Another year in Marquette, Michigan comes and goes. Along with all of that comes another 4th place at the Ore to Shore Mountain Bike race. Last year? 4th. Chequamegon the last two years? 4th. Yep, a pattern that I would sooner like to get out of and take a few steps up.
I look forward to going to the Ore to Shore mainly because Marquette is such a beautiful town and the temps couldn't be any nicer. Winds on Lake Superior were coming in out of the Northeast giving us some good wave action and a nice breeze.
The lake is blue. Very blue. This picture makes it look like the Mississippi River.
Well, all in all we got smoked out there by Bell's rider, Simonsen. He put 4-minutes on a strong group of guys in the chase group. Brian Matter, Tristan Schouten, AJ Ettmayer, Doug Swanson, and myself gave chase. Maybe we let him get too much of a gap early on. Doug was working hard on the front. I decided that since I can't ride for crap in sand (and oh God was there some sand, and dust, and deeper sand, and thicker dust) that I would sit in and do more work on the open roads. Tristan put it best in his blog when he said he would feel great and work hard only to find himself doing everything to stay on. Unfortunately, I found myself working more to hang on than to work. I worked but it was a toss up on whether we were chasing or going for second. I would have loved to chase him down harder but it was going to take all of us at 100 percent working together. None of us was 100 percent and so we deservingly didn't catch the eventual winner. With the Eppens gone flat there was no express train to help in the catch. Funny thing, our chase group was all on red Trek 9.9's or 110's. Three teams all on red Treks. Good photo of the Stormtroopers working hard for the Empire. In the end I took 4th and blew a tire after the finish (thanks old green tinted coke bottle glass. You've have waited years in the sands of this trail for my passing.) By the looks of all the Stan's on my rim and bike I must have punctured a few miles from the finish. In all that sand I just couldn't feel the difference. At least the tire stayed fairly up instead of down. Thanks Stan.
Marquette, Michigan is high in iron.
My attempt at some Ansel Adams work. In color of course.
Great rides by the Nature Valley crew. Erik Thompson on winning the 28-mile Soft Rock, and Anne Grabowski for the 2nd overall in the 28-Mile Soft Rock. Stephanie Thompson for taking her age group in the 28-mile Soft Rock, and to the rest of the Nature Valley riders who represented very well. Oh ya, and the Bells Kalamazoo Stout for the Sunday morning headache.
Other great riders out of Sorensen, Matter, Schouten, Ettmayer, Mr. Cole House, Offendahls (sp?), Kyia, and to the return of Doug to racing. Welcome back.
Next up is Downers Grove. 190 fun loving racers looking to rub each others faces into the pavement. Bring your Brave Soldier and tubular gauze. I need to go flush my eyes out again, blow my nose for the thousandth time, and cough up another iron cookie. Ciao -Ian