Thursday, December 24, 2009

Faliz Navidad!!!

I wanted to send everybody a quick update to wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! Things are well around here. I have been able to get outside every day except one. In fact I was able to get a ride in today (Christmas eve) before the storm really set in. I rode into the 30mph head wind for about an hour, until the ice pellets stung so much it became uncomfortable. Then I turned around and skated back into town. It was not to bad, because I was on the gravel roads.
As I type, it is snowing like crazy, and blowing so hard you can hardly see. It is looking like I will have to be inside for a couple of days.

I only had to work two day's this week, and I am now officially on vacation until January 4. This is an awesome feeling. It gives me additional time to spend with the family through New Years. It is going to be a fun and relaxing time. Tonight we are going to Shelley's parents for Christmas eve, then, all of the kids and grand kids are coming over to our house tomorrow!

On a last note for the day, A few decissions are being made for the up coming race season. Six people from the team, including myself are going down to Arkansas on March 28 to do the Ouchita Challenge. It is an awesome race, and am really looking forward to it. We all had to get up early to sign up. Entries opened at midnight on December 15, and they sold out of all of the spots by 9:00 the next morning.

I have decided that I am going to do the endurance league in the UFD series. I am also going to compete in the west league for the traditional cross country series that the UFD is also putting on. I have a couple of other things that I am thinking about, but have not decided upon yet. Check back later to see what will become of them.

That's it for now! Stay warm, enjoy your Christmas, and train hard! Until next week!

Peace Out!

Friday, December 18, 2009

HUGE News!!!

Their is a lot going on in the biking news! It is exciting this time of the year when all of the promoters are making their BIG announcements, and the early registrations begin. I will get my business out of the way first, then get on to the big picture.

On the training side, I have been able to stay consistent during this difficult time of year. With all of the parties, changing of the schedule, shopping and all, I have been able to get at least two hours on the bike every day. The good part is I was able to get back outside again this week. I even get in a little trail riding. This is ALWAYS good for the mental health. Up front I want to thank my wife Shelley for the support and encouragement during this time. Without her help it would be so much harder.

Last weekend Shelley and I finished up our Christmas shopping. While we were out, we had lunch together. We decided that it would be nice to go to Plant Sub. It had been a while since I had been their so I decided to experiment with the menu. I tried their signature sandwich, the "Planet Sub", WOW it was awesome! It had a ton of great stuff on it, and it was extra nice because they toast the sandwich! I think that I am going to have to make this a weekly ritual.

Well, on to the really HUGE news!!! To make it easier I am going to cut and paste the information directly from the new release. Needless to say, this will help make the planning for the upcoming race season much easier. Check back next week for some of the decisions for the upcoming season!!!

KANSAS CITY, MO: We are thrilled to announce the 2010 United Federation of Dirt [UFD] race calendar. The UFD consists of a collective group of promoters, trail builders and racers unified in the goal of bringing dirt lovin’ good times to the Missouri and Kansas region.

For 2010, we are promoting 17 traditional cross country mountain bike races divided into two leagues. The Eastern League is comprised of 8 races and the Western League will be hosting 9 races. The Endurance League brings together 4 races focused on long distance and the ability for the human spirit to suffer. The events will take place on some the best singletrack that the region has to offer, including the ever popular Castlewood State Park, Spanish Lake, Wilson Lake, KS and newly minted Swope Park.

In addition to the 17 cross country races and 4 endurance races, we are pleased to announce the return of the Short Track Dirt Crit Series to the St. Louis area and the Kansas City region. These weekly training races will be the perfect way to keep the legs a moving and the body acclimated to racing on dirt.

And lastly, the UFD is proud to announce that these events will be under the sanctioning of USA Cycling. This is just the beginning of many exciting things to come for the 2010 season. We are still in the early planning stages and working to get all the pieces in place to bring you the best racing experience around. Look for more announcements soon…fun in the dirt is what it is all about.

United Federation of Dirt [UFD]

Eastern League XC races:
March 14: Leadbelt XC. St. Joe Park (Mark Grumke)
March 28: Mesa Lost Valley Luau (Matt James)
May 8: *Greensfelder ( (DRJ Racing)
June 12: *Missouri State Championship. Castlewood (Big Shark/Pfoodman)
June 27: St.Charles County Parks (Ghisallo Sports)
Aug 8: Trailblazer Blitz. Spanish Lake. (Trailblazer Bikes)
Aug 22: Cyclewerx Crankfest. Cape Girardeau, MO (Cyclewerx)
Sept 25: *Council Bluffs (ICCC)

Alpine Shop Short Track Dirt Crit Series– 7/1, 7/8, 7/15, 7/22, 7/29. Dirt Crit Final Blowout XC race - 8/1

Western League XC races:
March 28
: Lawrence River Trails. Lawrence, KS (Curtis Martell/Free State Racing)
May 1/2: Wilson Lake Fat Tire Festival. Wilson Lake, KS. (Doug Chambers/Golden Belt)
May 8: *Robidoux Roundup. Krug Park. St. Joseph, MO. (Randy Tracy/Craig Hoppe)
June 6: The Down and Dirty. Warsaw, MO (Mac Vorce)
June 20: Cramp Alexander. Emporia. KS. (Matt Brown/High Gear)
June 27: Crocodile Rock. Perry Lake State Park. Perry, KS. (Lyle Reidy/HSP/Bad Goat Racing)
July 25: Sunflower State Games (Curtis Martell/Free State Racing)
Sept 12: Tour De Lizard. Arkansas City, KS (Bobby Smith)
Sept 19: Kansas City Cup (Federation Championship). Swope Park. Kansas City, MO. (Ron Acklin/HSP)

Short Track Dirt Crit Training Series –Thursday Nite Throwdown: June-August Timeframe

Endurance League ( Dirt Lovin Good Times style format ):
April 18
: Bone Bender 3/6 MTB Odyssey. Smithville Lake. Smithville, MO (Chris Locke/Cow Town Cycling)
June 5: *Dirty Kanza 200 [DK200]. Emporia, KS (Jim Cummins/HSP)
Aug 14: *Rapture In Misery [RIM] 6/12. Crowder State Park. Trenton, MO (Doug Long/HSP)
Oct 9: *Burning at the Bluff (Mesa Cycles)

* Saturday race date
**The above dates and venues are subject to change due to events beyond our control.
** In addition to the dates listed above, we are also working on scheduling apx 2-3 rain dates into the calendar.

Peace Out!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Weeping fingers

Well sooner or later it was bound to happen. No matter how tough you are, sooner or later you are going to have to use your trainer at some point during the winter. Depending on weather conditions, some years you only have to use it a few times, and other years you will have to use it more that you would like.

My philosophy is this: If the roads are dry, I have enough clothes to suffer through a ride, but, if the roads are snowy and icy then you go inside and use the trainer for safety purposes.

I really try to stay away from the trainer as much as possible for a couple of reasons. First, if you do it enough you get cabin fever, and it will drive you crazy. Second, even though you are able to maintain some cardio fitness, it is not the same as being outside.

When you are outside you have to deal with the wind, hills and all of those natural elements where as on the trainer, you are not able to truly simulate the experience. It is always shocking to people that spend a lot of time on the trainer, to come outside in the spring. They are SO amazed at how different it is. If you are able to stay outside most of the winter you have an advantage over other going into the next race season.

This past week I was able to get outside a couple of times, but old man winter moved in a couple of days ago, and for the past three days we have had snow/ice on the ground, and the temperature has been below zero. So, for a few days I am forced inside to my trainer. As soon as the streets melt and dry up I will return outside. But until then, I am forced into the basement, creating big pools of sweat dripping off of my fingers, and getting my but kicked by training videos that I have in the DVD library.

I will let you all go for now. Check back next week for the newest 411, and until then stay warm and safe!

Peace out!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Coming Soon!

Got a lot of information for everyone this week. Thanks to Matt down at the bike shop, the stable is once again full! I finally got both bikes repaired and at home at the same time. It is a wonderful feeling to have everything in order. At times I don't know what I would do without his help.

On the training front, I have been getting in some good quality miles, and have begun adding in some extra lifting in the weight room. For this time of the year, things are going pretty well, and pretty much on schedule.

On another note, the weather has taken a turn for the worst in the past couple of days. For my rides, the temperatures have been in the single digits. It is going to take a little getting use to, but I have been able to get in about two quality hours a day in without freezing solid.

Their has been quite a bit of news beginning to be released about the upcoming season. First off, their was some news that came out of Missouri. It appears that the Heartland series and Midwest series are going to merge into a HUGE regional series. I am excited to hear more of the details as they are made available! The news read like this:

9 A.M. CST,
November 25, 2009

COLUMBIA, MO: A newly formed group of seasoned mountain bike promoters
is proud to announce its intentions to promote a down and dirty
mountain bike series in 2010. The groups will be named United
Federation of Dirt. Included in this impressive group are some of the
region's most experienced race promoters dedicated to delivering
racers a series that is all about fun and grassroots racing. This
collaboration will deliver a true Regional series that will include
races from Cape Girardeau, MO all the way to Perry, KS. Full Details
will be available shortly but expect great things and great
locations across Missouri and Kansas. We are finalizing the details shortly
but one thing can be guaranteed - fun in the dirt is what it is all about!

On another front, the Dirty Kanza is gearing up once again. It sounds like they also have big plans for this year. Check out the 411 that I got just yesterday:

Greetings from Jim and Joel, your Co-Promoters for The Dirty Kanza 200. We have been hard at work on next year's event, and we are confident that 2010 will prove to be a banner year for The Dirty Kanza 200. Numerous "tweaks" and "refinements" are in the works, designed to bring you a truly life-enriching cycling experience. Our Vision... that The Dirty Kanza 200 will become North America's premier annual ultra-endurance gravel road cycling challenge. Exciting things are happening. Keep reading... we share the "Huge News" at the end of this email.

Emails and phone calls have been pouring into the illustrious DK office, asking when registration will open. So we thought we would throw together a few details that should help you in your planning for the 2010 running of The Dirty Kanza 200. Here you go...

Race Date:
Saturday, June 5th, 2010
(Sign-In and Packet Pick-Up, Friday, June 4th, 2010.)

Will open Sunday, January 10, 2010, and will once again be conducted online at

Field Limit:
We will expand our field limit this year to 150 participants. Note... Last year's limit of 100 participants was filled in just four days of registration. Mark you calendars now for January 10th. You won't want to wait too long, if you plan to race in 2010. (We will send you a reminder right after the first of the year.)

Open Men
Open Women
Single Speed
Masters Men
(50+) This class is new for 2010.

"Auxilary Events":
We are woking with The Emporia (KS) Convention and Visitors Bureau to create numerous activities for your support crew members and family members to enjoy throughout the weekend. So bring your spouse, significant other, kids, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and friends. More information on these activities will be coming in the next few weeks and months.

Dirty Kanza Blog:
Joel and his lovely wife Michelle are hard at work making significant upgrades to our blog site. It is a little "rough" right now. However, in the next week (or so) you should see huge changes. Go ahead and bookmark it now. Check it regularly. And please provide your comments and suggestions on how we can continue to improve the site.

Dirty Kanza 200 Video:
For those of you who have not yet seen the Dirty Kanza 200 video, there is a link on our blog site. The video was produced by the folks at IM Design Group, in Emporia, Kansas. We think they did a fantastic job.

And now for the Huge News... drum roll please...
Salsa Cycles has come on board and will be the "Premier Sponsor" for the 2010 running of The
Dirty Kanza 200. Joel and I are both absolutely giddy with excitement over this development. When we very first began discussing plans for 2010, one of our primary objectives was to identify a company within the cycling industry with which we could create a long-term partnership. Salsa Cycles was the first company we thought of, and throughout all of our planning discussions remaind at the top of a very short list of candidates. Due to their company philosophy, their fantastic products and their great people, Salsa Cycles is the PERFECT sponsor for The Dirty Kanza 200. Salsa has stepped up to the plate in a major way. The winner of each of our four classes (Open Men, Open Women, Single-Speed and Masters Men) will receive a complete 3-piece "Salsa Upgrade Kit", which will include that rider's choice of a Salsa Stem, Salsa Handlebar and Salsa Skewer Set. In addition, one lucky participant will go home with a brand new Salsa Fargo Frameset. Salsa's support of The Dirty Kanza 200 goes even further,
including water bottles, hats and T-Shirts. You can check out all of their great products here... While you are there, drop them an email and let them know how much you appreciate their support of The Dirty Kanza 200.

That's it for now. More details will follow soon. Until then, stay safe, train hard... and Get Your Gravel On. We look forward to seeing each of you in Emporia, Kansas the first weekend in June.

That's it for today, I will try to update this site weekly during the winter. Check back to see what is new, and until then train hard and keep warm.

Peace Out!