(Note: If you don't make the list this year just remember even Cru Jones got his shot)
This list is dedicated to those who have done RAD stuff with or on bikes. It can be shop owners, industry gurus, riders bouncing back and those who have simply kicked some ass at some point this year In no particular order.
Dan Schuester - Boy oh boy what can you say about Dan that hasn't already been said. Inpirational was the first word to came to my mind. This guy would be the last I would expect to suffer from a stroke of this magnitude and on top of that the recovery process and the ability to get on a mountain bike and ride trails of nine mile again seemed like the Mt. Everest of rehab. I had mixed feelings about the whole thing. I first thought he'll be fine and on the bike again by opening day and really underestimated what had taken place. Another side of me thought about my fitness and how if it can happen to a guy as fit as Dan it can happen to me to and to appreciate the time I have to spend with my friends on the bike and my family at home. Finally, knowing and seeing how determined he was to get back on the bike again made me realize how anything can be possible and before long he was back on the bike out at nine mile turning the cranks out of trail #8.
Tim Wissbroecker - What can I say about this guy. Flash back to July. He gets hit by a car and they speed off, he is basically left for dead. Shattered bones, busted up bike, and oh the pain he and his family would go through. He would, however, come back in ways that would rival a story like Rocky and is now on his bright red Felt getting ready for Ironman Wisconsin 2011. Welcome back to race buddy!
John "Nacho" Nowaczyk and Sprocketz Bike Shop - We all know the last two years have been rough. Companies going bankrupt, ponzi schemes depleting our wealth and trust on Wall Street, people losing their jobs for reasons out of their control. John here was no different. Not only did he lose his job but lost it on his birthday. Did he cry about it? Hell no!!! He instead gave the City of Weston something it needed for the longest time and that was a bike shop. In February Sprocketz Bike Shop was born and has the backing of a proud city and a large cycling community. Sounds like something out of a storybook or made for T.V. movie.
Chris Peariso - One of the nicest guys on the circuit and is a great rep for the Adventure 212 team, but this guy will destroy you and leave you crying for mommy at an MTB race of any distance. He was known for primarily rocking the WORS series year after year, posting finishes as consistent as lance while he won his 7 tours, but it so turns out he can be found putting the hurt on the field at some stage races and 100 milers alike. Most recently the NUE Series Cohutta 100.
Ben Koenig - 4th at 24 Hours of Moab. He came back to Moab proving that his 3rd place finish last year was by no means a fluke. This guy pushes the limits of himself and his equipment every time he toes the line. I remember riding with him this summer and to keep up with him I am bouncing off of trees, going over my bars, he's washing out in the sand. I learned a couple of things that day riding with him.
Tim Buffington - 1st Place SS at 12 Hours of Underdown. I have never heard of this guy till toeing the line with him at Underdown. I was charging trying to get myself a RedEye jersey when I look back and he was there and breathing harder than any racer I've ever heard and cranking his Singlespeed like he had the ghost of Bill Underdown chasing him with an axe. I didn't know whether or not he was going to make it that lap or the remaining laps, but he sure as hell did and was close to his fellow DBD brotherin Tim Ek who also deserves mention for winning that race.
Tristan Schouten - Made waves early on at the Subaru Cup Pro XCT and never looked back winning the WORS overall and crankin out top 5's in the USGP of Cyclocross (one race even had a pushup wager on the line)
Brian Matter - Iceman!!!!! He not only won it, but destroyed a field littered with Olympians, National Champs and the best of the Midwest. I may be a little biased seeing as though he was the person responsible for Salsa in my basement. I am hoping he left a little bit of his expertise on that bike so I can go faster next year. Well done and bravo...please win the situp bet on day 2 of Ft. Collins.
Chris Schotz - Underdown.....What else can I say, this trail system has such a grassroots feeling yet up to today's standards in sustainability. I would brag more about these trails but frankly I want to selfishly keep them to myself.
Josey Weik - This 13 year old is racing with the big boys and is no stranger to the podium regardless of where he goes mtb or cross, mud or snow, 30 or 100 degrees. Watch out for this kid.
Danielle Musto - Dominance is what I use to describe her performance at Wausau24. She crushed the womens field and when that was done she took a shark sized bite out of the mens as well. I was lucky enough to ride with her for a few laps and was simply amazed, but not shocked at how well she rode. She has also posted some ridiculous results on her singlespeed and like me rides the red hot Salsa Mamasita.
Scott Cole - Cheqfat, need I say more. For the record I will not make that challenge to him for that race EVER again. He flat out throttled that race in a very impressive way. He goes on this list every year as he is certainly the endurance rider I look up to. Good work (I still owe a blizzard by the way)
So that's it....so far.....If you have an item you would like to add email me at mtbkr81(at)gmail okay....great
2009 was a year to forget. I started off weak and ended weak with no real clue as to why for quite some time.
First, I decided to go to Monterey California for some West Coast racing which I found to be quite dissapointing to not only how I performed, (DNF-Flat that wouldn't seal at Sea Otter) but also, the course was way too easy. There was UH spot where you decended on beach sand and the Laguna Seca Raceway section was pretty cool. I came home with some nice goodies and great friends from the Evomo squad. From stories I've heard from Brandon and Bryan on the Evomo team, I know they do have better trails than what was displayed at the Sea Otter and we'll just leave it at that.
From that experience on, I didn't gain a lot in any form of improvement or at least that didn't involve paying a price in the form of losing mass amounts of liquids in ways that would make newborns blush. In 2009 I would be blindsided from an illness that took the entire season away from me basically from after Levis 100 to Underdown (July to November) and possibly earlier with the doctor saying "based upon the progression of the infection you may have had this as early as May".....Really? Wow! I just thought I was pathetically slow all year, but it would explain bonking everytime I cross 3 hours of riding where I would have little or nothing left in the tank. It was like running through a well lit hallway at night and then all of a sudden the power goes out and you trip and fall down the steps that you couldn't see coming. Needless to say the Author had come in with less than acceptable results for 2009 and would dedicate himself to get healthy and make sure that 2010 would not be the same. Redemption was a must so enough of that crap, time to move on and I did just that.....
It all started in November after I felt better I ventured out on some easy rides, but really hit the gym hard. I had a muscular endurance program I've created that worked great. In december I partnered that up with skate skiing which I did not give up on like in years past. I skated all winter and logged hours 3-5 days per week. I decided to skip Badger State Games this year due in part by the fact that I didn't want to get into race mode so early on I was afterall building a base for cycling. The spring actually greeted us here in central Wisconsin early and showed signs that an early outdoor riding season would be on the way and thankfully that happened. I was able to ride the road and Mountain Bay Trail by February. I would then begin to take multiple trips on that trail as it was such a safe bet for riding during the night as it was still turning black halfway through my ride with toes frozen.
I think I was still tackling some of the lingering illness as I was told it could stick around up to a year even after the antibiotics ran their course, I think I really started feeling like myself just before the Green Bay WEMS Race. I was still feeling slow with aches and pains to that could only be matched by my constant need to sleep and rest for the Iola WORS Race I felt pretty tired and ached on race day, !2 Hours of Northern Kettles I was definately sick, maybe as bad as Levis in '09 and it was a damn good thing I stayed in Fond Du Lac, and maybe started coming out of it by the time the Rhinelander WORS Race started.
My first race of the spring was in Iola for the WORS opener. I thought I felt good, I rode the singletrack with confidence and lost a bottle ejector seat style. I got a bottle of mixed good from the Performa guys. Deuce and friends hooked me up and I completed the final of five laps and thought I accomplished something only to find I was once again near the back.
Second race was supposed to be the Green Bay Wems Race, but as I commuted to Shoe's place it was delayed, then cancelled. We then went to Titletown Brewery for pizza, curds, and beer and followed that up with a ride through the camp. The conditions of the course were in great shape but it was a little windy and a little chilly the rescheduled version became a 100 miler and the conditions may have been worse in some spots, but riding with the Performa crew was fun once again. My second race actually ended up taking place at the 12 hours of Northern Kettles. I started out really slow, no real zip to my legs to hang with the rabbits that took off, I of course would pay for this and wouldn't even come close to having a shot at capturing the leader despite my ubber efficient pit stops. I did get extremely ill once again similar to the episode that i've experienced at Levis in 2009 and I was greatful that I stayed in Fond Du Lac with my Dad and Dawn that night. I don't think I would have made it home. It was worth the 2nd place finish, but I know I would have rode 6 hours of that race much faster than I did.
Next race brought me to Rhinelander and I made it a point that in this particular race and each one going forward I would try to get to the front, but I still wasn't feeling all that strong and I could only hold the Performa rookie's wheel for about 3 minutes and completely popped within 20 minutes.....ouch!!!! Once again towards the bottom. Frustration is setting in at this point, but I still keep trucking along hoping to get the WORS Race I was looking for.
Green Bay 100 miler went well. No complaints except I wish I would have not let Carlos go so early in the race. I had way too much left in the tank at the end but at least I put together a complete race and finished 2nd place to a VERY strong rider.
I finally got to race on some good conditions for my home course at Nine Mile (changing to Underdown for 2011 by the way). I started out strong, but got caught in a mess early on. I spent a lot of energy trying to move up in the heat and eventually got dropped through the field and getting sick on the trail numerous times on the final lap, yay!! That was not what I had in mind for a good race. Would I rebound?????? No! well at least not yet.
Epic collapse and mechanical at John Muir. I clearly overtrained, the muddy conditions and course re-design didn't fit well, for me anyway. I more or less just should have not woke up that Saturday morning to go to a race. I said to myself "F this race......till next year"
Ahhhhh yes the Subaru Cup!!! Tensions were super high with the factory pros coming to town and I was amped up to say the least, I mean you would to if you've seen Willow Koeber right? I got a front row spot and took off like a bat out of hell. I got my wish to get out with the leaders and paid for it, never to do it again.....well at least on that course. I don't think I ever bonked that hard ever in a race. Of course as I got past the last real technical section of the course and tried to climb my and my knee gave me a sharp stabbing pain and felt weak. Apparently it didn't like the short punchy climbs and I found myself pulling the plug early...."bummer dude and F this race to....till next year"
In next week's episode:
* Levis 100 (or not 100)
* 12 Hours of Thunderdown (okay so like 2 hours for me)
* Wausau24 (more like 25)
* 12 Hours of Pitchblack (not under a full moon do you get pitchblack)
* Chequamegon 40
* The wrap up of 10 notes for 2010! (so I forgot five of them....no biggie I'll add them now....it's still 2010)
* Since the Madden Horse Trailer is no longer I will gladly take over and create my own "List" AKA the RAD Things Done on a Bike List (Stuff people do in the bike industry that's RAD like the movie)
Remember if you hear the Mavic "click" in your wheels you're not riding fast enough!