Who’s sweat is in the chamois? Part 1 Racer Profile: Scott Tencate

pic1Age: 16-75 (depending on alcohol consumption, eye tests and training miles)
Marital Status: Married
Children: Both of them (one ran away to the west coast and the other is tied up outside where he has been forced to live off of the land)
Residence: Ada
Occupation: Race Promoter, Hair Club for Men spokesman and legal drug mule
Favorite Food: Cheez-its smothered in melted cheese
Favorite Beer: Founders Centennial IPA
Favorite Quote: “If it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense.”

Our first racer profile will feature none other than Scott (Tenner)Tencate.  Many of you may know him as the Robin to the Batman of race promotions.  But there is so much more to this silver striped mop head.


A Capricorn, Scott enjoys mountain biking, mountain biking and….ummmm….mountain biking.  He can often be found (when not in spandex) exploiting natural habits, rural communities and innocent children for the greater good of the cycling community.
While pursuing a degree from Fresuae School of Cosmetology in Massachusetts, Scott was discovered by a modeling agency based out of the back of a custom van with shag carpeting.

pic3Although he made very little money modeling for Vidal Sassoon and Dep, there was one good thing to come of these dark days.  During one of these shoots he met the love of his life, Marnie, who was making quite a name for herself as the stunt double for Kelly McGillis used in a particular, not so PG scene of Top Gun.

pic4From this moment Scott decided to take life seriously, start a career and settle down.  So he took a job as a rodeo clown.

pic5Due to an allergy to BPA free plastics found in today’s Rodeo barrels, Scott was eventually forced into a corporate sales position at Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory where he spent many years successfully building a client base of toothless school children.  Eventually Marnie tired of him humming Oompa Loompa songs and smelling of chocolate and forced him into the cutthroat world of bike race promotions.

pic6Unless you have been living under a rock, you know the rest of the sordid tale of Tenner.

-Rob Meendering

I’ll Never

image4I have to say that most of my life I really enjoyed the Winter season in Michigan. Well, except for when I was eight and had a paper route that had me trudging through snow up to my waist, while pulling a sled full of newspapers, in the dark, around the neighborhood….That sucked! I’ve always appreciated the activities that only those who live in the Northern portion of the country can experience and felt sorry for those who never see how beautiful and awesomely harsh Winter can be on any given day or hour. Over the years I avoided “hibernation” by staying active and embracing the change of season by cross country skiing, building snow forts and sledding with the kids at the local school hill. I enjoyed the break from the bike but in the same vein missed the bike, the ride and the social interaction with my cycling friends.

Three or four years ago I saw quite a few friends purchase fat bikes. I have to admit I was a critic of the Fat bike movement. I didn’t get it. Those big goofy tires looked like something from the Flintstones and those early years of the new sport seemed like I saw more people pushing their fat bike than actually riding them. I didn’t get it! ” I’ll never get one!” I said countless times to Marnie. We rented some fat bikes at Crystal mountain and rode for an hour. It was sloooow plowing through the powder. We laughed, we fell, we pushed our bikes…. ” what the hell? Everyone says “it’s the best!” I don’t get it, this is stupid!
Well, fast forward two years where Rick and I were presented an opportunity by our race sponsor partner, GRBC to work owning fat bikes into our sponsorship package. Rick sold me hard that we should do it and “I would love it!” What?!! I have 40 plus bikes in my house, I don’t need another one. Especially one that won’t be used, taking up space!!
Thankfully we / I took the offer! After a year of owning it, I now “get it” and truly love the winter fat biking experiences. You learn to go with the flow like we do with fluctuating Michigan winter conditions. I’ve had some amazing rides on the Lake Michigan beach, exploring area woods, groomed Marquette trails, Merrell Trail, The Burg…..and have been blown away by the uniqueness of those rides and the added adventure the fat bike provides.

Even though I’ve been loving the winter fat biking and the addition of another sport to keep me fit and sane through the Winter, I said “I would never do a fat bike race.” Well, that all changed as teammate Jeremy called me over Christmas vacation and asked if I’d want to race the Farmhand fat bike race at Cannonsburg, in the two person team category. I couldn’t say no! The day before the race we received over a quarter inch of rain with warm temps turning to ice as temps dropped that night. Race morning, on a two minute phone call with Jeremy we set our race strategy (win) and laughed at the amount of preparation needed for a winter race; clothing, freezing hydration, tire pressure, equipment….
Jeremy started the race taking the first leg. I sat under the Founders tent in my winter coat, boots and snow pants trying to stay warm and going crazy wondering what type of trail conditions Jeremy was experiencing. Not really knowing if he’d come past the team pits gassed or injured, I knew I had to be ready. Here came the solo leaders of the first lap, so I stripped off all my winter clothes, grabbed my bike and ran to the pit start expecting a handoff to take lap two. Jeremy came around the last corner, fish tailing the back end and riding like a crazy person on fire. He blew past me….so I put my winter gear back on, sat at the team tent and had numerous offers for Hot Damn, Founders beer and whiskey. I declined feeling racing on some ice would be enough of a buzz. The other teams are switching riders every lap so I start to wonder if they know something we didn’t? Lap two, here come the leaders! Strip off the winter gear, grab the bike, stand at the fence ready for a tag. Jeremy blows by, big grin, decent lead on second place. What the hell?? I put all my crap back on and start to wonder if Jeremy’s going to do the entire race by himself. I conspire a strategy with teammate Martin. “If Jeremy doesn’t stop next lap I’ll start drinking or better yet you knock him off his bike and I’ll actually get to race. ” Third lap in Jeremy has a good lead on the competition and actually makes the tag! I’m racing! The course was actually fun despite a few icy spots and a few crashes. In the end we held on and won the team category placing 1st out of 41 teams. Congrats to teammates Terry on 2nd place and Adam for 6th. Along with Jane who had a great race despite bald tires. Also a great race by Marnie who just missed the podium in her first fat bike race. She says she’ll never do another one. “Too scary”. never say never!!
Thanks to Teammate Rob too for capturing some great moments/ photos on the course!!


photos by Rob Meendering



Slows Bar Bq

We are so excited to announce that Slows Bar Bq has become a sponsor of the 2016 Founders Racing Team! Slows Grand Rapids Full_Color_webSlows Bar Bq Grand Rapids (SlowsGR) opened Aug 6th, 2015 in the Downtown Market, an urban, self-sustaining, mixed-use facility on Grand Rapids’ south side that brings together food production, distribution, marketing and education about local foods. The new market-style barbecue restaurant is located at the SE corner of Ionia and Logan Streets.

SlowsGR features family-style dining with a mix of long communal tables as well tables suited to smaller groups. Guests order their meats, Texas-style, by the pound directly from the carvers. Sandwiches are ordered from the cashiers.

The Grand Rapids location features a similar menu to the Detroit location, including slow-cooked barbecue favorites like brisket, ribs, pulled pork, several of Slows’ signature sandwiches & sides and several dozen Michigan-based artisan and craft beers on tap.

Stop in sometime for sandwich and a pint, most likely one of our Team Members will be there too!

It Was A Very Good Year – atmo

It Was A Very Good Year – atmo

matt2014 was my last year in the 30-39 expert race category. I was a solid top 5 racer but at every single race, I’d get caught by the lead group of 40-somethings. I knew the bar would be set higher this year and was determined to be able to hang. After spending the off-season training hard at The Shift, and getting not only a new mountain bike, but also a Marin carbon cross bike (thank you Gap30!), I began the year with a 4th place at Barry Roubaix in a sprint finish. Good start! Two weeks later I followed that up with a first place at Yankee with a solid margin of a whopping 9 seconds. Fast forward to Iceman where I started in wave 1, and also knew my main competition in KLM garb. If John Osgood didn’t win every year, he was at least on the podium. The start left me chasing for the entire race but I rallied and was feeling good with 10k left (which NEVER happens). I hit the single track passing the group I’d been riding with, put a gap on them and came up to another group. What’s that ahead? KLM? Tight barricades with 1k to go and I manage to pass one racer through an opening in the brush and finish with John just out of reach to claim third place. I was a scant 6 seconds from him and only 20 seconds from a first place finish.
I began this year with a few goals. Make it to my 40th birthday, make it through my 40th birthday party, get a new mountain bike, and make this the best cycling year of my life. Throw in a new car to really give it the mid-life crisis effect. Only this was no crisis. It was a celebration. After eleven of my twelve races this year, I was privileged to climb the podium with some amazing racers from several teams (mainly Cross Country), but special thanks to Roy Kranz and Paul Dunn for keeping me motivated and showing me how to compete at a new level. No matter how much we beat each other up (and we did… typically it was us three breaking away), the finish line demarcated race tactics from good natured mutual respect and beer sipping.
It wasn’t a good year strictly for the race results, though. More than ever, I learned that I can’t train hard without playing hard to balance it out. That’s where Founders Racing really steps up! I’m so happy to be a part of this team! The great turnout from them and other good friends at my 40th birthday shindig was amazing and I can’t thank them enough for making it my favorite birthday ever! Drag racing Scott and Marnie with Jeremy on an old 70’s kickback tandem still makes me laugh! Casual rides through urban single track and downtown parking ramps led by Jeff Jacobi (usually with a beer stop somewhere) are what keep this sport dynamic and fun. Ride hard and just go out easy the next day to enjoy the scenery. Take your kids out for a “recovery ride”. Ride the Barry Roubaix course on a nice day without turning Strava on. Seriously, that just makes you try too hard.
I raise a pint of Centennial to everyone for a great 2015 with one final congratulations to Tom Stolz for making a huge comeback from his wheelie serious injury last year! Also to the additions to our team for 2016, welcome to Founders Racing! Can’t wait to ride, race, and party with all of you for another year!