Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Gnat sent along this great shot of some high-quality mid-ride contemplation by a bunch of good buddies during the recent Minneapolis Fargo ride. This is me in my element... Why do I have an office job again? See more great shots at www.gnatlikes.com.

MW and I worked out on the bike side at Wilderness Park last night and thanks to a large collaborative effort, the park is pretty much dialed at this point from a "no trees down" standpoint. We've gotten most of the trees that were blown down in the storm last Tuesday morning out of the trail and it's all rideable.

That said, the trail is wet south of the creek crossing on the bike side. After the sun and warmth Tuesday, it's probably a little better, but don't expect miracles. It had standing water Monday night. We were riding through the grass the entire time. Please don't put a rut down the middle of the trail.

So thanks for enjoying the park responsibly...

Now for a recap from Saturday's Tranquility Tire Tantrum (TTT)...

The start of the Tranquility enduro. That's Cornbread leading it up with myself and Jeff Johnston in tow. I believe this is the start of the second lap. Photo: Jer Cook.

Thanks to the promoters of the Tranquility Tire Tantrum. I ended up finishing second to Cornbread in a long, hot race. The course at Tranquility Park was in primo shape, but the 105 degree temperatures made enjoying it a challenge. Fortunately there was a stiff wind to keep us a little cooled down, but there's only so much wind can do when it's a hundred and five degrees outside and the sun is beatin' down on your back. My upper arms, white from wearing short-sleeve jerseys, got super sunburnt wearing a sleeveless jersey for the first time in several months.

Cornbread and I traded the lead a couple of times in the first lap before he took the lead for good at the end of the lap. He was just too strong and I simply settled into a comfortable pace in second place and rode alone for most of the rest of the race. My only real challenge came in the form of the heat and simply maintaining my hydration. Otherwise, it was all good. I was just one step from the top of the podium... but there was nothing I could do about a clearly stronger rider. One thing I know as fact after 20 years of racing. You can beat someone a lot of different ways, but a clearly stronger rider that isn't dumb will beat you nine times out of ten. That tenth time is the time his bike broke... Cornbread's bike didn't break Saturday. He was dialed-up tight and rigged for racin'. If you're reading this, nice work Corey...

The difference: Cornbread (top) and I (bottom). The look on the face tells the tale of the race... I think these images were taken on the fourth or fifth lap. Photo: Jer Cook

After five laps (of six), I stopped and drank two complete bottles of water. I hadn't been drinking enough... No wonder I was seeing stars!!! All of the sudden, I was able to ride fast again, so the sixth lap was actually one of the best of the race. Oh well, that's OK. If I had to do it, at least it was fun.

Floatin' the wide-open Tranquility downhill. Photo: Michael

The hydrophobic coating on the lenses of my Oakley Flak Jacket eyewear worked incredibly well to keep sweat spray that was coming off my body from compromising my vision. I couldn't even tell it was hitting the lenses, even though I had a full-body coating of salt after the race. The hydrophobic lens coating is another way Oakley's eyewear is superior to everything else out there. Check it out -- once you see it in action, you'll agree it's true.
My El Mariachi was perfect for the twisty, flowy Tranquility course. Photo: Michael.

I raced my red Salsa El Mariachi hardtail at Tranquility and wasn't sorry one bit. It was great to race that incredible bicycle again. Totally familiar and comfortable at full-speed... In fact, it gets better the harder you push it. The one challenge I had was shoehorning that massive 27 inch Salsa Pro Moto handlebar I have on there through the narrow tree cuts they have up there at Tranquility in a couple of spots. That is a conscious choice on my part though, so you pay to play, I guess. I like wide bars and I can not lie. You other brothas can't deny...

With that, I'm outta' here. Gonna' go for a walk with Laura. No ridin' for me tonight.


redstone said...

good job man. I heard Tranq was up to a 6 mile lap or so? I need to get there next time I'm in big O.

MG said...

Thanks Davey. It's true. They've got that place rockin'. If I lived anywhere near that park, I'd be ridin' there all the time! It's got some super sweet, flowy singletrack, and a couple of rippin' descents. Good stuff all around.

Speaking of the next time you're back... When is that gonna' be? Laura got to briefly see your lovely wife last weekend, but no love from the Redstone... What's up buddy?!! Actually, I need to make it out there soon too. I miss ridin' the northern front range with you.

Thanks again buddy,

Cornbread said...

Thanks Matt. You raced great as well. It was a tough day for sure. The ambient conditions were brutal, but the fun factor of the trails made up for it.

MG said...

Thanks Cornbread. I wish I could've given you a little better race, but you're riding super strong. I didn't have that kind of horsepower, but it was impressive to witness, as always. I hope I'll be able to get up to that level at some point again this season and give you a run for your money, but so far, you've shown an impressive ability to get it done. That singletrack was so fun though, it really didn't matter that I was gettin' my ass handed to me... I still couldn't wipe the crazy grin off my face. It made it slightly easier when the guy beating me was a good buddy too. ;-)

Thanks again, my friend.