Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Where have all the Cowboy's gone?

Its that time of year again. I know it because I am going through withdrawls from all of my velo-friends. Its also the time when we start spending money on new bike parts and drafting up race schedules and training plans that will all fall apart within the first week of the season.

A few things that happened in the cycling world since my last post:
  • I'm now gainfully employed. Bottom line- I should have ridden more when I had the time.
  • The PSSWC was again an absolute blast. Even though I dropped 4 beers out of an expensive 6 pack of Bell's.
  • I placed 9th in Expert 24-29 at Iceman on my Soul Cycles Dillenger SS 29er
  • I got my ass kicked at several Cyclocross races around the state of Michigan this fall
  • The Racing Greyhounds adopted a bunch of new Puppys

First up this year will be the 35 mile variety of Barry Roubaix the fixed gear.

One gear One love.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Fear and Loathing in Udell

Last weekend I learned a hard lesson. Nothing is a sure thing. I thought for sure I was going to slay the beast that is the Big MF'r.

Everything was going well all weekend, I arrived at the campsite early on friday and got everyhting set up, my body felt great at the starting line and I cruised through the first lap in a time of 2:14:48.
I was on pace to break my 10 hour goal and I felt pretty decent dispite the heat and humidity.

This was supposed to be my big race of the season, everything leading up to June 20th has been training for the LJ100. Sometimes things don't quite go as planned. The bike slid out from under me in a corner and I went down hard. I jumped up and took a quick inventory, I at first glance I was fine. Then I tried to pedal. it felt like someone had hit me in the right thigh with a baseball bat. I made it to through the inner loop and stopped at the 8 mile aide hand off station. I needed help getting the bike out from under me because I could barely put any weight on my leg. some nice woman offered to help me stretch it out. When she touched my leg I about screamed. I layed there for a while trying to decided if i was going to go out and finish another 73 miles. My head said yes, but my leg said no. I had to call it quits after 33 miles. this was my first DNF ever. I am sorely dissipointed as the course conditions were perfect and the weather was great (if not a little hot). I will be back with a vengance next year. I've got 9:30:00 in my sights.

The rest of the Cycle to Fitness RACING GREYHOUNDS did and outstanding job. Seven members of the team finished the race, but everyone that attempted did a great job.

For the rest of the year I'll focus on staying healty and maintaing my fitness by riding some of the Fun Promotions 6/12/24 hour races, Cyclocrossing in the fall and training for the Dances With Dirt 50K trail run in September.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Mohican100 Race Report!

This race was the first true test of my fitness of the year. I’ve logged more miles already this year than I have ever before and I was anxious to see if my time in the saddle had paid off.  I figured this race would be a good way to see how I‘ll stack up for my goal time of under 10 hours at Lumberjack. It’ll be a stretch, considering my time last year was 12:05. This was also my first race using a Camelbak and I thought I would try listening to my MP3 player to help the loneliness that sets in at about mile 50 of a long race.

I just got my bike all dialed in the week before with a new carbon flat bar and a WhiteBrothers Rock Solid Carbon Fork. I was nervous about my choice of 33x16 on my 29er after riding the 24 miles of the State Park loop on a 33x15 the week prior. I knew I’d be walking some hills no matter what gear I ran, so I figured 33x16 was a solid choice.

What an amazing weekend this turned out to be! The Mohican100 experience was everything I hoped it would be. The course had everything. Long grinding hills, short steep hills, technical switchback climbs (some of you may scoff at my use of the term technical, but on a rigid single speed, anything more than a paved bike path can be classified as “technical”), blistering fast, 42mph, downhills, 16mph flats, paved roads, two-track, dirt roads, and singletrack.
 Had I not just ridden it, I would have never believed that there were so many hills in Ohio.  CMo and I were discussing all weekend how much the landscape reminded us of West Virginia. 

With 11,000 feet of climbing, it seemed like turn after turn there was another monster hill waiting for you. Even the downhills were tough to enjoy because you knew something else was coming up.  Some parts of the course were cyclocross style, there is no way anyone (even the pros) rode this loose, sandy, steep two track stuff.

The race started out in downtown Loudonville which is sort of an archaic little town in rural Ohio with one stop light, one church and something like 5 or 6 bars. After a short ride from the campground, CMo and I lined up midpack and waited for the race to start. 
Almost exactly 7am and the police siren went off. 
The first challenge was navigating all the people, the second challenge was the gigantic hill we had to climb. After the funnel effect from 2 lane road to single track we filed in and basically walked the single track for about ½ mile. The first part of the race was through the Mohican State Park singletrack which is pretty amazing. 22 miles in I got the first flat I’ve ever had in a race.  It was a quick fix, but I had to borrow a tire lever from another racer who had a flat at about the same spot I did. He was having troubles with his CO2 so I let him borrow my pump.  Little did I know that we’d leap frog 4 or 5 times the rest of the day. At the end I found out that he went thought 5 tubes throughout the day. 

I stopped at the 2nd aid station and refueled. Digging though the drop bags to find mine I saw that everyone else’s drop bags consisted of water bottles and  gel packets. Mine had pierogies, baked potatoes, pretzels and  almonds. I guess I’m the only one who needs real food on long rides. After the second aid station we got spit back on two tracks and dirt roads then eventually back on to some single track.  

At this point I was contemplating my sanity, who the hell would ever sign up for a 100 mile mountain bike race?!  Why do I do this to my self? I decided I was selling all my mountain bikes and sticking to road riding. Thankfully 10 or so miles later, I got my wits back started feeling a bit better. Aid station 4 came and I was glad to get a bit of a break. 

The last 28 miles were a bit of a blur, paved roads, dirt roads and the remaining 4 miles of  the Mohican state park trail. The trail spit us back out on route 3 right outside the campground, little did I remember that we’d have to climb all the hills that we’d descended in the campground on the way out.  It felt great to cross the finish line and still have legs to carry me.

After the race CMo and I went back to the campsite to clean up a 
bit then we headed back down for some post-race grub and suds. It was too bad all the good beer was gone and we had to drink some shit Budweiser swill. The food was Mongoilan BBQ style and was pretty good. But I had no appetite.  

We hung out and watched the award ceremony and waited for the 
swag to be given out.  It was awesome to see some hometown boys up on the Men’s Open podium (Simonson and Tanguy).

CMo and I both ended up with some Darn Tough Socks and Pro Gold chain lube. 

Here’s what I learned from this race:

1. CMo is the MAN.
2. Camelbaks look dorky, but are necessity for rides longer than 25 miles or so.
2. Pierogies are superfood!
3. ALWAYS carry more tubes than you think you’ll need. 
4. I am NOT selling my mountain bikes.
5. Listening to music helps take the edge off long rides. One ear only though!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Next on the radar is the Mohican100 in Loudonville, OH. After a 24 mile pre-ride last weekend, I can say with confidence that it is gonna be brutal! More to come...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Spring in Michigan

The weather certainly was the deciding factor for most cyclists plans in Michigan this weekend. Both the 6/12 Hours of Addison Oaks and the Bloomer Park XC mounitan bike races were cancelled due to poor trail conditions. 
 The Addison race is slated to be run on October 10th while the Bloomer Park race will be held next Sunday, May 24th.

A Strong Showing for the CtoF Racing Greyhounds!

(photos by Chris Werth and Danielle Jankowski)


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Bike Events

Its been a bit of a slow week for me on the bike, but I've been concentrating on running a bit as well.  I've got about 150 miles in on the bike since the first of the month. I am planning on riding the 12 hour solo at Addison Oaks on Saturday so I'm taking it a bit easy. 

I did go out for a hard 30 miler yesterday and felt good. I headed south down College toward Mason. I really like riding the country roads that surround Lansing, but there is always a constant 15 mph headwind. it seems like every day i've been on the road in the last few months I've had to battle the wind from one direction or another. 

Enough babble about training, there are some great bike events coming up around Michigan in the month of May.

 Friday May 8th there is a Ride Around Town (RAT) in Lansing/ East Lansing. Here's the info as written by Marci Baranski:
In celebration of spring, please join us for a Friday evening Ride-Around-Town (RAT)** through the streets of Lansing and East Lansing. This is an informal, social, urban ride to demonstrate safe bicycling and establish a visible presence of cyclists on city streets.

We'll share the road, be friendly, keep a nice pace, and end at a local food / watering hole to talk about all things cycling here in the Lansing region. We think most of you are pretty smart and would hate to lose you, so helmets are strongly recommended.

When: THIS Friday, May 8th

Starts: We have two! Choose your own adventure! East Lansing start -- meet at 5:41PM at Beaumont Tower on campus; Lansing start -- meet at 6:01 where the Rivertrail meets the Impression 5 Parking lot.

(The two groups will merge at a surprise location.)

Who: Anyone!

RAT Watering Hole: Izzo's Pub / Pizza in REO Town, unless we have a better idea before Friday at 6.

** We are borrowing the RAT concept from the Washtenaw Biking and Walking Coalition.

May 9th the 2009 Bike Demo at Island Lake Rec. Area  from 10am to 5pm at the Dodge Parking lot at ILRA.

Also May 9th is the 6/12 hours of Addison Oaks Endurance Race put on by Brent Walk and Fun Promotions

Brent always puts on a great race with great food afterwards and always has some intersting Prizes to give away. Lets hope the weather holds out as I've heard the trail was in rough shape earlier this week but the Trail Coordinators from the Metro-North Chapter of the MMBA have been working their butts off to get this trail in ride-able condition for saturday. Come out and ride the Pain Train for a few hours!

For you Westsiders on May 9th is the Bike Rodeo put on by The Motion Initiative. Check the links for more information.

May 16th is the MSU Farm Daze Tour. Ride start is 8am- 10am and options are 25, 50, 75 and 100K routes. Click the link for more information.

Be there or be square! Huey Lewis says its hip to be square, but we all know that Huey Lewis is a drunk and a liar.  If you don't believe me, just check out all how much fun everyone is having in these pictures, courtesy of our team photog Danielle Jankowski.

I hope to see you at some of these events!


Friday, May 1, 2009

Tact and Poise

Lance Armstrong Responds to Twitter Mishap -- powered by

Say what you want about Lance Armstrong, but I think he is the man. Sure there are better riders out there right now. But in his prime, Lance was king. He's done more to promote cycling than any other rider on the planet.  AJHOGG@HOTMAIL.COM can suck it. Lance has never been found guilty for doping and probably never will. End of story. plus, he rides fixies.


Thursday, April 30, 2009


Black 2001 Saturn SC2. That’s the car I drive —

 and if you’re a bicyclist on the road but not in a bike path and you see my car, I hope you’re wearing a helmet, because I might run you over.

Maybe not intentionally.

But you see, with all these things I can do in my car nowadays, such as choose a different song on my iPod, send a text message while driving or fall asleep at the wheel because I had to wake up for a worthless 8 a.m. biology lab, I might not notice you.

And, considering you are where you should not be, I might hit you.

The simple fact of the matter is, MSU has so kindly provided sidewalks for people on foot and Rollerblades, and MSU’s ordinance should be revised to require bicyclists be there too. The university has outlined bike paths on certain roads, but bicyclists can’t just create imaginary bike paths like they do.

I cannot drive my car on the sidewalk, so why must you ride your bicycle where I drive?

Many of my friends ride bicycles on campus, so I’m not trying to berate a whole demographic of students. I appreciate bicyclists who advocate environmentalism, since they are making up for the damage I do with my car.

I respect bicyclists who use bicycles as a form of exercise, since people certainly can never get enough fitness in their everyday routines.

But for as much as I respect and appreciate bicyclists, I will not hesitate to honk at them when they are interfering with the roads.

My concern is not merely about inconvenience.

Bicyclists on the road are a driving hazard to people in automobiles, since many bicyclists make turns without using hand signals and ride too close to other vehicles when there is no designated bike path.

For example, I was driving to work Tuesday when a bicyclist pulled up in front of my car in the right lane on Farm Lane going northbound where it intersects with Shaw Lane. There is no bike path at this portion of the road, and I needed to be in the right lane to avoid the left turn only lane, but the bicyclist was in the way.

Instead, I had to speed ahead and veer away from the fast-approaching rear end of the car in front of me, just barely making it into the right lane.

Some will say I could be more patient on the road.

But roads are for cars, not bicyclists. The bicyclist should not have been in the car lane.

It’s possible some bicyclists are trying to live out their dreams of being Lance Armstrong, and the smooth terrain offered by the roads where big, people-killing cars are designed to travel on are more desirable than the sidewalk pavement.

I get it, bicyclists — you’re in the Tour de France. Well, in your head at least.

But in reality, my gas-guzzling, carbon footprint-leaving car is trying to get around you, the bicyclist. And you, the bicyclist, prefer to coast, not along the side of the lane but in the exact middle.

Maybe in your head you are actually driving a car. Maybe that’s why you believe you should be behind a pickup truck and in front of 15 other cars trying to pass you.

And maybe you are Armstrong, so talented and in shape and able to pedal so, so fast. But Armstrong’s average speed in the 2001 Tour de France was 24.9 mph, which is 0.1 mph less than most of the speed limits on and around campus.

Plus, I’ve had difficulty finding students who actually obey the speed limit anyway.

It’s common for motorists to drive at least 5 mph above the speed limit, which makes your task to out-pedal Lance Armstrong all the more daunting. And considering you’re not actually Armstrong (even if you do wear a skintight yellow bicycle uniform), you likely are not going 24.9 mph.

And, oh yeah, Armstrong is competing when he is bicycling — your leisurely ride through campus might not even register on a police radar.

But, hey, snap out of it. You’re not Lance Armstrong.

And those are the headlights of my black 2001 Saturn SC2 bearing down on you.

Zack Colman is the State News opinion writer. Reach him at

Published on Wednesday, April 8, 2009

This is old news, but I thought I would bring it to the attention of those who havent seen it yet.  Hes been goofed on by the famous Bike Snob NYC, and bashed by just about every cyclist in the state. 

Speaking of idiot, guess who ran into a tree yesterday at Island Lake? Good thing my face broke the fall. Scraped up nose. Check. Black eye. Check. Bruised Ego. Check.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Last year I decided I was going to build a Niner One9 for the 2009 race season. I ordered one in December with a slated delivery date of March. No big deal, right? I wouldn't want to ride my sweet new scandium bike in the snowy slushy weather anyway, right? Long story short, the Niner frame never came in, I did some research and decided I was going to go with a Bianchi Sok SS frame instead. 

After riding my Bianchi Sok a grand total of 5 times I decided the frame was WAY too big. Which was a bummer, cause it was a sweet bike and it rode really well. After a little deliberation with Daniel from Cycle to Fitness, I decided that I'd just find a new frame and swap all the parts. I was thinking I would go with a Misfit Psycles DiSSent.  I talked to Daniel  about getting one in my size to build up. He showed me the Soul Cycles Dillinger. All signs pointed in this direction. It has the same tube set as the Bianchi (Easton Ultralite Race Aluminum), no track dropouts (it has an eccentric bottom bracket), and was close to the same geometry and about 1/2 the price of the Niner One9 I was originally looking at. 

I built it up last thursday just in time for a PLRA pre-ride. The only thing thats different is the Seat post as this one requires a 31.6mm post and the Bianchi took a 27.2mm. Here it is fresh after a cleaning and lube this afternoon. The geometry of the frame along with how I've got it set up make it feel really agressive. It just wants to go fast! I am also super impressed with the Laserdisc Single Duty hubs. They roll very smooth and are pretty light for a fairly inexpensive hub set. The one thing I haven't decided on yet is if I'm keeping the Reba up front. I almost always have it locked out, so I think I'm going to go with a carbon fork to save some weight. I am very happy with how this bike turned out, now I just need to put some more miles on it!


Monday, April 27, 2009

Pontiac Lake TT

Pontiac lake has a little bit of everything: rocks, roots, mud, grueling climbs, fast downhills, and fast flats. That being said, this trail is tough. It seems like you're always climbing or decending there is no place to spin the legs out for recovery untill the last mile of the trail coming down the two track. 

 It was a two lapper for the experts/elites again today and I opted for the extra single speed lap too. Most people (not CMo, Daniel or MV) think I'm crazy for racing 3 laps, but I feel like I have to if I want to better my Lumberjack100 time from last year

The first two laps were nasty. And not good nasty. I didnt get a chance to eat early enough so I ate a few mini bagels with PB&J at about 9am and I guess that just wasnt enough time for my body to process them. I got to the line feeling sluggish and it never got any better. 

I started with another guy on a single speed, he was on a 26" with slightly less gear.  
I took the lead and he was on my tail for the first 2 miles. I kept telling myself to run my own race and not worry about him. I kept finding myself on the gas trying to put some space between the two of us. The hill at 2 miles is a monster.  I picked a bad line and spun the rear tire on a root, I had to un clip and run the rest of the way and the guy i had worked so hard at putting some trail between got by. I caught him again in the next mile, waiting for my chance to throw out an "on your right!" and never looked back. The rest of the first lap was rather uneventful other than the 2 kids parked in the middle of the chute. I was able to navigate around them safely but as i'm cranking to make it up the short steep uphill on the other side, there is another kid standing in the middle of the trail. Running that hills probably wasnt a bad idea anyway. i had to save some of my chips for the second lap. From the way I felt I was expecting DFL.

Lap two felt better than the first, though my lap time was about 45 seconds slower. still feeling like trash, I slogged my way around the 9.5 mile courseover the hills, through the mud and
 crossed the finish line. Water. Recoverite. flip flops. thats all I could think. I was convinced I wasn't riding lap #3. I did much better than my expected DFL. 6th place in Expert 19-29 with Daniel Sterling and Earl Hillaker taking spots 3 and 4 respectively.

Its a good thing there was more than an hour between races or I wouldnt have even thought about riding another one. 
Lap 3 felt the best of the day and was actually faster than my second lap by about 15 seconds. Good enough for 13th in the Elite/Expert SS class. (thanks
 to for that photo)

Things I learned from this race:
1. Just keep moving. No matter how bad you feel, chances are you're doing better than you think.
2. Eat at least 2 hours before a race.
3. I need to spin my legs for a bit of recovery between hills. (read: I need to do hill repeats)

Thanks to the Greyhounds for all the food and the cool place to hang out between races. I had a great time hanging out at the Compound and meeting all the new team members.  The Cycle to Fitness RACING GREYHOUNDS experience is absolutely top notch.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Race Schedule

These are the races i'm planning on being at this year, plus some random 5 & 10K's here and there. I'm sure I'll be talked into some Advenutre Races again this year too. 

4/19/2009 Yankee Springs Western Chapter Benefit – TT 
4/26/2009 Pontiac Lake Time Trial - TT 
5/3/2009 Fort Custer Stampede - XC 
5/9/2009 6/12 Hours of Addison Oaks - Endurance 
5/17/2009 Xterra Ft. Custer- Du 
5/30/2009 Mohican 100 - Epic  
6/20/2009 Lumberjack 100 - Epic 
7/19/2009 Big M Cross Country MTB Race - XC 
7/26/2009 Black Bear Century 
8/15/2009 6/12 Hours of Pando - Endurance 
8/16/2009 Pontiac Lake MTB Race - XC 
8/23/2009 Fort Custer - TT 
10/17/2009 Peak 2 Peak - Epic 
11/7/2009 Iceman Cometh - Epic

I'll be racing Expert 29 & Under this season. Come out and support grassroots mountain bike racing!

Look for the RACING GREYHOUNDS jersey and the Bush League Bike Mafia shorts. If I'm not out on the course look for me under the KHS tent with a beer in my hand and a smile on my face. 1Gear1Love.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Yankee Springs TT

So this is my first attempt at blogging.  Is anyone even going to read this? probably not, but here it goes.

Sunday was the Yankee Springs TT in Middleville, MI. This is traditionally the kick-off to the mountain biking season and there is always a huge turnout. this year there were over 500 participants dispite the coldish rainy weather.

I decided this year would be a good time to move up to the expert category, even though I never placed any better than midpack in any sport races last year. What better way to get faster than to ride with people that are better than you? anyway, I rode hard and finished 5th in my division. 1Gear1Love.

I was also signed up for the Expert/Elite SS race that was slated to go off about 25 minutes after I finished my first 2 laps. Needless to say lap 3 of the day was my slowest, but it was good enough for 16th place.

After taking a day off i was ready to ride today, but alas its been pouring all day off and on. The last thing I want to do is get caught in a down pour in 43 degree weather. I'll tough it out and wait for tomorrow. 

While researching races today it dawned on me that I'd need a USAC license if i wanted to race at the expert level the rest of the year. so I ponied up and paid my $60 to USAC. I know that the $60 gets me longer races and earlier start times, but I feel like its just another way to milk people for money. I guess I'll see if the extra $60 is really worth it on Sunday at the Pontiac Lake Rec. Area Mountain Bike Time Trial