Monday, July 18, 2011

Vision Impact

This article is scary..


Fox news likes to pit two hot heads against each other usually in order so we can see a fight regardless of what the news is, but it is scary that we would get to this point of even asking these questions.  I have an issue with many analysis of behavioral problems, like in this clip.  We have relied so heavily on modern psychology and psychiatry to solve our problems that the choice of a human being is ignored, exchanged for environment, genetics, treatment, and a pill as the answer in some sort of a behavior modification program. 

I used to mentor kids through a residential treatment center.  I would go into homes of “at-risk” youth and  spend time with the kid in the community finding new recreational activities while working on certain goals in their life.  I did this for about 7 years.

It was during this time in their lives the kids were developing a philosophy on life, what they see their purpose as, and the Tribe A.K.A. “click” or crowd they associate within.  I am not just pulling this out of thin air, making up my own little theory of child development.  I studied this intensely and even did a couple presentations on this while pursuing an EDU major…Anyways…This helps to define their philosophy.  These sub-cultural tribes have a common bond of purpose with some ritual of behaviors.  The problems I was to address in behavior were always attached to the values upheld by the tribe they associated within.  Meaning and purpose in life, what is the meaning of who they are, this is what drove their behavior and eventually forms a lot of their character throughout life.  Almost every situation I came into had a lack of role-models, like a Father figure missing or parents with backwards values…I was present to offer a choice to change what they valued.  It was very difficult to make the choice attractive as I was only present 4-6 hours a week and an outsider, but if I was “cool” enough and able to present some purpose in life that they wanted to identify with, sometimes it would work or at least plant seeds we would see grow to fruition later in their life as they reasoned through the choices.

The point of bringing all of this up is, in order to change the behavior of our culture when it comes to level of activity and nutritional choices, we must give a purpose, meaning, and value for activity and healthy eating. We must give a reason which makes a choice attractive while also adding a value and purpose behind the choice which becomes a part of a persons philosophy in life.  In order to get the best results we need to help people with their internal government rather than creating more external government  to help them with choices in activity and food.  This is especially true  in the upcoming generation where we see this increase in obesity and decrease in activity.  This is partly due to other opposing values and purposes being inadvertently taught through increases of technological assistance and entertainment to human activity level, obvious points in case being computers, video games, and motorized transportation, but there is an endless list of taken for granted technologies which have assisted us both in ease of  work, weight gain, and bad nutrition. 

So what is missing in the behavioral analysis is changing values, what people find as their purpose.  In one of my classes this past semester we studied a definition of religion that I slightly agree with, but would tweek a bit to include our perceived purpose as part of the definition.  The definition pretty much said religion is whatever we do because our ancestors or those before and around us did, whatever is the “tradition”.  If this is so, then being a Green Bay Packer fan is religious along with many other things we value because of tradition…The point being, it is something highly valued and effects the ritual and behavior of people.  The effect sports tradition has is so great we have huge marketing systems built around sports related behaviors, generating billions of dollars every year.  It is an investment that can be counted on, because traditional/religious behavior is something that does not die easily.  So I asked myself why do we have so many traditions/”religions” around all of these other sports and not cycling, simple…The same reason we have certain religions we do of the spiritual nature, it is what we were mentored and taught to be our purpose as we grew up.  One problem…the sports traditions we have now do not seem to be having the effect on nutrition or activity levels that we need.

In the State of Wisconsin we have major epic centers of “worship” for each of the major sports, Brewers Stadium, Lambeau Field, Bradley Center, and obviously this can be said for the rest of the Nation.  We also have small discipleship structures for the training of our youth and families into the cultural tradition of the sports we value, such as governmentally funded little league baseball fields, basketball courts, football fields etc..  I enjoy all of these sports, but they are not training our generations to grow up into the activity of those sports they value but rather mostly to sit and spectate.  This is due to the short shelf life and talent requirements of those most highly valued sports.  They are not life long participatory sports being taught to the culture.


This is where Vision has an impact, through its number one value of making cycling a household sport, a tradition of our culture.    This is where Vision’s 4 values come from 1. Youth Development Programs (Instilling tradition and values) 2. New Local Cycling Infrastructure/Trails (value training centers) 3. Public Health and Wellness 4. Energy and Environmental Sustainability. 


The first two values, while being a benefit in and of themselves, are a setup to reap the greater cultural benefits of the last two values. 

The energy, resources, and fervency put into our traditional sports has a definite effect on the choices of behavior within our culture…Vision looks to help by providing choices that create life-long active participants.  The current traditional sports tend to fail to provide life-long activity. This is due to their nature.  The human body tends to not be able to participate in them for much more than 10-15 years of life, plus they do not have the same effect on health, wellness, and sustainability.  I am not in anyway saying we should stop loving and doing those sports, but they usually end up creating life-long passive spectators, no matter how fervent that spectating may be, the health and wellness effects are not there. 

All of this is to say we should at least start putting a spec of the energy, resources, and fervency into cycling that we do into current traditional sports since cycling has so much potential and see what huge benefits can be reaped from a small investment.

More to come…

That was a long one without any of those fancy picture thingys..

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Firecracker WORS #5 Re-Cap and Team Weekend

Love this course and a Win was in mind at the start.  Missed a pedal at the line, no biggie, sitting a few more back than I was comfortable with though. Wanted to be 2nd or 3rd wheel going into the single-track but I was not willing to pay the price for it, in hindsight this was the biggest mistake of the race and I should have led or at least been on Mikey’s wheel as I knew the battle today would be between me and him at least in the single-track. 

I played it conservative though and figured Tristan, Eppen, and Matter would not let the gap get too big as I followed them into the first few technical sections.  By the time we hit the first creek crossing I had let out quite a few of my infamous “really’s!” as the gap was growing very quickly.  Hindsight being 20/20 I should have put in a bit more effort for the holeshot…I give a pretty concise re-cap of how the race went in this post-race interview immediately after the finish, (tons of endorphins pumping).


So 3rd is not bad, and rather consistent this year since my last 4 results including Super D and Short Track are all 3rds amongst the Mid-West competition…although who is ahead and who is behind me in the results has swapped.   This makes for very good racing this year as it seems instead of having the one dominator of the series, we have a battle royale between 4-5 people who can all win on a given day, makes for much more aggressive and fun racing!

I want to give props to Mike Phillips though, as he lead from Start to Finish winning with almost a 3 minute gap!  Time to step up our game I guess.

Plenty of Vision Development on the podium this weekend!

Ben Senkerik 1st and Andrew Senderhauf 3rd in the Cat 1 Juniors


Parker Mccoll 1st Overall and his brother Connor 10th in the  2 lap race at the Miners Revenge in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.



Andrew Guerra representing in his 3rd race ever in the Category 3 14 and under!


And Wheel & Sprocket/Vision also had some representation out West with Chris Washburn in a Tour of the mountains out in Colorado!



Great job to everybody living the Vision! 

Don’t forget to check out the Guerra Garage as there is always new stuff popping up on there, like a XXX Bonrtrager Carbon Front Wheel!

Thanks for reading,


Thanks Amy Dykema for the Podium Pics!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Subaru Cup Pro XCT#5 Cross Country

Already a week ago today was the Cross Country race for the Subaru Cup Pro XCT #5 which visited Wisconsin, put on by WORS and was race #4 in our local series.   I am buried somewhere in the back of this stacked field of the Western Hemispheres best Cross Country riders.


I had a really good race and fitness, but my aggressiveness, discernment, and luck was not the best at the start which made it a game of catch-up the rest of the race.  Prior to the race I suggested to the director and other “in charge” type folks that the course needed to be wider for more passing at the start or a longer lead out in order to allow for things to spread out more and riders to use their abilities to get seeded in some sort of prologue.  This type of lead out would allow for rider ability to dictate who would be racing for the win in this race rather than who gets called to the first two rows at the start line.  But the pre-ride and UCI check-ups were already done, so it was discussion for next year…


So being from the Mid-West and without any UCI points I was called up 5th or 6th row back.  From GO I was standing with a  foot down twice before we even started climbing, then we all stood around and looked like cattle at the top of the hill trying to maneuver 70 Pro riders into some extremely technical single-track all at once.  I have actually been “mooed” at a few times in these ridiculous situations, guess the spectators understand…I think I came out of that mess about 50th, it was a hike-a-bike stampede every man for himself at the back of the pack.  People were grabbing their bikes and running through the woods on all sides like 6-7 wide trying to move up into an open spot of single-track.  Once I got out of that mess I went to work, and I must have been going REALLY hard because I heard a couple of people tell me to pace myself on the first lap.  I was on a mission  to get back all that time lost as I watched my goals for this race and a ton of training get wiped out in the first 1/4 mile of the race. 

I managed to work my way up to 36th by the end of lap 1,  14 places in a very short lap and I started to regret it a bit going into the crazy start climb on lap 2.


The pic does not do the hill gradient justice, but if you can see the gear I am in and how hard I am working it gives you an idea!

My Dad and a bunch of others said I looked like I was going to fall over with mouth open and drooling over the handle bars…it hurt sooo bad and I thought maybe I was done for after just 1 lap, but I recovered and was extremely consistent the next 5-6 laps and ended up finishing 20th overall.  I felt incredilbly strong on the switch back climbs and must have been really riding the descents well because I would close huge gaps on the descents every lap.  Those Jedi Knight skills…and feeling the force  much more lately. I think the only guy who passed me the entire time and stayed in front of me was the 8x Israeli national champion Rotem Ishay.  I battled it out with him for 19th  place and he got me in the end.  From Hike-a-bike stand-still 50th to 20th Overall with this kind of a field is not a bad result at all.  The results were kinda funny though, a bunch of us were still riding for old school teams or a mixture of new and old, assuming this had something to do with communication with USA Cycling/UCI.  Matter riding for PCW and I am on both Mr. Tree Racing and Vision somehow.

Here is a few pics from the superfans sections, this MTB community ROCKS!




Check out this awesome Teaser Video from Marty Tank!  That initial Rock Drop section was packed with screaming fans and camera lights flashing, it was AWESOME, thank you soooo much everyone for cheering me on!  I am also on the back end of the Short Track footage before I blew up my legs going for glory..more on that later…

All in good company at the finish line in the pics below with my wife Lindsay being the awesome super fan and water girl for the day.  Also I was chatting with last years winner Sam Shultz at the finish line, guess he got bogged down a bit in the hike-a-bike as well.  Goes to show just like Tristan was writing the other day, if those of us from the mid-west want to contend, we gotta go chasing points where all the “Big Races” are held so we get the call –ups. 


I have done some thinking about this the last few months and it is a goal of mine now to develop a “Pro Team” out of this current team, which will represent the mid-west at the National Level of this sport as well as develop the future generation for this sport through youth and beginner development. We have the talent here, it just needs the support, and I aim to bring it all together.  Growing the sport on both ends, but most importantly on the end where cultural values are made for future generations.

Watching the Tour De France today there was a short clip of Lance Armstrong talking about what makes “Sports” and he said, in not exactly these words, that it is having the top athletes noticed and followed by fans and youth through all the great coverage the big Road Race and Tours are getting now. I agree somewhat…as images of big names in Cycling flash across the screen and are compared to all the other Sports Idols out there in the more traditional American Sports. But I think those “Sports” as he put it are made through years and years of dedication and work from countless mentors and coaches who have developed generation after generation into those sports in America who then grow up to value them, play them, follow and spectate them and those athletes.

The goal of Vision is for me and my peers at the Pro level, and anyone else willing to join in, to not just stand on the podium in the spotlight but get involved in the development side of things. We need to get some hard work done not only to make this a household sport in our Nation but also create lifelong participants…participants who will have radically different well-being in health and sustainability due to one of the sports they were taught to value in their youth. So sorry Lance, I agree it is good for the podium and Cycling to be in the media and it will help it grow, but the real work of cultural change, for the long haul, for everyday life and not just what gets watched, is hard work with the next generation who need our attention to help them ensure a healthy and sustainable future. They need to not just have sports to spectate, especially with such a relatively short participatory shelf-life of the traditional sports offered them, but have a sport they can do for the rest of their lives while helping to answer so many of our health and sustainability issues if integrated well into our education and infrastructural planning.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to spectate almost any sport and even play almost all of them…but almost all of us learn to ride a bike at a very young age for good reasons…it is accessible, easy, fun, and it got us around much faster than our feet alone…but then we hit the “System” and we stop…I think the system is missing something…we need to integrate those reasons into every part of the “System” aka Culture…

So there is just a tidbit tangent of what is on my heart about “Vision”. More on that and Short Track/Super D later…

Thanks for reading!


Photo Credit: Amy Dykema, TJ Harron, Jared Brodjeski, Niki Frazier, Gary Frost and a ton more can be found at WORS FLICKR