Sunday, December 30, 2007

Big Dirt Retreat News

Although it is full on winter and many of us are out enjoying the snow I thought this would be a perfect time to announce that Alison Dunlap will be one of our instructors at the Dirt Retreat in 2008. This should make for a great event (our ninth). The event will be June 7 and 8. We won't have registration forms for awhile but watch our website for details.

Friday, November 2, 2007

End of Season Party!

Last night was the rockin' Mad FORCs end of the season PARTY. It was a delightful potluck affair with plenty of Sobe for all as well as some good beer. In addition to the usual hanging out, socializing, drinking and eating we had our end of the year awards.

Award winners were:
Mad FORCs Crash of the Year - A shared honor between Barb L. and Shannon K. both for lovely dives off the obstacles that we had built out at Blackhawk. Barb took a dive off the tall bridge and Shannon went off the teeter totter.

Mad FORCs Climber of the Year - Gwenn D. for her love of climbing. She always wants to know if we're climbing ski hill 6 out at Blackhawk. Crazy girl!

Mad FORCs Most Improved - Kerry R who showed up at her first ride out at Quarry Ridge on her hybrid. Then she bought a mountain bike, came to the Dirt Retreat and raced on a team at 24-9. We can't wait to see what she accomplishes in her 2nd season of mountain biking!

Mad FORCs Racer of the Year - Deb J. who seems to be at every event possible - WORS, WEMS, 24-9, Ore to Shore. She is a racing maniac and is an inspiration for the rest of us.

Mad FORCs Spirit of the Club - Melissa S. who has put together many great club events this year (including this party). She also has been on tons of the rides, raced at 24-9 and Rock Cut, and generally has made a huge contribution to the club this year.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Mad FORCs embrace the mud

Sue J. out for her first cross race where she took 4th in the Women's 1/2/3 race!

I think she enjoyed it!

Sue wasn't the only Mad FORC out getting dirty so a big congrats go out to all the racers . . . Gwenn, Amelia, Renee V, Shannon, and Sam were also there. Renee C. was the race director for Badger Cross and Michele was there "recovering" from an adventure race by helping with course set-up, registration, and clean up.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

More 24-9 photos

Event photos are online now!

Check out our sweet encampment! Next year lavender pop up tents!!! That would be SWEET.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

24 Hours of Good Times

There have been so many times over the last 13 years that I've been extremely proud to be a member of the Mad FORCs and I have to tell you that this last weekend was another such time.

This weekend was the 24 Hours of Nine Mile in Wausau and over the course of 24 hours there are, of course, many tales to tell so it is hard to know where to start. Here's a few things I'd like to mention that made me glad to be sporting the purple!

1. Kerry R. and Emily
They both were doing their first race. Kerry joined the FORCs earlier this summer and did her first rides on her hybrid and didn't even have a mtn bike when she said she'd be on a 12 hour team for 24-9. She bought a mtn bike and did the Dirt Retreat and now she's done her first race. Emily came to the Dirt Retreat and she must have enjoyed it as she joined the FORCs and signed up to also do the 12 hour team at 24-9. I don't think I've ever met two people with better attitudes than these two. It was awesome having them at the event as it reminded me of how great mtn biking is.

2. Our Moms
How cool is it that there have always been FORCs who are Moms that not only keep on mountain biking but also find time to do events like 24-9. This year Shannon was at the event with 6-month old Ryan who was also wearing lavender all weekend. In addition, we had Moms Amy and Melissa doing the duo. I don't have any kids myself but seeing those gals out there living life to the fullest totally inspires me!

3. Our "mature" racers
I've always been impressed by how kick butt our "mature" riders are and how they keep riding strong. While it's true that they always say that endurance increases as you get older I don't think they necessarily meant over 50. However, the FORCs "mature" members have always shown that over 50 is a prescription for keeping on riding and riding. This year it was Deb who made all of us younger gals realize that not only can you keep riding as you get older but you can set hard goals for yourself and make it happen. It always makes me feel good when the older gals kick some bootie as it gives me hope for my future riding.

4. Our "oh so pro" gals
I would be the first to tell you that racing isn't about your results. If it's only about results then you probably won't stick around the sport too long as a long racing career is bound to have ups and downs. However, over the years we've had some seriously fast FORCs. This year a group of fast gals from the Midwest banded together to try and take the 24 Hour Women's Team National title. That team had some real fire power and it included a FORC - Sue Juedes. Sue now has a beautiful stars and stripes jersey! Of course, that team also included Corie Berrigan who not only is a regular Dirt Retreat instructor but also a former FORC. Holly Liske was also on the team and she was a former Dirt Retreat attendee and current instructor. Now we just need to invite Anne Grabowski to the Dirt Retreat so she can get some FORCs mojo too (and so we can get some of her fast girl mojo)! Now I'll never be as fast as those gals so it sure is awesome living vicariously through them and rooting them on to victory. It absolutely could not have happened to a nicer bunch of gals! The guys in the woods during the night must have wondered what that blur of purple was as Sue did two back-to-back high speed laps!

5. FORCs attitude
Everyone has challenges during the course of a race whether that race is 1 hour, 2 hours, 6 hours, 12 hours or 24 hours. I don't know what everyone's challenge were but I bet there were plenty from crashes, to light problems, to tired legs, to light problems, to stomach problems to who knows what. I know I always wish I were more prepared, more driven, more something. Yet everyone kept going and we certainly seemed like a pretty upbeat group of gals. I know Kerry P. hasn't been racing as she is busy preparing for her imminent move to Taiwan. However, could there possibly be a more upbeat, fun gal who still is fast even with all she has going on??? Barb made all of us at the FORCs encampment cool necklaces that look like little chainrings which was such a cool thing to do. I wish I had a story to tell about everyone because everyone made the weekend special!

6. The Mad DORCs
No, that isn't a typo. We had a group of 4 guys with an awesome sense of humor who registered as the Mad DORCs (dirty off road carnage). Hopefully they enjoyed spending time in the encampment of a gaggle of hard racing gals. Dave and Ben are Chainsmokers, Glenn I knoww from cyclocrosser and Woody from nordic skiing. They held up well in the estrogen zone and even pulled out a 3rd in the Older than Dirt category. Dean was along to do baby duty with Shannon and Andy came with Stephanie to support her and all of us. John E showed up off and on to heckle us as well. Personally I think all the other guys at the event wanted to know how those 7 guys got so lucky to be hanging with us.

7. My 24 hour team teammates
It might just have been insane to register for the Women's National Championship category. However, you have to be a little insane to do a 24 hour race at all. Winning was a long shot at best but we made sure that no team could just coast it in without trying. This team was made up of me and 3 new FORCs. Ridge did 24-9 with us last year and then I convinced her to join the FORCs officially. Michele is an adventure racer, cyclocrosser, roadie gal who I recruited to the team this year as well. Carol showed up at the Rock Cut race on a purple bike and it was a sign that she too should be a FORC. None of us are pro racers and we were out gunned by "fast girl" teams. Out gunned maybe but definitely not out classed! I have to say it was pretty awesome racing with those gals and getting to know them better. I think we represented pretty well.

Okay, okay I guess I should stop gushing but it's hard not to go on and on about everyone and how they rocked out at 24-9. Hats off to Deb, Melissa, Amy, Kerry R, Emily, Renee V, Shannon K, Barb, Kathy, Berlie, Stephanie, Ridge, Carol, Michele , Kerry P, and Sue. The time is now to make plans for your own 24-9 adventure. Talk has already started about those who want to do solos, duos and teams of all kinds for next year.

Here some photos of the FORCs and the DORCs and a few other people too . . .

Renee C

Monday, July 9, 2007

12 Hours @ Blue Mounds Race Report

Hello! Sorry to have missed you all at the dirt retreat. Sounds like it went really well!

Here's my race report. I'm sorry. I'm really long-winded :)

First of all, I can't believe I hadn't ridden at Blue Mounds until Saturday's race! You all should have slapped me around and told me about these awesome trails so near to my dear new home.

Ok, I started out a little nervous and almost didn't do the race. Why? Well, I heard there were many roots and rocks. Hmm, I thought, I'm kind of used to rocks, what with the whole Southwestern US riding experience. It probably won't be that bad. Of course, the shoulder I'd dislocated in Utah had other ideas. Rocks? It said. ROCKS? ARE THERE ROCK STAIRCASES? *whimper* that was one issue. I'd do anything for a couple laps, but could I take a day of tough riding? Would it be tougher than Blufflands?

Then, of course, I checked the weather. Um. 90 degrees, you say?

Then I slapped myself around a bit, whimpered to (and got berated by) my husband, and packed for the race.

I actually made it to Blue Mounds in time for the race start. I was a giant sack of nerves, as I always am the morning of a race. In this case, however, I was a bit worse than usual, on account of the grim tales I'd gleaned from the internet. In the car on the way over to the trails, I couldn't even finish my bagel, which I knew I'd regret. Still, chewing and swallowing was not working so well and I ended up just packing extra goo packs into my camelbak.

The race start seemed casual enough. We ran a silly tiny boomerang lap towards our bikes and took off. I lagged in the back. I hate messing up other people who ride behind me on the trails and I thought it was a possibility, considering the trail stories I'd heard and my not-so-great talent on the bike. I figured I had 12 hours to make up for any slow starts, anyway. (And that, my friends, is why I like the long races!)

On the first downhill, I was astonished to find my knees were actually shaking. Then the girl in front of me had to get off her bike and I suddenly relaxed and flowed down the rest of the downhill. The first downhill was certainly a promise of trails to come, with some nice rocks to go over and around. We coasted out onto a brief section of doubletrack that cut around the swimming pool and a parking lot, then plunged into singletrack.

The first section of singletrack is definitely fast and fun. We started out on the "Gneiss and Smooth" trail, which was, in fact, nice and smooth. Sure, there were scary-looking rock garden-ish type things laid out in low creeky sections of trail, but they were actually super easy and smooth to go over, and made you feel really awesome. A very fast, blessedly flat trail, with lots of fun twists and turns, it was an enjoyable start to each lap. Also making up what, to my mind, was the first half of the lap, were the Chert, Serpentine Climb (which is easier than it sounds), and Basalty Bail trails. There was a super fun downhill section somewhere in the middle of this first half...if you do it fast enough, you just loop and swerve and make wee hops all the way down the trail. The rocks on the course really, REALLY are not that bad. I was pleased to find they provided a lot of traction (at least when dry, which they were) and were usually more reliable than log piles or roots. There was a section I think in that downhill where you went over a rock, then a log/rock combo, then a log again. I cleared all three once smoothly, which makes the next section of wiggling your way down (also not really so bad) rocks really, really fun. The other times, I kept taking the wrong line on the last teeny weeny log, or was going too slow.

About halfway through the lap mileage, we came to another fairly short doubletrack section, where they had a drink stand set up. I took advantage of the Heed. Mmmm...cold Heed.

The second section of singletrack went over Basalt & Pepper and Holy Schist. Basically, the trail went all fun and loopy for a while, then took you up one painful but doable climb, then another steeper and taller walkable climb. None of the climbs were horrendous and certainly didn't take too long to walk. Once past the climbs, the trails were fun, fun, fun again. More fast, mostly level singletrack with some interesting rocks and roots thrown in. Then, the course rolled up a doubletrack hill to the finish/start area. On the subject of the doubletrack hill, on my fifth lap I was eating as I spun oh-so-slowly up that hill. I looked to my right, where a rider had been keeping pace with me, and realized that he was walking up the hill, not riding as I'd thought. Argh!

I can't say enough how fun these trails are. They're great for learning about rocks and how not-so-scary they can be. Oh, yes, they are challenging. Oh, yes, there were sections I walked every single time. But most of the time, I rode and had a blast.

Aside from the trails, this race was an experiment in eating...or rather, what not to eat. I packed a variety of cool, juicy things, like fruit, (in anticipation of the heat) but I think I needed to bring more fat and protein laden food. I also discovered that yogurt + bagel = disaster for nearly an entire lap. And I found that eating less to compensate for eating too much results in finding my personal wall that day. I didn't quite bonk as I didn't feel hungry; I was just overcome by tiredness and soreness and as a result, my last lap was about a half hour longer than my others. I definitely learned I need to eat more consistently - and that I do better on a liquid/gel/oatmeal-cream-pie diet than on "real food".

Of course, in my defense of my last lap, I did get a flat. Oh, sure, it didn't take that long to fix but, you know, excuses, excuses.

Got 3rd out of three again, though I think I'm improving a bit. At least I did the same number of laps as the 2nd place girl...and wasn't horribly far away, time-wise. I did 6 laps in 10 hours and 56 minutes, for a total of 49.2 miles. I gained 5280 ft of elevation. My cycle computer says I actually rode my bike for 9 hours and 19 minutes. I also rode the trails with great abandon, hugging trees and rocks alike, which maybe means I am becoming a little bit less of a chicken. I count around 13 new bruises, 3 scrapes, and two blisters. Not bad for a day's work!

And because I'm obviously a narcissist, in purple bike watch news:

Wow, product placement at Blue Mounds. Luckily, the picture of me is too small to see my red, red face.

Here's me looking like a turtle at Blufflands

Here's me looking kinda like a 12 year old. Hmmm.

Hope to see/meet some of you at the WORS race next weekend!


Thursday, July 5, 2007

Dirt Retreat time

This weekend is the annual Women's Dirt Retreat that the Mad FORCs are sponsoring for the 8th year. Check out the coverage at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (scroll down to July 2).

Monday, June 25, 2007

Family Night Fun

Some riding . . .

A little more riding . . .

Some trike riding action . . .

Lily the future super star racer . . .

Dave rollerskied over to join the festivities . . .

It was good to see everyone . . . and the food was delicious!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

FORCs Family Night at Quarry Ridge MONDAY June 25

With June almost over, it is time for the FORCs Family Night. Bring along your significant others for a big “Thank You” for supporting the FORCs and introduce them to the rest of the Club. Show them why we love Off Road Cycling at our local park!

We’ll have an assortment of delicious breads there along with some tasty spreads to try out, Sobe from our sponsor, and even some PB & J for the little ones! It’s a Pot-Luck so be sure to bring an item to share with the families.

Bring out the bicycles, tricycles & the training wheels for a fun evening of riding. Cones will be set up for a fun course, some 2x4’s to test your abilities and we’ll have various people leading different rides – FUN FOR ALL starting at 6:00 p.m. !!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Deb represents at Phillips

Here's a shot of Deb on the podium at the Phillips WORS race . . . Amelia did great as well!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Poker Night

Imagine riding the trails with map in hand looking desperately for items that have been described only as reflective. That's what a few hardy Mad FORCs did on Thursday night at Poker Ride Night.

Armed only with a map showing only the wide nordic ski trails, the chalets, bathrooms and tow ropes riders headed out looking for the spots I had marked on the map. At 6 locations I placed reflective items like a mini Yield sign, a relfective pumpkin, a bat, a spider and more. For every location that they found within about 30 minutes they received one playing card. The best hand of the night won a prize (well, the two best actually).

Funny part was that our best hand was a pair of 9s from Berlie.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

WEMS - John Muir

Lots of FORCs out racing at the WEMS race at John Muir. We had Amelia rockin' the 6 hour solo. Barb and Amy A. did a 6 hour duo as did Kathy and Berlie. Shannon was doing the 6 hour duo (and baby exchange) with Dean. Melissa and I were doing the 3 hour solo. A great showing on an awesome day to be out on the bike.

Everyone looked great! It was awesome to have teammates to keep my motivation high for the whole 3 hours.

Highlights for me include - a guy riding behind me telling me how good my skills were (see I'm not a roadie), getting some desperately need swigs of coke from former FORC Sonia, the cheers when I came through the start/finish which kept me going, and the fact that I had a whole lot more fun that I ever realized that I would.

Thanks for the support, the camaraderie and the good times! Anyone take any photos??? We need some photos on the blog.


Thursday, June 7, 2007

First Blackhawk Time Trial

Wednesday was the first Blackhawk Time Trial for 2007. It wasn't the perfect night as the afternoon was rainy but 14 riders turned out to race including our own MaryAnn Knoke who was looking strong and fit.

Hopefully next week will provide a nicer night for racing as it will be the Mad FORCs sponsored Family Night with regular time trial racing, some racing for the kids and a cookout to follow. Make your plans now to attend.

A little Time Trial history - I moved to Madison in the fall of 1989 and discovered the Blackhawk Time Trials in the summer of 1990. It was being run by Erewhon back then and you had to have proof of health insurance to race. That was a problem for Dave and I so we weren't able to participate regularly. A few years later we got health insurance (and that requirement went away eventually) and the event was run by Blackhawk itself. Eventually that ended and WORBA took over. I was the vice president of WORBA back in the day and I had the pleasure of setting a lot of the courses for awhile (a bit of a challenge for someone as spatially challenged as me!). Back then mountain bike was in its hey day and attendance was capped at 60 riders and we actually got them many on a regular basis. Eventually WORBA decided they didn't want to run them and now the Chainsmokers are keeping the tradition alive. Now the racing is free but you have to be a member to race.

It's great to see this fun event continue on and I hope to see lots of you there next week!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

No ticks, Tour de Dells, & Whatnot

Last Thursday's club ride out at Quarry Ridge resulted in no ticks! Whew! I'd rather do a hill than deal with a tick.

The Tour de Dells started out windy and just a tad chilly to my ears, so I put on my Mad Forc beanie and was toasty and ready for the race. In short, the race was a challenge to ride the trail 3x's. There were some challenging hill climbs and lovely singletrack. Much of it was covered in pine needles, sucking the energy right out of me. But it reminded me of sections of Kettles.

On the last lap I went over a deep dip and when I came up on the other side my butt came down hard on the seat, tipping the front of the seat UP! NOT comfortable, if you know what I mean. I didn't want to take the time to adjust it back, so I had an interesting half lap.

I came across Renee V. and she filled me in on her bike woes. I completely felt for her b/c I've been there more than I'd like to remember.

I finished as hard as I could, aching lower back and all. I then headed back to the car to change my clothes and I returned to the tent to get something to eat, just in time to hear my name called as a 2nd place finisher in my age category. I rewarded myself with a brat and Dew!

Friday the 11th I will be getting a bike fit at Cronometro and hopefully my lower back issues will be a thing of the past.

I saw a cool Saris bike rack on the back of a Honda Element, and I can't wait to get mine! Traveling will be so much easier.


Monday, May 7, 2007

Time to breathe...

It's been fun reading the posts of the races. Great job ladies on all the early season racing. Rockcut was my first race of the season (um, basically my first/second real race -- my FatTire last year I guess partially counts). In previous years I would not have dreamed of considering an early seaon race -- I would shoot for the very last race of the season (uh...thanksgiving race anyone?!) and then something would have diverted me from that goal. 3-4 months is a LONG way to go to keep a goal without small milestones along the way.

So this year, what the heck. I treated it like a practice ride and I had a lot of fun -- it was a challenge for me but I was smiling at the end...I was probably laughing at myself for getting lost, I took a different turn on the remaining road piece (ambulances picking up all the broken bodies Barb mentioned were blocking the real turn), and rambled on to another picnic area and realized I had to turn around...*sigh*. I would have preferred to see a time minus 10 minutes for being a directionally challenged biker ... ;-)

This weekend at Tour De Dells was not so fun, not much of a smile at the end of the ride -- I flatted and had some nasty chain problems. Then I am standing there, go into my pack for a tool, only to find no tool and my Blackberry with a cracked screen. There's a good move, leave the tool in the bike bag, bring a delicate piece of electronic equipment in your pack. And I wracked my right knee somehow (sports massage therapist tonite may have fixed it). I was a bit of a mess Saturday I think, I had that looming feeling when I woke up that this was not my race day. So a big DNF for me. I broke my cardinal rule - always smile at the end of the trail - lesson learned I guess as to how to manage a disappointing race.

I was happy we had a MadFORC on the podium though -- great job Barb!

I am overwhlemed at work, and not getting my head in the right place enough so I am taking some weeks off before racing again. Pre-race anxiety the week before the race seems to be scattering my brain. In the meantime, MadFORC Thursday training, on the road training...see everyone on the trails!

Renee V.

Roots, sand, and a whole lot of fun

WORS kicked off in fine form this weekend! The weather was perfect for riding hard, the course flowed well, and I somehow managed to hang with the competition.

I had never raced the Iola course, and wasn't able to preride due to work commitments here in Madison. Add to that the fact that I had not yet been on the mountain bike this year (and I am not a very experienced single-track rider!), and you might begin to catch a glimpse of my pre-race nerves. I found Chris Strout from the Pony Shop team and got a quick rundown of the course about 20 minutes before the start, nervously lined up and glanced around for the reassuring purple jerseys worn by teammates I didn't know, and tried to relax while chatting with another very nervous rider at the start line.

The course was fairly open for the first half, with all the major climbs inside the first 4k of the 10k loop. (my markers for judging distance are what I assume were the kilometer markers for the trail run. Any racers who feel like correcting my errors are quite welcome to do so!) Climbs were steep and often a little bit loose. Just enough so that I would lose traction if I stood up to climb. Not remembering how to climb those slopes, I spun out on one climb fairly early in the first lap and managed to step off right in front of an oncoming rider. Sorry!! A couple of the other climbs had roots across the course, and it took me a couple of laps to remember how to ride over those properly, too.

The second half of the lap was winding singletrack with short open sections fairly regularly spaced, so passing racers could get by relatively easily. A few unexpected sandy sections and some loose downhill switchbacks made the first lap a little more interesting than I would have liked, but somehow I cleared most of it having never seen it before.

Laps 2 and 3 were much smoother for me, as I settled into the rhythm of the course. My legs felt great on the climbs, other than those sections I mis-judged and grabbed the wrong gear for. I could make up places on most of the climbs, though riders caught back up to me in the singletrack. I played leap-frog with a few riders around me, and was glad to have the competition to motivate me to keep going hard. It always helps to have that little extra bit of motivation, and I managed to pull around a couple of women when one of them bobbled at about 3k to go, holding my advantage until the finish. I came in not too far behind two FORCs, Deb and Kerry, who stopped at the end of the finishing shoot to share some oranges and introductions. Great rides ladies! My apologies to Kathy, whose name I see in the Sport results, but whom I don't know if I talked to.

I ended up third (of three) finishers in my age category, so I even got a medal for my efforts!

Thanks so much to everyone who cheered me on. Thanks especially to those who recognized the purple jersey though not the face. I'm proud to be part of such a supportive and fantastic team.

Shannon H.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Crazylegs and Rock Cut Race Report

The weekend was a whirlwind for sure! Crazylegs Saturday was a killer for me, even after all the training I did. After the race I stopped at the new Erik's Bike Store on the East side just to see what they had in stock for mnt bikes (to replace the one I broke last fall). I ended up buying a Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp - isn't she a beaut? It matches my helmet too ;-) .

Sunday I was up at 5:30 to get ready to meet fellow Mad FORC racers Kathy, Berlie and Amy A., at 7 to go to Rock Cut State Park and ride the "Do the Rock Cut" Mnt Bike Race. Seven of our mnt bike club members showed up to represent! Four of us did the 10 mile race (Melissa S., Me, Berlie, & Renee V.) and 3 did the 20 (Renee C., Kathy & Amy A.).

Somehow I eneded up finishing first in my age category (18-39) and 3rd overall out of all the I got a cool handmade trophy and a medal. Melissa won second place in the same age cat, and Berlie got 3rd in the 40+ age cat. What a great start of the season! I have to be honest and share that if there wasn't that one confusing part of the trail, Melissa would have been first by at least 5 minutes. She left only her tire rubber at the start and we never saw her again!

We had some medical excitement too. On the 10 mile race one guy fell and broke his knee. We had an ambulance for that. I heard another guy fell and banged his head pretty good. And shortly after the start, a guy's bike frame broke! Eeeesh! But he was okay. I saw him walking back to the start, probably mad as heck.

There was also a woman hiker/walker who fell and smashed her elbow pretty bad. I think she needed an ambulance for that. I heard sirens several times throughout the morning, but only saw the one to take the 'smashed up knee guy' to the hospital.

The thing about holding a race at a state park is they don't close the trails to the public (it's against the rules) we have to be extra careful when we come upon non-racers. The woman who fell and got hurt did it of her own accord though. As far as I know a racer had nothing to do with it. I came upon several hikers and a few bikers myself.

It was terribly fun and I'm glad I decided to go and tag along with my buddies. We had some nice-sized log piles, very shallow stream crossings and a little bit of everything else (mud puddles, thick mud, grass, pine needles, large white stones, sand). All of that was great as I was testing out the new mnt bike, and I have no complaints. I just have to figure out why my feet get numb, and I'm good to go!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Kick-Off Mountain Bike Ride @ Quarry

This Thursday, May 3 Mad FORCs

Kick-Off Mountain Bike Ride at Quarry Ridge in Fitchburg!

5:45 Free bike adjustment from our sponsor, Willy Street Bikes
6:00 Rides! Explore the local single track led by Renee C.
7:00 Potluck - Bring your favorite dish to pass. FORCs are proving sandwich fixings!

Don't forget: Your Pro-Deal forms!!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Good times at Rock Cut

Seven Mad FORCs made the trip to Rockford for the Rock Cut race - Berlie, Melissa, Kathy, Barb, Amy A. , Renee V and myself. And we recruited one new member while we were there. Carol just moved to Madison, she has a purple bike and is a big fan of purple . . . it must have been fate. Hopefully she'll be able to make it to the ride and social on Thursday so everyone can meet her.


Awaiting the start . . . Melissa doing her first race (well, except her times doing 24-9)

Renee V. ready for her first mountain bike race.

And they're off!

Here's my thoughts on the race . . .

Wow, 20 miles is a long way in April. I haven't been doing any mtn bike racing for a while now and I really can't remember the last time I raced for 2 hours. It really makes me appreciate cyclocross and racing for only 50-60 minutes!

On the upside I did better than I expected. I was really fading by the end especially given that the last part of the course has lots of climbing and I could feel myself struggling to keep up a good pace. Luckily I was sandwiched in between Carol and a Team Pedal Morraine rider which gave me a lot of motivation to keep going as hard as I was able. All of us went back and forth a bit but Carol got out a head and all I could do was keep her in my sites but not catch her. The Team Pedal Morraine rider was really strong on the uphills but I was able to keep her working by getting little gaps on the downhills and technical sections. In the end she laid down a ferocious sprint on the finishing climb and I was too gassed to respond. Unfortunately for her she missed the finishing chute. I felt bad for her (really!).

I'm glad I got out and did the race and it was nice to be at the race with everyone. Who knows maybe I'll get out to another race again!

Renee C.