Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tuscobia 2013 Quicky

Will have more later but wanted to give a quick overview.
I skied the 150 miles.
Ended up as the only skier for this distance.
I did finish, beating my time from last year by an hour or so.
Chris and Helen (son and DIL and Tuscobia Race Directors) saw me exiting a restaurant on day 2.
Trail interview. 

Pic from one of the 150 mile fat bike racers, Mark Seaburg. Sunset.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Kid gets some ink. TrialRunner Magazine.

Tuscobia coverage.

Chris, Feb. 2011 Arrowhead 135.
 It actually got down to -40 on the trail that night

Tuscobia Dec. 2011. Chris, Cooper and Helen.
 Chris and I discussing strategy.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Pre-Tuscobia 150 Winter Training 2013 1.5

With only 4 times skiing and not a lot of roller skiing either, this years Tuscobia 150 could be a tough one. Conditions are mixed for me with plenty of good snow but temps are looking to be a bit colder then I'd prefer for optimal skiing 30-40 straight hours. The forecast calls for highs in the mid teens and lows a bit below 0.
The key will be keeping toes warm in xc-ski boots.

Local news coverage from last year.

From today.
11 year old skis. They've covered a lot of ground/snow.

 Gut Buster and The Wall.....they are what their name suggests, both uphill, steep but short.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Winter Training 2013 1.4

Time in Pennsylvania. 18 degrees. 90 minutes around 17 miles in the crusty snow.

Decided to buy a bike to leave here. Was recommended to visit the The Bicycle Shop in State College by my friend that lives out here. Looked at a new Specialized but decided on a rental close out. Price was right.

The Lower Trail.

Hunting 2013

Something to go after this season.
 Something for next year maybe.

Looking at the raccoon.


The one I got bow hunting.
Not sure if it was entrance or exit.
 He didn't go far.

Not a bad sized deer for a spike. Rattled him in. Was only in the stand 15 minutes before he came in shooting range to check out what the racket was all about.
The next night a bear tried to pull him off the meat pole. The bruin took the tail off with a bite to the hind-quarters and clawed the inside of the body cavity raking out some meat. Just good he wasn't able to pull the spike to the ground.

Likely culprit.

Slow season rifle season although it was plenty cold with snow. Pretty much the same for most of the hunters in the general area. Lots of wolves, lots of bears (they eat fawns in the spring), lots of coyotes.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Winter Training 2013 1.3

Temps dropped this week....sking at 3 degrees and a couple fat bike rides.
Skiing on Timm's Hill National Trail. From Spirit Woods Ave (just past P) to C, where all 3 trails meet. around 8 miles out and back. Very cold, mostly uphill heading north and trail although hard, very ice crystally, really not much glide. A good workout!

At the turnaround. The tops of the trees were solid ice from the ice storm 2 days before the cold front moved in.

One bike ride on my urban route was really cold as I bucked a 15 mph head wind for part of it (-15 windchill....plus added speed of bike at 12 mph drops it to -20). No pics, too cold!!

2nd fat bike ride was a night singletrack ride,no wind temp was around 10. Heatwave!
Hartman Creek Wisconsin State Park. Little over 9 miles but in the crusty snow it seemed like a lot more. Good workout!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Winter Training 2013 1.2

Tuscobia Trail Head, West end. Hope the snow and temps hold for the race in 3 weeks.

Winter Training 2013 1.1

Thanksgiving Day loop...near LaCrosse, WI.
25 miles before the turkey feast.
Great River State Bike Trail.
Temps 23-25 F. 

Day after Thanksgiving. Holmen, WI to Plover, WI.
120 miles. 10.5 hrs.
Great River State Bike Trail to LaCrosse River State Trail for 60 miles. Then roads. Temps around 25 most of the trip. Little bit of a head wind to start.
Spur of the moment ride. Others were standing in lines for shopping, watching football games or just lounging on the couch.
Stopped a few times for food and to pick up some chain lube at a LBS that a good friend uses.
Speeds Bike Shop.

Salsa mtn. bike.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Off the Training Wheels

One of the last chances this fall to get a ride in before the snow flies. Learned how to ride without the training wheels. His balance was there from using the kick bike the last 2 summers. Not bad for a 4.5 year old.


 2013, with my FREAK. Bike I bought specially to ride with my Jason.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Militant Badger, a bike ride.

First year for the Militant Badger 145 mile bike race/ride.

"What to expect: The Militant Badger is a 140ish mile bicycle race/ride that is 80% crushed gravel 'rail trail', some paved bike path, and a few short road sections.  The ride is completely unsupported and the course generally traverses remote areas but there are small towns at convenient intervals"

Race report:

38 degrees or so at the start, but not raining. Full moon was up in the west at 6AM when we took off past the State Capital heading south. As it began to lighten up the sun was really shining on the full face of the moon making it very bright in the rapidly coming brilliant blue sky. Even after the sun came up the moon was reflecting back quite nicely.

I don't have a road/touring bike, I just use my rigid salsa with pretty much worn out mtn. bike tires on it which really end up being 2.2 slicks. Works pretty good actually. I keep a somewhat decent small block kinda tire up front with some tread on it as I do take it single-tracking a fair amount in my normal urban routes around town so need the steering control.

The 2nd place guy had a mtn. bike with tires that seemed to have more tread than me but as wide as mine. Then pretty much everyone else had cross/touring bikes of some kind. The 3rd place guy had a touring bike and he and the 2nd place guy were riding together as they were friends.

 Most of the trail is crushed granite but there is a 50 mile stretch of ATV multiple use starting at the 40 mile mark that probably kind of crushed the skinny tire guys as it was very soft in a number of stretches. I maybe averaged somewhere between 11-12mph through this section but I was standing a lot to keep powering and to avoid the pounding of the washboards.

There were two guys in front of me that had good lead as I could never see them during the long straight sections after they took off at about mile 25. At the 40 mile mark they stopped to refuel in Monroe and I got in front of them at that point, right where the shitty trail started, the 50 miles of ATV use. I wasn't able to see any bike tracks in the soft trail so I knew I passed them somewhere although I don't know where in town I went past them.
I had caught the 3rd place guy a few miles from Monroe and he hung with me for awhile in the crappy section then I never saw him again. Touring bike.

My only real stop came 25 miles into this section. The 1st and 2nd place guys I had passed pushed it to catch me soon after I pulled in and we all stopped together.
My original plan was to only stop once at the 70 mile mark. But this was at the 63 mile mark....thought I had to take care of nature, but only gas!! My total time off the bike for the day was 20 minutes. 2 quick pee stops and a refuel/rewater bathroom (kinda) stop.

At this point, I had 1 full water bottle 1 empty and still half of the liter of coke in my mtn. bike camelback that I had started with so I didn't top that off. Based on the amount of liquid I'd consumed up to this point, I think I was a bit behind the curve and was hoping I'd have enough to finish without stopping.
For food I had a good handful of Hershey miniature chocolate bars, a chopped up snickers bar, a few chocolate covered peanut chunks, 10 ham salad mini-bagel sandwiches, 1/2 a Cliff bar left over from last weekend (man, still can't stomach them much after Tuscobia and Arrowhead last winter!) and a bag of orange slices.

So I filled up my 1 empty water bottle and took a huge drink with a slice of pizza and took off behind the other 2 guys.
They left 60-90 seconds in front of me and I shadowed them for the next 15 miles or so. We were riding directly into a pretty good west wind at this point so added with the poor trail conditions it was a bit slow and draining.

I give them credit as I only noticed them drafting once and not for very long. Although drafting at 10-11 mph isn't all that beneficial and loose trail conditions isn't conducive to following behind someone close enough for drafting to help much, just blocking the stiff wind for each other would surly help I thought.
They pulled over to grab some food and I passed them. For the next 10 miles I pushed as hard as I could as I knew this was going to be the last of the crappy trail and although we had some rolling hills coming up the trail and the climb up Blue Mounds I thought it was the time and place to make my move.

The route turned east at about mile 100 so the wind was going to sail us all in at that point. In addition as we went from the high point of the trail at Blue Mounds State Park to the Capital in Madison the pace was going to pickup. As the 2 guys behind me had pulled away from me earlier in the day, I knew they had the potential of catching me once the touring bike hit the hard pack.
I quickened the pace and my average speed went from 13.3 to 14.0 mph in the last 45 miles.

The trail was a bit soft as it had rained some during the week, but about at the 110 mile mark a squall passed over and it rained a fair amount. The winds picked up considerably and for then next 30-40 minutes it was touch and go as to how much rain we'd get and if I could stay warm enough so as not to have to stop and put on my vest sleeves and beanie to stay warm.
After the squall passed things got back to normal but by then even the the crushed granite was soft and I figured the touring bikes would end up cutting into the trail some. As they hadn't caught me by now, with 25 miles to go I hoped I'd be fine.

I had been conserving my water and coke to make sure I had enough with 25 miles left I ate a bagel and some chocolate bar pieces and washed it all down with coke and some water and took off. The coke, although very cold at the start, was cool to drink later in the day until I pulled out what was in the hose. Once that was siphoned out it was rather warm from my body heat so that was kind interesting to be able to have a warm drink now and then. I finished the last of the coke at the 10-15 mile mark and the water not much after that.
Came in first. Met my 3 goals.
1. 14 mph average total time (on and off the bike)
2. Stop only once (good enough for me)
3. Have fun.

My only words of advice with using coke in a camelback is to watch out on that first swig and to make sure you lock the nozzle shut. There was quite a bit of pressure build up and when I cracked the valve it almost knocked me backwards off the bike!

Starting out:
 First pize T:
Thank You to Wisconsin Gravel Syndicate and JUST COFFEE Cooperative.

 Garmin data.
Averaged 137 bpm HR which is 74% of my max.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Tuscobia, Tales from the Trail, 2013 OUT THERE NORDIC

OUT THERE NORDIC Ski Shop in Rice Lake, WI. Working with them as a Sponsor to garner interest in the Tuscobia Ultra.

"HUGE NEWS! This same evening we will be joined by Mark Scotch Winner of the 2012 150 mile Tuscobia Ultra Ski Division & The Arrowhead 135 Ski Division
Wax Clinic will cover ski prep for such an event as well as Mark will Tell Stories and give advice for those interested in participating in the Tuscobia Winter Ultra 35, 75 or 150 in any discipline Ski, Run or Bike!
You can Check out his BLOG @ http://motoscotch.blogspot.com/"

Thursday, October 31, 2013


Game Six!

Games 1&2, 2013 World Series

A little road trip to Fenway with my wife and middle son. Didn't spend the $3-500 needed for a ticket but had a blast hanging out with Red Sox Nation for games 1&2 of the World Series.

Probably only Sox fans will appreciate this post.

Fenway. Part of the tour before game 2.

 Must be in Boston....lobstah!

At the Bleacher Bar, tucked inside the Fens. Nick on the phone working on a ticket.

A legend.

 The red seat designates one of the furthest ball ever hit at Fenway, by the great Ted Williams, the last one to ever hit .400 for the season.

Friends. Ted Williams, Johnny Pesky, Bobby Doerr and Dom DiMaggio. FEAR the BEARD is the theme of this years BoSox....with son Nick.

 The Bleacher Bar can be seen out in the center field wall. It's the left opening.

View from the right field Pesky foul pole.

BoSox relieve pitcher Koji Uehara and his son playing a little ball. Arguably the best closer in baseball this year.

Lynn at the Left field foul pole taken from the Green Monster.

More from the Bleacher Bar. Centerfield in the background.

A great view out to the ballpark from the Bleacher Bar bathroom!

James Taylor, born in Boston, sound checking for his opening of game 2. He also led a choir in America The Beautiful in the 7th inning....he got a bit confused, but that's ok, nobody really cared it seemed.