Monday, December 12, 2011

Big Bad Wolf video from Big Mac

Photos by Adam Baudoux

All photos from the Big Bad Wolf by Adam Baudoux:
Matty B keeps it relaxed at the start
First lap in the volleyball pit
My counterparts for most of the race

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Big Bad Wolf

Helmet cam and Pete, photo by Tom
First off thanks to everyone that came out to support Steve and Paul and the Stomach of Anger series races this year.  This is the second year now a race has been hosted at Midland's Stratford Woods and it is a pretty neat venue.  An odd combination of Stoney Creek and the OLD Lower Huron course, mixed with a bit of Hudson Mills Metropark in a few spots.  (If you remember Hudson Mills you're aging yourself...)

We set the poles and flags yesterday in cold, windy weather.  A few of the TCC loyal were out and were a huge help in pounding stakes into the frozen tundra.  Because it was so windy we decided to bag trying to tape the course until Sunday morning, which turned out to be a very good thing.  When we got there at eight it was very cold and windy - any tape we would have put up the previous night wouldn't have stood a chance.  Even after going through and taping the entire pit area in the morning (which if you remember had a pretty complicated layout...) it wasn't 20 minutes before tape started shredding and flapping in the wind.

So decision time - continue to tape and hope the rest survives the west wind off the lake, or drop all the tape to the ground and hope everyone can see the course...

I decided just to send out all the TCC helpers to drop the course tape to the ground unless there was a blind turn, where we did our best to keep the tape from tearing.   I'm sure the first time riders took to the course it was a bit odd, but it wasn't a terribly complex course for the most part.  Even the volley ball pit was frozen solid when we tried to put poles in the sand, and we even had to resort to drilling holes to get flags to stay down.

Anyway, it was a good day for racing - cold temps but bright and sunny.  I was surprised to see how much a few sections were torn up because on Saturday everything was frozen solid.  The sand seemed to get harder to ride every lap - probably due to the whole "I'm tired" aspect but a lot to do with the deep ruts that were forming everywhere.

As for the race, I took the holeshot and was in the lead until the long beach, where DC and the lil' pony rolled by me.  We hopped the barriers up the hill but I could read the writing on the wall that trying to stay with those guys wasn't going to last long.  I dropped back the pace and waited for Pete to bridge.  We rode for most of the race together and soon Mark Wolowick bridged as well.  The three of us had a nice train going, which was pretty helpful in the windy sections.

Soon enough Andy Weir made the bridge to us and the pace wasn't quite so comfortable anymore...Pete and Andy and Mark all took turns on the front pushing the pace up and up out of every corner.  With three to go we bottle necked in the first tricky sand section, causing the line to string out.  Mark and I chased back on during the long sand straightaway but I was pushing the limit.  Sure enough the same thing happened with two to go but this time I lost too much ground to regain.  To add insult to injury, in trying to navigate the deep sand ruts exiting the beach I had to dab and then practically fell on top of my bike trying to remount.  The gap went from 25 m to 50+ m instantly, and I was cooked.  I ended up rolling in for fourth, which I was pretty happy with considering the company I was riding with today.

So that's all for 2012 for me.  No plans to race at nationals but good luck to those that go.

And don't forget...PUT THIS ON YOUR CALENDAR!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


If you're interested in anything e-mail me racepromoter atatatatatat gmail dotdotdot com...

Saris Bones 2-bike rack
Used a dozen times...

Bontrager Jones XCR cyclocross tires
These maybe have 150 dirt road miles on them from back when Kristie had a 'cross bike.

Time ATAC pedals that need new spindals.  Old body style, dark grey faceplates.

Sram Rival 175 130 bcd crankset (no bb or rings)

Race Face Cadence 175 130 bcd crankset (no bb or rings)

Sram 53t chainrings (2)

CycleOps Fluid trainer (this one) - needs a new "L" bolt (here).

New style Selle Italia Flite

These are just taking up room so basically any reasonable offer will fly...I'll bring these to Midland on Sunday!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Big Bad Wolf Cyclocross on Sunday, 12/11!

First, a history lesson from last year, so you can get a flavor of the park:

Second, after the race there is the officially unofficial after party at the Midland Brewing Company, one of the sponsors of the Tri City Cyclocross races.

Directions from the race course to MBC (zoom out...):

For more information and to register check out the RACE WEBSITE!  Pre-registration closes at noon on Saturday.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Springfield Oaks - Davisblurb Photos

That kit wasn't white anymore after the first lap. 
Watch out for this guy.  He's coming to get you B's. 
Not exactly sure what Mike was doing on the course to pick up so much trash in his wheels.
Drivetrain = crying
Sven, getting crossed up during his dominating ride.
Lil' Pony, the Lil' Mudd'r, rolling for 2nd.
Wiz, third.  Bike changes weren't quite as frequent as the 2008 New Jersey USGP.

After good intentions at the start I decided to bag doubling up with both SS and Elites yesterday.  Let's face it, I'm not nor have ever been a runner, and that showed badly after the third lap.  I was haunted and hunted by the orange gloves all day long.  Two good laps weren't enough to slay the SS race.  I have to say I was not excited after finishing my second lap (clock reading 20 minutes and something seconds) to see THREE TO GO.  Dang.  I'm not the greatest at mental math, but two laps in twenty minutes...umm...five laps in...uh...fifty-plus minutes?  I thought I signed up for the SS race?  Anyway, five was one lap too many because Killer Rich rolled by me on the fourth like it was his job.  Congrats to him for sticking it out, and congrats to Jim (TSB) on a hard fought third too.

Doubting the Stratford beach will look this good...
For those of you that didn't absolutely destroy your drivetrains yesterday, there is still ONE MORE race in Michigan for 2011...  Steve and Paul will be once again promoting the Big Bad Wolf cyclocross race in Midland.  I'll be designing the course so don't complain if it's too hard or too easy.  Weather right now is looking dry-ish and cold, but Midland got blasted over the past week with rain and snow so I'm not sure what that'll mean for ground conditions.

In addition to the beach, there is also a volley ball sand court that should be a nice playground for 'cross bikes.  If you have file treads you may bring those along...

Mini barriers will be BACK at Midland!
Here's a nice read on how to ride sand, just in case you need a refresher.  The Stomach of Anger points series is on the line, and there are a few close races.  They're also giving away a KHS cyclocross bike.

As seen at SVSU in their debut, Steve and Paul will once again pack the mini barriers for Midland.  When used properly, these provide an interesting element to the I ride or run?  Almost anyone can bunnyhop them, but is it faster to just get off and hoof it?  We'll see where they end up on the course in Midland!
Vintage JB

On that note, what happened to the good old days of the six-pack of barriers?  

Vintage Pony

Saturday, December 03, 2011


Registration opens at NOON today...

Friday, December 02, 2011

This or That?

Is your fitness doing this:

Or this?

Will the fields be like this:

Or like this...?

Will we be racing on this:

Or on this?

Don't forget to ring this...

 Will you make it up this?

Will your drivetrain freeze up because of this:

Or because of that?

How far will you go?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Holland, etc.

This is how these guys roll - tents and trainers and power washers.  They even bring their own fake lawns out for the show. 
Mike and I drove out to Holland yesterday to see what the Kiss Cross crew has been up to since my first 'cross race of the season at Plaster Creek Park.  For those of you that haven't been to race at the municipal stadium in Holland you're missing it.  Hands down one of the most enjoyable events both times I've made it out there.  Two years ago saw mud, and this year didn't disappoint:
Post-race goodness.  Note the lack of front straddle cable on my bike and the unique rear derailleur placement on Mike's bike.
But the real joy started before the Rick Plite countdown...  As I was standing at the start line fiddling with my brake levers I felt an odd snap from my front brake cable.  Sure enough (look closely at the above photo) I managed to pull the straddle cable completely out of the nut that secures it on my TRP's.  Oh well, it was slow and muddy so who needs brakes anyway.  Two years ago FARMER blew by me on a bike that didn't even have brakes.  I took the straddle cable off, handed it and the extra nut to Rick, and rode without a front brake.
I don't even remember how many laps we did, which is a change for Kiss Cross because usually we get to count our own laps.  I've been working hard for the past three months studying classical mechanics at CMU in order to get my counting abilities up to par.  Fortunately, in a drastic turn of events, Rick used an electronic timing system for the A's at Holland.  WHEW.

Consequently I have no idea how many laps we did.  I followed a Founders guy for 50 min + 1 lap thinking about how much fun it is racing in mud like that.  For the first time this year I got to roll on my Specialized Terra's in the mud.  They ride like the old Michelin Green's that are so coveted.

Holland Photos.

Next up is the Michigan State Championships held at Davisblurb (thanks for that one, Marc).  Don't forget to practice your shoulder presses and stair climbing before going over the flying rhinover.  You don't want to pull a muscle.  With all luck we'll have some interesting weather by Sunday...

Look at that orange wall sitting all smug just staring at you, daring you to try to actually run up it.
In other Tailwind news, check out Ten Mile Media's video from Bloomer Park.  Not only do you see a few of the Michigan greats, but you will also see a certain someone in a certain Specialized kit NOT GETTING LAPPED immediately after the scene with Tom and Sven sprinting it out at the line.  Oh yes.

Then the last race of the Michigan season is held at Midland on Sunday, 12/11.  Be there or don't plan on racing your 'cross bike in Michigan in 2011 EVER AGAIN.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Great Tubular Sell-Off

34c Challenge Fango (from Richard Sachs team), aquasealed $50
34c Challenge Fango (from Richard Sachs team) fresh tube and basetape from TIREALERT with 60mm valve stem, aquasealed $55

Cole T-25 wheelset (tubular) from Richard Sachs team WHEELS ONLY $450, Dura Ace 12-27 cassette + $55, no skewers.  Sorry...the front was up in the garage and I was too lazy to go get it for a photo op. 
Kenda team double wheelbag, new straps sewn on because the originals were worthless.  Internal  pocket for skewers.  $SOLD
Ambrosio F-20 tubular rims laced with double butted spokes to Ultegra 6700 hubs.  Rear needs to be retensioned, probably better for someone lighter than me.  Wheels only $325, Ultegra 12-25 cassette + $40
I'll be at Kiss Cross on Sunday, Tailwind on 12/4, and Midland on 12/11.  Not interested in shipping come race your bike.  racepromoter at gmail dot com if you want more info!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Bloomer Park 'cx

Sunday's race at Bloomer was fun.  Last place indeed can be fun, especially when you take home a $40 gift certificate AND a t-shirt from Cycletherapy for winning the holeshot prime.  Unfortunately, doing so burned pretty much almost every match I had (that's sad...), so the rest of the race was rough.  I was hoping to stay on the wheel of fast TWTango Andy but just didn't have it.

In other news, Snuffleupagus was pretty upset after we rode over him every lap...  You just never know what you'll see at a bike race.  And you'll also never know the thoughts that run through my head while trying not to get lapped by the speedy duo of Sven and Burke.  I guess the above picture is a clue.

Have you been practicing leaping tall buildings in preparation for the Orange Crush at Springfield Oaks?
My back is already screaming at me and we haven't even raced there yet.

It is amazing how long it takes for the 'cross season to get here and how fast it goes once it is here.  Only three major races left in Michigan.  First up is the Thanksgiving spectacular that is Kiss Cross in Holland.  Last time I raced there it was a mud bath and it took me three days to get clean.
I bet you didn't know you could ride this slow on a 'cross bike...
Turn right then left, basically.
Then Tailwind hosts the state championships at Springfield Oaks.  Last time I raced there:

And then to cap off the 2011 Michigan Cyclocross season, the Tri City Cyclists are once again hosting a race at Stratford Woods in Midland (The Big Bad Wolf).  Last year the race was in October and Tom Burke won.  This year the course will be a bit different but still feature a lot of the trademark beach:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Stoney Creek

Umm...yeah ok I'll take it.  Sven lapped me and he was flying.  Too bad there were only five of us that finished the race.  I'm guessing Tailwind won't be holding a race next year on the Louisville weekend, but that's just a hunch.

Friday, November 04, 2011


Yesterday turned out to be a rough day.  Immediately after Vet's Park on Saturday I picked up whatever Kristie had the previous week.  For those of you that have managed to hold off the sore throat of all sore throats this fall, congrats.  But having that absolutely killed me for the week.  It was all I could do to sleep through the night let along ride my bike.  I did manage to get in a whopping 75 minutes over two rides on Monday and Wednesday though.  And each of those made me feel worse than I did before, so that was helpful.

Anyway, I decided to head up to the Iceman on Saturday morning instead of staying up there on Friday night like was planned.

The last time I did the long drive in the morning was for my first Slush Cup experience back in 1997.  The drive is "only" two hours to Kalksaka from here, which aside from the 5:00 a.m. departure isn't too terrible.  I managed to fall onto the packet pick up area by accident while trying to find the high school.  I was a bit surprised to see such a major operation operate on the floor of a small room like that.  In years past having the pick up area inside at the middle school was a pretty good set up.  However, the new start format is significantly better.

I rolled to the start expecting to be able to drop my jacket off, but I was running very late and couldn't find anyone before the whistle blew and everyone started riding.  Oh well, I rode the whole thing with waaay too many clothes, but I figured it is better to be a bit overdressed than underdressed for a 30 mile point to point race, just in case something happens.

So aside from my relatively hectic start the first hour of the race went pretty well for me.  I felt good, not great, and kept up a good pace heading into Williamsburg road.  I don't remember if it was before or after Williamsburg, but right around 1:10 into the race I started to feel it...

If you don't know what "it" is, read THIS from 2008 or THIS from 2007 and you'll start to get a picture.

And speaking of pictures, I am literally so desperate trying to figure out how to NOT cramp during longer races that, per suggestions from the inter-web, this was my pre-race preparation:
So what is desperate?  Desperate is saving pickle juice for the past five weeks, buying a travel size shampoo bottle, packing this delicately in my race bag, carrying it upside down in my jersey pocket, and hoping that I wouldn't need it.

But of course, like every MTB race I've done for the past three years, shortly after an hour into the event it starts.  On Saturday it started in feeling just a bit sluggish going into Williamsburg road.  Although it's a bit of a drag up there, it isn't like I should be rolling as slowly as I was at that point.  Ok, settle in a bit and don't push it...

(Which is basically code for you might as well pack it in, because it isn't going to get any better.)

So over the next 13 miles or so, I flirted with pushing on the pedals and backing off enough not to start to seize.  And when I did feel a flare up, as soon as I could get them under control I took a shot of pickle juice.  So back to being desperate, you have no idea what that's like until you slam pickle juice in a race...

I knew after Williamsburg that my chances for doing well were out the door and it was just a mtb ride, not a race, at that point.  So I rolled it in, basically soft pedaling for the last 10 miles.  Anita's hill hurt like a beast as I walked up.  But amazingly with about 5k to go my legs started to feel a bit better.  So I started to roll it a bit, and I was passing people left and right.  That is until the trail turned up for just 50 m too long, and my left hamstring cramped so badly it forced me off my bike, hunched over in pain.  More than 24 hours later that hamstring still is not right.  

I crossed the line in 2:01.10.  I haven't gone slower than 2 hours since I was 16 years old in my first Iceman.  Granted, the courses back then were much shorter than yesterday's edition, but still...  And to make matters even worse, 13th place was the same time as mine, so I couldn't even break that tie.  14th place in the 28-29'ers.

One cool thing was riding my Stumpjumper 29'er for the first time in an Iceman.  The past four times I had raced Mr. Ice I was on my 26" F3000.  Riding on 29" wheels was a lot of fun for a course like that.

I wish I could actually race the Iceman someday and not just ride the thing.  Yeah that would be nice.

Congrats to those that did.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Mad Anthony, Vet's, and an attempted Ithaca GP copier...

Disturbing news from Cyclocross Magazine's report of Beacon 'cross where their amphitheater steps have been mis-labeled as the "Amphitheater of Pain."
Nothing beats the original.  Nothing.
Start of the A's

For those of you that know, you already know...

Full article HERE.

I guess copying from the original is the best form of flattery anyway.

Hanging on...about to pop.

Vet's park on Saturday was overall pretty good.  14th out of 22 starters.  I've raced very well and very poorly at Vet's.  One thing is for sure, that park is probably the hilliest of all the 'cross races we do in Michigan.  Consequently if you pop, it'll be a long day.

I started in the back of the pack with the usual suspects.  No sense in getting too crazy too fast for a 60-minute race.  But by the end of the second lap I managed to track onto Pete's wheel and we rode a two-man time trial for most of the race.  However, with two and a half laps to go, Pete decided it was time to kick it up a notch and I wasn't able to follow.  I figured I'd be able to hang in and grab 13th by keeping Cory Stange at a distance, but a rolled tubular on top of the runup on the last lap dropped me one place to 14th.  Who rolls a tubular while remounting?  Apparently this guy...

Hopefully I won't be limping across the line like last time...
Next up is Iceman.  Weather is looking nice, as it always seems to be when I sign up.  I'll be spending most of the race trying not to cramp, unlike the past two times I've raced it...