Saturday, December 10, 2005

Joey B. and the Simonster = Base miles have begun.... Joey B. is or newest beer drinking, mtn racer and MI Elite hammer head. Announcements coming soon...... Come out every Saturday and Sunday to Clarkston MI for some 3-5 hours of back roads on the MTB.... Followed by a quick refuel at the Clarkston Union (they happen to just have a few BELLS BREWERY beers in stock = 5 on tap) Local MI celb. Kid Rock has been known to hang out at the Union.
Wheels up 9am at the park dowtown Clarkston.... Posted by Picasa

John Meyers Stoney Crekk TT Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Jason Lummis climbs Sealy Tower at Chequamegon Posted by Picasa

The Simonster at Chequamegon Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 06, 2005


John Meyers wins age group followed by Jim James. Mike Simonson 9th Pro Derek Prechtl 11th Pro.... Jason Lummis out broken ribs, Tony Torrance out neck problems, Dan K. out funeral (best wishes DK). JAJ single speed stud and Velo News stud (see below).
The Team would Like to THANK LARRY BELL for his continued generosity towards are love of bikes and beer. We are all proud to wear the BELLS jerseys and drink the best beer. 2006 is coming fast and we are all set to make our mark again in the MTB racing community. Remember to LIVE LIFE UNFILTERED and PUT IT DOWN.

The 2000 racers that flock to Northern Michigan's 27-mile Iceman Cometh Challenge each year never know what kind of weather to expect. Seven of the past 14 years, the Iceman has been held in cold and snowy conditions. However, in recent years, racers have enjoyed unseasonably balmy weather. This year's weather continued that trend, with a mid-day temperature in the mid-50s, leaving race promoter Steve Brown to suggest that perhaps the race should be renamed the "Niceman."

Craig rides in on his own
photo: Jason Aric JonesAnd the weather wasn't the only thing heating up at the Iceman. The pro men's class had some of the hottest competition in recent memory, with top national factory pros from Trek-VW, Subaru-Gary Fisher, and Giant Bicycles all vying for the podium.
The pace was high from the start, with a cadre of national pros led by Adam Craig (Giant Bicycles), Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Gary Fisher) and Travis Brown (Trek) taking turns at the front of the course's trademark sandy two-track for the first few miles. Then, a few miles in, at a log-strewn, twisty single-track section known as "Tornado Alley," regional pro Mike Simonson (Bell's Beer-Trek) made a move, gapping the group.
Eventually, Brown led a chase group back up to Simonson, who continued to pull the group through the Dockery Road crossing, about seven miles into the course. Shortly thereafter, Craig took a dig, dividing a group of five pros from the rest of the field. The group included Craig, Brown, Wisconsin-based regional pros Doug Swanson and Tristen Schouten (both Trek-VW) and Jesse Jakomait (Dark Horse Racing), a Michigan native living in Colorado.
Swanson, who led the group at the Williamsburg Road crossing 16 miles into the race, wound up doing much of the work at the front of the group. At Ice Station Zebra, it became a three-man race for the finish with Craig, Schouten, and Swanson taking turns. At the finish line, it was Craig besting Swanson by 14 seconds in a record time of 1:29:26.
The women's pro race was never in question. A few miles in, Kelli Emmett (Ford Cycling) dropped the hammer and never looked back, taking her third Iceman win in as many years in a time of 1:43:29. Second place went to Sara Kylander-Johnson of Duluth, Minnesota, with former Iceman champion Kerry Barnholt (Subaru-Gary Fisher) rounding out the podium.
Iceman Cometh ChallengeTraverse City, MI. Nov. 5Pro men1. Adam Craig, Maine, Giant Bicycles, 1:29:262. Doug Swanson, Plymouth, Minnesota, Trek-VW, 1:29:403. Tristan Schouten, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Trek-VW, 1:29:514. Jesse Jakomait, Colorado, 1:30:045. Travis Brown, Boulder, Colorado, (Trek), 1:30:356. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, Boulder, Colorado, (Subaru-Gary Fisher), 1:31:367. Russ Tiles, Grand Haven, Michigan, (Slingshot Bicycles), 1:31:498. Brian Matter, Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, (PWC Cycling), 1:31:509. Michael Simonson, Clarkston, Michigan, (Bell's Beer-Trek), 1:31:5310. Carey Grumelot, Anchorage, Alaska, (Ford Cycling), 1:32:00Pro women1. Kelli Emmett, Colorado Springs, Colorado, (Ford Cycling), 1:43:292. Sara Kylander-Johnson, Duluth, Minnesota, 1:47:253. Kerry Barnholt, Boulder, Colorado, (Subaru-Gary Fisher), 1:52:11

Monday, October 24, 2005

Cannonsburg XC --- Rockford MI

The last MTB race in MI before the finale ICEMAN. The morning temps where a balmy 30 deg. Great race temps for a fun ski hill race. Cannonsburg has added more single track from the past few years (Alger/Founders racing team put a lot of time on the single track---THANKS). The course is a fun, tight and fast course. The sand was a factor in this race bogging racers down or directing them into the woods.
Bells racer Jason Lummis awoke early Sunday morning with the Flavor of Bells Obern still on his tongue (Poto SSWC where the day before and Jason indulged himself with cup after cup of the sweet nector of OBERON) and headed to Grand rapids. The Elite field wasn't large maybe 10.
Russ Tiles shot to the front followed by Scott "Stewy" Stewart and the rest followed as Jason tried to get going. By the end of the first of 6 laps Jason had caught up to Russ and Stewy who where playing cat and mouse. The pace would increase and everyone would hold on. After 2 more laps the beer wore off and Jason started to suffer has Todd F. caught on to the lead group. Stewy attacked up the ski hill and dropped Todd and Jason. Leaving just Russ and Stew to battle it out for the win. Jason attacked Todd and pulled away on the last 2 laps. Stewy bobbled on a steep loose single track climb and Russ buried it to the finishing barely holding Stewy off for the win. Jason cruised the last lap finishing well ahead of Todd F. and Craig Gietzen rolled in 5th.
Next MTB race is ICEMAN
Cyclocross this weekend in Ann Arbor at Vets Park and the week after Iceman is Dexters Hudson Mills CX races.
Live Life Unfiltered and enjoy......

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Xterra U.S. National Championships

BELLS TEAM Memeber Jim James turns in a report from his adventures in Xterra: Great Podium finish JIM !!!!!!!

Xterra U.S. National Championships (Lake Tahoe, NV)
Bell’s Beer mountain bike off-road triathlon specialist, Jim James, lined up against 350 of the countries finest athletes to contest the national championships. The “invitation only” event was held on the shores of Lake Tahoe at Incline Village, Nevada.
The race started with a 1 mile swim in very cold 57-degree water, with 4-foot waves. Next was the 20 mile bike leg which started with a 2,000-foot accent away from Lake Tahoe. After riding the world famous Flume Trail, racers got a few minutes to relax on the 40 mph fire road descent. The 6 mile run was on a mostly flat course, but due to the numerous log and creek crossings, it certainly wasn’t a place for PRs.
The results, once again, the Bell’s Beer jersey was on the podium. Jim earned a third place finish in the 40-44 age group championships. A fine finish for the current North Central USA regional, and national point series champion!
The next stop for Bell’s Beer off-road triathlon specialist is the World Championships in Maui, Hawaii USA. The CBS network will televise this event on Superbowl Sunday! Look for that Bell’s Beer jersey!

Sunday, October 09, 2005


Annual Post-Iceman Race Bell's Beer Mountain Bike Team Sunset on the Season Party!
Where: The Big Eazy, 1796 Garfield, Traverse City
When: Sat. November 5th, After the Iceman Awards, Approx. 8:30-9pm to close
Why: Celebration of the close of the mountain bike racing season, beer, social interaction, beer, bike swag, beer, Bell's swag, beer.
Who: All mountain bikers and their families (over 21 y.o.) invited! Noteworthy: Due to continued growth of the Sunset on the Season Party, this year, we are again jumping to a facility that can accomodate a bigger crowd. The Big Eazy holds 400 folks -- eazy. Doorprizes and giveaways courtesy of Trek Bicycles, Two Wheel Tango and Bell's. Brand new, new design Bell's cycling caps free to the first 100 in the door. Again this year, one random attendee will win a honorary spot on the 2006 Bell's Beer Mountain Bike Team, including a 2006 Bell's Team Jersey and a Pro-Deal on a 2006 Trek bicycle of the winner's choice. This year's music provided by Eddie Shaw and The Wolfgang, one of Chicago's premier up-tempo Blues bands and the original backup band to the legendary Howlin' Wolf. Complete selection of Kalamazoo Brewing Company (Bell's Beer) offerings on tap and in the bottle. Be one of the first to try some of Larry Bell's new "Five Wheats" series.

BELLS take 3 State Titles at Boyne XC State Championships

BELLS TEAM members John Meyers, Mike Simonson, Jim James, Jason Lummis and Dan Kotwicki showed at the MI State Championships at Boyne Mt. Voted best course in MI for like 10 yrs, this race was deep with talent. The BELLS TEAM took 3 1st place awards today The Simonster 1st in Elite (2nd straight State Title), DanK. 1st in Expert 30-39 (2nd staright Title) and Jim James 1st in Expert 40-49 (2nd straight title).

In the Elite race Mike " Simonster" Simonson took the lead from the start and rode everyone from his wheel with a solo victory in 2:04. John Meyers raced well and finished a great 4th place followed by a sick (and shouldn't have raced) Jason Lummis in 8th place. The course was in great shape and about 9.5 miles long. Elites and Experts all did 3 laps respectively. The temps for the start hovered just above 40, the fall leaves just starting to turn. Added to the perfect course and race for all. Thanks to Brent Walk of FUN PROMOTIONS INC for another great race season (
Here is the SIMONSTERS view of the race:
Oct. 9th Rise and shine at 7:00AM to a frosty windsheild and temps down in the 20's!?!? It was definately the annual state championships at Boyne Mt. After a cold and brisk warm-up to the top of the golf cart path, it was time to head to start line for today's punishment. The plan was to go ballistic off the start line and catch everyone off gaurd which worked perfectly. I snuck around my team mate John Meyers to snag the wholeshot going into the woods. I had a little gap until Russ Tiles and Tom Archer came roaring up and passed me on the first long climb. We rode together for a little while and I managed to pull away again. I made my way onto the paved golf cart path climb and I could see Russ back about 50 yards. Sure enough he bridged on the bottom of the climb. Rolling into the second pitch of the path, I downshifted and gapped Russ once again. He marked my move, but I took one more hard pull at the top of the climb and looked back to notice I had a sizable gap. I burried the rest of the lap, then kind of went on auto-pilot for the second lap. Near the end of the second lap, I could see Russ bridging again at the base of the last descent. That's when I knew I had to ride a hard last lap to fend him off. I burried it through the last lap and finished to take win. The Trek fuel 110 worked great and it was really nice to be able to lock out both the front and rear suspension with a flip of the thumb on that long paved climb. ----Thanks Mike
2 more MTB races left in Michigan--- Cannonsburg (funpromotions) and the Grand Finale ICEMAN....
Keep the rubber side down and put it down---- Bells Beer MTB Team

Saturday, September 24, 2005

PANDO XC-- The last Fun Promotions race at this venue!

John Meyers and Dan Kotwicki attened this MMBA CPS race. Here is what John had to say.

Second place sucks! The final xc @ Pando.....My goals for the season had been to race expert 40+ but somewhere back in the spring I decided that if I was going to race after having taken 3 yrs. off that I would not be personally satisfied unless I was racing elite....So every race that I completed and placed this season has felt great. A first place at pando was a dream but something that I thought was out of my league. The race started in mass with our group in the front. I was was able to take the lead just before the first bit of single track in the first lap and hold the lead for four and half laps with a 20-30 second gap. I made one error in the technical single track in lap four which allowed the three chasers to bridge. Lap five was complete with four of us together. After having been caught by the three chasers I decided that it was their turn to show me that they could ride away but I think they gave it everything to catch me so we were all together. Lap six seemed to slow so I went to front on the long rolling back section into the downhill. On the long gradually uphill Peter and I were able to drop the balance of our group and began to create a gap. Lap seven began with just the two of us. Having felt strong for the first six laps I was beginning to feel fatigued and new it was going to take the right move near the end of the lap before the single track to pull off a victory. Well the move I made worked and I jumped back into the lead with about a mile to go with all single track and a short uphill finish. I did not have a gap but did not think peter would try to pass until the final hill climb. As we approached the final single track Pete went past me on a short straight away. I stayed on his wheel thru the descent to the final hill but as I sprinted out of the saddle up the hill to the finish my rear wheel was spinning out so I had to sit down with a seated sprint finish. Pete finished just ahead of me. I finished a disappointed second but will regroup for the final showdown at the state championships at boyne mt in two weeks. I am currently leading the mmba elite points series and the boyne race will need to be my very best race of the season if I hope to win the points series.

Dan K. won his Expert class. He is in the hunt for the top 3 in his Expert MMBA CPS series. Lets hope DK can make it up to the BOYNE CPS race on time.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Great Lakes Triple Crown #2..... Chequamegon

BELLS TEAM ---- Jim James, Jason Lummis, Mike Simonson and Jason Jones made the pilgrimage to Hayward Wisconsin. The race course was dry and fast, the normal wet weather missed the race by a week. Jim James had a great race and finished 15th overall, Mike Simonson finished 20th, Jason Lummis 45th and Jason Jones finished 25th in SS. There where 1700 starters in this 40 mile race, also know as the MIDWEST WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS the Chequamegon is loaded with top talent and some fierce competition. Of course we will be back next year.

Chequamegon 2005 Race report from the Fat Man:

Contact: Gary Crandallcheqfat@cheqnet.netSept. 18, 2005
CABLE, Wis. – Kyia Malenkovich, St. Cloud, Minn. pulled away from Sara Kylander-Johnson (Trek/VW) on the third of four laps to win the 23rd annual Cable Criterium Sept 18. Malenkovich ( surged ahead up the half-mile course’s long climb and never looked back. Kylander-Johnson of Duluth, Minn. could not close the initial gap forged by Malenkovich. Michelle Flanagan (Ski Hut) of Seeley, Wis. finished third.The win eased the pain of Malenkovich’s disappointing ride the previous day in the Chequamegon 40 when she crashed a mile into the course on Highway 77. “The turning lane just ended, and then I was running over this guy’s neck in the ditch,” she said. “I looked up and the whole pack was gone.” The former Chequamegon 40 champion chased to try to catch the leaders, but a broken front derailleur and a messed up chain ended her day early. “I was going for the podium,” she said.These mishaps made the Cable Criterium victory all the sweeter.Malenkovich has fared well on the NORBA pro curcuit this season, her highest placings an 11th in the short track and a 14th in the cross country at Mount Snow, Vermont. Tristan Schouten (Trek/VW) edged teammate Doug Swanson to win men’s Cable Criterium. Junior riders Cole House and Bjorn Selander (Alan) captured 3rd and 4th respectively.In the miss-and-out format, Dirk Rettig (Bontrager) made the first move, attacking up the hill on the third lap. House countered this move with an even more savage attack on the fourth lap, which shredded the field. Schouten and Swanson bridged up with Selander in tow, while Rettig faded.Swanson passed Cole on the bell lap and looked in control – until he bobbled in the sharp corner at the base of the climb. Schouten seized the opportunity and barreled by, with Swanson recovering for second.Like Malenkovich, Schouten has been traveling on the NORBA pro circuit, finishing consistently in the top 20. He skipped a NORBA national race to attend the Fat Tire Festival. “This is a lot more fun,” Schouten said. “There are a lot more people here.”“It’s a beautiful day here. “I’m glad I stayed. The whole weekend was good.”
CABLE, Wis. – Doug Swanson (Trek/VW) powered to his second Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival win in the last three years. He punched the sky in a victory salute as he crossed the finish line to win by two bike lengths over three-time champion Steve Tilford (Verge/Shimano). E.J. Ettmayer (Pedal Moraine) rolled in third and Ian Stanford (Nature Valley/Penn Cycle) was fourth.Swanson of Plymouth, Minn. captured the most hotly contested Chequamegon in the 23-year history of the race, finishing the 40-mile off-road race in two hours and ten minutes. Four former champions finished within seven seconds of each other. Besides Tilford, Jeff Hall (Salsa) placed 6th, and last year’s winner, Brian Matter (PCW) finished 7th. “That hurt,” said Tristan Schouten (Trek/VW) draped over his bars after the race. Schouten, a teammate of Swanson from Sheboygan, Wis., placed 5th, two seconds behind his teammate.In 2003, Swanson won the race by attacking early and building an invincible lead. He won in record time, over eight minutes ahead of second place. Then in 2004, he finished out of the top 40, way off the race. This year he rode conservatively, unlike last year when he attacked early. “I hardly worked until (County Highway OO),” he said. “As long as I didn’t let anyone get away, I felt confident I could win.”Swanson admitted that his 2005 season had been so-so, but that he was building for Chequamegon. “It’s my favorite,” he said, proving to the crowd that he could win with either a long breakaway or a quick sprint. Fast, dry conditions kept the lead group intact for most of the race. A lack of mud kept the first group around a dozen most of the race, including a tandem piloted by Brian and Kim Eppen (Mercy/Specialized) of Iowa City, Iowa.The Eppens had forged a 100-yard over the lead group with three miles to go on Telemark Road. But on the sharp climbs in the closing miles, where single bikes have an advantage over tandems, the lead group passed the lone tandem. Seven riders made it together over the final climb and dropped down into the Telemark Bowl for the final sprint.The Eppens eventually finished 8th, easily the first tandem, a little more than eight seconds off the winning pace.In the women’s race, Megan Monroe (PCW) dropped Sara Kylander-Johnson (Trek-VW) on the final climb, building a 17-second lead at the finish. Monroe finished in two hours and 27 minutes. Kylander-Johnson, of Duluth, Minn. grabbed the early lead in the race, but Monroe, Boulder, Colo. caught her with 23 miles to go. The two battled back and forth the rest of the race.Monroe grabbed the lead on the final climb up and over Mount Telemark. “I heard her chain grab, so I attacked,” said Monroe. Kylander-Johnson lost precious seconds to Monroe in this last mile of the race but clawed her way back to only to have her bike slide out on a final downhill corner. “I went into the bushes,” said Kylander-Johnson.Diana Hill (Trek/VW) of Coon Rapids, Minn. finished third in two hours and 40 minutes.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


September in Michigan---- How about 85 deg and Hot !

PLRA---- The home of the SIMONSTER !!!!!! Course description is all single track, roots rocks and tight turns make this fast fun power course a great venue to weed out the less skilled racers.
The 10 am start time had temps around the mid 60's. The start of the 3 lap (1o miles per lap and 99.5% single track) was controlled by the Simonster, followed by team mates Jason L. (3rd spot) and Dan K. (4th spot). Mike put the hammer down and dropped everyone 2 miles in the race to never look back, he finished the 30 mile race in just under 1:55. Back in the race Jason L. and Dan K. Where racing for 2nd against Greg Kuhn (Whole Foods), the 3 rode all 3 laps together. Dan K. In his 1st Elite race fell off the pace on the last lap. Jason and Greg headed into the last 3 miles with Jason on the front not pushing the pace hoping DK could come back. Greg attacked before the last switch back climb and Jason hung on easily. Jason lost slight controls of his front wheel on the sand descent and Greg gaped him. Recovering Jason sprinted to Gregs wheel just has the hit the finishing shoot. Jason 3rd and DK 4th all 3 finished at 2:02 ---- Ya know the Simonster won!!!! FORDA NORBA SERIES OVERALL
STANDINGS (best 5 of 8 race series)

MIKE SIMONSON ----- 2nd place overall ELITE ( 4 races )
JASON LUMMIS ----- 3rd place overall ELITE ( 5 races )

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Great Lakes Triple Crown #1: Ore to Shore

Blah, blah, blah.

Sometimes, numbers just speak stronger than words, eh?

Ore to Shore Hardrock Male Division number of participants = 571

Bell's Team Individual Stats:

Derek Prechtl:
5th place overall/1st Place Michigan rider/99th Percentile
John Meyers:
8th place overall/98th Percentile
Jim James:
22nd place overall/2nd in 40-44 Age Group/96th Percentile
Jason Lummis:
23rd place overall/1st in 30-34 Age Group/95th Percentile
Dan Kotwicki:
26th place overall/3rd in 35-39 Age Group/95th Percentile
Mike Simonson:
27th place overall/1st in 25-29 Age Group/95th Percentile

All of the finishing Bell's Team Racers got either PAID or PODIUM!

All of the finishing Bell's Team Racers were in the Top 5 Percent of Racers!


Condolences to Team Rider Tony Torrance who had to DNF due to a torn tire sidewall.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Stony Creek NORBA XC

I think everytime I race a Stony XC race it is wet, raining or just stopped. The course isn't really effected by the rain until the Pines single track. The corners are slick clay and the 1 wooden bridge is slimy slippery wet. The race started as usual with everyone off full out, heads down and hammering. A few guys tried to put it down and gap the field. There where 5 of us in the lead on the first 2 laps. Things changed and I wasn't riding smoothly, sliding in corners that I was ripping 2 laps earlier. Needless to stay 3 trees later I lost contact with the leaders and fell back to the chase 2. Couldn't find my rythm any more and just rode it home. Finishing 6th, I have 1 more MI NORBA race to make it in the top 5 overall in the FORD NORBA series. The race is at Pontiac LK (home of the Simonster), I like the course and plan on finishing in the top 5.
NEXT RACE is the ORE to SHORE ( )...... Jason L.

Monday, August 08, 2005

The BIG "D" (M)

Derek Precthl showed good form at Sundays Big "M" NORBA MTB race. With his new wedding band on and a smile Derek went to work pushing the pace hard for the whole race. Gapping Rob Cotton (SSE) and never looking back Derek finished the 5 lap 30 mile MTB race in under 2hrs. Just a tune up for the 1st leg of the TRIPLE CROWN, the ORE to Shore in Marquette MI Aug. 20th. Back in the race Jason Lummis was battling the KONA Midwest trio of Jamie Parker, Pete Ehman and NORBA (MI) series leader Justin D. Pete finished 3rd, Justin 4th, Jamie 5th and Jason 6th. It was a tight fun race among Lummis and the Kona Kids as they all ride frequently together and no blood was shed :>) !
Add 1 more 1st place to the list of many for the BELLS BEER/ TREK MTB

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Bell's Dan K. Finishes High in Public Stage of the Tour de France!

Last week, Bell's Team members Jason Aric Jones and Dan Kotwicki ventured over to France to follow the Tour de France around, riding some of the classic Tour routes. Both tackled classic "beyond category" climbs such as the Col du Galibier, Col de la Madeleine, Col du Telegraphe, and the notorious Alpe d'Huez.

Dan K. also had the good fortune to compete in the public stage of the Tour. Every year the organizers of the Tour pick one actual Tour stage for members of the public to compete in. A lottery is held and competition for racing slots is fierce, with many Euro neo-pros competing. This year, the Tour organizers picked the public stage race to be held on the Stage 16 Mourenx to Pau section of the Tour, located in the notorious Pyrenee Mountains bordering France and Spain. Among other challenges, the stage includes the "off category" Col d'Aubisque climb and is 180.5 km in length!

Over 8,000!! racers competed in this race. It was incredibly hairy with a 50 km, 1500 meter descent reaching speeds of 60 mph! Luckily, Dan K. has those incredible MTB skills! In the end, Dan finished an impressive 501 out of 8,000+ competitors. Even more impressive when you consider that Dan 1. Doesn't Live or Train in the Mountains, and 2. Arrived in Southern France only days before the Race! So, finishing in the top six percent of competitors was quite a feat.

No word yet on if Dan will be selected to fill a spot on the Discovery Team roster next year!

Bell's Beer Wins Stony Creek Xterra Race!

(Shelby Township, MI - July 10)

The Xterra Off-road triathlon started Sunday morning at 8am with athletes taking off on the swim in a gorgeous, flat lake with a huge crowd of spectators. With the neon green swim capped heads bobbing in the lake, the excitement of the day was just starting!

The bike course was just sweet - plain and simple, sweet. Fast, fun, super fast, and with just enough elements of surprise (you can read that to say - creek crossings, mud pits, etc) to make it challenging to the old pros, but kind enough to the middle- and back-of the packers. It twisted and it turned, and you could go for a bit just flying without even pedaling (not super fast - but you could go - it was SMOOOOOOOTH at places).

The run took you back on the start of the bike trails and then off onto more awesome single track that you missed on the bike. It was six miles of short ups and downs and stream crossings and fun! But watch out for your shoes!

Bell’s Beer’s Jim James smoked the mountain bike course, which gave him a comfortable 2-minute lead over second place. During the run, he extended his lead to three and a half minutes to secure 1st place overall honors!

If you to race your mountain bike and win…you got to deal with the Bell’s Beer team.

Sunday, July 10, 2005


Team Member John Meyers raced the Boyne MMBA CPS race. Placing 4th in a field of 12 in the Elite Race. Here is his recap: below

I added another podium position for the Bell's Beer team.My report from todays Boyne mtn. 4 lap elite race.....The race was orginally slated for 3 laps but Brent (Fun Promotions) bumped it up to four 8 mile plus laps.....about 32 miles. It was a beautiful day to be racing up in the north country. The temp.'s were in the high 80's. I rode a strong race and consistent race...I closed the gap on 3 rd. position (Jorel Hendershot Cannodale) on the last climb but only to lose 3rd on the crazy downhill into the finish. So I finished in fourth place. As of the first 5 races of 10 total in the MMBA CPS I am placed in 2nd.

Great Job John... Keep hurting the youngsters !

Friday, July 08, 2005

Victory at Nissan Xterra East Regional Championships!

For the Fourth of July weekend, Bell’s Beer rider Jim James broke out his brand new Trek 9.8 mountain bike and headed to Richmond, Virginia for the Nissan Xterra East Championship. For those not familiar with the Xterra race format, it’s a mountain bike race sandwiched between a 1-mile swim and a 6-mile run. And for the East Championship, it’s the big show for off-road triathletes east of the Mississippi.

Historically, the competition at Richmond has been extremely high. This year was no different. There was a field of 400 racers that included several Olympians, 50 professional triathletes, numerous World and National Champions.

The promoter, Team Unlimited which is responsible for the Xterra Global tour, once again set up a great course that was challenge even the most seasoned professionals athletes. The swim was held on the James River, which required navigating the strong currents and avoiding large boulders slightly submerged below the surface. Then for the swim survivors, there was a fast and technical, 15-mile mountain bike course. For those athletes that still had energy to run, there was a technical run course that would challenge even a mountain goat. The southern hot and humid conditions just made the couse even more brutal on the atheltes' body.

The results for the Bell’s representative at the East Championship, 1st place in the men’s 40-44 age group. Jim’s overall placing was 23rd, right in the middle of the professional! Man, what a guy will do for a little free beer.

Oh, and the new bike, prefect! Jim’s bike split was a solid professional level effort!
What got Jim through the race, and so quickly…knowing that there were two ice-cold Bell’s Cherry Ales in the cooler.

Monday, July 04, 2005

7/2 STONEY CREEK Marathon XC (NORBA) another race and another WIN


Mike Simonson (1st PLACE) and Jason Lummis (5th Place) attended the Stoney Creek (Metro Park) Marathon XC, a NORBA event. Saturday afternoon the racers set off on a 60 mile XC race (6, 10 mile loops). The course used most of the 2 tracks and single track available at the Metro Park. With a 10 person Elite class with a payout to the top 7 the race was tight. Mike set the pace early and was off the front most the race, WINNING with a Time of 3:45. Jason's race was a little more dramatic with a continous pedal problem Jason battled back and forth from 7th to 4th finally falling into 5th about a 4 miles into the last 10 mile loop with a time of 4:02. As always our TREK TOP FUELS gave us the unfair advantage, ADDIDAS shorts and shoes made the race that much easier, TIFOSI glasses kept the bugs and dust from our eyes, CLIFF SHOT kept us energized and after 3.5 hrs of racing the only thing on our minds is the cooler full of iced down, full of flavor, BELLS OBERON and some water.

NEXT RACES...... BOYNE (MMBA CPS) and WORS Devils Head Stage race (Madison WI)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Bloomer Park XC

The Simonster hits 'em hard again at Bloomer XC (MI NORBA)----- The report from Mike is below. Mike Simonson 1st place Elite.

Bloomer Park XC Race

I woke up Sunday morning to the sounds of thunder storms and I thought to myself, “ah boy.” It rained for the whole drive to the park and then let up right when we drove in as if mother nature herself was already weeding out the men from the boys. I did a few laps around the parking lot and it was onto the start line. It was kind of a small turnout with only 7 of us Michigan elites. Robert did his usual spiel, blew his whistle, and we were off. As usual I couldn’t get my left foot clipped in so I totally blew the start. Stewy and Justin D. jumped in front of me. As soon as I got clipped in I threw down an attack. I had a little gap, but it wasn’t long before I was reeled in by Justin and Stewy. The course was slimy and all three of us in the break were having a hell of a time staying on two wheels. Stewy hung on for about the first lap, then faded going into the second, which left me and Justin D. alone to duke it out for the win. He attacked in the second lap on the switchback downhill and got a nice gap on me, but I was able to nail it back on the stair case climb. I let him do most of the pace making for the rest of the lap. Towards the end of the third, Justin whipped up the pace on the railroad bed. I knew right then I needed to sit on his wheel until he was done. Right when we got to the little sidestep climb in the middle of the railroad bed, I passed him and then I whipped the pace up. He held on until the sledding hill, then I attacked really hard one last time and popped him off my wheel. I continued to stretch the gap on lap four, then just went on auto pilot for the rest of lap 4 and 5 to take the win. At 2hrs 33 minutes, it was kind of long for an XC race, but it’s good to do a tough long one every once and a while.The fuel 110 rocked the house and performed flawlessly. The Bells Beer I drank after the race performed flawlessly as well, but that’s another story.

Saturday, June 18, 2005


Michigan's 1st and only 100 mile off road MTB race. The Lumber Jack 100 debut in the Manistee National Forest in the Udell Hills area aka BIG M SKI area. Team Racers Jason Jones ( 14th SS 29'er Gary Fischer RIG) and Jason Lummis (5th TREK TOP FUEL) attended the race.
For the 2 weeks leading up to the race the weather in Michigan has been hot. Concerns for water during the race where on all the racers minds. Amazingly some one turned on the AC, with temps at start time (7am) in the 50's and an overcast skies the temps stayed nice and cool. The race started off with a short Paved roll out and then 100 miles of dirt and single track with about 2000ft per lap of climbing. The pace was fast and fun, with Scott Quiring (Quiring Cycles) setting the pace early. Jason L. had a couple run-ins with large groups of leaves playing in his cassette, not fun and cost him some time getting the leaves to go home. He chased back on twice to the leaders and after 3rd leaf attack caught on to Robert Herriman and Nate Versluis. They rode most of the first lap together, until the start/finish area. At this point there was a feed zone, Robert and Nate stopped for water/food. Jason L.'s beautiful wife was there to hand up his feed. This was key, as Jason L. didn't stop and gaped the 2 riders instantly. Jason L. Then rode the last 75 miles basically solo in a time of 7hrs 57 minutes for 5th place geared and 7th overall. SCOTT QUIRING (Quiring Cycles) won with a time of 7 hrs 28 minutes. Bernie Grysen (Alger) was second around 7minutes back. Russ Tiles 3rd.. Scotty ( I love myself) Chambers (Alger) rolled in a happy 4th. Followed quickly by the MICHIGAN SS CHAMPION 5th place overall riding a rigid SS pushing something like a 40/17 DAN JANSEN ( Algers). Skip Brown (Seven SS) was 6th followed By Jason L. for 7th >>>>>>> All these racers finished under 8hrs. Jason Jones rode his Gary Fischer 29'er RIG to a 14th place SS finish..
The catered food and Alger beer ( Sorry Algers but the BELLS boys travel with only the best, we brought some BELLS PALE ALE and CHERRY ALE) where a compliment to a great race. thank you Rick Plite ( ) for this excellent event--- See ya Next year !!!

Keweenaw Chain Drive Festival

Tony Torrance made the journey from Madison Wisc. to Houghton MI for this great race. Here is what Tony had to say about the race. Tony placed 3rd overall in the Open class. Keweenaw Chain Drive Festival
The course was point to point. A lot of climbing. It was probably the best race course I’ve ridden. It had everything from tight single track to scream’n down hills to water crossings. Started in Houghton with a police escort that went over the bridge into Hancock and then the race went up into the hills. 32 miles in the sun. It was like 85 and sunny. It was actually pretty nice.. I race a prototype TREK FUEL race bike and blew out the new Manitou fork. My cassette came loose and was only held on by the quick release. It didn’t slow me down though! : )

Monday, June 13, 2005

Whiskey Creek MTB Stage Race Breaking News

Word is in that Bell's Team member Jason Lummis had an excellent showing in the tough Whiskey Creek MTB Stage Race near Manistee, Michigan. The weekend event consists of three stages -- a time trial race, a short course race, and a cross-country mountain bike race. Lummis represented the Team well by taking 5th in the overall final general classification in the Pro/Elite class.

Now, he'll need plenty of recovery this week before the brutal Lumberjack 100 next Saturday.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Bell's J&J Take Up Interdisciplinary Studies

Taking a break from the mountain bike racing grind, Bell's Team members Jim James and Jason Aric Jones took up at little interdisciplinary athletic study on Sunday, participating in the 20th Annual Ann Arbor Triathlon & Duathlon held at Half Moon Lake in Dexter, Michigan.

James chose to "tri" it, particpating in the event for the first time in over ten years. Jones chose to "du" it, participating in his first on-road duathlon. Both were good students, ending up at the top of their respective classes, with James taking victory in the Men's Tri 40-44 age group and Jones winning the Men's Du 35-39 year old class.

Their key to victory? Well, here is a surprise -- their biking didn't hurt them. James had one of the top overall tri bike times, averaging 23.5 mph over the 14 mile course, while Jones had the fourth best bike split overall in the du, averaging 22.1 mph.

Both plan to do more interdisciplinary studying in a couple weeks at the Torn Shirt Xterra Tri/Du, and they should be in even more of a comfort zone at that race, as the bike leg is all off-road.

Next week: Lummis and Jones Tackle the 100 mile mountain bike Saturday at the Inagural Lumberjack 100 held in Michigan's Huron-Manistee National Forest.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

A Hot day at Hanson Hills

Sunday June 5th was a hot day to race in Upper/lower Michigan. Temps reached 85+ deg by then end of the 3 lap 28.5 mile race. Hanson Hills is a great course and this years new trail made it even better. With the unfair advantage of racing our TREK TOP FUEL's , The BELLS Team showed well today in the heat. TC resident Derek Prechtl finished a strong second place to a FIT Rob Cotton. Rob has been doing great in the NORBA Pro class and one of the nicest racers in the field. Jason Lummis finished 5th and John Meyers followed him in with a 6th place finish. Dan K. pulled off the win in the 30-39 Expert class. Riding solo for most the race. Dan was the man today, even more amazing is that he works Saturday Nights at the Necto ( a club/bar) in Ann Arbor MI. He gets a few hours sleep as he is driven to the race. Mad man Dan K.....
Next race Whiskey Creek Stage race (MI local NORBA race) on June 11-12th.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Bell's "Big Hurt" Two-Times His Competition

Racing to win on back-to-back days is generally not something done by cyclists. Sure, occasionally a road rider will manage to win back-to-back stages of a multi-day stage race, but this is rare. Racing a bike is taxing on the body. If you go hard enough to win on race day, the next day is commonly reserved for recovery -- a time to give muscles a time to repair in order to begin the next round of training. Since the Bell's Team is anything but common, it may come as no surprise that our rider Mike "The Big Hurt" Simonson went 2fer this weekend -- winning the Oakland County Parks Addison Oaks XC Race on Saturday and coming back to win the Michigan Mountain Biking Association's Championship Point Series Race #4, the Pontiac Lake MTB Time Trial, on Sunday.

The wins were Simonson's second and third mountain bike wins of the season. Especially noteworthy, was Mike's perfomance at the Pontiac Lake MTB Time Trial, where he completed two 9.5 mile laps of the course in just under 1 hour 11 minutes. That's an average speed of over 16 mph -- incredibly fast for a tight, twisty, hilly and 100% offroad singletrack course.

Next up for Mike is next weekend's 24 Hours of Boyne, where he will be competing in the 4 person open class team with fellow Michigan MTB racing pros Scott Quiring and Chris Goddard. My odds on that team winning? Well, let's just say they aren't exactly a dark horse (no offense intended toward Marshall's Dark Horse Brewing and their fine mountain bike team).

Sunday, May 01, 2005

May Day Assault on Fort Custer

The first of May, or, "May Day" is known around the world as the international holiday of the worker. However, on May 1, 2005 in Augusta, Michigan, the Bell's Beer Team served notice that:

1. we don't take days off; and,
2. we aren't opposed to hard work.

On this day "The Fort", or, Fort Custer Recreation Area was overrun with half the Bell's Team looking to storm the Annual Fort Custer Stampede XC Race. At first, it looked like the storm would be on us, as the weather forecast called for intermittent showers and an unseaonably cold, blustery day. Although the rain held off for the Bell's riders in the Pro/Elite and Expert races, it was certainly cold out. But, it didn't matter because the Team was "en fuego".

Although the Pro/Elite win at The Fort went to former UCI/NORBA travelling Pro Scott Quiring (Quiring Cycles) who attacked on an early climb (nice job, Q.!), the Bell's duo of Derek Prechtl and Jason Lummis showed a blue-collar work ethic, toiling together throughout the race to fend off the competition, finishing 2nd and 3rd, respectively. The race was especially taxing for Lummis, who had been under-the-weather with a sinus infection of sorts for the better part of the last month. Lummis credited Prechtl for motivating him to keep on his wheel. Lummis looked spent and close to passing-out as he crossed the finish line to secure two-thirds of the podium for the Team, but was quickly brought back to life with a cold bottle of Oberon Ale and a small cup of water.

Making a late push in the Pro/Elite race was Bell's Master Blaster John Meyers, who nearly caught the 4-5 racers breathing down the neck of Lummis. John ended up with a solid 6th place. Not bad for his second Pro/Elite mountain bike race after a three-year hiatus from racing!

Finally, in the Expert Race, Bell's "Best Bartender in Detroit" (three years in a row, as voted by the Metro Times Weekly), Mr. Dan K., worked his magic for a fifth place medal in the very tough 30-39 age group.

That's it for this week, but just in case you are keeping score:

Number of MTB races the Bell's Beer Team has competed in this year: 3
Number of podium spots earned by the Team: 3

Batting Average: 1000

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Nike Freeride Shoes

Shoe design has been a passion of mine ever since I first saw Run DMC runnin around stage with their Adidas superstars. I've been fortunate enough in my position in the Trek Bicycles Advanced Concepts Group, to design this freeride shoe for Nike Cycling. It is easily the most exciting thing I have done in my career. I drew design inspiration from old school Nike Dunk sneakers and current day skate shoes. The shoes have the Nike skate gummy sole that has been stiffened for use with flat pedals only. They have an asymmetrical design. Essentially the inside of the shoe climbs up higher over your ankle for crank protection. I was able to work with Nike's newest freerider Andrew Shandro on both the look as well as the function. His feedback has been super positive. They are going to be great shoes… available late august 05... Please buy them!

Tony T. Bells Beer team member.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Art and Science of a One-Handed Wheelie

The love for the wheelie arose in me when I was a young boy. I was watching television one night when a special episode came on about a guy name Evel Knievel. For those of you unaware of this name he is renowned as a motorcycle daredevil. Madman might be a more appropriate word since the first time I saw him he was trying to jump over a place called "Snake River Canyon" in a rocket car! He didn't make it, but during the preview show I saw clip after clip of Evel riding endless wheelies on his old school Harley Davidson. This inspired me! This inspired me so much that at nine p.m. on a school night I went outside and attempted it on my Huffy BMX bike. Miraculously, I couldn't even get the front tire off of the ground. I was perplexed and wondered how Evel made it look so easy. It took me awhile to realize that I had no strength, coordination, or balance and he had a thing called a throttle. I did learn that pulling up on my handlebars 50 times did make my shoulders sore!
As I reached pre-pubescence I almost achieved a growth spurt and I finally "got up" my first wheelie. Unfortunately, I pulled up so hard that I went over entirely landing on my back and knocked the wind out of myself. There I was laid out in the middle of the street fighting for air with pebbles pressed into my backside and stars in my eyes!
It's been a long tough road of trial and error to get just a simple wheelie down. The easiest way to learn is to start off on a slight grassy incline. Practice a few times (perhaps more) coordinating a strike down on a pedal at the one o'clock position with a pull upwards on the handlebars. Choose an easy gear like the middle ring all the way up in the back gear. By pushing down on the pedals and pulling up and leaning back from the top half of your body you should be able to achieve flight with your front wheel. This could take awhile, but have faith. Once you can "get it up" it will be important to keep your right hand on your back brake. This will become the modulator for keeping up the front wheel. If you start to lean back, give it a little brake. Too far back and you better grab a hand full before you end up on your back. To learn to keep pedaling and feathering the rear brake is the secret to holding a successful wheelie.
Now, once you have that down all you have to do to achieve a one-hander is to let go with one hand! Make sure you let go with your left hand so that your right hand can still brake. Believe it or not, the handlebars will turn and your right hand will come closer to your body. This will feel weird at first, but you will find it gives a new sense of control. Next, throw your hand up in the air like a bullrider at the PBR series! This gives a much greater effect to those that are watching. Plus, it gives you that "Hi-O Silver" feel that you have always wanted! I wish you luck in your big wheel endeavours.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Simonson Takes 2005 Paris to Ancaster

Over 1,000 riders showed up Sunday for what has come to be known as a Canadian Spring Classic - the 12th Annual Paris-Ancaster 60k Enduro just outside of Hamilton, Ontario. The 60k Enduro is an epic point-to-point race with a course consisting of rail trail, dirt farm lanes, singletrack, gravel fire roads, and pavement. Participants use either mountain bikes or cross bikes in the event.

Mike Simonson (Bell's Beer) of Clarkston, Michigan took charge only several miles after the start, as the course made a hard right-hand transition from dirt rail trail to a coarse gravel road. He never looked back.

Riding away from the group, Simonson made a solo breakaway that took him all the way to the finish line. Several riders put together a strong chase group in an attempt to run him down, and nearly succeded catching Simonson at the base of the last climb - a 1km rutted fire road climb of steep grade. However, as chase group front runner Josh Hall (Jet Fuel Coffee) approached, Simonson shifted his Trek XO cyclocross bike two gears higher and walked away from Hall, putting 40 seconds on the chase-weary rider in the last kilometer.

Mike came into the race unsure of his form after having to rearrange his training schedule to meet the demands of his 45 hour per week day job. Obviously, the job has been good for him.

Also putting forth a strong ride on Sunday was Bell's Beer rider Jason Lummis, finishing 25th overall after struggling early on with a saddle that came unbolted during the first few miles of the race. Bell's Team Director, Jason Aric Jones, rounded out the list of top 100 finishers.

2005 Team Announcement


Ride Michigan Trails.

Drink Michigan Beer.

Live Life Unfiltered.

Presenting the 2005 Bell’s Beer Mountain Bike Team:

o Mike Simonson (Clarkston), Pro/Elite

o Derek Prechtl (Traverse City), Pro/Elite

o Jason Lummis (Pinckney), Pro/Elite

o Jim James (Ann Arbor), Expert/Off-Road Tri Specialist

o Dan Kotwicki (Ann Arbor), Expert

o John Meyers (Kalamazoo), Expert/Elite

o Tony Torrance (Madison, WI), Expert

o Jason Aric Jones, (Dexter), Singlespeed/Expert/Director Sportif


Kalamazoo Brewing Company (Bell’s Beer),

Trek Bicycles,

Adidas Cycling,

Tifosi Optics,

Two Wheel Tango,

Mavic Wheels,

SRAM Components,

Maxxis Tires,

Clif Bar,

Michigan Brewer's Guild,

Friday, February 04, 2005