2019 Yankee Springs Time Trial

The Yankee Springs Time Trial is usually one of the first mountain bike races in Michigan. If you are unfamiliar with the time trial format, usually they send a rider or two off every 30ish seconds. This means that there is not a pack start. This is a great season opener to see how you stack up against the competition. Check out the elite race action in either the shortened come race with me footage, or watch the full version.

Make Cycling Easier

There are some circumstances that may cause you to not want to ride your bike. Take for instance the dark time of the year. Maybe you can only get out after work when it’s dark, a bike light can help you get out and train! How about dealing with wet sweaty boots and gloves? There is something in the video that can take care of this issue! Riding in the cold with cold feet? The heated socks I have keep my feet warm all day long! What if you had a hard workout planned and it’s now raining out? There are 12 things in this video to help you make cycling easier! Check it out!

Recover Faster as a Cyclist

Who doesn’t want to recover faster after a hard workout or a race on the bike? After all you can get back on the horse and continuously improve yourself to beat the competition. From a proper post workout protein shake, to a massage, let’s talk about 8 ways to recover faster! Check out my new series on YouTube How to Cycle Fast for more. Be sure to subscribe to the channel so you don’t miss a thing!

Strength Training and the Cyclist

As a cyclist you should include some form of strength training into your routine. This will improve strength, balance, and get some movement outside of the normal cycling plane of motion. Not only can you build strength to control and maneuver the bike better, but you can increase your total body strength which will make you stronger and faster on the bike. Makes it so you can clip a tree with your bars and ride through it instead of crashing. Allow you to handle rough terrain better. Allow you to climb hills better. Adding more stress to your muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones then what you do during cycling is a huge benefit. As we age muscle loss happens very fast if we do not strength train. Look up sarcopenia! If you are over 40 you better get started sooner than later! Less risk of injury, better health as you age, less chance of fracture when a crash on the bike takes place. This is all a part of the new series on YouTube called How to Cycle Fast. Be sure to subscribe to the channel. Now pick one of these routines and get started!

Yoga for the Cyclist

Yoga isn’t just for ladies in spandex at the gym. This form of exercise is beneficial to the cyclist as well, all of us in spandex on the bike! Kate Courtney, the best US Mountain Bike Cyclist currently practices this often as part of her routine to keep her body in check. The balance and dynamic moves translate to the bike and allow for a better flow when you are on the bike. Yoga will help you control the body and the mind. When you get that under better control with your breathing, your flow on the bike will enhance! Check into YouTube for the new series How to Cycle Fast. This is just a little tidbit on topics I will cover to help you on your way to cycling better! Get started with a Yoga Routine today, check out the starter program below. Don’t forget to subscribe and click the bell so you don’t miss out on new content.

Keep Your Core Strong

Whether you are a beginner on the bike, or a seasoned rider, it is very important to keep your core strong and on par with the rest of your body. Believe it or not, your body works synergistically to pedal the bike. It is not just the legs, you actually transfer energy from your arms to your legs, and in order to do that you need to have a strong core. Below I have a great routine for you to start doing in order to transfer more power to those legs! Stay tuned for more great information coming to YouTube in the new series How to Cycle Fast! Now get on those abs so you can cycle faster.

Let’s Recap that 2019 Race Season!

Seems like very year brings different successes and challenges in all aspects of life, racing mountain bikes is included! Check out the video to get a glimpse of how the 2019 season went, and be sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel so you stay up to date on racing and other things. This blog will probably see less action until the YouTube channel starts to grow more.

Mountain Bike Camp 2019 The rest of the Story

After riding Iron Mountain, I headed off to meet the guys after dinner to check in with them at the hotel they were staying at. We figured out where we were shredding the next day, and I went out to the van to sleep for the night. Because of the noise in the area, I decided to use the iOverlander app to find an off grid place to stay and ended up having uninterrupted sleep! This was my view in the morning instead of the view of the hotel with the hookers!

Pretty sure this was Hot Springs Park

I met up with Greg, Mike, and Chad in the morning and we made our way to the LOViT Trail system for a day of epic riding! Thankfully there were no drug dealers at the trail head. The views from this lookout were absolutely amazing and I highly recommend this trail for either a day MTB ride or bike packing. Day rides are going to be out-n-backs unless you plan and drop a car.

Overlook at LOViT

On our journey at LOViT we smashed a lot of elevation, tried to ride the wall in the picture above, and came across signs that let us know there was a gun range nearby! Check out all the action in the video below!

After this epic day we stopped and refueled at a Pizza Hut and then made our way to our next stop for sleeping. I don’t know what your favorite pie is, but mine is ham and pineapple pizza. As you can see in the pictures, we have been dressed in layers because the mornings were unseasonably cold, below freezing, so some of the nights were a little cold in the van without being plugged in! If the temp was too cold in the van I would have to get up and turn it on to run the heat.

The next morning, day 3, we made our way to the Ozark National Forest and Upper Buffalo Head Waters Trail System. I was a little weary at first because the higher we went, the colder it was getting. It was also windy, and with it being 18 degrees with the wind made for a pretty cold start!

In the end it was well worth it to see the ice cliffs, the awesome waterfall, the steepest downhill I had done to this point in my life, and the fun river crossings! Check out the action below.

Very cool Ice Cliffs
Tires after riding up a thawing road

Next we made our way north to a small little town near Syllamo MTB Trail System and had an amazing dinner at a Mexican restaurant. It was the best service and wet burrito I have ever had in combination. I was actually thinking about coming back just for another wet burrito, and maybe we will one day wen I know the trail has seen some love.

We woke up in the morning ready to tackle yet another new trail system, Syllamo, after 20 minutes on the trail, many trees over the trail and pricker bushes scratching us, we made the team decision to go back to the vehicles and drive to Bentonville to hit the Back 40 on what was to be the best weather day we had so far! Check out how great the Back 40 is in the video below. The Back 40 was also the place where all the flat tires started.

Cool Waterfall on the Back 40

After we kicked it on the Back 40, I made my way back to my van and had a snack and then went out to explore the sweet pump track and the trails around Blowing Springs. The pump track was an absolute blast and I could not stop riding it! The Blowing Springs trails were more technical and ledgy than I expected. I had my handlebars clip a tree and thought I was going over the edge at one point, watch that action below.

I am pretty sure I missed the group for dinner this night and made myself something nice in the warm van, it was amazing to be plugged in so that I could keep the van at a good temperature so that I did not have to turn the van on in the middle of the night to heat it up. Day 4 was a long one, from the initial start over 3 hours away, making the drive to Bentonville, riding the Back 40, and then cruising around the pump track and Blowing Springs Trails.

Good thing I brought my leg massager, I know that’s what saved me and allowed for continued riding enjoyment. After a nice leg massage I turned the lights out to get some sleep. I will highlight the fact that I did eat very healthy on this trip, and had recovery protein drinks that I get from USANA after every ride to keep things repairing and recovering properly.

Day 5 came in the blink of an eye, and we were headed off to explore the trails in Bentonville. While we were there, we noticed that they were and are constantly building new trails all over the place to make the city even more epic for cycling. We started with the most riders compared to any other day of riding, check the video out to see the huge group and also what Bentonville has to offer…non stop FEATURES!!!

Not the whole group, but we would need a bigger camera

The next video is partly a continuation of the previous video, but I include more of the jump lines that we hit. Our group was small by this time and there were only 4 of us left on our adventure before meeting up with everyone on the way out for eats.

After eats and refueling, which was just after lunch time, the second half of this next video takes you to The Ledges, AKA the tire graveyard! It is said that if you make it out of the ledges without a puncture, you can consider yourself lucky. It is also said that if the trail is wet, you will not make it out of the trail without a flat! After we finished eating the weather looked good and we headed out, but just as we arrived to The Ledges, it started misting. See how that ends for the 7 or 8 of us in the video below.

I will be completely honest here, Day 5 my body was starting to shut down for two reason. One, all of the climbing was taxing the legs and catching up. Two, I was way too excited during the morning of this day that I completely forgot to hydrate and fuel while riding, which caught up very quick. I would actually let the 3 guys I was riding with go in front of me while I would just stay in the same spot and rest! While I rested I consumed a lot of fluids and a couple bars, this allowed me to continue on for the rest of the day.

After all the riding, I made sure to eat quite a bit, and healthy so that I could rebound on Day 6 which started at Mount Kessler. We would not have even known about this place if we would have picked a different restaurant to eat at. We bumped into a local who told us we needed to ride these places after hearing what we had done so far. So after another massage, stretching, and good sleep, I woke up on day 6 and headed off the Mount Kessler with Pat in his van to tackle some rocky technical (for me) terrain! We met up with a big group this day as well. I was a little grumpy at first and actually voted to leave after about 40 minutes, but I am glad I was out voted, most of the footage in the video would not have been captured, and that was when the ride went from blah to EPIC! Even more epic was the hope that the Slayer was going to SEND IT shirtless down the mountain…

Team work makes the dream work – Flat # 86

After Pat and I cleaned up the bikes and ate some snacks, we arrived at our next destination, Mount Fitzgerald. A lot of the crew decided to call it a day after Mount Kessler, and a handful of us made our way to the Best Trail Ever! I cannot put into words the amount of rock they had to bring in to build this epic trail. I want to go back on fresh legs and better weather to try and hit some of the bigger features, check it out!

Group chat at the top of the Vulture hangout

After Mount Fitzgerald we headed back to the campground to get cleaned up, grab some food, and then made out way over to the cabins where most of the guys were staying. That evening we had decided to do a potluck dinner, well, maybe I invited Pat and I over to their potluck! Josh can really throw some good food together, and Jeremy was really good at cleaning up messes.

The day before at the restaurant, the local guy that told us about the two trails we just rode, also told us about a trail system that does extremely well when it rains. The forecast had said it was going to rain pretty hard all night so Alex and I sat on the couch and looked up Hobbs. As we ate a crap ton of Jelly Bellies we decided to go to Hobbs against the votes of other riders, and attempt to get a KOM based on what was on Strava. This story unfolds in the video below as we are portrayed as a unicorn and a pegasus.

This was actually a happy and sad day, sad to be leaving a place that has built a mountain bikers heaven, but at the same time very happy to be heading home to see my family. Before I did that, I had one more stop in mind, Lake Leatherwood. This was another mention from our local buddy and I wanted to go there because it was on my way home.

When I arrived I had made my way on to the West side of the park and bumped in to Justin, he directed me to the other side of the park and informed me to park near the sports fields. I made my way and parked, got geared up, hopped on my bike and from across the field I heard a whistle. It was Justin! I met up with Justin and Dave and they gave me a tour on some of the trails before the sun set! Enjoy.

Just before the sun went behind the mountains
I actually made it from Day 4 on with this boot in my tire! I sewed it when I arrived home.
Back in gloomy, cold, dreary….but my family was all the sunshine I needed!

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Mountain Bike Camp 2019 -I- Day 1

Every year a group of guys from Michigan plan a trip to get in better shape for the upcoming mountain bike season. After some debate, it was decided that we would make our way down to Bentonville, Arkansas to check out the scene!

I feel blessed that I have a van that can get me where ever I choose, it is set up like a motorhome, but more compact, more efficient, and has everything I need to live out of. I am also grateful that I am able to go on such a trip and experience the amazing beauty of the world on a bike with cool people.

I had been in contact with a few guys who were starting the journey before the rest of the crew and decided that I wanted to make a week out of it as well. We planned to start South of the Bentonville area and work our way up. So I loaded up the van with food, water, and enough gear to take me through a week and started my journey very early in the morning on a Sunday. 4 am to be exact! I was up and going this early so that I could get all the way to Arkansas in one day to be able to ride the first trail a few hours after my cool peeps had tackled the same trail earlier. The benefit was now they told me what trails to ride, what trials to avoid, and what direction to ride them in! Check out the video below of the first trail and my start to Mountain Bike Camp 2019 at Iron Mountain!

Went South for Warm Weather

Over the Holidays the kids had some time off from school. Being stuck in Michigan, most people need to get away to warm air and that amazing feeling of sunshine on the skin to stay chemically balanced. I had been looking at the weather and the temperatures in some of the southern states like Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Georgia. The reason I looked to those states was due to the fact that we could also hit some mountain bike trials while down there. Well, the weather did not look SUNNY or WARM in any of those areas. So I looked further south, and there is only one place further south and that was Florida.

The last time we were in Florida we noticed the beauty of the outdoors kind of sucked unless you were on the ocean or at Disney World. So on my reluctant search, I looked just south of the border and saw a big long trail system that we could hang out at for hiking, biking, and touristing. That town was Ocala.

All packed and ready to go!

Holy cow, was I blown away with the beauty of the area and the state parks with the crystal clear rivers that you can swim in! I was also blown away by how awesome the mountain biking trails are down there, the more we rode, the cooler the trails were. If you have not been to Florida to ride their Mountain Bike Trail Systems I highly recommend checking them out. You can even bring the kids as there are things for them to do as well!

We enjoyed swimming, hiking, biking, good food, animal watching at a state park, the ocean, as well as hanging out with each other and enjoying the time together. Videos of the MTB Trails are posted at the bottom, enjoy!

Swimming with the gators!
So much fun!
Hanging out!
Family bike ride!
Little man tearing up the trail!
More swimming, this seemed to be their favorite activity.
Checking out the animals!

Sunset on the Ocean!

We started riding at Santos and eventually made our way to the West on that trail system, then down to Balm Boyette, and our last stop was at Alafia.