20160701

2 x 12 (with History)

Story by Hannah Brewer.
----------------------------------

Coming in to 2x12, I had spent very little time on my mountain bike and I knew this may be a problem for a long, rocky course. The great thing about racing sport is that every lap is either your first lap or your last lap. With that in mind, I knew I'd be fine!!! (Assuming no bear encounters or face plants).

Racing Big Bear 2x12 in 2012 is when I fell in love with racing mountain bikes. This was the first time I felt fast, fierce, and high on life all at the same time - while completing a workout. The rocks, the single track evergreen section, the loose gravel steep downhill, and the challenging climb at mile 9 gave me every bit of challenge, joy, and sense of accomplishment I could ever dream of on a mountain bike. The fact that I only ride this course once (ok, technically twice) a year but know every inch of the course in my mind makes me love it even more.

2014 at 2x 12 was rough - I raced expert and had bike trouble so the stress of walking my bike and then riding the remaining laps on a friend's bike made it hard to love the ride. And the Bear....Love that bear!

2015 at 2x 12 was equally rough when the course was a MUD FEST and I face planted while chickening out of a totally rideable rock section and sported a black eye for 3 weeks. The plus side? The golf ball sized shiner landed me a free cheeseburger and free coffee (on separate occasions) and I checked out OK at Urgent Care.

2016 at 2x12: I promise, all i'm asking for is no bear, no faceplants, and can I have a working bike, please? The weather was looking good and in favor of a DRY 2x12. These trails dry ARE A BLAST. It was going to be a good day. (Dry race. Not dry after party;) - okay, it was going to be a great day!

Mike agreed to ride the first lap (Thank you. No hill. No crowd).

The hard part about riding second is the waiting game. As I waited for my teammate to come in on the first lap, the time kept ticking, ticking, ticking. And the one thing every relay-style race has in common is that the waiting sucks. It just does. As Mike's "possible fastest time passed", I waited. Then his "predicted time" passed. I waited.... As I waited for his "possible slower time," my thoughts changed to: Flat? Bike trouble? Just taking it easy? Getting older and slower ;) ? 

Then word began to trickle in that a rider went down hard. A fellow mountain biker, and friend, had broken his hip. As concern struck the race corral, I automatically knew that Mike had stopped to help. There was a 99% chance, NO -- there was a 100% chance that if any rider needed medical assistance on the trail at any time that Mike was there. Mike was attending to the rider. Although I had not officially heard that Mike was helping, I felt a sense of calm come over me, knowing he was doing the right thing and remembering that what's important one minute can change in an instant. When one second your thoughts are "ride fast: podium: Strava PR: let's do this" and the next second your thoughts are instant prayers for the injured rider, thoughts of gratitude for the compassion of the entire cycling community, and feeling proud that your teammate was helping another rider, a genuine gratefulness for a healthy body and the ability to simply ride mountain bikes and enjoy nature becomes your focus -- not racing or winning.

After more time had passed, Alice Vernon reported back that Mike and one other guy were with the injured rider. Soon after this was confirmed, the race director sent me out for my first lap, knowing that Mike had stopped to help until EMS arrived. As I started my ride, I soaked in the nature, appreciated every rock I safely rode over, and quickly started to feel as alive and happy on the trails as I did in 2012. I rode clean and smooth and simply enjoyed every moment of my time on the trail.

Mike set up a hammock for sleeping between laps. And YES it was so comfy I had to set up an alarm to make sure I didn't miss my next lap.

As the day progressed, my race-minded self started to resurface, and I saw our team starting to make up some of the lost time. Team Fat Tire Co had a rough day with flats, and this helped put Mike and I back in the game. I rode clean on my second lap, and was thrilled that this was the first time at 2x12 that I rode everything on every lap. No walking, no crashes, no bears, no bike problems, just gliding over rocks and spinning up hills.

At the end of the day, we landed a 2nd place co-ed sport podium finish, unofficially changed our 2x12 team name to "Ag3r Pale and Scrawny" (seriously who's paler, me or Mike?!?! and who's scrawny arm is that in race photos, mine or Mikes?!?!), ate burritos, and reconfirmed how much we love racing mountain bikes

To show our 100% dedication to dirt (and since no roadies were there to advise otherwise) we may or may not have worn the camo kits on the podium. 😂


SOLID DAY.

Racing isn't always about racing. It's about enjoying every moment of the ride.

(Okay, the racing part is fun too).

20160516

Roaring Run Rumble

Ag3r served as Course Marshals again this year for the Roaring Run Watershed "Rumble" Mountain Bike Race.


Unlike last year's HOT & SUNNY, this year it was (cold) & RAINING the whole day!

Here are a collection of pics by various Ag3r Photographers!

----------------------------------------------------
Pre-Race Marshals Meeting:
 
Richy Laughing at Mike on his KIDS QUAD...

Race Director Mike!
 
Steve, trying to keep his HEAD from exploding!
 
Hannah is "Taken", so you can't "Keep Her"...
She is "Catch & Release ONLY"...!!!
 

Breakfast of Champions!

Richy & Mark, the weird guys from "the other side of the creek" :)

Heading to our Posts....

"Creeping" through the shrubberies at Steve and Hannah.

Mike, looking less "put-together" than he did earlier...!

Muddy Bobby!


Kirk, hunkered WAY down during the Storm:

Hannah and Steve over at the next turn - FAR

 Hannah and Steve at the next turn - ZOOMED & CROPPED

Bobby crossing the creek


But first, Hannah takes a SELFIE :)

Go Bobby, Go!

 
 Steve gets easily distracted...!

 
 Richy, from some rider's Go-Pro footage:


The Race Truck!

What the racers looked like at the end....!!!

20160511

Steel City Showdown

Steel City Showdown - (The Quick and the Crashed)

- by Mark Briercheck

Photo Courtesy of Heather Ostrowski

I opted for the Cat 3/4 race in the 2016 Steel City Showdown on a BEAUTIFUL Spring day in Pittsburgh.

Despite the Call for a neutral start the Field of 60 racers were all chomping at the bit.

All Day Attacks in the short 45 minute race.

Unfortunately the field was hampered by a big crash early into the race that took out more than a few competitors. I was lucky enough to dodge the carnage by a few bike lengths as the sound of carbon on concrete filled the air. Ouch.

Regardless the race pushed on and I managed to hold towards the front to stay out of trouble but missed the breakaway group.

With a few pulls and a couple of attacks I put in some efforts but ended up caught in the swarm of the Steel City Showdown rolling across the line in 30th position.

Zooooooooooom.

Official Results:
https://www.bikereg.com/Results/rr/7405/steel-city-showdown

20160323

2015 Results Summary



CX States

...and FINALLY, to FINISH off the 2015 Season:

Ag3r Pennsylvania State Team
Ray, Steve, Mark, and Kirk

Kirk: 5th in race, 4th in the State (50+)

Ray: 3rd in the State (60+)
 
Go Team :)
 
...go rest up for 2016...!!!

Cross Crusade

 Story, Photos, (and Racing!) by Kirk Morrison:
-----------------------------------------------

This past weekend I was able to travel to Portland, Oregon to race in the final weekend of the Cross Crusade series (at the Portland International Raceway).


I’ve been following this series for years since it is well known for a very fun race scene, mud and lots of riders (averaging over 1,100 riders/race day) which makes this the largest cyclocross series in the world.

As expected the race groups were the largest I’ve ever experienced as I started with 175 competitors on Saturday and 168 on Sunday. The meant that I was never alone on the course and was pretty much always rubbing elbows with someone.

Also, since these were my first races of this series, I ended up with call-ups that placed me in the rear of the field at the start lines. Below are the vital stats:

Ag3r Racing "LIVES" along Pa. State Route 422...!!!

Cross Crusade Day 1

http://obra.org/m/events/23832/results

Conditions: Cool, cloudy and windy with a few wet/muddy spots on the course

Mens Masters 50+: Kirk – 41st

Note: The organizers advised that this was the same course that was used at the 2004 Cx Nationals


Cross Crusade Day 2

https://obra.org/events/23833/results

Conditions: Rain, hail, 40 degree temps with lots of mud as well as high wind and flood warnings.

Mens Masters 50+: Kirk – 39th

Note: Same course as 11/14 but with the direction reversed

Great weekend!!!  Here are some more pics.
 







 
Just found this fun video, and this donut, from the races!

There’s a brief sighting of me around the 4:19 mark.

The donut, however, was never seen again!

20151117

Buffalo Creek Half Marathon

Ag3r RUNNER Roger Lutz dropping the hammer in the SPRINT to the finish of the Buffalo Creek Half Marathon!

Run, Roger, Run!

"WFO"

#painface  :)




20151030

VAMPIRES Beware!


20151015

Kick Off Cross

 
The Promotional FLYER for this race looked like THIS...

......a beautiful SUNNY day at last year's 2014 event.
Mike Maher and Mark Briercheck
Unfortunately, THIS is how the ACTUAL morning started in 2015.

Photo by N. Black Photo
 Luckily, the rain lightened up as everyone got dressed...
 
Nathan Black
 .....but it was TOO LATE for the COURSE, which looked like THIS, for the first Ag3r race of the day:
 
The SINGLE SPEED DIVISION:

Nathan Black

Kirk Morrison

Henry Dimmick
But, it was Mike Maher who rode away...


....leaving the rest of us to FINISH TOGETHER"Go Team"!!!
 

Nathan Black, Kirk Morrison, Henry Dimmick


Moving immediately into the NEXT RACE of the day....
 
...well, ALMOST immediately...
 
FIRST we had to re-pin Kirk...who had ALL his layers "numbered" together!
 
Mike can't believe it...!!!
 
OK............BACK TO RACING.
 
Ag3r then (immediately) entered riders into the 40+ Division...
 

Mark Briercheck


Nathan Black



....and into the 50+ Division.

Henry Dimmick


Kirk Morrison
But, it was Steve Marlette who rode strongest of the 55+...
 
Steve Marlette
Steve Marlette
...to place on the PODIUM :))


 Once we got OURSELVES cleaned up....


 ....and pounded down some hot dogs.....

Takeru Kobayashi
...all we had left to do was clean our BIKES...!