Single Speed Sam

Single-Speed Sam was Sensational on the Saturday race Scene riding like a Shark on a Steed Sporting a fork and a frame Sans Suspension Snaking through the Sage while Sensing & Savoring a win of the SS division only to be Stunned and Stupified to get the Shaft by Somehow Sinking in the Statement of the final Standings Sending him to a lower Step on the podium while Surely Sacrificing his Self-perception of being a Strong Stallion with Satisfaction in his Struggle and Substituing it with Setiments of a Sticky Sausage that Smells like Shrimp even though he Smoked the other Single Speeders like they were Sardines...

Which, of course, Sucks!!!

You can read (very little more!) about it on Sam's Blog HERE.


Steel City Showdown

Photo by the Tribune Review

The 2011 edition of the Steel City Showdown reminded us that...

"There can be only ONE"

Many tried...and many failed...on a fast and short Criterium course.  In the end, we all got lapped by (breakaways) and were pulled from the race...except for Dan Schar...Ag3r's "Highlander"!

Mens' 40+/50+
Dan Schar finished in 11th Place, but out of the money, forced into a gap from the leaders in the LAST lap due to a crash on the bridge.
Photo by Jon Pratt

...while Steve Marlette and Henry Dimmick were pulled...

Photo by Mike Briggs

...as was Kirk Morrison.

Photo by Mike Briggs

Men's 3/4
Steve Brewer was pulled.
Photo by Fred Jordan

Men's 1/2/3
Mark Briercheck was pulled...
Photo by Fred Jordan

...as was Dave Shaffer.
Photo by Tad Riddell

BUT...as in life, and in racing, Hannah Brewer was our bright spot...

Women's 4
Hannah Brewer may have been pulled....BUT still was placed 6th (in the money) AND won a mid-race sprint preme!!!
Photo by Fred Jordan

Another bright spot on the day is when Henry won a Cannondale CAAD9 Frame & Fork from a raffle...having purchased $20 worth of tickets to do so!  You can see "H"enry's named being called in this well timed photo!

Photo by Jon Pratt

After each of our races, we took in the sites and cheered on our Mates!
Photo by Sonic Imaging

Photo by Sonic Imaging

Photo by Jon Pratt

Photo by Sonic Imaging

Photo by Sonic Imaging


Big Bear Lake MTB Classic

Rich Allen hummed his knobbie tire Jeep into West Virginia to race his knobbie tire bike at the Big Bear Lake Bike Classic ... Race #2 of the 2011 W.Va. Mtn Biking Association Series.

Turns out the drive was (mostly) worth it!

Rich raced into 3rd Place of the Men's Sport Master division ...and 15th overall Sport of 82 total starters.

Rich is certainly one of Ag3r's Dirt Worms :)

Connellsville Criterium

Kirk Morrison and Steve Brewer "flew in" to race the Connellsville "Hurricane" Criterium.

Kirk took 2nd Place in the Masters 50+ race.

Steve took 4th Place in the Men's 3/4 Race.

Kirk "air mailed" the following report:
For the second year in a row I was able to race on my birthday. Last year it was in sunny Monterey California in the Masters RR at Sea Otter. This year, severe weather alerts were posted for “high winds and gusty conditions. Conditions were so bad that the Port-a-John was blown 1/4 of mile from the Start/Registration area.

This was actually more of a circuit race with a 1.52 mile winding loop through a new industrial park. The course included two 90 degree turns which were a bit precarious since they had freshly painted, white pedestrian crossing lanes which were a bit slippery from the wet conditions.

The high winds changed the course by making the upwind “flats” feel like a brutal climb while the downwind “hills” were made much easier by the brisk tailwinds.

Overall, a great race with excellent organization by JR Petsko and his crew. Hopefully this will be a dry, calm, warm race next year.


Tough Mudder

Mark Briercheck competed it what is called "Tough Mudder" which is a race for only "Tough Mothers"!

Mark was lucky enough to survive to tell the following tale  :)
April 9, 2011 - Tough Mudder
Bear Creek Mountain Resort
Macungie, Pa.

I'm still alive!

At the request of some friends i took a bit of a departure from the cycling world and entered the April 9th presentation of the Tough Mudder in Allentown, PA. I figured how hard could an obstacle course be?

Apparently, pretty hard...!!!

The Tough Mudder is an event  (not a race) that focuses on fun, teamwork, not being a sissy, and just plain survival. With a course distance of 11.25 miles and 26 obstacles (instead of the 16 they originally planned on because people complained that last year’s event was too short and too easy) i found out what it means to be a tough mudder.

Before we even began the event, my group was hanging out in the hotel lobby 1 hour before our start time . As we sat there two paramedics wheeled a guy into the lobby…his leg was a total mess as he told us he fell off one of the 15 foot walls. I think we all got a little bit more nervous.

Cardio was definitely the name of the game. You were either running up or down ski slopes and it became pretty evident to which participants had logged running time in training versus those that didn’t. The obstacles started simple (uphill climbs under cargo nets) and progressivly got worse...crawling through 30 foot mud tubes...monkey bars over mud pits...and mud.

Muddy Surfaces... Muddy Water...
Muddy Mud.

The toughest part of the event was the water obstacles. Forcing yourself to willingly jump into freezing water is a sign of toughness....or stupidity. Not sure which one. The highlight of the day was the platform jump. You climb up a 15 foot wall and then exit via jumping into a lake. While initially it looks fun you soon realize it was a bad idea when the 38 degree water hits you like a lightning bolt.

And then you can’t surface.

In a panic you open your eyes and see nothing but brown and black muddy water. Eventually you pop up and you’re freezing and gasping for air while your your heart rate spikes to 190.Then you have to swim God knows how many yards to get to shore. Amazing.

Then immediately after that you have two more water obstacles that leave you submerged. The only way to get through it is finish the obstacles and then just start running in order to get your body temperature back up and stop the shaking.
The variety and difficulty level of each obstacle was progressively more interesting and the final stop was the icing on the cake. It was called 'shock therapy' and it required the mudder to run through a tunnel of electrified wires. Some wires contained low volts while others packed 10,000 volts.

Somehow I got lucky and escaped with just a few little shocks. One of my mudder friends was less fortunate as he took two full 10K hits…both of which sent him face down into the mud.

Apparently 76% of the starting participants completed the course on Saturday but 100% of my group was victorious! I saw a few injuries (another guy fell off of a wall and probably broke his arm and some girl got a giant nail stuck in her foot) and a lot of folks that didn’t hydrate or eat enough as they were obviously cramped up and doubled over in pain.

To sum up the experience, the Tough Mudder course proudly displayed signs all over the course reading:

"Remember, you signed a death waiver"

Mead Roubaix

Sam Morrison started the 77 mile Roubaix-style race...the Mead Roubaix, but found the loose (dirt?) to be harder to endure then the cobbles of Belgium.

Sam's few words were:
Made the front selection on the first major dirt section with about 15 guys out of ~50 guys. Got caught at the back in 25+crosswinds and had to bridge a gap, then got popped.

Then in the first major chase group a Garmin kid stacked in right in front of me in the dirt and I had to hop a ditch into a field!

Then I rode with Alexi Grewal (1980 something Olympic champion making his return to racing) for a bit to get back to the cars and then I pulled out to go study for midterms!
See Video HERE

Sam's can be seen at the 18 second mark, just as the peleton is passing and the camera starts to pan, it is if the camera is following Sam on the far side of the group. 

Sam is seen again at the 55 second mark, just after the rider in red/white goes off into the grass, you see Sam stacking it into the ditch along the road edge! 

...Then almost get run over by a passing Tractor!!!  ...which must have been their broom wagon?!!!?

PICC "North East" Road Race

Hanna & Steve Brewer, along with Dave Shaffer, attended the Presque Isle Cycling Club Spring Training Race #2 on the North East road course.

In the Men's A Race
Steve finished in 3rd Place
Dave Finished in 6th Place

In the Women's Race
Hannah finished in 6th Place
Hannah says:
I finished 6th overall for the women's open. I was pleased with my placement-these ladies are intense! It was a fun race. The head wind was so strong, but so was the tail wind,and I got to watch Steve make his sprint finish for 3rd.

Dave tells the A Race story:
2 guys off front of our race,steve says to me last lap I'm going to attack on the stretch before finish stretch,he attacked like a possesed demen,1 other guy went followed by me,the field let us go,the guy in front of me sits up,steve is going like a freight train,no way I could close the gap that the guy created when he sat up,so instead of possible field closing gap I went back as well,steve stayed off for the 3rd place finish,as I said 6th for me,awesome job for the ag3r team today

...........oh yeah on the back stretch probally 20-25mph head wind,brutal,made for a 45mph sprint....FAST.....needed a henry type gear of 56,10...!


WVU Morgantown Criterium

Kirk Morrison soloed into Morgantown West Virginia for the WVU Criterium, finishing in 2nd Place of the Masters 50+ race.

Kirk tells the story THIS way:

I raced on Saturday in the Mountaineer Classic Criterium in Clarksburg, WV in the Masters 50+ group. Our race was combined with the 40+ racers and our total field was about a dozen. This was a 0.6 mile loop through downtown Clarksburg and the race was put on by the WVU Cycling Team. This was my first downtown Crit and I was looking to get one of these under my belt before next weekend's Steel City Showdown.

Our race was the last (starting at 5:10pm) so the crowds were thinning as the racing from the larger classes had finished. After a few spinning laps to start the race I decided to get things started by taking a flyer off the front. Unfortunately, I had company since Bob Gottlieb caught my wheel.Evidently, Bob is a marked man since the entire pack mounted a chase to bring us back in. The subsequent attacks ended up dropping me from the back of the group so I ended up spending the rest of the race with chase groups trying to catch back on.

Based on the finish, the pack was right since Bob ended up winning the race for the combined group. I was fortunate that no other 50+ racers were able to stay with the pack so I ended up with 2nd place in the 50+ group. The 3rd place rider from our group was back a bit since I ended up lapping him before the race was over.
A well run fun event ! Kudo's to the WVU Cycling Team for doing such a nice job.

Thunder Road 5K Run

Hannah Brewer put her legs on for the Thunder Road 5K Run in Meadville, Pa.

She finished 2nd Place of the Women's 20-29 Division, and 25th Overall of 89 finishers (Men & Women).

ACA Criterium

Steve Marlette showed up at the Bud Harris Cycling Track on Washington Blvd on Wednesday and had a go at the oval....with other riders there at the saem time. You see, Steve trains there on his TT bike ...but most often has the whole track to himself.
Steve's only notes on the evening were:

I raced in the B's last night at the track. The Tribune Review was there taking pictures but I did not see anything in todays paper.

This was my first (ever) crit at the track. I can say it was a good workout and that I really like doing time trials!

The weather was nice too!


Morgantown Road Race

Kirk Morrison and Dan Schar braved the elements to take on the 50 miles of the Morgantown Road Race!

Kirk finished in 6th Place in the Men's 50+ race

Dan finished in 8th Place in the Men's 40+ race.

Here is the story written by Kirk Morrison.
I enjoyed racing this past Saturday (April 2nd) in the ABRA Morgantown RR (50 miles). JR and his volunteers put on a great event. The race organization, support, field marshalling and officiating were all excellent. The weather even cooperated …… eventually.

Dan Schar and I started in the same group with him in the Masters 40+ age group and me in the Masters 50+. The weather was awful with rain/sleet on the entire drive down to Morgantown. The start ended up being delayed when a heavy band of snow came through just prior to the scheduled 12 noon start time.  Just look at the size of the falling snowflake in the image below! 

Photo by Kirk Morrison

The 30 min delay was a good decision since visibility was very poor in the heavy snow. With the cold temps (35F), rain, sleet and now …. snow many racers packed up and left at this point. Fortunately, the snow passed and we started in a light drizzle.

With this as my first race of 2011 my goal was simply to stay with the Masters lead group for the first 21 miles which covered a rolling route north to Waynesburg, PA. I was pleased that I was able to hang with the fast guys as we averaged almost 22 mph on this first leg.

Dan was in an excellent position during this first leg as it appeared (from the view at the back) that he was riding smartly in the front group of the peloton.

As we approached Waynesburg I was feeling OK so I decided to try to take a sprint off the front of the group to try to get a gap on the field.

Photo by West Liberty Cycles

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to shake the main group and simply ended up giving them a spirited lead before falling off the back. Not surprisingly, I was dropped as the group accelerated on the big climbs after Waynesboro. This left me with a 28 mile solo effort over the 4 major climbs of this race.

Photo by Ryan Post

By this point the rain had stopped and many of the roads were even dry!  I ended up with a 6th place finish in the Masters 50+ age group. One place short of the podium ! Overall, I was pleased with this first race of the season.

PICC Spring Series

Dave Shaffer traveled to Erie to compete in the Presque Isle Cycling Club (PICC) Spring Training Series Races.

Riding in the A-Race, Dave finished in 8th Place

Here is Dave's Story, typed in "The Hard Way", using his smart phone!
2 big teams of at least 6-7 riders a piece,they both pretty much controlled the race,

early on about 7 guys got away,chased them down pretty much on my own,then 2 guys from the same team went off,wasn't worried about that,pretty stiff head wind on the tough part of course

last lap the 2 guys were in striking distance, out of 2nd turn into false flat head wind section, the big attack came I was going up the out side when a guy came over we got together I went off the road got back on the road

6 guys opened up a gap I got back in chase group composed myself and attacked was closing gap,but with the 2 teams controlling the race I was on my own,no help,came round last turn and tried to close the gap,ran out of time 1 more guy got around me settled for 8th.

3 pts,think I got the points prime also

good race great course,wish for warmer weather.


Colorado University Raccoons?

Colorado University are no longer the Buffalos. They are now the Raccoons.

Sam demonstrates their new look below!!!

Also, Sam is pictured in the VeloNews article about this race (click here).  He is the rider on the left, at the back of this A-Race Breakaway.