Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy New Year! Get out and Ride! GO!

The calendar is Officially telling me it is 2011. The holidays are definetly over and they were very kind to my kids as I stumble over toys just to walk around the house. Work has picked back up, the training for the 2011 season is underway, and the weather has been PERFECT for riding a bike in Kansas for January! Last year at this time I was not riding, I was shoveling snow and contimplating whether to go to the gym, ride the trainer or just call my snow shoveling my training for the day. Not this year! I have definetly been in the gym lifting more over the past 3 weeks. Much more than in years past, but I have been on my road bike more the last 2 weeks than I think I road all of January 2010! When New Years Day is in the 60's in Kansas, you go ride your bike!
Remembering 2010:
The 2010 cycling year was another good one. It found me out on the road leading SPIN! Rides all over KC, riding my mountain bike more than ever, and more importantly meeting new friends and introducing a new crop of riders to the Bike Life! We had a total of 600 new riders attend the SPIN! rides in 2010. We averaged close to 50 riders per ride in 2010, with our biggest ride occuring in August when the Trek-Tradewinds Elite team hit the road with us. We had 96 riders attend that group ride. It was great having Steve Tilford and his crew riding and then hanging out with us post ride. Steve has an incredible blog, . Check it out, he is a cycling legend and just won the 50 plus USA Cycling National Cyclocross Championships. He will be heading to Belgium for the world championships in three weeks! It makes me smile to know that many people had some sort of interest in coming to an organized bike ride without the fear of getting dropped or lost out on the road. We try to run a tight ship on the rides and provide people with a great first time experience riding in a group. Which can be very difficult to find when you just start riding a bike. I also think that congregating post ride for 10% off of some of KC #1 Rated Pizza helps just a little bit?? We do have a great time after each ride and it is my hope that my experience and the ride guides various cycling experiences add to the enjoyment.
The racing side of my Bike Life was full of new experiences. The most memorable for me was qualifying for Mountain Bike Nationals and racing at the Sol Vista Mountain Bike Park in Winter Park, Co. Two months prior to Nationals I was laying in a hospital after taking a not so memorable ambulance ride from hitting a tree on a downhill at the St. Joseph, MO Mountain Bike race. I was not sure if I would even race for or ride much for 2 months, but things came together as they were supposed too. I was able to toe the line with my long time friend and teammate Gary Mapes. ( Gary finished a solid 10th and I was just happy to finish in 16th. Racing bikes with my friends is probably one of the big reason's I keep racing. Training together and then reaching or trying to reach our goals can be an interesting journey. The other big race on my Mountain Bike Calendar was Rapture of Misery 12 hour. Gary Mapes, Jeff Smikahl, and myself lead that race as a team in 2009 from start until the last 3 miles when Gary Broke his chain. Gary ran with his bike the last 3 miles in the rain and dark to hold onto 3rd place for us. We were determined to win this thing way before the midnight cut off this year. We reached that goal and it was very satisfying standing on the top of that podium with guys I have ridden my bike with since 1993! The celebration that night lasted late into the wee hours of the a.m. thanks to Gary's home brew. Oh, so good!
The cyclocross season brought dry conditions, fast and bumpy courses for 2010 in Kc. I had a pretty slow start to the season, but would say I had a solid November reaching the podium twice and making the trip up to Iowa City, Ia over Thanksgiving weekend with two of my teammates, Craig Hoppe and Randy Tracy. We did our best to hold our own against some of the top Cross racers in the US. It is always a highlight of my year doing this race. I had a solid Friday night finish in 29th and not so great on Saturday in 41st. The field sizes are 70 plus, so it is a dog fight to get through the group and get into a groove. Always a great cycling experience and when it is over I look forward to racing it again in 2011.
I was also able to attend the Interbike National Bike show in Las Vegas, NV. I had the honor of meeting Eddy Merckx ( Tony Ellswort (, Alessandro Petacch( and see some of latest and greatest cycling accessories and bikes known to man. It was like being at my own Disneyworld. I definetly would love to make it back again someday.
Bring on 2011...
I have started my quest for my 2011 race season. Changes have been made, including my team. My team, has merged with Ethos Racing( Our teams were at a lot of local and regional Mountain Bike races in 2010. I am also glad to be a sponsor of Ethos team and not run a team in 2011. I will race Mountain Bike and Cyclocross for Ethos. It is a Mountain Bike and Cross team. I kept my racing license for the road under Shores Sports. Being on Ethos has already made a difference for all of us who were on Shores Sports in 2010. The sponsors of Ethos have been very good to all of us and we have yet to race! Bikesource ( is our 2011 sponsor and they have been incredible to the team. I have a new road bike which I will highlight in another blog post. Let's just say, it is another reason I have been on the road more this early in the year. I kept my license for the Road Races under Shores Sports. I will most likely only do a handful of Road events in 2011, but wanted keep the old colors some what active in cycling. We are designing a new Shores Sports only Jersey for 2011. That should be ready by April, we will see?
SPIN! Pizza ( has hired Shores Sports to organize, promote, and be the official ride guides for the 2011 cycling season. We have started planning for 2011 and will have a schedule emerging sometime over the next few months. I have enjoyed working with SPIN! over the past 3 years, they are a HUGE asset to the KC cycling community. They have raised Thousands of dollars through their support of various cycling rides in Kc such as Tour De BBQ ( A Livestrong Event) Bike For the Brain, Joel's Ride for Social Justice, and Tour De Lakes just to name a few. Come join us in 2011 for a ride, we will get rolling with SPIN! Rides in May 2011!
My post will be more frequent and shorter as I get used to doing this blog thing. Happy New Year my cycling friends! Get out and ride, Go!