Juniors: Waterford Hills Circuit Race

After weeks of hard workouts (on the road and on the track), the 2018 AAVC Juniors were ready to race at last! Six racers showed up; from left to right: Connell (the veteran), along with first-time road racers Aidan, Michael, Lauren, Logan, and Ansel.

Credit: Julie de Jong.

Credit: Julie de Jong.

The Waterford Hills Circuit Race was a hot affair, completely not like the Willow Time Trial. Our AAVC team was by far the largest contingent: besides our six, there were twelve non-AAVC riders; most in the 9-14 age category, which the AAVC dominated.

It's hard to race cohesively in the 9-14 age bracket because the little racers have such different speed ability; but a few of the AAVC racers stayed in the pack for a good time, and there were pockets of AAVC racers behind who worked together for as long as they could. Room for progress, but also success! Well done, all.

In the 9-14 category, Connell sprinted to victory (to be honest, he almost won the whole thing); Ansel converted being dropped into a fine fifth place, after rowing home with Christian who had also been dropped, and then beat him in the sprint. Behind them, Logan and Aidan finished 6th and 8th, respectively.

The older junior group was decided in a sprint, Ryan beating Jackson, who slightly misjudged his sprint. Connell managed to split the two, by the way, because Connell never misjudges his sprint. Michael and Lauren (badly mangled from her high-speed velodrome crash) finished behind the pack, never quite able to connect back together. They still earned points for the club in the KOMZ Series team competition, well done! If my calculations are correct, the Juniors earned 355 KOMZ points; a sizeable contribution towards a high ranking for the AAVC overall!

Credit: JD Alford.

Credit: JD Alford.

After the race, we had a nice barbecue. Parents brought lots of snacks and fruits to go with the meats the club provided, and we had a great time sitting in the shade with our AAVC banner. We certainly showed all the other teams how it's done. . . ALLEZ AAVC!

Juniors: 2018 Willow Time Trial

It was a cold and windy morning in New Boston, not at all the right weather to race a 13.2-mile time trial. But our AAVC Juniors showed up and competed admirably. 

In the 15/16-year-olds bracket, Brandon DeLine Jr (on loan from Racing Greyhounds ;) put down a very strong time of 36:50; the fastest since Austin Schouman in 2011 (31:11). First-time racer Michael Keegan finished in 44:31, giving the AAVC our first podium of the day.

Credit: Brandon DeLine

Credit: Brandon DeLine

The younger juniors also raced. Connell Alford was chasing Vincent Vermeulen's U13 race record of 44:39, set in 2011; but regrettably came 12 seconds short: 44:51. It was 48 degrees that day in 2011, and not as windy. I think Connell would have gotten those 12 seconds if not for the elements. Ansel de Jong was shivering miserably before the race even started, but with sheer grit and determination laid down a time of 57:39. Not only a second podium for the AAVC, but those 57 minutes compare favorably with other 10-year-olds in the last decade, and I doubt they were as affected by the cold as Ansel.

Great jobs, racers! And thanks to parents for supporting your racers. It was the kind of day that it would be easier to just stay in bed. We're glad you didn't!

Our next Juniors race will be Waterford Hills. See you there!


Lost Nations Road Race - AAVC vs MVW

I really dig these club races - it was a bit of a commute, but totally worth it!  

The course was a scenic 20k loop with a few rolling climbs and howling crosswinds.  Results should be posted soon, but here's my recollection.  Josh pulled like an ox much of the first lap with a few sporadic attacks from Lathrup, Red Bike, and MVW.  Everything was covered pretty well with Kyle doing quite a lot of work to pull things back.  On lap 2 Harvey went loco and attacked solo into the headwind.  He sat 10-15 seconds ahead of the pack for most of that section in what was almost universally agreed to be a bad idea.  Things came back together at the corner and there was a counter attacks from Lathrup or MVW which Kyle covered and got about a 5 second break.  When that came back Danny and one MVW rider went and got about a 20 second gap. Danny rode the MVW guy off his wheel and before he knew it there was a MVW freight train chasing him down.  The pace was ehm "spirited" and the gap closed to 5 or 10 seconds until we got to the hills and Danny pulled away again.  It finally came back together after turn 3 when Danny was caught on one of the climbs just before the finish straight.  Will Haig and an MVW guy countered, but the group was ready to chase and everyone was together at the line.  Stephen Doll took the prime and set a new lap record on Strava (24.2 mph average with descents in the low 40's).  After the sprint, things calmed down for lap 3.   Lap 3 was incredibly boring until Josh attacked in the crosswinds and went up the road with another MVW guy (~10 second break).  When a second MVW guy attacked and tried to close the gap Harvey came to the front and put his final effort in.  He closed the gap, but got dropped on a climb with an MVW and Red Bike guy.  From here I'm going by what I heard at the race and what I can see on the Strava flyby.  William Haig came to the front to keep the pace up and ended up dropping a quarter of the field until he fell back to finish with Harvey.   Then it was Danny's turn on the climbs - he came to the front and continued to drop guys off the back until the last kicker.  The Maumee leadout train fired up about 400m out when most of us had already burned our matches, but Stephen Doll miraculously crossed over and sprinted for 2nd on a bike from the 70's.  Despite all rumors, his wheels did not fall off.  Rounding our the top five there was Justin Kahle (1st - MVW), Alan Zoltowski (3rd - Lathrup), Nick Mossing (4th - MVW), and Jeff Nixon (5th - MVW). Then came Kyle (7th) and Danny (12th), Josh (13th), Tyler (14th), Will (15th), and Harvey (16th) (official results).  MVW won 2016, but I attribute it greater numbers in the peloton.  Overall it was a great team effort and one hard race! 

For the B race, we had Rob Shoemaker, Matt Raezler, Ken Tsang, Andrew Wallis, and Juan.  This was Andrew's first race and Ken's first race in 10 years.  Rob and Andrew were the first to drop.  This was presumably the same time Juan decided he should have been in the A race and solo'd off the front.  Juan stayed away for two laps to win.  Matt and Ken were like "REALLY!?" and that was that.  Watching the finish, it was hard to believe Juan was away for a full two laps.  The whole peloton was only 5-10 seconds behind him when he crossed the line.  Matt held off his group with a mighty effort for 5th and Ken (9th) rolled in with them.  Andrew - poor Andrew - was lost to winds.  I rode back to find him and my water bottle when a saw a great horned owl flying across the road in the twilight.  That was pretty cool.  Also, random.  Okay, nice job guys!   

Mud anyone? Land Run 100 report

Mark McCullough's tale from an epic Land Run 100 on Saturday, March 14. 

Land Run 100 in Stillwater, Oklahoma was flipping miserable. I am calling it the Sooner Sufferfest. It begin to rain at 3:00 pm Friday and continued for five hours. The end result was mud pies the next morning. It was on par with a top notch CX event. The hike a bike was off and on for four miles (mostly on).

2015 AAVC officers

Thanks to the many AAVC members that voted online in the past week for the 2015 AAVC officers! We had the best "voter turnout" rate, largest number of candidates running for positions, and more than twice that number of nominees, showing once again that the club is the most active it's been in nearly a decade (maybe more)! It also attests to increasing involvement and contributions from a whole lot of people throughout the year with the club who love being involved, but chose not to seek officer duties, too.

Without further ado, the people taking on AAVC officer roles for 2015 are:

Pittsburgh's Dirty Dozen

Pittsburgh's Dirty Dozen

Mark McCulloch reports from the Pittsburgh Dirty [Baker's] Dozen - a KOM race to the top of 13 of Pittsburgh's steepest climbs. 

Yesterday me, Chris Wiekler, Colin Hebert and Jesse Ramsey from Tree Fort Bikes climbed 13 of the most brutal hills in and around the Pittsburgh area on our bikes. The event is the called the ‘Dirty Dozen’. The event promoter (Danny Chew) is a two time winner of the Race Across America.  His goal is to bike 1 million miles before he croaks. I have no idea where he stands in his mission. Because he is sick in the head, he created this event 31 years ago. It started off with 5 riders and recently has blown up to 300+ riders. 

DICX '14

Five years... That's how long Jeff Wood has been putting on DICX.  Five years... Five years of tequila shot shortcuts.  Five years of kids chucking marshmallows.  Five years of CX in Detroit.  The DICX - on par with SSCXWC - in the D - and not just for hipsters...  Race Reports for the DICX '14 are below.

Patrick McEnaney-

I'll get the race report ball rolling following today's fifth edition of Detroit Invitational Cyclocross going into the books. The Racing Greyhounds, Velvet Elvisesesesss (Thanks Terry!), Liberty Brewing, Tailwind Racing (Thanks Rebecca!), Motorless City Bicycles, et al., did a mighty fine job once again. No amount of boost taken by opting for the tequila shot shortcut helped me go fast, as the legs and body were just tired from the gun today. Congrats go to Brian Kearns for keeping the pressure on to take third in the "Overly Competitive Pricks" field (aka Cat123). The course was wicked challenging once again with a well-laid combination of flats, jogs up and down the Dorais Park rise, and of course, the vintage Dorais velodrome. With temps in the high 30F range at race time, everyone was treated to a heaping portion of mud on a off-camber downhill turn, this was followed shortly by a greazy and wicked steep run-up. The 5-pack of barriers followed by a snow mound put the hurt on everyone's quads after scrambling the run-up. As an added bonus, outside the shelter of the trees, the hillside and velodrome segments were wind-whipped enough to allow minimal recovery time. And if the spirals of death, mud pit, run-up, stairs, or barriers weren't enough, a chicane filled with barrels and exit chutes that were moved every-other lap put a severe challenge to my brain, which was substantially twisted after n - tequila shots.

It was an appropriately painful sunset to my 2014 cx season. Good luck to all headed to regionals in GR!

Even Patrick gets a shot   "toward the win."

Even Patrick gets a shot "toward the win."

Terry Carpenter-

Good turn out, very muddy, fun, and painful. My derailleur is messed up so I had to do the whole thing in big front ring and/or run a lot. I think I was hallucinating by the end.  

Jeff Wood puts on a great race!  Michael Belanger designs a sick funny painful course. Madman CX design team Jeff, Bellringer and company! Had fun chasing Patrick around heckling him.   Brian the Turkey Kearns and Ellie also kicked ass (as is expected). PS thanks to Ducky Detroit Natalie Jameson Kiesling and Motorless City Craig Koengsley for the gear to keep me warm (since I wore "normal" clothes to race, I forgot to pack dry normal clothes).

And Brian Kearns gobbled up third.

And Brian Kearns gobbled up third.