Thank you Gap30 Cycles!

A big shout out to Gap 30!
I’ve had trouble with my cross bikes shifting for a long time, Brian at Gap 30 helped me select a new set of road shifters. A few days later my DDX is shifting better than ever.
Thanks Gap 30! Tim

Smith Optics rock!

timI did my first ride with my Smith Optics RX lenses today,  the RX lenses were made by Smith and received in less than a week from order date! They snap in firmly and I had great ride with great clarity. Oh and they match my Smith helmet 🙂
Thank you Smith Optics!
Tim Curtis

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.

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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.
History:
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

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!
Matt12391828_10207154198145697_8081106915373690585_n-1

“I would rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.” – Tom Waits

image6Lets try this again.  I previously composed a beer review that would have had Kerouac, Whitman and Steinbeck searching for alternative career paths.  But alas, thanks to the wonderful world of technology (and yahoo) my opus was completely wiped out prior to posting.  Man, you should have read it.  It wasn’t your weekly drabble about color, head, off flavors, nose and mouthfeel.  This was an ode to the Belgian lords of the true art of brewing.  A manifesto about what it means to live, eat, breath and shit the poetry of the brewing process.   But you will never read it.  You shall never bask in it’s literary glory.  You may be saying “Why don’t you just rewrite it Rob?”  Gee, I don’t know.  Why didn’t the Egyptians just have a big rhinoplasty party with the Sphinx?  Why didn’t they just put a kickstand under the Leaning Tower Of Pisa?  Why didn’t they build Atlantis on stilts?  Why did they not just pour Lagunitas Sucks down the drain and start over?  Sometimes when shit goes wrong it is for the right reason.  I am not quite sure what that reason is, but I am a pint glass half full type of guy.  Hopefully what follows will suffice.
image-1I have not always liked Belgian beers.  In fact I loathed them.  Endlessly I listened to bearded beer brainiacs blab about the terrific banana, spice and clove characteristics of their favorite beers brewed by some bald guy in a brown robe.  What I tasted was rotten bananas and cloves that must have been picked from a fresh, steaming pile of belgian cow shit.  Never one to give up easily, I tried several styles from several brewers.  Trappists, blondes, saisons, Flemish, dubbel and strong ales from Ommegang, Duvel, Huyghe and Jolly Pumpkin all passed my lips with little more than a “ehh, it’s alright” (at best).
Then it happened.  A gentleman by the name of Jason Spaulding (formerly of New Holland) returned to Grand Rapids via Doemens Acadamy (yes it is really a beer school) to create a Belgian inspired beer cathedral that would be the first thing to entice me back to church in over a decade.  imageBrewery Vivant has been birthing some of the most experimentally delicious beers either side of the Grand since 2010.  Some of my personal favorites have been the multitude of barrel aged wonders.  Vivant’s take on beers aged both in whiskey and wine barrels have proven that the aging process does not have to trump the brewing process.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love a good, thick, heavily bourbon barrel aged, where did I leave my wife ale that pushes the ABV boundaries.  The marriage of liquor and beer is truly a work of art that any self respecting beer lover must learn to appreciate.  But Vivant takes this art form in a bit of a unique direction.  The aging process seems to accentuate the flavors of the beer and not define them. image5 One of these magical creations is Le Flaneur.  This bretta ale utilizes three different yeast strains during its aging process which takes over a year.  The result is a phenomenal ale with a great farmhouse funk flavor and a brilliant straw color that has me wishing this was a regular on tap at “The Cathedral”.  However, as of this post, there is limited supply at the brewery and sadly they have sold out of all cans.   For a more in depth review of this beer please: a) find out where yahoo hid my original post.  b) read some other douche bag’s half assed review about the beer’s bouquet and mouth feel (that term always sounds pornographic to me).  c) get your ass to church and kneel at the alter of Belgian brilliance.
Cheers,
Rob Meendering
Authors note: The above is strictly the opinion of the author’s and does not reflect the opinions of any Founder’s Racing team members other than myself.

RACING WEIGHT- ENDURANCE TRAINING- GOOD BOOK TO PICK UP

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This season seems to have accelerated for me quite well.  After what I thought was a slow start, it really began to ramp up. One element that has helped is that I’ve dropped a considerable amount of weight over the last few months going from an average of 168 lbs. to holding steady at about 158 lbs.  As long as strength is maintained and not lost, clearly this improves the power to weight ratio.

One helpful piece of information in this regard is “Racing Weight- how to get lean for peak performance” by Matt Fitzgerald.  I was already doiong much of the advice in the book, but additional information from the book has allowed me to tweak and refine what I do daily to improve my diet and cycling.  One critical aspect of the book is the chapter regarding determining your ideal lean body mass.  Other portions of the book discuss different means to manage how and what (and when) you eat (such as timing nutrient intake). There are some recipes. There are also case studies for concrete illustration such as Joe Dombrowski.  Parts of the book have chapters focused on cyclists, triathletes and runners specifically.

Though the subtitle  “6 Step Plan for Endurance Athletes,” I recommend the book even if you are not doing endurance events.

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.

Gear Review

Mountain bikers need to carry gear- there’s no doubt.
After about 10 years with a gear bag that finally went to pieces I decided to do a bit of research and found the Ogio Endurance 9.0  bag.  I couldn’t find this bag anywhere locally so I opted to buy it online.  It is a bit pricey with a list price of $160, but you can find it less expensively online through various retailers.
The bag has a wet-pouch zipper compartment on the bottm for your smelly or wet item. It has a zipper end pouch for your helmet.  On one end is a zipper compartment which can hold even two pairs of shoes.  The center compartment is fairly generous but note that the side compartments do intrude into this area.  Each side of the long side also have zipper areas. One of them has a hard compartment to install your phone or Ipod and protect it.  The helmet end pouch also includes a hard section to protect other less rugged items when trasnporting.
Finally, one other feature?  The carry straps are actually “backpack” straps and you can carry the whole bag like a backpack.
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I first used this for travel to the Louisville Worlds Cyclocross weekend.  It is NOT a suitecase and if you needed it for several days travel with regular clothes AND bike gear you’d be a bit cramped for space, but for weekend travel it works well so long as you are judicious with your packing and choice of items to pack.  But definitely if JUST for bike gear it is a perfect option.

Some like it hot!

Everybody talks about cross training or off season training.  I myself used to spend a small fortune killing myself at the gym.  Then I started running, which is great cross training and something I need to do more of.  It is just hard to convince myself to do it and I often find myself wondering “Why are you doing this when you could be on your bike?”.  Recently my wife talked me into trying hot yoga.  I immediately pictured myself twisted and contorted staring at my own ass for an extended period of time contemplating the nature and reason for my existence.  How much of a workout can it really be?  You would be surprised.
Founders Racing was recently invited by Elizabeth at Yoga Heat to try a yoga class.  Elizabeth practices a style of yoga called power vinyasa.  It is a fairly fast paced style which focuses on strength building, flexibility and balance.  She does a fantastic job helping athletes (especially cyclists and runners) get the most out of their practice.  With a philosophy of “Helping Every Athlete Thrive” you notice rather quickly the benefits and how they translate to your sport.  Many cyclist I know have had or do have lower back issues caused primarily by lack of core strength.  Trust me, there is no shortage of core strengthening exercises here.  You will feel pain (sometimes days later), you will wonder why you paid for this (her classes are very reasonably priced) and you will most likely be silently cursing her for all the F’in chaturangas.  But in the end you walk (slowly) away knowing you just had a great workout, in a short period time for a decent price.  Oh, and then there is the heat.  Be prepared to sweat.  The workout alone is enough to work up a good sweat.  Add in a room temp of approximately 90 degrees and you sweat out those IPAs in no time.  Do yourself and your body a favor.  Check it out.
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Happy New Year!

Lets start this one off right with a beer review! Thanks to Wade for recommending this Tricerahops Double IPA to me and then ordering and shipping it to me in time for the Holidays. Sweet! Thanks Wade. That make two awesome Christmas gifts, the other being a Bolt Cutter from Shawn that I plan to cellar for 1 year. Who wants to be around next Christmas Eve for a tasting of this bad boy?

OK, back to the Tricerahops; The Ninkasi Brewing Co in Eugene Oregon killed it with this awesome example of a double ipa. This 9.6% hop fest is a masterpiece of brewing. It pours light amber in color with a small cap of dense foam. The aroma is huge with orange hops and just a hint of malt sweetness. The flavors is also big on the orange hop profile but the malt brings in some chewy caramel without being overly sweet. The mouth feel is smooth and has a medium body. This is one of my favorite double/Imperial IPAs to date, right behind Founders Double Trouble 🙂