Ft. Custer, Waterford and Turning 50.

I find it fitting that this is the evening of my 50th birthday and past due to update my race reports.  It is fitting because cycling keeps one young.  We have all gone for rides with 60 and 70 (some even 80) year old cyclists who are amazing in their fitness and ability.  Seems the older you get on a bike, this also means that your core needs to be engaged the whole race.  I also felt as if I were riding very high and since it was the first time I was on the bike (ever) and it was a race, my bike handling skills suffered even more than usual.  I thought that the most important thing I could do would be to push it as hard as possible on the straight sections and take a little off in the technical sections.  It was a great day, a lot of TAR/WSI team members on the trail and I was able to steal a 9th place finish.

Tonight was one of the Waterford  Hills Race series road races.  I am looking forward to pulling in the data from my new Garmin bike computer to see what actually happened, but what I felt was a nice 60 minute race on the 1.5 mile course with a small hill and fighting to stay in the first 10 or so places.  There were nearly 40 of us racing tonight and the wind was pretty strong from the south and the race temperature was about 90, ensuring that positioning in the group would be key for the race.  Not very eventful race, I think I finished in the top 20 or 25, but then some knuckle head cut in front of me at the end of the race…putting me on the turf after the race was over.  So much for an injury free race, but a very happy 50th birthday—especially since my wife and daughter were there to cheer me on.

Happy trails my friends.  Life is better on our bikes.

Jack Miner.

Fort Custer Mt. Bike TT

Sunday June 10, 2012 I raced the Ft. Custer Mt. Bike TT.  I saw quite a few  WSI/TAR people and it looked like  great race results from the team.  I raced Sport Single Speed and finished 2nd in that catagory.  The weather was hot (about 90 F) and the trail was dry and not super fast.  Attached are the results.  Notice all the WSI/TAR people.  Good job all.

Custers-RevengeTT Results – 2012 

Keith Wilkinson

Dr. TK Lawless TT

Several Teammates and I competed in the Dr. TK Lawless TT on Sunday. The weather and trail conditions could not have been better for us. Around 65° mostly Sunny and dry, very different than what the road team encounter on Saturday. I entered the sport class 30 – 39, which was one 10 mile loop around the park. For the first time in my racing career I beat 5 other guys and took the podium with a first place finish with a time of 48 minutes. Unfortunately I was out on the course with my son during the award ceremony, but climbed the podium a little later to take fame. I have only rode ½ of this course one time last year and have not been back since. So I was in total shock when they told me that I had won. It’s a fun tight and twisty course with just a few short straightaways. I can wait to come back next year and do it again.

My son Dilan also competed in the race. He has never ever been there and he still opted out of the 10 – 12 year old short 1 mile race and competed in Beginner 19 and under class, where he was by far the youngest. As you can imagine he finished last but still had a very impressive time of 71 minutes.

David Goff

DNF versus DFL Demons

West Branch Road Race is hard enough (1500 feet of climbing per lap) without the wind being mixed in.  Add low temperatures (High 40s at start time) and rain and you have a combination that makes the primary pre-race discussion in the pits about; leg warmers or no, hat, no hat?  Warming up means sitting in your car as long as you can and hope that your muscles will not penalize you for putting them into the wind and rain before the first attack.  I pre-rode this course with some friends from Wolverine Sports Club and we did 3 laps.  My back was still tender from all the climbing from the ride 3 weeks prior.  If not for a ‘pact’ to do the race between me Danny and Derrick after our Wednesday night team ride, I would not have even set the alarm to drive all the way to West Branch in the rain.  But, loyalty is loyalty…so we death marched our way north.

It is always great to have team mates at a race, on a cold rainy windy nasty day, it is even better  to have some moral support.  We ignored the weather, donned our team kits and proceeded to the start.  In the first turn, we all communicated very well, there were 56 pre-registered, but who knows how many idiots like me actually showed up.  The wind was off to our left and I kept tucked in behind some very strong cyclists for the first 12 miles of the first lap.  Danny was possessed as he was on Wednesday night and was out front for a great deal of the rollers.  I made a mistake and stayed on the windward side of the echelon and when they turned up the tempo, I had no legs.  I knew that the race was over for me with about 5 miles left in the first lap!  Three other riders worked with me in the wind, but by the time we made the turn to the first time up the climb, the pack was gone.

I rolled up the monster hill after the first lap and had the opportunity to call it a day.  After all, I was done, I could not even see the lead pack any more.  But, I committed to have Danny’s “6.”  If he had a mechanical or something, I would give him whatever he needed to get back in the race.  I also remember a team mate telling me (commanding me) that you never ever ever leave a race unless you are hurt, have a mechanical or are pulled.  I fought these demons because I was all alone in the wind and had no one to work with.

I was closing in on a couple Cat 4s who were shelled out the back like me, but when the Cat 5s went by, two of them jumped on the group (an illegal move and when I protested to the follow car, the officials pulled them off, but they were too far ahead and were connected together now and I was, alas, all alone.)

Unfortunately, when you are riding by yourself in a race (it has happened to me way too often) you have time to think.  I committed myself to burning calories in my final lap and ‘being there for Danny’ in case he needed me.  Well, Danny was there for me at the last few yards of the climb to the finish and I know I did not have as good a day as Danny did (we still have not seen results), but I know this, I did not DNF.

Jack Miner.