Owens Healthcare Cycling Team Blog
Cycling Team Updates

2018 LaGrange Mountain Bike Race Report by Adam Pressman

June 11th, 2018

I must have been absent the day they handed out MTB skills. For whatever reason, getting the MTB around corners, especially steep corners, is a skill I’ve never acquired.  Even when I think I’m going fast, I’m actually going slow.  It’s like the laws of physics have teamed up with my brain to create a diabolical didactic infused with an alternate reality where things just aren’t as they are, but they seem to be.

Accepting this alternate reality for what it is, and what it isn’t, I found myself in Weaverville at the LaGrange Mountain Bike Race, trying to convince myself that honing my (nonexistent) MTB skills would be a good idea, especially since I abandoned good common sense and entered Downieville, which is scheduled for early August.

Jake is there along with a bunch of high school MTBers, and there is a solid showing of Redding and Eureka folks, along with guys from places like SF.  It’s all very chill and light – way more chill than the wattage/testosterone measuring parade that is the staging area of a road race.

We start at a park, and have a neutral roll through downtown to the area near the high school where we briefly stop before the gun goes off.  I grab wheels for shelter from the concrete cross/headwind for the brief time before the first singletrack.

I’m like 20th going into the singletrack. We congo line up and down little bumps, and everyone’s together.  Eventually, the ups start to create widening gaps as riders fade, but the narrow singletrack prevents passing.  I get around a couple guys and try to get to the next guy.  I get closer, but then it gets more technical, and I fall back, a process which repeats itself again and again.  I have the following conversation with myself:

Me: dude, we are crushing this!  Those others are stuck in traffic! Ha! Sucks to be them!

Myself: check yourself, you just about clipped that tree!  Don’t crash us!

Me: I got this.  We’re flying.  Don’t be a party pooper.

Myself: You just about clacked that rock with your pedal!  Pay attention, this isn’t ZWIFT.

Me: You’re wrecking my concentration with your whining.  Leave me alone, I haven’t hit anyth …

Myself: Dude, you just hit a tree!

Me: I told you your whining would wreck my concentration.  Now there are a bunch of guys right behind us!

Myself: I’m closing my eyes, I can’t watch anymore.

Me: don’t close your eyes! I won’t be able to see!

Once safely (-ish) out of the singletrack, we do the first climb out onto a ridge and are greeted with a sideways gale.  Back to singletrack along a steep sidehill, followed by short hike-a-bike which I totally screw up and watch Jake and others go away.  Down a zipper of switchbacks, into more cool single track, onto a winding climb back to the ridge and a bomber downhill to more singletrack which I recall from years ago.  It’s fun, super fun.  There are two guys ahead, one of which is hammering a ‘cross bike (I don’t know how he didn’t flat a zillion times).

Me: This singletrack is awesome.  We’re gonna catch those guys, and find a place to pass!

Myself: Ok, just be careful. Remember, you almost killed us earlier.

Me: That could’ve happen to anyone. No blood, no foul.  How the heck are they staying away from us, we’re ripping!

Myself: We are clearly not as fast as you think.

Me: Whatever.  There’s nobody behind us, so even if we don’t catch ‘em, we aren’t going to lose any places.

Myself: I agree.  We’re almost there.  Bring this thing in, and let’s just chill in the park a bit.

The singletrack goes longer than I remember, but finally, we hit the main road, and I anticipate trucking the last ¼ mile downhill to the finish line.  Wrong.  A course marshall points towards a scrabbly, scruffy burned area with a zigzag of lines over rocky ups and downs.  Whatever.  I’m almost there and nobody is behind.

Me: What was that?  I hear someone behind.

Myself: I heard it too.  There’s definitely someone there.

Andy: Adam, I’m right behind you!

Me: Arrrgggghhh!  Great. We will have to deploy our non-existent sprint when we exit the singletrack.

Myself:  there’s no way to pass, this singletrack is too narrow.  Just don’t jack it up in the last few bits and we’re in.

The single track ends about 10 feet from the finish line.  I have enough left to hold my spot, figuring I was someplace in the mid-pack.  Andy and I bump fists and gasp for air.  I acknowledge he was definitely faster through the end, and that only the narrowness of the trail and my girth allowed me (and myself) to get third place in the pre-AARP category.

Jake grabbed third in his category.  Steve Wilson also took third in his category.  Both were well ahead of me.

It was a really fun race.  I’m glad it’s back, and I hope they do it again next year.  The trails are really fun.  Really fun. (Did I mention it was fun?)

Thanks all of y’all for all the rides and the smiles, and thanks Owens for all the support.

 


Filed under: Uncategorized | No Tag
No Tag
June 11th, 2018 12:05:17

2018 Ridin’ High at the Ranch Race Report by Jake Mikesell

June 06th, 2018

This weekend I raced in Susanville Ca at “Ridin High at the Ranch” Mountain Bike Race. At the start it looked like there were many people in my category which fueled me to push even harder. It seemed like I kept climbing up and up and up some more for the first 15 miles. The climbs were wet and muddy which really was taxing on the muscles. But as soon as I hit the downhill I was gone. All I could hear was Jed Pope yelling at me to put my dropper down and pedal! After passing many people on the downhill, I came screaming across the finish line beat to the core. The race officials started calling out the winners of each class and they called my name for first place in the Cat 2 Men’s 19-29. I was thrilled and marched my tired body to the top of the podium showing off OUR colors. Only one other person actually finished the race but a win is a win. I would like to thank John and Owens Healthcare for the extensive support and the rest of the Owens team for always believing in me and pushing me to my full potential. I would not be the cyclist I am today if it was not for you guys! I am looking forward to many more upcoming races and especially the Lost and Found next weekend.


Filed under: Uncategorized | No Tag
No Tag
June 06th, 2018 12:12:18

2018 Lost & Found Race Report by Jake Mikesell

June 06th, 2018

Many of you know and also suffered through the fantastic Lost and Found 2018 at Lake Davis, California over the weekend. I have to admit; it was the hardest thing that I have ever done in my entire life. Mentally frustrating, physically demanding, and emotionally a day of accomplishment.

The nervous journey to beautiful Graeagle Ca started on Friday, June 1st as “Club Jed”, which consisted of Jed, Adam, Steve Wilson, and myself motored towards the race. Upon arrival around 6:30 pm, we dumped the trailer at the RV park and decided to go to the race course and get our number plates. We made it just in the nick of time which saved stress and time for the crazy morning to come.

June 2nd Race day. The age categorical five-minute staggered start put a damper on our ability to work together as a team. The countdown; five, four, three, two, one, and we’re off! Out the gates the Men’s 30 and under category was starting off with some spunk so we zipped down the road section to the first dirt climb. Pacing myself for a long and tiring day, I let many of my competitors zoom by me. Immediately following the first descent comes another climb about the same size. Still pacing myself, the flats traveling through the valley had come. Around mile 23 I saw a familiar face leaning into my side, Jed Pope yelling at me “Let’s Go kid!” so I hopped on, and we took off. Barely surviving on this vehicle tire track rutted dusty bottle graveyard of a road with a pack of 20 some odd guys Jed and I were “good living.” Shortly after everyone gathered themselves, a guy in our pack crashed which slowed and broke off of our group, so Jed and I were all on our own.

Hitting the pavement and descending into beautiful Antelope Lake was a sight to see. We left the dust bowl and headed into the dazzling groves of Aspen trees, fresh air, and blue sky for miles. By this time, we are about halfway through the ride and Jed, and I are feeling good-ish. We started climbing slow and steady mentally preparing ourselves for a ten mile, 2,500 feet of elevation climb. Nearing the top Jed and I had picked up many stragglers who had leached onto us, so Jed takes a swig of his pickle juice and decides to “drop the hammer” leaving our competitors in the dust. Finally reaching the top only led us to head down the mountain.

Skating down the sandy slopes of the Antelope Lake descent put a gap in between us and our rivals. Blazing through many of the aid stations only stopping for a brief moment to grab some delicious, mouthwatering bacon and pound half of a Coca-Cola was the extent of our stops. The pain-inducing pavement in massive pace lines was ahead for a while. Battling the wind and many others who were not wanting to pull the pack was frustrating. Back on the dirt and grinding out the climbs once again.

After many miles of Jed and I riding solo drafting off of each other on an unforgiving washboard road seemed never-ending. Finally, the smooth quiet but hot pavement again which was a familiar sight for us to capitalize on our competition. Hiding from the wind in another massive pace line seemed to be a go-to for the road. In the distance, I remember seeing a red tent and it was mistaken for the end of the race by myself and many others. Jed and I made a NASCAR pit stop to grab water and painfully hopped back on the bikes to continue the last five miles of the race. Slowly grinding past many helpless victims of the Lost and Found with facial expressions of pain as they fiercely rubbed out their legs for cramps hoping a fix was in sight. Barreling down which seemed to be the final leg of the course and remembering one final road climb was heartbreaking. But powering through like always Jed and I finally saw the finish line in sight. As we cruised across the finish line with severe leg cramps, we turned to each other and fist bumped, a memory that I will never forget. Congratulated by many others but especially Paul and Michelle Lennon. Dirt from head to toe, we hobbled over to Lake Davis to lay and relax in the water which was refreshing.

We congratulate all finishers from Owens Healthcare Cycling Team and our guest Steve Wilson. Here are the finishing times: Jed Pope coming in at 6:53:45. Jake Mikesell at 6:58:45. Adam Pressman at 7:26:00. Steve Wilson at 8:21:18. Jonz Norrine and Bill Reuss at 8:21:39.Everyone who participated in this event would agree that it is no joke and just being able to finish is an honor. We would not be as successful as we were if it was not for the extensive support from John Friesen and Owens Healthcare.


Filed under: Uncategorized | No Tag
No Tag
June 06th, 2018 12:11:04

2018 Fish Rock Race Report – Todd Dodds

March 30th, 2018

Adam and I were the lone Owens riders participating the 2018 Fish Rock race presented by Bike Monkey.  We had a such a great time last year that we decided to participate once again.

The race was on a Saturday and the start time was at 10:00am leaving from Boonville.  The later start time was great since we stayed in Ukiah which was about a 30 minute drive.  Also, we had to deal with some bike repair issues that Adam had so we had plenty of time to deal with those.

The forecast was calling for some morning clouds turning into a sunny afternoon.  That was a welcome treat considering that earlier in the week the forecast was calling for rain.  The thought of riding for 4 plus hours in the rain did not sound very appealing.

We had a mass start with approximately 300 riders.  Since the race is approximately 72 miles with nearly 10,000 feet of climbing you can imagine how the start was…not too fast which was fine with me.  We rolled along for what seemed like 10 feet and then started to climb.  In fact, the whole race was either ascending or descending.  I do not remember a time when there was flat terrain.  As we got into the first climb I decided to roll towards the front and try to ride near the front all day.  I wasn’t feeling great but I did manage to make it into the second group.  The pros and other fast guys already had formed a group ahead and I could not maintain that pace for entire race.

There were about 10 or so riders in my group and we managed to stay together almost all the way to the Fish Rock climb which is where the 25 mile dirt section starts.  That was about at mile 40 and about 4500 of feet climbing left.  I decided to stop at the rest stop before the climb and fuel up.  I figured I would catch quite a few of the riders in the climb and those that I didn’t ,I would catch on the descent.  Riding the Santa Cruz Stigmata was the perfect choice.  It climbed very well and descended even better.

 

IMG_2909

As I got into the Fish Rock climb I started to bridge up to some of the riders that did not stop at the rest stop or left before me.  I decided to slow slightly because I didn’t want to kill myself catching them on the ascent knowing that there was a lot of racing left.  As we got into top of the climb there were was about 5 people ahead of me so I knew I had to pin it on the descent to bridge.  The dirt was perfect and I recalled the descent from last year so I felt really good.  Sure enough, I started to pull riders back.  At the bottom of the descent I manage to catch everyone I was riding with prior to the rest stop and put a large gap on others.

We had a lot of riding left and of course it was all rolling.  I was definitely feeling all of the climbing that I had done and I did not have much left in the tank.  I had a about 3 riders catch and pass me on the way to the finish however none of them were in my class.  At the finish line I managed to place 2nd in my field ( 50 – 59) which was beyond my expectations.

Overall, I had a great time.  It was the first race on the Stigmata and I was really impressed on the way it handled and climbed.  Also, thanks to Owens for all the support.

IMG_2785

 


Filed under: Uncategorized | No Tag
No Tag
March 30th, 2018 16:11:50

2017 Lost & Found Race Report – Todd Dodds

June 08th, 2017

Adam, Bill, Jed, John, Jonz, Paul and myself raced the 2017 Lost and Found Gravel Grinder Race which was held in Lake Davis near Portola.  The course was a 93 mile mix of gravel and paved roads with approximately 6500 feet of climbing.  There was 6 fairly big climbs throughout the course.  Note: Paul opted for the shorter course so he could ride with Bobby McMullen.  It was great he could ride with the former Redding local.

 

The start time was a 8:35 and we were blessed with great weather.  People started lining up pretty early so when we rolled up we were mid pack.  I had talked to Jonz earlier about the previous years starts and he indicated that they were not a drag race so I was fine starting where I did.  As it turned out, it was a benefit to do so which I will explain later.

 

When the gun went off, we saw the riders in the front roll off and we were bottlenecked so we were not moving for what seemed like a lifetime.  However, I kept Jonz experience in my head and did not panic.  We finally started to roll and I was able to quickly move up in the group on the paved section of road.  Before we hit the first big climb I was in the top 15 and was able to relax a little since I had the lead rider in sight.  Riding up the first climb I started picking off riders until we hit the top and I found myself into a group of 5 others.  It looked like 3 of the riders were in my field so I had to constantly assess how much energy they expending and how they looked on the bike.  I figured we were in the top 10 at that point.  I ended up riding with that group to Aid Station #3 which was 57 miles.  All of us stopped which was welcomed because I was nearly out of water.

 

We refueled quickly and got back on our bikes.  When we rolled out we picked up another 5 riders or so which turned out to be some other Open riders and some Pro riders who had started the race at 8:30.  We were greeted with a 20 mile pavement section which all of us were grateful for.  About 15 miles into the 20 mile section one of the guys in the group rolled off the front which I wasn’t worried about because he was not in my field.  However, about a mile later another guy rolled off and he was in my field.  I contemplated rolling with him but I knew that we had quite a few miles left so I hesitated for a little bit.  Soon after seeing him roll off I thought I could get the group motivated to accelerate a little so I got in the front and turned it up slightly.  I looked back and there was a gap that quickly formed so I knew that I was on my own at that point.  I had my competitor in sight so I knew that I had to keep up the pace if I had any chance of catching him.  Also, I knew that if I kept him in sight all the way to the top of the next climb I could probably catch him on the descent.

 

I finally hit the end of the paved section and last final Aid Station which I did not stop at.  I was feeling pretty good at that point and I had brought enough food that would allow for one stop throughout the ride.  As it turned out, that was to my benefit.  My competitor did decide to stop for a quick bottle fill up which I did not know until after the race was over.  I hit the dirt section and kept the pace at a pretty high level with the hopes of catching him.  I came to a section that forced you to dismount and there were a few riders there (riders from the 60 mile race) that caused a bottleneck.  I looked up and saw the two guys that had rolled off the group we were riding with on the pavement.  I was so happy at that point.  We had dropped the large group we were with on the pavement and I was with two strong guys that I could ride with all the way to the finish.

 

We ended up riding together for the remaining miles and kept a solid pace.  I am not sure how many people we passed from the 60 mile field but it seemed like a lot.  Anyway, we got to the top of the last climb and thought that I had a great chance to drop these guys on the descent and roll to the finish on my own.  As it turned out the descent was short and had recently been graded so my plan did not work out as well I had hoped.  As I got to the bottom and hit a small but steep kicker on the pavement I saw both of them coming for me.  I dug as deep as I could but my legs were shot.  They caught me at the top of the short climb and we were together again.  We rolled for about 200 meters and I was 2nd wheel and my competitor was 3rd wheel.  He made a vicious attack and I tried to roll with him but I was shot and could not bridge up so I settled back in and was happy that the finish line was seconds away.  However, I saw my competitor sit up a little and I thought I better try again so I attacked before we hit a little dirt section that led to the finish line.  He looked back as I was gaining on him and he stood up to attack again.  We were nearly neck and neck at the finish line but he ended up finishing just ahead of me.

 

I was so happy to have the race behind me and have a finishing time of 5 hours 36 minutes.  I was greeted by Paul which was great.  It was nice to see a familiar face at the finish.  Anyway, the guy I finished with must have started the race at the front of the group because his overall time ended up being a little bit longer than mine so I finished ahead of him.  By the way, he won the 2016 Lost and Found race.

 

Final result:

4th in my field (41 – 50) – 8 minutes behind the winner who had the fastest overall time for the Open Fields

7th overall in the Open Field (Mike Castaldo from Chico – he is riding very strong and is an overall cool guy)

Adam, Jed and Bill finished the race and for the most part had a great time.  Adam looked a little tired but overall happy.

John and Jonz were not at their usual best but they managed to find their way back to the finish with a little help from some friends.

 

Overall, we had a great time.  I want to thank John for allowing us to stay at Royce and Colleen’s place in Almanor Friday night.  It was nice having a great meal at Tantardino’s Friday night and great cup of coffee Saturday morning at 4:30.  And of course, thanks Owens for all the support you give us.

Lost and Found 1 Lost and Found 2 Lost and Found 3 Lost and Found 4 Lost and Found 5


Filed under: Uncategorized | No Tag
No Tag
June 08th, 2017 12:55:58

Ashland Spring Thaw – Jed Pope May 20th and 21st

May 24th, 2017

DAY 1 – Jordan and I came up to the spring thaw today.  it was a good race with Jordan Hammer again.  New course this year due to low snow pack, was really looking forward to the course.  The gun went off and like normal hammer fest from the start.  I settled in quickly to top 10, feeling good on the climb and about halfway up I started to lose momentum but knew I could let them go and catch them going down.  I peaked the top at 50 minutes and started down to catch the group.  I worked my way back to 12th place and there was on last climb at the end.  I completely lost it and let about 7 guys get around me.  Caught a few more guys back on the last downhill.  I ended up 18th overall and 7th in my class. It was a good day on the mountain bike.  Thanks Owens for everything.  I’m hoping to podium for tomorrow’s downhill.

 

Day 2 – Downhill day at Ashland!!!! I woke up Sunday a little tired from Saturday but still was going to try my best.  The race was a tow stage downhill.  The first stage I know I would do ok on since I knew the trail, but the second stage I had only been down once.  I had a decent run on the first one but my legs were definitely feeling it from Saturday! The second stage I told myself to just ride smart, don’t take any chances, it’s not worth it and just pedal hard!  I ended up getting 3rd on the day and I was ok with it since I didn’t know the trail!  Super fun weekend still!! Thanks Owens! Thanks to my wife and son for supporting me all weekend!!!


Filed under: Uncategorized | No Tag
No Tag
May 24th, 2017 14:29:14

Grinduro Race Report

October 14th, 2016

Grinduro #2 Race Report

 1

I left Redding about noon on Friday to get to the Grinduro this past weekend. Brought my boat so I could visit a lake and relax before hand. That was nice.

 2

About 6 pm, I got to the fairgrounds in Quincy and registered. Met Jones who was with his family and hanging out with his cool dude pro friends.  Turns out there were a lot of pros and ex-pros making it to Grinduro #2 – Duncan Riffle, Geoff Kabush, Carl Decker, Barry Wicks, Jones of course, Matt Fox, Adam Craig, Laurens Ten Dam, Karsten Kroon, Meredith Miller, Helene Drumm, Emily Kachorek, among the marquee names.

Despite his high and mighty status among the beautiful people, Jones was nice enough to invite me over for socializing later in the evening and I totally gave him the “California acceptance” and said I might see him later. I never did. I ate my dinner alone and went to sleep early on a cot under the stars. Brought the tent just in case it got too cold or windy but it didn’t.

 3 4

Woke up the next morning to 32 degrees and ice all over my sleeping bag. I was surprisingly warm and toasty in my bag.  Even though it was sunny and beautiful that morning, I was not much more than 40 degrees at the 8 am start and we were all really cold. Some folks’ arms were shivering so bad, they could barely keep their bikes going straight down the road.

At the start line, I was surprised by the distinct change in equipment choices this year for the Grinduro.  Many of the big guns were on fully suspended MTBs, or front suspension cross bikes with flat bars. Lots of dropper posts – even on cross bikes.  A few, like Jones were on unsuspended cross bikes with flat bars. For example, like this and this:

 56

Those bikes probably makes sense for the downhill sections.  I see the reason for flat bars and I know they’d be more stable.  But something is off-putting in the aesthetics.  I like drop bars on my gravel/cross bike. In my mind, the most fun bike for this race would be a cross rig with a Lauf fork and a dropper post. It would still be slower than a MTB, but it would look monster cool. 

 7

(This guy needs to shave. Freaking hipste)r.

Anyway, my plan for the day was just to stay with the front group for as long as I could. I knew I’d get smoked at every time-check except for the road TT.  I wanted to be in a fast group for that one partly to make it go faster and partly so I wouldn’t have to work so darn hard.  The only way to do that was to stay with the fast guys all day.  So at the roll out I stayed with the top group but when we hit the first uphill timed section, the Hough ’n Puff, hammers were being dropped. I kept my hammer safely in its tool belt. It was not dropped.  I was not warm, I was shivering, and i did not feel like going that hard, so I didn’t. Turns out the cold must have affected everyone.  Last year I did a 6:14 on this section. This year I did 9:09. (Honestly I didn’t think I tanked that bad, but apparently did I).  But I wasn’t the only one to have a worse time than last year – for example Jones did 5:28 last year and 6:38 this year, so….just sayin’…it was cold and hard to ride fast.

After the first section, the front guys regrouped and headed to the Big Grizzly gravel downhill section together.  The pros took a break before heading down, so I took off ahead of them as one of the first guys. About halfway down, a train of them came flying past on a corner, rocks and gravel flying everywhere. I was still cold, but I felt like I rode it well (for me). Last year: 16.37 and this year 16.59. So pretty close. I think the cold was the reason I was slower. I felt more comfortable and in control, I just didn’t bother to pedal hard on the straight sections, because, well who cares how fast I go really? 

 After that, we regrouped once again and rolled to the Indian Creek road TT section as a large group. There were maybe 30-40 guys (and girls) in this posse.  I wanted to see if I could hang in there and if so, then maybe see if I was capable of flying the blue flag at the front. It was fast. There were a lot of guys working. There were a few attacks, but no one broke off the front. Near the end, I was just starting to feel like my power was coming on so I got in position to move up to the front. With about a mile to go, Jones found himself taking a pull at the front, he pulled off and Wicks took a turn, and I followed him. I didn’t stay long because right around the corner was the finish and I got swallowed up by a sprint for the line like this was a crit or something.  I was at the back of the group across the finish, but that was fine with me. Last year 13.41 and this year 12.22.

So then it was the lunch break. I was being generally social and talking to all kinds of folks about everything under the sun, when our friend from last year, Scott (from Scott and Becky fame) found me and asked where the rest of the team was. I said you were all still recovering from last year.  He said Becky had been so excited to see us again and she had been lifting weights extra hard for her right arm extra so she wouldn’t tire out when shaking margaritas for us.  She would be disappointed that you weren’t there.  We had a good time reminiscing and he said to say hi to all y’all.  BTW, he took our advice and got himself a Giant cx bike that he couldn’t say enough good things about. 

Aside from the good conversations, I did not manage the lunch break well. I ate far too heartily and was all bogged down when I started the climb up China Grade to the top of Mt. Hough. I took off before the cool group because I knew I was not going to feel like going as fast as they were. I expected to be passed by them at some point on the climb and that was OK with me.   All the blood was being diverted to digestion and not to spinning the cranks. This climb hurt.  The route was slightly different this year. It was advertised as easier…but it wasn’t. It was still super steep and my 36×28 was, in a word – inadequate.  Dudes were passing me and shaking their heads – Them: “is that a 28 on there?” Me: “Yeah” Them: “Idiot! I stuck a 32 on this and it’s still not enough gear!”   You know you are in a group of serious bike weenies when they can accurately ascertain your gear teeth  while riding past you.I suppose the fact that I was turning approximately 2 revolutions per miute might have given them a hint. 

Even so, the pro group never reached me. I was one of the first to get to the final Mt. Hough downhill and had relatively clear sailing. Not too many people in front, and I hoped no one too near me behind me breathing down my neck. I had a great downhill for me. I went just above my comfort level and as fast as I wanted to go. It felt all right. About 2/3 of the way down, Decker on his MTB ripped past me like I was tied to a tree.  With out 100 m to go, Jones came around me, then I finished and just stayed ahead of Wicks. Glad I didn’t hold those guys up. Last year I ddi 15.53 and this year it was 14.34 – so that’s improvement to be proud of.

 8

After the end of this final section, I rolled back to the fairgrounds by myself, packed up camp, and headed home.  The race was great. The company was friendly. But it wasn’t the same as having y’all around. Missed you. Turns out I got 25th in the old man’s group which is not super-impressive as there were only 125 of us to start with in that category. Still – I love this race and let’s try to do it as a team again next year.

 

 

JONZ

 


Filed under: Uncategorized | No Tag
No Tag
October 14th, 2016 08:47:57

Leesville Lodoga Road Race Report

July 14th, 2016

Leesville Lodoga Road Race – Todd Dodds 7/4/2016

Yesterday, Adam and I raced the Leesville Lodoga Road Race in Williams. We were both pleased we did for a number of reasons: got to race our bikes; we attempted to solve the worlds problems on the drive down to Williams and on the way back up to Redding; had a great meal at the Farwood Café in Orland. My race was the 3rd starting field and the first field racing 60 miles (really 64 miles but the race flyer indicated 60.) The P 1/2 and 35+ 1/2/3 fields raced 80 miles. Anyway, we had about 15 in the 45+ 1/2/3 field. For the first 20 miles, we rode at a reasonable pace which was pretty flat. After 20 miles is when the climbing started. There was an initial climb that was reasonably steep and deceptive because you could think that was the beginning of the long climb. Adam had shared his experience from last year so I knew that wasn’t the main climb but it gave everyone an idea how hard the pace was going to be. Once we got past the first climb we quickly came to the main climb which was about 3 miles long. It started out pretty steep and the pace started to gradually increase as we got into the climb. About a mile in I looked back and realized that there were only five us at the front and the others had fallen back. At that point, I felt great and was climbing well. I turned the pace up a little and soon found myself in front and seeing some of the four that were with me fall back. I knew that if I came over the climb burning a bunch of matches it would have been a mistake because there was 34 miles left of racing with 20 of them on the flats. I was pretty confident I could not hold off an organized group for that many miles so I slowed the pace a little. I topped the climb first and started the descent at a reasonable pace. Pretty quickly I was caught by a Body Concepts rider (not kidding, his name was Todd.)

On the descent, we rode pretty hard and took equal turns in front. Near the bottom we discussed some strategy and decided to maintain a good pace but not kill ourselves. Like me, he was a climber and he had some concerns about the last 20 miles and getting caught by an organized group. Anyway, we kept the pace up until the turn around (it was an out and back course) and that is when saw the chase group. They were about 30 seconds back so we thought for sure they would catch us before the climb. Todd suggested that we keep up a steady pace and maybe they would catch us at the base of the climb which was about a mile long. We thought they would have to work harder than us to catch us then we would drop them again on the climb. With each turn we took in front the one in back would look back and give a report if the group was catching us. Each report looked more promising, they were slipping back. We started to get a little hopeful about our break sticking. At the top of the climb, we could not see them so we pinned it on the 3 mile descent. Our only problem was we caught a pick up truck pulling a pop tent trailer about 2 miles into the descent and he would not move over. It was a little stressful but we remained calm. At the bottom of that descent we knew we had one more slight climb and then we would gradually roll down to the remaining flat 20 miles.

Once we finally got to 20 miles, we both were feeling a little more confident that we may cross the finish line before the group caught us. We traded equal pulls rolling about 23/24 miles an hour. I think my heart rate hovered about 170 the entire time; I wanted this to work. The miles kept melting away and the group was not gaining on us. About 4 miles remaining the race official rolled up to us to give a report on what was going on behind us. The group of four which contained two guys from the same team was not organized and there seemed to be some in fighting going on which was incredible news for us. A little later, one of the four attacked the group which we could see him gaining some time on us. That was about with 2 miles to go so our confidence was growing but we were not letting up. Finally, we reached the 1k marker and we were confident that our tactic worked…we were racing for 1st and 2nd. We were super excited. We agreed that we were not going to draft one another and just make it a drag race to the finish. As we rolled closer I saw the 200m sign and decided to sprint. Believe it or not, it worked. I got 1st place in a road race. I was extremely happy. It was great racing with someone who wanted to work together. If we hadn’t, the chase group would have caught us. It was a fun day of racing and spending time with Adam. Thanks Owens for the support.


Filed under: Uncategorized | No Tag
No Tag
July 14th, 2016 12:31:23

Chico Stage RR

March 06th, 2015

Chico Stage RR – Todd Dodds 3/5/2015

Mike, Adam, Jordan and I raced the 2015 Chico Stage Race.  Jordan raced the 3/4 category, Adam raced the 45+ 4/5 category and Mike and I raced the 45+ 1/2/3 category.

Friday, Mike and I got to race the Thunderhill Circuit course in Willows.  The course is 3 miles with 15 turns and 2 pretty good climbs…excellent circuit.  We raced for 75 minutes (lap times were about 7 minutes) and had 31 riders in our class.  As usual the start was fast and unusually nervous for the first couple of laps.  If finally settled down after 3 or 4 laps but the pace remained pretty high.  The climbs definitely disrupted things.  The big power guys like Bubba Melcher would fall back on them but would move back up on the descents.  The rest of the race remained pretty uneventful until the last two laps.  I started to move up because I was feeling good throughout the race and I thought I had a chance to get a good result.  Going into the last lap, I had a good position so I was motivated to keep it going.  Going up the last climb I was second wheel and came out of the second to last corner in the same position which I thought was great, however, the guy I was following was spent and pulled out.  This placed me out front with one turn to go and with a very long sprint, so I knew I had to do my best to prepare for the surge that was going to come.  As we entered the last turn I gave a little room on the inside but held my speed so I could grab one of their wheels.  It seemed like it was going to work for at least a top five, but the sprint was very long and I could not hold on.  I placed 13th which is not the result I wanted but I was still fairly happy with it because there were some strong guys in the field.

Mike rode strong for several laps and was enjoying himself until one of the Audi’s guys tried taking him out on one of the turns.  I thought the Sheriff was going to come unglued, but he kept his cool and didn’t kick the guy off the road.  After that, Mike rode solo for a couple of laps which I think was harder than where I was due to the big winds that were blowing.

Saturday, Mike and I started our race at 2:15 at the Buckhorn Recreation Area.  It was a different start location compared to previous years which was in Paskenta.  It changed the race quite a bit since there were rollers at the start of the race proceeded by the gravel section 10 miles in.  From the gun, 3 guys got off the front and were able to hold that position until about 1.5 miles into the gravel section.  During that time, Bubba tried to bridge but could not make contact.  The pace seemed reasonable up to the gravel and then increased as we entered the gravel section as expected.  However, as opposed to past years, the pace was not at redline which was welcomed.  As we caught the break, the peloton remained together for the most part all the way to the end of the gravel.  Mike lost contact about half way in and was stuck riding solo to the finish which was very difficult due to the strong cross winds.  When we hit Corning Road the cross winds got very strong and I knew that an echelon would form.  About 3 miles in, the pace ramped up and we were rolling at 27 mph +.  Everything was fine for another couple of miles and then I found myself in the gutter dangling off the back.  I had a couple of conversations with myself to convince my mind to overcome the pain I was feeling.  I hung in there but man I burned a lot of matches to keep in contact.  Once we hit Black Butte Road, we had a tail wind so I was feeling pretty good about the finish because it was on an uphill.  We stayed together for the most part until 500 meters to go and the beginning of the climb.  I was positioned about 7th and thought I could do something at the finish so I stood up to go for it.  Once I did that, I could tell I burned a lot of matches earlier so my sprint would suffer.  I placed 15th.  Mike finished and ended helping some other riders finish as well.  Another good day of racing.

Sunday was the TT and the Crit.  Mike and I had decent morning start times for the TT so we got to sleep in a little which was very welcomed after having two days of racing in the legs.  By the way, we could have crushed the TT this year but we did not have TT bikes so our times were well off the winning time.  Next year….maybe!

The Criterium start time was at 12:45 so we had plenty of time to warm up but we were both unmotivated to start because we were tired and whining about that.  Also, we were thinking about Tom Dillard’s crash he had earlier that morning which landed him in the hospital.  More on that later.  Anyway, we started on time and the pace was high as expected.  Fairly quickly, two guys rolled off the front and neither of them were from the bigger teams.  I didn’t think that would be the break, however, it turned out Bubba Melcher thought it would and bridged up.  The three of them worked for a while but one of the guys could not hold the pace and came back to the main group.  The rest of the race remained pretty uneventful but fast.  I finished 10th and Mike finished 20th.  I love that course and had a great time racing with Mike.

Overall, we had a great time and REALLY appreciate the support we got from the team.  The racing was fun, but the time spent together as a team was excellent.  THANKS!!

Tom and Adam raced the Criterium at 8:00am, the first race of the morning.  It sounds like Tom was following a guy into the first corner with two laps to go when he noticed that the guy was going too fast and saw that he was going to crash.  Tom thought he was clear of the guy when all of the sudden the guys bike came into Tom’s line which caused him to go over the bars.  When he landed, he ended up breaking 8 ribs, puncturing a lung and breaking his clavicle.  Definitely a bad crash.  He ended up riding in an ambulance to the hospital and was told he would be there for a couple of days.  I was in Chico Wednesday and found out that he was still in the hospital.  I talked to him and he thought that he might be released today or Friday.  He said the pain was terrible that they had to give him an epidural.  He was thankful that he was okay and was talking about when he could ride his bike next.  If you guys get a chance, it would be nice if you could drop him an e-mail or text wishing him well.


Filed under: Uncategorized | No Tag
No Tag
March 06th, 2015 17:39:05

Downieville RR

August 08th, 2014

Downieville RR Race Report – Jordan Anderson 8.4.2014

It was a bitter sweet goodbye leaving D-Ville yesterday, glad to be finished up but we can’t wait for the next one. Saturday was the XC race, 9:30 start, up the hour long fire road climb. It’s pretty steep, loose rock/gravel, and mostly one-lined. The top pro’s make it up in about 50 minutes. I felt pretty good for most of it, towards the top is a flat stretch for a little over a mile, and then one last steep pitch before the start of the DH. I used a few minutes of the DH to recover so I could put the power down again. Made it to the fire road connector between Sunrise and Pauley Creek where the baby head rocks awaited us.

Just as you think that you get a break from the 8 mile, 3000′ climb, you start right back up for a few miles headed to Pauley Creek. Once the descent down Pauley begins, it’s downhill for a good while all the way to a 700′ steep climb to the start of 3rd Divide. At the bottom of Pauley, a Junior was stranded without a tube or pump, so I gave him my stuff and told him to find me at the bottom so I could get my pump back…but I think he decided to hold onto it. So I was expecting some good karma for the rest of the weekend. By the time I got to that climb, I was starting to get pretty worn out, cramps had already came and gone, so I was just waiting for the next set (which never happened). Started down 3rd divide, really fast and flowing the whole way, its my favorite trail over there. By the end of the trail, you start getting close to the finish, only about 5 miles to go, with about a half mile left of climbing.

1st divide has now begun and I was doing my best to shut my legs up. I just kept thinking about the finish line. After a mile or two of pedaling, you get a short DH into the final little painful pitch, and then about 50 yards to the pavement. Now the final paved stretch where lots of passes happen. Luckily I didn’t have anybody behind me, so I just held my pace and rolled through the finish. My time was 2:18, 2:16 last year, so I was a little disappointed, but I’ll go for it again next year. Jed said he felt great the whole race and came across at 2:35.

Sunday was the DH day, 15 miles. They take out Pauley creek and add Butcher ranch in. Butcher starts as a double track fire road, with fast sweeping loose corners that narrow into a really technical rocky single track. They start you off in one minute intervals, so the whole time you just hope that your catching the guy in front of you, but at the same time, hoping you don’t get caught. It isn’t a typical DH race, it almost hurts worse than the xc climb because of how hard you have to pedal for most of it. I started off and felt great, wasn’t making very many mistakes, and just having a blast. About half way down, I had a solid rhythm going, and then out of nowhere at about 25mph, I went over the bars and cartwheeled for about 15 feet. I somehow missed all of the rocks and didn’t hurt myself, but the bike took a beating. So with a severely bent rear disk and twisted bars I rode the remainder of the race pretty cautiously. I would have fixed the bars if my saddle bag didn’t rip off and disappear in the bushes. I made it down without anymore issues, finished in 54 minutes. Jed felt great again, but sliced his tire and had to CO2 it, so he finished in 53 minutes. But overall we had a great time once again, and we’ll be back next year for redemption. Hopefully we can talk some of the Blue Train into joining us! Thanks Owens for making it happen, we did our best to fly the Blue flag. Also a huge thanks to Paul for letting me use his Trance, don’t worry, I’ll get it fixed up and ready to rock again.


Filed under: Uncategorized | No Tag
No Tag
August 08th, 2014 08:53:18