek Fuels definitely were the bike to ride for this race! We used the Bontrager XR1 tires even though the reports were for a muddy race, as the course was mostly puddles and not full-on muddy throughout. Firetower was the easiest to climb compared to previously dry years, with the soil somewhat tacky.

Once again Gary Crandall and crew put on a great show even though Telemark Lodge is closed. This is a must do race for any mountain bike afectionado because the one of a kind atmosphere. Thanks again Chequamegon crew!

Up next: The final MN series race in St. Cloud.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Minnesota Short Track State Champion!

photo by:

Sara's finish sprint win

Once again, the Maplelag Stage Race was an incredibily fun, well organized event. The Richards crew has this event down to an art thanks to the on-site lodging, great food, and terrific company. A huge thanks to Jack Richards and his buddy Jack, Jonell, Brendan's parents and the rest of the folks that pitched in to watch Kiera for us while we warmed up, cooled downed and raced.

Sara had a great start to the racing on Saturday by taking the win in the time trial and short track. She nipped Jenna in both events which enabled her to snatch the overall stage race competion. For the second year in a row, an Elite female won the overall in the Elite Women/Comp Men's race (Jenna nabbed it last year).


In the cross country, Sara led out the field but struggled in the single track. After a few crashes she was able to settle down and ride in for second place.

I had a rough start to the race weekend. I went out way to hard in the time trial and had to soft pedal most of the race. All things considered, I could have finished further down than I did. Thankfully everything went uphill from here. I ended up 6th in the short track but finished with a little too much left in the tank. After the time trial I was a little hesitant about going out too hard, so I started in the second row and wasn't aggressive enough to stay close enough to the front.

My cross country start... Where is everyone????


This picture says it all. Went out too hard, rode with Brendan for the first 1 1/4 laps, got caught by Doug and tried to hold his wheel for too long and ended up limping home for 5th. All in all, great weekend!


Friday, September 03, 2010

CATCH UP TIME Seeley Classic and Lester Park Recap


Sara's racing is coming back after an early season knee injury. She had a very impressive ride last weekend at the Seeley Classic and hopefully this will help bring up her confidence to pre-Kiera days. She was able to ride with FAST guys, the likes of Todd McFadden, Mike Bushey, Adam Swank, Nikolia, etc. for the first five or so miles until crashing. She was going so well that she was even PULLING this group for a bit until Bushey made her ride behind him. She ended up finishing 11th overall in the race and almost snuck into the top 10, but after pulling Nikolia around for most of the race, he outsprinted her at the line. If she can ride like this at Chequamegon she'll be in good shape.

I was a little disappointed that I didn't pull off the win at Seeley. Nobody would take a pull down the long blacktop leadout so I got to buck the wind and settle in. Somebody came by me right before the road turned to gravel and that's when the pace picked up. I got on Aaron Swanson's wheel on the ski trails and he immediately opened up a gap for me and Chad Sova. We rode together for the first 9 miles of road/two track and I entered the singletrack first and shed Chad and Aaron. I was able to get rid of Chad in the small singletrack section and he would catch me after a few miles of two track. This happen on both laps and I was able to stay at the front until 50 or so meters from the finish where Chad proceded to blow by me for the win.

Seeley is a fun course and a great lead up to Chequamegon. I would prefer much more singletrack (I'd guess it's about 30% singletrack)so I'm happy with my two track/road fitness level. The Trek Fuels seem to made for these types of rough, undulating courses.


There is nothing better than having a hometown race! I wish it would have been muddier, but I'll take what I can get. I put the Bontrager Mud X tires on the bikes and they worked fantastic! Sara rode off the front from the start and never looked back. Her mud skills continue to improve and I'm always impressed by how fast she can go in all conditions.

I ended up 4th. i didn't have much trouble stay at the front for the first lap and a half but then I started to crumble. I would pick up plenty of time in the short muddy sections but I didn't have much power on the climbs. Cody stuck to my wheel until the last half lap until I asked him to go by. I was riding way too slow and was starting to cramp. He was being overly kind and wanted to let me keep 3rd since I was leading him around the course for most of the day but I hate not earning my spot. I sure appreciate the gesture, but I'd rather race it out or limp it in, as was the case for me.

Up next: MAPLELAG STAGE RACE This is one of my favorite courses of the year and Jay and family do an unbelievable job organizing this event. If you haven't raced here, it is a must!