Thursday, December 12

2013 Cyclocross States Wrap Up.

After Sunday's race at Bloomer and the course recon on Saturday I was feeling very comfortable and ready to get this race started. Arrived early and set up shop by the barriers and was excited! Felt like Christmas morning. Opted to stay off the trainer and keep doing laps between races. Tried different lines, late breaking, looking for rocks and roots to avoid. Taking notes on track in and out points. I was feeling great and comfortable. Arrived at the line and mistake 1 of 2 happened. Had to line up second row and now I was at the mercy of others.

It's on! Start was normal but jammed up. I was near the back of the 35+ group so the goal was to keep an eye on Alex and Osgood.  Both have been riding the strongest lately and would be the biggest threat. Osgood was insight but Alex was up about 10-15 guys. Got by some guys then settled in until the long climb before the barriers. The pace was high and everyone was laying it down on the open sections. I couldn't make much ground until we hit the sand. Not in the sand itself, but after. I was riding the steps while most if not all were running. It paid off. I was on the gas sooner and able to go faster before the asphalt straight. I past 4-5 guys quickly and was now hunting down the leaders.

They were ahead of me by quite a bit so bringing them back was going to take time. I put my head down and kept looking forward. Even so, I could see Osgood and Simon on the turns and knew they wouldn't give up. Both are fighters and wanted the win too. I had to look ahead and hit my marks, the race was in front of me. Midway thru lap 2, on the grassy climb, I see guys down. It's Alex and Steve? How did they crash here? (visit for more details) So now only 2 remain, Wade and Brian. Don't know much about Wade but Brian was having a great season and if he was on this was not going to be easy. Lap 2 is done and I'm gaining ground. I think I catch mid lap and stay on Brian's wheel until just before the sand. He takes a wide line around the pines and I come along side. He yells to go so the gas gets pushed. Through the sand, up the steps and full throttle. I'm opening a small gap behind and am leading the race!
From Lap 4 to 6 the focus is on going as hard as possible without blowing up. I can still see Osgood and Simon behind and Adam Mac is coming into view ahead. He would be my new carrot. On lap 5 I catch a glimpse of Alex with Osgood? Were did he come from? Is he on the lead lap? Just keep racing. By the end of lap 6 Alex has bridged up. I ask if he is on the lead lap and he says 'Yep'. We have a race now.
Lap 7 and 8 Alex sits in and I finally catch Adam Mac at the beginning of the lap. Adam is slower on the turns but onto the straights he is gapping me off and I can't pass before we get into the turns. Going into lap 9 Alex comes around down the start finish. Adam falls back to third wheel and I'm bracing for the move. I'm holding Alex's wheel fine and feel he's not going all out. I sit and wait for the moment. I feel the moment is though the sand and first up the steps on the last lap. All is going to plan until mistake 2 of 2. Alex and I hit the sand, I go for the pass and wash the front wheel a bit. I lose about 10 feet. He's first over the steps and he is going now! I give all I can but can't close quick enough. He makes the horseshoe turn and is headed for the finish straight. I stand and go again but the gap isn't coming down. I'm second again!
I'm happy with how I raced. I gave my all and almost puked when it was all over. Alex was the stronger man and having battled make after the crash proved it. Thank you Adam McIntyre for the class move and letting Alex and I race.
Thank you Tailwinds for all you do. I appreciate having cyclocross in our state. I hope that others will realize that it's what we make of it. Not what 'you' can create. Change is good but others need to believe and help make the scene happen.
Thank you to the racers, fans, my wife and boys. I've had fun this season. It's been a battle for me personally. On more than one occasion I thought about dropping down to Cat 3. I didn't like being last every week, I hated getting lapped. I stayed put and dug deep and I'm a better person for it.
Not sure about the others fields but this seasons Masters 35+ was great. The guys raced hard, clean and made every weekend a pleasure. I understand cyclocross and racing isn't 'please and thank you'. When racers respect each other thou it makes for a good scene.
Maybe next year I'll be ready to race sooner? Time will tell.
Next stop BRX. I'll be in the 36 miler. I plan on winning and I'm shooting for the overall.
Haters keep hating. It keeps a smile on my face.

Tuesday, December 10

Saturday, December 7

What it's all about come Sunday!

See you Sunday for Michigan's Last Fight of 2013!

Thursday, December 5

Something's Wrong Here

Predicted Race Quality: 203.50
PlaceNameTeamCity, StatePoints
1Alex Monte-SanoTwo Wheel Tango Cycling ClubAnn Arbor, MI203.50
2Simon BaileyTwo Wheel Tango Cycling ClubAnn Arbor, MI218.12
3John OsgoodTeam SandbagKimball, MI219.49
4Wade BurchCFT-Sinas Dramis LawLansing, MI220.10
5Peter ThompsonSpecializedOrtonville, MI222.19
6Benjamin ChristianCycletherapyNovi, MI223.20
7Brian WachlarzVentus Cycling TeamRoyal Oak, MI237.90
8Jarod MakowskiBelle Tire / CXCTroy, MI276.28
9Ron StackCyclefit Sports ClubFenton, MI310.88

Friday, November 29

Bloomer 1 & 2 - What a difference a day makes.

Day 1- Not having raced very far in Ann Arbor, not touching a bike all week and the last day venue change from LOHS, I was pretty unmotivated for racing day 1 on Saturday.  It was a cold, windy morning and folks that had been out on the course said it was hilly and technical.  That's a mixed bag for me. So I went through the normal routine of warm up, etc. and then to the line for the whistle. 

Off we go and I'm swallowed up by the 45+'ers and headed for the right turn.  I'm near, if not at the back of the group, sitting behind Mike Seaman and Todd Frerich and feeling comfortable but not great.  We go around for 2-3 laps with no major changes. Sometime around mid race Todd takes the bait and decides to ride the velodrome  hill.  He runs out of steam and falls over like a shot deer.  He takes out the stake, ribbon and is now stuck in his bike.  It was the highlight of my race.  Mike and I continue to ride on.  I try and pull away towards the end but the asphalt section after the sled hill prove to be too much for me.  I  roll in a lap down to Sven and last place on the day.

That afternoon I decide to have a few Two Hearted and some Thai food to easy the disappointment.

Day 2- Slept well and was feeling very relaxed.  Got to the venue earlier to check out the changes and it was even colder than yesterday.  Decided not to hit the trainer at all during warm up, instead ride the course between races and spend the other time staying warm.  Legs felt great and not soar from yesterday.  The wife and boys were coming to watch. So today was the day to go all in and see what happens.

Whistle blows and I find the peddle fast, stand and sprint most of the way down the straight.  Making the right hander I'm where I need to be, behind Osgood, Alex and Pete T.  Through the technical section I have now problems and the race feels very comfortable. I'm already thinking about the two climbs on course.  We hit the woods climb and I have no problem holding wheels. Next is the sled hill.  Turn the horseshoe and up the climb.  It hurts but I'm there, we hit the asphalt and guys are shifting down.  I react but it's slow, I don't lose much ground but I sense a little panic.  I settle down and battle my way back through the barriers and start finish.  I'm back on the group and the selection is made and we have a gap.

We hold each other for most of lap 2 and catch Adam Mac.  He's holding us up after the woods climb and Alex pleads for him to move over.  Not sure if he did or not but passing the pits Pete and Osgood decide it's time to go and get around.  Alex and I choose the left, rocky decent down towards the sled hill.  Just before the chicane Alex pulls over with a flat. I get around and now it's down to 3. Up the hill and Osgood goes around Pete and goes again.  Pete and I are losing ground but are still in touch.

Going into lap 3 things are a bit fuzzy.  I do remember that this is when Osgood drops his chain on the downhill before the sled climb.  I attack hard and need to gain as much ground as possible. Across the start / finish and I'm leading!  No one behind me and I'm freaking out.  I decide to go all out for another lap and see what happens.  The gap is growing and about 20-30 seconds over 2nd.  I'm not sure I can continue this pace and back off a bit because that hill is killing me. 

Over the next several laps I can see that Osgood has found Adam Mac and they are gaining ground. Every lap I can see Osgood getting closer and closer.  I fight to stay ahead and Alex Monte-Sano even overs me a few bucks if I can hold Osgood off.  The hill is too much for me and with 3 to go Osgood has bridged up.  Over the start finish he attacks and I react slowly but am able to got back on his wheel. I hold until the sled hill, where he gaps me off once we hit the asphalt. 

This is how it goes for the remainder of the race.  I can see him, just can't get all the way back.  I come across second and raced hard.  It was great being back in the mix.

Even though we are competitors we still cheered each other on during the race.  I think that is awesome.  Great respect to everyone in the Masters 35+. It's been fun watching.  One more to go and Addison is a good place for me. I'm feeling confident and look forward to putting up a fight.

Thanks to all for the cheers, pics and conversation.

Monday, November 11

CX - Vets Park - ANN ARBOR

I was really looking forward to this race.  My fitness is starting to come around and I was ready to put up a fight.  Warm up laps felt great and the wind didn't seem to bother me much. So what happened?

The whistle blows and I settle in the group up the asphalt climb.  Coming to the horseshoe I knew we would be running, not riding.  Bike is down and ready to remount when, crack! Someone steps on my wheel and the carbon is done, my race is done! I wrap my spoke and continue riding for another lap but the wheel is getting way outa whack.

I can only assume the dent is from his foot.
I did see some racing though and want to give props to Brain Wachlarz and John Osgood.  Brian went off the gun strong and kept it going but John had different plans.  He was going to chase him done a little at a time. with 3 to go he caught Brian and didn't hesitate to push the pace.  John started riding away and Brian couldn't hold on.  John Osgood for a great win! Congratulations to you both for a great race.  I'll be ready for the 2 days of Lake Orion and look forward to battling at the front.

Monday, October 7

Not Last, 3 First and an 8th

My first CX race at Lower Huron and I wasn't disappointed.  I liked the layout and the fact that conditions where wet made the day even better.  I was feeling loose and ready to see if I was gaining on the other Masters guys.  Having finished dead last ALL season, there was only one way to go. I went through the normal prerace routine and then put on the new racing colors for their first CX race.  Lined up behind Lako and wait for the whistle.

Off we go and I miss my left peddle, can't get clipped and find myself behind the 45 guys heading down the opening straight.  Here we go again.  Racing off the back.  I stay calm and know it's time to get on that wheel in front.  We hit the first few turns and I'm back on before the sand.  I mark Todd F. and decide he's the first carrot.  I stay with him and feel good.  We are catching guys and making ground.  I'm still feeling good and decide to push forward.  I was holding well on the asphalt straights but felt held up on the grass so I knew when I needed to make my move.  I'm not sure how many times or on what laps but I past several guys coming off the back straight and over the barriers.  My weakest point on the course was the slick climb, I lost a few spots there. and it's something I need to work on.

It wasn't the best race I ever had.  I finished 8th.  It was, by far, the best race of this season.  I didn't get lapped and I finished 1:30 off second place.  Given that they lapped me at Ithaca, I'll take it for now. 

Won't be at Mad Anthony this year because of the conflict with P2P.  Thanks again to all who cheered and took photos.

The Masters 35+ group is deep and very competitive this year.  A solid group of strong guys.  Vets park will be tough given the hilly terrain.  I have a month to get ready and hope to be in the mix.  Great racing with everyone.

Congrats to Lako on his top 5 and Alex for his late Birthday win.

Monday, September 23

2 Days of Being Off the Back.

Two days of cyclocross at Waterford Raceway this weekend and not any highlights from me.  Felt good both days and liked the layout, unfortunately that didn't help with my results. My fitness is still way off the rest of the group.  This weekend was better than Ithaca but I'm not used to going that hard for that long.  I'll keep showing up, fighting and finishing. 

The other guys I race with are great.  Everyone seems to respect one another and that helps when the whistle blows.  Everyone races hard but guys aren't taking one another out.  Before and after the race we talk, pre-ride and help each other if needed.  It makes for a great experience and keeps me wanting more.

Great racing by Brian W and Andy F on Day 2.
Tough Break to Osgood on another tire issue.
Thanks to all we cheered and supported me.

See you at Lower Huron.

Sunday, September 8

It's Cross Season Now!

My first time racing the Ithaca GP and I will remember it for a long time.  The venue was great and everything ran smooth.  The field for the Masters 35+ was stacked and my goal for the day was to finish.  It's still early for my 'fitness' and not having raced since Barry Roubaix I knew the day was going to be very tough.

I registered early so was lined up on the front row.  I was in good spirits and feeling loose, just waiting for the whistle.  Off we go and from the gun I'm going backwards. Guys quickly getting by, my legs not doing what I want.  I complete the first 2-3 laps and try to settle in and salvage something.  It's not working.  The tank is already drained and all I can hope for now is to not blow ski high and to just finish.

I keep it going, get lapped, see Osgood walking and have a chat. Two more laps left and I'm done.  Not much of a race for me.  Instead it was a character builder and motivator.  Hopefully the worst is behind me and I'm more prepared for the 2 days at Waterford.

Great seeing everyone.  Thanks to all who cheered me every lap.  Congratulations to all the winners, finishers and first timers.

See you in 2 weeks.

Sunday, August 25

Not Cross Season Yet.

This week is going to be HOT!
Temps in the upper 80's - 90.

Sunday, August 18

Just because.......

It's 1:00 am on a Saturday Night (morning).  I'm returning from the Kid Rock concert and probably have had 1 too many beers. So let's do this!
For several years I have considered managing my own cycling team. The premise is based around  Michigan companies and people who I respect, support and believe in.
The team culture isn't based on results. It's about people with a who cares attitude,  who ride and race because they LOVE IT! Almost an oxymoron. We will support everyone we can, regardless if you wear our kit or not.  We are all part of the cycling community. 
Why do this?
Why not. 
This is my plan for the coming future.  A way to give back to a sport and life I love.  Will it last? Will it suck ass? Who knows?
You have to try.
Love it.
Hate it.
Support it.
Hope it fails. 
I hope not. 
I have a plan.  It may not be pretty at times, but I believe it will be work.
See you this fall.

Sunday, August 11


One More Week. I just got back from family vacation.

Tuesday, July 16

Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock

The days, weeks and months go by.
 Soon this warm air will give way to cool mornings, falling leaves and my favorite time of the cycling calendar.
Change is coming in my little world.
Soon, very soon.

Sunday, May 5

Another Cliche'

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

Thursday, May 2

Let's Start the Cliche's

No news is good news

Sunday, March 24

And There Off.......Barry-Roubaix 2013

The winter training test took place yesterday in Hastings, Michigan. Most of the big teams and top riders were present for this 5th edition of the Berry-Roubaix. This event has gone from 300-3,000 racers in that very short time and for good reason. Quality competition, great organization and well ran. My experience this year was smooth sailing.

Tom Clark and I loaded up and drove over Friday afternoon. Followed the maps and quickly made it through packet pick-up and on our way to the hotel. We where staying at Bay Point Inn, located on the west side of the course, so we had a chance to check out some of the dirt roads. Conditions covered everything possible- dry, wet, soft mud, snow, slush and ice. Saturday's race was looking pretty bad. Hopefully the night temps would firm things up.

We woke to 25 damp degrees and after a sub-par breakfast, made our way to Hastings. We back tracked some of the race and saw that things had frozen over. This was bitter-sweet news because instead of wet mud, now we had to worry about ice covered roads. Oh well, were here so let's see what happens.

A slow change and no warm-up later, it's time to line up and wait for the start. Wave 5 had a half dozen or so names I would try to stay with (Simon Bailey, Jamie Parker, Tom Payn, David Messing). We were all in the first 2 rows on the line and at the gun we were moving. Guys quickly settled in and the race was on.

Within the first mile we are already catching the tail of the wave 4 and navigating traffic, along with bottles.  All the guys above seemed on form and another 3-4 guys joined the mix. For the first several miles, me and Jamie Parker were dangling off the back and I was worried if I could stay with the group. Through some rollers, icy roads and now the march up Otis and Gunn Lk. This is when the first big selection would come. On Otis, Simon Bailey goes down and the group splits. I'm off the back with David Messing when we turn onto Gunn Lk. I know if I don't bridge back it's over. Suddenly, I think Don Cummings from ACF, comes by and say's to grab a wheel and let's go! Quickly we're back, then past the leaders. They react and we are flying up Gunn Lk all the way to Yankee Springs and Norris. The group has been reduced to 5 and we have half the race left.

Once on Norris, Don is tired and the group slows for a bit. I'm feeling good so to the front and let's see what happens. I give a hard tempo until Mullen but it doesn't do much. The group is still together. We each take turns on the front and continue our march through the earlier waves.

With about 10 miles to go we catch the lead group of wave 4 (John Osgood and Dan Bannink). They join the train and we are still flying along. Onto the pavement and 3 miles left, now 2 with 1 or 1.5 Osgood charges to the front and leads us into town. Only a half mile left and Dan gives the sign to jump on for the lead out. I miss it, the others react far better and I'm out of position going into the left hander before the finish. I roll in 5th and very happy with my effort.

Congratulations to Tom Clark on his 2nd place, Tom Payn for 3rd, Brad Lako 5th, Shawn Welch 6th, Osgood 4th, Bannink 3rd. 

Thank you Rick for a great event. Great seeing all the guys and girls out there. Nice riding Keith Riege, Jason Cotter and Todd Powers.

Good Luck and have a Great Season.

Monday, March 18

Before We Get This Bitch Started.......

Let me say this.
There will be some shit talking, finger pointing and rulers out to see who's is bigger in a few short days at BRX and the first big test of the 2013 cycling season.
Many will have reasons for their lack luster race. The long, cold, snowy winter. Muddy coarse.
Who knows what great things will be overheard.
What happens this Saturday is a barometer of where you're at. 
There's a whole season still to go and anything can happen.
Here's a few things to think about on the rides.
You shouldn't judge your success by others results.
I've won races without finishing 1st.
I've lost races while standing on the top. 
Some race, some ride and others just are.
There's nothing wrong with competition and being proud of what you've done.
Bragging rights are worth having but they only last until the next event.
There's a fine line between cocky and confidence.
If you ever think your 'the big fish' find a bigger pond.
If you're really that great, others will speak for you.
If you think you 'suck' start with a smaller goal.
Goals and training plans are not set in stone.
What training plan works for others might not work for you.
Be a student, teacher and friend.
Don't forget to wave and say high when you see people.
Stop if someone needs help. You can train after.
Enjoy and don't take it too seriously.
Good luck and may you accomplish all you set out to do.

Friday, March 15

What's going on?

BRX is a week away.
Mother nature keeps covering us in white.
Looking for some change.
It's all good.

Sunday, January 13