May 31, 2009
I did the Afton Mountain Bike Race today.
The result was a little bit better than my first race a few weeks ago at Salem Hills. I did the Sport category and had a final time of 1:10 which was good enough for 95th place out of a 160 riders. If I signed up for the singlespeed category rather than my age group I would have gotten 3rd, but I had to settle for 16th in my age group.
I opted for a 32×20 gearing which was a little tough on the single. I think I am going to try riding the Afton trails on a 30×20 and see how it works, but I might just have to get in shape. Regardless of the gearing it is an extremely tough course with a lot of climbing and some crazy little descents. The technical sections cost me a fair amount of time, but the biggest problems had to do with hiking the bike for a long section at the start of each lap, and getting bogged down by some riders early in the race.
Skinnyski was there taking photographs:
The team faired well with Megan taking 3rd and the new guy, Jeff, taking 10th overall!
I believe that I am sold on this Mountain Biking thing. I am not very good at it, but it is a hell of a lot more fun then road racing.
Speaking of road racing…
I did the East Union Circuit Race on Saturday. I got dropped in the first 6 miles. It was an awesome course and an even better solo training ride! The team actually looked good at that race with a nice 6th place for the Little Guy and Spencer’s 8th place.
Now I just need to learn how to ride a bike and get into shape!
May 28, 2009
The racing went okay for me and fantastic for the team.
I did well in the first race of the night and almost held on for a 4th place finish in the 15lap scratch race. This was a nice warm-up to my heat in the Kieren. I drew the first heat with Hagerty and the plan was to get one of us into the finals. At the end I knew I wasn’t going to have it and I let Hagerty known and he made it to the finals and got nipped at the line and had to settle for a very deserved 2nd overall!
Hagerty is amazing. Check out his awesome business.
The final race for me was a 1/2/3 points race. I lasted into the second half of the race and got pretty cooked. It was great to see Smithersmpls throwing down and taking the win in the final sprint.
The rest of the Behind-Bars crew did pretty well and it felt good to hang out with them.
Now, I need to get ready for the moutain bike race.
What gear should I use for a singlespeed 29er?
May 26, 2009
Online pre-registration is a great feature. In fact, it often saves time and helps the promoter in getting ready for an event. However, there needs to be an incentive to get people to utilize the system. There was a time when some promoters gave a $10 discount for pre-registers (LSC races in 2007). It was awesome walking right up to the table in the lobby and not getting clipped the extra $10. Durand is like this as well and most people seem to take advantage of the $10 “penalty” by registering early.
The East Union Circuit Race this weekend has decided to go about it another way. Day of registration according to the flyer is $30 and the pre-registration cost is $27 +fees. Now, maybe with the economy being kinda rocky they anticipate people needing to charge the credit cards rather than writing a check, but you can get pre-registered and skip the line for a grand total of $29.64 after fees.
I wonder how many people will be taking advantage of the .36cents in savings!
(I am not surprised that Dan Cleary is one of the 5 pre-registered. That guy is a miser!)
Nonetheless, I plan on attending the East Union Race on Saturday and supporting the Verve Racing Team.
I will happily give them an extra .36cents to add to their coffers! Afterall, it is expensive to put on a race.
I am not doing RADIUS at the velodrome on Sunday. I will be at the Afton Avalanche racing my new mountain bike. I don’t know if you call what I do racing, but nonetheless I plan on making a full run at a mid-pack Sport category finish.
May 24, 2009
I have been doing a bunch of riding.
The Thunder didn’t lose.
Weather is amazing.
Not much to complain about.
So, I would just like to show you all a picture of the best State Flag in all of America:
It is simple. It is an anchor with 13 stars surrounding an Anchor and the state motto: Hope.
May 21, 2009
Tonight marked the 5th opening night I have attended at the National Sports Center velodrome in the 6 years I have been racing the track. Every year I get a little bit nervous, but it is within the first few laps of the first race that I tend to get really excited again. While the racing on the docket wasn’t tailored to any of my strengths (do I have any?) I was still looking forward to the races.
The first race of the night was the Miss and Out. Basically, every other lap they pull the last placed rider. I was just hoping not to be the first one pulled. I made sure of this when I totally took Pat Lemiuex (Pro) to school. I boxed him in and waved goodbye. It reminded me of the time I did the same thing to Adam Bergman (Pro) a few years back. Sure, Bergman ended up lapping me like 4 times in a points race that same night what is the worst Pat could do to me? Well, he lapped me only twice before I pulled out in the 50lap points race!
The second race of the night was a Tempo race. The first two riders across the line every lap score points. I started at the back and it got strung out right away. I stuck with it and ended up finishing with the front pack of riders which was a victory in my eyes. It gave me some confidence and I think I might actually deserve this cat2 license (I asked for a downgrade…).
Thunder game on Saturday at 7pm.
The velodrome season starts up tonight at 7pm at the National Sports Center.
I am excited to get the racing underway, yet I am way out of shape since school on both fronts has been keeping the riding to a minimum, but that will all change in a couple of weeks when I have nothing to do but ride. Oh, yeah!
See you out there.
I hope to have a full report up soon for all of my fans.
May 19, 2009
I just want to point out that over 500 racers raced at the Erik’s Spring Cup this past Sunday.
Some have said that Mountain Biking wasn’t going to make a comeback…well judging by the turnout and the amount of roadies that raced at Salem Hills promoters of road “events” might want to start saving money any way they can. For example, the Cat 3 fields at road events so far this season have been awfully low…I wonder why?
Skibby hit the nail on the head when he wrote in an email, “You like mountain biking because you can get dropped and no one will know the difference.” I would add, “mountain biking is fun because I don’t have to put up with prudes, punks and unhappy folks.”
If All The Way Ray wasn’t so busy hawking Banjo Brothers bags I bet he would be an awesome Mtn biker.
May 18, 2009
I am going camping with work for the next 24hours.
We will be staying just south of Fort Snelling in the middle of the Mississippi.
It should be a great time.
I will get to show off my crazy rowing skills.
May 17, 2009
I raced the Erik’s Spring Cup today at Salem Hills. It is the first race of the year for the MNSCS series and I figured I would give the course a try. Little Guy cleaned up at this race last year on a cross bike and after riding the course on Saturday I figured I was ready for a sweet time in the saddle. Well, they ran the course backwards from what I rode yesterday and it through a wrench in my plans!
My goal for the race was to come in around 1:05-1:06 and I ended up finishing with a 1:09.21. Things were going great in the beginning as I easily took the hole shot on my cross bike and slowly dilly-dallied through the “singletrack”, but a ton of riders were getting antsy behind me and I kept plugging away. Yet, when the race went up and on the open parts I was able to pull away or catch back up to the lead group. For a while I was around 15th place in the group with almost all within eyesight, and I put in a huge effort and passed a fair amount of riders to get in the top 10 before I took a nice crash. My bike got all janky and the bars turned. My body was fine, but watching dozens of riders flying bye was painful to watch. Topping it all off was the fact that I lost my frame pump!
I think if I did the race again I would be able to meet my goal and finish in the mid-50s of the Sport class. One thing is for sure, mountain biking is pretty damn hard and I need to get better at the technical stuff. I feel that I have the legs to do real well in the Sport class and hopefully make Comp by end of the season, but I need to learn how to not crash so damn much!
1:09.21 would have placed me in the top40 last year (although the couse was a tiny bit different). My target time of 1:05/06 would have been good enough for a top10. I don’t know if the racers are faster this year, or if the course was a big difference, but regardless, it was ton of fun.
The highlight of the day was racing with 4 of my teammates and flying the Behind-Bars/LGR colors. Lots of questions were asked about the sweet kits and almost everyone had a smile on their face. Mountain Biking rules.
As I led the very first section of the race I came around a sharp corner and noticed a little sign that said, “Drop.” By the time it registered to me what it was I was going off a fairly large rock. Lot’s of people cheered when I barely landed it, but I made sure to go wide on the following laps to get out of the way.
My track racing skills came into play when a guy tried passing me on an uphill section and dropped down right onto me. Although, I am not the most aware of the “rules” I am fairly confident that if you try to pass someone you need to make sure you get past them before you come down onto them. Well, we rode shoulder to shoulder and I kept my position and finished a minute or so up on him to complete (although he probably whooped me up in the overall).
May 15, 2009
Click on the following song in a new window and play in the background!
Song Of The Weekend: You Can Either Get With This Or That
Artist: Black Sheep
- 40k Time Trial p/b Synergy (Sweet door prizes like HED Wheels). $25 Pre-Reg or $30 Day Of.
- Minnesota Thunder vs. Cleveland (Beer Garden & Tailgate). $5 Day Of. 5pm Tailgate and 7pm GameTime
- Charity Time Trial on Black Dog Road. Price varies according to donation.
- Erik’s Spring Cup Mountain Bike Race. $27 Pre-Reg or $35 Day Of.
I am doing the $5 Thunder game and tailgate on Saturday and the Mountain Bike Race on Sunday.