Sunday, September 25, 2011


(Photo Jay Richards -

I finally notched a win in a Minnesota Series race. The only thing that would have made it better is if Sara would have also won the women's race. As it is, she is still nursing a concussion that keeps her on her back most of the day with her eyes closed. She is able to go for short walks on occasion, but she has to be very careful not to overdo it. This is the most time she's been off the bike since she started riding in 2002.

The St. Cloud race sarted pretty mellow with Barry T. taking the lead on his fully rigid singlespeed. I was content following his wheel until he pulled over and then continued a fairly mellow pace. Even though Brendan won the MN Singlespeed Championship earlier in the day, he was antsy following and decided to lead going into the singletrack. I shadowed him while Josh Tesch followed me. We rode together until the rock section on the first lap where Brendan and I established a little gap. Brendan was content to lead for a little over half the race and then I went to the front. I'm not sure I could have ridden the course any fast than I did because it seemed we were at the terminal velocity for the tight, twisty singletrack.

(photo by Jay Richards - Final section of two track

That said, I had to go pretty hard on each of the cross-country ski trail sections because whoever had the lead going into the last section of singletrack would be at a huge advantage for the sprint finish. I was able to hold the lead and outsprint Brendan for the win.

Josh ended up holding down third, Lance B. got fourth and Jake Richards had another impressive race, nailing down the fifth spot.

The Trek Top Fuel worked flawlessly once again and the Bontrager XR1's had great grip. I made sure to drink plenty of Hammer Heed, gulp down some vanilla Hammer Gel and pop some RACE CAPS before the start since I cramped so badly at Chequamegon.

Thanks to the St. Cloud crew for putting together a great course and a smooth running event.
Trek Mountain Bike Demo October 1 & 2

Savage, MN

Sat & Sun Oct 1st & 2nd, 2011 @ 10:00 am—3:00 pm

Your Twin Cities Trek, Gary Fisher Collection and Bontrager Dealers will be the host of this demo at Murphy. The new MTB trail is a ribbon of dirt cut through the beautiful woods and prairies of Murphy-Hanrehan Park, traveling up and down ridges, around small knolls, and across drainages and marshes. The trail is not super twisty and has fairly long sightlines. The goal here was flow. At almost 10 miles, it is one of the longer metro trails and has some great views from the top of the big ridge on the advanced loop. On a clear day you can see the skyline of downtown Minneapolis through the trees. More info can be found at Please note if weather conditions threaten health, safety, conditions of the trails and participants we reserve the right to cancel the event. Thanks for understanding!

For more details visit:

CR-75/Murphy Lake Blvd
Savage, MN 55378
Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve is located just south of Savage, not too far from the Burnsville Center mall. The easiest way to get to the area is Interstate 35 (35W or 35E). Take the County Road 42 exit. Go west on CR-42, past all the malls and down the long hill. After roughly 2 miles on 42, take a left onto West Burnsville Pkwy. Shortly after Cam Ram Park, W. Burnsville Pkwy turns into Hanrehan Lake Blvd. Continue down Hanrehan Lake Blvd until Murphy Lake Road - the gravel road heading up into the prairie on your left. The trailhead parking is a short distance up Murphy Lake Road on the left.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Almost One Minute Per Mile

Up until Thursday Sara was still contemplating doing Chequamegon. Thankfully she went to see the doctor on Friday afternoon and was told to steer clear of anything that causes symptoms to flair up. Essentially, that's work, exercise, reading, driving, screens, phones, etc. As difficult as it was for her, she knew competing was impossible. Hopefully her symptoms will clear soon so she can at least start riding the bike again.

I ended up having a clean start and getting into a good group: Eppens, Hall, Pattycakes, a couple others I didn't know, and eventually Jack Hinkens before Fire Tower. The pace felt perfect and I finally felt like I had my shot for a top 10 finish. I started cramping a little before Fire Tower and it was all I could do to limp to the finish. My quads and hamstrings were giving me serious grief and ended my hopes of a top finish. Looking at the finishing times, I gave up almost a minute per mile from Fire Tower to Telemark...

All in all it was a good day. It was the most fun I've had at Chequamegon even though I couldn't push hard to the finish. I don't think I went out too hard because I never was at my limit before cramping. I didn't drink much though and even gave up a bottle after OO because I didn't want to carry the extra weight.

Thanks to Gary and crew for year 29.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Maplelag/Seeley Recap

photo: Eve Stein

The Maplelag stage race is a must do mountain bike race. Jay, Jonelle and crew do an amazing job pulling off a gigantic amount of races, hosting hordes of folks at the resort, feeding the competitors, etc., etc. Sara and I felt bad about not bringing Kiera along but it made for a much easier race weekend than last year. In addition, we got to sleep in a little and could recover a little between races.

Sara came into the weekend really banged up. She shouldn't have raced but she didn't talk with the doc until Sunday evening on the way home. The good doctor Swank ordered her to stay off the bike and give her ailing brain a break. She hasn't been on the bike since Maplelag and Chequamegon is up in the air. It is a major bummer seeing how she is able to push the pedals pretty good right now...

Sara ended up winning all thee races at Maplelag but she did so very carefully. She said if felt like she was riding with bifocals and the more she rode the more difficult it was to stay focused. Thankfully she was on the Trek Top Fuel so she could let the bike do all the work.

I ended up having a good weekend as well. This place is my favorite spot to race. The short track course is amazing and the new cross-country loop is fantastic. Jay knows how to build tough single track and a technical sound rider does well on this course. One needs fitness, but fitness alone won't allow a racer to win this one. Brendan put on another clinic and easily beat us all. I was down 1:20 or so after the first of two laps so I knew I didn't have a chance. He is so powerful on the short, punchy climbs and his sound technical skills leave no chinks in the armor. I know his mind was elsewhere during the weekend but he was still able to win the overall title. Doug was flying in the short track and time trial (Sara said he looked ilke the "old Doug") but my second place finish coupled with a third in both the short track and time trial enabled me to snatch second overall on the weekend.

The Bontrager XR1s worked perfectly for the conditions as did the full suspension Trek.

Sara and I really enjoy staying at the lodge and hanging out with everyone. Even Dan Swanson showed up so it was just like the old days!

Quick Seeley re-cap: Sara crashed really hard in the single track. Of course she was feeling strong and riding fast when she wacked a tree with her shoulder. It stopped her dead, bruised some ribs and rattled her brain. She limped in for the win but she went downhill health wise the week prior to Maplelag.

I ended up twisting a link in my chain about three miles into the race and wasn't able to fully trust my drivetrain. I didn't know what was wrong at the time but the drivetrain made plenty of racket and did some phantom shifting so I had to be really careful. I'm impressed that it held together and I was able to finish the race in 6th. I'm really bummed I didn't get to race Adam and Patty in the single track. Maybe next year....

For once in my life I am excited about Chequamegon!