Sunday, February 24, 2008

Endura Camps 2008

A couple of months ago Ben Shloegel, a top professional Ironman triathlete, asked me if I would help out with a winter camp that he puts on along with Ken Welsh and Patrick Beesley. Being into anything that induces pain I agreed immediately. The format of the camp is designed so that people in KC do not have to take off work and can still get a full intense week of training. The first session I participated in was Wed. night, when we set up a cyclocross style course in Brookside park that involved running up suicide hill. It was only around 10 degrees yet everyone completed the 1 hour work out. After my first session I realized this was not your average bunch of folks.

The second session I attended was a urban running race in downtown KC. It was a four mile loop that had alot of elevation change, up and down the WWI memorial steps, up and down parking garages (as seen above), and finally at the end of the second loop when you thought you were done you were informed that the finish line was up to the top of the ten story building you were in. Ben was loving every second of the suffer fest, but you have got to give the guy props for running up the flights of stairs with every single group that finished, barking encouragement.

The final day was a dualathalon at Leawood park. A few of us arrived several hours early to clear trail and mark the course. As we were staking flags and painting the ground I felt I was back home in Great Bend setting up another renegade event. I am glad these guys operate like me, just go do it. By the time the race started at 1:30 the morning freeze had become afternoon slop and we were set for a real good time. Below is a picture of my long time friend, going back to GBXC days, Josh Pool and I leading out everyone in the first run. Don't ask me why we look like a couple of Wallys running in the picture. I guess the ground is slick or something.

Josh and I stayed away from the chasers during the bike portion, and we managed to hit the bonus trail and bring back trash to prove it. Below I am displaying the remnants of a high school party in the woods.
The final run was two miles out and back on the Indian creek trail. Josh and I stayed together and pushed the pace. When we neared the finish line Josh smelling the Chili and Beer out sprinted me to the line, and I was able to maintain my perfect record of never winning a running sprint at the end of a race. Way to go Cameron.
Endura Camps offers an amazing opportunity to take your fitness to another level no matter what your sport is. These winter sessions are only going to get better, and perhaps see another one added to the schedule. There are 3 intensive camps later in the year. One in KC, one in Omaha, and one in StL. Treat yourself to one of these sessions and you will become a better ahtlete and havea better idea how to train throughout the season to achieve your goals. Check out for all the information.
Heartland Race #1 next weekend. Everyone ready to get sloppy?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Wow, that was a whirlwind weekend. What a great reminder of absolutly how great bicycle racing is. The ups and downs are so intense, nothing else makes me feel more alive.

My dad, Uncle Chris, their teamate Dustin, and I arrived in Tucson on Friday around noon only to be greeted by a freak snowstorm that was pounding the course. My depression hit rock bottom, all I wanted to do was ride, and we could not even drive down the dirt road to get back into the race. We went into Tucson and went bike shop hopping looking for some parts to finish off the 29er singlespeed my Uncle Chris had built for me to race while I am waiting to get my Fisher race bikes for the year. Those bike shops sure made me proud of the ones I work at, what a load of rubish.

It continued to snow/rain into the night, I fixed my mind that it did not matter what the conditions were I was here to race and whining about weather was not going to help my team get the job done. Saturday morning we got an early start so as to beat the traffic onto the sloppy dirt road. We eventually crawled onto the 24 hour town and started making preparations for the race. As the morning progressed it was incrementally becoming better weather. With an hour to go till start my Uncle and I rolled a few miles of the course for me to check the new bike and scope trail conditions. The singletrack was smokin fast, soft on the dirt road sections, but I was certainly pleased.

My teamate Mike, owner of M&M cycles and sponsor of our team, was leading us off. That is him on the far left of the picture below standing beside his daughter Haley, waiting for the gun.

I chatted for a second on the start line with Mike and went back to the bikes to watch the start. Right before the race started the sun broke through the clouds and flooded the desert. I got a surge of adrenaline that friethened the people I was standing beside.

Mike rolled a solid first lap coming in around 15th overall. I got the batton and crushed my 1st lap turning the 2nd fastest lap of the race putting us into the lead and most importantly a gap on the Jack Mormon Militia, our main rival. The Jack Mormons had never been defeated by another singlespeed team and usually took the overall of whatever race they went to. Mark followed me and he fell into a grove of fast consistent laps. Beto, a former Mexican Major league baseball player and a current Mexican Playa, was our anchor. He lived up, he was rock solid and incredibly fast the whole race.

We were riding straight up fast. The course was longer and tougher than in past years and it was taking its toll on everyone. With night descending we had roughly 10 minutes on the militia. I had the first official night lap, here is my Uncles handiwork with my lights getting mounted up.

There is no denying it, the night was tough. It got cold and the enormous number of racers on course made it difficult to get into a grove because you were constantly passing someone while desperetely trying not to hit cactus. But the gap was growing. Not in leaps and bounds but steady :30 seconds, a minute, lap after lap, everyone was putting time into them. It was tough and no one complained once about pulling their groggy body out of the chair and back into lycra to go as hard as they could muster into the night. Mike was hurting badly at one point and went and got a massage and recovered his strength amazingly well. After my last night lap(which was fairly lackluster), that I finished around 4:00 AM, I fell asleep for a bit and woke up to an amazing sunrise, feeling incredibly fresh for only 1:30 of sleep. I turned a solid 1:06 lap and on our final rotation we began to let ourselves think that we were really going to win. We were around 30 minutes ahead, which meant barring any serious mechanicals we were going to pull the upset. I came in at 9:37 to send Mark out, calculating the time at looked like we were going to be right on the bubble for getting out before 11:59.59 for a 21st lap. We had already decided that if we made it I was going to take the last lap. I wanted that last lap bad. I tried not to show Beto how much I wanted it because getting the win was more important. But Beto needs no extra motivation, caution was going to get thrown to the wind, that is the only way to race. Mark stormed a solid lap putting Beto on the course with 1:08 to work with. I was freaking out it is was going to be so close. The countdown was on in the tent only a few hopefulls were left peering up at the rock looking for a teammate. With less than a minute to go Beto stormed into the tent, I got goose bumps up and down my spine, as I checked in and grabbed the batton for on last victory march. I did not need my mind to tell me to push it, I was jacking the pedals for all I had, I wanted everything left in the dessert. The Ergon factory team was one of the 4 teams who made it out on course for a 21st lap. Monique "Pua" took off about 5 minutes ahead of me after Dejay Birch (also a Ergon team member) convinced her to do the final lap. Monique is an amazing racer who won the 24 hour nation championship the same year I did. I caught a glimpse of her as I came off the seven B's and she turned into the singletrack. If I could catch her we would move into third in the overall standings. In the fast singletrack I did not see her, I know she handles a bike and I would have to do all the damage on the climbs. I kept my head down and focused and saw she was coming back to me. I rolled onto her wheel right at the bottom of the last long climb. I sat up and caught a draft while Pua rallied through all the guys stragling up the climb for the last time. I jumped when we hit a group of seven or eight creeping uphill. I pedaled hard to the finish line and was stoked to see a 1:05 last lap and my team waiting to celebrate.

We got to hang out a bit and get on the podium with my team, but we had to get back to Kansas ASAP. So my Dad got everything loaded up and we piled back in the pickup and prepared for another all nighter driving home non stop. Yes that is freaking insane, but we all have jobs, and it just has to be done. Rolling back into KC at about 6:00 PM on Monday I certainly was in a daze but I was so thankfull to see Amber and tell her all the stories over supper. You have got to fight to get what you want, the fight comes in all different forms, but for me it mostly means gritting my teeth putting my head down and jacking on the pedals. Thats lives lived well.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tucson Bound

Steve wondering which trail leads to Spring

My bags are packed, lights charged, fresh Bontrager Dry X tires mounted up. I am so ready to get to the desert. Steve and I froze for 2 hours outside yesterday. We were rewarded with some pretty sweet sections of frozen singletrack, but I thought I might have to take him to the ER to have his toes reapplied. It was cold. This morning I rode the short bit to the shop, 15 minutes into the wind and I had an ice cream headache the whole time. It was cold. I checked the forecast for the weekend in Tucson, Sunshine and upper 70's. It will not be cold.

It is a funny familiar feeling doing all the necessary arrangements for a 24 hour race. I Have not done it for awhile, but I still have the dance down. This time no all night pulls for me, bust a lap and kick it by the fire. 24 hour racing might be on a touch of a downward slide from the past years, but I look for team racing to grow and make the niche spike higher than ever. It is just to much dang fun.

I will have a full report and plenty of pictures when I return.

Tinker descending a rock bit at last years race

Friday, February 8, 2008

So much fun...So little gas money

Somebody at the shop a few days ago said, "It is to bad MTB racing is dead in this area." I about flipped out.

We need to organize the KC crew and carpool to some of the further away races. Post if your interested and we can try and make it happen.
This is in no way a complete list either.

Cheers to heart of America dirt cycling in 2008.

Psycowpath Series-Nebraska

April 5 - Maskenthine Classic, Norfolk, NE XC
May 3 - Swanson River City Shootout, Bellevue, NE XC
May 18 - Platte River Riot, Louisville, NE MR
May 31 - Kanesville Krusher, Council Bluffs, IA XC
June 21 - Ponca's Revenge, Ponca, NE XC
August 16 - Tranquility Tire Tantrum, Omaha, NE XC
Sept. 13 - Capitol City MTB Challenge, Raymond, NE XC
Sept. 27 - Manawa Mayhem, Lake Manawa, IA XC
Oct. 11/12 Omaha Cyclo-Cross Weekend, Omaha, CX
Nov. 22/23 Nebraska SOBE No Fear Cyclo-cross, Lincoln, NE CX

Heartland Mountain Bike Championship Series [ HMBCS ]
March 2, 2008: HMBCS #1 Truman's Big Love - Landahl Park Reserve. Independence,
April 13, 2008: HMBCS #2 Crank 'n' Cruise - Crowder State Park. Trenton, MO
April 27, 2008: HMBCS #3 Crocodile Rock - Perry Lake State Park. Perry, KS
June 8, 2008: HMBCS #5 Kansas City Cup - Landahl Park Reserve. Independence, MO

Dirt Lovin' Good Times(long distance/ ultra-endurance mountain bike events)
July 19, 2008: Shawnee Mission 3hr/6hr - Shawnee Mission Park. Shawnee, KS -
August 16, 2008: 8th Annual Rapture in Misery 6hr/12hr - Landahl Park Reserve. Independence, MO

Iowa Mountain Bike Championship Series [IORCA]
IMBCS #1 - April 13 - Sylvan Island, Moline, IL
IMBCS #2 - May 3&4 - Camp Ingawanis, near Waverly, IA
IMBCS #3 - May 31 - Lewis & Clark Monument, Council Bluffs, IA
IMBCS #4 - June 29 - Banner Lakes, Summerset State Park, Indianola, IA
IMBCS #5 - August 3 - Seven Oaks Ski Area, Boone, IA
IMBCS #6 - August 10 - Lake Ahquabi State Park, Indianola, IA
IMBCS #7 - August 24 - Science Center Trails, Des Moines, IA
IMBCS #8 - September 21 - Sugarbottom Rec Area, North Liberty, IA

Midwest Fat Tire Series
March 9th - Ride With The Devil - Clinton Lake, KS
March 30 - Rim Wrecker - Potosi, MO
April 20 - Le Tour De Tick - Neosho, MO
June 1 - Rhetts Run - Columbia, MO
July 13 - Lunatic Fringe - Smithville, MO
July 27 - Show Me State Games - Columbia, MO
August 30 (SATURDAY) Tall Oak Challenge - 6 Hour - Binder Lake
Sept. 21 - Oz Epic - Lake of the Ozarks, MO

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Heating Up

Here is Mark, my OP teamate, killing the mini bike crit

My first events of the season are quickly approaching and my training is where I want it to be. It feels good going into this new year on track and really excited to race. My buddy Jim Cummings and I have knocked out epic rides the last three weekends, and I know that will help me turn some fast laps down at Old Pueblo in a couple of weeks. I am racing with some buddies from Sierra Vista, AZ. Last year they got 2nd in the singlespeed class, we got our hands full with the team that won it, but I hope to do some damage.

24 hours in the Old Pueblo is one of my favorite events, and this will be the 4th year I have raced there. Tucson in Febuary, blazin fast singletrack, and good friends I do not see near enough of, are a recipe for a mindblowing trip. 32x14 will be the gear of choice this year. The laps are 18.5 miles long, and my fastest lap there was two years ago when I turned a 57 minute lap. I got clipped on the hot lap by like 15 seconds. Hopefully I can rectify that situation.