Sunday, August 29, 2010

First sighting

Today was the last race of the Tailwind USAC MTB series at Stony Creek but I elected not to race. Instead, I set up a tent to hand out literature and talk about MICA. Our first race is in two weeks and I was trying to drum up interest in the organization.

I also wanted to stick around for the start of the Beginner race since our first MICA team, Clarkston High, was supposed to be making their racing debut. Their coach is on the MICA board of directors and has done a great job recruiting and starting a MTB club.

While talking to her before the race the only school in the state to have mountain bike racing as a varsity sport, Detroit Country Day, pulled in with their school bus and car towing a DCD logo'd trailer. Kind of intimidating to other kids but DCD has had a program now for ten years or more and they have done a great job. It is quite impressive to see 20-25 kids with the same jersey milling about before the race. DCD is planning on joining MICA as well.

At the start I noticed that some of the DCD kids seemed both shocked and excited to see another team represented. Most of the Clarkston kids were wearing their new jerseys that also sported the MICA logo.

I didn't stay for the whole race but heard later that three of the Clarkston kids ended up on the podium. A great way to begin their racing season and I'm sure all the kids will have great stories to tell their friends. Hopefully the excitement translates into even more kids entering the sport.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A bridesmaid again

Once again I was the bridesmaid, not the bride. I raced the time trial at Ft. Custer today, a trail I had not been on since I raced almost exactly two years ago when Jason was in town. It is a very fun trail and the re-routes they have done lately have made it even better.

The trail overall is pretty fast with no really big climbs so I decided last night to increase the front chain ring by one tooth to provide a little more speed. I felt pretty good riding around before the start but there were a lot of SS's at this race and I wasn't sure who was in my class.

I started last, or so I thought, but luckily I didn't have too much traffic to contend with as I caught slower riders who started in front to me. There were a few times I had to slow to find the right place to pass; you don't need to force someone off the trail or yell at them as they are trying the best they can also. Racing is hard enough as it is without some Bozo ruining your day.

I seemed like I had the right gear as I was both able to spin comfortably yet make it up the hills and through all the tight spots with no problem. I was surprised though to see my name at the top of the results list when I finally got around to looking at them. Then I noticed that there were still a few results not posted, and one of the racers was someone that I had rarely beaten. I just had to sit and wait for the final results.

Actually, the final results were never posted but when the awards were given out and my name was called for second place I knew who had beaten me. Sure enough, it was they guy who had started after me. I never saw the times so I don't know by how much.

Oh well, at my second buttons up at least a third for the series since the last race is next week and 4th can't earn enough points to displace me. I have a possible shot at finishing second in the series but since it doesn't matter that much to me I may forgo the last race; I plan on racing in Ohio over Labor Day and don't really want to race three weeks in a row.

Now it's crunch time for the MICA program and we have a lot to do. I just have to keep remembering that this is the pilot season and really we are building for next year.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Weeknight short track series at LOHS

Earlier this summer Jeff Weinert, a local rider and nationally ranked cyclocross racer, approached me with the idea of putting on a weeknight race series this fall. The Lake Orion High School has such a great variety of trails and terrain that it is well suited to just about any type of off road race. After consultation with the school and Jeff the Wednesday Night Short Track Series has been formed.

The races are meant to be fairly short but intense, perfect training for the upcoming cyclocross season and also serve as a means for staying sharp for the Iceman race at the beginning of November. The entry fee is only $10 with 50% being returned to the top three racers in each class. The remainder will benefit the MICA organization.

More details can be found here

LOHS short track races

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Back in the groove

After being back to work for a week now it's like I never left. The first few days were a little tough due to catching up to the time difference but after that it was routine.

The heat and humidity this past week had me doing things other than riding. I spent part of Thursday trimming the school trails but not really doing anything to them for well over a month they were not as overgrown as I had feared. I finally got back on the bike on Friday and then again yesterday and today.

Sandy has started work at the local Meijer this past week. She will be working in the deli and eventually bakery but the first few days were taking computer based training. I think she get her first on the floor training today. Her schedule varies each week and even between first and second shift. We may not see much of each other except in passing.

The focus on racing will shift somewhat from me to working more on the MICA program and trying to get it going. Plus there may be an opportunity to put on a few more races up at the school this fall. I will race a few others here and there but only if the time and desire intersect.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Busy past three weeks

Wow! The past three weeks have been very busy as I have been on vacation for most of it. I will provide more details in the coming days but for now a short recap.

Michigan Senior Olympics - finished 4th in all three events but my first time trying this type of racing. I may look into buying a road bike and doing more road events next year.

Spent 2 1/2 weeks in Spokane, WA with Jason and family. Much of the time was spent helping out on the CSA. They have their hands full with three children under age three, the CSA, the school year starting, and trying to add alpacas and goats to the mix. Pictures are here

Jason and visited Seattle for two days, staying in a hostel in the downtown area. Very nice city, I hope to get back and see more of it. Seattle pics here.

Got in a few rides, both mountain and dirt. A nice paved trail took me all the way to the Idaho border. I could have gone farther on it but opted not too.

Spent a day in Coeur d'Alene with the family. Nice town on the lake.

Came back yesterday evening an raced the Pontiac Lake XC race this afternoon. Very hot and rough trail. I just wanted to finish and score some points. My slow and methodical pace paid off as I started dead last and ended up second as others crashed, had mechanicals, or burned out. My mantra for the day was "Be the turtle".

Now back to the real world and work, MICA, and getting the trails back in shape. Not sure what the next race is, I think I have enough points in the series to guarantee a 3rd place so I don't need to race any more of them.