Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Broke back Racing

Well huh is about all I have to say..  Yep,,
I went into the past weekend with visions of great things to come but a curve ball was thrown at me and I had to fight through.
The Laddies Loppet is one of if not the best weekend of the year. 
Great racing good people and whole weekend of bikes and racing. 
I went into the long weekend feeling ready for a throw down,, knowing that it would all start with a solid TT saturday morning.
Regardless everything was thrown out with the bathwater.
No really,, I got home Thursday morning after a nice mellow road 
spin, and jumped in the shower. 
Half way though this event I was washing my feet and I stood up and my back went out.
Totally locked up,, I spent the rest of the day on the floor or in a ball of pain.
I did everything that could to work on getting loose the only issue was 
it kept getting worse.  The freaking out started as I was unable to my bags packed bikes prepped and things ready to go for the morning.
Friday morning came and I fibbed my way through the morning saying that I was feeling better,
which only landed me back in bed and thinking that we would not be leaving anytime soon.
I did rally and get into the Rav with help from Anna,, I could not even lift the bags into the car. 
So driving for 7+ hours sounded like a great idea.
The Drive up as an event as it always is... Made it all the way to the north end of the Cities before the rain started and the parking lot that is 94 became the pleasure and pain that can be driving to Maplelag.

I wanted a solid TT that was the plan,, not being able to stand straight and still a bunch of pain in my back I gave it all I had.. Going first off I had a clear shot in front of me and crossed the line.
Timing was a bit of an issue,,the mat had gotten moved and my official time was different from my computer and my gps. 
From here on out the weekend was going to be about survival.
Having to survive the Short Track which was 20 minutes plus two laps,, only to get lapped on the last lap.
I had mad it through saturday in one piece but well out of the GC,, for the weekend.
Sundays race was going to be my last chance for glory,, and we had been woken up to thunder and  rain which was only going to make for some interesting lines in the woods. 
Sundays race went better but still just not great. 
I was a long ski trail start before spitting us into some single track. 
Having miss the front selection I had to settle in and see if I could generate some  power..
And with my back acting up power was hard to find. 
I was so damn happy to be done and off the bike by the time it was all done and said. 
Getting off the bike was an issue all with in its self
.
But I knew that the racing was done and now I could get to some beer drinking. 
TMB Images 

So the weekend came and went and I did not miss out on what is always a great weekend. 
Do I want to do it again,, well of course but I would much rather go,,, and not have to be in the pain that I was in.
The Richards family and crew put on quite a show,,, and 
am so thankful that I get to be part of 
the best weekends of the year..
As always,,, PARTY ON!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Aint no Sissy

Shaking out the legs one last time before the Rocket and I head up to 
Maplelag for one of the best weekends of racing of the summer.
The days have been getting shorter and the weeds have been getting taller so it has been hard to find time and make the work count. 
Not having a normal crew to ride with and not wanting to do the 
world champ road rides that send people to the ER,, I tend to use the 
EVIL,, social media app,, STRAVA.

Strava gets a lot of bad press,, and at times it does cause people to ride like AssHats.
But I have to say that it has changed the cycling world and allows the user to 
track not only their miles but their progress. 
There are segments all over the place road,, dirt,, gravel...
I have even used it to mow the grass,, just for shits and giggles.
Times are set,,, miles are ridden and rides are mapped out.
So why all the bad press., why so many people hating on it.?
 Long story short tonight I went out for a Hard Effort,,
one that I could look back and say that I may be ready for three stages of racing this coming weekend.
I picked a hill that I have been riding and have set a fast time and wanted to see if I could beat 
that time.  Upon getting to the bottom of the hill
 I came up on another cyclist who gave me the "Look" and took the trail..
So knowing that I wanted to make it hurt, I turned around and gave
the rider some space.
I restarted and was giving it full gas..
Just about half way,, I passed said rider and as I asked to come around and pedaled 
away the rider yelled out in a sarcastic manner,,, " hey devin it is your segment"..
Why the h8te?
This is my group ride like De La Soul "me myself and I"
Regardless i kept my head down and achieved my  painful workout.. 
Too much hate too may divisions within the sport,,
To sound like a guy who went on TV and asked "why can't we all just get along"?
All I want to do is ride my bike and Party On!!
I that I will do.. 

Have some Tittes and Beer

Friday, August 22, 2014

Thick&Wet

What a difference a week makes,, summer weather has returned to the 
Driftless region.
We went from unseasonably cool and dry back to what August should be  in the Wisco disco..
Dew points have been in the 70's and the morning fog has been thick at times.
And I am still protesting the polar vortex that made our heat run longer into the spring than anyone would have wanted,,, so that means that the A/C has not been turned on yet.
I did a Blackbuck commute to work the other morning and spun through the 
thick fog until I crested the top of the quarry hill and popped out into the sun.
With out windshield wipers on my glasses I had to take them off 
which made riding single track a chore,, so the ride turned into more of
a nice soft pedal and while I cleared my mind before a long work day. 


Needless to say this week has not seen a whole lot of miles or hard workouts as 
I start to get ready for the Loppet..  On that note my new King/Velocity wheels 
showed up the other afternoon, capping off yet another asskicker of a 
work day. With wheels in hand a different front axle coming from King HQ I will be
able to pull the wheels off the singlespeed and get them back to the LaMere, and start
prepping for the Stage Race up north.
Seems as the events will start coming hard and fast.. Loppet,, Fat Tire 40,, St. Cloud... Holzinger? and then the final Minnesota race in Red Wing. 

This weekend will be a trip,, going to take the family up north to see some Blue Grass music 
as we continue to celebrate Anna's birthday week,, then off to Green Bay to 
watch the Pip race one more WORS race before the official collegiate racing season starts. 
I am going to bring my bike so I can pre ride with the Ripon team on saturday and sunday..
But what I am really excited about is getting to skate some different skateparks.
The one in Point Looks real real good and Green Bay has one that 
my wheels are itching to get after.. 
Now if I can keep my self off the ground and stop making my old man body hurt all the time.


One last shout out to my 
Lovely Wife.. 



Tuesday, August 19, 2014

DogTown

Wow last week spun through like a whirlwind,, blowing my mind and leaving me 
scratching my head asking what happened. 
Coming down from the high that was Single Speed USA,, and finishing off
the week with getting the Pip back off to school, I am amazed that I found time to do anything. 
The Blackbuck was one strong constant in my week riding it to and from work,,
getting 30+ miles of pure single track 1x1 love. 
And it was just what I needed to clear the head of all that was going on. 

The day before I left for the UP Pip had called me mid day crying her eyes out 
after she got jumped by a light pole in a local parking lot,, causing some 
big damage to my shiny Rav4.
This caused nothing but issues taking us down to one car and that car was
supposed to leave with the kid to get her back to school. 
Last minute trips to the store to get that one thing that was going to be needed for dorm
life and trying to get the boy back and forth to Karate made for some 
stressful moments.. 
But as always we prevailed and thanks to being able to ride then ride some more I was able to keep my mind clear. 
Friday came and the kid was all loaded up and off she went. 
James was as bummed out as I have ever seen him watching his sister go.
But once the sorrow cleared from his face he realized that life at home with out the Pip would be ok. 

Again I continued to purge the Darkheart with more miles and even loaded up the car on Saturday 
and the boy and I took a skate park tour that ended at a Target store getting him
a new Lego,, When in doubt get the kid a Lego. 
Topper of the weekend was getting to ride the OnebyOne with Josh B,, riding all over the bluffs,
climbing and then climbing some more.. 
Did I mention that me and the new Buck are getting along really really well. 
I am itching to get back out and ride,,, but I am damn tired from all the goings on at work,,
maybe some dinner and I can rally..
Or maybe it is time to just and rip the skateboard some more with the 
boy.
What ever happens it is going to be a blast enjoying the Dog daze of Summer. 
Jay Adams
May the wheels Always Turn..

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Pip it to Win It

Lets get this party started..
The Ripon Cycling Red Hawks
get moving today and begin the season.
More Medals More Podiums and More Fun.
Bring it on.
Get some PIP!

Side note,,, I know that I could use an editor,,
but what Fun would that be?
Enjoy the weekend,,

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Road Ends at Copper Harbor

Feeling born again after getting the new single speed and having not rode one other than the 
All-City cross machine. 

I got home from racing the Border Cross race and spent the rest of the night in the 
garage getting the bike together. 
Got everything in place and fell a sleep only to dream of single track and the fun that I was going to have. 
I raced out the door Monday morning to try out the new Blackbuck,, and the fit felt good, but was only going to get better once the parts from Thomson showed up and the make over was done.

Flash forward to Thursday morning and Josh was here to get me and head north..
I was armed with a mug loaded with three cups of coffee and was ready for what was to come.
Pulling in to Copper Harbor I was giddy and was not sure if it was because I was going to get to ride a new bike on sick single track,, or if was the coffee or both. 
After getting unloaded Josh and Griffin and I headed out to test the trails,,
I wanted to test the bike and see how it felt..
I felt great,,, acceleration were fast and cornering was rock solid and I was in love..
Only thing that was missing was I did not bleed the rear break before leaving my home and 
at times slowing down and stopping was interesting at best. 
Thursday night ended around the camp fire of the 29sngl* crew laughs and beers and fun was had..
Single track took me back to the cabin and even with all the coffee in my system I slept. 

Friday morning came with a great sunrise and a cup of coffee,, 
I flew out the single track to find the boss and the rest of the THC* crew for some trail seeking 
and tomfoolery.
I probably rode more than I should have but when driving seven hours 
to race a non race to miss out on riding to save legs did not make much scene.
Plus I got to ride with Hwood, The Bavers and Kwood,, and Werts,
My Team Hollywood Cycles Team Kicks Asses..

The Shindiggers closed out the evening Punk Rock music from Flagstaff playing songs from Husker Du and filling my ears full of distortion. 
Saturday was going to be a big day.

I found the boss as we got ready for the big race day event non event..
Jay was all deck out in a tiger striped high-vis yellow team kit..
And the rest of us in the standard THC* kits..
Blood was going to be tasted and pain was going to be felt.. it was go time.

The started on a long road climb where the move was made by 
Jesse and then followed by the Baves..
I latched on to the back of the chase group as we hit Pauls Plunge..
Things were still together as the stairway to heaven wooden
plank climb came in to play.
Things were good until the Downtown trail,,, one that I had not checked out before
race stated..
Here is where the wheels came off the bus as I took a wrong turn and had to back track and 
lost a bunch of places..
I had to regroup and put my head down to get back in to the game. 
Enjoying the ride and feeling the Flow I melted into the to trail and enjoyed the ride.
Came across the Baves as he was suffering from flat tires just before the Red Trail,,
and somehow managed to make it through the decent with out eating shit.
By the time I made it to the Edge I knew the end was near and let it go..

Jesse won the Dude race-non-race and Megan did it for the women..
Twin Six killed it..
I
Rolled in ninth which was not a bad ride only having some 50 miles in on the new bike and a hit and miss rear brake.
As soon as the race was done the real party started with
Derby's and drinking and more Shindiggers.
It was a whirling dervish of a total kick ass time.
More pictures would have been taken if I was not holing onto my handle bars or a beer
the whole weekend.

A lot of thanks go out to the people that got me there... Chris King... Velocity,,, Mark Slate and the Blackbuck... Thomson,, and Look USA..
This was by far the best weekend of the year,, and it is going to be hard to
top,, but plans are in the works for more
Copper Harbor fun..
Party On to all and to all a Good Night..  

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Da Harbor v1.0

I don't know where to start,, so the beginning has got to be the best place.
In 2013 the race known as Single Speed USA was held up the road in
Winona Minnesota. I was not going to race it due to the weekend that
it fell on and did not think that I could make it.
I pulled some dandy boy maneuvers and pulled it off,,, had a blast and it had me wanting more. 
This year the Race was going to be held just a few short hours north and the place where the roads end.
tmbimages.com

Again like last year I was not going to go and all changed when Josh Blum said hey
going and do you want to come along?
I was in... next was what bike should I ride?
The Spot was dead and not able to be ridden. I could have put the Soulcraft tensioner on the LaMere but really wanted a steel rig to ride.
Some phone calls and emails had been sent to some of the industry types that I knew that dabbled in steel and 1x1's.
It was not until sitting around a camp fire with some THC* teammates that I was given the 
tip of a lifetime.  Morgan and Matt gave the name of the gentlemen that produced the

Mark has been in the industry for a while and knows a thing or two about bikes and bike parts,,
and was one of the driving forces of the twenty-niner wheel development. 
We shared some emails and a few phone calls and before I knew it I had a shiny new 4130 Steel
Rig sitting in my living room.
I contacted some of my other loyal sponsors to help get the bike put together and before I knew it 
the Copper Harbor weekend was coming together.

The Bike was built up with new and used parts of my old one by.. Chris King sent out some new hubs that were hand delivered to my wheel builders at Velocity up in the Harbor,, so the new wheel were not on the bike for the weekend but my wheels off the LaMere came off and worked spot on.
Thomson sent out some new bars and a stem which allowed me to have the cockpit set up just like the carbon race bike.
Magura Marta Sl's were the stoppers and a fresh set of Look S-Track pedals rounded out the set up.

Testing the bike was going to come down to some last minute shredding. 
Everything was together the bike my bags and tools only thing left was to get there and ride some bikes.
Missing two days of work and a clear weekend's worth of weather I was ready for what ever was going to come my way.
More to come!