Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Course Map and Directions

Directions To The Event:

From South:

Take US-51 N to WI-86 West/County Rd D East (exit 229)
Turn Left onto WI-86 West/County Rd D East
Turn Left onto N 4th St
Turn first Right onto W Wisconsin Ave
Turn Left onto N Tomahawk Ave
Turn first Right onto W Spirit Ave
Follow the signs to Bradley Park Rd

From North:

Take US-51 S to WI-86 West/County Rd D East (exit 229)
Turn Right onto WI-86 West/County RdD East
Turn Left onto N 4th St
Turn first Right onto W Wisconsin Ave
Turn Left onto N Tomahawk Ave
Turn first Right onto W Spirit Ave
Follow the signs to Bradley Park Rd

For GPS use the address:
Bradley Park Rd
Tomahawk, WI

Course Map:

Monday, October 3, 2011

My Favorite Training Partner

Who or what is your favorite training partner and think about your answer?  Many may find that a favorite partner may be a friend, rider at similar ability or even better yet faster.  Others may find that a favorite tire, power meter, or Ipod may be their favorite training partner.  All are acceptable things for people to consider their must have and favorite training partner, but for me it's something of a different element...literally.

The wind is my favorite training partner.  It's there to give you a push when you need it.  It roars in applause through your ears each and every time you pick up the effort.  It doesn't let up when you want quit and when you think about quitting sometimes it punches you in the face more just to make a point that you can push through the pain cave.  The wind is just as capable of showing mercy as it is to delivering a punishment that no other training partner or race can give you.  

In those early spring rides where the wind teams up with other friends like rain, snow, and the little amount of hills we have here in Wisconsin.  They will give you an experience that can only be described in single words like epic, legendary, insane, you get the idea.  

Wind is my favorite training partner.  Although the roaring applause will sometimes slow the average speed your heart will still beat faster and make you that much stronger.  By seasons end all you can hear is the roaring cheers coming from your training partner, hopefully by then the cheers are deafening.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

2011 Hogsback CX Course

The race course has been laid out via GPS, Changed significantly from the original course mapped back in August to shorten up the lap. Kids will not do the new section and will go straight to the run up.

Register early!!!! This is going to be a great weekend. Click HERE to get to the site and look for the entry form or link on the to the Bikereg site on the right side of the page.

Thanks to the following sponsors for coming through.

Tomahawk Mainstree Inc.
Tomahawk Chamber of Commerce
Tomahawk Internet Cafe
Tomahawk Surplus Store
Redeye Brewing Company - Wausau
Van's What's Brewin
Sammy's Subs
Sprocketz Bike Shop - Weston
Infinit Nutrition
Planet Bike
Clif Bar
and more to come....

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I look forward to this race each and every year.  Full of tradition staying with the Performa and BikeHub/Specialized teams and lining up for 40 miles with close to 2000 other riders.

I pull in to our beautiful home for the weekend at around 2 and by 3:30 we split up and some go pre-ride the course and register while others hung back by the cabin.  Nate Jasperson decides to go for a ride and after thinking about my week leading up to the race I decided to join him for a ride around the lake.  We certainly were outsiders to the road riding scene of Hayward Wisconsin where we encountered one of these road rider creatures.  This character clearly looked at us in disgust as we waived in passing leading to his ultimate snubbing of us and our kind gesture besides who rides mountain bikes on the road in Hayward Wisconsin on the week of the 40?  It was a nice ride over the river and through the woods back to our cabin for the weekend.

Upon our arrival to the cabin we descended into Telemark to pick up our bags and number plates, plus check out the merch out on display.  These guys have the registration dialed and all were excited and happy to help which at times may not always seem to be the case at other events, so things were going pretty well up to this point.

We get back to enjoy some dinner that Nate and Kim made.  Frankly, this may need to be the go forward prerace food as I felt awesome the next day despite a couple of Leinies Oktoberfest that were consumed with dinner.  Prepped our stuff for race day and off to bed.

We had an early wake up to go stage our bikes.  The plan was to get there and get in line to stage our bikes as close to the front as possible.  Normally I like to stay to either side and not the middle but found I would in past races get lost out the back cause the faster wheels to follow were going through the center as a large group.  So I staged about 5 rows back behind the preferred start punks (aka lucky bastards) took a look at where we were at in hopes to remember that same spot at 9:45 after 1900 more people put their bikes in behind you....ha...the likeliest of scenarios.

So we pull up to our normal parking area for the race the same spot that Brett has parked for the last 8 years only to find a wedding was going down that day (what a bad choice on day since if you are local you know it's cheqfat weekend.)  so we parked in front of the building anyway and did the stretch, snack, stretch, warmup, use the portajohn, stretch, use the porta john routine.  Then and only then we could go to staging.

The start of the race went off without the cannon as it didn't fire when it was supposed to but no worries as there wasn't much of an issue due to the general population and preferred start mixer that always happens when the gun goes off and we always catch the back group of the preferred starters.  As always there were a few hard brakes but seemed less than in years past.  I stuck onto Brett's wheel as long as I could until just before Rosie's field and the trail closed up, I went to the left, he was somewhere in the center I think, but in reality he was already gone so I was now on my own to chase.  At this point I sat in comfortably in the top 100 or so and I think I knew this cause I was recognizing many people in this group like Joel Hynes, Randy, Tim Ek and many others so I was pretty happy.  I would hold this and pass on the climbs for about the first five miles.

About five miles in I get a funny wobble in my rear wheel just before a climb which led to a wheel buzzing.  I stopped immediately on the side of the trail to assess the damage thinking I blew another hub, but was surprised to see that my quick release had come undone and flipped open.  So as 150 or more people flew by in the few minutes I calmly flipped the bike over and make sure that I kept the wheel aligned correctly and that it was tight.  Somewhere during this process I didn't realize that my seat bag became opened and lost all of the contents so I hoped to not get a flat or break a chain.  After that fiasco I chased up the hill to begin recovering the spots I had lost.  I had a difficult time finding a good group to ride with.  Each group I caught I would get to the front thinking I could pull and then cycle through, but each time I did so I looked back to see no one was there.  This would happen well past OO.  I would again face a tense moment when two riders came together in the middle of the trail which pushed a rider into me.  Luckily we both saved it and marched on up the hills, but from there I lost Ek who had caught me seconds before the crash took place.  This really made me mad cause if I wanted to make a move to push for a good placing he would be the one I would need to stick with no matter what.

From there I would continue to fly up the climbs push hard on the fire roads and ride strong up fire tower hill.  At this point each year I feel a cramp coming on at the top, but also each year I get motivated to push the limits and make my move once I hit the birkie trail.  From the time the guy announcing placing on the course (I wonder how he is keeping track of 300+ by the time he got to me) I went from 300 after losing so much time 5 miles in to 340 and then come through to telemark on Jshoe's wheel finishing in 276th out of 1919 finishers.  I do know I can ride a better race than that, but I did set a new PR for me at 2h37min and really I can live with that.

Tradition doesn't end with the race, however, we migrated back to the cabin to discuss things like salads, goats, and the methods behind the superman costume and after some stories were shared we then visited the original (OG) Famous Daves.  It was a great race weekend and it really reminds me why I got into this whole racing thing to begin with so thanks to Nate and Kim for setting up the cabin and dinner and to everyone out there that shared the great time.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hogsback CX Race is on!

Come get some on 11/12/2011 at Bradley Park in Tomahawk, WI.  Cyclocross racing starts at 10am with the kids race with the experts and pros at 1pm.  Flannels, costumes, and moustaches are highly is afterall taking place in the northwoods and besides who says you can only wear costumes on Halloween!

Kids Race is $10
"B" and "C" races are $25
"A" race is $30

There may be a hill climb challenge as well after it's all said in done depends on how many takers/racers there are.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

So I Wanna Try Something Different

Okay so earlier this year (February) I purchased a Kona Cross bike due to the fact that the ride would be best suited for a bike like that on roads in my area.  Some of you may not like this and I get it, but I am going to do some Cyclocross races this fall/winter.  It's been something I've been thinking about for a while now and with the re-kindled relationship I have with running on grass and dirt, I think this will be right up my alley.

Had my first practice on Wednesday with Ben Koenig, Casey Hildebrandt, Matt Block and Justin Braathen.  The touture on the hot laps was the most fun in a long time.

I will of course still race my mountain bike, but I need to mix it up.

Friday, July 15, 2011

July Is Here and I Think My Legs Are To

July started off with a bang (no pun intended of course) I was really looking forward to the Thunderdown 10 Hour Solo and rightfully so considering this was a home race for me.  This course is hard enough to eliminate any advantage you think you have as the Underdown and Bill himself has mysterious ways of inflicting pain upon those who dare to take his or her opponents to war at his homestead.  I made the threat of ripping apart the course and Mr. Underdown didn't take too kindly to my first shot fired at his direction.  He made me pay unleashing insects, taking the chain off my crank, turning open trails into a virtual oven, and this would leave me and my battered soul for dead, but I wouldn't let it end that way and despite my stomach distress and other pain that I care not to mention, I felt the reward of sticking it out and Bill gave me that last push of energy to finish a final strong 3/4 of lap 3 to finish the race in 3rd place.  No growler would be in the cards for me this year but the taste of redeye's finest brew was well worth the punishment that the Underdown had bestowed upon me. 

Wait.....there's more....Thunderdown was July 2nd I would again be called upon to toe the line on Independence Day for a 5K run beatdown as part of Tomahawk's annual Pow-Wow Days celebration and I wasn't sure what to expect here since I haven't devoted any time to running since just before the WEMS opener at the Stump Farm so no running since mid April...I was to die out there for sure with the heat index close to 100 again, but I abandoned all fear cause in the end it was only going to be a run of less than a half hour or so "I can ride a bike for over 24 hours I should be able to survive a 5K with no problem"  Is what I said to myself as I was heading to the start line ready to take off with over 350 starters.  I along with an old teammate of mine from back on the Tomahawk Cross Country Team used old tactics to quickly make our way to the chase group of around 20 people where he clearly had the legs that day and I was happy to maintain visual contact for the duration and finished with a time of 21:32 and 26th overall out of 340 finishers.  I would then circle back and jog backwards on the course to locate my two cousins and uncle who were running the 10K in which I would run with each one to the finish line until all have crossed.  I would need a couple of days to recover after that sequence of training.

Not less than a week later I would start to get a feel for this whole bikepacking thing.  I loaded up my Kona Jake and Ergon BD1 pack and headed for Minocqua and more specifically The Minocqua Brewing Company.  I thoroughly enjoyed riding the hiawatha-bearskin trails for the 80 mile out and back journey loaded up with around 20lbs of random gear.

This week and going foward my heart will race and I will dream in anticipation for the biggest journey into the darkness of the pain cave I will face this season.   It's about two weeks away and I am slowly transitioning over to full on Wausau24 mode. I am already thinking about how to break my laps down to get the number of laps I need or feel will need to be competitive.  I spend time telling myself that I am in a place where I can be a legitimate threat for the podium barring the unknown.  I constantly think through my nutrition and where I went wrong last year and how to improve upon it based on weather, terrain, competition and other variables.  There are so many things to consider when going into a 24 hour solo race besides just riding your bike till your racing heart pumps battery acid, for example: Battery life and charging, Pace, Setting up for the run, when to pick up lights and eat, how many calories are going in, weather, pit area location, support, battery charging (yes, I mentioned this twice), list goes on....  So as of today 7/15/2011 I grow more and more excited to roll out onto the course for the first of many laps and will continue to dream/daydream of descending down trail #1 and crossing over redbud road again after the midnight hour to be greeted by the superfans and music so loud it gives you goose bumps each and every time you pass by.

This is no time for excuses or to forget the lessons that the ghost of Bill Underdown has taught me.  I will be victorious in some sense of the word, victory and accomplishment is based upon the goals you set for yourself along with your faith in yourself and knowing that there are much larger forces watching over you and at times protecting you from yourself, I will live and die by that very sword on race day.  Oh and a little extra motivation never hurts either and how just a single comment can give you that extra push with about 2 weeks to go.  I am ready for 25 hours of pain probably more so than years past.  As Tim Wilcox would say.....GET SOME!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Day 1 of Skyrider Build - Tear Down

If only it were always that easy.....

First step was to disassemble it down to the frame and try not to ingest heaping servings of rust. The crank, wheels, and frame had large amounts of surface rust on it. Oh how there is a silver lining....I found a solution in the form of aluminum foil and coke which allowed me to remove the rust from chrome, the crank looks like the new and the sidewalls of the wheels look nicely polishedl but in need of a good truing. The best part is all but the seatpost collar was attached bike should only need a chain, tires and tubes, and some additional hardware like a saddle to make it right. Paint will need to be done to prevent tetanus shots from being a requirement upon riding this.

 (Can you tell which side got the coke/foil treatment?)

Lessons learned so far: rusted screws threaded onto rusted bolts call for a dremmel tool.  You will give yourself a headache if you think wd-40 and a socket/wrench is going to loosen it for you.

In case you were wondering what happend with my chicago schwinn varsity.  There is some welding and cutting going on right now....I did not appreciate the kickstand being part of the frame.  I also just recently accquired a Schwinn Continental (so i've been told) for $5 Can't wait to pick that up also I have a unidentified tandem from either the late 50's or early 60's.

That is all for now.

12 Hours of Northern Kettles

"The only way around is through"
~ Robert Frost

The quote above can sometimes be equally as dangerous as it is
inspirational. Allow me to explain.

Friday comes around and I am feeling light, had a good pre-ride, dinner
was excellent, bike was in working order and I was ready to rawwwkk. No
issues on the horizon....just yet.

Saturday morning comes, pit area is set up, I along with the rest of the
12 hour crazies zipped up and chamois'd up our super hero costumes and
took to the course. Race started off with a short run up a tubbing hill
and back down into the first section of singletrack. I took it really
easy but kept the others in eye sight and settled in behind Rich and Ty

sliding around on the slick rocks from the dampness left over from
Friday night's rain shower. It was clear myself along with Ty selected
wrong tires for the first two laps but conditions improved dramatically
by lap 3. Speaking of lap 3, that's when things began to go terribly
wrong. I started feeling a tight feeling in my knee and in turn I found
it hard to get up the climbs and that turned into a sharp pain. Then on
lap 4 I was having issues with descending. Lap 5 I started getting the
pain on the flats and really couldn't put any power down on the 6th and
would be final lap of the day. Typically I would normally find a way
through as that is usually the only way as the quote would suggest but,
I couldn't fight my way through this one....not this time....not like I
did at 12 hours of pitchblack where I only had 4 laps to go as I was
only 6 out of 12 hours into the race. I had to waive the white flag and
listen to my body if I wanted any shot of doing well at the wausau24
solo this year.

Sure, yeah, I was disappointed, dejected, and frustrated that I left
running because of this very same issue and has tracked me down again to
unleash a brutal attack on this bike racing hobby of mine. Despite
feeling great and poised to start backing down on lap times I physically
could not do a thing about it.

Next the fit. Sometimes we all have to undergo some
change in our lives everything from Work, life, and even physical
changes will happen it's just a matter of when and how you deal with
them. There is a great quote that gets me past all of this and reads
"The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you find new cheese"
from the book Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson helped me realize
that the quicker I let go of my current fit, current injury, and other
issues the sooner I will find a new solution and move on and enjoy my
cheese (bike racing) once again.

Wausau Big Ring Classic? Sure I'll be there, but that could change
depending how I am feeling and I approach it from a weatherman's
prospective. I am predicting I'll be fine for the big ring, but there
is a 30% chance of nope. Should certainly be a go for the Southern
Kettles WEMS race though. Sunny skies ahead!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

1960's AMF Roadmaster Skyrider Project

Okay, So a relative found this and another relic rotting away in barn (who hasn't heard that before).  This happens to be a 1960's AMF Roadmaster Skyrider (womens).  This will be a resoration project which I had started earlier last night.  My goal is to keep it as original as possible and only replace parts missing or inoperable.  Stay Tuned for updates!

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Wisconsin Abyss Shows Signs of Spring and Then....

I woke up on race day!

The Abyss otherwise known as spring in Wisconsin has taken its toll on the author, racer, dad, trainer, or whatever my codename is for the week, but over the last month I've received a little help from a pretty well known racer here along the 44th parallel and the help was muchly appreciated and certainly needed so thank you Scott!!  My rides have become more thought out and with a purpose, but most importantly fun.  I am going into the first WEMS Race of the year optimistic that I will ride consistently, but the racer in me has a lot voices in the back of my mind not allowing me to forget the events of last fall that will be hard to ignore once I get to the start line.  Some thoughts are good, those are the ones you want to keep to ensure a good positive attitude others need some correcting and there is only one way to correct those thoughts and that's by bringing the Metal!

Now to the boring bike geek stuff....I am carefully plotting my Maxxis tire selection.  Since Ben and Amy  Welnak were in town I knew  it was going to rain, now the question is how much?  The course is pretty sandy and fights away water pretty a point and in certain areas not so much.  The Ikons are more agressive in tread pattern than the Aspens, but the Cross Marks are right up there.  Another option would be a cross between the Ikon on the back and the Ignitor on the front.....choices....choices, but I stuck with the Ikons and was I suprised how well they handled the wet conditions  Also, the Salsa has seen some changes from my friends at the Hayes Group.  Answer Carbon riser bar and Manitou's new Tower Pro 29er fork will help lighten the bike up some while giving me a little more support in the cockpit.  Nutrition is arriving by the box full.  I will be chewing up on some Honey Stinger Fruit Smoothie Gummies and Gels when needed along with my 100 miler mix I created with the help of Infinit Nutrition.

Friday afternoon bike shakedown took place,  followed by a lovely dinner and entertainment provided by BikeHub/Specialized's very own JShoe!!!!  Saturday it was game on at the WEMS Opener StumpFarm 100.
I started off faster than I normally would to see what I had, but I knew right away that my legs felt really heavy so I basically let Schotz go and tried taking it easy for the rest of the first lap, which turned into 7 more just like it.  I couldn't get anything going until about half way through lap 9 I started feeling a little lighter on my feet so I gave it a shot and kinda glad I did as I closed a pretty large gap between rich lytle and myself, but made a really bad choice in lines towards the end that slowed me down enough to close the door.  It did feel good to go that hard though....I just don't think my body was ready for that effort for every lap yet this season.  It's always fun to go in to a race every so often with no expectations but to ride consistent laps and have fun (which can be tough when it's cold and rainy like it was).  Plus the sooner I got done the sooner I got my mint oreo blizzard.

A special thanks to Nacho at Sprocketz for tubes and the tire tool, thank god I didn't need either, but Sprocketz has my back if I did.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Introducing MUD

Introducing MUD, the Latest Product from Infinit

Wake up...Drink MUD. That is the battle cry for INFINIT Nutrition's newest product, MUD. Inspired by mountain bikers but appealing to all athletes, MUD is a coffee/mocha-flavored, pre-race meal replacement or recovery drink loaded with protein, natural chocolate, aminos, premium flax and 3 carbs. Simplicity and effectiveness go hand-in-hand in this all-natural meal that is easy to digest on race morning or even on the way to work. Add just one single scoop of MUD to skim milk or water, hot or cold, and you are ready to rock your day. A special blend of coffees made especially for INFINIT gives MUD its tasty flavor and "caffeine like a cup of joe and energy like a granola bar in each serving."

So, whether you are looking for a breakfast in a bottle, mid-day jolt or recharge after a tough ride, choose MUD for your high-octane drink. INFINIT Nutrition's Chief Powder maker says "this is the best tasting INFINIT to date. Think liquid mocha ice cream in a bottle." Yummmmmm...

Available now at the introductory price of $25 for 22 servings, there is no better time to Drink MUD.

Want to try this or anything else? Go here and use the code "enduroloco" at checkout for a 10% discount off your order.  Customize your nutrition with Infinit Nutrition!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Partnership - Infinit Nutrition

So lets take a minute and rewind to Wausau24 2009.  Infinit Nutrition was a sponsor of the 24 hour series at the time and also supported the like of Chris Eatough (thanks for the training plan and contact info btw) and Pua Sawicki.  We were all greeted with giftcards to try some of their phenominal creations and after I tried some in the pits during the 12 hour that year I liked the taste and ordered my first bag with the gift card provided. 

I can't seem to eat "real" solid foods during races I needed a one stop shop and while using the slide bars on the website I was able to dial in what I needed to race hard for the time I needed to.  I continued to change the formula slightly till I got exactly where I wanted it and continued to order bags of it and will continue to do so going into 2011. 

The way I see it.  You go with what works and you do what you can to spread the word and support what gets results.  If there is one thing you don't do it's mess with nutrition, Infinit Nutrition lets you dial it in exactly to your individual specifications because no two people are made up of the exact same body composition.  So going into 2011 I would like to welcome Infinit Nutrition as a sponsor for 2011.  Stay tuned for some additional info if you were looking to try some.