Sunday, October 2, 2011


Homegrown is the word that fully illustrates this weekend's events. The Hickory Ridge Deer Fly Chase and the grand opening of Cyclova XC are prime examples.

There's something special about a first time event. It could be the small and personalized feeling, the visions of what could be, or the little things, like a fellow racer offering fresh baked cookies in the parking lot. Or maybe, as I have recently experienced, it's an appreciation for the volunteers' time, sweat, and planning. Thank you!

The Deer Fly Chase started in true northwoods fashion, directly behind two quads. Cold is the only sensation I can recall as the temps dipped into the high thirties. After pulls from strong men, Mike Johnson and Aaron Swanson, I went into the first section of single track with Aaron close behind. I was feeling solid at the end of the first single track, but pin-balled getting into a rhythm. I spent the remainder of the race in TT mode. The "moment of the ride" was priceless! On a fast dirt road section, I could see two four-wheelers in the distance. They were the county sheriff quads. As they seemed to be sightseeing, we, the quad and I, passed them rather aggressively. The next thing I know the sheriff is pulling over the race quad! I can't recall what was running through my mind, and I certainly can't imagine what the sheriff was thinking when we passed him. The remainder of the race was stellar a combination of flowing single track and rolling ski trails. Noah and CORBA have done an excellent job developing trails! They have undoubtedly put Hickory Ridge on the map for mountain bikers in the area!

Fast-forward to St. Croix Falls, WI. Long time friend, and cycling mentor, Frank Lundeen had the grand opening of his bike and ski shop, Cyclova XC. As I have loitered, and worked, in shops for many years, I have been living vicariously through Frank's, and Ben's, vision for owning a shop. In addition to being located in a beautiful area, Cyclova XC will be offering the best ski service in the region. Putting their expertise to work, one can only predict average board speeds in greater river valley will be up for 2011 snow season!

As it hits close to home, I couldn't help but purchase a copy of Beyond Birkie Fever by Walter Rhein. The first few chapters bring the reader a vivid account of the first Birkie, as told by skiing legend Dave Langraf. Ironically, Dave was also a key player in the development of the Hickory Ridge Ski Trails. Thus far, a great read! More reviews to come!


Monday, August 22, 2011

Contrarian View Point

Training and racing have been consuming physical and mental stores; this update is far past due. As I reflect on the past month, I cannot help but relate my experiences with the book Outliers. As the entertainment for the drive to Marquette's Ore to Shore, Outliers, written by Malcolm Gladwell, describes how the highest levels of success are reached.

Gladwell brings the reader on a journey with Canadian hockey players, The Beatles, Bill Gates, and physicist, Robert Oppenheimer, to illustrate that there is more to success than innate ability. It should go without saying, I am not comparing myself to these successful people. However, I think most athletes can relate and I would highly recommend the book.

Success, according to Gladwell, is any combination of the idiosyncrasies of selection, the "10-thousand hour" rule, one's environment, and opportunities.

100 meters to go, the last paved section before the big left to the line, I needed one last acceleration. Loaded and cramping, I crossed the line a bike length up for an 18th place finish. I warmed up for Ore to Shore on a trainer just behind the preferred start section. The start was fast, I was not. My legs showed up about a quarter way up the first climb, a bit too slow for the lead group. The remainder of the race was a combination of attacks and a team time trial. Overall, another great weekend in the UP. A big thanks to "Big Mike G" for the hospitality, Lindsey and Chase for the race support, OTR for the carbon, Matt O'Meara for the dance, and Mikey P. for the napkin!

The Border Battle, my hometown race, and my first WORS race of the season was a great time. GOOOOOOOOOOOO! We were racing up the fisrt jeep climb. The course was a fast buffet of singletrack coupled with two legit climbs. KORC has done some amazing trail work this year. They deserve mad props for the improved course! I ended up finishing 9th. I am happy with the result, but I'm hoping a more rigorous race schedule will lead to some speed before Fattire.

See you at the races!

Sunday, June 5, 2011


After the sting of winter's cabin fever the 2011 spring has been filled with escapades.

My Ragnarok 105 experience could have been likened to a six hour gravel time trial coupled with two bike maintenance sessions. I was left to chase after my first flat was lengthened by clogged co2 head. Strong winds and the solo ride left me gassed at mile 80 after my second flat put the nail in the coffin. Big thanks to Rick for the tube and the pulls home!

Thirty nine degrees and raining, the Cable Area Off-Road Classic left us block footed and chilled to the bone. After an early effort, I found myself in the lead group with Minnesota's speedsters. Pond size puddles and snotty trails took their toll as the battle of attrition got the better of me. Positively, some good efforts reaffirmed the early season work and the form seems to be coming around. Shout out to Weber for the six speed doughnuts and tropic flavored towel.

"Your shoulder was so grotesque I almost puked." KORC started their Thursday night races at the Whitetail trail system in River Falls. Ten minutes into the race I pulled the eject lever, and in what seemed like slow motion, dislocated my shoulder. Thankfully, the boys and doc put me back together again.

This weekend was a trip down memory lane as I made the short trip to St. Croix Falls. B-e-a-utiful country! I spent some time catching up with the good friends. Frank is opening a bike and ski shop in downtown St. Croix Falls. You may know him as a co-founder of the cyclovaxc club!

A preview of things to come…
Wooly MTB Race

Wausau WORS


Sunday, March 20, 2011

2011 Season

Welcome back! The spring bug has a way of creeping up on a boy. One minute hibernation, with an occasional cross country ski, and the next, road salted freckled faces and frozen toes. The spring traditions haven’t changed. Talk big before break and find some friends to suffer with. Most importantly, spring break lends itself to some resemblance of planning.

Here’s the “plan” so far:

Ride for On the Rivet “OTR”
Consult with Yoda Training Master
Pain Schedule…

Top Secret Training
Ragnarok 105 v.4
Top Secret Training
Subaru Cup
Seeley Pre-Fat
Dakota 50
Fat Tire


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ice Box Newsline

“Epically chill,” were the words used by Matt Muraski to describe the Ice Box 240’s first annual mountain-bike relay.

A heightened sense of anticipation and unknowing filled the heavy air as riders arrived at the base of Mt. Whitetail. Race organizers later reported, “Gloom and doom weather forecasts spread paranoia into the hearts of the weak.” Total race census hit 36 chiseled legs, accounting for eighteen testosterone jacked riders.

Pre-race meeting was well organized as officials eloquently set strict expectations and highlighted trial conditions. Riders were treated to a wonderful rendition of our countries national anthem by local music phenom, Matthew Bach, on the alto recorder in key Bb.

Fast forward and enter chamois. An adrenaline pumping Le Mans start sent six brave souls into the dark and precarious forest of River Falls. The following teams entered three muddy rubbered warriors: Knight Riders, Thunder and Lightning, Midnight Thunder, The Pooppers, Toptube Steaks, and Pink Steel.

Mid-race terrors were brewing of a phantom menace roaming the woods of Mt. Whitetail. “These are but mere rumors,” said race director Ricky Bobby. “I know what I saw!” yelled one trembling man.

A scalp tingling pace kept teams neck and neck as the cold winds violently blew through the sounds of smack and House of Pain. Fortunately, the caveman, brought fire and fans to warm the spirits of racers hearts and thighs.

After three hours of racing, onlookers gasped as riders arrived within seconds of each other. One eyewitness exclaimed, “The guttural sounds of beaten warriors echoed through the fat tire playground!”


Sunday, October 17, 2010


Interested Parties can crash at our pad in River Falls!

Thursday, September 30, 2010


the tape a couple weeks to mid September. Fat Tire 40 time. Anticipation high. Expectations high. Roll out on main street seemed calmer than normal. The unmistakable hum of the tires reminds you of years past. The acceleration on to Hwy 77 reminds you of the two hour hurt locker you've just been slammed into.
Lost postions on the road. Feeling a bit off, but holding the eye of the tiger. Boxed in! Hit Rosie's top 30, maybe. Knew I had to move up fast. Burned some matches leap frogging groups. 10 sec off pace. Drill it. 15 sec off pace. Top 15 and climbing. Leading a four man charge for several miles. On the rivet, 20 sec down. It is now or never, pin it and chance, or conserve and go home with regret. Pin it!

60 sec off the pace at OO. The Billy Mills tank was low. Unfortunately, I was defeated. I rode the remainder of the race well below red line, disheartened by my tactical mistakes. Being a teacher I understand the value of a good lesson, and I got mine.

Funny how the body tells you enough. I got home Sunday afternoon with a sore throat and head cold. I have been on the bike a couple times this week. I hope to ramp things back up for She-vegas WORS race.

Enjoy the fall rides, they are the best!