Sunday, August 25, 2013

Levis Trow 100

this image was robbed from Levis Mound

When driving up interstate 94 through Wisconsin you will notice that its basically flat land except for the occasional tall sandstone tower.  The Levis Mound Trail goes up and down one of those towers, it makes for some very tough biking conditions.  Long climbs and tricky descents with not much room for error.  The good stuff!

We got there early  Friday afternoon and set up camp, look close in the picture and you'll notice a goofball sending kisses to the camera.  I went and pre-rode the course which was awesome no doubt.  When I got back, Jason (race director) asked me to help setup an aid station.

As we rode out in his lifted jeep to drop off the pop up tent and water coolers we drove over this fallen tree.  Then on the way back we drove over it again.  After driving over it twice we decided to...

Haul it back as firewood for the community fire.

Then Saturday morning the race took off! #3 Lee Unwin took off with the lead and for most of the first lap I followed.

Dad taking off on his brand new spearfish.

Me leading at the end of the first lap
Toward the end of the first lap Lee missed a bridge and let me by but he stayed right on my rear tire the whole time.  I lead most of the second lap but crashed on a tricky climb and he went by.  He was nice about it though and waited for me to get back up, but I couldn't hold his pace any longer.  He left and I rode around the rest of the day in second place.

Then about 60 miles in I decided to quit.  I am still not really sure why, I could have finished if I wanted to, but I didn't feel like riding my bike anymore.  I was trashed, but third was way back so all I had to do was keep riding and get second.  At the pit stop before lap 5 little Evan came over and gave me a fresh water bottle,  I took it and did one more lap, but something about that little guy giving me the bottle made me not want to go out anymore.  So I quit and we packed up, went to dinner and got home early.  I train hard for these events, but for some reason at that moment spending time with family was more important than finishing second place.

Somewhere I read that it takes 3 years to get a "real" endurance built.  So I am hoping that next year I will be much stronger.  I know that I have improved greatly from last year but I am still not where I want to be.  I just gotta keep working.

-David Swanson

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Day dreaming...

XXC mag is an online magazine that covers many different types of mountain bike racing and even some gravel races.  They post from the WEMS series and featured two stories on Trans Iowa in the last issue (xxc issue 18)  To order the mag go to....

The reason I bring it up though is because they posted this video of the Colorado Trail Race.  I have heard of this race before, but now that I saw this video it is on my To Do list for sure!

XXC also posted this photo of some bad ass old guys without helmets climbing dirt hills on skinny tires.  Tough Stuff!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Southern WI ride

Friday night I planned a route and printed cue sheets for ride through south western Wisconsin.  I went into work for four hours then took off at 10 am toward Mt. Horeb.   

I wasn't sure what to expect for the day, but after looking at the maps Friday I knew I was in for some good riding.  The good rides ahead were confirmed by all the cars driving by me with bikes on the back.  It seems silly to me that someone would drive a road bike to a road, then ride.  I prefer to just ride my bike there!

I passed a Walgreen's and a gas station in Stoughton, but I had a full bottle so decided not to stop.  That turned out to be a bad idea because by the time I got to Mt. Horeb I was feeling pretty bad.  The weather was perfect and there was only a slight headwind.  I was surprised at how many other cyclists I saw out on the road, it was crazy.

Us flat landers really got ripped off when the glaciers ran through the area.  The hills are what attracted me to ride in this area but once I got there I started to wonder... why?  It was constant rollers, climb up at 10 mph then fly down at 40, then back up.

The hills were taller than the trees.

Drafting combines in Wisconsin.  Seemed a little early for that.

150 miles including a couple lengthy stops took 9 hours 46 minutes.

            So it ended up being a great day on the bike.  I was pretty dehydrated when I got to Mt. Horeb, but got over it and by the time I hit New Glarus at mile 90 I was feeling really good.  90-150 was an easy ride, I need to figure out how to feel like that all the time. The new All City feels great and I can't wait to put some more miles on it.

        One thing I gotta say is that I spent almost 10 hours on Wisconsin roads and not once did I get my arm hairs buzzed off by a car, flipped off, covered in a black cloud of diesel smoke, or have someone pull out in front of me because they "didn't see me."  Nobody laid on the horn or yelled out the window, in fact they were more interested on how my road bike had disc brakes and wanted to talk about how my ride was going.  Wisconsin is a cool place!

-David Swanson