Why Do I Love Racing the MN Memorial Classic?

Why Do I Love Racing the MN Memorial Classic?

For the last seven Memorial Day Weekends I have raced in Endurance Promotion’s MN Memorial Classic bike race. This omnium race includes four races over three days. I have had such great memories from this race that have been shared with incredible teammates, friends, and family. This weekend race marked my first race as a Cat 4 in 2010 and my first big win as a Cat 3 in 2011. This race is also now part of the Midwest Flyover Series—which means it attracts more out-of-state riders in the elite men’s and women’s fields. I have spent a couple years suffering in that field as well. However, this year four Erik’s riders will be competing in the Masters Field (including myself) and four younger riders will be competing in the P/1/2 Elite Field. This omnium race involves four races over the course of three days. On Saturday morning the omnium begins with a short circuit race in Rockford, MN. On Saturday afternoon most of the same course is used for a 5.1 mile time trial. Sunday afternoon includes a flat road race in Lester Prairie, MN. Finally, Monday ends with a criterium in New Hope, MN. I had a blast racing in each and wanted to recap a few of my experiences as well as the help I received from my teammates on Erik’s Regional Race Team throughout the weekend. MN Memorial Classic Circuit Race The Circuit Race has been in Rockford, MN for the last several years and involves a 6.5 mile triangular loop with a punchy 1 kilometer hill finish. Our Masters Field completed 5 laps with bonus...
When Do Plans Exceed Expectations?

When Do Plans Exceed Expectations?

So often in life our most anticipated plans fall short of expectations. However, even though I had been looking forward to this father-son ride for weeks, the time I spent talking and joking with my 10 year old on this glorious afternoon ride greatly exceeded any prior expectations. After we decided to drive down to the Rochester area early for my brother-in-law’s wedding, I began planning the route Koen and I would ride while mom visited customers in the area. Since my father-in-law lives in Byron and I have ridden Country Rd. 5 into Pine Island solo on a number of occasions, I thought this would make a perfect mid-day lunch loop. The plan was to meet my father-in-law at the Subway in Pine Island before returning on the Douglas Trail and finishing with a climb of Genoa Hill. All told this would end up being roughly a 34 mile ride. Koen and I left Byron around 11:30 and told Russ (my father-in-law) to meet us at Subway around 12:30. It was only 14 miles away, but I wanted to play it safe. Leaving Byron with a tailwind increased our average speed to nearly 18 mph, but after getting my first flat tire of the year five miles outside Byron our progress was slowed a bit. Koen was in great spirits as we started to climb the first hill. Now that he considers himself a bit of a “climber,” he gets extra motivated when the pavement tilts up. The trip to Pine Island was filled with great conversation about his favorite subjects in schools, why “Uncle Grandpa” is his favorite cartoon, and all of the attributes that...
Who Got Caught Snoozin’ at the La Crosse Criterium?

Who Got Caught Snoozin’ at the La Crosse Criterium?

If there is a crit suited to my skill-set, the flat, four-corner, La Crosse Criterium is it. I have been racing this crit for the last 4 to 5 years and have actually won it once upon a time. However, this year’s edition of the 35+ Cat 1/2/3 La Crosse Critierium was full of a few surprises. First, I was surprised at how small the field was. With only 25 riders, the race was sure to be fast and aggressive. Second, I was surprised at how well my legs felt after two hard days of racing. I’m not sure they felt strong enough to make the break, but they responded well to every attack. I was not surprised that my teammate Laszlo made the small break of two. Nor was I surprised that he won the head-to-head sprint. However, I certainly was surprised that the field got jumped by an out-of-state rider with two laps to go and absolutely no one responded soon enough. Hindsight is always 20/20, but I would love to have this race back. For now it will be filed under “Lessons Learned.” This was still an incredibly fun criterium and one I hope to race for many years to come. Full Multiple Camera Perspective of the Masters 35+ 1/2/3 Criterium Full Race...
Erik’s Team Ride to Chilkoot Cafe in Stillwater

Erik’s Team Ride to Chilkoot Cafe in Stillwater

It started out a little chilly, but Saturday morning was a great day to ride out to Chilkoot Cafe in Stillwater with the Erik’s Regional Race Team. Six of us (Matt Petersen, Andy Keogh, Peter Hagerty, Laszlo Alberti, & Ben Schinke) met at Minnehaha Park to begin the trek east. We stuck to bike paths and rode at a more conversational pace on the way out. However, after filling up with pastry and coffee at Kilkoot Cafe, we ripped through the crosswinds in a pace-line all the way back to Minneapolis. Such a fun way to spend a Saturday morning. All Smiles as We Pace-Line Down 10 Street in Oakdale Full Ride to...

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