Monday, August 31, 2009

Reforestation Ramble 11th :(

Felt good on start, had lead into first single, cooled it to let someone else lead on wide open flats, where I am not too comfortable. Jesse gunned it and felt like he had rocket fuel in the legs for the next lap and a half. Guess he did since he pulled off the Win. Popped on second lap, I think mixture of last week being off sick (in lungs still) with a flat course which is not my best kind of course. Another week or two to build it back up and I should be good to go.

I popped real bad and soon saw Tristan, Melcher, Maceji, and Ted Hanes coming on and sat up to gel and hopefully recover. It was hard to hold on for a bit, but I just kept fueling and spinning it out while hanging on. Toward the end Lap Traffic got bad, like every 10 seconds calling out our presence and just praying they might move over, otherwise we comletely stop....
Tristan ended up clipping a sport rider who went endo while pulling over, I just barely missed Tristan's bike while he literally went flying a good 10 feet off the trail into the woods. I felt really bad for him since it seemed like he did a lot of the work in this quasi mtb/road race.

I closed the gap created and felt really good the last half lap and was sure I could win a group sprint. Really I should have attacked a bit earlier to try and break it up prior to a sprint because as soon as I started my sprint it came to a sudden halt due to poor course setup in my honest opinion, our whole group found the finish/lap sign right in the middle of the entrance to the finish shoot and brakes were slammed all around and that was it, the order we started the sprint in was where we ended up, Melcher, Hanes, Maceji, Me. I thought about punching it again to sneak by but lap traffic was in front and the lead into the finish was barely wide enough for two bikes???(really what is that about?) Pretty frustrating finish to go from leaders to eleventh, especially when points are valuable this time of year. Although racing here is usually not the best in results for me I was glad to ride with friends and the single track was amazing. Sorry to my fellow racers for the complaints at the line (really what do I have to complain about we are so blessed to e able to race and enjoy our competitions). I was just frustrated with the finish and my performance, it was not directed at you, not your fault at all. I did mention some suggestions for wider finish shoots for races where large groups come in to the line together.

We are in Marquette now half-way to Eagle Harbor and prbably the largest stack of intense training I have ever done to be topped off with the Copper Harbor Fat Tire Festival. Really wish I could get some pics up, but Olympus Customer Service is REALLY bad and we have been without our camera for a few weeks...

Long post, thanks for reading if ya made it this far.

Friday, August 28, 2009

So True

Friend of mine sent me a meditation for the day and this line is sooo right on!

"Happiness cannot be sought directly; it is a by-product of love and service".

Good perspective for my day as pressures of responsibility try to push in upon me. As I tend to grab and take more for my own happiness when things get hectic, I usually end in selfishness and alone with the things I had grabbed for, left empty of what really feeds my soul. "It is better to give than to receive" is not just a virtue to live by, but is actually true about the nature and the fabric of how relationships with everything in our lives have been made.

I hope these words can be living in all I do!

Other News:
Ramble this weekend and then...

Skipping first three days of school to take a long awaited, much needed, vacation in what I like to call the U.P. of U.P. Michigan.

Just so happens this is also happening!

Then back home to catch up on classes.

WOW, if I were doing Cheq. 40 I would be racing every weekend through Oct. 18th, just that one weekend off from here till then. I don't like fire roads much anyways, and I gotta learn Spanish....and I need some time away from all you lactate junkies once in a while.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Score: Mind- 1 Matter - 0 (not Brian of course)

Legs cleared out pretty good tonight and I won a mental battle after the first set of five up and downs on the local slightly leaned over wall we call Nature Hill. After the first set I felt like my lungs were being scraped over with a garden rake. Obviously left over vermin from this weeks flu. But I got through another set, slightly slower than usual, but through it none the less and then did a great 35 min LT over under and really felt like I could find a little extra power mid interval while scraping my heels through length of my hammys and calves. I am so glad I did this LT after debating it for a while since the hill repeats were lack luster in how they felt, MAN THOSE HURT SOOO BAD, but the numbers were not bad at all. Goes to show feeling and performance is not always the same thing. Legs are starting to come around and open up after a torturous ache filled rest this week that I think was needed much more than the training I had planned.

Solid 4-5 hours planned at the Southern Kettles tomorrow. Me and the DB are meeting at Emma Carlin at 8 am. If ya can keep with a steady pace, not race but steady, be there or be.....somewhere else.

Squares are kinda cool anyways, so I thought somewhere else would be way more lame.

kill the slugs!

That is the two lethargic things trying to play off as legs connected to my torso. Yesterday 150's hurt and just for 1 1/2 I am gonna go and try to throw down 180's? Half the battle won, tell ya about the other half later.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Plans Change

Whole body aches, feel the foreign entities making their way through each muscle group, nose running, sore throat.....LOTS OF ZICAM and smoothies!

I hate being sick but I am actually welcoming this unplanned rest week. Maybe its what I need, I have not taken a full week completely off the bike this season.

I was suppose to have 6 1/2 hrs of riding in this week since Monday.

Total hours riding- 0
Total Hours watching The Office- 6 1/2

I wish laughing made ya faster.

Monday, August 17, 2009

From the Heart

Skinnyski Press from Alterra
Jay asked specifically about Kyle and I put it all out there for him in an email.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Border Battle recap

Lots of talent on the Start Line. 3rd wheel behind J. LaLonde after the crazy straight up into the sky start climb. Into Single Track and passed Macjei after his usual BMX sprint start. Things were much slower than I had expected or I was feeling pretty good. Looking back I should have taken the lead earlier in the lap, cause Jesse, Me, and Marko had a small gap and I felt like I could really rip the sinlge track here.

Train formed of 7 riders, Jesse, Me, Marko, TJ, Mike Phillips, Brendan Moore, and Sam Oftendahl. Jesse seemed done pulling after first half-lap so I took the reins for last half of the first. Felt really strong in the tech stuff, and coming into the monster climb on the second lap TJ put in a hard effort to take the lead and Marko squezzed in behind him. This hurt pretty good and I struggled a bit to close a 10 foot gap for a few minutes as Jesse kept egging me on to "Get On That!". Taking ever turn to its limit to conserve energy at this point and I burped my tire to the rim about half way through the lap. Stopped to fix it and watched the train roll away. Sam O. had fallen off and he came by shorlty after. I had gotten the tire to seal by the time Darrin Braun and Eric O. came up and I led them into lap 3.

D.B. put in a good climb at the start of this lap and we seperated Eric ad I think Dallas was in there before the climb. I took over half-way through lap 3 as I saw Jeff Hall coming and I knew he was going at a good clip. D.B. took a spill and I was solo to fend off Jeff. I started paying for chasing hard here and not fueling right and had to let Hall go when he closed the gap at the end of lap 4, I thought that was it for being caught, but lap five I was hurting bad and still didn't seem to have fuel or maybe lack of electrolytes, as I was kicking myself for not taking any in the heat. A little ways in I saw Cam Kirkpatrick coming on and I knew his late game is always amazing! I thought maybe in the single track I would hold him off, but too much pressure in the rear tire ended that story and probably had a lot to do with losing so much time over the last 3 laps, as I filled it too much after the burp. Cam caught me on an open flat and I had to just let him go.

All the way from lap 3 to the finish the lap traffic was horrible. As I started settling in for a mediocre finish I saw no one chasing behind. I couldn't get by some compy's in a long single track section before the finish and it almost cost me some more places as Macjei, Jeff Melcher, and Ted Hanes were in hot pursuit to clip me at the line. Held them off for 9th, not bad but not too good or what I was hoping for.

I feel great tonight, but I think the Race/Peak Period I have been riding out for a month+ is officially over and I gotta get back to some real training program, as those last laps were not too stellar.

Huge thanks to Caleb Zlomke, my Brother-in-Law, for amazing water hand-ups! You rock BRO!
Thanks to everyone cheering out there, you guys make it so enjoyable, I hope it was entertaining!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Ore to Shore


Just got home. This race is quite an amazing experience. Huge shout out to one of the most amazing mechanics I have ever met. If you are ever in Marquette and need help ask for Matt at Lakeshore Bikes, he is the owner and amazing at finding solutions to problems no one else can find.

Race start is nutz and kinda scary, things broke two miles in(on my bike that is)...pedal through, with leaders, more stuff breaks or stops working right and have to stop multiple times. Come upon Eppens with flat while I am in "finish it out for fun mode". Then Chris Peariso comes upon me with Jenna Rhinehart and we pull around for a while, his mechanical is way worse than mine and has to ride in much slower than us. Ride solid but with lots of extra effort due to mechanical issues, pretty much just playing around. Eppens come back to me, start chasing them, almost kill myself on drop off into small marsh due to not knowing course and being crazy on descents. Come upon TJ with his second flat of the day, help him with some C02 and ride it in with him and some singlespeed who kept attacking the hills, which made things fun. Disappointing breakdown, 37th yuck...but a great time on the bike and with friends.

Probably write a little more later.

Thanks a ton to Jack Shirpke for the ride and hook ups with a place to stay! Also thanks to Dr. Dave for letting our Motley Crew crash at his place.

Hope I can figure out what the heck I am doing for training this next few weeks after throwing these last two unplanned race weeks into the mix....

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


At the line I was not planning on taking the lead, but everything just kinda clicked when Don said Goooooo and I found myself at the front coming over the top of the initial start climb. I didn't feel like the effort was huge and I felt like I hadn't pushed my max so I just put down a good pace, but nothing put me into the red and I was able to keep the hole shot. After a few turns I realized I had a gap and just rode as smooth and strong as I could to capitalize on it. Going into the alpha trail there is a long flat and I saw no one chasing on it, which was really surprising. I thought heck might as well make it stick for the fifty dollar prime at the top of the ski hill and began to push the redline a bit through the alpha trail. That is when Bambi showed up and I found myself at the front of a WORS race shooing a baby fawn off the trail as it ran in front of me me. Hilariouis! After Bambi skedaddled I began to hear and at times see Mike Phillips coming on strong, which I expected.
I remember riding the night race with him here a few years back and he literally disappeared the second we hit the alpha trail in the dark, the guy can really rip it here! I knew to be looking for him or matter and sure enough as we came out of alpha and began climbing the forever switch back ski hill, Mike was one switchback behind with Matter one switch behind him. All I thought about at this point was the fifty bucks and climbing that thing as hard as I could, the rest would play out as it needed. I came over the other side thinking at least I made some money today, time to go for some more! The wind was crazy on the flat to Omaley's woods and it felt like climbing just to get through the flat. After the descent and back into the lap I started climbing the start finish hill and I felt like the wind was at my back cause I spun near the upper end of my middle ring up it. I knew the climbs were where I was strongest so I just made sure to really push it there and try and grow the gap rather than ride conservative and maybe allow them to bring some time back. The time gap to Mike stayed about the same for the first 2 laps, but going into three on the start finish climb I knew I was really putting time in as the gap there looked way bigger and I couldn't see anyone for a while once I hit the single track. Had quite a bit of adversity to overcome on this lap. I crashed twice, mostly due to the course changing from dust kick up i think or just fatigue. I almost broke my chain getting back on the bike the second time. All the corners were getting very dusty as the race went on, and I found out the hard way that I could not take them quite as fast as I did on the first and second lap. Cramps started to twinge all over and on a descent back in the alpha trail I saw the game change as matter passed mike on the climb I had just ascended. I knew his chase was on and I had to really hold onto a good tempo to keep him from catching me at the end of the race. The cramps actually went away whenever I climbed only to return on the bumpy descents and crazy single track. Speaking of another adversity on lap 3 occurred when I heard a huge tinging noise come from my seatpost area as I sat down on part of the descent and found my seat had become almost vertical from the force of my body push on the back of it. Oh well, at the front of the race with a gap, ride it OUT! Going into lap four I got a wave of relief as I crested the hill and someone said Matter was starting the climb. I made sure to keep my wheels rubber side down and climbed as hard as I could the last time up the switchbacks, again the cramps disappearing there but I was still worried even with a nice gap as I came over the top feeling like the legs might seize up with every bump I hit. On the last descent before the finish climb I think the cramps were so bad that each bump bruised my muscles. Coming up the climb I just spun the legs and high fived someone ( Tony?) over the line amongst a lot of cheers. Christine got a little interview video of the finish here and here. Great pic of the climb to the 50$ prime and race report by WORS (Claire) here. I can't believe how many people congratulated me after the race and the amount of friends and fans who cheered at the awards was overwhelming! The relationships through racing is really what makes this even better than a few seconds on a podium, prize money, or prestige. Thanks soooo much for caring and letting me get to know you all and helping me and every other rider out there to push each other to the limits in this awesome sport!

HUGE THANKS TO: Lindsay for all her Support this Year and amazing hands ups running up and down the hill 7 months pregnant. Family on course, especially Grandpa and Uncle Mykul J. for being in the action at every turn with coaching and pouring water on me. Derek, Matt, and Chad at Wheel and Sprocket in Delafield, hands down best local bike shop I have ever dealt with and most support of racers I have ever witnessed, could not have ridden so well without your help. Mr. Tree himself for being there and supporting me in everything I do in life, YOU ROCK! Gary Fisher bikes and Bontrager for hooking me up with the fastest bike I have ever ridden and the best products I have raced!

Was not planning on going but.....
Now who wants to give me a ride to ore to shore this weekend? And maybe some lodging too?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

For Kyle!

No Joke, Yesterday I did a little personal dedication of today's race to my Bro, regardless of results. Whenever I think about Kyle Mountain Biking I think of this picture which probably had something to do with the dedication.

Kyle @ Alterra Coffee Bean Classic 2008 and me throwing down all I could today for him and family.

Today was for you brother and blood, can't wait to see you when all things are made NEW!

Thanks for great pics Rusty!

Race report to come!