Monday, July 30, 2007

Mid Summers Night Beer Party !!!!

For all you racers and beer fans (21 yrs old and up) attending this years Ore to Shore Bells Brewery is throwing a Party after the awards show @ Upfront and Company, 102 E. Main St. Marquette, MI 49855. There will be VIP passes and swag Galore (Bells Team Caps, Garneau, Oakley, jerseys and much more).............
Festivities to start around 9pm or shortly after awards show !
Come on up to the 1st stop of the Midwests Triple Crown of point to point races and enjoy Marquette MI.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

US National MTB Championships

Mike Simonson made the trip out east to Vermont for the 1 day national championships. Mike races in the Pro class and placed a great 23rd in the XC and a awesome 13th in the STXC.

Mikes report:

Vermont was quite an experience. Rain in the forecast turned an already tough course into a really tough course. We don't have stuff like this to ride in Michigan. Covering Boyne with a half inch of mud and sharp 24" diameter rocks might get you in the ball park. I started the XC race with about 60 other pro's from all around the country including Ryan Trebon, Adam Craig, JHK, Jeremiah Bishop and a host of other insanely fast pro's. My call up was surprisingly right in the middle. We took off and by the time I got around the first corner, I looked up the mountain and Trebon was already half way up it!! Oh well, I continued to work hard on the first climb and worked my way up into the low teens. I was with Carl Dekker and Eric Tonkin up the first climb. Sure enough, as soon as the trail started going back down the mountain, about 20 guys went blowing by me... BAHH!! Frustrating to say the least. The race kind of went like this most of the way. I'd pass 5 guys on the climbs, then two would blow by on the decent. On the 4th lap, I managed to hold off the trailers on the downhill and nobody passed me. Maybe they were tired, or maybe I was just starting to get the hang of how to ride the downhills. I rolled in at 23rd spot. 3 spots shy of my top twenty goal. The STXC was more my style. Pure fitness and power. I think the STXC tells a person more about where their fitness level is on the National level. The XC course combines fitness with more downhill agility. None the less, they are both tough. I got called up dead last in the back row! It's always a mystery on how the call ups are negotiated. Ya never know where you're going to get called up at. They yelled go and before I got across the line, Ryan Trebon was about 1/4 of the way around the course! I immediately went to work, passing 4 or 5 guys at a time. I was hammering the pedals every chance I could get. Near the final laps, I was starting close in on Barry Wicks. I was thinking, holy crap... Barry Wicks is right there!! When it was all said and done, I just narrowly missed getting pulled and ended up 13th. I'm sure I could have bettered my spot 5 places if I had a good call up. It's cool and all to go and race the national series, but I really don't want to get too caught up in it. It really takes a lot of support and experience to do well at a race venue like Mount Snow. I would need to travel out there for a whole week to pre-ride the course to the point where I could rip those downhills fast enough to compete in the top ten. I think I have the fitness to be in the top ten, but my mud mountain course skills need some work. Seeing that I only get 3 weeks of vacation a year, it makes more sense to try and do well at a lot of races where the courses aren't such a huge factor. Maybe next year I'll focus on the 100 mile series in the spring and summer, and the Midwest Triple Crown peppered with some CX in the fall. I was one of the only pro men on a 29er for the XC race. It was nice having the big wheels to roll over all those rocks and roots, and the extra traction on the climbs was appreciated. Riser bars and nice comfy grips (Ergons) are a must. The Quiring bike worked great! I had it set up rigid with Stans Crow tires for the STXC. That bike was so fast in the short track, it was almost like cheating. If Ryan Trebon had been on my bike, I think he could have lapped the entire field. People really dug the Bells Brewery jersey's too. Bells is known all over the country. Thanks again to all the sponsors.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Bells Racers Simonster and Joberon had some fun this weekend @ Ruby Campground. The trail is a tight, twisty and fun course. With the added dbl water crossing every lap the racing was always changing........ The Simonster took his great form and made the race a quick tune up before heads out to Vermont for a National Series Race. Mike beat out all competitors for the win, gapping ACF rider Christian Tanguy at the end. Joberon maintained his top 3 overall in the MI USAC series from Tailwind Enterprises with a 5th place finish at Ruby.

Race reports:


I wasn't sure if this race was going to be a good idea the week before the US National Championships, but I couldn't resist knowing there was a MTB race going on only 1 hr from my door step with perfect weather in the forecast. I knew Christian (ACAF) was going to be tough as he's a maniac in the tight single track, but I was up for the challenge on Michigan's toughest single track course. I took the hole shot and Christian was right on my heels. I wanted to see how far I could push myself, so I upped the pace higher and higher on each lap, but there was no shaking Christian. I could get small gaps here and there, in which Christian would easily close down whenever the trail got tight. I eventually was able to drop him about 500 yards from the finish to take the win. It was another close one. I felt strong on the bike the entire race and never really blew up which is a good sign that my form is right on the money for next weekend! Who says 29ers are built only for fire road courses. The Quiring bike performed flawlessly in the tightest of the tight single track.
Thanks again to all our sponsors!

Next big races... USA XC Championships, Wilderness101, Ore to Shore, Shenandoah 100, Chequamegon, ICEMAN!!!


I wasn't too confident going into the Ruby XC. It's super technical and isn't a course that suits me. I was on the fence about doing the race all week. I ended up going and having a pretty good time. 5th place on a race course that normally isn't my bag is cool with me. I figure if I want to improve my skills, what better way than to throw myself into some the most twisty techy stuff around.The start went well as I was 3rd wheel and hanging onto Christian's(American Cycle & Fitness) wheel. My teammate Mike was leading the charge and eventually was off the front taking Christian with him. After lap 1(of 5) Greg(KLM) and I were together working for that 3rd spot. After an early race crash,Kyle(Cyclefit) made an incredible comeback and joined Greg and I for the 3rd lap festivities. A couple of bobbles later by yours truly and a small gap was formed. I tried hard to chase back during lap 4 and tuckered myself out. Lap 5 I was just surviving and managed to hang on for 5th. The good news is that I was feeling good following a single track wizard like Greg around. In the end it was the tired legs that got me. The Quiring 29er and the Stan's setup ripped through that course like a diesel powered combine. Great job to all who raced.

Thanks for reading


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Team Cycling Caps

Anyone interested in purchasing a 2007 team issue cycling cap: go here or email for payment options here

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Boyne Marathon

Photos by Masterlink

Team racers Simonster, Joberon, John Meyers and Jason Lummis headed up to Boyne Falls for the Boyne Marathon.

Simonster won, Jason was 4th and John 6th & Joe 12th.

Jason Lummis' data from the race:

Full results and reports up soon !

Boyne rocks! The coolest most challenging course around. It has it all and would be the perfect course for a national event. Remember the Schuss Mtn. days? Imagine bringing that size of an event back to Michigan. Mike and I were discussing how cool it would be to see the likes of Kabush, JHK, Craig, Emmett, McConneloug and Koerber rippin around Boyne.
Mike and I made the drive up the morning of the race. No traffic, perfect weather and great trail conditions. So far so good. The race start is quite flatand gives you that "I'm feeling great" kinda feelin'. I was 3rd wheel behind myteammates Mike and John. With the first set of climbs looming ahead I was happy with my position. After the first bit of undulation and Robert Herriman(AC&F) coming around to push the pace I could tell I wasn't feeling it after all. Midway through the lap I totally blew up and couldn't have pedaled myself out of a paper bag. It was one of those annoyingly painful races/rides. Uncomfortable the entire time. Unable to find a gear to get me through. Believe me, I tried them all. After a couple of minor tumbles I decided to go into survival mode. If orced myself to ride the race out and try to enjoy the sweet course. I finished 12th in the end way off the lead pace. I was disappointed. Mainly due to not being able to fully enjoy the ride. Boyne is a beast when you're having a bad day. In the end it was worth the efforts. It certainly made for a full on action packed weekend. Just how I like it. Great job to my teammates and everyone who raced.

Jason Lummis:

Made the last minute decision to head up to Boyne Falls for the Marathon XC race.... Made the 3+ hr trip in the am to arrive to some nice weather. My teammate John and I had a buddy we didn't know we had in common Rich (aka Masterlink) local legend of the snow and Big airs. He came over from the Highlands to say Hi !

I had to get back home asap as my wifes father puts on the local Fireworks show on the lake I grew up on and her sister was in town with the nephews and niece. Cool thing though my niece turned 16 on the 7th and her little brother turned 7 on the same day = 7 on 7/07/07 it was a fun night and great show (almost as good as the 1 from our wedding reception, but longer).

Ok racing----4 laps a little over 9 miles a lap and just over 1000ft of climbing per lap.The 4 of us grabbed the leadout with the Holeshot King John Meyers taking us into the single track. The Simonster was here to play and new he had it in the bag. He kept the pace some what mellow till Herriman pushed it up and the John pushed harder with in the first few miles we where moving out. End of first lap Herriman and I caught up to a dirty John and Mike was hiding behind some building waiting for us or something like a wrong turn?!? John caught back up and Mike came flying by. I just stayed on Herrimans wheel knowing he was my only worries as John and Mike where on the same page as me. John clipped a pedal and went down. I couldn't look back because Herriman was upping the tempo to stay with Mike. 3 laps of Mike toying with Herriman and myself. Lap 4 I faded a little and was holding 3rd and could see a youngster Brent coming from behind. About this time my seat breaks and I am getting pinched hard on the bottom every time I sit down. Great, the whole middle part of this course was a series of climbs with 1 long one till the top then basically all down hill to the finish. I was standing most of the climbs, because of the pinching factor. Brent caught me about 1/3 of the way to the top. He had maybe 20 secs over the top. But I was not worried and closed most the gap thru lapped riders. I was about 5 secs back and 2 more lappers to get by as we crossed the golf cart path, I had announced my placing and wanting to pass as we rocketed across the path. Squeezed by the first guy easily and the second guy just keeps going. He wipes it on a sandy downhill corner taking us both out, game over as I pull my hand out of his spokes and get on 2 wheels again. All downhill from here with too much time to close. Brent takes 3rd and I get 4th. Tad bit bitter as I had to pay an extra fee to race Elite because of a prize purse and a lapped rider wont yield and takes me out and I lose my chance to contest for a higher placing and cash prize. That's 2 races in a row --- Riders being lapped need to yield and the promoters need to announce this over and over again. Passing responsibly is up to the racer over taking a rider, but there needs to be an acknowledgement that they need to accommodate the faster racer.

Lapped riders must yield to leaders. (This applies to a lead rider overtaking another class) Riders should voice the command “track” when overtaking another. It is the responsibility of the challenging rider to overtake safely. You must yield to the passing rider on the first command. (NORBA rule 5.12.3)

Yeah- Not a NORBA race but a good rule to put in place in any race situation !

Monday, July 02, 2007

Stony Creek Marathon USAC series


Jason Lummis and the Simonster awaiting the start !

And there Off for 6 10mile laps of Stony Creek Metro Park !

#1 and #2 racers Simonster and Christian Tanguy

JOBERON last lap bottle ?



Not quite the kind of pace I wanted to start off with for a 60 mile marathon race, but Christian was ready to push the pace early. I got a bad start and ended up in 5th spot heading up the first climb while Christian started to open up a gap immediately. By the top, I got around Mike Anderson and bridged the gap to Christian. Once I had him reeled in, the two of us continued to ride off the front. I never really took hard charge of the pace because I knew we were pretty far off the front and the winner was eventually going to be one of us two. Christian continued to put it down hard in the single track and it took everything I had at times to stay with him. Eventually I could tell he was getting tired and I took a couple digs to test him on laps 4 and 5. Finally at the end of the 5th lap, I attacked hard on the big climb heading back to the parking lot and opened up a gap of about 30 seconds. I maintained the gap all the way until we were in the roller coaster single track, where I ran into some lappers (literally) and crashed. My chain came off and I had to fiddle with it to get it back. By the time I got going again, I could see Christian gaining! I sat up and let him bridge on the two track heading back to the finish. I could feel my legs starting to cramp and I knew it was going to be a tough finish. When I stood up and attacked on the last climb, my legs just gave out. Somehow I managed to get back on his wheel as we crested over the top of the climb. Christian went for it, and I stuck to his wheel like glue. We got into the last little tricky section of single track where another lapper awaited us. I got tangled up with him and had to un-clip as Christian was still charging. In the last long lead out to the finish I was able catch back up to Christian. I got around him heading into the finish shoot to finish 1 second ahead of him. He's a tough competitor out there at Stoney for sure. It makes for a tough race when there's no real place to coast and rest on a flat twisty course like Stoney. Thanks goes to my wife Michelle for the flawless camelback hand offs. Another thanks goes to the Quiring machine and all of our sponsors. Next race on the radar is the National XC Championships in Vermont. I'd be blown away with a top ten result there. Tough Tough competition for sure.

Jason Lummis:

Stony creek and a new bike ! Wow does this bike roll smooth. I have never owned a titanium bike before and have only limited riding on the material. The Ti bikes a have ridden where never the correct fit and usually small. I have raced on Scandium (or the many versions of aluminum with added materials) then carbon fiber, followed by steel and now titanium/carbon. My steel bike was the first real bike that I felt at one with. Stiff, smooth and No harsh abuse from an overly stiff rear triangle. My first real race on my new Ti/carbon frame was better than I could expect, the fit was the same as my steel. Titanium just seems smoother and an added spring to the pedal stroke. It never felt slow to accelerate or mushy compared to the Steely just smoother. That's the best I can describe the awesomeness of my QUIRING titanium with Carbon top tube and seat tube 29er. The fact that it is about 1.5lbs lighter than my steel build might help a little on the climbs, but here in MI there not ever that long, so I'll stick with the smoother ride qualities over the total weight differences.

Now about the race --------- 60 miles of Stony Creek Metro Parks 2tracks and single track. Race day temps where fair and not very humid = BIG +. We had 17 starters in the race and 15 of us new we would be racing for 3rd as THE SIMONSTER and series leader Christian Tanguy would be off the front in minutes. I set myself up good at the start and was running in the front of the chase group as Simonster followed CT and Mike Anderson tried to hang. After half the 1st lap M. Anderson came back. I had all intentions of setting up Joberon for a good finish as he is sitting 2nd in the USAC series from Tailwinds. We had a large group of 9 or so going into the 2nd lap and I tried to draw out some of the wheels suckers ( non pace setters). I put a few hard efforts in and tried to get a few guys to over work themselves. 3rd lap there was Herriman, Mike Anderson, Joberon, me, Kuhn and Jason B. I moved to the back and somehow Joe and I lost contact to Kuhn and Jason B. I kept pushing the pace with Herriman doing the same. We found Kuhn fixing a flat at the begging of the 4th lap and caught Jason B. a few miles later and Mike A. disappeared. Herriman and I set pace while somehow Joberon lost contact after the 5th lap. 6th and final lap I just tried to be in the way, slowing things down in hopes that Joberon would recover. And that he did he came back with a little work and was feeling his effort. I gave him the last of my water and he attacked--- Herriman covered and jumped to the front to set pace again up to the Look out climb. As we crested a corner on a switch back climb I knocked my chain off and lost a few seconds. Then everything went down hill---- Lapped traffic in the single track caused me to loose more time repeatedly. It was frustrating, I know they are racing as well, but we are lapping them as we are finishing the race. To add insult the last section of 2 tracks had park visitors meandering all over the trail with no clue what was going on. It was like racing thru a crowded sidewalk. I rolled in 6th in my favorite spot "Just out of the Money" BAH...... It was a great day and the finish was awesome as my wife and son where there supporting me the whole day....Nothing can bring a bigger smile to my face than my wife and son !


Racing Vs. Moving
It took some fancy footwork and planning to pull off the weekend we just had.The racing officially started Friday evening when I signed the lease at the new apartment. Erin and I made the move to White Lake on Sunday. We were looking for something a little more central so I'd stop crying about my commute. My drive is now 30 minutes rather than an hour plus. Yes! After sorting everything out at the new place we stuffed our faces with pasta and passed out. Saturday we awoke to perfect weather and 4 hours of racing on the horizon. Last year I DNF'd the Stoney Creek Marathon. I wasn't planning on that happening this time. My warm up was quite short assuming the marathon format would slow things down a tad. The start line was packed with some of the fastest guys around including Christian and my teammate Mike. The start whistle was blown and off went Christian with his best start I've seen all season. Wait a minute, isn't this a marathon??? The pace was not one bit slower than the normal XC events. I couldn't believe it. I was struggling for a while to hang. Out of the first bit of single track we came and the gap was already formed. The race for 3rd had begun. Our group was flying. Mike Anderson(RBS) was laying down an awesome pace. Kuhncappi (KLM) ripped it up in the single track. My Teammate Jason L. and a few others were all hauling the mail. It was fun. Late in lap 4(of 6) I started noticing some cramping in my calf's. With my water bottle empty and camel back almost there, I was forced to ease up on the final large climb before the finish. It was hurting bad. By the time I was through the finish I had a fresh bottle and was feeling better. I bridged the small gap back to the group and we were off on lap 5. We were all showing signs of fatigue at this point riding most of lap 5 out together. Until that final climb. I fell apart. My legs were cramping so bad I had to stop. I stood there for few and started walking slowly. Trying not to panic I reached the top of the hill and bobbled my way back to the pit area. The group was out of site at this point. I chugged a couple bottles down and pedaled gingerly forward to start the 6th and final lap. After a few minutes my legs came around and I went to work.Managing to regain contact with the group. After an attempt to get away and my bridging efforts the leg cramp's returned. Robert Herriman (AC&F) was still riding well and I tried to follow. Arriving at the last climb I did everything I could to get up and over with Robert but couldn't quite stay on his wheel. He continued on with a strong finish to 3rd and I limped in for the 4th spot. Another good day at the races on the Quiring 29er. In order to recover for a full day of moving Sunday I had no choice but to drinkdown some Bell's brews. This put me back online for what was even more of an effort than the race...UHAULIN'!
See ya,Joe