Tiffin, Ohio YMCA indoor Tri

I want to thank WSI Cycling and Team Active for allowing me to join the team. Many of you know me through Eric Cook and our triathlon adventures.  I am an age grouper, viagra  typically racing Master Clydesdale-fat, old, (and ugly).  I usually stick to Olympic and Sprint events in Ohio. I was able to get an age group win at the Cedar Point Sprint Rev this fall-(only because Eric chose to do the half).  Joining the team has given my training new focus.  There are many good cyclist and triathletes in my area, but, no comparable community to what Team Active has been able to build in Battle Creek.

As many of my fellow triathletes do in the winter, I have moved inside.  I ride a Trek Madone, purchased at www.Teamactive.com. shoes and trainer from there as well.  Graciously, my daughter allows me to ride in her ballet studio in our basement.  www.shaylathomas.com.  The only stipulations are that I have to mop up the sweat and use my own Pandora station-usually AC DC.

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Part of the joy of multisport is helping other athletes get involved.  Twice in 2013 I have strayed from doing an individual event in order to participate on a team. This has served to introduce aspiring athletes to multisport.  For the New York Triathlon I participated on Team Sad Dads as the swimmer.  Jumping into the Hudson for my buddies was worth it, because, one of my teammates has already registered for his first triathlon in 2014!!  This week was my second attempt to get friends turned on to triathlons.  My friend Pam was an accomplished cross country runner and her boyfriend Steve was an All American swimmer. They wanted to attempt a triathlon in 2014, however, were overwhelmed by the thought of the logistics.  I agreed to serve as their cyclist on Team Wolfpack for some local races until they got a feel for multisport.  We did our fist training event at the Tiffin, Ohio YMCA indoor triathlon.  We got a second place finish and are looking forward to a spring team triathlon with fall individuals for each of them.  Happy New Year and may your 2014 race calendar be full of races with friends!!

2013 Tiffin, Ohio  indoor triathlon

 

Dashing through the snow……

December 14th, WSI Race Team volunteered their services at the inaugural Tinsel Toes 5K on one of the snowiest days of the season so far. The snow was falling all day leading to 4-5 inches of accumulation by race start. Running in the snow is tough; riding in the snow is even tougher. But what would a winter run through the lights be without a little snow? Almost 400 runners braved the cold and snow to participate. The WSI Race team led runners along the streets of Downtown Battle Creek and the unplowed linear path through the 5k course lit with beautiful Christmas displays. The lead runner finished in less than 22 minutes despite the snow. He even gave the bikers a run for their money on the unplowed paths, at times passing them. It has been rumored that Rudolph was also spotted on a bike that night!

A huge thank you to J.J. Ramon, Dwight Dunisick, Mike DeGraaf, David Goff, April Parrish, and Charles Elder for answering the persistent call of a crazy race director guiding the way ‚Äúthrough the white and drifted snow.‚ÄĚ

Charles waiting for the start

This event was a fundraiser for Girls on the Run of Calhoun County. Almost $8,000 was raised for the cause by this event!

And they’re off…..

Last Night WSI Team Active Racing got together to kick off  planning for the 2014 Season.  Eric Cook was nice enough to host at his house and, since I was driving from out of town, I convincedWSI Team Active 2014 Kick Off him to go for a ride in advance of the team meeting.

That may not have been the best idea. ¬†Dwight ¬†joined us and is (for some reason) at mid season form and Eric is, well what Eric always is…a machine. ¬†I was a bit late for our departure time after making some much needed purchases at Team Active, although I was dressed and ready to go, my bike still needed to get prepped and I wanted to put toe warmers in my boots and hand warmers in my gloves. ¬†Not sure what the temperature was, I remember seeing about 20 degrees. ¬†While I was prepping my gear, I told Eric and Dwight that I needed about 5 minutes. ¬†Dwight said “Okay, you get all ready, then we will start spinning and warm up on our way to the ‘Dump’.” ¬†I thought he meant, we would have time to warm up, not that we would get on the bike and proceed to ride at 22 mph right out of the driveway! ¬†I got warm, but not much of a warm up.

We met Kathy at an intersection about a mile from the entrance to the Dump.  It was too cold to socialize too much, but very good to see her.  I had not seen her since she returned from RAAM.  The Dump is a great technical morass of cement, tar and tile and, if you go down, something gets scratched or broken.

Last time I rode the Dump was 3 years ago, that was in the middle of the summer and I was much more comfortable handling my bike than this ride when the ground was frozen and I was cold.  Nobody fell, though I did do some sight seeing a couple times, but all in all a great ride through the woods.  On the way home, Dwight pulled and I locked on to his wheel as if my life depended on it.

My feet were so frozen, that they were numb, and (you know the feeling) I wanted to cry they hurt so bad when they started to thaw out. ¬†But then we went to Crazy Horse for some pizza and a beer…then all was good.

All got much better when I saw the team that I started riding with 5 years ago.  Mike, Eric, Kathy, Dan, Danny, Hannah, Devin, Chuck, Charles, Dave, Dave Sr., Eric, Cameron, Dwight, April, Keith, JJ, Groat, Josh, (and I probably forgot a couple guys), have all been around since I started riding.  (JJ brought his daughter with him, it was great to meet her too.)

There is something about the internal fight you have with yourself while you are putting out a big effort (or fighting the elements) and then get together with friends who do the same thing.  It is a fraternity and sorority and a family.  It was great to see everyone, go for a ride and talk about all of the great things coming for 2014.  I value our friendship and look forward to an awesome 2014.  For those who could not make it, we missed you.

Go WSI/Team Active Racing.  Jack.

2013 Detroit Invitational Cyclocross

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Of course I was sick over the long Thanksgiving weekend. ¬†Of course. ¬†Fortunately, there were a few great things happening in the Detroit area ¬†to take my mind off of how miserable I was feeling. ¬†On the morning of Thanksgiving, Robert Herriman (an ultra-endurance racer from the ¬†Detroit area) hosts a yearly group ride at Pontiac Lake Recreation Area. ¬†I believe this is the 14th year of this ride, and about 60-70 people ¬†were present for a moderately-paced, snowy lap at PLRA. ¬†It’s a great way to get your metabolism going prior to the day’s mass consumption, and I only went over the bars twice due to snow-covered rocks…

Now, on to the main reason for this post: the Detroit Invitational Cyclocross race held at Dorais Park in Detroit. ¬†My friend Tony Cressey ¬†alerted me to this event, and I’m so glad he did. ¬†This is a free cyclocross race held at one of the many Detroit parks that the city can no longer ¬†afford to maintain, so a group of guys calling themselves the Mower Gang have taken it upon themselves to perform the upkeep on the park so ¬†that the local kids have a place to play. ¬†They do this out of the kindness of their hearts and have no government funding; if you’d like to check ¬†out more of their efforts and possibly make a donation, please visit¬†www.mowergang.com. ¬†The event is organized by CX Czar Jeff Wood, and ¬†sponsored by the Racing Greyhounds and Cycle to Fitness as a thank you to everyone they race against during the year. ¬†It’s a bit more ¬†eccentric than your typical cyclocross race (is that possible?), featuring beer & bacon handups, an in-race card game, costumes, and a shortcut where racers must perform a tequila shot in order to pass. ¬†Sounds awesome, right?

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Photo credit: Bob Bruce

I had planned on getting into CX racing earlier in the year, but a mishap with a sheet of 3/4″ medium-density fiberboard ruined those plans – a broken big toe is not conducive to hopping barriers or run-ups. ¬†Fortunately it healed prior to Iceman, but by that point in time, almost all of the CX season was gone. ¬†So, DICX was my first cyclocross race. ¬†As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I came down with a head cold on Thanksgiving morning, but there was no way I was going to miss this event. ¬†It did take the fight out of me, however, so my race strategy was more along the lines of “let’s not get bronchitis” than “LET’S WIN THIS THING.”

The course was about 1.5 miles and featured a few sets of barriers, routes through very bumpy fields that really made me wish for front suspension, a segment across the old velodrome, a snow pile made from ice shavings collected from a local rink, a properly punishing spiral on a hillside, a run-up, and the previously mentioned tequila shortcut. ¬†It was a 45-minute race, which turned out to be 6 laps. ¬†My lap times were close to 10 minutes, whereas the truly fast gents were around 7-8 minutes per lap. ¬†I was racing my singlespeed Traitor Crusade with a relatively heavy gearing, as I really had no idea what to expect of the course – I probably should have gone a bit lighter. ¬†Anyway, the CX training I had done prior to breaking my toe paid off, and I had no trouble with my dismounts/re-mounts, barriers, run-ups, etc. ¬†I only took the tequila shortcut twice, on my 5th and 6th laps, and I have no clue where I finished – there were probably about 150 racers, and I’m guessing I was mid-pack? ¬†It really doesn’t matter – I had a great time, and I highly recommend this event to anyone who has even a remote interest in CX.

Here’s a link to a spectator video of the event, and here’s a first-person perspective.

– Adam Cefai