Sunday, November 7, 2010

Iceman 2010

The PrecisionMTB team wrapped up the 2010 season this weekend in Traverse City at the Iceman. This year the race once again earned its name with 20 degree temperatures at the start and a mostly snow covered course. The team braved the elements, slippery conditions, frozen body parts and water bottles and posted some very respectable performances.

Scott Simspon 2:00 7th Men 35
Ray Fulkerson 2:00 6th Men 51-52
Adam Wheeler 2:02 5th Men 32-33
Roger Pelky 2:10 4th Men 58-60
Brian Brown 2:13 20th Men 32-33
Bryan Deal 2:13 21st Men 32-33
Jason Weida 2:17 24th Men 35
Brandon Bailey 2:18 26th Men 35
Lee Shaw 2:20 28th Men 36
Tom Sterling 2:20 39th Men 41
Andy Staub 2:29 85th Pro Men
John Schram 2:32 65th Men 41
Melissa Mabry 2:37 7th Women 30-34
Phil York 2:47 65th Men 37
Dave & Shelby Smith 3:35 25th Tandem

Full Results

Sunday, October 10, 2010

IRLA Iceman Training

The blog has been a little dead as of late. Lots of racing going on but, some fun training too.

Roger, Lee, Jim, Andy S., Jason, Brandon and I from the team made it out for a couple of fun filled laps at IRLA this morning. Lee managed to stay upright for most part but, Roger had an unfortunate run in with a rider who moved to the side of the trail to let our group pass and then cut directly behind me and in front of him resulting is both of them going down. Jimmy who we know from LA Fitness and BTT basically tacoed a wheel but, some how it survived lap two. Although it had a heck of a wobble. Our first lap started off and remained pretty quick. Luckily things settled down for most of the second lap. It was also fun to have 3 singlespeeds in the group. Man is Roger fast out there. Especially, when you run out of gear and watch him pedal away in the big ring in the flats.

Great weather and it felt really good to get out on the bike. I am definitely not 100% after being sick all week but, the weather was just too great to pass up the chance to get out for a ride.

A quick snapshot of the group from my phone.

My mostly creak free steed post ride.

Jimmy and Roger surveying the damage to Jimmy's front wheel. I think the count was 16 spokes with little to no tension on them.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ronde Van Stony

It was as chilly start to the first Ronde Van Stony dirt/gravel road race in and around Stony Merto Park. Approx. 130 riders left the mass, rolling start. Body temps rose and numb fingers thawed as the race left the two tracks of the park and the never ending, relentless climbs begain. The course was in interesting mix of gravel two track, pavement, hills, hills and more hills. But, mostly consisted of pothole & washboard dotted, hard packed, dirt, roads with a handful of fun filled 30+ mph decents. The terrain gave MTB's the advantage is some areas and CX bikes in others. Pace lines crucial to success which had formed after the two track near the start, melted away once the groups hit the two track near then end of the race. Resulting in an "every man for himself" sprint to the finish. Overall, it was a great way to spend the morning. Hope to be back again next year.

Race Results
Age Group Results:
Tom Payne 6th Expert 30-39 1:44
Adam Wheeler 10th Expert 30-39 1:49
John Gonway 14th Expert 30-39 1:59
Jim Senska 3rd Sport 30-39 1:51
Brian Brown 9th Sport 30-39 2:06
Paul Mann 4th Sport 40-49 1:56
Tom Sterling 9th Sport 40-49 2:05

Garmin Data at My Blog

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Couple of race results 8/8/10 & 8/14/10

Hine Park Time Trial
First ever road race. I figured this would be a good introduction to road racing since there would be an extremely low likelihood of crashing. This format of racing is simple but tough. Probably the best way to judge cycling fitness short of doing a VO2max test. You basically race the clock and attempt to reel in a couple of riders and get passed by a couple (at least in my experience).
Result 15/30 Time 34:07 (3mins 16 seconds off first place pace)

Ore to Shore
My first time in the UP of Michigan was to run this 48 mile mountain bike race. I heard that a lot of roadies liked to race this course since it was not real technical. I also heard some people call this race "Sand to Sand" due to the large amounts of sand on the course.

Race day JohnS, AndyE, Jimmy and I did a warmup ride through the streets of Negaunee. I guess we got carried away and rode too long, we lined up almost dead last. Fortunately Jimmy is big and strong, the first two miles were on the road. The three of us formed a draft line behind our horse and passed LOADS of people. About a half mile into the dirt I made my move and broke away from the gang. I continued to pass riders left, right, in between, and completely off the trail. This was a fair amount of work, especially so early in the race. But I knew eventually I would be with riders of similar ability. Unfortunately this did not happen before the course ran over some very climbable hills that EVERYONE was walking. Not what you want to see on a singlespeed.

After ~12 miles I was surrounded with riders of a more reasonable ability level. This was a huge help. At some point before mile 20 we rode through a section of trail that was underwater. Its hard for me to say how deep but I think it was close to the level of my bottom bracket. I actually laughed at this point since I would never ride through such nonsense except in a race. My feet were drenched, the lenses on my shades were trashed from the rider ahead of me spraying me, and I could not see the end of the water pit. I was happy when this part ended although the cool water felt wonderful on this hot day.

I finally ran down teammate Melissa shortly after "Misery Hill". And when I say ran down, I mean I was running my bike up a hill and passed her riding her rig. It was great to see a familiar face out there, I was going to try and ride a bit with her but this section was tough. I decided I better focus on safely getting myself through and did not see her again on the course.

My next big concern was that I was going through my water bottles much faster than I had anticipated. I made the decision that I would burn through all my fluid and make a pit-stop at the next aid station and fill up. When I came across the aid station, volunteers were out in force with cups of water and sports drink. I weaved in between a couple of them and stopped under the tent. A woman ran up to me and I asked if I could please fill up my bottles. She grabbed the bottles from my hands and said to wait there. What service! I then noticed some cut up orange slices, they looked good so I ate one. One became two and then my bottles were back in my possession. Damn - these oranges were awesome. I decided at the finish I would eat my fill of these tasty things.

So onward we went, many miles on the streets. The geared folk would pass me on the flats and downhills, I would reel em in on the hills. It became comical after a time because it was the same people I would keep trading positions with. I actually took to trying to draft them on the flats but it was a big effort. Hearing that there were more hills up ahead from spectators simply became words of encouragement to me at this point.

The rest of the race passed by in a blur, there was a great singletrack section that was a blast. I had 4 or 5 guys lined up behind me at one point. When I asked if they wanted to pass they said, "NO, you're carrying the best lines we have seen all day". A rare compliment on my technical skills but I'll take it.

Sometime later it is almost time to finish. I am working pretty hard with a couple miles to go when this big dude passes me on a singlespeed. I make an attempt to go with him but the tank is running low. Not enough explosive strength left to fend off this guy - not even enough to try and hang with him. I finally cross the finish and hear a, "Let's go Senska" and am all confused. Who the hell do I know in the UP? Everyone I know should be on the course still? Then I see them and it's BTTers Dearborn Don and JayB with big smiles on their faces. Very cool, and then it was over.

Bring on the orange slices... ;)
Result 15/43 Time 3hrs 21mins (that big dude beat me by 45 seconds)

Lessons learned: I need to be able to push more gear inches and not start so far back to improve my time at this event. The gear inches is tough; there are lots of steep hills here but there seem to be even more flats and downhills where I would be less likely to spin out and perhaps make up more time.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tree Farm Relay

On Saturday I headed to the Novi Tree Farm for the Tree Farm Relay. We had three teams that were competing in this event. The day was filled with a mix of sun, clouds and lots of rain. The course was good at the start and got kinda muddy as the race went on. My team managed a 6th place finish in the sport men class despite a crash on had 2 miles into my lap. I was going down a hill a clipped a pedal that tossed me over the bars. I like to thank Jason Sparks from MTB Patrol for fixing me up while I waited for the Novi EMT's to check me out. I also found that I cracked my helmet in the crash too. I am glad it did its job. The other teams finished 3rd in sport men and 5th in the advanced men. All in all it was a good day. I can't wait for this event to come next year.

I also want to give the guys at Stan's Notubes a big thanks for getting me my new set of wheels for my 29er so that I could race my new bike this weekend.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Group Ride 7-18 Maybury to Tree Farm Epic

Time: 7-18 @ 8:00am on MTN Bikes
Weather: surface of the sun
Distance: ~32 miles (no drop)
From: parking lot across from northville downs

Its about 8 miles from northville to the 12mile road 'entrance' to tree farm. Well ride out do the 10 mile loop, ride to Maybury and call it a day. bring the water, gonna be a scorcher!

See ya there!

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

One Helluva of a Ride - July 10

Jim Senska and I headed out to Chelsea this past Saturday morning for the Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society 'One Helluva Ride', with intentions of doing the century ride.  Spent some time the evening before getting the Kenda Kontender 700 x 26 tires on my bike... had worked on them Thursday evening, but didn't have any rim tape.

They rolled sweet for the ride.  The weather Saturday was great, and stayed nice (unlike the past two years with rain at some point in the day), though it did get a bit warm as the day went on.  So far so good at the first stop:

Not to long after the first stop, we joined a group of triathletes out getting some miles for their training.  Working with them, we were able to scorch through the first 52 miles in 2 hours and 20 minutes (of riding time).  

Paul (orange & red shirt), Ben (light green shirt), and John (red shirt) Warning: Riding with JimS and serious triathletes can put the hurt on your legs (though to Ben's credit he never drafted).

The second half went pretty well for me, eventually Jim, Paul and John dropped me a ways after the 75 mile food and drink station.  I tried to keep my 5 hour of riding time goal within reach and kept at it, but my legs were feeling it.  The span between 85 and 90 miles was a slog... on the last jog north I was able to hook up with a crew who had passed me and that bit of drafting helped immensely.  Pulled into the fairgrounds with 101.4 miles in 5 hours 9 minutes... hit 100 miles in 5 hours and 5 minutes. 

Virtually a flawless day of great riding... thanks to Jim, Paul and John for a great group effort.  No mechanicals, good company and food, great weather.  

Monday, July 12, 2010

Boyne Marathon

It was a hot day in July and a another challenge arrived. It was the Boyne Marathon. After I fixed my front tire after it blew it off the front rim during a crash on lap 1, I managed to get a 3rd place finish. Tammy kept us hydrated between laps handing us bottles and food as we needed it. Bryan finish 4th, Tom finished 8th and Andy also finished up solid with a 8th place finish. On to the next race......

Stony Creek Marathon

It was a beautiful day for racing. We had a good showing for the PrecisionMTB crew. I am starting to see the training that I am doing show up at the races. After a long afternoon I finished 4th at a very tough race. We also had great finishes by Bryan, Andy, Nick, Joe, John, Paul and Melissa.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Big M Weekend

On Saturday Bryan and I headed up to the Big M for Sunday's XC race. We got to the cabin unloaded our gear and headed over to the Big M for a pre-ride for Sunday's race. This was the first chance to ride my new 29er. Bryan was also getting his first taste of a 29er. When we got the Big M parking lot, we realized we left the keys to the rack on the back of the truck. I managed to get the lock open and got the bikes on the trail. We did a few laps and headed into town for a pizza. On our way back to the cabin we saw sign "Thule Keys Lost". We stopped and grabbed them and headed back to call it a night.

We woke up Sunday Morning to a Thunder Storm. Big M is a giant sponge so no big deal we thought. About 8:45 we headed over to the Big M. As we arrived it stopped raining. Bryan got his gear on and turned in a great 6th place performance in the Expert Men 30-39 group.

I then geared up and headed to the start line. It was starting to rain just as we were staging. Just sprinkles I thought. About 2.5mi in it started to pour. I finished lap 1 thinking it has to stop some time. Covered in mud I decided just to finish the race. It stopped raining at the end of lap 2. Lap 3 was better, but it was a struggle just to finish. I managed to make my way to 5th place and was very happy I made it to the end.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My trip to NMU and Mt. Marquette.


Recentley my family and I went up north to Marquette for my daughters orientation at Northern Michigan University. We are certainly proud of her and excited for her and I was excited to have the opportunity to ride in such a beautiful area. Doing some research I decided that riding from campus where we were staying in the dorms south through Marquette to Mt. Marquette ski hill was my best opportunity. I had to be creative when I took this window away from the family and also had to reschedule due to rain. Need less to say I found the window and weather was very cooperative around 11am Tuesday. Once at the trail head you basically have 4-5 options. Blue, red, yellow, green and strategic mixtures of all four. I heard that the blue was the most difficult and of course had to see for myself. It did not disappoint. As you can see by the pic what kind of work I had to do on the blue and that was only one place I had to get off. The climbs were not so bad but the jagged rocks were somewhat daunting. The pic is only a small taste of what else is up there. It was a fun trail but highly suggest full(front and rear)suspension. After finishing the blue and reading the map trying to make my decision another rider rolled up doing the same thing. He was a local named Brian and also rode from home closer to the lake. Since he had also just finished the blue he offered to show me the red. It was across the highway and had a steep climb up a jeep trail as a welcome statement. Once at the top of that climb there is a great view of Mt Marquette. Looks like that's the bonfire party area from clues left behind. Note to self. Brian and I continued to climb the Benson Grade and he pointed out where the trail took a fork to the right were all the Free Ride stunts. We were not really equipped for that so we continued left on some awesome single track climbing. For about a half mile I was following Brian's line when we came to an opening. That's when he said "Go ahead, have at it.". So I took the lead and shot down this ultra smooth rail of hard pack with the occasional rock and root at a turn with slight up hills that just sucked you into a few pedals and down again through another rail with a little moisture to create a two wheel slide that makes you wake up real quick. I think I had the most fun on this trail because of spots like that to keep me honest. The red had awesome flow and still challenging climbs. After rolling out of the woods, across the freeway and back to the map, Brian said he had to show me "Gorgeous" which is part of the yellow. We went a slightly different rte that he knew and were able to circumvent most of the yellow and get to that area. This was the most beautiful area I had seen all day and and the name did not disappoint. At some points you are riding on a bench cut made into the side of the ravine and looking down 30-50 feet at the rapids of the Carp River. That was incredible and only regret not stopping to take a picture if not for having so much fun during the ride. I knew Brian the local was excited just by my reactions. It felt great to be the one to be shown around a new area and I understand how he felt by being the guide. I hope to get some more time in that area in August and October. Let me know if anyone else wants to go. Also for anyone doing the Ore2Shore you should check this out after if you have time. I will be there a few days after the event.


Sunday, June 13, 2010


What an awesome time today. The trails were great and the but riding with the group was even more enjoyable. This was such a fun ride that we need to do this again. Here is my garmin activity showing the route!

Brighton Epic 6/13

On Sunday morning myself, Bryan, Adam, Jim S, Andy S, Brandon, Roger, Melissa, Jimmie headed out from Island Lake State Park for our Brighton Epic ride. We followed the Blue loop until we took the path that led to Lee road. We then made our way to Brighton Recreation Area where we rode the Murry Lake Trail, Torn Shirt and the "Lost Loop". We the headed back to Island Lake, picked up the Blue Trail. We then finished up the ride on the Yellow loop. All total we covered 40mi. This was a great ride and we plan to do it again later in the year.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Tuesday Training Ride

Our first "Team Training Road Ride" was a blast last night. We eventually split up into two groups with the faster riders pulling away. The B group pace was still faster than any pace I would run on my own. It was motivating to ride with Melissa, Andy S., and Andy E. as we traded the lead position and helped each other by drafting. It should also be noted that Andy E. was riding a fixie with only a front brake!!

Hopefully we can continue to have a good turnout for these training rides. Here is my Garmin Activity showing a map of the route!


Thursday, June 10, 2010

My New Friend

Here she is folks! After patiently waiting 3 months my new friend finally arrived. She sure is pretty but don't let that fool you. This bike is fast! After one ride I decided that I didn't have room for another so I have broken up with my Epic.
Many thanks to Jimmie for assembling my new ride! I swapped the cranks for the current XT, brakes for the real Elixer CR's with carbon blades and anodized red fittings, and shifters for X0 all from a pile of "new" parts that I took off the Kona I built last summer. She weighs 24.2 pounds and has a beautiful carbon fiber body but could lose a little weight. Jimmie also re-taped her wheels with some Stan's tape and converted her slippers to tubeless. She needs a PrecisionMTB tramp stamp!!!
Thanks to and to Jimmie Coleflesh.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

New road rig

I FINALLY got a road bike from our friends at KLM this past Saturday. Living 1 mile from Hines Drive, it seemed like the right thing to do. Sure its been fun to rolling with the roadies on the Cannondale (pictured behind the Giant) but its kind of like bringing a knife to a gun-fight. Sure you get lucky - sometimes. More often than not though its just a beating.

AndyS and I took her for a spin on Sunday. We planned on hitting Hines but realized that it would be more appropriate to swim due to flooding. We enjoyed a nice relaxing ride down Outer Drive. I am looking forward to stretching the legs on this Thursday night with the team and seeing what it can do.

Thanks to KLM and sales associate Paul Mann. He was very helpful and offered some good insight into the purchase. Now I just need to figure out what to do with all these G-E-A-R-S ;)

Dragon Gap Race

John G & I represented the team tonight at the Dragon Gap race. It was a good challenge for me mentally and physically, the single speed was humping tonight. Think Bloomer but worse. Waiting on the results to be posted. I rode from home and needed to get back before dark so I didn't stay till they were posted. This race is being held again next Wednesday at 6:45, pizza for everyone after, it was a cool event. Starts at Lake Orion High School

Here is the GPS

Monday, June 7, 2010

Today Brandon and I volunteered our time and participated in a community service project on Hines Drive at the Newburgh comfort station. Several of Brandons Ford coworkers, Parks n Rec and Wayne County employees, and other volunteers removed invasive weeds and plants from the surrounding grounds, spread 10 yards of mulch, planted a couple pallets of plants, posted Grow Zone signs, and filled approximately 25 industrial garbarge bags with brush, debris, and general trash.

As an avid cyclist of Hines Drive I appreciate all the effort and man hours volunteers put in for cleaning the area and making it an environmentally friendly place for all users.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hanson Hills Part 2

It was a rainy day at Hanson Hills. The expert and elite riders a slight drizzle at the start with a finish under the rain drops. The sport riders left and finished in the rain. The course was very fast with a lot of mud in the turns.

Bryan, Joe, Ray, Nick, and had a great day. I managed a 2nd place finish in the Sport Men 30-34. My best finish of the year. Maybe one the times we can ride Hanson Hills in some dry conditions.

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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Hanson Hills Part 1

Bryan and I just completed our pre-ride lap at Hanson Hills. The trail is in great shape. Looks like it will be a great race on Sunday.

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Bling, Bling!

After a two week wait in my basement collecting dust while we worked to sell our house, the new MTB is finally built up and ready. Welcome the latest addition to the family. It's a 2010 Specialized Stumpjumper 29er SS. And yes, the reflectors are staying. At least for its debut. Check out that profile. That's one sexy lady.

Inevitable customization has already begun. You may have already spotted that Thomson seat post in the previous picture. Check out the red KMC BMX chain wrapped around the stock 32 tooth chainring on the 180mm Stylo cranks. This was originally intended for the Motobecane's single speed conversion but, wouldn't work with the tensioner I bought. It's a nice addition to the red highlights already present on the bike.
Out back, the stock 20 tooth gear has been dumped for a 17 tooth Surly and mounted up on the stock DT Swiss 240s hub. Making the gearing just under 2:1 and hopefully just right for all that climbing on June 19th at the Lumberjack. The tubes have been pulled and after a failed attempt with the stock tape job, tapped with genuine Stans NoTubes tape, filled with sealant, inflated and are now holding air just fine.
This thing is sex on wheels. She's tipping the scales at 19.4 lbs as she sits. That's basically 4.5lbs lighter than the Motobecane sans gears. More updates are certainly in her future. Likely some Ergon grips and cutting down the extra wide bars.

Many thanks to Jimmie Colflesh for the help putting the finishing touches on it and the team sponsor KLM.

Monday, May 31, 2010

More 5/29 BTT Pics

Check out "Kona Jim's" (Jim Senska) blog for some great BTT shots.

Looks like a real blast. I need to hit another BTT ride just to see Henry Ford's house. Another piece of history, I've yet to see. Maybe this coming weekend.

This is a good one to follow on Blogger. Jim gets some great shots of the D.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Bloomer XC 5/29

PrecisionMTB had a great showing at Bloomer this past Saturday. The course was tough and the weather was hot but, fantastic. Take a look as some of the pics my wife took.

From Bloomer XC

Once you click on the picture above, click on "Bloomer XC" under "Belongs to" on the right-hand side of the screen to see the whole album.

More pictures, info and results to come.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Beat the Train 5-/29

After finishing my 10.5hr shift, which ended at 4:30am, I went home got my bike and my gear and headed down to the Historic Fort Wayne for the Saturday morning Beat the Train ride. I met up with Tom Sterling, Andy S, Andy E, Jim, Dave and his daughter Shelby at 6:30am. All total we had 49 riders. When I was finished I had a total of 30 miles for the ride. It was a beautiful day for a ride and I had a blast meeting up with these guys for the ride. I hope to fit more of the rides in as the year goes on.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sunday Morning Ride-Poto

Day: Sunday, May 30th, 2010

Time: 8 am, clipped in!

Location: Pinckney State Rec Area - Poto

What: Lumberjack Training of course! Adam and I are heading out to see how high our pain tolerance is. We are planning on three laps in a row on the 14 mile loop starting at 8:00 sharp. If you can't ride at 8, look for us between laps in the parking lot at my car. Figure on hour laps. We will be coming through for fresh bottles and sustenance.  

RSVP: please let me know if you will be coming so I can look for you.

Note: I rode there last night and its in great shape!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Memorial Day Ride For the Fallen

Day: Monday, Memorial Day, May 31, 2010

Time: 8 am, wheels down and ready to go

Location: Holdridge Trailhead, I-75 at Grange Hall Road, go west about 1/2 mile and file the signs; more info here:[]=14

What: Memorial Day Ride For The Fallen: dirt roads up to the Great Lakes National Cemetery ( where we will pay respects to the fallen. Then, we will head back to Holdridge for a ride in their honor through the trails at Holdridge.
Stuff to bring: patriotism; a good story of a veteran, known or unknown to you; I will be bringing flags to attach to the sky

RSVP: please let me know if you will be coming so that I can make sure that I have enough flags

Note: there is a handpump at the trailhead so we can refill water bottles

Monday, May 24, 2010

Maybury Tuesday 5/25 @ 3:30pm

I'll be at Maybury Tuesday afternoon about 3:15. Plan on being on the trail at 3:30 for a couple laps then head back to the car for any 4:30 arrivals, a quick bottle swap, then head back out for more abuse. I can't make it to Bloomer for a pre-ride so this will have to do.


Text or voice mail

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Quad Trail Training Ride

Had a blast today in north country. John S, John G, Melissa, Jimmy, Paul, and I hit the dirt, and a bunch of Mud. Good Fun & 48 Miles. Big Thanks to Melissa & Jimmy for making the hour haul up here!

Here is a link to some mud pictures

GPS Post

Where's Wheeler Part 2

Despite Wheeler's absence, we still managed a good ride on a beautiful day weather-wise. The sun was out and mud was flying on the trail. LOTS of new bling on out there today:
*Jason rockin his new Specialized
*AndyS rockin his new Niner
*AndyE sporting a rolloff hub
Singlespeeding on the road can be boring but today was not one of them, I was hanging on for dear life trying my best to not let the peloton drop me. Thanks to all those who let me draft! I had 37.1 miles on the day with a solid effort.

Wheeler, should you need any muscle to help move BIG things let me know. I can help you out so we can once again enjoy your company on the trail. You know how to get a hold of me. This cross-training of moving will not yield dividends come Lumberjack but you will be used to suffering ;)