Archive | February, 2014

In Search of Ira


A month or two back, like many of you who also follow pro mountain bike racing, I read the news that Topeak/Ergon was cutting their Pro XCO team and focusing their sponsorship dollars on marathon racing. With the popularity of endurance, marathon and stage races these days and the financial and logistical stresses of having two elite teams racing all over the world, that seems like a pretty logical move (some have argued in the past that you lose a fair amount of spectator eyeballs on sponsor logos and products with marathon format races, but that’s debatable).

However logical and/or amicable the decision by Ergon was, it still meant that after seven years, two-time World Champion, 2008 Olympic Bronze medalist and consistent XCO podium finisher Irina Kalentieva was without a team. The official press release said “Ergon will continue to work with Kalentieva and remain[s] committed and grateful to her” but after that, I hadn’t read much. I needed more…

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Drinking Local (In The 989) III


I am a big fan of stouts, I am a bigger fan of imperial stouts, and I am an ever BIGGER fan of imperial stouts brewed by breweries located 1.1 miles from my home.

The Impervious Imperial Stout has been on tap at the Mt. Pleasant Brewing Tap Room my past couple visits. While I hope that it is still there this weekend, I am realistic that it may not be. Impervious is a higher ABV seasonal beer, brewed by a small brewery, that makes is both awesome and sad. Awesome because it tastes incredible and is brewed locally and sad because production isn’t huge and it won’t last long. And if there is one thing that can help a person survive the ice hardened snow and continued cold we’re experiencing this winter, it’s a delicious mind numbing imperial stout.

C’mon weekend! (Or maybe even Thursday night if I’m good).


The Seven Stages of Ice


Most of the paved roads surrounding my neck of Michiganderburgh are snow and ice-free. The dirt roads are however are not, nor is my driveway (seen above) or the neighborhood sidewalks.

I believe my driveway perfectly illustrates the Seven Levels of Ice that we are currently encountering (Six and Seven are not pictured above). The sixth levei is giant piles of frozen solid snow at the corner of every driveway, parking lot and sidewalk in town caused by copious amounts of shoveled and plowed snow, followed by rain and 40˚ temps which then froze solid when arctic temps and high winds returned last week.


The Seventh Level of Ice is two to three ice cubes direct from the kitchen freezer, placed in a high ball glass and covered with 4 fingers bourbon, vodka, scotch, gin or boxed wine of your choice.

Speaking of ice and wind, the National Weather Service has issued ANOTHER Winter Winter Advisory for the next 24 hours that includes:  blowing snow, wind gusts reaching up to 35 mph and wind chills of minus twenty degrees.  I really need the weekend (see next post) so I can give myself the green light to enjoy the Seventh Level (except in beer form).

Sir Bart


Bart Brentjens: 1995 UCI Mountain Bike World Champion, gold medal winner at the first ever Olympic mountain bike event in Atlanta, Georgia in 1996 and bronze medal winner at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. I don’t know how you say “bad ass” in Dutch (slecht aars?), but I am sure he has been called it more than a few times.

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Viking Tifosi


Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå has won more Olympic and World Championship medals than most people have entered races. It’s no wonder that she has a loyal following of “viking” tifosi wherever she races. One look at her career results and it’s easy to see that she just might be the best female mountain bike racer in history. From the looks of it, at 41 years old, she’s coming back for more podium pillages in 2014. Should be fun to watch.

Below is Part 1 of an excellent three part video interview with Gunn-Rita Flesjå conducted by Tomek Hoppe in October 2013. 

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The Slop Before The Slop


The above pic was from the Transalp race a couple of years ago (2012 I believe). I only post it here now because A. I like the photo and B. The snow and slush is about what it looks like around here right now and it’s only going to get worse.  If I were out on the snirt roads right now there would even be cows (most likely not roaming the roads, but they would be there).

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The Non-Tourist


The following post was originally published in XXC Magazine No. 5  (late fall 2009) and is reprinted with permission from the author (which is me). While I no longer have goals geared towards ultra endurance racing (dwindling fitness and a series of blood clots now have me pursuing races 50 miles and under) the sentiment and my love of mountain biking remains.

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Not Moshing To Euro-Techno


When I first saw this photo of Philipp Walsleben on Pez Cycling News, I thought maybe he was all sorts of pissed off and slamming his bike down for some reason or moshing to some sort of hard-core Euro-techno whilst hopped up on ecstasy. Or better yet, having some sort of mental breakdown caused by years of huffing embrocation, riding in circles and jumping over man-made barriers, freaked out and started doing a chorus line dance while holding his bike aloft and laughing maniacally like a smoked up Jürgen Klopp going mental on the touch line.

It turns out I was wrong on all counts, he just fucked up a barrier jump. I like my imagination better… I don’t think I’ll read the photo captions any more.

I can’t thank Philipp enough, because if I had not seen this photo, I would not have been inspired to Google search videos for hard-core Euro techno and I would not have discovered this gem…

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