Monday, August 27, 2007
PLRA USAC series race 3 10 mile laps of 99.5% single track (the finish/start area was a grassy 2 track). With a large field teammates Joberon, Simonster and Jason L. lined up to race hard. Mike Simonson brought out the scandium 29er set up single speed and powered away from everyone ! Jason finished 6th while Joberon finished the race 11th ahead of the 3rd place series points battle assuring a 2nd place overall in the Tailwind MI USAC series for 2007. Jason Lummis is trying to sneak into 4th from 5th. Video by MASHER MEDIA:
I always enjoy a couple laps at my home course PLRA. I've been riding there since I was 12 years old. Robert Linden would come pick me up and we'd do laps there in the dead of winter. I did my very first MTB race at PLRA. I raced sport at one of the Paul Bunyan races and took dead last. I think there were like 40 guys in my class... for a Paul Bunyan race! Needless to say, a lot has changed since then, both to the MTB scene, and also to the PLRA course. I decided to ride a Single Speed this year because I really wanted a tough workout in prep for the Chequamegon 3 weeks away. I chose a 34-14 on my 29er which turns out to be almost 70 inches. Getting that gear going was tough as I totally blew the holeshot. To my suprise, Brewchamp took the holeshot with Christian hot on his heels followed by me. I quickly got around both of them before opening up a gap on the first downhill. I knew I would have to make time on the downhills because cranking that gear uphill was going to take its tole on me in the later laps. And it sure did. By the third lap the big climb about 2 miles in was wearing on me. I made it up every time though and cruised in for the win.
I was feeling a bit ambitious, so I entered the single speed race as well for another 2 lap workout. My goal was to keep them both under 40 minutes, which I was barely able to do. The 34-14 was beginning to seem like a bad idea. Entering the single speed race and the XC is a great way to build some extra endurance and it helps to further promote the sport and the venue in Michigan. I'd like to see more guys double up and do both. Misfit Psycles (http://psyclestore.com/product_info.php?cPath=25_38&products_id=160) makes this kit for 80 bucks that converts your geared bike to SS. It works great and it's never given me a problem.
Thanks again to all the sponsors. BTW: Q looked a lot leaner when I saw him at the O2S. Could this be a sign of training???
2 for 2 at PLR The Tailwind/USAC State Champ Series kicked off this year at Pontiac Lake. I remember this day vividly as I had a horrible race. With the series nearly over I was thankfully left with one more opportunity to tear one of my favorite courses to shreds. Race number 7 of 8 brought racers to Pontiac Lake Recreation Area on a picture perfect day. The rain during the week had the trail tacky and super fast. The temperatures in the morning were cool and the winds were light. The Elite field was stacked and ready for the 3 lap drag race. I decided to go hard from the start. The all or nothing plan. On this course I knew if I was feeling good pegging it from the gun would work to my advantage. A couple miles in nearly half the field went around me and I was left gasping. Damn! I tried to regain my composure but had nothing. I just sat back and watched as my buddies rode away. This has happened to me a few times this year. It's strange, at this point I just say to myself "oh, it's one of those days I guess." The slightest pace change or if a hill appears just checks me out. It's not fun. Another bummer of a day at PLRA for me. Next on the docket may be a little rest. Hopefully I can come into the final race recharged and ready for some fun. Great job to my teammates and all who raced.
LUMMIS: PLRA was in great shape ! I put the White Bros suspension fork on for the 2nd time this year and the first for th TI/Carbon Quiring. Haven't been riding consistantly over the last few months and I went into this race just wanting to have a intense race. The Elite field was larger 20 or so racer lined up for the 3 lap hammer fest. Pontiac LK is a lot like my local trail -Poto- in that it flows well and is tight single track. You have to trust the flow of the trail to rail the corners as a lot of brush block your vision, just like Poto. The race was off and I felt pretty happy with the group battling for 3rd as Simonster was gone and being chased by the Cricket. 3 laps and a group of six had formed on the 1st lap. On the 2nd lap I was 3rd wheel, the 2 guys ahead bobbled on a rock garden cross over and I attacked hard to try and shake up the group. Mike Bartlett was a new face in the crowd and was holding on as 2 bridged back up. The odds for a top 3 finish just got a little better. I set pace for the rest of the lap, slowing to grab a bottle. Almost stopping my pedaling to get someone else to set pace as the 2 bridgers wouldn't come around. I pulled over and Mike took over the pace, pushing it up as much as he could. Brent attacked on a climb and I attempted to jump, but Mike swerved over as he cramped a little and Brent was gone. I kind of sat behind Mike wondering what bridger 2 was going to do since his MO is generally sit on till the end then attack. Mike was killing himself to drop us and he was starting to falter at the end and I wasn't going to just jump him after all his hard effort today (I respect that). Well as I guessed 3rd guy attacks and were of flying down the trail, up the last climb. Flying down the last DH to the flats watching 3rd wheel hammer away as Mike tries to get more speed. It was a great effort by both and fun to watch. I finished 6th place in my favorite spot just out of the $$ --- CHEQUAMEGON is on the horizon :>) .
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Not much to report about the above race. I did start and finish but not with a smile or a sense of accomplishment. I did race and finish in the Elite class. I felt good the entire race except for some minor tightness in the lower back. I was hoping to hang in with my fellow competitors for the entire race but with two crashes in the second lap I chose to race a conservatively. I put it in tourist type training race mode. My heart rate never exceeded 120 bpm. I am happy that I did not let up and roll off course after the 2nd. lap and head home but rather finish. I kept hoping and trying to have some fun.....not. My interest in a NON fitness course have reached a new low. These types of races which this one in particular should only be run as a time trial and not as 5 lap, 35 mile single track marathon. Maybe someday courses like the Mike Cool Big Lap, Whiskey Creek, Crystal Mountain Resort, Schuss Mtn. Shanty Creek and Cannonsburg will return as the standard of true mountain bike racing fitness much like what the Triple Crown represents. Hoping to hear if my connection the stop #2 of the Triple Crown is going to come thru for me!
Im still just a rat in a cage!
Thursday, August 23, 2007
John had a lock on 2nd place and just needed to finish well at this race to secure his position in the series. It rained the while night and the day of the race as well.
2007 Tailwinds Time Trial Points Series
I finished a respectable 2nd. place in the elite class for the 2007 version of the TT points series. The series concluded this past Sunday at the Fort Custer Recreation area and the race was a 14 mile loop combined of the green and red loops. My race did not go as planned...I had hoped to have possible won the race but having driven in from my UP trip post O2S vacation week I was not to motivated to regroup and head out in the a.m. to race in a rain storm. I still ventured out to retain a 2nd. place in the series. My race was o.k. I raced very conservative due to the slop on the trails...a puddle and hazard every ten feet. Some people enjoy this type of racing but I feel that it is destructive to the race course and demolishes the base material creating more work to stabilize in the future. Anyways I had some trouble with about 5 miles to go with my left cleat/pedal not staying clipped in? I would go about 20 pedal strokes and the cleat would roll out...??? Not no what was going on I just kept slowing clipping in and then hoping I could finish....well just as I turned on to the grassy 1/2 mile hill finish I completely lost the pedal? I thought great game over....but instead I decided to finish one-legged instead of hoping of the bike and pushing in. I finished a disappointing 5th. place and held a 2nd. in the point series.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
I always think of the Ore to Shore as the gateway to the fall season of racing. My personal favorite time of the year. I definitely felt a little more pressure this year with the Midwest Triple Crown title being the ultimate fall season goal. If you don’t win the first race, it kind of blows the whole goal for the fall. I felt good in the days leading up to the event, and the presence of my family’s support me gave me more confidence as well as the presence of the motor home. All of which allowed me to completely relax on Friday. The start of the race was the usual Ore to Shore start. There’s a mad dash for the whole shot photo op, then the tandems take over on the pavement leading up to the luge hill. We rolled up along side the railroad tracks. This is were I decided to take the reigns of the race. I pushed it pretty hard over luge hill and Doug Swanson (Trek) and Brian Matter (PCW) were the only two to respond. I kind of figured this would be the case, but you never know if there are some dark horses buried in the pack somewhere. The pace of went stale for a while and Doug took over once we reached Ishpeming. He took a couple of hard pulls. I think he was trying to prevent people from bridging. The next sector would be the powerline climbs. When we got near, I went to the front and drilled it as hard as I could through the whole section of rollers. Eventually I found myself with a gap and I continued to push the pace. I could see Brian behind me starting to bridge. I continued to push the 44-12 gear, but Brian continued to bridge. I knew he must have been on the rivet giving it full steam. As soon as he latched onto my wheel, we took a right hand turn onto some bumpy four wheeler trail and I punched it one more time, but this time it stuck and I rode a TT all the way to the finish to take the back to back win. The Quiring Ti 29er proved to me again that she was ready for another win as well. Scott really outdid himself when he welded together pure perfection. I couldn't ask for a better combination of fit, weight, ride quality, and efficiency. Titanium rocks. The No tubes wheels top off the package nicely. Thanks again to Bells Brewery for sponsoring an awesome party! I made a lot of new friends and I can’t wait to catch up with them at the races coming up in the fall.
"Living after midnight, rockin to the dawn. Lovin til the morning, then I'm gone, I'm gone!"
My plan for O2S was as follows, wake up Saturday - feel good. Awake Sunday - feel bad. Well, Saturday didn't go as I had hoped. Sunday however, perfectly orchestrated. For race day I wanted to be atop that bloody luge climb in the top 10. I managed to pull that off and have my teammate John for company. From there it's all about chasing on and trying not to be caught. The tandem came storming by and I had nothing. John took off after them and I faded. It's such a long race that I didn't panic. I thought I needed a bit of recovery and I'd be back in the game. Russ Tiles(Founders) came zooming by and I tried again. My teammate Jason was there and things were starting to look up. But again, I faded. That's the story of my race really. Try to hang, then fade. I ended up 43rd in the end way off of my goal and once again leaving me stumped. The Ore to Shore is a fantastic event. It's super tough. The toughest event of the year I think. But it brings you back. I'm addicted. It's a battle field out there and I congratulate everyone who finished. Mountain Biking is alive and well my friends. The organizers, the sponsors, spectators and the brave riders proved it this past weekend. Thank you Bell's Brewery and Up Front and Company for hosting a great post race bash. Thank The Melismatics(www.melismatics.com) for forcing me to bust out the air guitar. I'm sorry to all who witnessed. Great weekend, great friends. Lets do it again soon.
The Ore to Shore is one of my favorite events to attend during a racing season. My wife and I have been coming to this event since 2001, we have made it a vacation event every year. Usually time spent after the race hiking and exploring different regions of the upper pennisula. This year we had our 10.5 month son with us to enjoy the outdoors and a schedule that left no time for vacation after the race, so we headed up early on Monday to Taquamenon Falls for some hiking and hiking and hiking oh and a little riding till Thursday then to Marquette. Our son Zackery was amazing great during the trip, it helps that his mom is the greatest.
Thursday we rolled into Marquette set up the camper @ Tourist Park and relaxed for a few hours (seems like that was the only time we did actually sit down for awhile the whole week). Friday was a pre-Ride in the am with the Simonster and then run around town collecting items and meeting people for the Bells Brewery party @ The Up Front and Company after the awards show on Saturday. I think I sat down after getting my # for maybe 15 mins and then off to bed.
Saturday morning came to quick, I was tired my legs felt dead and my shins hurt from all the hiking/running around. We loaded up the truck and headed to the start, meet up with my teammates for a warm up spin. Back to the truck for water/camelback, smack my knee really hard on my trailer hitch (this hurt so bad). Then to the start line and grab the front row for my teammates. 9:45 (the start time) rolls by, hey where is the 1 man band. Someone ask how they should start the race,: READY (JM is off) SET (I go) GO every one else takes off. Max speed into the corners and off we go. A couple Tandems surge and fall back ( fun to watch which tandems are in sync or not). We hit the dirt, I know where Mike is going to punch it, I stay with the lead group till the luge climb as I roll of the back and try and recover. Russ catches up to me as we watch the big main group roll out of site. Joberon falls of the group and we pick him up, J. Bowne is with us thru Ispheming, some others are back there as well. We start getting close to the power line climbs and the railroad bed, I know from the pre ride the line to take to get thru the sand and under the Viaduct. I go the front and decide to rail this section and drop everyone. Russ bridges up on the 1st climb and Neil is coming as well. They roll by and my legs go flat. Russ disappears and Neil is the carrot about 25 yds up. I chase and chase feeling dead and bloated. I end up in a group as we hit the climbs before Misery Hill. The Hill hurts, I try and run up it, but all I can muster is a peg leg shuffle. Loose a couple guys off the front and I am with J. Bowne and a Hollywood Racer from Minn. I yo yo for awhile till we hit the pavement and I start coasting. No pedaling just done --- BONK --- I roll into the pavement climb drop down to my 32/34 and crawl to the top, 3 guys go by like I was going downhill. At the top I stop @ the feed station and drink about 5 glasses of water fill my bottle and eat someones candy bar (thanks for the Snickers Mam). Sugar buzzzzzz oh yea, I am flying for like a mile then bam over again. Finish my camelback, water bottle is about gone and I have 16 miles left to go. I hear a group coming from behind (I am bummed thinking I am like 50th place), it's a couple guys I know and the catch me. They ask how I am doing and my answer is bonking with a Golf ball sized knot in my right hamstring---- Bam they attack, cool guys ehhh. I put everything I had left and pedaled thru the cramp (ripping/tearing oh it hurt) and was on their wheels. I couldn't let these guys just attack me and roll away with 15 miles left. Cramping, the legs knotting up, luv pain but come on legs you gotta help me. Dropped I roll back the group is gone just me and 2 attackers. They roll away just before the big sand pit downhill, I blow by them as they play in the sand box, GLORY ahhhh noooooo wood chip hill, I cramp they ride it, adios good race thanks for the push in the end---- WOW I ended up 24th, to me it felt like 100th----- Suffering thru a bad race takes a week to appreciate.
Chequamegon is a month away more pain and more competition, IMO Cheq is the hardest race competiton wise to do well in for me. Wisco and Minn have some really great racer that make this race a challenge as well as the mass start chaios that is controlled at a 25mph+ pace as we enter the Official start Rosies field.
This started about 30 minutes after the race as the Oberons had been on Ice for 2 days. Awards @ 6ish meant a good 3 hrs of drinking before the party. Oh yeah food needed to be consumed, lets see the best wife in the world has a huge Bison steak, veggies and potaotes ready to roll. Grill-n and beers, made me forget about the 2:55 of self inflicted suffering real quick. FOOD-BEER-BEER and more beer. We hung out at the awards kinda of outside since it was really warm in there. Back to the camper after awards for a quick 4 beers with the TEAM and off to the party. Up front was really nice, the management and staff where ready for a fun night. More Bells beer, some great music and then the raffle. All was great we gave out some large amounts of Garneau, Oakley, Cliff and team swag. Some more music and the Simonster was playing the drums on a song with the band. A few more beers then back to the camper to get some sleep before the 9hr(truck and 30' camper) back home on Sunday.
Great job Simonster, Joberon, JM and all who raced !
John Meyers race report:
A 7th place finish is a very respectable finish in such a challenging race. My goal was a top ten finish and I achieved that but as always if I had stayed more at the front with the 3 - 5 finishers things would have been diffrent at the finish line. I choose to ride a little more conservative for the last 10 miles having flatted in the last ten miles on my warm-up the day before and had flatted in the 2006 race....I was a little spooked. In fact when Doug Swanson and the specialized rider passed me at the exact same point the specialized rider hit a sharp piece of ballast and flatted...his game was over. Not me I got in safe and sound. My hat is off to the many people for helping the team the race weekend; Larry Bell for continuing to support the Midwests finiest 29er race team, Kelley for provide Oakley eyewear and throwing in two pairs for the party raffle, Clif Bar for providing good swag at the raffle also and my teammates for being so supportive.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Well married life hasn't slowed down the Flying Frenchman. With my teammate Mike sitting the Big M event out Christian Tanguy of American Cycle and Fitness/WSC had no one to play with. I tried hard to keep him company for half a lap but paid dearly. Breathing through my eyeballs I was forced to ease up the pace and return to the sandbox with the others. While trying to regain my composure I looked back to see Michael Wissink(Specialized) chasing me down. We had a small gap that was short lived and eventually we were over a half dozen strong cruising the hills of Big M in search of 2nd place. With the openness of the course and some new riders in the mix I chose to play is safe as I knew the 5th and final lap would be a barn burner. Coming into the final lap I lost contact with the group on the large sandy downhill. With some work I was able to reach the guys before the fireworks had started. Greg Kuhn(KLM), who was super aggressive all day, made a big move that started the fun. He and Michael had a gap that my teammate Jason was working to bridge. Just as we got within striking distance Michael counter attacked and was off and running. I stomped on the pedals and chased him down and got around him before the sandy descent to the finish. From there I just had to keep it upright. The Quiring 29er and those big o'l Stans wheels got me through the beach like conditions for that 2nd spot. Next rumble will be Ore to Shore. I'm really looking forward to trying out my sweet bike in this seasons first big point to point event. See you all up there. If not at the race you can be sure to find me at the Bell's Midsummers Night Beer Party. Who's thirsty??? Joberon--
Big M. Great venue, bad day for me. Well not bad day, but just didn't have the legs to hang till the end. I was pushing hard from the start felt like poo and fell back to the end of the train. Worked my way back to the front by the end of the 2nd lap and tried to take a turn pushing the pace a few times. 6 guys rolling around a 6mile lap for 5 laps together gets old, especially with 2 racers doing nothing but hanging on (cmon this is your local series step and show your wheels). Kuhncapi pulled the ole' I am done and pulled over on the last lap forcing me to the front of our 6 pack racing for 2nd. Knowing my teammate Joe was waiting for the move I kept the pace rolling. Kuhncapi attacked taking Wiz with him, Joberon came around and closed the gap. I chased as long as I could catching them as Wiz jumped. I was done and rolled in for 7th, Either everyone is getting faster or the 10 or less hrs a week I train is not making me any faster, oh well the middle of the season drags on and Ore to Shore is in a couple days. I have 2 days of hiking with my wife and son before 1 crazy day of party planning in Marquette for the O2S--- Great race prep probably not but well see how things shake out, top 30 will be fine since I know my fitness is lacking.