The Curse of Success

Did you ever notice... that when someone asks you to do something, and you do a good job at it, that they keep asking you to do it again?  Well, this post is not exactly about that...!

So, road season is over, and CycloCross season is in full swing.  This is normally the time when we can finally let our regimented training slip a bit, in hopes of recovering the FUN of Cycling that got us into (all this) in the first place. 

And heck, if we can do "all that" while satisfying our addiction to "competition", while drinking a few beers, then straight up...
...Life is Good, right?

Problem is, many of us have done a good job so far, and now are HANDCUFFED to race EVERY WEEKEND to stay in the hunt.  And for what? 

First, let me tell you what we WON'T get from this success:  Not Fame, nor Fortune ...and certainly not some higher state of Domestic Bliss at home!


We do it for a chance to be on the Final Series Podium ...
...cash in one hand...
...champagne in the other...
...flash bulbs going off all around us...
...and "The Bitches" kneeling at our feet!!! 

In other words: 1,800 miles of driving, $350 in gas, $200 in entry fees and approximately 120 hours of time we will never get back... all in search of OUR 15 minutes of FAME :)

Weird thing is ...we can't wait to race again!


Appalachian Bicycle Racing Association
CycloCross Series STANDINGS
...after Round #4 of 8:

4th Place - Ag3r-ButlerHealthSystem (-20 pts Off Podium)

MEN'S 3/4
3rd Place - Steve Brewer
18th Place - Brian Hopkins (-37)

24th Place - Mike Maher (-65)

MEN'S 40+
16th Place - Steve Marlette (-64)
18th Place - Mike Maher (-73)

8th Place - Hannah Brewer (-57)

6th Place - Kirk Morrison (-29)

MEN'S 50+
1st Place (tie) - Henry Dimmick
1st Place (tie) - Kirk Morrison
4th Place - Rich Allen (-3)
6th Place - Ray Sielski (-30)


Bruceton Mills CX

Despite all the rain recently, the Bruceton Mills round of the ABRA CycloCross Series was ALMOST a dry round... "MUD speaking"...

...but NOT a dry round "liquid CARBS" speaking!
Photos by Sonic Imaging

Women's 4
Hannah Brewer - 2nd Place
Photos by Fred Jordan

Single Speed Open
Kirk Morrison - 10th Place
Photo by Fred Jordan

Men's 40+
Mike Maher - 7th Place
Photo by Fred Jordan

Steve Marlette - 12th Place
Photo by Fred Jordan

Men's 50+
Rich Allen - 1st Place
Photo by Fred Jordan

Henry Dimmick - 2nd Place
Photo by Fred Jordan

Kirk Morrison - 3rd Place
Photo by Fred Jordan

Can you say, "SWEEP" :)
Photo by Fred Jordan

Men's 3/4
Steve Brewer - 5th Place
Photo by Dirt Rag Magazine!

Photo by Fred Jordan

After racing, we all just MONKEYed around...
Photo by Fred Jordan

...while cheering on everyone else as they raced.

Next Race: Marilla CX


Morgantown Monsters

The Morgantown Monster is a 2-day, hard core, sacrifice all other personal life responsibilities, CycloCross event in Morgantown West Virginia!  

...and only 3 of us were Monster enough to attend BOTH days!
Ray Sielski, Kirk Morrison and Brian Hopkins.

Single Speed Open
Kirk Morrison - 9th Place
Photo by Fred Jordan

Men's 40+
Dan Schar - 8th Place
Photo by Fred Jordan

Men's 50+

Photo by Dan Schar

Henry Dimmick - 2nd Place (Team Competiton Points)
Photo by Rick Plowman

Rich Allen - 3rd Place (Team Competition Points)

Photo by Fred Jordan

Kirk Morrison - 5th Place

Photo by Fred Jordan

Ray Sielski - 6th Place
Photo by Fred Jordan

Men's 3/4
Photo by Dan Schar

Steve Brewer - 4th Place (Team Competition Points)
Photo by Fred Jordan

Brian Hopkins - 10th Place
Photo by Fred Jordan

Men's 40+
Steve Marlette - 8th Place (Team Competition Points)

Men's 50+

Kirk Morrison - 4th Place (Team Competition Points)

Ray Sielski - 5th Place (Team Competition Points)

Men's 3/4
Brian Hopkins - 13th Place

All in all...and awesome weekend of SUNNY racing, even if the event wasn't very "DRY"!!! 

Photos by Sonic Imaging


North Park XC MTB

Kirk Morrison and Rich Allen set aside their CycloCross bikes to take in a X-Country Mtn Bike Race in North Park as part of the 2011 Month-of-Mud Series.

Rich Allen - 7th Place (Men's 45+)

Photo by Mike Briggs

Kirk Morrison - 12th Place (Men's 45+)

Photo by West Liberty Cycles
The World According to Kirk:
After last weekends MoM North Park Cx MUDFEST, Rich Allen and I again headed down to North Park (on Sunday) for a MUCH drier XC Mtb race.  The weather was spectacular with blue skies, light winds and temps in the high 60’s/low 70’s throughout the race.

Rich and I competed in the Masters/Sport race which covered the same 2 lap, 18 mile course (2200 feet of climbing) as raced by the Expert class.

This was a fairly fast course, through some colorful, early-fall scenery. While there was quite a bit of climbing, the technical sections were not too challenging (for the talented riders). I ended up falling twice on my first lap as I experimented with using more front brake on the steep descents (no falls on the 2nd lap !). Unfortunately, I banged-up my right thumb on the first tumble which made rear derailler shifts quite painful. I ended up using the palm of my right hand for most shifts for the balance of the race.


Clearfield KOM TT

Randy McCracken headed East & Up to the Clearfield KOM TT.

What makes this TT a KOM TT is that the 5 mile course has 1000 feet of elevation. That's the BAD NEWS!

However, Randy reports that the GOOD NEWS was that the weather was perfect (sunny and 68 at race time) and the road was newly resurfaced.

Well GOOD must have triumphed over BAD this day, because Randy finished in 3rd Place of the Men's 50-59 Category, with a Personal Record of almost 40 seconds better than last year.

"You Go, GOOD"!


Mike Maher & Brian Hopkins have very short memory spans!

As a result, they again took on IRON CROSS, in it's annual 9th edition as America's Hardest CycloCross Race!

...and as always, a battle broke out between these two "friends" , a battle that was won this year by Brian on TIME and by Mike on PLACING!!!

Brian Hopkins - 34th Place (Men's U40) at 4:59:07

Mike Maher - 25th Place (Men 40+) at 4:59:23

You can READ ALL ABOUT IT on Mike's Blog HERE

Someday, they will be successful talking (the rest of us) into racing "The Cross"  ...NOT  :)


North Park CycloCross

The Month of Mud North Park CX race turned out EVEN MORE MUDDIER than the day before's ABRA Kick Off Cross!  "Unbelievable"

Photos by Mike Briggs

Ray Sielski posted to HIS Blog HERE...

...with Mark Briercheck and Kirk Morrison telling THEIR stories below:
Mark says:
North Park, Pittsburgh, PA - Cold. Grey Skies.Rain. Mud.

Yeah...it's cross season!

With air temps in the 40's and rain all around, Ray Sielski, Kirk Morrison, Rich Allen, and I signed up for the 45 minute Masters/Sport Category in the Month of Mud North Park Cyclocross Race.

We were all optimistic that the noon start time would bring about the warmest temps of the day but as soon as we sat at the start line waiting for Gary to arrive with his coffee the rain started up again. The entree of the day was MUD with a side of groul and a dessert of muck!!!

Photo by Mike Briggs

Tires and tire pressure didn't matter because the whole course was like a skating rink. Traditional flat sections quickly turned into extended run ups because the mud was too thick and too deep to ride.

I hit the ground at least four times during the ride and easily added 2 or 3 lbs of mud to my bike on each crash. Besides the muck, the course was really great. Definitely not fast...but lots of challenges and a decent turnout of spectators despite the mess. I was eventually able to get into a groove. After crossing the line on the final lap I discovered the reason I was so exhausted - our entire drive trains and brakes were so clogged with mud that the wheels could barely move.

Photo by Mike Briggs

Yep - what an awesome day for a race!

Kirk adds the following:
The mud on this course was quite extensive and quite a challenge which resulted in LOTS of running. In fact, most of my “passes” involved me running past riders who were struggling to “ride” the mud sections!

Photo by Mike Briggs

The Results for the day were:

Masters - Sport Race
45 mins - 45 Starters Combined

Mark Briercheck - 8th Place Sport.  11th Place Overall
Photo by Mike Briggs

Rich Allen - 5th Place Masters.  19th Place Overall
Photo by Mike Briggs

Kirk Morrison - 6th Place Masters.  24th Place Overall
Photo by West Liberty Cycles

\Ray Sielski - 9th Place Masters.  33rd Place Overall
Photo by Mike Briggs


Kick Off Cross

The 2011 Appalachia Bicycle Racing Association (ABRA) CycloCross Series got off to a WET & MUDDY start at the Kick Off Cross just outside of Mt. Morris, Pa. on the West Virginia border.

Photo by Sonic Imaging

Photo by Mike Maher

With Ag3r riders in almost every class, the Results for the day were:

Men's 4
8th Place - Mike Maher 
Photo by Kirk Morrison

11th Place - Rich Allen
Photo by Mike Maher

Men's Single Speed
13th Place - Kirk Morrison
Photo by Mike Maher

Men's 50+
1st Place - Henry Dimmick
Photo by Mike Maher

Photo by Mike Maher

4th Place - Rich Allen 
Photo by Mike Maher

5th Place - Kirk Morrison 
Photo by Mike Maher

9th Place - Ray Sielski 
Photo by Mike Maher

Photo by Mike Maher

Men's 3/4

8th Place - Steve Brewer
Photo by Sonic Imaging

Photo by Sonic Imaging

...and as usual, Steve had problems with his bike.  In fact, he had problems with BOTH bikes!!!
Photo by Sonic Imaging

All in all, a good day... since ANY DAY that you end up on the Podium is one to be remembererd, even if it's the Men's 50+ Podium  :)

Photo by Steve Brewer