Pontiac Lake TT

Earl takes 6th at Ponitac Lake TT

Pontiac Lake TT was my first race of the year that had temperatures above freezing. The weather was absolutely perfect 65 and sunny. It doesn’t get much better than that. It reminded me how much fun it can be to ride a bike and why I rode all winter in the snow and cold. The trail was mostly wet sand with relatively few slick spots. Great conditions considering the dump of rain the night before. The only other notable pre-race condition was with registration taking much longer than expected. They delayed the start of the race 30 min which allowed me to do a mostly normal warm up. A small logistics issue as new ownership takes hold of a great race series.

Pontiac Lake is a trail I have not ridden in two years. I am racing in a new class (Elite) and now also in a additional series to last years. I was unsure of my expectations for this race. My only real goal was to ride hard and I had a vague goal for a the time I wanted (1 hour 20ish). The first lap was a swift awakening to the flow of the trail. The hills that were not that big in memory are much larger in person.The rumors of the flat east side of the state are exaggerated. The hills all seemed steeper and always had an additional switch back. Was that hill there two years ago? Also not in the memory bank were the long flat connecting sections between the more technical and hilly terrain not a welcome surprise. Although flat sounds like a place to recover from the hills. Every passing second had me feeling like I was slipping backward, loosing time and falling behind. I did what I could to hammer these section out after a brutal assault from the “extra” hills. The second lap felt much smoother and less energy was spent powering through bobbled lines and remembering terrain. It was a blur of trees only interrupted by the occational splash of a puddle. A few placing of standing water became grease traps after everyone’s first lap. A small amount of extra care was needed in those corners. Then again it was head down and hammer out the flats. I finished working hard and giving the best effort I could. The results were what I had hoped for. A time of 1:20:55 min for two 10 mile laps. I rode hard and had felt smoother. Mission complete. The results when they posted showed that I was in 6th place overall. That will do for now and give me something to work toward in the future. Next week, to the Fort, for the first non time trial event of the year. It should be fun.


Founders/Alger “MUG SHOTS”

Speeding, Crashing, Partying leading to Founders/Alger “MUG SHOTS” at the Yankee Springs Time Trial

The Yankee Springs Time Trial Race was held Sunday, April 18 at the Deep Lake Unit of the Barry County State Game Area.  This technical trail is filled with rocks, roots, sand, log-piles, twists & turns and root-drops that will jar your fillings loose. Our very own team member, Dennis Murphy once again took the lead in organizing this great event. It drew in over 500 racers, setting a new turnout record! Other team members helping with the event were: Tim & Nancy Curtis, Rick & Cathy Plite, and Martin Hall with his assorted family members.

Driving to the race in a windy sleet storm, the temperature was a “balmy” 37 degrees. (Compared to the 17 degrees of the Barry Roubaix.) Sounds like a perfect day for a successful Founders/Alger race day: And so it was!

MUGS were given to those who made podium so here is a list of our “Mug Shots”:

1st MUG: Throwing down on his new Cannondale Flash bike from Alger Cyclery, Earl Hillaker took 2nd for the Elite riders with a 2-lap time of 1:32:42. DANG! That is FAST!!!!!


2nd MUG: Next fastest winning time for the team? Men’s 50-Plus Expert Tim Curtis took his “Mug Shot” on the 2nd tier of the podium with a time of 1:41:32.


3rd and 4th MUG: Representing our team in the Expert Men 30-39 category, we had two “Mug Shots” on podium.  First place went to Gabe Niehof with a 2-lap time of 1:41:39, followed by Matt Remelts for 2nd place with a time of 1:47:50. What a wonderful photo opportunity when you can get 2/3rd of the podium from Founders/Alger!


5th MUG: Stepping up (with TONS of team encouragement) for her first race in the Expert Women “OPEN” category, Marnie TenCate had her “Mug Shot” captured with a 2nd place finish with a 2-lap time of 2:07:42.

6th MUG: But wait…that is not all! For our Sport Category “Mug Shot” racers: Shawn Crowley took 2nd place with a time of 56:19.


7th MUG: Our Clydesdale racer, policeman Ernie Stafford (who instead of taking a mugshot,) switched sides and grinned for his “Mug Shot” as a 2nd place racer with a time of 59:28.


The post-race team tent was filled with fun, food, & Founder’s brew. Then what do we hear?


8th MUG: Niko Scharnowski (Ralf’s son) pulls in for 1st place as an 11-year old racing in the boys 11-14 age group!

Congratulations to ALL who participated! We had some AMAZING team times as you will see on the Yankee Springs Time Trial results.


Rudy Project


I just purchased some Rudy Project Rydon II riding glasses from Cascade Optical. I needed an RX pair of clear riding glasses and our sponsor just so happens to carry Rudy Project. I currently own RX sunglasses from Oakley and I have to say, the Rudy Projects are so much nicer. Actually I didn’t have a complaint about my Oakleys until now. You see, my eyes water really bad from wind turbulence near the frames, always have no matter whose glasses I have owned. I am so used to squeezing my eye lids closed to dispel the tears every few minutes but I thought it was just my sensitivity. My Oakley lenses need to be cleaned of tear droplets before each ride since I would have the dried on a crusty, salty mess. Guess what, the Rudy Projects remain 90% clean when I am done riding! Now I need another pair of lenses for sunny days since the lens can be easily swapped out. RX riding glasses are not for everyone since the curvature of the lens can distort your vision but if you have a mild prescription these are an excellent way to go! The Oakleys will go on ebay soon.