Sunday, August 10, 2008

Mobbed at the 'Quab...

Triumphant return... The Dos is back, and it's as effective a race weapon as I remember. I loaded it up in the back seat of the Si and rolled over to Indianola, IA., for Bruce Brown's "Mob the Quab" race at Lake Ahquabi State Park. Man, It's amazing what an inch of travel can do in the rear. It worked well for the fast, fun course Bruce laid out for us, and he and his family treated us super well all day long. Thank you!!

The event was modeled after the Chequamegon 40 mile off-road race, and was fast and wider open than the typical singletrack mountain bike race. It was super fun, and ended up being about 2.5 hours long. Sweet!

It was very cool to see all the Salsa Cycles supporters out at the race today! Congratulations to Cam Kirkpatrick and Jay Chesterman, first and second in Expert open today. Also congratulations to Greg Shimonek, winner of the Expert masters race. You guys are studs.

Cheers,
MG

13 comments:

kent said...

good meeting you and nice race man...see you at the 24 in a couple weeks.

kent

MG said...

Thanks Kent -- You were ridin' like a STUD in the SS class! It was great to meet you too. The way you ripped it up the steepest, longest hills on the course was really cool. You were killin' it out there, brother!! Great show!

Can't wait to rip it with ya' at Seven Oaks over Labor Day weekend. We're gonna' have a great time out there.

Thanks again Kent!

Cheers,
MG

Bruce Brown said...

Matt,

Thanks a ton for driving out all the way from Lincoln for the race. I really wanted the experts to do a full 40 as I thought the weather was ideal, but I guess the 33.xx had to suffice this year. I'm glad your Dos treated you well. Congrats on your podium finish and getting acclimated back to Iowa for the upcoming 24.

There are always a few things in retrospect I would change or have done differently. For instance, it was my intent to toss out a prize to those who drove the longest distance to come to the race. Somehow, I forgot to award those. My bad. So I owe you and the two others who drove many miles to participate. By the way, it was supposed to be a 6 pack of Fat Tire that my wife was going to pick up the morning of the race when she bought all the ice for the water and food. Somehow, she forgot and I didn' t have a chance to drive back into town to pick it up. Can I bring it to Boone for you?

BB

Guitar Ted said...

MG: Nice ride man! Sounds like a redline all the way through and you have the moto for that work. Way to go!

Hope to see you in a couple weeks!

GNAT said...

MG, congrats. Great re entry into XC racing. Good company up there on that podium.

Bruce, good on you for putting on a great event. The sport needs more folks like you putting on great events.

Rasmussen Bike Shop said...

MG, thanks for coming over, it was good to see ya again! Maybe I'll see you at Tranquility, if not then Seven Oaks. If you liked Seven Oaks before, you'll really like it now. Lot's of new technical stuff, right up your alley!

Cam

MG said...

Hey, thanks for the kind words guys. I really appreciate all of your thoughts.

Bruce, I'll only accept that beer if you'll agree to sit down and enjoy at least one with me! But heck, I'm never one to turn down great beer! Thanks again for putting on such a fun, grassroots-oriented event. I especially enjoyed the fact that it was a course that was as much fun for experts to rip as it was for beginners, and I think that's a particularly good thing to have in some of our races.

That's perhaps a good topic for discussion on how we can grow the sport of mountain bike racing, and bicycle racing in general: we've got to have courses that cater to people just getting into the sport, and we need to do a better job of marketing them as such. It's fine to have tough courses -- people like me want challenges, but beginning riders want attainable goals, and seven oaks isn't always fun for a beginning rider. We have to face that fact. It's a death march. But Lake Ahquabi is a fun ride for just about anyone. My wife would have a blast at Lake Ahquabi. My 10 year old niece would love it too. They'd both be really challenged by several sections of the trail, but they'd come back with ear-to-ear grins, I flat-out guarantee.

Cam, great racing out there, my friend. You guys just rode away from me on the first climb. I could tell right there that xc racing and enduro racing have a slightly different rhythm, and it's "go right from the gun," basically. I'm not quite up to speed on that right now, but I was able to ride back into it a little bit, thankfully. No way I was getting anywhere near you though... You were the class of the field.

Jason, my brother... Thanks for the congratulations, and for the parts assistance in getting the Dos back in action. That SC32 is a sweet fork on that frame -- the combination is a sweet handling package, and a heck of a looker too! Thanks again for all your support. I sincerely appreciate it.

Guitar Ted, I'm lookin forward to Boone. I hear the course is super technical fun, so it's gonna' be a great time. See you soon!

Cheers,
MG

cvo said...

dude, congrats on the 3rd place man..

i'll be seeing ya in a few days man..

cvo said...

hehehe,

man

MG said...

man, dude... I can't wait!

c-v-whoa!!!

Bruce Brown said...

Matt - did you see that 3 hour race option at Tranquility this week? There you go...

You can bring your 10 year old niece to Lake Ahquabi next year (I guess she'd be 11 by then), but if she beats me - I'll have words with her. '-)

You are right on the marketing aspect of a course that can cater to beginners and experts alike. If I do the event next year, I have got to get the word out better and target the Des Moines and Indianola areas with event posters - maybe even a "come learn to mountain bike on the Lake Ahquabi trail" Saturday or two leading up to the event to get the first-timers' confidence built up. Or something like that. I'd love to see a beginner field of 20+ and am open to suggestions on how to do that. Maybe even a really low or even free entry level (or a sponsor that would take care of the beginner class) to get some involved. Or a donated new bike as top prize for the beginner class. There are lots of possibilities....

Steve Fuller said...

MG

Thanks for making the trip out and supporting the sport in this part of the state. Again, proof that you are a stand up guy. I'll see you at Boone either passing up bottles or racing.

MG said...

Thanks Steve!! It was great to see you too, my friend. I'm looking forward to 24 Hours of fun at Seven Oaks! See you there!

LOL... Bruce, I don't think you'll have anything to worry about as far as the finish, but I'd love to bring my niece out next year! That'd be sweet!

We should definitely brainstorm ideas on how we can get more beginners to events like yours... and races like Tranquility. That's another course that's perfect for beginners, and with it being right in the heart of Omaha, it's accessibility is hard to beat too.

Unfortunately, as far as my attendance at Tranquility goes, we've got a 155 mile (non-competitive) gravel grinder scheduled for Saturday -- the Ponca 155. It's an annual ride we do from Lincoln, and unfortunately due to some scheduling conflicts, we ended up on Aug. 16, and it got set before we realized there was a conflict with Tranquility. As you might imagine, there is some pretty solid legwork that needs to happen to make a ride like that go, so as a result, there's no pulling the plug now on the 155 now. It's a date, so as much as I really want to support Dale at Tranquility, I'm locked into the Ponca ride now.

I hope he knows I'm not staying away for any reason other than that. It was just impossible to reschedule at this late date... And I apologize for my part in us scheduling the ride for 8/16. We were scrolling through a bunch of dates, and on at least the first three dates we tried, I know we checked the race calendar to see if there were any conflicts. And I would have sworn we did with this date too... but ultimately it seems we just assumed we'd checked the schedule and set the date when most people we knew were going to be on the ride were able to make the date. By the time I realized the conflict with Tranquility (and the Rapture in Misery in Missouri), the date had already been set, and plans were already being made for transportation.

Anyway, that's probably way more info than you wanted/needed, but I guess it's important to me that people know I care, and have consciously thought about this, even though the schedule is clearly not optimal. It just is what it is and we'll have fun no matter what. It's still riding bikes after all.

Cheers,
MG