Versluis Mudcross

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The second of two SnowCross races was held yesterday Feb 19th at the Farmer’s orchard and field.  However, the weather and the course were far different yesterday than the January event which was held in 9-degree weather and riding through snowbanks.  Saturday’s event found the temperatures reaching approximately mid-30s.  There was nearly no snow on the course at all due to the previous week’s high temperatures.  What resulted was a muddy course.

The course wound across the Farmer’s field, bending on off camber slippery turns as well as riding down a treacherous downhill through a 20 yard wide (and several inches deep) puddle.   The puddle was the worst, because when you blazed through it, the water splashed up soaking your feet after which your feet got cold.  The two major up-hills weren’t steep, but were soggy and by the second lap became difficult to climb because your tires would slip.  The flat sections of the course were fast, despite the mud, because the ground was frozen and the mud was only on the surface.

All in all, I think the mountain bikes fared a bit better in the conditions than cross bikes.

Founders-Alger-Racing was represented by four racers.

In the A-Men category, Matt Remelts rode his mountainbike to a 7th place finish.  Earl Hillaker finished in 5th spot despite mechanicals.  I could hear Earl’s bike as he lapped me on one section with his drive-train emitting some awful KLUNK KLUNK KLUNK…. the drive trains really suffered on many racers’ bikes under these conditions.

In the B-Men Category, 32 racers participated and our team had two racers competing.  Martin Hall captured a 13th place finish on his 29er mountainbike.  Dennis Murphy finished 16th on his cyclocross bike.

Look for Founders-Alger-Racing’s next big event, with several team members committed to the Barry-Roubaix Killer Gravel Road Race March 26th.

Founders Foreign Spy Rye review

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I’ll start by saying how much I love this beer, but I’m confused by the name (A rose by any other name would smell as sweet).  It’s a great combination of two very popular Founders’ staples on the beer menu and it’s executed very well, giving equal playing time to both Red’s Rye and Centennial IPA.  This is not so easy a task as you might think.  The rye definitely has an overpowering quality, so to have both flavors play in the same glass is a testament to the brewer’s skill.  I have to admit that the name doesn’t really do it for me.  I’d like to rename it “Rye PA”, if I may (although I understand this might be a bit of a confusing order, compared to “IPA”, for the bartenders in a loud crowded taproom).  Word has it that the same brewer developed the “Special Agent IPA”, so I have to give a tip ‘o the hat for a consistent theme at least.  However, in my mind there’s something mutually exclusive about top secret government agencies and good beer.   Anyway, I may be alone on this one, but I also hate the question of what animal I would be if I could be one.  My kids just asked me this (again) yesterday.  Still I don’t have a good answer to this question.  I think it’s because I can’t think about the question without ultimately facing the impossible decision between wanting to fly, run, swim, kill with no regret (oops, did I say that out loud?), have sex with any female that turns me on (darn, out loud again), physically dominate every other species, or be able to change my skin color depending on my environment.  Napoleon (Dynamite) also felt the frustration of this predicament when he developed the “Liger”.   He knows where I’m comin’ from nowamsayin.  I think my animal would have to be an eagirphantarkeleonaffe (eagle, tiger, elephant, shark, chameleon, giraffe).  Now for the caveats.  An eagle has no hands.  I don’t want to live in Africa or Asia (tiger).  Being able to crush most living things by falling on them would be awesome, but I still don’t want to live in Africa or Asia.  A shark would be sweet, but again no hands (or feet) plus you would pee through your skin – how embarrassing!  Being tall has huge Darwinian advantages, but who wants a face like that?

The point here is that it is human nature to think you can make something better by combining two or more traditionally established favorites.  I happen to think that this is an extremely difficult thing to pull off.  No, I’ll go so far as to say physically impossible , if not even philosophically indeterminate.  Can you make space movies better by combining Star Trek and Star Wars?  Can you make sports better by combining basketball, baseball, and football?  Favorites and icons are developed through a natural process of evolution that (if successful) requires the end result to be something that a particular segment of society has proven to be necessary.  Red’s Rye and Centennial IPA are respectively necessary to a particular segment of the beer drinking community – as they exist.  Back to the animals for a second.  One significant feature that is missing from the evaluation here is that homo sapiens have the largest brain.  I think that ultimately has to trump all other characteristics of animal features and is the underlying reason why I find it hard to not pick our species as the most desirable animal to be.  Now back to the beer.  Since we’ve established that animal species (beer) are developed through some sort of natural selection process (evolution), and that combinations of which are physically, if not philosophically impossible to succeed (Foreign Spy Rye and eagirphantarkeleonaffe), I hereby proclaim the Foreign Spy Rye as a short lived, albeit entertaining, genetic experiment and the Centennial IPA as the homo sapien of the beer kingdom!

Matt