Sunday, November 06, 2011

Blast From The Past

I've been going through the carload of crap that my folks felt necessary to drag all the way out to Arizona for me this fall.  50% miscellaneous items to be deposited in the Flagstaff landfill in the near future, 50% knick-knacks worth saving or passing along.  I came across the picture below, which I feel made my father's less than stellar gas mileage and carbon footprint from hauling 50% junk up and over the Rockies all worthwhile...
Circa 2002, A Special Place In My Heart For All Those Pictured Above And Those That Aren't In This Picture But Were Such A Vital Part Of My Summer Fun.  Mad Props!!!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Fall Update

So I've been on a bit of a break from the bike (and training in general) for a couple of weeks now. My exercise has consisted of clearing ski runs in the woods and yoga. It's felt pretty good, but I'm going to start getting back into "training" mode this week. So I'll be cutting/hauling a little extra firewood and running around in the woods until the snow flies. In a complete departure from anything bike or ski related, I've also started a very interesting and fun project this fall. A good customer of ours happens to be an expert boat builder, and this winter he is helping me (or maybe I'm helping him) build a kayak. We've been at it for a few weeks now, working for a few hours every Monday evening. It's been quite interesting learning about the design and lofting process. We've just about gotten the drawing out of the way, and we should begin building in another week or two. Below are some shots of the full size drawing so far.

Only a couple of Wednesday's left before the men with guns start populating the woods, so get it while the getting's good. I'll be at the WNR(un) tomorrow and the next week so I'll hope to see some of you out there as well. Over and out.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Cyclocross Sunday

Our very own Twisted Stone/Latitude 45 team put on a cyclocross race on Sunday at the Winter Sports Park in downtown Petoskey. It was really fun. It hurt really bad coming on the heels of Saturday's race. The weather was excellent. The turnout of both spectators and racers was great for the first year. Thanks to the boys for putting it all together. Someone even put together a little youtube recap. Check it.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Cry Baby 2011

The extra mileage added onto the course this year makes this race an official motherfu**er, but in a good way. 9.3 miles a lap and over 1,300 ft. of climbing per. Even with the advantage of gears, it would be brutal. Running the 34/18 on the singlespeed today made for an extra special sweet kind of suffering, a kind I have not experienced for quite some time. I don't recall a mountain bike race in which I saw my heartrate pop over the 180 mark quite so many times as it did this morning. Rarely did it dip below 170. Just to change things up and make it interesting this year I tried a new race prep routine. It was really quite simple, I did nothing to prepare. We had some friends over for dinner last night and consumed a tad too much vino. This morning I got up and had breakfast, put on most of my kit followed by some tights and a sweatshirt, gave the tires a quick squeeze before loading the bike, and left the house about 45 minutes before the start. It was cold, like 41 degrees cold. My feet never warmed up, but other than that the cold temps. didn't bother me too much. I came to work after the race, so I wasn't able to stick around and see the results. I'm pretty sure though that unless one of the other 6 or 7 expert singlespeeders dropped out, I may very well have finished DFL. But given the fact that I don't race too much cross country anymore, and the fact that in order to tackle three laps on this course without gears requires a pretty good level of fitness to begin with I was pretty happy with how the race went. I measured out the pace pretty well, and stayed real consistent all the way through (consistently in pain and suffering that is). So two weeks now until the last bike race of the season. Then it's time to switch over to some trail running, stairs, and roller skiing. Oh yeah, I'm doing a cyclocross race tomorrow too at the Winter Sports Park in Petoskey. Most of the team should be there, and I'm fully expecting a good time. Enjoy the rest of the weekend, and thanks for reading.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Grand Island

I was able to talk Matt into taking a little adventure with me over the weekend. I picked him up Sunday morning, and we drove up to Munising to catch the noon ferry over to Grand Island to ride around and camp out for the night. The island, and really the whole trip, far exceeded both our expectations. The campsite we stayed at on the north end of the island was hands down one of the most spectacular campsites I've ever stayed at. The riding was way better than we thought it would be too. Lots of elevation changes, great views of surrounding islands/cliffs/pictured rocks, and just enough roots and rocks on the trail to keep it interesting. The best part was that we pretty much had the whole island to ourselves. We rode just over 30 miles on the first day and another 11 yesterday. That pretty much covered most of the terrain on the island; and that whole time, I think we saw less than ten other people. I told Matt yesterday on the ride back to the ferry that "you know someplace is truly awesome when you are already figuring out how to get back before you've even left."

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

BIkepacking 101

Throughout the summer I've spent a half dozen nights or so in the woods working the kinks out of my "bikepacking" setup. I think Sarge posted up a link to this site before, but here it is again for everything and anything you ever wanted to know about the emerging cycling subculture of bikepacking. Anyway, I've had this route in mind for a while. This weekend was my first attempt of it. Basically my plan was to ride the NCT up to Mackinaw City and then head south on the old rail trail past Indian River. From there I was planning on hooking back into the NCT via Thumb Lake Rd. and continuing north to complete the loop. The first half went very well. I made it to a suitable campsite along the river south of Indian River after 85 miles and about 8.5 hours in the saddle. I had stopped at the Keyhole for lunch at about 2:30, so I wasn't super hungry when I made my final resupply for the night. Therefore, I walked out of the gas station with a bag of cashews, a large bag of cheese it's, a big bottle of water, and a tallboy of Blue. What a dinner indeed. So during the night it began to rain very hard. Fortunately my hammock tent setup kept me dry and cozy once again. In the morning it was still raining hard so I waited around and had a breakfast of a Clif Bar with the leftover cheese it's. By 10:30 it was pretty clear that it was not going to clear up, so I packed up. From my GPS it appeared that home was about 35 miles due east, and that seemed plenty far to ride in the downpour. So that's what I did. The highway between Indian River and Alanson was interesting in a scary kind of way. The traffic was intense, but I did have on a bright ass yellow coat, a rear red blinker, and I even turned my headlight onto flash mode just to be on the safe side. So my shortened loop ended up being 118.6 miles. I'm thinking the whole deal will run over 150 miles for sure. A couple of lessons learned on this trip: One, I need to pay a little better attention to my nutrition. I was tending towards thinking I didn't need to worry about eating so much because I was riding at a more relaxed pace, but it turns out you still burn calories even if you're not operating at full on race pace. Just south of I. RIver I started to bonk pretty bad, but a kind bar and some cashews set me straight. Two, while I stayed nice and dry in my hammock some of my gear did not. I'll need to take a little better care of getting gear stored under protection of the rain fly. Other than that, the trip went pretty well. The legs felt pretty good both days, and the discomfort from carrying the extra weight on my back was minimal. One last note, you may think the flat rail trail from Mackinaw City south would be a piece of cake. I sure did. I'm here to tell you it's a bear. It's flat so there is no coasting.....for over 40 miles. To add insult to injury, there was a stiff wind out of the southeast making a 11 mph pace barely sustainable. So that's that. Hope to see everyone on Wednesday. Enjoy the crappy phone pictures and ride data below. Over and out.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Making The Best Of It

Spending the first weekend after Labor Day in the greater Metro Detroit area is far from ideal. But there was a cousin's wedding and Sarah needed to get her foot fixed, so here we are. I did get a good ride in on some new to me trails at he Highland Park Recreation Area. They were quite typical of downstate trails, very twisty, rooty, and rocky. Hills were short and steep. On the way to Sarah's aunts house after the ride, I got to experience a good traffic jam on the freeway. It took about an hour to go less than a mile before I could get off the freeway. I made the rest of the journey without too much hassle, but all told it turned what should have been a 38 minute trip into something closer to 2 hours. But I did get to see a lot of suburbia that was totally new to me. The wedding reception was exactly what one would expect if you tried to picture the quintessential generic downstate wedding. Sunday was a bonus day. The hotel had an Aubrey's pizza place next door, and the Lion's pulled off the big W on the road in Tampa Bay. So we head over the doctor's office in a few minutes for Sarah's surgery and with any luck we'll be safely back above the 45th sometime this evening. I hope not to venture south of it again for many moons. All the people, cars, and pavement are enough to drive you insane.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Coconino 250, Stage 1, Part A

During a conversation with WPG the other day, he expressed his interest in flying out to the southwest for the Coconino 250, a 250-mile grassroots mountain bike stage race here in northern Arizona.  I've taken it upon myself to help him out by doing some reconnaissance by riding the route myself in smaller stages over the course of the next 8 months.  So, here's the first in a series of posts regarding the route:

Stage 1, Part A: New Frontiers to Marshall Lake

I began at New Frontiers (a local health food store here in Flag) and headed out for the first 10.4 miles of the ride from the start, near Lonetree and Butler Ave., to Marshall Lake.  Once off the pavement of Lonetree Road, the route follows about a mile of the Flagstaff Urban Trail before it veers off on the Arizona Trail (AZT).  It immediately brought back some fond memories for me.  I did my first group ride since moving to Arizona on this trail, and I also had my first Arizona OTB wipeout here.  Since I generally stick to the trails near Mt. Elden and Fort Valley, it's been years since I've ridden this section of the AZT, and I forgot how absolutely beautiful it is this time of year - lush and green.  The single track winds through the forest on an old double track and drops into singletrack that rolls through some open meadows below Fisher Point.  At about mile 4.9, the trail splits for a route to Fisher Point or a route towards Marshall Lake.  At this point, and although I'm familiar with the area, I realized how important it will be to carry the cue sheets, especially in areas that I am unfamiliar with.  The mileage seems very accurate and will be a necessary and handy thing to guide you/me through the course.
AZT Shortly Before the Junction to Fisher Point and Marshall Lake
Heading along the AZT towards Marshall Lake, the trail crosses a drainage before it heads up to the top of the Mesa.  Here begins the first of several hilly challenges.  A series of switchbacks lead you up the mesa and eventually to a loose, rocky straight up climb.  It's a challenging climb by itself.  I would imagine that with the required bikepacking gear, it's certainly a hike-a-bike.  I walked several portions of it carrying only my CamelBak. Once on top of the mesa, the singletrack trail undulates across a series of valleys through ponderosa pine forest.  I had two bull elk cross the trail in front of me, as I dropped down into one of the valleys.  A beautiful sight. The wildlife only got better.  As I cruised along, I approached a full tank on the right.  To my surprise, I saw what, at first I thought was a large black dog running away from the tank, but it turned out to be the first black bear I've ever seen in the wild in Arizona.  So cool!!!  And after some further map reading, I'm pretty sure that the tank is called Bear Tank...  kind of fitting.
AZT Singletrack Before It Heads Up to the Top of the Mesa Towards Marshall Lake
The trail emerges from the forest into an open meadow.  The nearly level singletrack is fairly smooth going, but with an occasional cluster of rocks, just often enough to keep you honest and on top of your game.  Around mile 9.8, the trail starts to descend towards Marshall Lake.  Now, as you'll see in the picture below, keep in mind that Marshall Lake is a seasonal lake.  Generally a small marshy body of water during the spring and wet times of the year.  Right now, it's dried up to almost a nonexistent body of water.  And at this point, the end of the first leg of my reconnaissance. Time to turn around and head home (please see this post about the return trip).
Marshall Lake, Almost Completely Dried Up
Next - Stage 1, Part B:  Marshall Lake to Mormon Lake Road, approx. 20.6 miles.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

WNR Report

WNR # ?

We met up at he end of Valley Road to ride a little bit of the NCT and a little bit of the new and improved course for the race at Nub's on October 1st. The course for the first running of the Cry Baby Classic last fall consisted of mostly very wide and sometimes sandy cross country ski trails. There were a few tiny bits of singletrack, but mostly it was just hilly. Our very own Secret Steve took it upon himself to contact the promoter and the head honcho at the ski resort to get permission to build some new singletrack for the race and tie it in to the NCT. Last night was the unveiling, and we were all super impressed. We're going to have to ride it in some more for sure, but Steve's hard work is going to turn a so so race quite suited to roadies into a brutal test of technical skills and endurance. I'm pretty sure Steve said his new section was about 3/4 of a mile, and that tied into the section of NCT brings the lap total to 9.3 miles with just over 1,300 ft. of climbing. Three laps are going to hurt, especially on the singlespeed. So we rode that, did the roller coaster trail down into Trout Creek and then climbed back up. Lots of riders. Probably ten or so in Sarah's group and close to 20 in ours. Good ride, good trails, and good beer. Best of luck to all the teammates heading up to Copper Harbor this weekend for the Fat Tire. I so wish I could be there, so think of me right when you make that turn up onto Brockway Mt. Drive right after the gun goes off Sunday morning. If you've ridden up there before, you know what I'm talking about. If not, you'll see soon enough. Enjoy and have a good weekend. Over and out.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Coconino 250

Hey, man...  and other readers and followers.  Here's the link that I was talking about for bikepacking.  Figured everyone could enjoy a glance at the three sites listed below...  especially since I can't seem to find your email.  I'm sure you've seen the Arizona Endurance Series site as well as  Chad's bikepacking blog has some good info in it, as well as some nice photography.  I think I remember some posts in regards to the Coconino 250 on there from previous years, so scroll back through some posts and find it.  I printed out the directions for the Coconino 250 today, and I'm thinking maybe I'll preride portions of it for you just to scope it out myself.  Just reading the directions to the first stage makes me tired.  Looks like one hell of a ride; but, like I said, I'll gladly be your support crew.  Keep me posted.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ore to Shore 2011

Another O2S in the books, and we all had a great time. It was a perfect weekend in Marquette: great weather, great friends, and great racing. My new singlespeed performed flawlessly, and I was able to pilot it to my best ever finish of 3 hours and 5 minutes. I forgot how nice the Lefty fork is, I was bombing down hills like I haven't bombed down hills in a long time. I metered out my energy just right, and I didn't start cramping until about 2 miles to go. And that late in the race I was able to just ride right through them. Later back at the campground, the booze flowed freely as we all shared our stories from the race and ate some wonderful burgers and brats grilled up by Sarah. Sarah, Hugh, Denise, and I were all lucky enough to get to stay Sunday night as well. So we went to Sweetwater for breakfast, did some shopping at Downwind, went to the beach, and topped off the relaxing Sunday with Aubrey's pizza by the campfire. Now I can concentrate on getting through the rest of the summer at work before starting to focus on the last two races of the season for me in October. Enjoy the pictures, and check out the data from the Garmin link as well if you are so inclined. Over and out.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Falling Bike(ers)?

I needed some humor this morning so as I strolled the never ending internet I came across this: 

If these had to be posted where we ride, they'd run out fairly quickly! 

Enjoy, and Happy Trails!

Action Chuck

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

If a picture is really worth....

a thousand words, theses may get me close to being caught up on the blogging front. Seriously though, my sister and I are in the midst of one of the busiest summers ever at work. And since I don't have the internet at home, blogging and surfing has been curtailed dramatically. I don't have time when I get to work in the morning normally, and the last thing I want to do at the end of a shift is stay here longer to use the computer. Fortunately for the one or two folks who may be checking in, I carved out a couple of minutes this morning to upload some shi**y phone pictures and some quick notes about what I've been up to(although that pretty much can be summed up with riding, working, and sleeping). So here goes:

New bike in the stable courtesy of Scott Quiring. It is currently set up singlespeed with a 34/17 gear, and I will be racing it come Saturday. It is very, very nice and weighs in at a hair under 22 lbs. with pedals and cages.

This is what some stupid bi**h thought was an acceptable way of returning unused stuff from a cocktail party. Really? I bet she has ants in her trunk now because a few of the coke cans had sprung leaks and I didn't tell her.

I have been working out the kinks in my bikepacking system as well with a few overnighters close to town between work shifts.

Sarge, last night I camped out about 2/3 of the way through your loop, and last week I was at the top of the old super pipe at Nub's. Fun stuff and nice to sleep outdoors on a semi regular basis. I've got a good long overnighter planned for the middle of September involving some monster miles and all of the NCT north of Thumb Lake.

So that's all I can manage for now. WNR's are going so well with huge groups and new riders every week. Good luck to all the riders racing the O2S this weekend. Hopefully we'll see you all at the campground for post race beers and burgers. Over and out.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

And it all comes together

My how our group has grown! Since I’ve been a part of “Team Terpening”, I’ve seen the attendance peak and valley and the trend over the last few weeks is definitely peaking! Actually, I can’t even really say that; to say its peaking is to assume we are almost at capacity, or we’ve reached the top…the way the last few rides have been, there has been greater attendance all the time. I mean, who has mountain bike group rides with numbers in the 20’s these days? Oh yea, that’s right…WE DO! And we love every one of them!

This last Wednesday, we had another high attendance. I could fill a whole paragraph with the names of all that rode, so I’ll just say we were all pretty much there. I could name those who WEREN’T there, but I don’t want to give that kind of credit to anyone. There were a lot of riders. Benson had planned the route to break up the same old that we tend to get used to, an out and back kind of ride. Once we arrived, saddled up, clipped in and finally cut the chit chat after a group photo, we were off!

Dirt. Hardpack. Sand. Singletrack. Doubletrack.

We started at one of our favorite sections of the NCT, the Larks Lake Road Trailhead. This is a very nice section of the NCT trail system, perhaps one of the nicest. If you have a friend who is starting mountain biking, or even thinking of starting mountain biking, you want them to ride this section of the trail. It’s not too steep, not too tight; it has a nice flow to it, traverses through some great scenery, and is very well marked. There aren’t any forks in this section to get confused about, and aside from only ONE big climb (called Robinson Hill by most that are familiar); it’s a trail that will make any noob want to ride again and again!

So out we went. But not before Secret Steve did some sand pit sampling. Next stop, Robinson Road. Usually during the rides we hold up to re-collect everyone that has spread out over the last few miles. On a group ride, I find this to be an excellent idea. Not only does it keep us together and solidifies the meaning of a “group” ride, but it gives the hammerheads a little break to catch their breath. Except Kevin…we tried to catch him but he was gone! Ah well, we’ll find him later…. I mean, if we had to track him, it wouldn’t be hard by the freshly turned trail dirt from his rear tire digging in!

Grind. Tear. Rip. Crush. Crumple. Whoosh. Zzzzinng.

Our ride took a turn for the road as we exited the trail, Van Road, that is. Nice little stretch of paved road. Uphill road. I think there was a right hander in there too, but that was uphill too. I mean, it wasn’t like a cart path, but there it was, kinda uphill. And there was Joe, Hugh (whom we encountered a few miles ago), Uli, and Secret Steve mashing the pedals and disappearing out of sight. Man those guys can move on the flats! Action Chuck needs a little improvement in this area…as if it wasn’t apparent enough already! This brought us to the traditional Van Road trailhead we normally would have turned around at.

As soon as everyone was collected, Benson explained the change in route he had in mind. After barreling down this very fun section of trail back to Robinson Road, dodging some low branches and swerving around a downed Uli, we turned left and headed towards Palmer Road. Oh goodie, more road. Well, at least this road was rather flat and kept most of us even. I never get tired of the sound that 10 mountain bikes make on pavement in their own little peloton!

Palmer is a seasonal road. We crossed it already on our way out to Van Road…. All I’ve ever seen of Palmer was that little crossing and perhaps a longer section of it when Action Cheryl and I went ditchbanging (definition worthy of its own blog post) on the snowmobiles. But that was in the winter and under BRAAAP power! So, in order to help with its description, I took a few minutes and glanced at how Urban Dictionary would define “Palmer”. I couldn’t really find anything appropriate to cite in the blog, so I just came up with my own. The experience of Palmer Road will be seared in your memory much like your leg muscles sear after climbing a giant hill in a not low enough available on your bike gear, sandy Two-Tracked Sonofabitch Hill. Joe, on the other hand, looked back all the way wondering when the hill was going to start!! I can appreciate a good climb, but we REALLY appreciated this one!

Climb. Stand. Mash. Lean. Press. Balance. Torque. Sweat. Grunt. Press. Pound.

Once we cooled this leg furnace and got everyone back together, we zipped on down the NCT back to where we started. You really gotta love this section, such sweet reward for the climb…so, Benson, in a way, we thank you for the Palmer Experience! It’s pretty much downhill from this point on, all the way to the trailhead. Secret Steve, Joe, and I tunneled our way back at neck breaking speeds, trail dirt flying out from under the knobbies at every sharp turn, pumping every chance, and glancing a shoulder or two off an occasional tree!

Cool. Race. Speeeed. Downhill. Snap. Biff. Shoosh. Flyyyyy!

With everyone collected, packed, changed, and bikes mounted back to their respective racks, it was time to head out to The Moose Jaw Junction, or as some affectionately name it, “The Pond”, for some of their famous burgers and cuisine! A fine end to a fine ride!

What is it about a ride that gets you going? The scenery? The camaraderie? The exercise? The beer? The speed? Geez. If I was forced to pick just one, you’d probably be waiting a long time on an answer.

You really gotta love how it all comes together. As I touched on earlier, the group has really grown, but I dare say so have the friendships. Seems like the group is really rolling into something special. It’s not too often such a large a group of people get along so well that come from different backgrounds. Mountain biking is our common link; it’s something we all share, enjoy, and embellish upon. May the trails keep out in front of us for miles to come!

Friday, July 08, 2011


Old Pic of Headquarters North....Post Ore to Shore 2010.

Attendance: WPG, Myself, Kevin, Karen, Benson, AC, Cheryl,Bobbi, Tina, Coopy, Secret Steve, Uli, Joe or Ryan, Brian, Belinda, Doug, Sherri, 9 year old Lexy!, Damon, Molly, Jim, Dave from Petoskey, Jenn, and I think that is about all...

No pics, sorry Sarge...but definitely from now on!
What an amazing night for a ride, 70's, (yes we actually wore short sleeves), beautiful sky, a tour around Pond Hill Farm, no bugs and the start of many new friendships with fellow riders.
The energy from everyone was just astatic and it was felt all around.
So after the great ride, we hung out in Headquarters new kitchen! Man can that thing cook!!
From my pulled pork on Gurney's breadends, to Bobbi's Flaun, we ate like kings and queens.
I never want the WNR to end and this past one, I didn't want to end especially.
Thanks for reading,

Thursday, July 07, 2011

WNR Posts

Hey Team Terpening folks!!!  A former WNRider located in the southwest corner of this fine country that we live in has felt a little out of touch lately with the haps regarding the WNR...  it's my way of keeping in touch with a group of riders that I loved riding with every Wednesday night.  Yeah that's right, I said it, the posts on Team Terpening have been a bit light lately.  As a past resident of N. Mich., I understand what time of year it is, and that by the time you get home from work, all you want to do is take out your aggression on some singletrack and drink a beer...  or, more likely, several beers.  So...  here's what I propose (with the permission of WPG):  In the same fashion as last summer, let's get some people involved in writing up some WNR reports in a competition, voted on by yours truly.  I will personally donate some fine quality brew from my beloved Lumberyard Brewery out here in Flagstaff, AZ (formerly, and kind of still is, Beaver Street Brewery).  So, you guys work out the details amongst yourselves as to who writes first, when the competition is complete (based on number of riders/writers), etc.. etc., etc.  I'll make a judgement call on my favorite post, and present the winner with some brew.  I look forward to some WNR posting.  Good luck.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

2011 Lumberjack 100

I've had a pretty rough spring in terms of injuries and mechanicals, so I was really ready to put together a good race before summer started. My goal was to try really hard to pace myself in the early part of the race and then ramp it up at the end. A few twists and turns aside, everything went according to plan.

Lap 1: After freezing my a** off on the two mile ride out to the start on the pavement with the sun not yet over the tops of the trees, we were off. For the first 45 minutes or so I found myself in the middle of a looooong line of riders snaking through the singletrack. The pace was super mellow, and you could hear a bunch of different conversations going on simultaneously all around. About ten miles in the pack started to thin out and soon I was in a good group of 5 or 6 other riders. I went real easy and finished up the lap feeling fairly fresh.

Lap 2: On a whim Thursday night, I threw an expired bottle of Endurolytes in my food box. This would prove to be a very wise move indeed later in the race. Before setting out on the second lap I downed three of the white pills and changed out my bottles. I had a few rough spots on the second lap. There were definitely times where I struggled, but there were also times where I felt really strong. Such is life racing for 100 miles. I had one quick spell of cramping just past the aid station. My left quad seized up, and I quickly stopped pedaling and got off to the side of the trail. My first thought was, "oh F**K!". But then I stood still for a moment and took stock of the situation. I massaged my leg a little and drank about half a bottle of Heed. I got back on the bike and gingerly continued up the hill in my granny gear waiting for the cramps to reappear. Miraculously, they never did.

Lap 3: I downed three more of the Endurolytes and three ibuprofen before setting out on the final lap. As soon as I rolled away from the pits I knew I was going to finish. All those steep climbs would only have to be conquered one more time. I had a few rough spots here and there to be sure, but compared to the carnage I saw on the side of the trail I felt great. No cramping and aside from some irritation in my hands and lower back life was good. I stopped at the last aid station, about 16 miles from the finish, and filled up my bottles. I also slammed two little dixie cups of cold flat coke, it was delicious. From there on out I probably passed a good dozen riders. The heat was taking it's toll, and almost everyone I saw out on the trail was complaining of some cramping issue or another. I was still feeling great, powering up short steep climbs in my middle rang that I had cautiously walked up on the second lap. And then it was done. It feels so good in so many ways to finish one of these races.

Special thanks to Sarah for sitting around in the buggy woods all day to take care of Hugh and I. And also for cooking all of our delicious meals over the weekend. I'm already kind of sort of looking forward to next year.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

WNR # 12

Attendance: I can't even begin to pretend that I would be able to remember everyone. That might have been the biggest WNR ever, at least that I can recall. Benson hiked up the power line for a photo afterwards, so maybe he'll be able to edit this post with some names and the shot.

**CB's Adds: Photo to the right shows the parking
area of the meadow that may need expanding ... with the number of riders, I thought it might be easier to get an aerial shot & this is my closest approximation. As for attendance, the list is getting LONG: CB, Doug, Pete, Sarah, Rob, Kevin, Charlie, Cheryl, Steve, Uli, Kerri, Scott, Mitchell, Cooper, Jim, Nick, Joe, Lisa, Mike T. & Jen PLUS new WNRiders: Bryan, Molly, Mike J., Anne for a GRAND total of 24! If some of the regulars would have made it, we could have easily hit 30! Next week at Boyne Mt. - meet at the tennis court parking area...practice wheelies at your own risk.**

Weather: Perfection. Sunny and 70 degrees.

Trail Conditions: Very good. A bit sandy in spots, and some of the trails are still fu**ed up from logging :(

I led out the B group, and Benson took the helm for the A group and we were off. I was trying to save some energy for the LBJ on Saturday, and some of the girls wanted to learn a new route so it worked out well for all involved. Benson and Amber hosted a nice pizza dinner afterwards, thank you very much. So Hugh, Sarah, and I are hitting the road tomorrow afternoon for the race. I'll report back upon completion. Have a good weekend and ride well.

Monday, June 13, 2011


AC, Kevin, Chris M., Chris H, Bobbi, Tina, Jen (both new girls), Cheryl, Karen, Sarah, Doug, Damion, Racin Rob, Pedro, Joe(Ryan),Secret Steve, Jim, some new guy I didn't get his name, Benson, Lisa--I think that is it? Sorry if I missed you.
I believe I was the one in charge of posting and now that summer is here at the boat shop, it didn't happen until now.
All I can say is it was Kipp Rd.
This is the account for the boy's ride. They were going to stop at Brutus Rd because if they went further the bridges would have been very slippery because of the storms from that morning. So, those of us that turned around we came back without blood, those that kept going had a pretty wicked pile up because Joe slowed down for the wet bridges and Bobbi then fell (shocker) and then Kevin said, well I ride over Bobbi or fall-thanks for not riding over her. Then I have no idea how AC got his his wicked bloody chainring looking injury and then there is Nick, who is new and his whole leg was bleeding. Thank goodness there were cold beers after!

All in all we had 21 riders!
See you at Boyne Highlands for the next episode!
Sarah G.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Sticks and stones may break my spokes but dirt will never hurt me!

The Sunday Dirt Services…what a great turnout, and we aren’t just talking about the weather either! Chris, Chris, Rob, Bobbie, Joe, Uli, Charlie, Cheryl, Steve, Dan, Cooper showed up… Sundays typically are days…of rest.  But what we were about to embark upon was nothing close to rest.  Except maybe for a pro racer.  This might be rest to them!

It is nice to see such big a group of riders so early in the year.  Heck, it’s nice to see a big group of riders, period!  Our attendance thickens and thins during the progression of summer, but as of the last few rides, we’ve had at least 10 people sharing mud together.
Once everyone was rounded up at the Pleasantview Township Hall, we rolled out onto East Stutsmanville Road to roll up (way up) the North Country Trail.  Like a train pulling loaded freight cars, we lumbered up that first hill, gears changing, legs waking, lungs cycling the fresh wooded air.  Aaahhhh it’s good to be out!  The weather couldn’t have been any better! 
As we rode, it became very noticeable that someone had been out on the trail doing maintenance.  This section of the NCT was almost spotless…it was almost as if someone took a vacuum and sucked all the sticks and derailleur catchers off for us!  Great company, great weather, great trails…what could be better?
A couple of hills, that’s what!  In the middle of the next climb, suddenly, PANGGGGG!!!  What the F?!?!?  Looking around, I didn’t notice anything different, but holy cats, I sure heard it…loud and proud.  And, it came from MY bike!  And, as any of those reading this and have ridden with me know I’ve had my share of mechanicals…but that’s a blog for another time, haha!  Uli, who was trailing me at the time, said it looked like something shot out from my wheel…but I kept rolling...nothing looked different and nothing felt different.  Yet.
Benson had a route in mind this Sunday that was a little different than the usual.  Instead of crossing the upcoming two-track and continuing along the NCT, we leaned right and headed uphill.  I like it when there isn’t really a planned route, or at least I like it when I don’t know where the route will take us.  Just follow the guide…its part of the experience of Dirt Service.  At the top of this hill (did I mention there are hills in mountain biking?) we again took a right which rewarded us with about a mile of downhill.   Pretty awesome when a singletrack flows downhill and opens right up…we were flying and likely hitting low to mid 20’s on this baby.  We all saw a little humor in the 5 mph sign posted near the bottom…and boy did we hit bottom.
The trail took us through the bottom of some kind of bog or swamp!  Everyone’s tires, balance, and ground clearance was put to the test as we glooped our way through this murky muck…I was lucky enough to stay up and not put a foot down.  So was Secret Steve…although I must say he had a little extra incentive what with his gleaming white Sidi’s…ah well, there’s only ONE way to break that stuff in right Steve?!
Now that everyone’s bike was five pounds heavier, it was time to conquer the cart path.  For those of you who aren’t sure what the cart path is; meaning, if “cart path” sounds like something easy, relaxing (as in cart path:  golf, nice afternoons, coupla brews), and scenic…well, let’s just shift that train of thought, shall we?
The cart path, as it is deemed, is kind of scenic.  It is a smooth path, so it’s not very technical for us mountain bikers.  That makes it nice.  It goes past a golf course, so that’s nice too.  Now, take that mental picture.  Think about it for a second…take it in, ahhh yes…..  Now tilt it.  Put it in both hands and just tilt it.  UP…like, 50 degrees up….!!!  Suddenly, you aren’t really taking in the scenery any more; rather, you are glaring at the pavement just below you, taking in as much air as you possibly can to muster this thing!!!  And climb we did…pedal stroke after pedal stroke, foot by foot, we climbed.  The trees and shade fall away near the top and the pavement gives away to dirt…oh yea, when you hit the dirt section of this cart path, you can tilt that picture even steeper….and don’t even think about laying that picture flat until you’ve reached the ski lift.  Joe found the easy button for this one though, not sure where he hid it, but that little powerhouse cranked right past me in a sprint to the top!  Awesome!  At the top is a stunning view…on the clear days, you can see the Mackinaw Bridge from the top of Boyne Highlands!  Today, not so much; there was a little haze in the afternoon sky, but still a great view looking down at the landscape.
Once the oxygen began to even out and circulate back into my brain, I looked down and figured out what that resonant PANGGGGG!!! I heard from my bike a few miles ago; a darned spoke nipple gave away!  But luckily for me, the main body of the nipple was still attached to the spoke, and it was sort of resting inside the rim being held in place.  Score!
What goes up must come down!  From the top we followed Dirt Reverend Benson over the other side of the hill and wound our way through some very familiar singletrack, The Bridges, and snuck out the back side of Boyne on the newer, less beaten path towards Stutsmanville Road.  This part of the trail is pretty darn technical; you can’t really get much speed up because of how close some of the turns are and how close some of the trees are!  It’s nice to see this path getting some use, it’s beginning to get beaten in rather nicely and you don’t have to guess as much where the path goes.  Usually in cases like this, you call upon your skills of “Trail Braille”, where you sort of feel your way through the path when it becomes a little hard to read!  Which is totally different than using Trail Braille at night, but again, that’s another story…!
Once we spilled out onto Stutsmanville Road for the return stretch, it turned into a frantic, how fast can get my bike going, how high of a number can I get on my computer max speed indicator, race to where we started!  Any mud that held on to your tires for the last 5 miles of trail riding had no chance!  Shedding a chunk or two on the way down, the wind roared in your ears and the whizz of freewheels spinning to their maximum velocity kept everyone sharp and ready to attack once gravity’s advantage leveled out.  Everyone began sprinting as far as they could…I was so deprived of oxygen and spinning my knees off, that I cannot for the life of me remember who was out front…but I was somewhere in there and made it with the rest of the crew for another amazing Dirt Sermon.   We all reported max speeds down the hill of 40, 42, 43….and I’m pretty sure someone said 45…that’s haulin’!!!

Dirt Services, what a great way to finish off the weekends!!  Keep ‘em comin’!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

WNR # 10

Attendance: It was a big group, so my apologies if I forget anyone. Myself, Benson, Uli, Nick, Kevin, Matt, Jim, Bobbi, Cooper, Scott, Mitchell, Sarah, Lisa, Jess, Karen, Kerri, Amber*, Kathryn*, and Finn*. *denotes attendance but no riding.

Weather: Wonderful. Sunny and right around 60 degrees.

Trail Conditions: The singletrack at the HQ is in wonderful shape, but the rest of the trail (including Hugh's) is in need of a little TLC. There are a few trees down here and there, and Sammie's trails still need to be opened up.

So we had a huge group, and we were missing a few regulars! Dinner and post ride refreshments were awesome as always. Next weeks WNR is @ Kipp Rd. so get your climbing legs ready. I know there will be quite a few of us down for racing at Hanson Hills this Sunday. Good luck to all. I finally cobbled together a video of my Copper Harbor trip. It comes complete with an original score by yours truly. Please keep in my mind, that was the first time I'd picked up my guitar in about three or four years, enjoy.

Monday, May 23, 2011

WNR #8 - Ride of Silence

The fourth annual Ride of Silence-Harbor Springs was a success. The turnout was similar to past years but there were a LOT of new faces. Officially there were 56 riders signed in but I know a handful arrived late to join the procession. We opted to not have a vehicle escort for the ride and encouraged everyone to ride no more than two-abreast as allowed by law. I was thrilled to see that everyone tightened up the ranks and showed how to ride courteously & legally. We did have the support of the HSPD to aid in traffic control at a couple of intersections, just in case, but the group performed so well, we hardly needed it. I was fortunate to get Steve Foley from the Petoskey News Review to volunteer as the photographer and he took some wonderful pictures. You can view them all HERE or see them on the R of S-HS Facebook page. The weather was a bit chillier than the past couple (in the 50's) but no where near the brutal conditions we faced in our first year. We were one of 322 locations worldwide and I am proud to be a part of this event honoring cyclists that have been injured or killed while cycling on public roadways and to raise awareness encouraging everyone to Share the Road.

Again, I want to thank everyone that participated this year in our ride or another, volunteered in some way, supports our cause, wanted to but was unable to, has in the past and/or plans to in the future. Riding bikes is just plain fun and we'll continue to work to make it safe to enjoy an activity we love so much!

Monday, May 16, 2011

WNR #7 - SUPER-sized

Just a quick catchup post from last week's Super-Sized Ride. Not only was the ride larger, longer, faster AND had more climbing than normal but we had a HUGE turnout of 16 riders!'s the rider roster:

Myself (CB), Secret Steve (our super-fast ride leader) Uli, Bobbie, Action Chuck, Cheryl, Kevin, Karen, Chris M, Chris H, Racin' Rob, Damon, Lisa, & newcomers Cooper (though she did a snow ride in December), Damien F. and Jimmy D.

We rode the NCT from the Pleasantview township hall south to Kipp Rd. & back. As I noted, S.Steve took the lead and kept us at near redline (me at least) with a couple of appropriate stops for the stragglers to regroup. All in all, about 14 miles with over 1600' of climbing in about an hour and a half. Like I said, a bit of a Super-sized WNR...and this was without a few regulars that could have easily pushed the group over 20. Sorry no group photo as some of the players had to ske-daddle before everyone was back and for the late post (blogger had some technical issues.)

WNR #8 joins riders Worldwide for the Ride of Silence which meets locally @ 6:30pm downtown Harbor Springs (at the Harbormaster parking lot-250 E.Bay St. or find a location in your neighborhood.)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Copper Harbor #1

Just finished up my first ride up in Copper Harbor, and all I can say so far is "wow!". These trails are so sweet, it's almost indescribable. I'm going to take the camera tomorrow, so I'll have some stuff to share with the class shortly.

Untitled by wpeterg at Garmin Connect - Details

Semi-rustic camping conditions: Outhouse and no water, but I do have electricity so heat and the laptop are operational. No cell phone reception whatsoever, it really is the end of the road. I love it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

MSB Part 2

Go! I would get caught behind a fallen unskilled rider shortly after this on a sandy uphill. Unfortunately, that was the last I'd see of Secret Steve until the finish. He killed it, as usual.

Team photo.

It sure was a really well run race, especially for only the second year. The early start does lead to an early finish, which leads to early drinking, which you know leads to........... But I think a fun time was had by all of us, and I'm sure most of us will be back next year. It's a great way to kick start the season!

Monday, May 09, 2011

Mud, Sweat, and Beers Part 1

Race Report: 20 miles in the Expert 18-39 group. 25th out of 35, in 1:38. Considering my last ski race was only about a month and a half ago, I was okay with how the race turned out. It was definitely a change of pace to go from long endurance events over the winter right into flat-out cross country racing. In some ways it's easier. You don't really have to form a nutrition plan or worry about pacing. It's just full speed from the gun until it's over, that's it. In some ways it's harder. Going all out for just over an hour and a half hurts like a motherfu**er. At any rate, I've got some pictures and video from the race on my computer but I didn't bring it to town today since I was on my bike. I'm going to drive tomorrow so I'll bring it with me and post up some art. Until then.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

WNR # 6

Attendance: Myself, Benson, Secret Steve, A/C, Uli, Nick, Bobbi, Sarah, Cheryl, and Jess. James and Amber joined in for the after party and WIngs game.

Weather: Pleasant, 50is degrees and sunny.

Trail Conditions: Excellent. Not to pat myself on the back or anything, but I've really been trying to keep my portion of the trail cleaned up this year. So far so good. The rest of the trail was a tad sandy in spots but otherwise 100 % rideable.

Our kitchen is completely dismantled at the moment so dinner was a bit of an adventure, but we all still managed to have a good time. I believe next weeks WNR is on the NCT starting at Stutsmanville and heading south, but wait for Benson's email for the final confirmation. I'll report back after the race on Saturday. For now, a race report complete with photos from across the pond:

Here is a recap of Race 3 - April 23th – local club race – about 25 riders – fast 4 kilometer course in windy conditions– 18 laps. I continued where I left off the week before and decided I would just spend the day mixing it up. The first lap was a parade of the whole group and then things started to pick up. I kept close to the front to make sure I did not miss the break. With each acceleration, a few rides would get dropped. After about lap 3 laps the group of riders I was with had whittled down to 8 riders. The cat 1 and 2 riders had already checked out. Myself and one other rider took turns attacking and by the 5th or 6th lap we were down to 5 riders. Attached is a picture Denise snapped at about this point. I was going off the front again and I think another rider dropped. This continued until we were down to 3 riders (the other picture) and we continued a perpetually rotating paceline until the end. I spent the last two laps mostly at the front to help a teammate. Both the other guys soundly outsprinted me at the end but I finished overall pretty well….tired and smiling and no road rash. Did I mention that the course was flat….I checked the computer at the end…. a whopping 60 feet total of elevation gain after 72 k!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

PBR Freshener

Well, I gotta be sure that one of you have seen this, but figured, hey...I'll throw it in there anyways!  Post Bicycle Refreshment never smelled so good!!!

God bless cheap beer.

Sunday Service

Since most of the crew attended service on Saturday in order to watch the Wings lose on Sunday, it was just Matt and I in attendance Sunday morning. Had a good ride though.

WNR @ the HQ tonight without a kitchen. Wings are on at eight, and Red's Rye is on tap. I've got another report from across the pond, complete with photos. Look for it later in the week. Over and out.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

WNR(ained out)

Even though it looked like the rain might have been letting up, Benson and I decided that it would be poor trail stewardship to ride on the trails after two straight days of torrential downpour. Something about erosion I guess. We're going to try to make it up tonight, but so far the forecast is not looking too good. I've got all my stuff and bike at work, so I'm ready. Stay tuned and we'll make the call this afternoon. In the meantime, check out this funny video. Fu**ing roadies :) And people wonder why I don't go on the Sunday morning ride anymore.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

BIkepacking Adventure

Matt and I made our first overnight bikepacking trip this weekend. I must have totally purged the bad bike mojo two weeks ago on the Sunday from Hell because neither Matt nor I suffered single mechanical problem on the trail (even with the extra 30 lbs. that each of us was hauling around). We managed to mix up the route enough that we encountered everything from smooth pavement all the way to rough unkempt technical trail, and the gear all held up pretty well. That said, we were both strategizing on ways to drop the gear weight before we even got home yesterday. The ride: We left HQ a little before noon on Sunday and headed north. We hooked up with the NCT for a bit, and then swung through Cross Village to visit with Scott. From there we continued north all the way around Wycamp Lake and eventually around to the north end of O'neal Lake. There we found a wonderful, or maybe I should say spectacular primitive campsite right on the lake. It was situated on the end of a peninsula about 1/2 a mile from the main trail. We set up camp and camped well. We had a pretty leisurely morning waiting for it to warm up a little. We probably rolled out of camp around ten or so. Our first mission of the day was water. After a few twists and turns we ended up being able to refill at the pump outside the Nebo Cabin. From there we headed over to the NCT and took that south to the end of Sturgeon Bay. We had another visit with Scott when we passed through the VIllage, and we were able to say hi to Finn as well this time. Then it was home via some dirt and the shore. Awesome, Awesome trip! I can't wait to do something like that again. The numbers: Day one was about 34 miles and about 4.5 hours. Day two was 30 miles on the nose with about 3.75 hours on the move. My bike and gear weighed about 50 pounds, and my pack was about 9 with a full bladder and other assorted gear. Matt's rig came in at 57 pounds, but his pack was only 3 or 4 I think.

I took this shot right when we pulled into the driveway yesterday when we got home.

The next four are a random assortment of pictures from around camp. Matt is supposed email me some more pix later.