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 @"