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.