Hanging out, ready to sing some Blues

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Welp fan, the team has been sweeping the podium all over the country this past weekend.

The Shogren’s are down in Lou-ville, Ky for road Natz. And I am happy to report that after three attempts they have won the Stars and Stripes in the tandumb race. Yippee, NATIONAL CHAMPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Some late breaking news: Gunnar got 6th in his age grade race today (June 30). Great job team!!!!!! Check it...youtube interview

The rest of the team—JR, MikeyY and I…Chrissy tackled the Visitpa.com MTB festival up near Harrisburg, Pa. I am still deciding, but it may have been the hardest single day of riding and racing I have ever done. Two wins in two days though…yippee!!! Friday night was a wicked fun Night TT. I under estimated the distance but still won SS-Solo and 6ish Solo overall. MikeyY and his Teammate Wes S. got 2nd Duo while JR snapped some shots. Saturday was the real test. 9hr SS-Solo for myself, 9hr Solo for JR and Mike was doing Duo with Wes. It was a 8 mile killer loop. 95% of the course was single-double track that was incredibly twisty and slow with no less then 20 logs to bunny hop every lap. I had a horrible first two laps do to stomach cramps but after a 5 minute porta-john break things went well and off I went. I suffered at new levels and found a new pain locker to play in. JR rode like a champ and did his longest MTB ride. Not bad for a Clydesdale that just stopped smoking last year...you rock JR!!!
So the weekend wrap up….RESULTS
MikeyY: 2nd Duo
Chrissy: 1st SS-Solo 6ish Solo
MikeyY: 2nd Duo 12hours
JR: 25th 9hr Solo
Me, Chrissy: 1st 9hr SS solo 4th 9hr Solo overall 9h51min, 10 laps, 80 miles and bunny hopped 100+ logs

I am pretty darn tuckered out. Time for some R&R with the family.

And a big ole' thanks goes out to Mike Kuhn, his family and the Visitpa.com crew--we were treated great and the event kicked booty. I'll put this one on the 10' schedule for sure.

"May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face" and may your wheels always find it safely back to the ground.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A boy and his dog: Appalachian Classic WVMBA #5

Welp fan, if you were not one of thousand adoring fans lining the course this weekend at the Appalachian Classic (WVMBA#5) you certainly missed out. A time trail, bike polo, short track followed up on Sunday with a wicked hard yet super duper fun cross country race. A cornucopia of cycling pleasure by-golly.

I was feeling a little tired from the 24Hours of Big Bear and perhaps a little not-so-mid-season-yet-mid-season fatigue so I decided to skip the TT and just do the short track Saturday. It was a blast with a mix of fast SS and geared guys duking it out. It aint racing unless you are rubbing ya know and that is what short track is all bout’, yes sir. I rode ok, had a Kool-aid-grin ear to ear underneath that drool and ended up fifth. Short track racing is hard especially when you are lacking some of that top end gitty-up, which I am.

The Shogren’s headed up the Lumberjack in Michigan so I was running solo this weekend minus the company of BFF Jackie. She and I had a sweet little camping spot all nice, quiet and to ourselves. The solitude of the forest allowed for some nice Chrissy yoga and meditation, Buddha would be smiling. And BFF Jackie had many critters to smell and cool holes to dig. We were happy, it was a good day!

Sunday’s cross country went well. I was a little concerned 'bout my legs or lack of them, as it seemed as though I left them last weekend at Big Bear. I hit the woods around 6th overall and 1st SS. Scott Root, a master on a SS, and Morgan Miller (2nd SS) were breathing down my neck as the gear’d fellars started to pull away. Scott and I took turns at the front eventually gapping youngster Morgan. Scott and I duked it out in what was quite the nail-biter from my point of view. He was kicking my ass on the climbs both pedaling and running while I was stronger on the flats and on the technical stuff. By the start of lap 3 he had gapped me pretty good. Ugh!! But ahh yeh, I spotted him on the long road climb and buried myself to bridge up . DROOL!!! Shoot, he hit the woods about 10 seconds ahead of me so I let it all hang out through the stream bed—rock garden. Alas the last muddy hike-a-bike…Scott is walking so I begin a hard run. He glances back, does an incredulous double-take, and begins to run too. He crested and hopped on his bike while I still had a few more running strides to go…eekk…Morgan is at the bottom of the climb too. A 1 ½ -2 mile drag race ensues. Drool and lactate acid is ah-plentiful. Scott gets me by 10 seconds and the corrupted Night Club youngster Morgan came in less then a minute behind. Good work guys--it was a fun battle. And I do believe I am finally seeing last years fitness showing, about time!!!

The Appalachian Classic is the kind racing event that brought most of us into this sweet lifestyle. Boat loads of hard racing that is topped by boat loads more of fun. Grassroots and pretty dang sweet. Thanks JR!!!

The team is parting ways again this weekend. The Shogren’s are hitting Road Natz while JR and I will be meeting up with Bi-atch-at-large MikeyY in Pa. for a VisitPa.com 9 hour racing epic. See ya out there fan.

Chrissy 1st SS and 6th Pro/ex, yippee….win #3 for the season and time to retire.
Betsy 1st at the Lumberjack (almost beat Gunnar again)
Gunnar 5th SS and more shitty luck (and almost got beat by Bunny again)

"May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face" and may your wheels always find it safely back to the ground.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

24 Hours of Big Bear (WV)

Welp fan, the WVMBA Dream Team (s) pulled it off yet again in 09. The ladies won the women's Pro/Ex class and got 6th overall and we boys took 1st in Pro/ex and 1st overall by a small 18 minute margin. It was a hard fight but it was a hoot.

The 24-Hours of Big Bear, in some ways, is the OG of 24 hour racing format. It is no longer in Davis but it is still in West “by god”. And yes, our Director Sportif, Gunnar, did that OG race while his lovely bride was still in elementary school (ed. she was almost out of HS). I do believe there is a pic kicking around on FB. I’ll have to look into that. So thanks Laird for starting this wacky and hard racing format.

So the race…

I picked the short straw or something and got to do the first lap run, yippee!! Off we went. I got to my bike around 20th and hit the trails on my bike around 10th. I found my mark, Benji (a fellow fast single speeder), just up the trail and off I went. 

Benji, Goose, Cassie getting ready to kick some booty

I was riding well but not stellar. I “burped” my tire twice, Big-Aired it quick and took a very hard crash all of which probably added 1-2 minutes to my 1st lap time. I did come in 11 seconds behind the 1st guy in our class and somewhere near the top ten overall. Not bad considering the mishaps. My big concern was my swollen knee….and off Gunnar went for lap #2.

We all rode pretty solid and consistent for the whole event. The boys from Kansas City (Star Spangled Bangers) who were in our class and the WV Night Club (a 5 man just for fun team) boys kept us on our toes for the full 24 hours with the KC boys creeping to an inch or 6 minutes of us in the wee-hours of the AM. Most of their team was equal to or a little slower then us, but man this one dude Cameron Chambers was putting in some crazy fast lap times every lap. It was rather impressive and frustrating.

Gunnar "Older than Dirt", Steve Heeel and Nate-Dog rode like champions— all A+ game, consistent and strong. I, on the other hand, gave a 100% but I am afraid I came up a little short and only brought my B or maybe B+ game. Whether it was the lingering illness from the week before or whether I only just rode “ok” not “stellar" which is required when others are relying on you, who knows. Maybe it was bringing a knife to a gun fight—a single speed against Pro geared guys. My laps were 2-3 minutes slower then I feel they should have been. My body was not responding to the efforts like it normally can and I was pretty sure Gina and JR weren’t gunna let me go out on my last lap (#5) because I looked so bad. And I am pretty sure I felt worse then I looked but I knew once I was on my bike I could get the job done. I dug deep and left everything I had out on the trail, taking many risks on the rocks, climbing hard and running all the SS-hike-a-biking on that final lap, losing little time, and giving Gunnar plenty of time to fix his two final lap flats with little concern.


The ladies team rode flawless from all the accounts I heard by the campfire. Their lap times were just as fast as most of the elite men's and they looked puurrrty doing it. Well done, ladies. Bunny may have to elaborate.

Robbie L., our wrench, did some sweet ass bicycle magic on the boys' bikes and Tim R. did a killer job keeping the ladies running smooth. And we all relied heavily on Dan C., Jeff S., Collin, Chad L. ,Robbie's Dad Steve, and the other Schooley VIP suite loiterers that kept our morale up and got us to the starting line on time. Whether they were tired and/or drunk (or ingesting HAPPY Harrisonburg brownies) they all did a killer job. Big thanks!!

Other Team Bi-atch notables is JR with his merry band of big boys crushing literally and figuratively all the clydesdale competition. Awesome job JR and Smokin' Fatties!!

As usual the WVMBA regulars proved once again that they are some of the hardiest MTBing souls around.

WVMBA regulars highlights:
- WVMBA Dream Team Women 1st Pro/6th overall
- WVMBA Dream Team Men 1st P/ex men 1st overall
- WV Night Club: 2nd overall 1st 5 person SS something or other
- Waite Brothers and Pittsburgh Pro (times 2): 1st-3rd Duo/pro
- Old man Vernon, Matt M. Matt R. and Scott R.: 1st 45+, 10th overall and beat the 35+’s
- Chrissy B. Pittsburgh Pro 2nd Solo female
- JR and his crew: 1st Big Boy’s
- Cougars and Cubs
- And many more

Shout outs and big ole thanks:
- Biggest thanks to JR and WVMBA for putting together this motley crew of characters for the two WVMBA Dream Teams
JR getting some lovin'

- Mark Schooley of Big Bear Lake and family for allowing us in the VIP “oh so pro”suite and treating us like family and “oh so pro”
- Robbie L., Steve L., Tim R., Collin, Chad L., Dan C., Jeff S. and all the others that helped and loitered with us fire-side
- Cheryl S., Cassie S., Sue H., Steve H. and Nate A. for joining with Team Bi-atch for this fun family affair…and winning
- The boys from KC: those guys are wicked fast and kept it interesting
- The WV Night Club: for being your bad selves
- Our Cannondale Factory mate Brandon G. crushing it in the solo class
- Laird and Grannygear
- And to all that came out to play. Whether you were in “it to win it” or just finish we all suffered together and it all hurts the same

Swappin' stories

Cool pics...

"May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face" and may your wheels always find it safely back to the ground.

Friday, June 5, 2009

HELP WANTED: 24 Hours of Big Bear

The WVMBA Dream Teams (Yes, still pretentious for us) are back for the 2009 24 Hours of Big Bear with a few modifications to the roster. And yes, we will be rocking up in the sweet “oh so pro” 5 star resort area again. That’s how we roll!!!!!!!

WVMBA Dream Team Ladies: Returning: Cassie “one fast momma” Smith and Betsy “out of a 2 week retirement” Shogren. The new additions Cheryl “the masher” Sornson and some newbie named Sue Haywood (We have googled her name for results but have not found any). JR seems to think she is fast.

WVMBA Dream Team men: Returning: Chrissy “one gear is enough” McGill. The new additions: Gunnar “older then coal” Shogren, Steve Hill and Nathan Annon.

HELP WANTED for all of us: Nanny: to wake us, lube our chains, cook and keep up the morale. Being good with kids is a must. Chrissy and Gunnar bicker a lot and are very child like.

for Chrissy only: someone who smells good, doesn’t eat a lot and can easily be carried. A “she” is preferred. A qualified candidate should be willing and able to tell him what a cycling stud he is even if she doesn’t mean it or he isn’t. Chain lubing, tube patching and being bi-lingual are a plus.

Please apply. Qualified applicants will be notified by Monday June 8th. We will be out of the office all weekend road racing and mountain bike racing.
Team Bi-atch/ByBc/ WVMBA Dream Team thank you for your consideration.

Buy Cannondale

Monday, June 1, 2009

Mohican 100: The Flat Tyre Festival

Well fan, this past weekend we hit the Mohican 100 in the sweet rolling hills of central Ohio. Some of the nation's heaviest hitters with and without gears were there to strut their stuff. It was truly impressive especially with a big NORBA/USAC race occurring on the same weekend here in the east. Garth and Ryan certainly put on one sweet ass event.

Rain, rain go away!!

Oatmeal and eggs bright and early at 5am and by golly my rear tyre was completely flat. Instead of taking the chance that the Stans would not reseal I slammed a tube in that bad boy and by 6:40 we were on the rail trail with 100’s of racers headed to Loundonville. It was a sweet little warm up and a nice way to work the jitters out.

Organized mess of a campsite.

7am and off we go!!! With a $200 KOM prime less then a mile into things we went out hard. I didn’t have great legs but I was next to the peeps I needed to be with. We hit the woods around three miles in and we would stay there for the next 30. How sweet it is that? 30 miles of super fast twisty wicked fun single track and I was with a group that made up 4-7(including Gunnar) in the SS field and we were probably in the top 30 overall…ahh yeh. Not too far in I passed Gunnar fiddling with his bike -- something he always seems to do at the start of these long races. Sadly, this would be the beginning of a long luckless day for the both of us. I hammered away making up good time. I was passing when I could, but enjoying the fast pace that the geared dudes were setting. Then Ugh, a hiss from the rear wheel, flat #2 for the day and #1 while actually in the race. I fixed it pretty quick but sadly got passed by at least 70-80 peeps. Off I went trying to make up the time I lost. I was doing good but the traffic was thick. Most were nice and let me by but a few put their elbows out so admittedly I made a few not-so-Kosher passes. I felt 4 to 5 warnings was enough? After a 25-30 minute chase I caught the group I was with when I flatted, sweet! It was a hard effort but well worth it. Then Ugh, a hiss from my rear wheel AGAIN!!! Quick fix and repeat the above. I have the same guys within view again with about 2 miles left in the woods and flat #4 for the day and #3 for the race, CRAP!! The fire in my belly was gone but I keep going. By mile 70 I began to pay for those efforts chasing but I hung tough, made the best of the day and had a blast.

Betsy caught me on the roads and she and I rode together for many miles. That was super cool. And she dragged my single speed butt down that hellish 10 mile stretch of very unfriendly SS rail trail. Thanks Bunny!!!! She finally had enough of me drafting her so she clicked down on them silly gears and dropped me like a bad habit. Go Bunny!!!

By mile 80 those post flat tyre chases had taken their effect on my lil’ legs and my head was no longer in it to win it. Then crap, Gunnar caught me. We rode tempo on the last 5-6 miles of road and exchanged stories of our crappy day. Gunnar wins: 3 flats, 3 broken spokes, patched tube, ½ mile run the WRONG way for a tube, ripped the top off his Big Ait and actually was in DFL as the Course Sweepers caught him. Then he decided to turn in the screws for the last 8 miles of trails. So off we went on a Team Bi-atch drag race through some fine single track. He got away, I caught him, he got away, I caught him then we hit the rail trail and I thought/hoped it was done. Wheelie contest for the placing sweet!!! NO, two more mean hike-a-bikes, some single track and one very sketchy down hill. He gapped me by about 45-50 seconds and then went after Betsy. With only 50 meters to go Gunnar was able to pass Betsy, smile, and let her take it in for the win (now whether or not Gunnar "let" her win, gave up, or Betsy "whooped" him good is up for much debate). All of Team Bi-atch finished with in 90 seconds of each other. And yes, Bunny girled us.
We all are riding well even with the abysmal placing Gunnar and I recorded. Stupid flats!!! Seven total for us both.

Bunny: 1st women and maybe top 40 overall
Gunny: 10th SS and maybe top 40 overall
Chrissy: 11th SS and maybe top 40 overall

Betsy has a great interview in Velonews and Gunnar got the best press of his storied career.

Up next, The Tucker County Road Race Saturday and the Hoo-Ha XXC Sunday and then the 24 Hours of Big Bear…and then….the Gypsy Lyfe until CX season. Don’t be jealous -- just get out there and do it.

Nars hit a pothole 3 days before the race.  :o(

Big Ole thanks and shout outs:
- Garth and Ryan the promoters
- Mohican Adventures for letting us racers loiter on your camp grounds
- Cannondale, Uncle Rob and Matt
- Mammy and Pappy Schauer for cheering and feeding us lots of yummy food
- Shelly Brautigam for taking care of Jackie during the race
- The nice fella that gave me that third tube
- And all that came out for the fun and challenge of it all

Tired BFF Jackie

"May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face" and may your wheels always find it safely back to the ground.