Friday, September 27, 2013

The Big Check

The pull of 35 miles of single track coerced us to get serious about repairing the Eurovan. Immediately following yet another disappointing Chequamegon (for me of course, NOT Sara)I got busy spending money on the copious amount of parts needed to get the old boy rolling down the road. It has been on blocks since last August so it was daunting to think about spending an entire day working on the vehicle, yet not knowing for certain if it would make it to Ishpeming, MI after such a long furlough. After replacing the water pump, timing belt, timing belt tensioner,the serpentine belt, a/c compressor, and rebuilding the alternator and starter, we figured it should be ready for a 250 mile trip.

Thankful the van worked better than I did. I sputtered about and seemed to be missing at least a couple of gears throughout the race. Furthermore, the course had very little single track so my motivation was snuffed out completely and by the end I was barely moving and content simply be upright.

Sara, on the other hand, rode a very smart race and ended up winning the $1000 for first place. She too was disappointed in the actual race course as opposed to the advertised fare but was quite happy to suffer away and collect the big bucks. I am still amazed that she can ride as fast as she does considering she was bedridden for about a week at the end of July.

Sara is still contemplating the Iceman in November. If she is feeling good we will travel to Traverse. I won't do the race since it is a point-to-point and it's difficult to get back to the car with the bikes. Instead, we'd pack up Kiera and make a family trip out of it.

Saturday, September 07, 2013


Jeff Hall leading the pack during the short track

Sara pulling a pack of comp men in the short track

Why is Maplelag our favorite race of the year?
1) Family atmosphere (and we don't have to cook)
2) Three races in two days on old school mountain bike trails (they still have rocks, roots, fall line climbs, etc.)
3) There is a lake, sauna, hot tub, huge lodge
4) Bottomless cookie and coffee jars/pots (if one stays in the cabins or lodge)
5) The Richards family

Every race we do after Maplelag is a let down. I think it would be great if this was the final race of the series since it is such a huge event. I'd like to see the series awards happen on Monday if the series could pull off the quick turn around in points tallying for the year.

Racing was super fun for us and we were both pleased with our results. Sara said she could have done another lap (her second lap was faster than her first)which hopefully bodes well for Chequamegon.

Thanks to the Maplelag crew for another fantastic weekend!

Race one this weekend for the Minnesota High School Cycling League. We have a great group of kids from Duluth and I have a feeling they will do a great job in Inver Grove Heights on Sunday. If you know of any mountain bikers (grades 7-12) in the Duluth area that wants to practice with the team or race, send them to the Duluth Mountain Bike Team Facebook page and have them sign up to the wiggio account.

Up next: Chequamegon