Ag3r RUNNER Roger Lutz took on the Buffalo Creek Half Marathon!

Story by Roger:
It promised to be cold, and threatened to be wet.  Promise fulfilled, and threats abandoned.  I had trained with miles, and was ready to go.  But I was in no way training for speed, or hoping for good times, or "Good Times".
One of the advantages of having raced this event a few times in the past is I was very familiar with the accommodations.  So I was able to pick up my race pack in advance at "Runner's High" (who am I kidding...  Amy did it for me).  Thus obstacle one was avoided,.. the huge lines at Lernerville.  I parked and hopped straight on the bus.  The Township Building was locked at the start so all of the runners were in the parking lot.  The bag system works great at this race, so while some runners froze, I was dressed like an eskimo until moments before the start.  A quick strip, bag and stuff the bag into a car and I was at the line.
I don't mind saying, I ducked the rope and slid toward the front of the masses.  While you're timed at a start pad and a finish pad, it still can be problematic being stuck behind groups of friends all out for a once-in-a-lifetime bucket-list kind of thing.
It was then.. and ONLY then..... I swear to you, no B.S.....  It was just then that I decided I wanted to really REALLY lay it all out there.
The gun, the start.
Some people say you should pace yourself and start slow, but I like the thrill of kicking through the crowd for a bit and the rolling roads to the trail provide for some fast running.  I also find it best to get a decent hole-shot into the trail so you're not held up.  You've got a mile or so in by the time you hit the trail.  Maybe you pass a few more people, maybe you get passed, but sooner or later, you find similar feet.
At first, I found Green Guy.  Green Guy has a beautiful elegant stride.  He looks like a great runner (in stark contrast to mine) and pacing him gave me something consistent to keep me driving.   Black and Orange guy passed me at some point and I decided to try to hold his feet and leave Green Guy.  I did for a very long time but around mile 11, with Black and Orange a few hundred feet ahead, Green Guy slid past.  I held on his heels tight into the Freeport area and as we climbed the hill, I noticed him slowing slightly. 

At the switchback of the climb the grade really kicks up hard.  We cyclists recall this, I'm sure, from the rails to trails rides to the river. I poured on 30 or 40 hard strong pumps and cleared him in the first few, leaving the rest to try to get a gap that I could hold.
Knowing that this year's finish was closer to the bridge than last....once ON the bridge, I dumped the hammer.  I was at 110%. 

A left descent... zipped UP the Jersey ...then a quick right-hand to the line. 

For HD and Jeff Bell, I went WFO!
I never know my time when I finish the race.  I'm pushing too hard to notice the clock.  Later, I received the results:

Personal Record!  
1:33:57.95 net time, with a 7:10 average pace.
58th Place out of 1,250 registered runners...
...with only 1,012 finishing, and
12th Place in my Age Group!
I was really proud to fly the Ag3r colors.  Thanks for the opportunity.  :) 
Editors NOTE: 
Rumor has it that Roger may enter an upcoming CycloCross race....and RUN the whole thing with a "Super-Lightweighted" bike over his shoulder....!!!

Pancake KING? (#life)


Death to Tire

Well....THAT was only a matter of time!
Nate (finally) blew this tire only ~2 miles from home, AFTER getting back on the pavement from some off road activity that was (almost) beyond a CX bike/tire had any business riding.
He was LUCKY to be able to limp it home....!


Month of Mud gets CROSSED up!

The Month of Mud, now in it's 26th year, traditionally a Mtn Bike Series, has in recent years added ONE CycloCross race to it's calendar: the North Park CycloCross Race.

Generally speaking, THIS picture of Nathan Black, in his first time wearing FoxVelo SMURF racing kit, says alot about our day!

Oh well....

Beginners Class
DNF (rolled tire) - Nathan Black

Single Speed
13th Place - Mark Briercheck
17th Place - Kirk Morrison

Sport Class
DNF (hard crash, bent wheel) - Mark Briercheck

Masters 45+
11th Place - Rich Allen
18th Place - Ray Sielski

...and THAT is all we have to say about THAT :))


Second Job?

Ag3r racers Hannah and Steve Brewer have started a special delivery business on the side...!!!

ABRA-Cadabra #1 & #2

Mark Briercheck makes the Race Flyer......

....while RaySielski submits the following race report ....

....from the Appalacian Bicycle Racing Association's first two CycloCross races of the season:

Kickoff Cross

ABRA series is two weeks in and we have some clear favorites and good results.

Mike Maher and Mark Briercheck doubled up in Kickoff cross with performances in SS and Masters. Steve Marlette turned in good results racing Masters.

An East coast inspired track JR shows us how a national championship course is designed. Hard pack infield with twisty turns including a spiral of death. A heat packed course meant for some fast laps.

New mini loop section with undulating terrain drops you into a sharp run up. Our eyes were seared with a brush with the past as a piece of “2008 Ag3r Christmas Kit” was sighted on the course, fortunately it was well behind the Ag3r WARIO racers, as we left the past behind in the rear view mirrors.

Mike Maher
11th Place Single Speed
17th Place Masters

Mark Briercheck
7th Place Single Speed
7th Place Masters

Steve Marlette
5th Place Masters

Ray Sielski
6th Place Masters

Week #2
Collier Township Park

...spells the end of Military Cross, this new track was fast and smooth. Steve Marlette and Ray Sielski showed up for this inaugural run.

The infield was no cow pasture that JR is used to, professionally graded we cruised over the infield. Big turns meant for fast laps, which meant more laps. Steve puts the hammer down and flies through the paved section leading into the mini double track loop. First out means first into the 90 degree turn into the barriers at the base of the run up. No riding this.

Back section has a gassing up section, why? Because you blew a nut in the 40 yard sand section just before your remount and uphill. Survive this and you get to fly down a serious descending double track into the paved road.

Steve Marlette
5th Place Masters

Ray Sielski
6th Place Masters
Note #1:
All Photos by Fred Jordan.
Note #2:
A future post will give visibility to a collection of photos taken by FoxVelo racer Nathan Black!


Brady's Run MTB

Kirk Morrison, Hannah Brewer and Rich Allen all attended the Month of Mud Race#2 - Brady’s Run XC short track in Beaver, Pa.

Kirk reports:
The weather was cool, breezy and overcast skies with temps around 50F.

The course was fast & tacky from yesterday’s rain. Surprisingly almost no mud. 

The new 4 mile loop started at the top of the climb and was very fun and flowy with plenty of log crossings and banked turns

Womens Expert
Hannah was leading the race but ended up with a loose rear wheel (broken skewer ?) which put her back in 4th place. In spite of have a “loose rear wheel”, Hannah was able to battle back to finish in 2nd place. A great effort for her last race as a “twenty-something” !

Masters 45+
Richy put in a strong effort against a very fast field to finish in 8th place.

Single Speed
Kirk finished in 7th place.

Attached are some photo’s from Mike Briggs that I was able to pull from his FB posts.
Web Address to Results: http://monthofmud.com/?page_id=2488


Seattle Cross Revolution

Kirk Morrison ventured WAY AFAR ...to Everett, Washington, for the Silver Lake CycloCross Race.

The west coast weather was hot and dry with temps in the low 90's (Unusual for this time of year.) Another racer guaranteed cold, wet and mud for the rest of the races in this series. As predicted, the temps dropped and the Seattle rain started on the Tuesday after this race and was still going when I left on Friday .....

The course was a hard and dusty with a nice mix of single track, twisty turns, lots of climbs and 2 long sand sections along the beach (unfortunately, the sand ate my freehub ...). 

It was a FUN vibe, with home brewed RFID timing chips...

... big fields, an entertaining announcer and lots of team tents along the finishing straight.

Next time I'm hoping to schedule a trip in Oct/Nov so that I can catch one of the famed Portland Cross Crusade races.

Cat3, Masters Mens 55+
Finish Place: 11th Place


Also, check out my blog update for more PICTURES...and words!

You know you wanna...you know you should :))

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Brooklyn Cross

Ray Sielski travelled solo to Brooklyn Ohio for a "Buckeye Style" Cyclocross race!

Here is his report:
Sunny morning sky in Pittsburgh turned dark and threatening in Ohio, thank you lake effect.

Drove through two rain showers to be greeted at Brooklyn with clearing skies.

The day progressed well as race time approached the course started to dry up and conditions changed from swampy to just tacky. The sun also warmed up the racers and we were starting at 70 degrees and sunny.

The park is multi-tiered, the upper portion firm and fast with twisty turns, the lower portion was wet punctuated by a creek crossing that was a real ankle twister.

Two run ups that were ride able at the end of the day as they dried out.

The off camber up slope left 180 degree turn was not rideable by me. Anyone that tried to ride this technical turn (and pass me) was successfully thwarted by typical x-ray protocol


A good day on the bike and a great atmosphere as NEOCX does it well.

No photos for proof, just my 5th Place result that has been audited and reposted twice!!!

Men's 50+


Blue Sky or Not CX

Kirk Morrison, Ray Sielski, and Mark Briercheck headed into Ohio for the NEOCX (North East Ohio CycloCross) Series Race #1....... The Blue Sky or Not CX.

Here are exerpts from their day:

Mark Writes:
Yes, Blue Sky was a wacky race.
I burped my rear tubless in the singlespeed race. DNF.

I blew my rear tire in the Mastter's 35+ race....but this time had a pit bike, so I could at least finish the race.

At least we have a picture to capture the moment!

Kirk Wrote:
The race day started with an overcast, "not" Blue Sky and ended with a spectacular Blue Sky with temps around 60F.

In the SS Race: Mark burped a tire on his fancy new Spot SS for an unfortunate DNF

In the Masters 35+ Race: Mark again had the misfortune of rolling a tire and popping the tube outside of wheel on one of the early laps.  Fortunately, after a long run, he was able to hop on his re-inflated Spot SS "pit bike" and recovered to finish in 21st place.

In the Masters 55+ Race: Both Ray and I enjoyed the chance to compete in the "race within the race" as Ray finished in 13th place while I ended up in 4th.

The course was fast, dry but twisty through the park with 2 drops into the woods, 2 sets of barriers and a substantial fallen tree to traverse.  We also had the opportunity to "run the sand" on the Lake Erie beach on every lap. 

This was my first 55+ race and I enjoyed the chance to compete with other "mature" riders.  Midway through the first lap, I was able to catch onto the back of a group of 6 riders.  Throughout the remainder of the race I was able to gradually work my way through this group until I passed the final rider within a few minutes of the finish.  Fast pace and very fun !


Weebles Wobble

...and hopefully don't FALL DOWN (too hard)!!!

That wheel is gonna need some work :)


6 Hours in the Valley

Hannah Brewer, Bobby Irwin, Henry DimmickBen Adduru & Sierra Maher headed into the woods near Kittanning, Pa. for the 6 Hours in the Valley mountain bike race.
This DUO format race pits two person teams against one and other for "6" hours...unless you cross the finish line at 5:59:59, in which case, you earn the right to go out for ANOTHER LAP!!!
Racing Coed-DUO were Hannah & Bobby
Racing Sport-Duo were Henry, and Ben (in his FIRST mountain bike race EVER :)
I am not sure what it is about this race, but you may recall that LAST YEAR, Mark Briercheck showed up on a BRAND NEW (ridden only in his driveway) Mountain Bike, and raced as partner with Henry.  These kids are CRAZY!
 (use the BACK button to get BACK to HERE!!!)
So, BACK to the present!
.....before the race, everybody was FRESH and excited... 

...and still clean enough to HUG :)

...but being "all cleaned up" does not always mean "well dressed"!!!

While we were lucky for a sunny and dry day, it was SO HOT that Henry cut the sleeves off his skinsuit...

...which was FAR LESS a committment than this poor dog(?) made!

Anticipation grew as the START approached...

...but once underway, EVERYONE settled in for a LONG day of racing.

Back and forth each pair of teammates handed off....

...refueling between laps under the dutiful direction of Sierra Maher.

...only to head back out for another lap.
So it went. Back and Forth. Back and Forth. Back and Forth...
I'll tell you, it was enough to make a gown man CRY....

...but NOT enough to make a WOMAN cry :)

Coming out of the woods to finish each lap was a relief...

...happy to survive another close encounter with Mother Earth!

But, as the day wore on, our rest periods became a little bit more, shall we say, "HORIZONTAL"...

...even for our BIKES!

Then, as the FINAL LAPS were completed....

...the SMILES returned to our faces!

After getting cleaned up, we headed over to the Awards Ceremony....

...to watch Hannah snag a BIG PIE...

....as reward for she and Bobby taking 1st Place in the Coed-Duo Division...

...and 2nd Place OVERALL, only ~3 minutes back. 

They did AWESOME!

Ben and Henry also got a pie, for finishing in 10th Place of the Men's Sport-Duo Division, but their pie was quite a bit smaller...

...(so I made the picture quite a bit bigger to compensate!)

Pies now in hand (and tummy), we headed for home....

To a dinner of steamed rice and sugar, courtesy of Sierra & Bobby!

So, NOW that you have seen the STILLS, you should watch the VIDEO :)
Video by Limp Reaper (Brad Dempster & Mary!)
Henry & Bobby @ 0:38
Hannah @ 1:54
Bobby @ 5:08
Henry Crashing! @ 6:38
Hannah @ 7:38
Ben @9:25
Bobby @9:55