27 August 2007

Switzerland is for Cows, Dairy Products and Singlespeeders

This past weekend, we headed to Zurich for the Swiss SingleSpeed Meisterschaft (Championships) 2007.

Fri - ImportantThings01

Edit: I've been asked to say that Kera was the only participant in the womens category. Therefore, to her, she wasn't the champion.

I'll get this out of the way now. Kera won the womens category. That's all you need to know. :-) Basically, she won every race that she entered. I didn't do as well as I'd hoped, but that's the way the 29'er singlespeed wheels roll. Right? I think I came in (after 4 races) about 7th. Midpack or so. Not bad for the oldest guy there by about 10 years. I did pull off 4th in the uphill time-trail and the night race.

We arrived with Isaac in tow (the new Swiss SingleSpeed Champion). Everyone hung out at Christophs new shop. La Flamme Rouge and had a nice night reconnecting with people.

Kera, Isaac and I were lucky enough to have a place to sleep in Guy & Barbras place. Wow! What fantastic people they were to stay with. We can't thank them enough. A nice breakfast in the morning, lots of coffee, some wine, warm showers. Who can ask for more? Not me! Thanks again you guys. By the way, I'm not a fan of kids, but I liked yours. They were o.k. by me.

Sat - DHIsaac03

Saturday saw us doing a Down Hill singlespeed race in the early afternoon, then we were off to a nice lunch cooked by Cecile. From there we did a really cool orienteering race to the top of a mountain. I helped Kera as she's not the best navigator in the world. 'Sides, life's often more fun in pairs. Along the way we picked up Mickey as well.

Sat - LatePause03

After we reached the top of the mountain and the tower (last mind you), we had cake & coffee provided by Christophs parents. Max (from last years race) arrived on the scene here as well. We then headed down the mountain on some of the toughest trails that I've ever ridden. Think roots, rocks, drop-offs often at 45 degrees or more with a little bit of dirt accidentally strewn in between. I was last down that little game too.

We then went back to the shop for awhile for a few beers and then off to Lake Zurich for a BBQ dinner and the night race. Dinner was great as were the beers consumed as well. Around 11:30 we were given race numbers and herded through the gauntlet that is the Theater Spectacular (lots of drunk people that we had to thread ourselves though) and over to a private piece of land for the night race.

We walked the course where flashlights with cone-things were placed in short cones on corners. The only hill was three or four steps up to a bridge and one off the other side. As it turned out, this little obstacle was 1/2 the fields undoing. We did a Le Mans start and off we went. The last person on each lap was pulled. I actually expected it would be me. Somehow though, I kept going and going and going. Next thing I know, I'm one of the last people out there. I think I got 3rd on that thing. Odd.

Sunday we did breakfast with Guy and headed off to the mountain on the West side of town for the uphill Time-Trail. Just for the record. F-in Ugh! I think that everyone had the same opinion. Fun, but damn it hurt. I really wish that I'd have brought the camera for the look on people's faces. Also the view from up here is fantastic!

So, we had some snacky lunch things, the award presentation. Again, Kera is the Champion. She won a Titanium SingleStar and I won a cool Chris King T-Shirt for my efforts.


Kera made this great bag that went to crazy Serge.

As usual, many more pics here - Flickr

So, this Friday we're off to Scotland for Single Speed Worlds and then a few days of vacation and travel around the islands of Skye and Islay. Lot's of photos will be forthcoming. No worries on that one.

20 August 2007

2 Years and counting! 20 August 2005

Mike & Kera's wedding 05 106

Today is our two year anniversary. Hard to believe how fast it's gone by. I suppose, living the lifestyle we live that it's not surprising to have it zoom by so quickly.

In any case, I just wanted to note today as Kera's easily the best thing that's ever happened to me. Happy Anniversary honey!

I posted all our pics from the Wedding on Flickr. so that everyone that wants to can check 'em out. There's plenty there to entertain you for a few minutes.

13 August 2007

More stuff for big SiSies! Aug. 1-3 2008 - Don't forget it!

Just in case the last post wasn't enough for you. Here are a few other tidbits that are floating about on the web in regards to the '07 SiS. Also, PHATY has released the '08 date already. Now that's planning!

Videos #1 & #2 are from the SingleSpeed race.

The concert that we missed...

This is the start of the Dusk till Dawn part of the race.

More SingleSpeed racing.

Just in case anyone is interested in coming over and doing this next year... Here's the info.


1.-3. August 2008

Nacht-Mountainbikerennen für Solofahrer sowie 2er- und 4er-Teams

2. August 20:52 Uhr bis 3. August 5:59 Uhr

In Weidenthal im Pfälzerwald
Ist das was für mich?

Das erzählt hier Kathrin oder auf English Ed

Camping ab Freitag dem 1. August an der Strecke
Hotels und Pensionen siehe Kontakte
Schaltung am Rad?

Ja! Und ohne ist auch erlaubt!

Jedes Team kann die Fahrer so oft oder so wenig einsetzen wie es möchte!
Es gibt keine vorgegebenen Reihenfolgen, alles ist möglich.
Ein Viererteam ist auch dann ein Viererteam, wenn nur ein Mitglied die ganze Nacht durchfahren würde - haben wir alles schon erlebt!
Solofahrer dürfen Pausen machen so lange sie möchten, die Wertung geht trotzdem weiter, also vier Runden fahren, fünf Stunden schlafen, eine Runde fahren oder auch nicht. Es wird das gezählt was in der Nacht geleistet wurde - egal wie und zu welcher Zeit!

05 August 2007

SiS Report or how we spent a Sat. night in Pfalzerwald.

My ever glamorous bride being chased by a pack of men!

Aren't we the hot pair?

SiS is the acronym for Schlafflos im Sattel (Sleepless in the Saddle). In short, it's a dusk till dawn race that's located in a small town (Weidental) somewhere between Heidelburg & Frankfurt.

As a former race promoter (yes, I helped found this merry group), I have a pretty high standard for what I think a race should be & do. More often than not, races in Europe tend to exceed my expectations. Case in point as with the French Singlespeed Race in Piolenc, France that I wrote about a while back. This weekend's race was equally well done.

Another thing that I've come to love about singlespeeders the world over is the community that develops. It doesn't matter whether you're a fattie, a "Fit-Fucker" or someone that just loves bikes and the people, you're welcome to come and be there. It really impresses me. People get to know each other and will drive hours just to hang out with people that they may only see a 1/2 dozen times a year but still really consider friends. It's very cool. The rest of the world could learn a lesson from that.

There's this thing about singlespeeders and dressing in drag. Hmmmm.

Mind you, dealing with singlespeeders s very often akin to herding cats. Between the excessive amounts of beer & alcohol generally consumed and the sport cigarettes that many participants partake in, it's often tough to get people to be in the prescribed locale at the appointed time.

PHATY, Erik, Kylie, Stephan & everyone else did an excellent job with the weekend! We had fantastic weather (warm & sunny in the daytime and clear at night but chilly). The people were very cool, the food was great and so much more. Coming from an Ami. perspective, the course was on the edge of too short but I'm not complaining. It was great! Rolling single/doubletrack with a nice long uphill in the middle. The course ended with a rough, arm & hand killing downhill too.

Kera in front of me...preriding.

Anyway, we prerode the course with a number of other people on Sat. morning and then did the German SingleSpeed Championship race in the early afternoon. After that, we all hung out for awhile, ate some dinner and then people prepared themselves for the dusk till dawn part of the weekend.

Me at the start.

The race started well, I felt good and was in good position. I had to keep in mind that I would be riding for a long time and that I was on a singlespeed. In any case, I turned a couple of quick first laps even with crashing (not badly) on both of them. After that, I settled in and adjusted to night riding with a head light (which I hate as I can't see shadows for depth). Using the Digital Headtrip first turned out to be a good idea as I switched to the Digital 12 bar light later and actually speeded up a bit.

Me in the middle of the night.

In the middle of the night I started to get way tired and decided to stop for a bit and rest as I knew that I wasn't in contention as the SRAM guys were passing me like I was sitting still. I also knew that I was running low on a light that I liked and wasn't ready to switch to a borrowed light.
So, I slept for a bit and finally woke up and headed out again about 3 a.m. My thought was that I had enough light to make it till daylight. Luckily, I timed it perfectly. My light lasted until 1/2 way through my last lap. By that time, the sun was up enough to see all of the course clearly.

Me finishing.

For some reason on my last lap, I started to bonk but I knew eating with 2 km to go was pointless so I just rolled on. The finish line looked fantastic! It felt good to roll over say hi to Kera and thank her for all her help throughout the night. She fed & watered me like a kid and without that, I'd had have had a rough night.

Thanks hon! I'm looking forward to next year already. I think I place 24th in solo (regardless of geared or no). I'm not thrilled with it, but there were some really fast guys there and had I continued, it would have put me a lot further up in the standings. Oh well... more for fun and to fly the Boulevard/KCOI/BikeSource flag for awhile.

Kera with her feet up. Thankfully, she didn't do this the whole race. She was the only reason I managed to go as long as I did.

My buddy Marty took a photo of nearly every 29'er in Germany. You can check out our photos & the "official" SiS Flickr group.