Need new riding glasses?

Last year, after I lost my Tifosi riding glasses at Gravel Grovel, I began shopping for another set.  Anyone older than may have the same issue as I do- inability to see anything clearly within an arms length.   I could not read my bike computer and was at a disadvantage if I needed to even adjust or do maintenance on the bike without the aid of some cheap reading glasses!  I usually carried a beat up set under my jersey or in a back pocket.
Then I saw the ad in Velo News for Dual Eyewear.  These riding glasses come with interchangeable lenses and each lense has a bi-focal lens.
At $65 a pair, these are very reasonable glasses which come with two lenses- clear and dark.  I ordered the amber lenses for an additional $19.00.
The lenses only come in certain power range:  1.00, 1.50, 2.00.  I.e. no 1.75 is available some compromise may be necessary.

State Games of Michigan

Wood TV8 is known throughout the Grand Rapids area as hyping weather events and then in almost all circumstances, it doesn’t happen.  However, every year they seem spot on in forecasting the weekend of the State Games.  Hot and Humid.

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The Founder’s Racing team was well represented this year and looking to nail down some podium spots.  This course suits our team well as it is in our backyard and many members ride and train here throughout the season.  The trails at Cannonsburg Ski Area are classic with short steep climbs, tight fast descents and grueling long two-track sandy climbs..  This is a course that tests your ability as a rider and fitness.

In the elite field there is always some jockeying even before the race starts.  Because placement in a time trial depends on when you sign up, many wait until the last minute in an effort to have some rabbits to chase down (The sooner you register, the earlier your time).  These Jedi mind tricks are a bit annoying and I wish there was a way to place the elite field for these races in a more equitable way.  This year, I started third and had two behind me.  Friend and former teammate, Earl Hilaker went off first and I knew he’d be the man to beat.  I waited 30 seconds in the hot sun before I got my chance to begin the chase.  My game plan was to ride steady and watch my speed.  I’ve always had a problem with blowing up at this race and knew with the heat it could be a possibility.

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As the first lap progressed, I managed to chase down the rider in front of me but knew Earl was still out there.  Craig Gietzen managed to get on my wheel and we ended up riding together.  We talked strategy and agreed to work together to try and catch Earl.  Both Craig and I switched off pulling on laps and managed to bring back a bit of time.  However, Earl was the strongest man on the day.  We all crossed the line with less than a minute between us and my time was good for third.

The team ended up with a ton of great result.  Congratulations to everyone.

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Jeremy Karel. 3rd place elite menIMG_6046-2
Matt Remelts 3rd place Expert men 30-39

Scott Tencate 6th of 13 expert men 40-49

IMG_6077-2Marnie Tencate 1st place expert women!!

Tom Stolz 4th place elite/expert singlespeed

Gabe Niehoff 7th place elite/expert singlespeed

A huge thanks goes out to our sponsors and race organizers.  We get to race bikes because of everything you do.  A special thanks goes out to the meteorologists at Wood TV.  You always seem to nail down the forecast for the third weekend in June.

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Lumberjack-100 Race Report

Lumberjack-100 Race Report.
Late Saturday night saw a thunderstorm roll through the Manistee National Forest, but no rain touched racers at the 2013 edition of the Lumberjack 100.
I had three tiers of goals for this race:  1. Finish (naturally), 2. Beat my last time of 11hrs:11mins, 3. get closer to 10-1/2 hours if possible
Five a.m. wake-up was the alarm because I decided I wanted to eat at least two hours before the race to give time to digest.  I got up and had my hardboiled egg, avocadada and bagel with provolone.  I also started the coffee pot for a cup o’ joe, then began gathering my race prep items.  Bottles were already and mixed:  Heed, Perpetuem (one bottle per lap), a couple Hammergel packs and several containers of Endurolytes.
Temperatures were chilly, so I wore a base layer, arm warmers and leg warmers.  I was comfortable in the 48-50 degree breezy weather.  It was overcast and I also opted to swap my amber lenses with clear lenses for the race.
Rick’s traditional road roll-out started the event and we rolled into the parking lot and came to a near track stand as the crowd pinched at the entrance to the single track.  It would be like this for the next 15-20 miles.  Gradually groups would form, short bursts of speed to pass a racer or a couple racers.  I was mostly hampered on the tight twisty single-track which suits my skills.  At one point a couple less technically capable racers had our whole line come to complete halt as they negotiated a tight turn.  I just shook my head and a racer behind me said out loud ” no doubt”  as he understood my headshake.
At one point on a shallow climb, I was behind two racers- the lead was a woman and behind her a male racer.  Weaving through the trees, braking hard on corners, I finally saw a widened area and called out “on your left” and made my move to pass both of them.  As I passed, it narrowed a bit and the male racer griped “I’ve been waiting for a while not to pass, but just go ahead and muscle your way in there, that’s one way to do it.”  I told him sorry, but if he was going to pass and called it out I would have waited.  He wasn’t that good in the technical sections either so I was happy to pass him at that point anyway and I rode away from both of them.
The first lap went smoothly despite the traffic and upon reaching the timing mats I was a bit surprised to see the clock showed 2:56!   I’d done the lap in under three hours?!  WOW.  I knew I felt good but didn’t realize how well I’d been riding.  I now felt I had my third goal of 10-1/2 hours a strong possibility.  A quick bottle change at the team tent and out for a hard charge at lap two.  I also removed the base layer and the arm and leg warmers.  I thought at first I regretted it as I rode out onto lap two but by 1030am it really started heating up.  The warmest part of the day was between 1030am and 200pm, it seemed.  The sky had cleared.  Later it would cloud over again and wouldn’t seem so warm.
Lap two proved to be eventful as I rode fairly aggressively.  Two crashes due to soft sand on corners, two more crashes within 100 yards of each other clipping trees in the pines as I took in Endurolytes and Heed, and finally on hard crash on my same sore left ribs trying to pass another rider.  I was passing him on the rough portion of a wide section of the trail when a bee flew into the side of my helmet amd riding glasses.  I reached up to brush him out when the wheel must have hit a loose stick or such, WHAM!  hard down the ribs followed by sailor talk.  Another racer stopped to see if I was okay and picked up my bike.  I held the handlebars and stretched my ribs out. Then on the bike and back at it.  I also lost my spare bottle of heed on the second lap.  I normally tie in the bottle on the bottom cage because it has tendency to bounce out on rough terrain and crashes but I forgot to do so this day.  So by the time I was 5-6 miles out from the lap finish, I was out of Heed and getting a bit thirsty. Oh well, nothing for it but to reach the tent.
I reached the timing mats and looked at the clock which read 6:07.    WOW-  Okay I was still close to a three hour per lap cycle!   I was exceeding my own expectations!  Now my mind said a 9-1/2 hour race was possible.
Into the team tent, new bottle of Perpetuem, two new Heed bottles (BOTH of which went into the jersey rather than the bottle cage) and fresh containers of Endurolytes.  I quickly ran some T-9 onto my chain.  I also cleared my computer.  I had already calculated in my head that if I did 10mph the last lap I had approximately a 9-1/2 hour finish time. I wanted not confusion as I watched my metrics on the computer.  I wanted only to watch that lap of 33 miles.  Onward.
Lap three definitely felt slower.  But I kept my eye on my average speed. When it dipped below 10mph, usually do to a significant amount of climbing, I rampoed up my pace on flats and downwhills.  But I also rode a bit more conservatively and avoided any crashes this lap.  From about miles 9-14, one woman racer in a black kit would reach me on the climbs, but as we would crest the hill, I would charge off and speed down the next downhill.  This went on for a couple cycles and eventually she passed me and said I’d probably catch her later.  I told her it depended on how far ahead she got.   Sure enough, as soon as the course turned to twisting and up&down singletrack weaving through the trees, I did indeed catch up to her.  She asked if I wanted to pass but as were about a mile from the mid-point aid station, I said I planned to stop anyway.  The pirate flags were a welcomed sight and we arrived at the support table manned by all the great volunteers:  Cathy Plite, Scott & Marnie Tencate, John Haffedon, Kevin Allen and his son and others.
By now I was rather sick of the Heed and dumped one bottle and had it filled with just water.  I took a couple of Endolytes and shot down three dixie cups of Coca-Cola- that hit the spot.  A bite of orange and off to complete the lap with about 16 miles to go.
I rode all the hills on the first lap, walked a couple on the second and walked even a couple more on the third but still was able to gut it out on most of them even as I neared the finish.  Riding the last big hill, my incentive was that screaming fast down hill in the big ring which then bends and takes you to a shallow climb single track when you are about two miles out.  I shot onto the single track while dropping from the big ring to middle,  and motored along the undulating benchcut, keeping my speed up.  Down onto the flat section, back in the big ring and pushing hard around the curves and through the last bit of sand, I turned right onto the last straigh-away and could see the clock and spectators, and I sprinted hard to have a strong finish and as I reached the timing mats the clock said 9:33 !  I shot straight through and out onto the paved parking lot and Udell Hills Road and pedaled easy to wind down.  Only then did I realize I missed the turn to get my Lumberjack finish patch, so I rode back to the finish line (I was already past the timing mats) and the Kenda arch to get my patch.
I’d used my bike’s features as efficiently as possible, which I’d done at Fort Custer and Hanson Hills, locking out the front fork on flats and climbs to maximize my power output and not lose power to the shocks.  I actually had more fuel than normal, but figured that I am actually riding more efficiently so the fuel set up for my rides of the last two years was actually more than needed.
In the end I had a 9:33 finish time.  Lap times were 2:55, 3:12, and 3:26 respectively.  I ws 22nd of 55 racers in Master’s Men category.

8 Hours of Cannonsburg

8 Hours of Cannonsburg
6/8/13
It’s been a while since I’ve been on a four person team at a race so when friends started talking about Cannonsburg it wasn’t hard to get interested.  Turns out four guys were willing so here we go!   Greg, Kirk, Scott and my self agreed and Scott signed us up.

  Race day started as a cool sunny morning, great racing weather.  It was generally a small field, most of the single categories had only one or two racers.  The competition was in the team cats.   Two man teams had ten, and our four man cat. had six teams.  Team racers went out first and I drew the short straw and got to do the first lap.
  It turned out the promoter wanted to do things a little different so we raced the course backwards(so much for a preview of the course for the State Games).  The course actually rode pretty well backwards once you got used to it.  So going back wards meant going up threw the skills park and all the way to the top(Oh Boy).  First lap half way up I was passed by a fat bike, DA**!.  Then I see it was Scott Quiering, well that answers that!  I finished my first lap and found that he was on a four man team with all fat bikes….Great, were gonna get whipped by a group of fat tire bikes, whats was worse is they were betting us as three guys on a four man team on fat bikes!
  We stayed one lap behind the leaders for the day and tied with another team for second on laps but got third place by time.
It was a Great day for racing, a Great group of competitors,  And as expected Great beer with friends afterwards.
  Not bad for my 54th birthday!
TC

Hanson Hills CPS Race #3 report

IMG_4638Saturday  closed with a fine 74 degree weather, but Sunday morning June 2nd race day saw a 30 degree drop in temperature and blustery winds greeted racers at the Hanson Hills CPS race in Grayling!
While I forgot my normal complement of base layers and leg warmers, I was fortunate enough to have my thermal jacket with me for the race, which in the end proved sufficient.
The race started at 10 am for the Elites and Expert racers to head out onto the 10+ mile course for three laps.  Hanson Hills is NOT very technical and is a climbers course.  The climbs are significant and the downhills fast and often bumpy.  But there essentially no obstacles and only a few twisting and winding sections to navigate.
IMG_4541Jeremy Karel led off the Founders team racers onto the course, competing in a field of five elite racers.   Categories departed in waves and I headed out six minutes later with a field of 12 in our Expert Men 50+.
IMG_4621Tom Stolz competed against eight other Expert/Elite Singlespeed racers who departed the start line after my category.
The course winds out about a mile and then begins a long steady grade climb.  I was passed in the first mile by most of the field as we hit the climb but once on the flatter area at the top of the hill, the 50+ group had broken into two smaller packs.  The first pack was far out of sight but I was in front of a couple racers and behind three others and we were wheel to wheel.  I was ready to make a move and started to pass the racer immediately in front of me because we had a wide shoulder of grass and moss on which to pass.  However, I didn’t move far enough to the left as I passed and my front wheel slid on the edge berm of the trail tread as I stood up to hammer past the other racer and I went down hard on my left side as the racers behind me passed me and the ones in front pulled away.  I got up quickly and jumped on the bike despite my now sore left ribs and began riding hard.   I wanted to catch the immediate group I’d tried to stay with on the pass (which was led by our Freewheeler friend Bill Shaver).  They proved to be too strong for me to close such a gap after the crash.  I may have stayed with a couple of them had it not been for the crash.
Eventually I caught a couple of competitors who passed me and I kept a  hard spinning pace to try to motor away.  But glancing over my shoulder periodically I could see one of the racers behind me most of the rest of lap one and also lap two.    By mid-way through  lap two I wasn’t sure who was behind me and at one point a racer called to pass me on a slight climb (which I expected) and it turned out to be a singlespeed racers. “Good pace” he said as he passed.  I then decided to use him as my rabbit for incentive to ride hard and worked to keep him in sight.  My actual competitor was still behind me constantly at about 100 yards or so.  I could distinguish him at a glance back due to a distinctive green jersey kit.  He’d close the gap a little on climbs, but I’d open it up again on downhills and technical twisting trail segments.  All the while I kept the singlespeeder in sight.
Third lap, I continued to press forward, not letting off the gas at all and on one short, but fairly steep climb I’d closed the gap on the single speed rider. He was 2/3rds up the hill as I started the climb when I heard a hard “CRACK” sound and he was off his bike to the side picking up his chain as I passed him. Tough break with only three miles left in the race.  I felt good and surged onward vowing to put an even larger gap on my competitor.  At this point, other than “green jersey” guy I had no idea now of where I was in the field or who was behind me.  I had long ago realized I would not catch the others in front of me.
My sole focus in the last three miles was to reach the last final long climb ahead of any competitor because after that it is a fast swooping downhill ride into the finish and bumpy.  Passing here would be extremely difficult so if I reached the top of this downhill I’d stay ahead of any competitor.    I hit the bottom of the climb and gutted out a steady RPM to reach the top and as I did I glanced back and saw no riders at all.   Then through the singletrack bench cut and left onto the downhills I rode down the grassy hill into the chute and the finish.    I turned circles in the lot to see who came in after me.  It turned out two other racers had passed the green jersey racer and he came in after them.
My goal was to improve my results over 2011.  Last year I was 10th of 11 (and #11 was a DNF) with a time of 2:53.  This year I ended up 8th of 12 and my computer time said 2:39.  Significant improvement in placement and decent improvement in finish time.
Jeremy Karel took a fourth place finish in his tough field, edged out barely from third place by about a half a second!  CLOSE FINISH.   Tom Stolz had a tough field and finished 5th of nine for decent series points captured.
Dennis
Next up for many racers- Meijer State Games time trial at Cannonsburg June 22nd.