2015wilderness101

This is my second NUE win for the season and both were very similar in regards to my strengths, I’m not as fast as I used to be, but I have learned to endure and ride at a slower pace. I really like to get the hole shot in my category at the start, that is the only way I can attempt to try to keep up with who is in front, when they pass. This race was very similar to the Mohican 100 for me. I jump ahead for about 20-30 miles, then fall back and settle in (cruise control) in about 5th place, it is not planned; it just worked out that way in both races. I watch the others SSer’s surge ahead and I really want to, but I can’t, so I just settle in and hope for the best for the remainder of 60-70 miles.

Wilderness101action shot

Some where about 30 miles in we had a hard decent, Watts was pushing the speed fast. There was a big group and several SSer’s together packed tight we crossed a dip with a sharp rock I had just enough time for me to clear it. No time for me to announce the hole, Watts he hit hard bent his rim, his race was over. This was about the time when Matt Ferrari, pulled ahead, from there I mainly road with a SS’er wearing an US Army racing kit. Strong guy running 32×17 full ridged, he had a set of tree trunks, maybe not Quadworthey , but pretty stout to be pushing that gear.

We grouped up on the road with another SS’er Don Powers and a couple of geared riders had a good thing going. Then a pack of  about 5 riders with Vicki Barclay rolled by and brakes our pack apart, Army guy was able to hold on to new pack, Don put in a lot of effort to regroup, I knew better. Too much effort at fifty makes for a hard hundred. At this point I was alone, settled into my slow and steady pace.

This time alone helped me recover, and then we started into some good steady climbs and solid nasty descents.  This is where I got my second wind and everyone stated getting pulled in. Road with Army guy again for a while on the gravel, he was on the inside in one of the fast gravel hairpins down hills and I announced motorcycle, Army guy took the MC on the left side head on, I couldn’t even look. It was real close he said it was a good thing he had cat like reflexes, glade it wasn’t this old bulldog on that side. Last one to catch was Ferrari on the some of the descents, we went back and forth a few times, he could see I was having a good day in the ruff, and he let me by on one the descents, and from there I was off on my own just watching over my shoulder.

2015_1st_WILDERNESS101

My Farnsworth bike was awesome, 36×21 gearing, handles great, smooth, the steel to me just takes the edge off, not all the chatter like aluminum and titanium,  without the added weight of rear shock and the bobbing. Glade to run fresh rubber Maxxis IKON 2.2 30psi in the rear and Arden 2.4 25psi upfront and for this rocky terrain you have to have the side wall protection, the expensive ones with all the lingo on the side walls. If you can’t finish you can’t win, GO FAR.

Ikon2.2 Ardent2.4

Southern Endurance Series Race #2

Posted: June 14, 2015 by Mark in Uncategorized

A highlight of the North Carolina 2015 race season is the Southern Endurance Series.  The series includes five races with each event featuring six and three hour events.  In each event the promoter has categories for individual riders, two person teams, and single speed bikes.

The second race of the series was a huge success for our riders.  Three solid wins in one race.  The top two overall individual riders were on Farnsworth Bicycles.

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Tom Boylan won the single speed and was the fastest overall individual rider.  Bob Moss won the open category and was the second fastest of the individual riders. Our single seed duo team of John Haddock and Mike Jarzomski won their category.  I finished second in the single speed and was third overall behind Tom and Bob.  Michael VandenHeuvel finished third in single speed duo category despite crashing and riding with a broken rib.

I managed to retain my series leadership in solo single speed.  Tom moved into second for the series ranking.  The next race in the series is July 18th on the Angler’s Ridge trail system in Danville, VA.

Berger Hardware Criterium

Posted: June 7, 2015 by Mark in Uncategorized

My primary race focus is endurance oriented single speed events but I also like to mix things up. I enjoy building, riding, and racing many style of bikes. For the past few weeks, I have been spending a bit of time on my geared road bike.

In Raleigh, we have a nice criterium style road race on Sundays sponsored by Berger Hardware. I managed to get a 3rd place finish in the masters category behind some pretty fast dudes.

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Many of the guys were on full carbon replica bikes that reflect the machines used at the Tour de France.  I was racing my own unique steel bike.  My bike is a little bit heavier than some of the other bikes but the frame really only weighs about 2.5 pounds more. When you look at the weight of the racer plus the bike, 2.5 pounds works out to be around 2% of the total weight. Basically, the difference between steel and carbon in terms of race performance is meaningless.

Where I think my bike had an advantage was in ride quality, fit, and handling.  The Berger race course has a few spots with nasty pavement.  I noticed some of the other guys having trouble with their wheels skittering around.  My tires run 28mm and my frame has a long wheelbase vs. “typical” bikes.  The long wheelbase combined with my relaxed body position gave me far more than a 2% advantage over bikes that I have owned in the past.  The steel bike felt stable around the turns especially in places where the pavement was cracked.

The race followed the same basic script that plays out in criteriums all over the world.  We road around for a while as a big group for 40 minutes.  On the final lap the pace picked up a bit and we came around for a sprint finish.  It was fun; criteriums don’t have the total soul crushing race experience that I seek when I race six hour mountain bike events. Then again, it’s nice to occasionally have energy after the race to enjoy the afternoon and not simply curl up in a ball. I’ll save that for next weekend when I do the 6 hour race in the Southern Endurance Series at Crabtree. See you there!

Mohican 100mile NUE Race

Posted: June 1, 2015 by bobmoss1971 in Uncategorized

Mohican

Guest post from Bob Moss

I had a great race Saturday in Loudonville, OH at the Mohican 100 NUE. Fast start with a premium of $200.00 to the top of the first climb out of town, after the climb we regrouped, but started to spread out with 4-5 miles of pavement. Dropped into single track in 4th I believe, 1st Will Crissman, 2nd Peat Henry, 3rd Jim Litzinger, and me following in the single speeds, maybe in the top 30 off road. Peat, Jim, and myself probably road about 7 hours of the race together, the top 4 SS’ers were close throughout the entire race.

2015 MOHICAN START

About 10 miles in Mike Montalbano a SS’er out of NY, caught me and I was struggling to maintain his pace, he know who we were chasing so I wanted to stay with him. He let me know about the F’in road, F’in rocks, F’in roots; then he F’in left me. Re-grouped with Peat and Jim, we had a good pace, they were faster on the gnar, and would quickly walk away on the hike-a-bikes; heel to toe isn’t what it used to be yet on the right foot. Ankle is doing much better and healing fine, I just have not had enough time on it to build it up yet. Taken it easy on the beat down trails, I do not want any more down time to recovery from injuries, I would rather push harder were I have less chance of crashing.

RIDE WITH ME AJ

Mike bonked somewhere around this time (DNF), we passed him. Aid station at mile 50 ran into Gordon Wadsworth and Cory Rimmer, they missed out on some nutrition and blew up, front group was running a fast pace. When we got to 60 miles I was really feeling drained and I had my own concerns of finishing in the top 5, Peat told me he was surprised to see me close the gap, after some of the hike-a-bikes.  Then at mile 70 we on a rail trail, I got my second wind and pulled away from Peat and Jim for the last time.

2015 MOHICAN 100 MI SS

Mile 80 I finally caught Will, he was at the top of hill looking down and hollered down “are you single speed or geared” I really wanted to say geared, but I told him I was SS. He turned and started to move as fast as he could at the time, which was not very fast, he was in pretty bad shape. Passed Will shortly after, with Peat still in pursuit, last 20 miles was good for me with plenty of road and nice rolling trail, finishing time for me was 8:07 and Peat was 8:11.

$500 AND A BAD ASS TOMAHAWK

Big thanks to sponsorship, Farnsworth Bicycles for providing frames that handle great, climb like a goat, and positioning second to none when you are throwing down the hammer. Industry Nine (beauty, durability, performance) , Endless Bike Company (Kick Ass Cogs and The One Ring), Paragon Machine Works, Torrenti Cycles, Reynolds, Crank Arm Brewing (best Beer ever), Rouler Sportswear (All day comfort, that hold up to GO FAR). Thanks Photoglyphix, for all of the great photos.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1w4pD5m-9GD5znWQGFeSVkzLBUxzGJHoUOonzo1Ss9YI/pubhtml

New Road/CX/Gravel Bike

Posted: May 20, 2015 by Mark in Uncategorized

Road/CX/Gravel

The new road bike is similar to my last one but includes a number of refinements plus a nicer paint job.

I start the design process with a target position.

For this bike, I have my body position with bars a little lower and further out vs. my last road/cx bike. The following is a drawing of my new position while riding in the standard positions.

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With an understanding of the body position, I moved on to design aspects of the frame that impact how it rides. I really like how my recent mountain bikes feel and wanted to capture this on the road bike while still supporting the low bar position.

My knees, heels, and calves track very close to the center line of the bike. On most normal road bikes often find that my knees brush the sides of the top tube. When climbing, I have occasionally been annoyed with my knees brushing the sides of the headtube near the stem. Part of what I like about my mountain bikes is that the top tube is low and out of the way.

I went with an extremely sloping top tube that puts the bike down low. I also decided to keep the chainstays long enough to prevent my heels from brushing them when pedaling. I also happen to like the feel of my mountain bike with a relaxed head tube angle. In addition, I used an oversize 38mm Reynolds 853 downtube for rock solid stability when climbing or when bombing down nasty gravel roads. The result is a road/cx bike that looks a lot like a mountain bike.

The normal way that I will ride the bike is with an ENVE CX fork that has 395mm axle to crown and 47mm offset. I have the option to swap the fork to an ENVE road model to change the geometry for handling that is more traditional. This will require me to use a set back seat post but otherwise have minimal impact on my body position. In addition ENVE will soon release a gravel specific fork to provide a third option.

I do not include the traditional “effective top tube length” measurement. The ETT is 588mm with the CX fork but I prefer to think about bikes based on the front center measurement especially because in many cases the top tubes on bikes that I build are not level.

I have ridden the bike with both the road and CX fork options. Currently I prefer the more relaxed geometry and larger tire clearance using the CX fork.

The bike is finished with rich emerald green sparkle powder coat finish. Components are a mix of old and new stuff with TRP hydro brakes and Duraace nine speed. I run the cable routing under the top tube and down the seat stays using enclosed (no zip tie) guides.

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Nuclear Burn Time Trial

Posted: May 10, 2015 by jarzmtb in Uncategorized

Another great guest blog post from our team rider Michael Jarzomski.

Burn

The Nuclear Burn was a casual sprint time trial organized by TORC. About 30 riders showed up throughout the day and chose a time slot to put in their fastest 6.5 mile lap. I showed up around noon right behind Farnsworth team rider John Haddock. He signed up for the 12:30 time slot. I decided to sign up for the 12:32 time slot. This would give me a “rabbit” to chase. Knowing that John is super strong, I wasn’t expecting to catch him, but this was certainly the push I needed.

With 10 minutes till my time slot I decided to do a little warm up. Apparently time went in fast forward and I almost missed my start time. I heard my name being yelled and I sprinted to the start line, taking off a little late.

Being a sprint race I pretty much shut down my brain and went wide open. I kept spotting John, but Harris Lake is tight and twisty and I didn’t seem to be catching up. The direction of the trail was opposite of what I normally ride it, but it was perfect for single speed.

The race was over before I knew it. I crossed the finish line and venture over to the tent for my final time. John gets his time, 31:44. A few minutes later they announce my time, 30:55. I was very happy to pull off the winning lap time, not only in single speed, but also overall. John maintained 2nd place and also held one of the fastest lap times of the day. Another great ride on the Farnsworth, running 34/19 gearing.

Team rider Michael “Vandy” VandenHeuvel also raced single speed with a strong 4th place effort.

http://www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=42223

outhern Endurance Series Race #1

Posted: May 9, 2015 by Mark in Uncategorized

Today, I competed in the first race of the Southern Endurance Series.

And I actually won!

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I’m super, super happy about the race! My Industry Nine Wheels, Endless cog, and Farnsworth Bicycle performed great. It was a long, tough race, but the miles flew by as we cruised through the smooth and fast trails of Lake Norman State Park.

As is always true at races like this, the start was fast and furious. However, to make the start even crazier than normal, the promoter offered a special $50 “hole shot” prize to the first racer to enter the single track after completing the 300 meter pavement section at the start. In the melee that followed, I almost crashed on the asphalt and entered the single track around 20th, putting me a few riders behind the lead single speed racer. We stayed like this for the first two hours.

In the middle of the race, I was passed by a Faster Mustache rider. I rode behind him for a while until he cranked up the pace too much and I let him go. Six hour races are long. Things change and it is always best to ride your own pace.  At some point, the lead single speed rider was waylaid with cramps.  I figured I was in third place and decided to maintain a steady pace.

I went through the pit area with minimal stopping. I picked up a bottle every lap, but did not eat anything or stop for any other reason. My goal was a steady pace. The fuel that I used in my bottles was a mix of water, honey, salt, and lemon juice so as not to lose time chewing solid food or slowing down to open gel packs.

I did not know until the race was over that my no-stopping strategy had actually worked. I somehow passed the Faster Mustache rider while he stopped to refuel.

It was a great race and I am very happy that the bike performed so well.