Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Race Results and Photos

IMBCS #7 - Lake Ahquabi State Park - Indianola, IA
Sunday, August 10, 2008



Expert Open/ Team /Time

1 Cam Kirkpatrick / Rasmussen Bike Shop / Orbea / 2:05:16
2 Jay Chesterman / Powerade / Independent Fabrication / 2:17:10
3 Matt Gersib / Monkey Wrench / Salsa / 2:24:08
4 Chris Hansen / Bikes 2 You / 2:29:54


Expert Master/ Team /Time

1 Greg Shimonek / Midwest Cycling Community / 2:14:40
2 Chad VandeLune / All Nine Yards / 2:23:37
3 Brad Patty / MOB Racing / 2:34:29
4 Landon Beachy / Bike Tech / 2:51:01
5 Kim West / All Nine Yards / 2:58:46


Single Speed/ Team /Time

1 Kent Carlson / Rasmussen Bike Shop / 1:18:32
2 Kyle Sedore / Mercy / Specialized / 1:28:43
3 Aarin Rabhett / Team Monkey Taco / 1:35:00
4 Taylor Webb / Mercy / Specialized / 1:41:46


Sport Open/ Team /Time

1 Nathan Kullbom / 1:27:19
2 Adam Blake / DQYDJ / 1:27:59
3 Brad Bergman / 1:28:20
4 Neil Groteuschon / 1:29:20
5 Keith Snoop / HBA Racing / 1:32:08
6 Bruce Brown / MOB Racing /1:38:30
7 Andy Percy / 1:47:12
8 Matt Piepec / MOB Racing / 1:50:28


Sport Masters 35+/ Team /Time

1 Andre Lima / Coroas Do Cerrado / 1:32:37
2 WM Huntberger / D.I.C.E. / 1:33:55
3 Scott Sumpter / MOB Racing / 1:38:17
4 Steve Fuller / Rasmussen Bike Shop / 1:41:47
5 Doug Faber / DNF


Sport Masters 45+/ Team /Time

1 Randy Crist /Velo Veloce / 1:28:52
2 Jim Logan / Rasmussen Bike Shop / 1:32:25
3 Phil Curran / DICE / 1:34:00
4 Jim Pratt / Coloe Biotics / 1:50:58
5 Paul Varnum / MOB Racing / 1:54:51
6 Sterling Hiese / Rasmussen Bike Shop / 2:03:48
7 Dan Rekemeyer / DNF
8 Al Boone / DNF



Sport Women Open/ Team /Time

1 Kim Hopkins / All Nine Yards / 1:52:40
2 Kristin Reese / All Nine Yards / 1:58:53

Sport Junior

William Rekemeyer - withdrew before start

Beginner Men/ Team /Time

1 Rick Blackford / Rasmussen Bike Shop / 32:48
2 Kurt Benson / 33:05
3 Bryce Gilbert / 35:12


Beginner Women/ Team /Time

1 Julie Vardaman / 36:52
2 Elaine Kay / 42:28


Various Views...






Monday, August 11, 2008

Thanks to All!!

First things first:

Thanks to all who made the drive to Lake Ahquabi State Park south of Indianola. It was nice to see new faces and faces of racers that we don't normally see at all of the IMBCS races in Iowa. Having enjoyed racing in events put on by many others in the IMBCS for the past 3 seasons I felt it was my turn to give something back and host an event. Now I know what it is you all go through to get an event up and running and my respect has grown for those who host.

In my energy drained state of mind and body after the race, I forgot to mention a couple of people yesterday during the awards ceremony. MOB Racing associated folks, namely. Christy Varnum and Travis Jass did a great job of dealing with my Word Document home-made timing sheets, cork board/thumb tack results board, Wal-Mart special stop watches and getting all of the data entered as each racer buzzed between the trees, around the beach shelter and off into the woods. Thanks Christy and Travis for your excellent work at the timing table. My bad for not mentioning you yesterday. I apologize.

Nick Woolley of MOB Racing came down on Saturday to spend a few hours doing final trail grooming and course marking with my son and I along with a college student of mine named Erik Lickiss. Thanks Nick for driving down from Webster City to use a rake, a hoe, a staple gun and help with the final grooming. And thank you Erik for helping us out on the trail and holding cars in the parking lot during the race as racers came screaming down the old paved road to the finish line.

I neglected to take any photographs for this Blog as I was milling around. Again, my bad as I found it hard to do everything. I should have assigned that task to one of the volunteers. I think the photographer from the Indianola Record Herald will have some shots available to all eventually. You saw him out on the course in a couple of locations shooting us. How many of us had our tongues hanging out at the top of the train track tie climb where he was positioned during one lap?


Here I sit the day after my first attempt at hosting a mountain bike race feeling totally spent from the energy required during the final week to bring everything to fruition. I haven't hiked that much in years as I made my way around the course day after day clearing brush, raking, trimming branches, marking the course and double checking everything. I learned a lot in the process, but my main goals for the event were to provide a fast and fun race venue that was a little different in our series to add some variety and to develop a good relationship with the park manager to make sure I did everything correctly the first time around in case of hosting future events at Lake Ahquabi. Hopefully, both goals were met.

Paul and Christy Varnum, Chris Hansen, my wife and I spent a few hours taking down all the course marking stakes, signs, tape and packing up all of the food and equipment after the awards ceremony. Thank you Paul, Christy and Chris.

I spent Monday riding the course and making sure that all markings and all orange arrows were removed from the grass and gravel. The chalk marks on the pavement will wash away with a rain or two. Outside of the slight trail mark we wore into the grass sections we had to cross, there is literally no trace that we were ever there. That's good in terms of holding future events at Lake Ahquabi. The entire trail was so littered with limbs, branches, fallen trees, honeysuckle, twigs, big chunks of mud, etc... that 2 months ago I didn't see how I was going to be able to get it in shape. Raking my yard will now seem like a breeze after doing 6.75 miles of trail a few times this summer. ;-) I will mention that the section after the train track tie climb was filled with logs crossing the trail that had been there for at least a couple of years as those trails are no longer maintained by the DNR. I really was planning on them being a part of the race, but I think the DNR felt it was better to remove them from the trail for maintenance and liability reasons. Oh well, it made that section even faster and the climbs and descents were hard enough without them being filled with logs.

I learned a lot by hosting an event for my firs time. In an effort to improve, I would welcome any comments and criticism or opinions on how to make it better for next year. While the race is still fresh in your minds, please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts on what you liked or disliked or offer any suggestions on improvement for next time around. I would appreciate that as I am still learning.

Thanks again to all the racers and all of my volunteers for a successful MOB the Quab!

Time to catch up on some sleep and recovery.

Bruce Brown

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Group Ride to test the course...

A few of us are getting together to pre-ride the race loop on Thursday, August 7th. Everyone is invited to join us, so feel free to show up.

Details: Thursday 5:30 pm (arrive in the 5:15 - 5:30'ish time range) and we'll take a loop or two. Meet at the beach shelter.

Directions: 65/69 south out of Des Moines and through Indianola. 5 miles south of Indianola, turn right on G-58 and go one mile west right into the main entrance of the state park. Follow the signs down to the beach.

Update: Here's a photograph that I took, courtesy of Paul Varnum's camera, of Paul taking a breather while we watch the DNR crew remove a couple of fallen trees from the course on Thursday night during our pre-ride:

Paul Varnum Watching the DNR saw

Monday, August 4, 2008

Race Lap Distance...

Many people asked me yesterday at the Seven Oaks race about the lap counts and distance at Lake Ahquabi for the this coming weekend.

I'm going to drag my tired legs and backside from Boone out to Lake Ahquabi today to ride the new re-routed and DNR approved race loop to get an accurate measurement of one lap. Some parts of the route I had submitted were removed and others were added, so I need to measure this new distance. Edit: measure and logged in at 6.75 miles for one lap. Shorter than the 8 - 10 mile options we could have had with ideal trail conditions and no flooding this year, but you have to take what mother nature will give you: 6.75 it is.

It's looking like a small group ride is developing for Thursday after work for any of you who are interested in riding the race course. I will post details of that here and on the IORCA Yahoo Group for IMBCS. I think that would be a beneficial exercise for me to get some feedback from others on the appropriate number of laps to do for each race class in an ideal weather situation as well as how to adjust those laps in case we have another heat wave next weekend. Currently, the extended forecast has the high temp on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 80 - 83, so we should have ideal conditions if that holds.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Race Route Clearance...

I met with Josh, the head ranger out at Lake Ahquabi State Park today, for final clearance on the August 10th race route and to talk about all of the details.

We drove the intended course in a 4 wheel drive ATV to make sure the route was the best for both the public and the riders safety. The course is in good shape in spite of all the rain we've had. There are still about 3 or 4 mud bogs, but they can be ridden through on a bike. He showed me a neat way to avoid the campground area, the Sunday line-up at the dump station and still maintain the distance of the loop. Actually, this new way adds some more distance and more scenic trail along the lake. It means we will have to cross a paved road in the state park two times instead of the one I was planning on, but I think the additional trail will be worth it. I will have volunteers at both crossings to hold traffic as bikers cross the paved road.

The DNR crew is going to mow the growth on one section of loop that will take us by an additional pond and allow the entire race loop to have no 2 way bike traffic at any point. Sweet. We found a couple of trees that need to be removed with chainsaws on the backwood trails that are not maintained. Josh promised the DNR crew will make a sweep through the race route on Friday, August 8th to cut and clear out anything that needs to be trimmed. Perfect!!! I'll do some trimming of things myself in the next week as the rain has made things grow like wildfire at the park. Vegetation is bursting forth in such conditions.

I have to get out and measure the total loop with these new sections to have an exact mileage so we can determine the number of laps. The route is shaping up to be an excellent race course that will challenge all. I will do most of the course marking on Friday, August 8th and Saturday, August 9th for those interested in pre-riding. Final markings will be done on Sunday morning before the race.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Trail Work...

My wife and I have done a few loops to see what the current condition of the trail is like out at Ahquabi following the ice storm damage from December, the removal of the Honeysuckle by the DNR and all of the spring thunderstorms.

As you can see, there are a lot of downed limbs, branches, and debris on the trail:

Keeping up with the wife

The DNR has been around the main loop with chainsaws, but the backwoods trails need some chainsaw work.

Here's a corner that was in need of a good raking to remove the loose debris:

No Cellphones allowed!

I've completed cleaning one of the backwoods loops with my rake which took about 4 days of trail work to complete. I was able to move all of the fallen trees from the trail except for one which will need a chainsaw to remove. I will now start the other backwoods loop before moving back to the main trail to remove fallen debris and to rake up most of the loose stuff.

The forest canopy can get quite thick and low at certain points on the trail. There are a lot of low hanging branches that I am trimming back so nobody loses an eye or gets their face scratched out on the race course. Here's a shot from early last fall to show the canopy:

Forest at Ahquabi

And here is a sample of the amount of leaves on the doubletrack in the fall that I am currently raking to get the trail to dry out and make the surface super-fast:

Riding the Trail