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biking & training

When I am not teaching, shooting, or spending time with my family, you will find me on my bike or in the gym. I am far from a certified trainer, but this is a glimpse into how this “old guy” trains and races. I have the privilege of racing with the best group of guys I know. Erik’s Bike and Board is the shop that supports my need to stay healthy, feel like a kid, fulfill personal goals, and go really fast!

Was the Tour of Kansas City Worth a Seven Hour Drive?

At the beginning of the race season The Tour of Kansas City was not on my calendar. However, after taking a look at the KC race flyer a few weeks ago and realizing that the Masters and Junior races were both scheduled before lunch on both Saturday and Sunday, we decided to make a family weekend of it and enjoy Kansas City during our non-race afternoons and evenings. This race is also part of the Midwest Flyover and I love supporting Jason Engle’s effort to promote road cycling in our area. We will make it to four of the six designated Flyover races this season. Maybe more next season if he adds at 40+ Flyover Omnium—hint, hint. Tour of Kansas City Race Recon Since my wife could get in a day of work at her company’s Kansas City plant on Friday, we drove down to Kansas City from Minnesota late on Thursday. Koen and I had the entire day on Friday completely free. What to do? Ride bikes across town and test ride the Gooseneck climb of course. It was a great day of riding, laughing, eating, and enjoying the hotel swimming pool. We both knew what we were in for at the prologue and circuit race the next day—lots of pain! Tour of Kansas City Prologue Time Trial Who loves time trials? Not this guy. The only time trials I end up racing are part of a larger omnium series and the shorter the better. It doesn’t get much shorter than 2.65 miles. Having never raced this course, my goal was to average 400 watts for a 6:00...

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?

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?

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

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...

Adobe Premier and Three GoPro Cameras: Racing and Filming the Tuesday Night Words Criterium

Last Tuesday night I jumped into the Cat 1/2/3 Tuesday Night Criterium at the MN State Fair and used three GoPro cameras to cover the action. Did it take more energy to race or to produce this video? It was close, but similar to racing, efficiency will come with time in video production. Here is a quick breakdown of steps that took this from idea to YouTube. Mount three GoPro cameras in places where they will tell a story. I had two GoPro Hero4 Sessions on my bike using a handlebar mount and saddle mount and one GoPro Hero4 Black mounted to a light pole using a Pedco Ultra II tripod mount. Film the race. I shot everything in Protunes since I edit the color in post using Adobe Premier CC. Drag all of the video files and my Garmin FIT file into a common file on my hard drive. Produce my data overlay in Garmin’s Virb Edit program. I find it easier to produce it on a blue screen and bring it into Premier as a separate layer to give me more control over quality. Rename all of the files in the common folder so I can stay organized. Import all of the video files into Adobe Premier CC. Drag the racing videos onto individual tracks and sync and nest the footage. Thanks to the Race Official’s whistle, this part is pretty easy. Correct the color manually and then apply a color LUT from Ground Control. This is why I shoot in Protunes, but I’m still not that great at achieving the best look. This is by far the most difficult...

Ken Woods Memorial Road Race: Koen’s First Official Race

The 2016 Ken Woods Memorial Road Race in Cannon Falls, MN on Saturday was Koen’s first USA Cycling sanctioned road race. At 10 years old, Koen has been riding his bike with me for the last 5 years and he has also competed in a couple of time trials, duathalons, and family fun races. However, this was the first race that felt like the “real deal.” He had a timing chip strapped around his ankle, two numbers pinned to the back of his jersey, and a group of kids his own age who he would be competing against head-to-head. This would also be his first race for the NorthStar Development Team.  Koen and his best friend Cole arrived at the race course shortly after I finished racing in the morning wave of Ken Woods. I could tell immediately that he was inside of his own head as nerves were clearly present. Koen has gotten better over the years, but he still puts an immense amount of pressure on himself in all areas of his life. It’s really hard to know what he is thinking before a big event. As all three of us warmed up, I tried to keep the atmosphere light and give the kids as much advice as I thought would be helpful. We rolled down the finishing hill to give both boys an idea of what they will face during the last two miles of the race. Both of them did great, but I could tell that they were thinking about how this would feel after racing for 12 miles. After the warm-up and course preview, we loaded...

First Crit of the Year (Tuesday Night Worlds at the Fair) 4/12/2016

It doesn’t matter how old I get or how long I have been racing my bike, the first crit of the year always brings butterflies. Did I put in enough training over the winter? What new riders are going to show up and really make it hurt? Am I going to stay off the ground? Tuesday night worlds at the Fair is a series of races in Minnesota that occurs every Tuesday evening, surprisingly, at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. It’s nothing too exciting, but it is a great way to tune up the race legs for more important weekend races later in the season. Having just been fitted on my new Specialized Allez Sprint X2 with at BG Fit less than a week ago, I wasn’t feeling 100% comfortable on the bike yet. So far I love the way that it rides and handles, but it just takes a little time for it to feel like an extension of your body. Our race was the last of the evening in the Cat 1/2/3 Field. There were roughly 64 riders and we kept it pretty hot for the first few laps. My legs felt good and I was confident moving around the field. It’s amazing how quickly it all comes back. With Sprint Points on the line every four laps, I decided to go at the first opportunity. With a race like this it’s all about dosing your efforts and I was happy to grab a point for fourth over the line without having to kill myself. However, on the lap proceeding the sprint, I hit a pothole and my seat...

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