Firecracker 50 Prep

Posted on 9:15 PM by Schottler

I decided to keep my bike with me last weekend, then ship it to CO, so I could get another race in... but I was talked into a party Saturday night. I was planning on having a few beers and going to sleep, but 5 minutes later I already had those down. I woke up at 11am still slightly drunk... definitely not making it. So instead of that, after rolling out of bed and napping on the couch, I did a 3.5 hour fast paced gravel ride on the mtb. I actually feel more sore today from that effort then I have from the past races, and probably better training for the 50 mile 12,000 foot climbing Marathon National Championship race in Breckenridge next weekend.

I did this race 2 years ago, my first 50 mile race. I finished in 5:02 at about 15th place or so, I hurt... bad. I did this last year and finished in 4:29 with a flat, huge improvement, still very painful, but only finished 10th. That time would have put me in 5th the year before, pretty disappointing. The difference this year is a faster, lighter, and bigger wheeled bike. Me being 5-6 pounds lighter with much better fitness, and the low back pain pretty much fixed. I really don't like setting time goals because it stresses me out and I like to just see how it goes. But I have to have some goal to shoot for I guess, so I would really like to finish in 4:10. This time would put me in top 5 or even a top 3 spot.

I will be flying out Friday morning to meet up with Green Beans and Mike Best in Breckenridge who have been riding out there all week. I would have joined them if I wasn't stuck doing science experiments at school... I need a vacation. I am super pumped.

Lost Valley Luau

Posted on 1:28 PM by Schottler

Drove down to Lost Valley with Green Beans on Sunday to race some mountain bikes. It was said to be 11.5 mile laps, with the Cat 1's doing 3 laps. There was an excessive heat advisory, 96 degree's with 70% humidity. It was super hot, but I was honestly expecting worse... but the mosquito's made up the difference. I donated a lot of blood to the little bastards, along with every other person there.

The start of the race was a little over a half mile of Katy Trail like double track, where I testing my drafting skills to use as little energy as possible to get ready for the upcoming climb. I hit the double track climb at about 3rd position still feeling fresh and picked up the pace, I looked back and I opened up a bit of a gap, so I tried to stay at a comfortable pace for a little while. Then I see Devin Clark, a strong road racer, coming up on my wheel. We took a couple turns pulling and then Ploch went by to get into the single track first, I immediately jumped on his wheel. I followed Ploch through all of the first section of single track, where we opened up a gap on the rest of the field, then made it to the next double track where we both pulled to keep up our average speed.

Coming into the 2nd and 3rd laps I had to CX dismount to grab a couple cold bottles and hop back on, which seemed to have wasted about 15 seconds each time. I lost Chris on the hill coming into lap 2 doing this, but I managed to catch him at the top of the climb. He told me to lead the single track, I was a little hesitant because I thought he would be running faster through it than me. I felt pretty good and picked up the effort quite a bit, losing sight of Chris after about 5 minutes or so. Once I was on my own I turned on cruise control near full gas the rest of the race. I will have to double check results when they are posted, but I think my finish time was about 1:56, 3 minutes or so ahead of Ploch. Total distance was supposedly around 34 miles... which would equal a ridiculous average speed, but I think Chris told me total distance was 30 miles... still pretty fast.

A lot of this race was flat double track, which is fine for me because I have become a Katy Trail/gravel Jedi over the last couple of years with the bocomo peloton. The single track sections were a lot of fun... pretty flowy, but I was almost positive one of the million sharp rocks were going to get me. But somehow again, my tires survived to let me win the overall a second weekend in a row. And thank you Team Seagal for the PBR after the race, pretty sure that saved my life. Also thanks to Mesa Cycles and Matt James for putting on a very well run race. I can't believe everyone managed to sit out there for 5+ hours in the heat and mosquito's, more impressive than anyone racing if you ask me.

Next weekend my MTB will be in route to Colorado with Green Beans and Mike Best for the Marathon National Championships the 4th of July, so no mountain racing for me. I will either race a local crit or most likely go out for a moderately hard 4-5 hour gravel ride.

MO MTB State Championship

Posted on 6:07 PM by Schottler

This year's race was at Castlewood again down in St. Louis. Temperature was probably over 350 degree's with a million percent humidity, and I sweated right when I got out of the car... might be an interesting race. I was pretty pumped about this race, mainly just because I wanted to get the jersey and wear it around Butthead as much as possible. A pretty strong Cat 1 field was present with the usual heavy hitters, including Elwell who took the trip down from KC, who got a SUPER impressive 14th position in the Pro Mellow Johnny's mtb race in TX, beating some very big names.

I was on the front line and we were off, the start of the race was straight up a gravel double track climb to a pretty technical decent that I would have probably died down if Breslin didn't warn me before we began. I got a good start, grabbing Elwell's wheel up the climb, down the descent, and back up Grotpeter. I looked over my shoulder after the climbs and saw Breslin hanging pretty close, with none of the other field in sight. I followed Elwell for most of the lap, but it turns out he was having some really bad stomach problems and told me to go by, so I did. Right when I did this I looked back and saw some of the group catching back up.

I hit the last climb hard, opened up a pretty big gap, and tried to pace myself the rest of the race. I wasn't sure how my body would react to the heat and humidity for 2 hours of mashing, so I tried to conserve energy and cool down where possible. I hit all of the climbs and power sections hard, and took advantage of the super flowy and fast single track to cool down and be smooth and fast. I was totally expecting to cramp and blow up the last lap.

That never happened. I came through the end of lap 3 and Green Beans told me I had over a minute lead.... that didn't seem like much time... I thought they were catching up. I tried to pick up the pace and flew up Grotpeter again, got in a lot of lapped traffic, and then attacked the last climb hard. Ended up finishing 1st overall, fastest lap a little over 26 minutes, total time of 1:52.03, with about a 3.5 minute lead over 2nd, John Rines, who was followed by John Matthews and Ploch.

Bocomo killed the weekend. Dan Miller took the single speed state jersey, and Mike Best won the marathon state jersey. Another good weekend of showing how we roll in bocomo. Also a huge thanks to Dave Stitz for the ice water into lap 4... I probably would still be laying in the woods somewhere if I didn't get that.

I have the jersey. No kankle power needed.

Luck finally turns around

Posted on 9:36 PM by Schottler

Headed down to Birmingham Alabama with Green Beans this past weekend for the US Cup Kenda Qualifier, Bump N' Grind... 2nd year in a row. Last year I had a ton of mechanicals and excuses, and finished 4th in XC. Trails were amazing then, it was pretty easy to talk Nate into joining me this year... I think he was happy he came.

Saturday was STXC, the flier said amateurs only, but I found myself to be up against all the pro's, as well as the Cat 1, 2, 3's and women. It was called Turn N' Burn... I didn't think anything about the name, but I battled for the 2nd row and as the gun went off they yelled "TURN AROUND, THIS IS TURN N' BURN," uhhhhh what!? Super duper, I was one of the last to turn around, here's what I had to battle through.

There were about 60 people or so in the race, and I had to battle through all of them. By the time I got into an okay position, a group of pro's were way off the front. According to Nate, who was my wonderful cheerleader and photographer during this event, I got through the traffic and began my chase about 30 seconds back. I didn't make up any time and I didn't really lose any time either, so I finished 7th overall. Not too bad really. I was running in the red the whole time, not used to putting out that kind of effort that quickly into a race this time of the year. They encouraged people to do the STXC race with big prizes, an average of $45 prize per $45 entry fee... pretty easy to do when there's a $500 bike frame up for grabs. But somehow, out of all of the people, I won the Niner frame. Stood on the podium with the frame in my Cannondale sponsored kit.

The XC race was on Sunday, with about 18 people in my Cat 1 19-29 field. I remembered last year how I nearly missed the start last year and ended up last into the single track, so this time I was stressing out about getting on the front line and getting into the trail top 5. I managed to get on the front line, but quickly realized the people I was racing were willing to take everyone out just so they could get in the trail first. There was a lot of riding through grass and down a street before we hit the trail, but everyone was just running into each other, cussing at each other, and being SUPER sketchy. I nearly got taken out a few times and didn't want anything to do with this, so I was 16/18 into the single track, awesome.

After 3 miles of single track, a double track gravel section popped up and I accelerated around most of the field. I got back into the trail in 5th position and we picked up the pace, dropping the rest of the field. This paceline through the single track lasted until we got to the 660 foot elevation double track climb. The group broke up, and a Kenda rider, ex-pro Andrew Johnston, took off. I sat on a wheel half way up and then pulled the rest of the climb, brining back another rider, putting me in 3rd position. There was a technical descent after this and he flatted, so I was in 2nd position and was in chase mode. After this I began passing some Pro riders who started 4 minutes before me as well as all of the Pro women who started 2 minutes before.

The rest of the race I rode as smooth as possible to keep myself from flatting... and I would have to say it was the smoothest I have ever raced. I kept seeing the Kenda rider up ahead, with time gaps coming down to maybe 15 seconds, but then he disappeared again, not sure where I was losing time. After a little more then 28 miles of racing in 2:05.44 I was done, finishing 2nd. I finished 3rd overall in the Cat 1 field with all age groups, which is getting me closer to being able to upgrade. My time would have put me in 8th/15 in the Pro field, about 9 minutes behind the 1st place Pro, not too bad. But I took home $210... plus a bike frame, totally worth it.

But anyway, I thought I rode very well, very happy to get a convincing result without a mechanical. Up next is the MO State MTB race, then another Kenda Qualifier race in Indiana. Also a HUGE thanks to Green Beans for cooking every meal... and putting up with the awesome German techno in the car... and pace lining for about an hour at 80-100 mph on the way back.

Birthday Shenanigans

Posted on 8:31 PM by Schottler

We drank all night, then at midnight, my birthday, we decided it would be a great idea to go on a bike ride. Friends that joined in were Brent, Tim, Jesse, and Andy. First I put on my birthday skinsuit. We left at 1am, already very drunk.

Backpacks were stacked full of beer, mainly Mich Ultra so I could watch my figure. We all drank (chugged) the entire way to Big Tree, Nifong to the MKT trail.

I continued to drink and went to the front and picked up the pace, suffering ensued... only from drinking too much.

Made it to the MKT entrance... time to shotgun another beer... hard to do that with a bottle.

I attacked off the trail through some farm field, didn't flat.

Eventually we made it to Big Tree... and chugged another beer.

Took the paved road around the big tree, I attacked in a TT position.

Took the new bypass around the new bridges on the MKT... I've never ridden the bypass before. I slammed into a pile of dirt at full speed, with no light. I didn't flat.

We all rode like drunken idiots the whole way back to Columbia, numerous crashes occurred. Lots of skidding rocks on each other, flying off into the woods, and sprinting around. Once back in como we (Brent, Jesse, and I) loaded up on pancakes, beef, and whatever else was in sight and headed back out again... back to Big Tree via MKT to the Katy Trail to Rocheport... with a lot more beer. We eventually made it with lots of mosquito bites, pee breaks, and beers later. The sun came up when we made it there, 5:30am by the time we rode up to the winery... still very drunk.

Yes, Jesse is a special little guy.

We ran out of beer on the way back and started sobering up... it seemed to have taken forever. Jesse was bleeding from flying over the bars coming down from the winery. My tires were still intact.

I took a nap while riding.

We made it back home by 7:30am... about 6 hours of ride time and around 56 very drunken miles on mountain bikes... completely lost count of beers consumed, still slightly drunk when we got back. Slept about 4 hours, went to Ihop, then continued drinking Trops at the pool all day and lots of beer all night. Definitely one of the best birthdays in a while, I am happy nobody died.