Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Maybury TT 2014

The last time I race here was many years ago. 5 or 6....and I can't even remember how it went. I remembered the parking lot....and we didn't park in the same on this year. Funny. lol.

So...we loaded up all the family and off we went. We picked up Lisa at Custer Cyclery and started the rest of our trip. Not bad...just about 2.5 hours in the car. It was quiet and a lot of them were sleeping. We found a place to park and headed to registration. We got there about 9:15 knowing that the Sport classes were heading out at 10:30. After we registered and got our start times we set up our chairs and relaxed. I wasn't due to start until 11:39. So...we were on time! 

I ran into a lot of people that I know. Di. Ho-daddy. Andy S. Jimmy C. ....a lot. Anyway...nice to see these facebook friends in person instead of over the interwebs.

So...the race. It started down the side of a road. I was chugging....and almost blew a corner about 400 yards down the trail. It was marked...but no arrows...just ribbons. Ugh. I made it...thankfully and was feeling pretty good in the first sections. What I struggle with is the tight and twisty sections. I did manage to reel in the guy that started ahead of me and settled into my race. Then I heard someone coming behind me. I was pushing a little bit more until he caught me and passed. As he rode away I heard him say "you had good lines man....keep going" and he disappeared. lol. NOT GOOD ENOUGH. lol. After that I settled into my race again and was feeling pretty good still. 

I had some intel on the course and I knew that there was a nasty climb less than a mile from the end. Once I hit that hill I hammered with all I had left for the remainder of the race. I crossed the line in 0:52:38. I missed my goal time by over 7 minutes. Ironically...I took a 7th place....out of 10. If I had hit my goal I would have been 3rd.....but hey....I will take what I can get.



Zack and Lisa with their 3rd Place hardware!!!

Zack and Lisa both got 3rd in their classes. Proud of both of them! But...BUT....that kid on the left in the picture above was less than 2 minutes off my RACE TIME. He really closed the gap when I gave him the Epic to ride. We will see what happens at Addison.....punk.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Fort Custer with my son

I have hardly seen Zack this summer. Just a busy summer with camp, work, more camp, more work and everything else we had going on. Anyway.....we got the opportunity to get away for the day...and off we went.

Since I got a new bike a while ago I decided to give him the Epic. It is a major upgrade from his Giant XTC....on a lot of levels. We are racing Maybury on Saturday so I wanted him to get acquainted with the bike before trying to race on it.

Off we went on the Red trail at Custer with Mike B. along for the ride. Zack really didn't like the bike at first. It is sized different than his Giant.....and I put the seat where it should be...so he couldn't turn like he was used to when standing because the seat was in his way. But....he was a lot freaking quicker on this bike. He was pulling away on the climbs....because I weight 2x what he does. lol. Once he gets the handling skills he is gonna be fast as hell.

But watch the video below....it wasnt all good....
video

As you can see he was cruising right along.....before the sand attacked him. 

Still...he got back on and rode fearless for another 10 miles or so. It will be fun to see how he progresses once he gets used to the bike. He did say "I like it"...and "thank you very much" on the way home. So that is good.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Upper Macatawa....something different

Hello readers.......yes....I am alive. 
Needless to say it has been a stupid crazy busy summer....but ONWARD!!!


I finally remembered that there is a trail pretty much on my way home. SO....I decided to go check it out. Why drive an hour to Yankee Springs and then 35 more minutes home when I can drive 15 minutes....and then 30 minutes home??? Seems dumb right....well...my main reason is that the trail is short....like 3 miles short.....so...that is the main reason to make the drive to a difficult 11 or 13 miles of trail.

But...I might have been wrong.

I was wrong.....

This trail is a lot of fun. I don't think there is any flat ground on the entire trail. The whole thing is twisty off camber and clay based fun. I actually worked on the trail in the early goings....and I knew it was going to be fun....but I didn't imagine it would be as rough on me as it actually turned out. The first time I rode it I was pleasantly surprised. It feels a lot longer than 3ish miles. Because of all the off camber and short punchy climbs you are on the entire time. No rest.....either uphill or downhill....all off camber. 

I rode 4 laps that first day...and I felt like I had more of a workout than I would have at Yankee. My upper body was sore...and my legs felt tired. The next time I rode it...it was the opposite direction. Felt like more climbing and with only two laps I was sore again. 

Tonight I rode 4 more laps. I was hoping to do more...but my lower back started to hurt. Interesting for the short distance.....but I try to single speed it and I stand when I climb. All I know is that I feel pretty good about this little trail...and I cannot wait to see what happens when more land is given and more trails are cut in.

Well done to the volunteers and trail builders. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Scentsy 5k (Rock Your Socks)



Pre run....it was sunny...
Chelle and I headed to St. Louis, Missouri for the Scentsy Family Reunion. A week full of fun and activities. One of these activites is a "Fun Run" or walk because Scentsy believes in Wellness. I trained a bit for this run and I was confident I could hit my goal of sub 34 minutes.

Jim and I getting ready
We met some friends at the start and I was hanging out with Jim while we were waiting. They bussed us from the Edward Jones Dome to the park we were running in. That was nice....didn't have to worry about parking or getting the car out of the garage, ect.


Lining up at the start
We were lining up and getting ready to go. Warmed up...sun shining.....HOT on the blacktop. Jim was rocking to Hair Nation.....and I forgot my headphones.....awesome. lol. We lined up near the front because we were running and didn't want to get caught in traffic.

Go GO Go.
It didn't take long to realize that there were walkers up front. Some people just can't follow directions...but I was like Forrest Gump...I WAS RUNNING. Because I was running the crowd thinned out pretty quick. The best part....the first mile was downhill. I was feeling pretty good and I just found my cadence and just plodded along. It was warm but I was alright...even with the black shirt on.

Almost done
One issue....what goes down....must go back up. The course was an out and back...meaning that the middle mile was flat...and the last mile was uphill. I grabbed a cup of water and started to push a bit to get up the hill. Heavy guy...uphill.....not fun. I chugged along....and finished in the time shown below.
Finally done (note, the time is not my 5k time...)
The time is misleading though.....the course was a bit longer than 5k and I didn't start at the 0:00. My 5k time was 34:24. First mile was just over 10 minutes, 2nd was 11 minutes and the last mile was 12 minutes. I will take it. Averaged just over 11 minutes for my fastest 5k ever. I did run last year with this same group and my time was 43 minutes and change. So....basically I was 9 minutes faster in a year. That....is awesome. Been a crazy summer so far.....but enjoying it wholeheartedly!!!!


So SCENTSY???? Some of you know what it is....others may not. Well, Scentsy is my wife's home based business. She sells warmers, wax, body lotions, air fresheners and some other items. I mentioned it before, but that is why we were in St. Louis. Scentsy is an amazing company and if you are interested....or intrigued at least....click on the link and check it out. Click HERE for her fragrance items. And HERE for the CHOCOLATE.....

Monday, June 30, 2014

Sweat Shaker 2014, first time for everything

What started as a car load ended with a loner and his bike driving north from Allegan County at 5:40am on Saturday Morning. It's okay though....I enjoy 2.5 hours of alone time.....and I pretty much was. Once I got to US-131 I set the cruise and never touched a pedal again until the S-curve in Grand rapids. NICE! All I was doing was thinking about my strategy on a course I have never ridden before. Don't start fast....Don't repeat the State Games race. Just find the guys in your class and hold on to the lead pack. Simple.

I got there early enough that I kitted up and rode the first part of the trail, just to get an idea. If I had to describe it in one word....bumpy. Niel S. came out of nowhere and we talked for a bit and eventually turned out onto the road and headed back to the starting area. I didn't have any teammates there, but I did see quite a few friends. That always makes me relax when I can talk bikes and just see people I know.


So....10 am start. Jordan, Matt and the rest of the fast guys tore off the line like freaking rocket ships. I chatted with Tom S. while we waited for our start....then it was go time. The Sport Clydes lined up with Sport Men 60+ and the Fat bikes....so it was kind of hard to determine who was in my class or on a fat bike. I just knew there were at least 6 of us. The start was pavement and pretty fast....so I marked two guys in my class and jumped on one of their wheels. Another guy rocketed past me but he was on a fat bike so I let him go. As we hit the singletrack I was confident I was in the top 3. It got really congested as the trail closed in around us. After a mile or two and a lot of people passing from the classes behind things started to settle down a bit and I was riding alone. Then about 5 miles in I got passed by a guy in my class. So....either 3rd or 4th at that point. Keep plugging on.

The first lap was rough because I didn't know the course. I came through and started my second lap. I was feeling pretty good and I was still thinking I was top 5 in my class at the worst. I was alone though. Nobody passing...nobody to pass. I did about mow over a rider that was coming the other way down the trail, just out for a ride. I was more surprised than she was...and she was very apologetic...but she didn't slow me down at all. I was flowing pretty good now. Comfortable. Punchy climb...no problem. Tight and twisty...no problem.

With about 5 miles to go I caught the glimpse of a jersey. Hmm....that guy might be in my class. I got another spark....and started to reel him in. This is something new for me.....so it took me a while. I passed him with about 2 miles to go and left him in my dust! Then I started to think....none of the Elites have caught me yet......and then it happened. With about 1/2 mile to go I hear a voice....never heard his bike....but it was Jordan. He shot past and I was thinking...sweet....I will get to finish with him. That thought was short lived as he disappeared as quickly as he rode up behind me. Fast is an understatement.

So I ripped across the finish line and figured I was maybe 2nd or 3rd....but I really didn't know. I asked for the results and the promoter told me I would have to wait and it would be a surprise. lol. Well ok then....let the suspense build a little. Subway got there and I picked a spot at the table with a few other sport clydes and waited for the awards. Down the lists they went until they got my class.

"And in Sport Clyde....our third place finisher is.....Sean Evans"  

WHOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I have never finished higher than 6th place in a Sport race and that was only because there was only 6 of us...and that was the Sunday before at the State Games race. SO.......I got a freaking medal. So stoked because I really didn't have any idea where I finished. I could have been DFL for all I knew....I was just hoping that I was top 5....and I hit the podium! So....naturally......the question was how many people were in my class.....8. HOLY COW....I RACED AND BEAT 5 PEOPLE.


If you follow along at all you know the bike in the above pic is not my Epic. It is indeed the bike I raced at Yankee with the original wheels....and it now belongs to me! FREAKING LOVE IT. I will do a review on it this week....because I think it deserves one.


So here is my awesome bronze medal. They didn't have a podium to stand on...so we collected our medals and sat back down. No worries....didn't want to put that nasty sweaty thing back on. HA.

Below is a pic of the official results.


So.....A huge shout out to Dan from Custer Cyclery for setting up the Trance for me on a moments notice. I actually picked it up from his house around 9 pm on Friday night. A huge thanks to my loan officer too.....or I would not have been on the trance. lol. It was a fun day for sure!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

State Games of Michigan Recap


I did the first edition of this race a few years ago. I do like riding at Cannonsburg Ski area but racing is a different story. Knowing the course is always helpful, so I did head up the Sunday before the race to get a feel for the terrain again. The bad part was that the race course was different than what I rode....but....I still got an idea of what I was up against.

The worst part of racing at a ski area is that I know there will be climbing. This course starts off right uphill before it throws all different terrain at you. There were 6 sport clydes lined up when the started said "go" and off we went. There was a river running across the course right here so we just plowed through it. Ted (freewheeler on the left) pulled a sweet wheelie to get us started.
Photo credit: Jack H Kunnen
Go...go....go....up the freaking hill we go. I took off like a rocket. 2nd place into the singletrack and the start of the first climb. I felt like I had a bigger lead than the picture below shows, but hey...I will take what I can get. I was in second place to the top of the climb and then the inevitable happened....my body gave the big thumbs down. I have talked all year about starting too fast and how I don't like to do it because I always blow myself up. I had not done it this year at all. I did start fast at both Yankee and Custer but I was able to calm myself back down and find a rhythm. Unfortunately that was no the case on this Sunday.

Photo courtesy of John Oppenhuizen

I thought I was doing okay but I just coudln't get my breathing under control and the other 4 guys in my class passed me. Heart pounding I pressed on and came around my first of three laps. Brian started after me and caught me towards the end of the first lap. Here he is on his fatbike blasting the water crossing heading into his second lap.
Photo courtesy of John Oppenhuizen

 I had a solid first lap all things considered.....I survived....and was going to attempt to reel the group in. The problem was....right after this picture was taken is that damn climb that about killed me the first lap. The second lap was different....the hill was much slower and I was struggling even more. I was ready to mail it in. I slowed down and focused on my breathing. By now nearly everyone had passed me and I was riding alone.
Photo courtesy of John Oppenhuizen
I came around for my last lap and was determined to have a faster lap time. I had managed to gather my thoughts and when the time came for that climb I was ready. I dropped into my small chain ring and just spun the pedals until I reached the top. Having my breathing under control I was able to ride that last lap faster. Plus, I didn't have anyone passing me so I could concentrate on just riding and having fun instead of worrying about holding people up. I finally manged to hit some semblance of a rhythm and turned in a decent last lap. Best part....no beginners caught me. Worst part.....I did have the slowest finishing time for any Sport class rider. HA. DFL. Hey....I finished a race that I was struggling with. I proved that I am not a fast starter. I proved that I can regain composure and ride faster the longer the race went on. I will take the 6th place finish too.....my first top 10 in Sport. Earned.

My team had a great showing too! Lisa took 2nd, Mark 3rd, Brian 4th and Jay with a 12th. Fun day at the ski area....on bikes!!!!

Next up....Sweat Shaker. 20 miles of fun at Mid-Michigan Community College where I have never ridden before. Should be interesting!



Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Been a while

So...where to start?

Um.....had a pretty tremendous crash a few weeks ago. My Epic was still in pieces so Dan loaned me his 616 fatbike for a rip around Fort Custer. Well.....I made it about 2.5 miles before I clipped a stump and got dumped into a pile. In a moment of honesty......I didn't clip the stump.....I full on jacked it with my right pedal and got shit onto the ground like a rocket. Not only did I crash one of Dan's bikes....I took Dan out too. He was on my wheel and when I went crashed he was right there for support.....or maybe I was....because he landed on me. So.....I had a terrible walk of shame out of the woods. Other than partially separating my shoulder the bike was fine. Dan survived with a bruised knee. Thankfully I got my shoulder to feel better in about a day because I used to injure it that way when I played baseball. No harm done.

Finally got the Epic re-assembled last Saturday. Dan and I went for a ride before heading to the shop for the day. I was super rusty on the bike. First....I was tentative because of the crash the week before. Second....I had not ridden that bike in over a month. Third, my last MTB ride (besides the crash) was on a borrowed bike at the Yankee Springs time trail. I was glad to be back on the Epic.....just rusty.

The next day was Father's Day. I got up early and headed to Cannonsburg Ski Area. The State Games race is June 22nd and I wanted to get familiar with the course again. I felt awful when I got there. Just tired and suffering from allergies. The worst part of this trail is the first climb. This ride was no different....I started up the hill and felt like I was going to die by the time I reached the top....OF THE FIRST CLIMB. Thankfully the rest of the trail isn't bad and I was able to get 3 solid laps in before heading home and hanging out with the family.

So.....State Games on Sunday. Sweat Shaker the following Saturday. Super busy as usual. 245.5 pounds. Hanging in there.