What did I learn racing Cyclocross?

Cyclocross is almost the exact opposite of a gravel race and only has some things in common with road or mountain bike racing. It forces the racer to "sit" right at my rev limiter and that pushes a type of fitness that most of "us" (meaning gravel, mountain bike, endurance etc.) type riders never use. Even compared to a crit it requires more constant high effort and similarly forces you to go past your threshold in bursts.

For what it's worth, my previous CX experience consisted of about a dozen local weeknight practice races over the last two years, 4 local "microcross" races and 4 official starts last year- 1 being a DNF in St. Cloud and the other 3 all taking place at Jinglecross 2010.

After the Dakota Five-0, which was a disaster for me, I was slow to get moving again. I knew that the end of the year was still far away and I remembered being burnt out and slow late in 2010. I wound up coasting along well into October before really doing any "training". This was partly by design and partly due to lazyness. I had the idea that the fall would be a good time to not do too much- I'd be ready to ride/race fast in Gentleman's Ride, the Heck of the North, Heroic and Dirt Bag because I would be fresh and I would hopefully leave the season still wanting for more and inspired to begin training hard for the next.

The plan worked well for the endurance races. I had known that my form was coming around since the Dairyland Dare and Jesse James Century rides. I also knew that my OCR was a fast bike setup and fit my style and needs well. The realization that aero bars could totally eradicate back pain has been huge! That combination allowed me to ride more aggressively than I ever had before and also to have more fun because I wasn't worried about DNFing or back pain etc..

We went to Copper Harbor for some mountain biking in Mid October and did race a CX race there, but I was woefully slow and generally felt "off" trying to get on that bike without enough practice. It was probably good to jump on it then if only to see how far I had to go.

That all left me with good "endurance" form and with just 6 weeks of cyclocross to go. At this point I had done 3 Tuesday night CX practices, the race up in Copper Harbor and a couple other short rides on the bike. I decided to dedicate as much effort as possible for those 6 weeks to CX and see what I could learn. I knew that 6 weeks wasn't really enough time to do as well as I "could" based on where I was coming from, but figured I could learn a lot by trying. I hoped to learn something that would help me in the future if/when I decide to put more emphasis on cyclocross.

Here is what I did and, briefly, what came out-


I had a cold this week, but wound up riding 8.75 hours. We rode 2 hrs at Levis-trow (this was the last day of our mtb trip), I commuted by bike, I went on one cx practice ride on Thursday and rode Eastwood with an emphasis on bike handling.

Races- I raced both weekend days. On Saturday I finished 18th of about 30 almost 5 minutes behind the Fred Mills. I thought I rode well, but was out of touch from the race from the start. On Sunday I was determined to stay more "in-touch" and rode very hard and mistake free to finish 12th around 2.5 minutes behind Fred Mills once again.


This was the Dirt Bag week- I had to put my CX goals on hold and rest for the race. I also wound up working 18 hours of overtime at work so only rode 6.75 hrs including the race. I shocked myself by winning the race, which I surely didn't deserve but am proud to have done.


Now it was time to get serious. I'd gotten beat up pretty good in all 3 CX starts thus far and only had a few weeks left to "get fast". I had to rest/recover from the Dirt Bag and found that I needed more days than expected. I was having trouble taking deep breaths all the way to Wednesday and although I rode I couldn't really push the CX type practice. The best I did was 2 easy laps of Eastwood, again focusing on bike handling. I also became fed up with the breathing problems and went back to the doctor again about them (last year I went though the same thing and wound up with no solution). This time I was prescribed Albuterol.

Racing- Saturday I had an early mechanical in the SS race, but felt I rode well in the cat 3 race where I finished 8th around 1.5 minutes behind the leaders. Sunday was the first time I tried the Albuterol and I found myself leading a much smaller field for much of the race. I wound up finishing 2nd to Brenden Bellew by a small amount. 2nd is much better than 8th, but I think the overall level of my riding was pretty similar both days this weekend. The USAc points value assigned to my finishes was about 295 both days which in some way confirms that as well.


I rode 10.25 hours this week. Again, I did one specific CX focused practice ride (this time was able to go "hard" and not just work on bike handling) and the rest was commuting. We also went up to the Icebox 240 where I rode my mtb hard for 90 minutes.

Saturday's race was a complete failure, I banged my bad knee on my bike at the start and more or less wimped out from there. I didn't want to risk any extra injury to that. Sunday I rode very hard out of the gun, made some mistakes but was pleased to find myself pulling people in after I spent a couple laps catching my breath. I didn't have a "good" race this weekend, but overall I felt like I was still getting stronger. The USAC points system correctly shows that I went slightly slower this weekend.


9 hours this week with two 45 minute practice cx races thrown in. I used my GPS to map lap times and speeds and really push myself. The rest of my hours were warm-up/cool-down and commuting.

Saturday was the State Championships where I rode pretty strong- I found myself looking at finishing between 4th and 12th or so based on my "form" and a late mistake dropped me to 9th. Overall, this was very solid for me. 61 people showed and a couple of the guys in front of me hadn't been at earlier races to beat me there. The Sunday race went very similarly- I thought I had a shot at top 5 but again fell back late, this time to 8th. I left knowing that I hadn't quite put together my best race, but feeling good overall. I could tell that I was still getting stronger and that I was definitely stronger than the week before. Somewhere this weekend I also began to feel comfortable getting on and off my bike. These were my best points value races thus far according to USAC.


7 hours this week. This time just one practice ride- a 45 minute practice race on Tuesday.

This was Jinglecross. Friday my back cramped right away. I believe this was due to using my Albuterol slightly differently and basically overdosing it. I corrected this for the rest of the weekend and avoided any problem. The MN guys did very well and I felt good going into the weekend about my prospects after watching them (Fred and Nils in particular). Saturday I had a strong ride and finished 11th on the toughest day of the weekend so far as the strength of the field was concerned. It was a close race and in the end a small mistake on the first time up the hill cost me a few spots. That said I couldn't have made the podium and 11th was respectable! Once again this was an improvement in the USAC points system with about a 260 (looking back that first race was 420 or so, seems very significant). Then Sunday, disaster struck and my derailleur hanger bent/broke. I left Iowa frustrated that I hadn't done better, but feeling like I "could" have if things had fallen my way a bit more.

So what did I learn?

cyclocross is incredibly fun- although, I guess, I already knew that

with a large endurance base it doesn't take too much cx specific training/racing to make big improvements. I have no idea how long it takes to hit a "plateau" though either.

6 weeks isn't enough- I felt I was still improving at the end and also would have benefitted from a week off somewhere.

Looking at the improvements I did make has given me ideas about how to plan my schedule for next year in order to try to get more out of cx. I think it also has ramifications about how I should schedule other types of races. I'm pretty sure that doing 3-4 expert mountain bike races in a row might REALLY net a lot of improvement similarly to how this racing did. This is the first time I've ever yet totally immersed myelf in one type of racing for any time period since mountain biking my first season. This is intuitive and obvious, but this experience really underlines it's importance. I think I can plan a schedule that allows for "pretty good" finishes in all of the types of races that I want to compete in.

Where does gravel fit in? I'm not sure- it seems like gravel endurance racing is the one type of racing that I do that really benefits from all other types of riding. No matter what type of riding I do it seems that it directly translates into greater strength/endurance as applies to gravel/endurace road riding, it's when I need more "high end" that I need to do more specific training.

No idea if this was at all interesting to anyone else, probably not... but it helps me to think it through.


FROSTCHESTER ride 12/17 and the Dickie Scramble is back on 2/11

Couple more winter rides/races!

No final details on the frostCHESTer ride yet other than the date- it will be organized for fat bikes and partying, but everyone will be welcome. Plans include a bonfire and food at a great local establishment. This may just be the de facto ironic fatbike criterium worlds.

Dickie Scramble (you'll have to copy and paste the link)-


Hope to see you at both of these, Triple D, Minnetonka Ice Race and the 1/29 untitled Almanzo course ride!


Adopt our Foster Dog Redbone Coonhound Danny Boy!

Outside of the 40 hours per week that I spend working there are two things which define the rest of my time, riding and dogs. As most of you know we have 3 great dogs of our own-

Dickie (inspiration for, and made famous, by the Dickie Scramble) is a Border Collie mix. He is my "favorite" and he knows it. He often sits beside me while I write and uses bar stools, patio furniture etc. "like a good human". He spent most of his first 9 months running free near Blue Earth and fending for himself. Dickie and I have similar personalities.

Sam is an ornery 13 year old beagle. She lived with one family for 11 years before they gave her up. She was pretty misbehaved when we first got her, but that still seems crazy.

Lucky is a German Shepherd Dog. He was our first dog and was originally given up because he was hit by a car. He lost part of his tail in the accident and has some scarring on his legs. He is very athletic and shows no sign of the injuries bothering him.

We also have two cats, but I'll let Laura write about them if she wants to. A while back I wrote this-

About our 3rd cat "Balls", who sadly died of Lymphoma within a year.

Over the last two years we have also fostered 8 other dogs. Fostering is always an interesting process and often can be a lot of work, but is always rewarding. We are fortunate to have 3 great dogs of our own who help us to do some of the work when it comes to training the new ones.

Danny Boy has been with us for quite a while now. He was found running, but had been cared for by a vet and was neutered. It appears he had a good home who gave up on him (the only command he knew was "speak"). He has become a well behaved friend who loves going for car rides and walks, never has accidents in the house and loves to curl his 102 degree body up beside us in bed. As would be expected for his breed he can be loud and excitable, but only when provoked by the situation. We also have not spent enough time working on his recall when outdoors, but in the house he comes immediately treats or not. He is food motivated and will be easy to train once he gets used to his new family. He spends his days kenneled and is "ok" with that. He does well with our other dogs and cats, but because of his history should not go to a family with small children. I would love to find a good home for Danny soon in order to make room for another foster.

Please also contact me or comment if you are interested in fostering yourself, we can help point you in the right direction.

more Jinglecross photos

These are Saturday pictures- it was MUDDY and raining. Didn't take many. Today was not raining but the mud turned to stickier/deeper mud. I don't think I was alone in having a mechanical.


Friday night Jinglecross photos

Really fun to watch the racing! A few of the MN cat 3 guys had good nights, particularly Fred Mills who got 2nd. Full results are available on the rest of the internet. I blew myself up- focusing on rest of weekend.


random thanks


The Loris is great. She is beautiful, driven, funny, caring and centered. I shouldn't use what she isn't to describe her, but what she isn't is important... she isn't pretentious, overbearing, caught up in things that don't matter. She let's me focus on what I think is important and supports it without questioning. She is key to all that I do.

Finding bike racing. I wouldn't be nearly as happy or healthy if I hadn't. This endeavor just keeps expanding, I never would have thought that I'd find as much in it as I have, in just a couple of years too.

Being able to commute by bike in my city. For all of the complaining that I do, or despite of it, I have been able to ride my bike to work around 75% of all days for the last 3 years. I've been lucky enough to remain safe, I've seen the city in a different and more positive light. Commuting is good for my soul.

That our political system is so messed up that it can't really be derailled... there are a lot of people with agendas I'm totally against, but it seems like no one can really change anything either way.

My Nokian studded tires. It's not fun to fall on your butt.

Everything Almanzo.

Being able to write, albeit however poorly I do so. I don't know if anyone ever actually reads any of this stuff, but it helps me to write it. Along with riding, writing has done a lot for me recently. Good thing my elementary school put so much emphasis teaching writing. I used to get behind in my "Journals". The process organizes and clears my mind, brings me focus.

The obvious stuff- my health, the health of my family etc.. I don't write about my siblings enough. I'm very grateful that my parent's have been attending some of my CX races this fall and have been so supportful.

All of the time I spent ski racing, golfing etc., sports have shaped who I am more than anything else. I call on lessons learned in all aspects of my life, not least of all at work and in my relationships.

That I have figured out a way to apply some of the skills I learned working on cars to cycling. Working with carbon is pure fun for me, so much so that almost I'm GLAD I DON'T have an engineering degree and do it for my "real" job... lest it lose it's pull.

For the dogs. They inform my behavior more than I should admit (insert relevent Atmosphere lyric here if you know it).

Have a great thanksgiving!


Mn State CX championships (cat 3) and gp zac daab

State CX weekend-

First off, go check out almanzo.com for my review of the Banjo Brother's commuter backpack and a few other new updates. I'll take some pictures of my winter rig sometime soon and post them up here or there with information with the idea being as a sort of "one man's" ideas for what might work on January 29th...

Pictures (My Mom and Tim Werts took these- they are all of me, of course?)

This weekend was the State CX Championships and we finally had the kind of weather that should accompany all cyclocross races. Some people were saying the conditions were "epic" or crazy or whatever, but really it just seemed about right. The courses were always rideable and the snow added some legitimacy and beauty to the scene more than anything else.

Saturday was the championship day. My warm-up went well and my staging was good enough. I would have been able to get the holeshot if I had needed to from the 3rd row. Of course, at this point my first 30 seconds is better than my next 45 minutes and I didn't quite push it that hard. I found myself running in 3rd, and soon 4th in a bit of a fight with Ronald Williams for the spot. Mitch Nordahl, Kesha Zavyalov and Charlie Simacek were significantly getting away from the beginning. Considering that 5 weeks ago I would have likely finished 40th-50th in this field of 61 riders... (I was almost 5 minutes behind Fred Mills in that first race back in Marine on St. Croix). I was feeling good, but wanted to make sure I wasn't working too hard too early. I dialed it back a bit and dropped to 5th and then 6th. I knew if I held my effort as it was going I would be having a race I would be very proud of. Somehow I then worked my way back to 4th! At that point Fred Mills had switched bikes and dropped back to me (he is definitely faster) and I was able to grab his wheel for a while. At that moment I knew that if I held his wheel and just rode mistake free that I'd be getting an awesome free ride to a great finish. I'm not sure if we were pulling closer to the lead or not, but we were definitely dropping the 3 man chase group with Brandom Manske, Dan Wheeler and Martin Rudnick behind us. I remember noticing that they had 3 people all together and being grateful for Fred. After a lap of that goodness almost simultaneously I tripped over a barrier and splatted right on my face, the group of 4 caught me, I killed myself and pulled them up to Fred, I touched his wheel and almost fell but did miss a key shift and that entire group of 4 then rode away. I was left to hustle hard to hold off Matt Leizinger and Justin Reinhart to finish 9th. All in all it was a very solid finish for me and a really enjoyable race. Congratulations to Mitch Nordahl for the win! I'd write about how things shook down up there if I had any idea.

Sunday was much the same. The big differences were that I felt freer to attack (absolutely nothing to lose) and as such I did take the holeshot and try to make something of it and that my "big mistake" possibly cost me even more. This time I fell just before starting the final lap and my chain popped off, but I didn't figure it out right away and hopped back on. In the end it cost me 0 or maybe 4 spots depending as I'd been in a group of 4 at the time. Today I added a n-gear jumpstop to my bike. I was able to install it in a manner which works well with the front derailleur and should prevent such an issue from occuring again at Jinglecross or in the future.

Overall, I'm very happy with my progress in cyclocross over the last 6 weeks. I hope I have time next year for the full season. This may be the one discipline of cycling that I really do "full-time" while it's on in the future. It's definitely worth it fun wise and I can really see the benefit of doing more of the races. It also can't be beat that spectators can actually come out and SEE the race.

Wish me luck at Jinglecross- I'll be starting on the front row and riding as aggressively as I can.


epic rides and a random update

It took me all of the spring and a good bit of the summer to build up to it. I was working 3pm-1:30 am shifts and I would wake up around 9:30 and get out the door by 10. I knew I had about 3.5 hrs of ride time if I wanted to come back, shower, eat and ride to work without a huge rush. Whitewater was about 30 miles from my place. I first made it just to Eyota, then to Dover and then St. Charles. Often I could barely walk the next day. At least twice a week I tried. Sometime in August...

Random updates-

Went out too hard on Sunday in the cx race (wasn't really sure that was possible until I did it). Took a couple laps to recover, but overall I made a good effort. I feel good heading into the end of the season stuff... all in all I've had a positive last 6 or 7 weeks.

I picked up a very nice Nikon digital SLR and a couple of lenses last week from adorama.com. Hopefully I'll be able to get some good quality shots and improve my blogging. At the very least, expect more photos.

I also managed to get my hands on a Garmin 705 BIKE specific GPS unit... maybe it won't fall off during every gravel race. I am testing it out today by tracking my commute. Thanks to Bicycle Sports (Bob and Dave in particular) for hooking me up with a good deal, and thanks to Laura for an early Christmas present!!!! She earned herself a shot out... here's the Loris-


more cyclocross and health stuff

Supposed to be the winding down, fun part of the season. Bad situation today had me pulling out of the race early... banged bad knee very hard coming off the line, no good. Going back for more tomorrow, then 5 more Cat 3 starts and 3? SS starts over next two weeks.

Somewhat related, so finicky the way I feel in cx. My results so far are all over the place. Even more so, I've just felt all over the place physically. Not sure how to get the good feeling on command. It's just that some days I'm totally comfortable at red line, others I can't even get there. Hopefully more good moments with each week. Need to keep going so that I can lean what goes in to get the good stuff out... only place I know what to put in to get the good stuff out right now is gravel, not racing on gravel right now.

Part of this all goes back to my being sick last fall and the cold air issues that I've had with breathing. I've got a few prescriptions and other tools to use, but they don't all work together exactly as expected, necessarily. Will post more about this later, when I get things figured out a bit better. It's currently so random to me there is no point in even putting my thoughts down.

For what it's worth- all the other Rochester guys were top 10 today in the 3 race! Good work guys. Pretty strong group of Cat 3 cx guys from down here, it was fun to watch them. Trevor rode to 2nd on that repaired Jamis Nova Pro.


Drew's 11 thoughts about how to race gravel road races as prompted by Mr. Farrow

IIn response to Mr. Farrow

Here is my list of 11. I am not really sure it's 11 different ideas. I'm also pretty sure I wouldn't have written a lot of them down if he hadn't prompted me. I feel a bit like I'm sharing something I shouldn't. what do I know anyways?

1. Ride like a dog- They have no governor, no fear, just pure joy. When I take them to the trails they surge and fly without boundaries. I strive to attain such honor. Embracing this joy, which sometimes looks like aggressiveness, has made me faster.

2. Ride a whole lot- The more you ride the faster you go.

3. Ride slow- The old guys did it back in the day, miles and miles of "base". The 4 hr a week cyclists bible to success type bullshit is just that.

4. Avoid the gym (it's even more detrimental to the cyclist than running)- if you are in the gym you aren't riding. When's the last time you saw a dog in the gym? I weigh 190 lbs as it is! A few years back when I decided to get fit again I spent way too much time in the gym, I stopped about 2 years ago.

5. Slam that Stem- You must be comfortable, true... but ride the FASTEST bike you can. There is no excuse lamer than complaining about your "slow" bike, well, unless it's complaining about your super expensive, quasi-artisinal, unobtainium, slow bike. This doesn't necessarily mean the fast bike will be faster, rather that you won't have the option of blaming your bike. I learned this at the Royal 162. One could argue that my Look 585 with 30c tires wasn't the ideal bike... but I knew it was my fastest bike and that I had no excuse not to ride my absolute best. I also learned it in 2010 when my bike was slow and I had too many excuses.

6. Don't give yourself excuses- If they are available you will use them. This means preparation beyond belief. See various races that I've quit over the years. Think through every aspect of your fit, gearing, clothing, food, water etc.. pay careful attention to your maps and computers (redundancy when it comes to odometers is ideal).

7. Know when to fold 'em- Don't be afraid to quit and stop your losses. This goes against the overall ethos of these events. I am not afraid to quit. If you believe in yourself and your own toughness you can pull the plug without shame. Do so when the benefit doesn't outweigh the loss. I quit Dirty Kanza this year, i was able to take a wonderful trip to the Upper Pensinsula soon thereafter and race the Keeweenaw Chain Drive. I would have been wrong to keep racing. Don't care what other people think.

8. Embrace Winter- Nothing you do the rest of the year can train the excuses out of you as much as riding in the winter.

9. There is no such thing as toughness- It is all just in the training. The "it never gets easier, you just get faster thing"... it's true. I'm a wimp. My girlfriend pokes me in the ribs and I scream like a little girl. I avoid pain and whine about things when I'm hurt. When people tell me they don't have the "toughness" to do what I do on the bike I tell them the truth; the only reason I can do it is because it's not hard after the training.

10. Don't get lost- Riding the wrong direction quickly cancels out anything good you've done recently. The list of gravel races I haven't got lost in is short and I exceeded my expectations in all of them.

11. Eat- The more I eat on the bike the faster I go. This is so easy to forget and so important to remember. It shouldn't be number 11.

12. Blogging- number 12 'cause its not about riding. Ignore, spurn, insult others 8n your blog at your own risk... but don't be afraid to speak your mind.


First Snow

First Snow

It was just a couple of flakes. Huge and sticky, falling through the 33 degree air. They drifted then wavered before touching down on the warm ground as if they knew they would be immediately swallowed. Outkast blared through my headphones and I virtually? danced my bike down the singletrack, out of my neighborhood toward the city. I was halfway to work and they stopped again before I was much further.

The sight invigorated me. I've always loved the first snow. For most of my life it's been a sign of winter coming, of skiing. Skiing has always been the focus of my year. It hit me that I no longer ski much, that it hurts my knee and that I live in a place where the best places aren't too much fun for me to ski. It hit me that I was sad about this, that the flakes were a sign of something I had lost. Memories flooded back. I will always love skiing out west. What I miss here is the racing and it won't come back, is just memories. Master's racing holds nothing for me, nor does going back to what I've already done.

It was only a moment before I smiled; I thought about Jinglecross, and then the races coming fast, almost continuously after February. Only 3 months to get ready. This is a new beginning just as much as it always was.


untitled: January Gravel Ride On Some of the Old Almanzo Course


Information posted now- In short, close to 70 miles of Almanzo Gravel on January 29th. Studs or Pugsleys recommended but not necessary. A sense of adventure and some warm clothes WILL be necessary. This could be brutal.

Also, there are some other new/interesting things posted over there right now.

I'm sure coming with for the ride below (This Sunday) would help you come January 29th.

11/13/11 Ride To Royal's Grave

Here is the approximate route. I'll be leaving no later than 10am.


Will be no drop- hopefully 12-15 mph average? Will take a while.

I went out there last year and left him some gravel for good luck. I'll be doing it again whether anyone else can make it or not.

speshysilence@gmail.com for more information


year of races in brief

I've somewhat deliberately stopped posting too many details of my training. I am going to post all the races I did last year and make brief comments when applicable. My hope is that you might look at it and use it to help plan your schedule in the future. I will also personally use it to look back on- obviously, you are basically reading my diary here a lot of the time.

1/16 Triple D- snowmo, 4th, 1st non-fatbike. Duel with Ben Shockey. This is a great race and a great time
2/12 Dickie Scramble- snomo, tied 1st with Trevor. I put this on last year- won't happen this year, instead come on the January Almanzo course ride.
2/26 CIRREM- road/gravel, 5th. Big fall and too slick of tires cost me. Really like this course and the overall vibe.
3/5 Iowa Spring Classic- road/gravel, 2nd in 4/5 race
3/12 Iowa spring Classic- road/gravel, 1st in 4/5 race
3/19 Iowa Spring Classic- road/gravel, 3rd in 4/5 race, All of the Iowa Spring Classic races are well organized, reasonably priced and enjoyable.
4/16 Durand Road Race, road, pack finish- off front for a bit and TIRED!. Hilly course but doesn't favor climbers. Cold day! May attend in future.
5/3 Eastwood MTB race- mtb, 3rd, Tuesday night training race in Rochester
5/5 Tri-rochester TT- road tt, 22.3 mph, windy, 1st non-aero.
5/14 Royal 162- road/gravel, 5th. Tough day, my favorite race of the year.
5/22 WORS Rhinelander- mtb, FAIL. Good course and camping.
6/4 Dirty Kanza- road/gravel, FAIL. Can't handle the heat.
6/9 River Falls Thursday race- mtb, 2nd. My favorite Thursday night mtb training race.
6/11 Death Race- road, 1st. All road free racing!
6/12 Cuyuna Grand Opening- mtb, CUT TIRE. Disorganized race, not my favorite trail yet? either, hope it gets better!
6/18 Keeweenaw Chain Drive- mtb, 18th (broke chain cost me 6 spots), love riding up there, awesome course, will return.
6/29 Eastwood MTB race- mtb, win.
7/2 Spam Jam/Freedom Fest- road, pack finish. Boring course, downhill straight finish, sprinters race, only will go back because it's close.
7/4 Northfield Crit- road, 4th in 4/5. First crit, awesome time.
7/10 Clear Lake Road Race- road, pack finish (was off front alone), flat course!
7/12 Dakota Tech crit- road, quit. Training crit at Dakota Tech, fun time.
7/14 River Falls- mtb, 2nd.
7/24 Southside Crit- road, 2nd in 4/5. Really cool place for a race.
7/26 Summit Crit- road, 3rd in 4/5. Dakota Tech as well.
7/31 Elk River MMBS, FAIL. Heat.
8/2 Genoa TT (tri group)- road tt, non-aero
8/7 Thoren Heuval Kermesse- road, 3rd in 4/5, hill finish!
8/9 Genoa TT- road tt, 3rd w. aero stuff, windy.
8/13 Dairyland Dare- road, awesome ride and terrain. highly recommended
8/16 Genoa TT, road tt, 2nd.
8/23 Genoa hill climb tt, road tt, 2nd (most all fast guys showed up)
8/28 Sugar Bottoms Iowa- mtb, 8th, raced well, love this course.
9/4 Dakota Five-o- mtb, issues!. I had bad weekend race wise, but the party, prizes etc. were all lesser than last year. Last year I DNF and had better time overall... next year I try the Copper Harbor festival instead?
9/13 cx practice at Eastwood- cx, 2nd.
9/20 cx practice at Eastwood- cx, 3rd.
10/1 Heck of the North- road/gravel, 20th(ish). Lost GPS and lots of time finding it/flatting. Lovely course, great race.
10/4 cx practice at Eastwood- cx, flat.
10/8 The Heroic- road/gravel, win. Fun time! Great course.
10/8 Holzinger Hot Lap- mtb. Survived! Come to this!
10/16 Keeweenaw Cup- cx. 8th? broke wheel, switched bikes. CX race at Keeweenaw mountain lodge! Epic.
10/22 MN CX in Marine on the St. Croix- cx, 18th in 3s. Boring course, not good for spectating
10/23 Mn CX in Ham Lake- cx. 12th in 3s. Awesome course, great spectating, great event.
10/29 Dirt Bag- road/gravel. 1st!!! Great season ending endurance type race.
11/5 Mn CX at Blaine- cx. 9th in 3s. Decent course, no hills.
11/6 Mn CX in Rockford- cx, 2nd in 3s. Great course! Grass, sand, singletrack, big downhill/uphill.

Still have 5 more cx starts. Will update this with those later.


Some cyclocross pictures- rattail cx Rockford Mn

Both Tim and I tried to take some pictures during the race today. My camera sucks so not a lot of them turned out. Also, we both wound up taking more pictures of each other than anything else. I know I was running around the course cheering more than taking pictures too. Also, Tim did a way better job than I did (and had a few more laps to take more pictures during).

Tim Werts chasing the eventual Cat 4 winner on the run-up

Werts leaving the singletrack (there was an awesome fast singletrack section on this course!)

Cat 4 podium. Wish I'd gotten more Cat4 pictures, but the race was super short. Did get a video of the first lap as they rode through one of the sand pits... hope to post it tomorrow.


Early pictures of the run-up

there was about 3 laps of this... Brendan would eventually beat me with a solid push on the last lap.

Too bad all the grass and gravel turns don't photograph great

this was some good camera work by Tim!

the 1st couple chasers on the run-up. My hammering a bit after Brendan got away... thinking about trying to pull him in at that point.

looking back down the course before going into 2nd place V formation

3 podium


More Cup O' Dirt

My mind has been mentally clicking off, relaxing with the knowledge that cyclocross is all that is "left". Then I sent in my last "cupdate" only to realize that I'm 1 metric and 1 full century away from Cup O' Dirt superstardom. When will I find time? Can I find the motivation?

Of course these will be much harder than most of my rides as I'll be forced to ride a metallic-type bicycling tool. Who knows if I can even ride at all without carbon...

I'm sure it will be worth any sacrifice come Triple D when I receive all of my earned Chalici(?) Chalis' (?) and bring them to the Busted Lift http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g37853-d247708-Reviews-The_Busted_Lift-Dubuque_Iowa.html for ciders and guinness.