Gears and Beers, Wine and Wheels and the End of Winter Celebration

The WSI Cycling team joined the Trek Bicycle Store for the annual End of Winter Festival February 23rd-25th. With fun in-store events and sales galore, it was an all hands on deck event for the team. Members played various roles from working the sales floor to working the runway. Here’s a glimpse of the fun that was had by all. Now, let’s hope that the End of Winter Celebration really does mean the end of winter is near!


Iceman 2015

The Iceman Cometh again for 2015. With over 5,000 amateur and professional racers, the Iceman is undoubtedly the who’s who of mountain biking and an epic ending to any race season. It is a love/hate relationship with riders and a time of unpredictable weather. It is a test of endurance, patience and passing ability.


The WSI flag was flying strong at Iceman this year with 10 riders rolling up to the Iceman start line. For some it was their first experience. Katie Bridges raced it as a bucket list item. The result: she is already considering returning. For others, it was a return to the event. Both Matt and Kevin had not been at the start line for years. And for the rest of our WSI crew, including Charles, Keith and Dan, it was a yearly tradition that just keeps pulling them back.


The morning began beautifully. Riders were heading out from Kalkaska to Timber Ridge Resort in 2 minute increments with the sun shining and temperatures hanging at a brisk 40 degrees. The weather, however, did not disappoint Iceman enthusiasts. The rain began and along with it the sleet giving riders a brief period of face pelting reality of November Michigan weather. Although short lived, along with the rain and sleet came the clouds turning the finish party into a chilling experience.

Riders crossed the finish with smiles, excitement, and new goals for their return next year. Some even had enough umph left in them for a little finish line production (Ahem, Matt). Until next year, Iceman….



Maumee Bay Triathlon Toledo Ohio

Shayne Thomas at HFP Maumee Bay Triathlon Toledo Ohio 2014
Shayne Thomas at HFP Maumee Bay Triathlon Toledo Ohio 2014

Shayne Thomas here…I’m glad to report that I have done the second race in the HFP Fit Family Series-Maumee Bay Triathlon at the awesome state park of the same name near Toledo Ohio.  Once again doing the sprint triathlon in the age group-fat, old, & ugly.  It was the second time that I placed third in the over 40 over 200lbs.  I was generally satisfied with my times.  I came out of the swim with my buddy and fellow Clydesdale Mark.  We talked about how good a pizza sounded right then as we trotted up to the transition.  Toledo is table top flat.  The only challenge on the bike is wind.  There was a bit, but, not as bad as it has been in the past.  The brutal run is also flat, but, is run in zero shade.  I thought a Guinness sounded pretty good and would quench my thirst, but, realized it would take a special person to drink one during a triathlon.

I literally grabbed my metal and my time slip and trotted off to gather my stuff from the transition.  As quickly as possible I needed to be in Mansfield, Ohio for the Miss Ohio parade to drive my daughter’s float.  She is the reigning Miss Mansfield’s Outstanding Teen.  I got a lot of questions about why I had my weight and age on my calves, unfortunately, they started to cramp halfway through the parade!!


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.

WSI-Team Active Cycling Leads Out 2013 Dig ‘Em Dash

Dig 'Em DashThis weekend found me “uncharacteristically available” Saturday morning and actually home for the weekend. That meant I was able to help out at this year’s Dig ‘Em Dash, a 5k run located in downtown Battle Creek. This was the third and final event in the Cereal City Stampede, a series of races in Battle Creek to get people be active and get out in the community. Similar to when the team helps with “bike patrol” for the Oaklawn Hospitality Classic, team members ride the course and help to ensure the runners’ safety by helping at busy intersections with traffic control, watching for injured runners and offering words of encouragement to the racers.

The weather was just about as perfect as it could have been, cool to run and sunny. While I’m not that much of a runner, I know that running in cool temps is a whole lot better than blazing hot weather. While the likelihood of that happening this time of year was minimal, it could have been cold and rainy (like it was the next day), so Mother Nature smiled upon the race organizers for sure.

To help kick things off the Kellogg’s characters all made an appearance (since the event started right in front of their world headquarters, it only made sense). We got some nice “high fives” during our roll-up for the event and it was nice the announcer made several mentions of the team throughout the morning.

WSI Cycling Dig 'Em DashTowards the end of the event (there were runners and walkers) a couple of ladies finishing the walk were just about ready to make the final turn to the finish and gave a “woot” to me when I rode by. I get it… It’s not every day you see grown men riding their bikes around in spandex and shaved legs. Much to their surprise, I “wooted” back and turned around to come back and give them their own personal “biker escort” to the finish. I could tell when I turned around on my bike that was not what they were expecting, so of course I had some fun with the situation. Turns out they both worked at the Federal Center in Battle Creek and a bunch of them had come out to do the event. Exactly what the Cereal City Stampede wanted people to do!

While many of the reports you’ll read on this blog involve team members competing for medals, this is one of those events we do just because it’s a good thing. No awards or podium finishes… just supporting the community and being part of the event. I’m sure the weather had a lot to do with the great turnout for the event, but it was great to see so many people up early on a Saturday doing something fitness related.

After the Dash was over we all headed back to Brownstone for some coffee (thanks Dutch and Team Active for treating!) and then I got to continue my day of riding at Fort Custer with Dwight. We did the Red and Green loops and since I’ve not ridden out there much this year, some of the trail was new to me, so I had a blast. Dave and his kids were just finishing up when we came in, so we got to hang out with them a bit before packing up and heading home.

Great event, great weather, great friends and a great way to spend a Saturday…