Saturday, August 6, 2016

High Cascades 100, Bend, OR

High Cascades 100
A 100 mile mtn, bike race that starts and ends in Bend, OR. The race heads out and loops behind Mt. Bachelor and takes advantage of the popular Phil's Trails.
There was between 9,000 and 10,000 feet which is about normal for a race like this, but the kicker is that 80-90% of the climbing is contained in 4-5 climbs. That makes the race tough for folks that don't climb all that well which would be where I fit in.
You don't carry a 4-5 mile climb!


The good part of the uphills are the downhills....they were very fast, long and although not all that technical, one wrong move and it could be all over. The eventual women winner crashed and actually blacked-out for a bit. She was deemed fit to continue and she did.

Son Chris had signed up for it months ago and invited me out to suffer along with him, which we both did. He raced in the Clydesdale (+200 lbs) and me in the Super Masters (60 +). It was a tough one, for sure.

We didn't get any pics....but this link has a ton of them if you want to see what the race is all about.
The best section of the race to me was riding the backside of Bachelor.

Entry fee is a bit steep, put the race is put on nicely with quality aid stations and fun finish line....not just a single beer ticket like many races, but as many as you like....thanks Deschutes Brewery!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Jason's first Overnight Bike Packing trip

Jason has been looking forward to this trip for months.....and so have I! The Tomorrow River Rail Trail heads out of Plover to the East. I've taken it at times when biking to Appleton to visit the grandkids. I've taken Jason and Alyssa for rides on it a few times and when Jason asked where it goes and I told him towards Appleton he wanted to ride it.
It's 29 miles long, so as a first time, he's only 7, we talked about doing part of it, camping out, and riding back the next day. Then next year we'd do more.
He choose his 24" Gary Fisher single speed to ride, vs. his 1x9 speed fat bike, which is a bit too big for him yet, although he's made great strides in learning to mount, ride and dismount it....

The plan developed that we'd start out with his dog and also his little 2.5 yr. old sister in the bike trailer to a small town 7 miles away. Grandma would meet us there with the camping gear of which we'd trade the dog, Hobbs and Alyssa for.

Then Jason and I took off for the town of Amherst another 7-8 miles away to find a camping spot.
We took a few side trips, around Lake Emily and cruised around Amherst some. I'd figure Jason rode around 17 miles or so.

We stopped and rested a few times....rested consisted of Jason playing with his 2 monster trucks he brought along, reading some of the information signs along the way, and stopping at another bar for a Root Beer.

We had a great time. For supper we shared a chicken dinner in the Amherst Park bought at the local grocery store. After we put up the  tent, Jason stayed out and played more monster trucks, watched a family practice a little baseball and rode his bike some more....all the while I laid in the tent, too tired to join him!

When he finally came into the tent we talked about not telling any scary ghost stories, especially about bears and tents and stuff....He talked about what we wanted to do when he "grew up" and about the next bike packing trip we'd do.

In the morning we got moving and biked back home after a shared breakfast of French Toast.

Playing with monster trucks during a rest stop.

All set!

Root Beer Pit Stop.

Camelback and Cockpit frame bag.....all setup. Next year he'll take his geared fat bike.

Monday, May 16, 2016

2016.....Like Grandfather like Grandson

Lots of fun this winter, especially spending some of it with Jason.

Fat Cupid....3rd place

Fat Bike Birkie....initially 2nd, but changed to 3rd.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Fat Bike Birkie, 2016

The year and season finale.
I had set a goal last year to win my age division of the Fat Bike Birkie 47k race.
Missed my goal by a little, but still made the podium. After the race they had me in 2nd but was knocked down to 3rd later. Stayed on, though!
It was a great finish, spent with great friends along with our wives.

Photo credit, friend and fellow racer, Nick Templeton.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sweaty Yeti 2016

Season winding down with the good times at Levis Mounds. A race, yes, but this event is more about just having a good time.
Ever since the first faty race here a few years ago, myself and many meet up to ride, have a few brews and have a good time.
I brought grandson Jason to this race last year and he came again. We "camped" out in the chalet.
We brought his new fat-bike and he rode it around some, but it's just a tab too large for him and I don't think he feels 100% comfortable with it.
Buddy Russ from Appleton teamed up with me so I could hang-out a little with Jason during the race.
We finished 1st in the Open Team Division. Team name was Russ x 2....in honor of me being twice the age of Russ. It started warm and got warmer. Glad I had studs on again. Russ didn't but he still turned in some really fast laps.
Won some nice beer from Sand Creek Brewing, plus they tossed in a keg for general consumption.

Random shots of the day.

Friend Al.

Bra Man.....Jason was looking at him and was a little confused.

Mass start.


Tippy Viking

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Birkie 2016

XC- Sking buddy Doug picked me up in the AM and we flew up once again to ski the Birkie, my 11th. On the way up we flew close to the land I own on the Jump River, so Doug made a swing so I could take a picture.
From the open field south to the point where the river makes a left turn then north to the road is what we own, around 50 acres. I could see the hunting shack, just off the field to the south/left where that small white/open spot shows, is where it's at.
Doug did a great job of landing the plane at the small private Telemark airstrip, where the race starts, on an ice coated tarmac. After the race we got to fly through a few snow squalls, which were a bit unnerving, but again, Doug did a great job navigating up, over, around and through them.

After the race a friend, Leah Gruhn, a fellow endurance racer from Duluth, MN was at the finish line waiting for her husband to finish. She shared a bit of her celebration elixir with me.....


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Fatbike Frozen Forty

Next on the docket was the Fatbike Frozen Forty in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul. It's one of the older fat bike races with this being it's 5th year. In the past I've headed up to Actif Epica in Canada this weekend or maybe the social race of Book Across the Bay or maybe even escaped to Alaska for the Sustina 100. This year though I committed to the FFF.

It was a bit chilly for the start of the race, around -8 or so, but being on single track and in the woods with the sun coming up and temps forecasted to rise it wasn't much to get too concerned about. Also, being that it was 4 laps/40 miles or so, although plenty of time to frostbite any body part not protected, a lot less time than compared to the Ultra races of Tuscobia and Arrowhead.

The RD had setup a warming tent and with the parking lot close to the start line, keeping warm before the race wasn't an issue so more clothes than necessary worn at the start wasn't a problem.

I did a little pre-ride and was very glad I decided to put on studded tires earlier in the week. We had been getting some thaws now and then lately and with the lack of new snow I felt studs sure wouldn't hurt. Plus, I wanted to try out the Dillinger 5 tires so off with the Ground Controls and on with the studded D5's.
I had bought the D 5's without the factory studs and instead went with Grip Studs, a company in Oregon. These can be inserted and removed plus they are a tougher, tungsten-carbide vs. just carbide and more aggressive than the 45 NRTH factory studs.

Based on the pre-ride, I decided to add some air to the rear.....I opened the valve and then got the floor pump out of the jeep. By the time I started pumping, the rear tire was completely flat....the valve must had been held open by some ice??

At the Start with buddy Mark Seaburg....the Boys in Blue.
Photo Credit Hannah Hoglund Photography.

I'm very glad I had studs on!
The rollout was designed to spread the field out some and it did, but it just seems some people sprint on the road just knowing full well they aren't as fast, comparatively, in the single-track. But, I guess instead of complaining, I should just sprint out as well....but then, I'd be That Guy or Gal, as the case maybe.
Scott Cole and I got behind a string and got further behind when a biker in front of us went off course and we followed, along with a few others, so the few bikes we were able to pass ended up in front of use again. That's what you get for following!!!

Random race photos by Hannah Hoglund.



Each lap was 11 miles plus and it was in really good shape if not icy in a number of areas. Mostly the corners, of course, where all of the snow gets pushed off. Yes, there was some ice at times, ok, quite a bit of times, but hey! it's winter riding.
Scott was in front of me without studs and he was feeling the need to unclip a lot and keep a leg out on many corners while I just pedaled on through. I thought if he had to do that for 40 miles it was going to be a long day for him.
One guy spun out on an uphill and he and his bike got spread across the trail. Scott went around him and I followed, never spinning or sliding a bit.
As we came through the start/finish to head out for the 2nd lap Scott took off. He's a much stronger biker than me!

About half way through the 2nd lap I had passed a couple riders but couldn't pull away from them. It seemed I was slowing down based on the effort. The back tire was starting to drift just a little in the corners as well. I figured it might be low on air so I pulled over to confirm. It was low so I pulled out my pump and started filling it. The 2 riders passed me and I gave the pump another 30-45 seconds and jumped back on.
It felt better and I repassed the 2 riders.
When I got to the start/finish line I rolled over to my jeep and got out the floor pump and gave it a good fill. I also pulled out a Red Bull I had in my frame bag and drank the 1/2 that wasn't frozen, stuffed the can back in the bag and took off.

With the full tire, some Red Bull in and a short rest, I felt good and fast on the trail. The 3rd lap went great but the tire was still losing some air. As I came through the transition area for the 4th lap I asked if there was a floor pump available to avoid going to my jeep and there was. So I filled up some and took off in time to catch a rider that passed me while pumping before we hit the single track.

I maybe lost 5 minutes total airing and maybe some actual race time while pedaling but it's all part of the race.
The issue was that before the race I decided to put in some air and the valve would not seat. Somewhat a rookie mistake....don't mess with things right before the start.
The tire hasn't lost air since it was able to warm up on the ride home and dry out the valve (I travel with the bike inside my jeep.)

Another race with age divisions, so was able to still win the DD (Dinosaur Division) 60 plus category.

Photo credit Hannah Hoglund.