Sunday, July 27, 2014

Currchiandos

One more time,,, the last hurrah,, A curtain call.. 
The last great family outing.
Sophia heads back to school here in two and a half weeks and the summer for all that it is worth has flown by. We have only had one camping trip all the way back in May.
I was able to take an early day at work friday so I could prep food and get the camper ready for what was to be a fun weekend of bikes beer and some camp fire dancing. 

We have found a great spot for camping just outside of Black River Falls, in Hatfield Wisco.
On a lake in the pines and just two miles from the trail head of some of the best single track that Wisconsin has to offer. 
I have a special place in my heart for Levis Mound,, having ridden there the first time some twenty plus years ago. I have watched the trails develop and get better with time. The trails are part of a county system and manicured by a kickass  volunteer staff. 
The trails are almost all single track and cover a wide bit of terrain.
Again I love it there. 
The kid and I had a blast hitting all my favorites and a few of them even twice.
Pip and I may fight like a father and daughter but their are few people that I would 
rather ride Mountain Bikes with than her.

After riding Pip and her brother headed off to a local water park and Anna and I got 
geared up to ride some road style bikes. 
Anna on her Madone and me on my Nature Boy.. She was rocking some 28's and my rig the monster 40's.
Gravel was on the route and it was a route that I only knew from looking at Google Maps.
The ride started out Blissfully a nice flowing road along the Black River,, through some high rent neighborhoods.
Rolling along having fun enjoying some us time,, for we don't ride bike together very often.
We made a turn on to Fisher Road,, and got on to the first section of gravel,,   
This was nothing more than a hard packed dirt road with some rocks scattered about.
Anna has not spent much time on gravel roads and the first stretch was good as we rolled along.
So well that she could even get her phone out to talk to the kids at the water park.
We needed to make a left and ride for about four miles till we hooked up with a major road, and on the map all looked good..
This is when the wheels started to fall of the bus.. 
We rode for a good bit and she had to drop down to hill climbing gears and the road went back and forth between gravel and sand. 
Following the map we came across some ATV's and then the roads got really bad,, like sandy beach bad.... Like can't ride your road bike bad,, Like test your marriage bad. 
After a few testy moments level head prevailed and we  turned back the way we came.
I rode the wingman position making sure that she was in one piece.
Complements withstanding she rode back through some tough roads like a Boss.
The bike fished tailed and bogged down in the sand. 
Once we got back to Fisher Road the mood changed,, and got even better
when I found some cold Cokes and  Beer back at the Camper. 
We had a killer dinner and watch some crazy lightning as 
we shook our tail feathers around the camp fire. 


Pip did not get to join me this morning,,, she had to head home and get cleaned up to go to work at the bike shop.
So I was free to fly and that I did,, the dirt was still tacky and the sand was firm,
the big change was the sun was out and the steam and humidity of the day before was gone. 
It was a great session on the trails today,, listing to the Angry Bees of my rear hub buzz along 
sand stone was turned to dust. 

It was the Last Waltz for the full family and it was good,,
Now it is time to hunker down and get Pip ready for school and the
OS Blackbuck ready for Single Speed USA..
Their is still work to be done but progress is being made. 
More to come on that. 
Now the sunsets on the weekend and people in this house are ready for sleeping. 
PARTY ON!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Swampass

I have said it many times before I love racing my bike at
Afton Alps.
Or maybe it is more of a love have but the word love always shows up in 
the sentence. 
Yesterday was no different,, with the boy racing that makes for an early
drive and somewhat of a long day.. But with the right amount of coffee and 
a sweet job of parking in the shade we set up a good base camp.
Got Rocky all kitted up and out to warm up if that is what you want to call it.  When the kids race started he found his normal pace towards the rear,, which today suited him well as the group in front of him roused up some bees and a few kids got stung.. 
He crossed the line with a smile and with that I could not ask for more.. 

From the end of the Boys race to the start of mine is a few hours at best,,
so with that I hunkered down at our camp spot took a few 
chair naps and just chilled,, making sure to drink a lot of water knowing that it was going to be a hot one. 
After a good warm up I made it to the line full knowing that some of the course had been changed for this year..
Most notably the start,, fifty yards to a sweeping right up straight in to single track. 
I had told my self before the race that I did not want to be up front but a start like this demanded it.
We popped out of the single track and onto the service road before the  onslaught of 
  climbing started. 
The first lap hurt I think the most trying to get used to the pace and dealing with the heat,,
photo kmb
Going up Manhandler the first time we were all still somewhat together,, 
that was until Jeff Hall went on a Tear,,,
By Lap three by far my slowest of four laps,, the gaps and places for the most part were decided, and now it was a matter of finishing, having dealt with the worst of the heat I was starting to fell
good again and was head down on every climb..
Now did I mention that I pick the worst day ever to forget gloves,,,
yep,, left my Ergon gloves sitting on the floor of the bedroom and had to spend
the whole race using a kung-fu-death grip on the steep climbs and 
all out descents.   I managed to finish in one piece and crossed the line 
6th,, which the way that this season has been going I'll take,, three races in seven days
I can be happy with that. 
With all that behind me the fun really starts,, the new Single Speed frame should be here today 
and that process will start,, hope to have it all said and done in the next 10 days or so..
Until then back to the ride and grind,, Singletrack and Sk8teboarding that is!!
Party ON to all and to all a Good Day?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Pinhead no More

You know that part of the Movie Fight Club when 
Ed Norton is shown not fighting Tyler but fighting him self in the parking lot.
That was how I felt mid race yesterday.. as I came unhitched and was in no mans land. 
Flashback to the drive up to Duluth on Saturday.
Passing through Eau Clair I get a call from SKJ and he informs me that the trail
was in crappy shape after the rain that fell on Friday afternoon.
He said that it was so bad that he was not sure that they would not be able to hold the event.
Hanging out in a gas station parking lot I made some phone calls and the kid 
and I decided to make the rest of the drive.
Plowing through a big cell of wet nasty storms I was happy that the bikes were in the car and not on the roof. 
The good thing was none of this rain was hitting Duluth, and the hope was things would dry out. 
As we got to the shores of that big ass lake the sun was out and we got out to do some riding.
Meeting up with Teammate Mitch Burns we climbed the 7 bridges road and tore around the top of the ridge. 
We dipped our toes into some of the single track and in some places it was unreal and in other pretty slick.. 
Sunday morning we woke up to sunny skies and cool temps.. should be a great day for a mountain bike race?
I was able to get out during the sport race and do a lap and the trail was in perfect condition
and I was getting excited for what was to be a fast fun day on the bike. 
Coming out of the woods the clouds were dark and starting to threaten rain. 
With fifteen minutes to the start the rain fell not hard but a good soaker..
50+ racers on the line and the front end was stacked.. At the whistle again I slip a pedal and pay dearly for it but was able to get back on and get into the train up the road.
Sitting in 5th behind SKJ the pain was creeping in.. Across the road and into the singletrack... This is where it got interesting..
We were flying but things were greasy and the bridges and roots were very tricky to navigate. 
Through lap one I was able to stay clean but now the sun is out and the trail is drying is some places and turning into a sponge in other places. At times I was on par hitting the corners just right  but I kept pulling then getting pass and had nothing to match the gaps that would grow. 
With one and a half laps to go sitting in no mans land I decided to just pick a pace tap it out and have fun,,, because now the trail was grippe fast and fun,, only issue was my legs were starting to give out. Two hours I made it across the line with a touch over 26 miles covered.. The result was not what I had wanted and had worked for through out the week,, but I kept it clean and enjoyed the ride.  
The team had a tough day with multiple flats and DNF's and even a Broken Finger for Dan D..
Not a bunch of time to recover as this coming week is going to be Afton,, "I am devins angry Legs"
and it is going to hurt,, but another day of climbing and fast fast descents.
I am just so happy that I get to line up and go toe to toe with some of the fastest 
racers in the upper middle west..
Time to think of things to come..

Monday, July 7, 2014

Turning into Dust

America
Fuck Yea!!
Hard to believe that the Forth Of July has come and gone. 
Always nice to get some extra time off of work and always awesome to 
hang out with the family ride bikes and drink beer!!
.
This year was no different. 
I kind of used this weekend as a hard restart of sorts to refocus the 
racing season.
It has been a weird year due to weather and races either getting canceled or just washed out. 
The racing has been good and all things being the same I am happy with where I stand.
But as for now it is time to get ready for a back to back weekends of racing. 
This next one up is by far one of the best of year up in Duluth Mn,, Right on the shores of Lake Superior.
Lots of climbing and flowing single track, and watering hole for cliff jumping when the racing is all done. 
After that it is followed by Afton Alps the ski hill that I grew up skiing at and since I have been back in the Middle West one of my favorites,, again lots of climbing.

So After the Hootenanny that was Friday and the recovery from said booty shaking
it is all about building and getting ready for things to come. 
Before I know it we'll be up at the SSUSA event getting back to basics 
riding one gear and drinking large amounts of Beer.
But for now eye on the prize,, head down and HTFU.


Monday, June 30, 2014

Kicked in the Ding Ding

Damn near impossible to take a month off of high end racing and line up of a 1.5+ hour dirt crit short track,,, But I gave it a go and it went.
The boy Races at some god awful time on a sunday morning which meant we would be at the venue all day long,, in the sun and on and off our feet. 
He had a typical JRC race,, he lined up complained about the hills and then 
had fun,, and the fun part is the most important.
I jumped on course while he was riding to see the new sections of trail that had been added and much talked about since the weekly race just last Thursday.
This brings me to my race.
Again the locals race Buck Hill every Thursday and have for years,
this would be my sixth time is seven years and every  year pretty much the same old story.
Hit it hard and fade towards the end.
The lack of racing was going to show its had quite quickly on this hot and windy day.
With all the fast guys on the line something new for me this season was no call up and starting in the second row. At least I was able to line up behind the boss who was Rocking his Carbon Fat bike.
Manderson blew the whistle and we were off. Jay punched it and took the Hole-shot-henderson move and for what ever reason I joined,, 
Sitting on the bosses wheel I followed up through the first climb till Owen came around with Jack and Josh,, and into the single track.. 
Being up front was where I needed to be but I could not recover from the effort to get to this corner of the Pain Cave,,
Buy the time we came out to the ski hill Jesse R and few other had come around. 
Still stilling in a good spot I pressed on first of the three laps went well holding on to the gaps and trying to extend on the short punchy climbs. 
Going up hill was not slowing me down it was the Donkey-Kong like traverses that for what ever reason put sand in my legs. 
Laps four five and six the breaks went on as the lap traffic got to be an issue trying to continue going fast while dodging lapped racers. 
With less than half a lap to go I gave up the tenth spot and was just over it happy to finish in one piece but knowing that much more needed to be done. 
Buck has never been nice to me and Yesterday was not to be any different. 
But I got to see what my legs could do,, and got a really sweet new 
bag out of the whole deal so almost a win win.. 
Two weeks and then off to Duluth.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Rained Out Again

Shut out again,, this time it was not me pulling the plug but the promoters of the race. 
The back story is all week long the Mississippi river valley has been getting pounded with rain,, and lots of it.. Strong severe weather has been blowing through one after an other. 
The forecast had called for a dry Friday and drying out over the weekend with small chances of showers. 
The Series put out a Tweet that a final decision will be made saturday morning after  
the trail was inspected on Friday.
On Friday I rode the monster Cross to work and home through the quarry and on the way home I rode some of the upper sections of HPT. 
Pleasantly surprised I was to see that the trails were drying and my mind was shifting into race mode.
Got back to the house and Brown Santa had brought two boxes to the house
one with new Geax tires and the other a new Deck for the boy to Thrash on. 
Got the tires set and the word from the series was the trail was in great shape and the race was on...
Made some last minute plans to ride up to St Paul with the Girls for the concert that they were going to and the Party was on.
Saturday morning I went for just a quick tempo style of ride and happy with how I felt,, until
pulling into the Garage to find out that the race had been Canceled.
This is the official announcement.
 I understand how frustrating this is for racers and the series given our proclamation last night, but the forecasts have gotten worse and we run the very real risk of running our club out of business if it were to rain and the turn out was low. With past two Red Wing events being wet and the prior event in Mankato being wet, we felt there was a good chance racers would understandably stay home if we got rain tomorrow. 



We apologize for any issues this cancellation may cause. Expect information from us and/or the series for how pre-registered riders will be handled.

At this point I am pretty bummed this means that I have not raced my bike now due to
weather for almost a month.. and I am freaking out and ready
to bend some cranks and feel that pain that can only come from racing.

The Weekend was not a total disaster,,
Did get to have dinner with the Boss last night and the Boy and I rode a new skate park.
Now we do have a race coming up next Sunday,,
One of my least favorites Buck Hill..
Two Hours of driving for a 75 minute race..
But I need to feed that Jones and this will have to be where I start.




Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Ditch Diggers Too Danny

It has been all bikes all the time and aside from racing this guy has been smiling from ear to ear.
Md and the Crew at Velocity twisted my up a new back wheel which showed up
bright and early last week and added to the riding enjoyment. 
I had the best fathers day gift a guy could ask for last friday,, getting off work early and meeting up Woods at Levis Mound
with the
Which by the way was voted one of the best places to ride by some magazine or group of people that i am sure know a lot about something. 
Regardless the weather perfect with low humidity and as long as you kept moving the bugs were not so bad. 
The Pip and Kwood were riding like they were on fire and all Jay and I could do was sit back and watch.  I even got to drink a beer and then have Pip drive home while chilled in the passenger seat.. KickAss.
Still on a Mountain Bike High saturday morning I found my self back out on the LaMere this time heading up to the HPT for nice post breakfast ride..
Trails were in great condition and at times I even felt fast.. The trail crew were up working with machines and I made Planes with Blum to carpool to the SSUSA,,, so I guess that is going to happen. 
Now just need to figure out what bike or bikes I can ride singlespeed up there.
And as you would guess sunday saw more bikes and beer drinking. 
I took the All/City out to see it  I knew how to ride  a Single and with the 42x18 and 44mm tires it kept me honest. 
My wife took me out for wings and beer and then I cooked a kicks ass dinner..and when it was all
over I woke up monday morning like it was some awesome dream.
Now I just need to plow trough to the weekend and I will finally get to race this time
at Red Wing one of my favorites,, Fast Hilly and Fun..