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New Woolly Trail Wissahickon North Re-Route A Success - Check It Out!

A fun crew of volunteers showed up last night at the Woolly Bike Club trail work night - be a part of the community that makes the magic happen in our "City of Trails" - St. Croix Falls!
Last night was a fantastic trail work night for the Woolly Bike Club here in St. Croix Falls!  We got a lot of work done on a trail re-route in the Wissahickon North section of single track - the kind of work that only happens when a good number of volunteers shows up for a trail work night.  Remember, trails don't build and maintain themselves...  It happens due to the hard work of volunteers.  

Check out the full scoop and photo narrative on last night trail work night at www.Woollybikeclub.com - and don't forget to  join IMBA HERE and select Woolly as your IMBA Chapter!  

A young Mullin enjoys the fruits of his labor and gets first tracks on the new trail re-route!  Come ride and check it out!

Mullin Double Race Report

Well aren't you lucky today?  You get TWO race reports for the price of one.  What?  You didn't pay for the first one?  I guess it is going to take me a while to race professionally with that kind of pay.

Ride and Glide Skiers vs. Cyclists Cycling Time Trial

The Ride and Glide club is a year round group that rides bikes in the summer and skis in the winter.  I guess that was pretty self explanatory from the name.  My personal opinion is that in general they have a bunch of major studs on the bike and a more recreational focus on skiing.

That said, they hold a series of bike time trials on the rural roads of Washington County during the summer and have one skiing time trail the week before the Birkie.  The last cycling time trial of the summer they designate as a skier versus cyclist TT and encourage participation by people to do it and the skiing one and try to identify a best of both.

I've done the cycling TT twice before and have done the skiing one three times I think.  I definitely identify as a skier, not a cyclist.  The first time I tried the TT I showed up with my shiny new Trek 1.1 road bike, toe clips and running shoes, and a misguided expectation that I was pretty fit and could do pretty well.  On that night I managed 20.2 mph over the 13.3 mile course in 39:49.  Here is a portion of what I wrote in my training log.

A year later I showed up again, this time with clipless pedals, a bit more cycling under my belt, and a renewed misguided expectation that I was a better cyclist.  I went faster, but not much.  20.9 mph for 38:36.

That was two years ago.  This time I didn't decide to do the race until about noon the day of.  I've been riding quite a bit (for me anyhow).  In fact, I'm only 300 miles short of my biggest year and it isn't even the end of August yet.  My road bike has been stolen... I mean I'm letting Starr use my road bike indefinitely.  I've been riding my Warbird and loving every minute of it.  Sadly, I don't think it quite compares to the TT super bikes, disc wheels, skin suits, and aerohelmets that are all over at the time trial.

Even so, repeating my past mistakes I headed in with my 35mm MSO's on my Stans Ironcross rims, pushing the limit with them at 55 psi thinking I had a good shot at setting a new PR.  No illusions of keeping up with the real studs on the super bikes.

I got a reasonable warm-up in making a couple of stops to play with my seat height and setback to account for using my clip-on aerobars.  My start slot was about 2/3 of the way back in the field with 2 people starting every 30 seconds.  You self seed in a way by telling them what your expected speed is.  That way they can start you with someone you clearly aren't going to draft.  I started with someone fully aero'd out.  He complimented me on my "knobby tires".

Anyway, a 10 second warning followed by a countdown from 5 seconds and it is off to the races.  To my credit, full aero guy didn't shoot away into the distance and disappear, nor did the aero dudes behind me blow past me 1 minute in.  In fact, other than the initial separation, my starting partner was probably less than 30 seconds ahead of me through mile 3.  I also didn't get passed until about 8:30 minutes in.

All the way through the halfway point I was feeling pretty good and had been reeling a number of folks ahead of me in.  I was of course passed by a few of the disc wheeled aero dudes, but I didn't feel like I was standing still.

I think I lost a little mental focus over the next couple of miles.  It really gets rolly in there and I'll be honest, it was starting to hurt.  There is a nice downhill after the right hand 90 and I think I opted to drink and recover just a tad too much rather than keeping the pressure on and that lack of focus lingered.

A little comparison shows that this was the case.  Up until the half way point I was considerably ahead of past results, but that delta started shrinking in the second half.  I was able to really lay it on in the last mile or so to finish strong.

End of the day, I set a PR by a full mile per hour despite riding on my Warbird with gravel tires.  It would be interesting to see how things would go with a more aero getup, but I'm not interested enough to want to pursue that kind of spending any time soon.  Overall I was happy with a good hard effort for the evening and seeing a solid improvement independent of gear.  Final time of 36:56 and a 21.8 mph average speed.

Sasquatch Dash #5

Moving on to your bonus content, here is my first hand account of Sasquatch Dash #5.

My start time was 18:36, so once things got rolling I actually had a chance to do a short warm-up run.  I usually do not get a warm-up in before the Sasquatch Dash as we are waiting inside getting people checked-in and explaining the course.  6 minutes isn't much of a warm-up, but it got the blood pumping a little and I got to stretch just a touch.

Warm-up loop
Based on my spreadsheet magic I was starting about 20 seconds behind Steve Clark (who's predictions are these anyhow, this can't be right) and was one to several minute ahead of Tammi, Alex, and Greg.  Unlike last year where I took off down Hamilton and couldn't see a soul, this time Steve was just up the road from me.

We started fast enough.  Things felt fast but in control all along Hamilton.  I don't think I put any ground into Steve.  As we headed up Wert though the gap started shrinking until I was right behind him as we hit the trail intersection.  This seemed a little concerning.

Perfectly flat course profile.
Heading up to the first turn around Steve pulled just a little ahead again.  Checking splits against those coming back I was gaining at what seemed like a reasonable rate to catch them around the finish.  Tammi was coming fast behind though and I figured she might catch me before we left Wert.

I've always considered myself a reasonable descender.  The more technical the better.  This isn't particularly technical though.  Steve is a monster going downhill.  He opened a nice gap on the way back to the pond.

The pattern was repeated on the next two out and backs.  I pulled Steve in on the uphill and he broke away on the downhill.  Splits continued to converge on those in front of me and Tammi closing behind.

As we turned around at the last gate I figured Tammi was within about 10 seconds of me and Steve about that ahead of me.  Steve took off down the hill and I tried to let it go as best I could to keep up and not be passed myself.  I never looked back after this so I'm not sure where I pulled away, but Tammi never caught up and I apparently managed to put in some time.

As we hit Hamilton again I passed Starr and scared her half to death by patting her shoulder.  Sorry dear!  Steve was holding pace about 10 seconds up on me.  I could also see Cory up the road but it seemed like a stretch to pull him in.  It is really hard to judge at this point because you are near the end and really feeling it so you can't tell how much the other person is hurting off in the distance.

HR shows that it didn't feel any easier off the trails and hills.  Solid closing paces though.
I ran strong the length of Hamilton.  I pulled Steve back just a few seconds and managed to catch Cory just as we got onto the bike trail.  I wanted to be sure Steve took a hard left up into the overlook so I shouted at him to turn left.  He said afterwards I scared him that I had that much breath left to shout and he charged up the hill to finish about 8 seconds ahead of me.

I'm pretty pleased with my race execution.  I was able to run fast, and push hard at the end.  96% of max HR doing a pace that would almost get me a sub 20 minute 5k after climbing up and down Wert is a sign of pretty good fitness.

Mullin's What's Next

A few things on the short term agenda and then some serious meat to the fall.

Wednesday September 3rd I'm doing the Vakava roller skiing time trials.  The Vakava race team is a bunch of elite citizen racers that train year round.  I've managed to score an invite to their summer time trails the last few years and it is a real eye opener trying to go fast on roller skis.  Talk about a pain cave.  Two 5k TTs in one night.

Sasquatch Dash #6, 25k Finale.   You should all know about this one.

Gravel Conspiracy

Birkie Trail Marathon - I'm NOT doing the full marathon.  I'm apparently going to be there though so I'm going to do something.  Half marathon?  Relay?  Would need to line up a team for that option.

Gandy Dancer Half Marathon - "a" race.  My "A" race is the Birkie, but this will be my little a race of the "off season".  My half marathon PR is really soft so I should hit that easily and then we'll see if I can't hit some other nice round numbers.

6 Gu Crew Volunteers Needed: Entry Spot for Fat Tire Guaranteed

Hey Guys, 
Wayne Smestad called me up looking for 6 volunteers for what sounds like a pretty fun job. He is recruiting for the "Gu Crew" which is the group of riders that follows after the Fat Tire festival and picks up Gu packets, etc.

Riders will follow the racers on September 19th at 10AM. Gu Crew volunteers will receive a T-Shirt as well as a swag bag with some other items. The best thing is that all Gu Crew members will have a guaranteed spot for the 2016 event. This is a spot they can either use themselves, or transfer to another person. It's a cool deal...and if you have a Fat Tire entry, it might make you the most popular person in the area about this time next year :) .

If you're interested in joining up, write me (bj@cyclovaxc.com) and I'll pass on your information to Wayne. Let's get some volunteers!

Volunteers Needed! Trail Work Day Thursday, Aug 27th!

C'mon out and help with some great people as they whip the Woolly trail into its usual pristine, spectacular, world-class condition! Thursday, August 27th at 6 PM they'll be meeting at the WBC trail head parking area at the corner of Lincoln and Maple, and heading up to the work site from there. Come on out if you can!

Join the Facebook event here, and help circulate that! Thanks everyone!

2015 Sasquatch #5 Results

For the second year in a row the penultimate edition of the Sasquatch Dash series was a pursuit start event.  Basically we tried to predict everyone's finish time based on their results in previous races and then started everyone with the hope everyone would finish at the same time giving everyone a shot at the win.

So how did it work out?  Let's see.

First up are my predictions.  These are compiled by looking at the results for the year and doing correlations between races.  Thus even if you didn't run the first race we could make a guess what you would finish that course in.  If you ran multiple races there were multiple predictions to choose from.  In this case, right or wrong, I chose the best prediction.

So as you can see we ranged from 57 minutes down to 33 minutes.  Using this list we calculated the starting gaps and headed over to the overlook where Dorinda got us started.  4:06 later Starr took off.  And so on until 23:52 later Greg took off in search of everyone.

Now ideally 57:17 after Dorinda started there would be a mass sprint for the finish.  It didn't quite turn out that way.

As you can see, Steve Meyer rolled in at 54:40 and we had folks finishing at 1:02:41 so a bit of a spread from 57:17.  This will be based on performance versus prediction.

As you can see Steve substantially bettered his prediction, we had a handful pretty close, and then a number that missed it by a fair bit to a lot.

A few editorial comments.  A few of our normal top performers had some challenges coming in.  One donated blood this week and another is trying to nurse an injury.  Then Shawn was our mandatory "we must have at least one person off course at each race" quota.  I'm pretty sure we've never had everyone stay on course, I'm just glad I stayed on course this time.  It's pretty sad when the guy who sets the course gets lost (happened twice this year).  So those three things don't help the spread much.  Without those I think we would have been quite a bit tighter, though an 8 minute spread isn't so bad.

So here is how the scoring broke down.

On the ladies side we actually ended up with what you would expect from a normal race as far as finish order goes.  It was pretty close to mixing things up.

Things definitely got a little more mixed up on the guys side.  Steve Meyer came out the big winner, Steve Clark, myself, and Cory probably hit roughly our normal scoring place, but the normal big winners definitely got moved down a ways.

I haven't mentioned Dan yet.  He was the fly in this pursuit format ointment.  The problem was he hadn't run a Sasqutch Dash yet this year.  The way that is supposed to work is he is forced to guess where he wants to start and can't finish any better than the number of people who start with or behind him.  So despite being the second person to the finish line, he started with Steve Meyer and had 7 guys with or behind him, thus relegating him to 7th place.  Is it a perfect format?  No, but it was the best I could figure to make sure we weren't limited to people who had raced before.

With only the finale remaining, here is how the series race is breaking down.  On the ladies side, Tammi is dominating.  Her lead isn't insurmountable however.  Because the final race is worth double points she does have to show up to defend her title.  If she can't make it, both Starr and Dorinda are within striking distance.

A quick note about why the Total and Final columns are different.  Remember, this is a best 4 scores series.  So Dorinda has perfect attendance and thus her lowest score gets thrown out which happens to be a 5 point race.  Both Starr and Tammi are at 4 races so they will potentially throw something out at the finale.

On the men's side, it continues to be a tight battle at the top and is definitely coming down to the finale.  But here is the major intrigue, if Greg finishes first, and Alex second, they will be tied.  Based on what results get thrown out and the double points they will each be at 95.  It is going to be very interesting.

Trek World 2016- Madison

Choose Your Weapon. Madone=Aero. Emonda=Light. Domane=Smooth.
I recently returned from the 2016 Trek World trade show in Madison, Wisconsin where Trek unveiled it's new 2016 line up! I had the opportunity to see each new bike model, as well as apparel and accessories, and speak with the engineers behind each design. I attended seminars with Trek employees and retailers from around the globe to learn about new products, technologies, and features. So here's what is HOT!

Trails and Mountains:

The all-new 2016 Trek Procaliber. IsoSpeed meets MTB. Get more comfort and control without sacrificing stiffness and speed.
IsoSpeed decouplers have arrived on the mountain bike scene. With Procaliber's IsoSpeed, you get all the efficiency of a hardtail mountain bike, without the punishing speed-stealing harshness, so you can ride harder through rugged terrain and still finish strong. The IsoSpeed decoupler allows the seat tube to flex to smooth out harsh trail input without affecting lateral stiffness and pedaling efficiency.

IsoSpeed Decoupler. Game Changer.
The IsoSpeed decoupler is essentially a pivot or flex point in the seat tube to allow it to move independently of the top tube. A sealed bearing keeps the two in contact but allows slight movement in the seat tube to reduce or dampen vibrations and bumps on the ride surface.

Clean Freak Cable Management System. Clean, quiet and simple.
"Control Freak" is a smart, exceptionally flexible system of cable management that allows for any combination of drivetrains, brakes, lockouts and dropper seatposts. It's simple to use, secures your cable housing for a quieter ride, and provides clean internal cable routing for drivetrains, brakes, lockout remotes, and dropper seatposts.

Trek's proprietary Boost 110/148 has changed the ratio between wheel size and stiffness. By moving the hub flanges out to increase bracing and stiffness, you can run wider tires while maintaining the Q-factor for a stronger, less flexy wheel. 29er wheels are 26 percent stiffer than last year and are now as stiff as 26" wheels.

Get fully Boosted for stiffer, stronger wheels. Trek's "Smart Wheel Size" will pair you with the biggest wheel that is safe for you. A bigger wheel is faster and maintains momentum better, the longer wheelbase will promote stability, increase traction, and ease rollover.

 The Trek Skye Women's: Trail-ready, Smart Wheel Size, same frame features as the Marlin. A comfortable fit for casual riding, yet built to handle legit trail riding from the beginner to the recreational rider.

Fat is where it's at:

The 2016 Trek Farley fat bikes come in alloy and carbon, with lightweight, race options. The 2016 Farley is even fatter and accepts a 5" tire while still maintaining the same Q-factor of the 4" tires. Farley comes tubeless ready (TLR) and can accommodate two wheel options: a 26x5" or a 27.5x4".

2016 Farley 7

 I didn't tell your kids this, but... Trek has a Kid's Fat Bike.
All for fat and fat for all! The all-new Farley Kids 24" fat bike.

On the road:

The Isospeed decoupler is all the buzz. The Domane had it first, now the new Madone features an IsoSpeed decoupler. Sustained comfort in the saddle means longer, harder rides.The 2016 Trek Madone offers the fastest, most advanced aerodynamics in OCLV Carbon. The KVF (Kamtail Virtual Foil) tube shape cuts more drag under greater yaw, and saves you up to 225 watts of energy- a 200 watt improvement over last year's model. Madone's internally-routed cables in an aeor bar stem combo means 40 grams less drag and is the fastest on the market.

The 2016 Trek Madone. Uncompromised ride quality.
The Madone is a FAST bike! It rides great (I got to test ride it at the Trek Factory Tour in Waterloo.) The IsoSpeed really helps dampen road vibrations. It also offers great performance enhancing integration like compatibility with the Duotrap Sensor that fits in the chainstay to preserve aerodynamics while wireless transmitting speed and cadence signals to your smart phone or computer.

2016 Trek Silque Women's comes in carbon with internally routed cables. It features an Isospeed decoupler, and is a women specific design for ride-tuned frame perfection. Silque is Duotrap compatible, with performance integration. Sleek, smooth, and powerful.

This is just a sampling of what is new this year at Trek, come down to visit with one of the knowledgeable associates at Cyclova XC for details on new bikes and accessories. As we transition toward autumn, new apparel, accessories, and 2016 bike models are arriving weekly and the shop is transforming. Stop by to see the new colors, talk about features, or to check out our closeout fat bikes and other select model closeouts.

There's still a lot of riding to be had yet this summer!

Bike Nerds need to watch this video of Trek-sponsored C3 Project rider, Brandon Semenuk. Unbelievable talent- worth the four minutes!

Memorial Service For Daniel Johnson on Saturday, Aug 29th

The local cycling community lost a great man recently with the passing of Daniel O. Johnson. Anyone who has ever ridden with Dan knows that he was always quick to smile and wouldn't hesitate to help you out in any way he could. Dan was a Big Ring Flyer, a ski trail groomer, and if you've ever skied the Birkie, chances are he handed you a drink at the Gravel Pit Aid Station.

There will be a memorial service at Coon Lake Park in Frederic, WI for Dan on Saturday, Aug. 29th at 1:00 p.m.

2015 Sasquatch Dash Pursuit

Saturday 8/22/2015 9:00 a.m.

Coming up this Saturday morning we have the fifth installment of the 2015 Sasquatch Dash series.  This will be the second annual running of the pursuit start event.  In theory, this format puts everyone in contention for the win.

Pursuit Start, Say What?

Pursuit start, "what is that?" you say.  Well basically, if you have run any of the four previous Dashes this  year, including either the 5k or 10k at the City of Trails, I have plugged the times into a spreadsheet, done a bunch of cross correlation and have predicted everyone's best time on the course we ran for the first dash of 2015.  Based on this mystical spreadsheet, we will start people in reverse order of their predicted finish time and with appropriate time gaps such that if it is all perfect everyone finishes at the same time.

Confused?  Don't worry, you just check in, and then before we start I'll tell everyone when they should start the run.  The first person to the finish line wins.  Pretty simple for the participants and a heck of a lot of fun.  Instead of watching people run away from you, you get to chase people down.

Interested in knowing more, shall we work through an example?  Say Bob, Steve, and Fred have predicted finish times of 38, 40, and 41 minutes respectively.  In this case, Fred starts first when we start the clock.  Then, when one minute has elapsed Steve starts.  Then two minutes later, three minutes on the clock, Bob starts.  Whoever gets to the finish first wins.  If the predictions were perfect, they all get there at the same time.

But this is the real world so that doesn't happen.  Fred has been killing it in training for the last two months while Bob has been eating ice cream for every meal.  So even though Fred had a predicted time of 41 minutes, he actually ran it in 40:30, where as Bob ran it in 44 (2 seconds per mile per pound and Bob has packed the pounds on).  Steve was steady Eddy and ran it in 40 minutes as predicted.  So what actually happened is that 40:30 Fred finished and won, 30 seconds later Steve finished, and then Bob rolls in 6 minutes after Steve and swears off ice cream until after the Birkie.

My First Sasquatch Dash??

But, I haven't run a Sasquatch Dash yet this year, can I still participate?  Of course, but it gets a little more challenging since I can't predict your time.  In this case you get to self seed.  Here is the catch though, you're finish place will be capped at the number of people that start with or behind you.  So if you want to shoot for the overall win, you start with the last starter.  If you start and 10 people start after you, even if you get to the line first, the best you can finish is 10th.  So you will have to think carefully about where you self seed.

The Course

In order for this to work right, we have to have predicted finish times.  This requires re-running a course we have already run.  In this case we are going back to the first course of the year.  From the overlook, up to Lion's park, over to Wert, up to the pond, turn left up to the gate, back to the pond, turn left, up to the field, back to the pond, turn left up to the other gate, back to the pond, turn left back down to Lion's park, back to the overlook.


5.25 miles approximately


As usual, we will meet at the shop at 8:30.  I haven't yet confirmed we can get in.  Rumor is that Jonjak is back in the country so maybe we can enlist him and let Kristen sleep in.  This time you need to check in with me so I can determine the start order.

Shortly before 9:00 we will roll over to the overlook and we will get things started in the stated order.  Expect to be done roughly around 10:00.

If you are wondering how the start order might look, check the predicted times below.

I look forward to seeing everyone.  This should be fun.  Last year we all finished within just a few minutes of each other.