Tour d'Liquor

Our 12th annual bicycle tour of Butler (Pa.) neighborhoods... to look at Christmas lights... sing carols outside the best displays... while visiting each neighborhood bar, was completed during a record temperature of 60 degF... with only 2 (momentary lapse of reason) crashes, and 1 (poorly timed) curb-hopper flat tire (...and bent rim) !!! Additionally, Roger Lutz successfully defended his 2007 Foosball Championship :) Also, thanks to Mike Maher for the Ag3r Cow Bells, helping to "herd" us through the evening!

Wear a Helmet

I took a pounding riding my new (Sam's old) 29'r Single Speed !!!


USA Cycling - Rankings

According to USA Cycling Rankings, the following results can be found: USAC Category 3, Men, Individual Time Trial, 2008 Final Standings Brian Hopkins USA Rankings 7th (19-29 yrs), 21st (Overall) PA. Rankings 1st (Overall), 1st (19-29 yrs), 1st (23-29 yrs)

Congratulations Brian!!!

Henry Dimmick USA Rankings 26th (45-49 yrs), 117th (40-49 yrs), 552nd (Overall) PA. Rankings 1st (45-49 yrs), 5th (40-49 yrs), 30th (Overall)



Power testing completed!

New post on my testing from a little earlier today. Yeah, I'm stronger, like it really matters in December.


Year in Review

Ag3r Cheers, for all our 2008 racers !!!


Nov 30: Murrysville CX

Whoa. It has only been 9 hours since Sam & I got home from States, and now I gotta leave again for another race! Knowing this would happen, Sam and I left all our stuff, bikes and clothes included, IN/ON my truck overnnight just so it would all be (ready) for today… as well as damp and cold! Super-Fan, Doug Frost… ...came over to my house with his Propane Heater and together we headed down to Murrysville to put up the race banners... …and set-up camp for the others. When we arrived, it was already raining and 35degF and WINDY, just as forecast… so it was a GREAT thing to have a heater! In fact, our tent served as the warm-up location for both the Elite Women's Winner and the Elite Men's Winner, neither of which are from our Team … yet :) Racing today were Henry Dimmick (me!), Sam Morrison, Rich Allen, Ray Sielski, Mike Maher and John McClintock. In the Men's C Race, John finished 12th, Rich finished 13th, and Ray finished 14th…a sweep, you might say!
In the Men's B Race, after a race long battle with Chris Mahew, Sam took 2nd Place... …while I finished in 16th place.
Mike discovered that his Frank-n-Bike, single speed creation, was not ready for prime time play when he broke his chain near the beginning of Lap 2…coincidently very near our Tent! In the Men's Masters Race, Ray took 9th Place, in his SECOND RACE of the day, in very difficult conditions… making HIM Sunday's Ag3r Hard Man :)
Before leaving, Sam and Kirk Morrison helped me tear down our camp, then split.
I then helped Fred Baldassare, Race Promoter (on left)...
...& Team Freddie Fu tear down all the tape and stakes.
At the end of my 40 hour odyssey, I had traveled 715 miles, used 48 gallons of gas, and spent 14 hours driving… to compete in a total of 3 clean races and one COLD & SLOPPY one, covering 38 miles in 3.5 hours.
Just as darkness set-in, the rain changed from light to HEAVY. Luckily, we were just done with clean-up and getting into our cars for the drive home. What a GREAT weekend :) More can be read on Freddie Fu Team Blog, under BLOG PEEPS, to the right -->

Nov 29: Pa. State CX Championship

After leaving at 5am last weekend, Sam Morrison and Henry Dimmick (me!) woke at 3:30 for a 4am departure and a 650 mile, 18 hour trip to Allentown, Pa. Most of the way across Rt80, we encountered a Boy Scout Troop selling coffee, animal crackers, fruit and lots of other stuff under multiple tents at a rest stop... allowing us to re-stock our snacks in return for a donation. Once at the race site, we set up camp... and got ready for a long day. The first race of the day for (us) was the Men's U19. After winning the Ohio State U19 race, Sam took 1st Place again... but this time, as a resident of Pa., he was actually able to (keep) the title!

Next up was the Cat 2/3/4 race... the most highly populated race of the day. I got shelled, finishing 21st ... but knew I had lots more miles left to go in the day as I was planning on doing the very next race, the Masters 1/2/3 race. Things went a bit better in this race, where I finished 6th in the 1/2/3, 45+ division.

The last race of the day was the Mens 1/2/3. About 30 minutes before the race, Sam started working me to race along with him... so I could accumulate 3 total races on the day, a record! Being weak to peer pressure, I cracked open my wallet and shelled out a few more dollars to endure even more fun and pain! While I whittled away time near the back, Sam was near the front, spending the hour racing for 5th. But in his own 2nd race of the day, ultimately faded during his back-and-forth battle to take 6th in the Cat 1/2/3. By the end of the race, the sun was getting low in the sky, and we still had a 5+ hour drive home. All in all, a great course, and well worth the long drive to get there. And tomorrow?

The Murrysville CX. With a weather forecast of 35 degF and rain. YUK!


Nov 23: Ohio State CX Championship

Sam Morrison, Rich Allen and I (Henry Dimmick) hit the road at 5am headed for Columbus and the 2008 Ohio State CycloCross Championships.
Our first race of the day was the 3/4 Masters Race, where I finished 17th (according to their results!)...
...and Rich finished 23rd (also a bit suspect).
But neither of us cared if there was an error, because were were both Pa. residents, because the course was really fun, and because despite the 25 degF temperature…the sun was shining brightly!
Our next (Team) race was the U19 race, in which Sam RODE AWAY from all other contenders in the first lap. So while Sam took 1st Place in the race, as a Pa. resident, he did not qualify as the Ohio State Champion! But a local paper did interview him (while he ate a sample of the Tofu Hot Dogs being sold at the Start/Finish area!) and the race promoters let him keep this cool trophy :)
After hanging out for a few hours, Sam then started in the Cat 1/2/3 race, where he contracted the Claw of Death (forearm cramp) and had to abandon.
Other neat things at the race were, (1) The Bike Rack outside the potty, (2) The Drum Corps, that could be heard ALL OVER the course…
(3) The Ridge of Doom and Destruction Finish Line, where if climbed too fast, you would catch air launching over the top...
...and (4) My (CycloCross) Cow(Bell) Hat!
All in all, a great day and a course to return to next year.
For more on the day, watch Sam's Blog for anything he may post.


2009 season starts now

My 2009 season started today with a one hour trainer ride after a month off of the bike. That was a long time off after going more than two years without missing back to back days on the bike. So today I was back on the trainer in my parent's basement, the same place where I started my odyssey to try and become a bike racer 5 years ago. To read more, GoTo: http://www.briansbikeblog.blogspot.com/

Local CycloCross?

Sure there are CX races every weekend...over in Ohio, or "out East". But on Thanksgiving Weekend, Sunday November 30th, there will be a CycloCross race in Murrysville, Pa. (Monroeville).

So far, Ag3r - ButlerHealthSystem has 5 riders signed up, racing in 3 different races. Additionally, Agr International is one of the sponsors... and ... as Agr's representative(!), I am enslaved to help with course set-up the day before, and the morning of, the race :) So if you are looking for something COOL and DIFFERENT to do over the Holiday weekend, THIS is it!

There is a (Nov 12) posting about the course to be found via our BLOG PEEPS links under "Team Freddie Fu". Check it out! If any of you are interested to attend, or help, leave me a comment to this posting.


CX Bead Blasting

While I was unable to reproduce Vaughn's Taco-Wheel pictured in an earlier post... I was able to POP-a-BEAD by locking up my brakes, cutting the "wheel" hard to the right, and launching myself over the bars... trying to avoid t-boning Sam Morrison during a CX jaunt he, Ray Sielski and I did this weekend. By the end of the day, all three of us were sent packing due to tire failures! Remember, the whole world is a playground on a CX bike... just remember to wear a helmet :)


Sam's Black Cloud

Poor Sam Morrison has had a run of bad luck at his last 3 CycloCross races!!! At the Willoughby CX, he flatted...but was able to finish 15th in the A race. At the Marilla CX, he flatted, then experienced multiple chain drops on his backup bike leading to his eventual abandon. At the Kirtland CX, he got himself all tangled up and crashed in the course marking tape, but fought back to finish 8th in the A race. After all that, he thinks he is finally getting the hang of this "CycloCross Thang"!!! Looking forward... a few CX races in Ohio, then a local CX in Murrysville, Pa. Check out Sam's Blog for more on his trials and tribulations! Until then, I leave you with this great picture of a "Wheel Taco" ...from some dude named Vaughn. He says he was "...just riding along, minding his own business, and POW... over the bars" !!! ...Right :)


Oct 29: First Snow on 2 Wheels

A great start to the day! 6am bicycle ride... in the dark, on wet roads, at 35 degF, with big wet snow flakes falling. Finish with with the breaking sunrise and a double espresso.

Ride moto to work... with even bigger wet snow flakes sticking to my helmet shield, and now also the grass.

Hey everyone... Winter is coming!


Oct 18: Willoughby CycloCross

Sam Morrison, talked big of taking a weekend off after clinching the 2008 W.Pa. Month of Mud Championship ...but apparently, talk is cheap! So he drove into Ohio for some CycloCross, racing the A race on a beautiful Fall Saturday. To see how things turned out, check his blog at SamLikesBikes.


Ironcross VI

Race report posted here, I'll post results when they're posted but it's not gonna be pretty.


Oct 12 - Moraine State Park MTB

Sunday also found Ag3r racers on the west side of the state competing in Race #4/4 of the Western Pennsylvania Mountain Bike Racing Association's Month of Mud (MOM) Series at Moraine State Park in Prospect, Pa.

Sam Morrison, Doug Frost, Henry Dimmick and Ray Sielski all came out to hammer their bodies and bikes over the rock gardens of Moraine... and to be there for the party if Sam was able to defend his Points Lead in the MOM Series.

On this day, we had every class covered...well ALMOST every class. We left our skirts at home, ON the riders we left at home...!!! After ~90 minutes of dust had settled...and blood had dried(!)... Sam finished the race as the 4th Expert, I finished 9th Sport, Frosty finished 6th Veteran's 35+ and Ray finished 12th Master's 45+. So Sam was able to clinch the Expert Class Series Win as the second youngest rider to ever accomplish such a feat in the 2o years of this series. A totally AWESOME effort :) Watch Sam's Blog for more on his race. ------------------ In the Weird Injury department, I received the following from another rider. We were both crossing over a rock pile with a sharp drop on the far side... and just as I was dropping my front wheel off the ledge, to my left, I saw the other rider's head going straight for the ground as he went over the bars.

In that same instant, I felt something hit my left elbow... which turned out to be his rear wheel coming over top both of us... causing my injury, but not causing me to go down.

Talk about being "derailled" :)