Yankee Time Trial

Even though it is still early spring, everyone seems to be in mid-season form with the unbelievable warm weather we have been having.  Having the chance to pre-ride the course several times leading up to the race, I knew the course would be fast but I wasn’t really prepared for how fast the times would be.  Yankee Springs in notorious for being like the wild west with a lot of roots, loose rocks and SAND.  However, the cool temps and wet weather a few days before the race seemed to make the course feel like carpet.

My start time was 10 seconds behind teammate and close friend Gabe Niehof.  Gabe is a super-strong single speeder and my plan was to try and catch him and do all I could to hold his wheel for as long as possible.  It’s funny how the more races I do, the less nervous I get.  When the starter said, “Go!”, my breathing was easy and my legs felt good.  I went off harder than expected because the whole time I could see Gabe up ahead.  The first few miles up to the guard rail flew by.  When I finally caught up to Gabe, we were stuck behind a few people.  He would say, “Passing on left!” and I would shout out, “One more”.  It was awesome to have a teammate by my side who I could trust in and out of corners.  However, after the pine section, Gabe lost his chain and I had to let him go.  My legs felt great and I used the racers in front of me as rabbits and simply tried to catch one, ride their wheel for a short time and then pass.  This happened throughout the first lap.  Upon finishing the first lap, I couldn’t believe my time – under 48 minutes.  I started to panic a bit as I have never ridden the course that fast.  I put down a few Gu’s and settled in for the second lap.  This lap was a bit different as I didn’t have anyone to chase or ride with.  It’s easy to get a little complacent or let off the pedals when you’re going through the woods alone.  However, I tried to ride consistently and ended up coming through the shoots at 1:36:13, which was good enough for first place in Expert 29 and Under.

A huge thank you goes to the volunteers for setting up this race.  A record number of racers turned out and they ended up getting treated to a first class race.  Our own team rider, Dennis Murphy did an amazing job with the fine details of this race.  A big thanks also goes out to Nancy Curtis, Tim Curtis, Martin Hall, Cathy Plite and Tricia Anderson who helped throughout the morning.

Although Gabe and Danielle ended up having to walk out with mechanicals, a good time was had by all as we enjoyed some great food and beverages at our new Founders team tent afterwards.  Next up, Fort Custer!!  This is sure to be an awesome race with a  bit more cross-country strategy involved.  It seems as though our team is dialed and will continue to represent our sponsors well with podium finishes.

First Place!


Founders Alger Finishing Times:

Earl Hillaker   1:32:28

Jeremy Karel   1:36:13

Jeff Jacobi   1:37:54

Scott Tencate   1:41:03

Matt Remelts   1:41:24

Scott Thenikl   1:47:48

Shawn Crowley   1:49:33

Ralf Scharnowski   1:50:32

Rick Plite   1:51:23

Paul Popielarz   1:55:19

Marnie Tencate 1:58:35

Brad Bacon   54:32

Ernie Stafford   56:47

Racing in Ohio, on a weeknight!

Found myself in Dayton Ohio tonight, called Andy Williamson the new IMBA Great Lakes rep who lives here. He is with me in the photo. Asked about going for a ride at the 5 rivers metro park and he asked if I’d do the local IMBA chapter “MoMBA” time trial race with him. Well, what else is there to do on a Wednesday in Dayton?
So, I arrived early and rode the trail to check it out. Nice trail, tight, lots of 90 degree turns and short on flow, but hey, lots of trail (8+ miles in a small area). So the race began and I was shocked at the slow speed at the beginning. Looking around to see who was going to go, guess who went? Another rider came along and we entered the woods together, I chased diligently but when it’s not a familiar trail there is a decided disadvantage. Long story short, At the half way point I had pulled #1 back to 20 feet in the rock garden when I selected the wrong line, off the bike, dropped the chain, handlebars twisted, etc… Good news, Ribs are fine! Unfortunately #3 and 4 got by me while I got going again! Regained 3rd spot again but could not make up the time to #1 and #2. They were at the finish line wanting to know who in the heck I was and what happened. Oh Well, another new pint glass for my finish spot and collection. A great day that spurred my racing juices again! Ye Ha!
See many of you at the Yankee Time Trial on Sunday. Might even see my bike racing enthuasim on the trail!
Go Ride Your Bike! MARTIN!

Fisk Knob Time Trial 2012 – Theater of Pain

The Fusion Cycling Team held the 32nd annual Fisk Knob Time Trial last weekend on Sunday, April 15th.

Shawn Crowley with matching helmet and tats. photo Jack Kunnen

The Fisk Knob TT course is a “T” shaped out-and-back course with notable elevation change.

Three brave souls from the Founders-Alger team (Dennis, Earl, Shawn) ventured out to this dirt-free, niche road race. We had no skinsuits, disc wheels or teardrop helmets but we did have  several great Cannondale road bikes.

We were excited to hear that earnings from this year’s race were being donated to Livestrong.

Earl "I don't need no stinking aero suit" Hillager. photo Jack Kunnen

Morning thunderstorms receded by the time of the race’s start and left us with significant head and cross winds for most of the course.

Dennis Murphy. photo Jack Kunnen

The results speak for themselves:

Rider Name, Category, Avg Speed, Ride Time, Place In category
Earl Hillaker, 25 to 29, 22.37, 0:46:23.64, 10th of 15
Shawn Crowley, 30 to 34, 21.41, 0:48:28.96, 10th of 13
Dennis Murphy, 50 to 54, 17.75, 0:58:29.28, 14th of 15

Clearly, skinsuits will be needed for next year for us to move up in the category standings. We’ll also have to stay off of Yankee Spring TT training the day before the race.

Headquarters had Imperial Stout on tap after the race for post-ride recovery. Yum. There’s been a rumor circulating that Imperial Stout has greater therapeutic qualities than Hammer Nutrition’s Recoverite.


Double Daisy Cutter

Thanks to Mike Campbell for delivering this 20oz bottle of IPA goodness to me at Barry-Roubaix! I have tired the regular Half Acre Daisy Cutter Pale Ale thanks to Jen and Jeremy and really enjoyed it. Both are very different from most of the Pales or IPA’s I tend to like. Centennial, 2-Hearted, Humma, etc all seem to be more citrusy, piney. Regular Daisy and Double Daisy are definitely grassier, and more foral. The Double pours a orange-gold with a nice frothy head but almost no lacing on the glass. Smell is grassy hops, hemp, lemony and a little malt. Taste is very bitter up front, subdued malt, and a grassy/floral hop aftertaste. It does not have an alcohol bite to it which I tend to prefer in my doubles. Mouthfeel is medium, very drinkable. 8% is dangerous for me since I don’t feel the need to sip it and then get in trouble after 3 or 4 beer 🙂 Can’t wait for the Gravel Metric in Illinois next month. I plan to have a few of these down there and bring a bunch home since it isn’t distributed in Michigan.

ed. Note the kick ass bottle opener collection!