Fat Tire Challenge

(very) Short Story by "Michael Meher"

Plagued by wrong turns and the inability to print clear enough for anyone to read my name...

Mike finished in 6th Place - Sport Open

Rich Allen finished in 7th Place - Sport Open

Bobby Irwin finsihed in 24th Place - Sport Open


Hannah Brewer finished in 7th Place of the Expert Open


East Ohio TT

Story by Steve Marlette:


– My performance/luck at last month’s East Ohio Time Trial was less than stellar, to say the least. I put my disc wheel on crooked and did not realize it until after the race. This resulted in the disk rubbing on the frame for the entire race, and to top it off I lost my speed sensor. The rubbing was not bad enough to hear or feel, but enough to slow me down. Without the speed sensor working the only clues telling me that something was wrong, was other riders passing me!

My performance at the June time trial was much improved with a properly installed wheel.  It was nice have my bike working properly and silver metal finish in my age group!

I clocked the 3rd fasted time of the day behind Brian Batke and a guy on a recumbent, who actually beat Batke!?!? 


2 x 12 DUO MTB

Four Ag3r Teams entered the Big Bear Lake "2 x 12" (two by twelve) Duo mountain bike race.  This race is a two person team, multi-lap race, than can take up to 9 hours to complete.
Here is the parking area for the race, which looks suspiciously like an airport, with our camping location marked by the red dot.
Kirk rolled in Friday afternoon to stake our claim.  Squatters Rights!
All Photos by Sonic Imaging (unless otherwise noted)
The next day, the rest of us rolled in, first setting up camp....
L to R: Steve, Mark, Matt
....then getting READY to RACE!
Photo by Mark Briercheck

Photo by Mark Briercheck
 Ag3r entered four Teams.....using the Addam's Family as the theme!
Mike Maher & Henry Dimmick
Team Ag3r FESTER
Kirk Morrison & Hannah Brewer
 Mark Briercheck & Steve Brewer
Team Ag3r LURCH
Bobby Irwin & Matt Olearchick
Team Ag3r THING
....and so, the Race began, in a Mass-Start format, over a mile from our camp location.
First through the turn closest to Camp Ag3r was Bobby...

...then came Mark....

...then came Kirk....

....but where was MIKE???

At this point, essentially all the riders had come through.

All of a sudden, there came the sound of something LARGE crashing through the brush behind us.

We wheeled around just in time to see Mike hammer past us mumbling something about getting a flat...and having to go to the truck to fix it....!

Little did we know at the time, that THIS would be a "sign" of what was to come for (all) of us!

Then, just as quickly as he had appeard, "Mr. TMR"...was gone!

Next to come up lame was Mark, with a front wheel pretzeled so bad it would hardly spin. 
Day OVER :(

Then came HannaH....
Well, then came HannaH, riding Steve's bike, while Steve carried HannaH's broken bike!

...a bike that had multiple problems, some of which none of us had ever seen before.

But HannaH's spirits could not be dampened, because SHE had borrowed a spare bike off Rich Allen just in case something like this happened. 


But "how smart" we had to wait to see; Holding our breaths all the while (not really!), until she finished her 2nd lap...

...and "the kick" was UP, and it was GOOD!!!

Meanwhile, back to Team LURCH, despite Mark's day being over, his partner Steve still headed out for a lap of his own....but dropped his chain so many time in the first mile, that he decided to abandon while he was still close enough to camp to WALK out. 

Abandoning all hope, Steve switched costumes, out of Ag3r kit, and into his pyro-maniacally evil counterpart, "The Incinerator",

Back to Team FESTER: While Mike started off the race with one flat, Henry ended it with TWO.  First a (regular) flat that had to be changed... THEN a second flat for which there were no more repair supplies.  From there, the poor bike got RIDDEN on the rim to complete the lap. 

"Never Give Up. Never Surrender." - Jason Nesmith (Galaxy Quest)!!!

On Kirk's final lap, his BAD LUCK landed him in the ONLY mud puddle on the entire course.

Good AIM Kirk!  ...now go take a shower!

But he would not BUDGE....diligently waiting until his teammate HannaH finished her final lap, so together they could celebrate their tenacious ACHIEVMENT

Despite ALL our PROBLEMS, we did quite well:

2nd Place: SPORT Category
Bob Irwin & Matt Olearchick
Team Ag3r THING
Photo by Mark Briercheck
2nd Place: MASTERS Category
Mike Maher & Henry Dimmick
Team Ag3r FESTER
Photo by Mark Briercheck
8th Place: EXPERT Coed Category 
Kirk Morrison & Hannah Brewer
 13th Place/DNF: SPORT Category
Mark Briercheck & Steve Brewer
Team Ag3r LURCH

After the awards, the PARTY started....which included a band, some food and a bunch of interesting vehicles!

Meanwhile, back at camp, Mr. Fire & Bobby held down the Fort....

...until we all gathered around to finish off the night...

...with SMORES :)

A long day, a hard race, with good Results earned us a good night's sleep under a full moon!

Good Night All :)



The 2014 Friday Night Time Trial Season kicked off with the five mile distance.... a race that is more of a long sprint to the finish than it is an Individual Time Trial.

Steve Marlette - 5th Place Overall @ 11:06
2nd Place 50+

Ray Sielski - 29th Place Overall @ 13:11
7th Place 50+

Fort Classic Road Race

Once a Classic, always a Classic?

Story by Mark Briercheck

The sun will come out....today! Finally!

Looks like summer may no longer be a fluke.

A toasty day in McDonald, PA for the annual Fort Classic. With temps hovering in the 80's and the wind light - it was a perfect day for the annual road race to go off in fine style. 

A decent sized field kicked off the Masters' race for a wild ride around some beautiful Washington County back country roads.

photo by Fred Jordan

On the final lap - a group of 15 or so broke the will of the field and the infamous almost-but-not-quite-a-hill-climb took it's toll on the weary (being me and many others).

Despite my best efforts I saw a lead group ride away as I struggled but never quite caught back on. 

C'est la vie Fort Classic.

Mark Briercheck - Masters' 40+:  13th Place.

Photo by Fred Jordan


Fat Tire Challenge

Ag3r got some visibility today through an "advertisement" for the upcoming Fat Tire Challenge.

"Click" on pic to EXPAND the image.
"Esc" to return to Ag3r.blogspot.com

YOU be the judge if this is GOOD press...

...or BAD press :)

Any guesses WHO this is?!?!?!


Dashing the Dash

Mike Maher attended the Dash-for-Cash mountain bike race with his new "grasshopper" Bobby Irwin!

Below is the txt string report by Mike!

Mike: Had to outsprint Bobby for 4th. Experience and treachery beat youth and skill.....one last time......

Henry: NICE :)))))))))))

Henry: ...and it WON'T be the LAST time!

Mike: Pretty sure it was :)

Mike: Caught him with about 1/2 mile to go. Knew I'd get this last chance to beat him. Haha.

Henry: You woulda caught him earlier if it weren't for him SEEING your GLOW coming!

Mike: Haha. He caught me with about a mile and half left.

Henry: Ahhhhhhhh.

Henry: YOU came BACK?

Henry:  ....VERY nice!

Mike: Low slope climb and then flat.

Mike: Only terrain I can still beat the little bastard...!

Yellow Bellys

Kirk Morrison, Mike Maher, HannaH Brewer and Rich Allen left the comfort of their couches and ventured into the wilds of Indiana, Pa to play in the dirt at the Yellow Creek Racing Series.

Kirk Morrison Reports:

Race Name: Yellow Creek Grassroots Racing MTB
Race Location: Yellow Creek State Park, PA
Race Category: Expert, 18 miles (around the lake)
Finish Place: 18th

Web Address to Results:

Race Review (from the organizers website): "Clear, sunny, dry, low 60's to start, low 70's to finish."

Comments: Challenging but fun race. This was my 4th time on this Expert course (around the lake) and I was happy to take 17 minutes off my previous best time (2:20:07 vs 2:37:25 from May 2013). Unfortunately, this faster time still left me in the back of the pack since everyone else seems to be getting faster too !

In the Expert race was joined by Mike (10th place) and Hannah (13th place overall, 1st place woman) while Richy took the win in the Sport class (and gave me his Pie prize .... Thanks Richy !). 

Best regards,

While Mike Maher Reports:

Website says no one got lost. I beg to differ.
0.6 of a mile more than Kirk :)
Oh and delightful extra bonus climb. 
Good course. Lots of fun. Great technical section!



Flatland Time Trial

Henry Dimmick, Steve Marlette and Nathan Black ventured west to attend the first race of the 2014 East Ohio Time Trial Series.
Photo by Sonic Imaging

A beautiful day...corrupted only slighty by a HEADWIND on the way out, made for some slower times than normal.  Unfortunatley, none of us OFFICIALLY made the podium this time :((

Henry - 6th Place
Photo by Nathan Black

Steve - 8th Place
Photo by Sonic Imaging

Nate - was almost revealed as our "BIG STAR" by taking 3rd Place in the Merckx division, had he been properly categorized!
Photo by Sonic Imaging

The 2014 ROAD Season is officially ON...!!!


M.A.R. = ????

M.A.R. does NOT mean Most "Advanced" (age) Rider...!!!
Although, (this one) did occur in a "Master's" Race :)

Mark Briercheck attended an Allegheny Cycling Association Masters (40+) Cat 2/3/4 Criterium at the Bud Harris Oval.

Following the Team directive to "Practice what we Preach", Mark ANIMATED the race by earning the Most Aggressive Rider Award (M.A.R.) for leading the race across the Start/Finish line more times than anyone else.

Understandably, he was a bit GASSED when it came time for the finish sprint.....ending up in 14th Place.

M.A.R = "R e s p e c t "


Erie Time Trial

While in recent years there is an increasing number of races in the spring, for a LONG TIME, the Iroquois Sports Boosters Presque Isle Individual Time Trial has marked the beginning of the ROAD Season!

Steve MarleTTe was our solo adventurer to this event; showing that despite all our "age"(group) jokes, OLD GUYS (still) RULE :)

Here is Steve's report:

Presque Isle May 4 2014
The winds were gusting across the peninsula, smacking the riders with blasts of cold rain as the race went on.

Even though I knew it was tough for everyone racing, the slow average speed on my computer was sometimes disheartening.  Every pedal stroke seemed to produce very little forward motion.  Still, I kept pedaling as hard as my legs can stand.

When the results were posted at the registration table on the Presque Isle Beach, the top times were some of the slowest I have seen for the 12.5 mile course.  Luckily, my time was the best of the worst. 

I have been doing this race for over 8 years now and I finally left with top prize of the day.

This was a nice victory after a long hard battle and a great way to start the 2014 season.



Pedal Pine Springs

Since Kirk could not attend again this year, Mike Maher volunteered to represent Ag3r at the Pedal Pine Springs MTB Race, a fundraiser for Pine Springs Camp in Jennerstown, Pa.

Mike finished in 5th Place of the "Advanced Men" division.

The way Mike tells the story, "Advanced" refers to the skills and speed of his race category.

Secretely, we all wonder if it actually refers to an "Age " category...

...but, "Shhhhh, don't tell Mike" :)


Three Musketeers....

...or Three Stooges?!?!!

Stop at Cummings Candy & Coffee and JUDGE for yourself :)

Christmas Kit
Smurf Kit
Wario Kit


Mayhem Short Track MTB

Kirk Morrison skimmed the CREAM off the top of his life....and headed down to the SLAG at the bottom of the pile ...by attending the Month of MAY-hem's Short Track MTB race #1.

Here is Kirk's "short story"!

Race Date: 5-3-14
Race Location: Slag pile and riverfront hillsides near Frick Park, Pittsburgh

Race Category: Men's Open

Finish Place: 10th Place

Race Conditions: Overcast with temperatures in the high 50's. Very unique course (think large slag pile)...
Photo by May Hem

...with lots of technical challenges and big features. Impressive new trails along the river which appear to have just recently been "bench cut" into the steep hillside (don't look down !).

Comments: Very fun and challenging (undocumented) grassroots race on mostly new trails using paper plate numbers...
Photo by May Hem

...and a junk pile for the podium. 
Photo by May Hem

This was a great opportunity to check out some of the technical trails in (and near) Frick Park.
Photo by May Hem


Leesburg Baker's Dozen MTB

....Story by Kirk Morrison:

Race Name: Leesburg Baker's Dozen MTB
Race Location: Private farm overlooking the Potomac River near Leesburg, VA

Race Category: 3 person Male - GEEZER

Finish Place: 13th Place

Race Conditions: Bright sun in the afternoon with high temperatures in the high 80's. Fast, tacky trail conditions from yesterday's rain. Rolling hills with plenty of semi-technical challenge in the form of rocks, roots, log piles and small ledges.

Comments: I was invited to join a 3 man team with local mountain bike veterans Brian Parker and Brad Kriley for this 13+ hour race (9am - 10pm+).

This event caps registration at 500 riders and appears to always sell out within 30 minutes of the registration opening. 

We camped along the racecourse with about 25 other Pittsburgh area mountain bikers which provided good opportunities to cheer and support each other throughout the day. The Pittsburgh contingency had lots of podium action including 3 category wins. 

After suffering some early setbacks and sitting in 22nd place at the mid-point of the race, our team finished strong with 13th place (out of 40 teams total).