Sunday, October 6, 2013

Mullet Fall Classic Results 2013...

USAC Official Jeff Mertz is tweaking the mistakes (CAT 1 MEN) and will have the official results posted soon at USAC and will send me a clean copy (which we used for the awards last night).

Saturday, October 5, 2013


Race is on as scheduled!  See you out there...

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Race Day Forecast...

Last year:

Mullet Weekend

This year:

Mullet 2013 Forecast

Online Registration closes tomorrow night at 9 p.m. CST.  Currently there are 96 riders who have pre-registered.  We've got plenty more, so hop on board The Mullet!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October is here and it's time to register for The Mullet...

The weather is finally turning into fall weather by the weekend and looks to equal the temperatures we had last year on the same weekend (imagine that?) for the race (upper 50's/low 60's).  Perfect racing weather for mountain biking on a course filled with climbs!

Bring your arm warmers, long sleeve jerseys, fun attitudes, and your bike to race this year's Mullet.

Online registration closes this Thursday evening at 9 p.m. at which point the registered riders list gets sent to USA Cycling Official Jeff Mertz to enter into the data base and prepare the timing sheets.  Friday will have a crew working on number plate assignments, scoring tear off tags, t-shirts and getting everything ready for your pre-registration check-in.

If you haven't already registered, it's time to go to USA Cycling and register for the event right here

Friday, September 27, 2013

Trail is prepped...

Lake Ahquabi trail status...

The orrange markings have all been treated with mud to draw the paint out of the bark.  The large fallen tree has been removed from the east side of the lake.  Any offensive debris has been removed on the entire trail.  The cut limbs from the honeysuckle and canopy on the west side has been cleared off of the sides of the trail.  Any grass and weeds that needed trimming is completed.

Things are in excellent shape for all park users. 

Bruce, Bob, and Kev

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Removal of Orange Paint on Trees...

Two years ago, some marking paint specifically designed for race events was ordered and used to mark the race course at Lake Ahquabi.  Yes, the product works on pavement, grass, gravel, etc... to help point out turns and obstacles.  I had used a similar type of marking chalk the first few years of The Mullet which had actually washed away with one or two rains.  This new brand, from a different source, made the same claims of washing away just like the old brand.

The mistake was made of not test sampling the product.  The mistake continued by placing it on trees solely based on the product being touted by the company that it was something that easily washes off in the rain and was safe to use on trees.  This is the only reason it was used and in retrospect, the worst possible solution to course marking.  Not to worry, I am more than well aware this was a major mistake.  It will never happen again from me, that's for sure.

As everyone knows who has visited the park and been out on the trails hiking or biking, the rain did not wash all of this product away (except on the pavement, grass, and gravel).  The orange markings on trees have been a major problem and eye sore that desperately needed a solution.  I spoke with somebody this year from the Warren County Conservation board who said they had used the same product for an event and had the same problem requiring them to use a water pressure washer to remove the marking paint.  How was I going to get a pressure washer out on the trails?  And would that really be safe for the trees?

Scrubbing with a soft bristle brush and water helped a little, but didn't remove much of it.  So the orange marks remained drawing plenty of ire and frustration from everyone.  My frustration grew with each subsequent rain, week, month, and finally it has now been two full years without seeing much progress of the product disappearing on the trees.  Odd that it washed totally away on several of the trees or stumps that were more exposed to sun and rain, but didn't budge at all on others.

What was needed?  A wire brush?  A bark colored cover?  More rain?  Well, finally after a nice tip from trail user Angie Fry Boyens who had first suggested a graffiti removal product that was supposed to be safe for trees (I've heard that before!!!!), came her suggestion of asking me if I had tried using mud to remove the paint?  Mud?  Hmmmm....

No, I had not tried mud.  Reading online I discovered that mud does not harm the tree, it will stain and blend in with the bark in a natural manner, and it will draw the paint out of the bark.  Really?  Mud?

The recipe I read in an online discussion forum dating from 2005 about safe paint removal from trees was this:
"Put 2 or 3 inches of soil in a bucket and add water and stir. Paint this over the affected area. Let mud dry on the bark. Then, let the rain wash off mud or rinse with hose. You don't have to remove all the mud. The mud will stain the trunk a natural color and blend in the affected area with the rest of the trunk. Following up with another application and or light use of a wire brush should remove the paint." 
So I spoke with Park Ranger Craig Oberbroeckling to see if was okay to give it a try.  Yesterday, was the first application on many of the offending orange paint markings using lake water, dirt, and a soft bristle brush to scrub the markings on the tree bark because I knew that some rain was due today.  Bob Matthews came out and joined me as we covered - with our mud - the markings until we ran out of daylight.  We have a few more trees to treat today and tomorrow, but we got a lot of them yesterday with the first application.  
I have to say, the initial results look rather fantastic after just one application.  But I am curious how the mud responds to the rain today.  Either way, today and tomorrow we will finish treating all offending marks and if the rain washes away treatment number one, we will be able to view how well the mud worked and begin the second application.  Ice cream pails in hand.  Soft bristle brushes in hand.  Lake water in pails.  Dirt in pails.  Mixing mud pie to remove the offending markings from all trees and posts.  That's what you will see me doing this week (and beyond if needed).  Operation remove orange from Lake Ahquabi State Park is underway... 
Had I known about this possible solution, I would have been on it two years ago - trust me.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

26 Days Away!!! Time to get registered...

26 Days Away my fellow mountain bike junkies!!!

Speaking of 26....

Register online at USA Cycling by September 26th, and you are guaranteed a shirt in the correct size and style (long or short sleeve - you choose during the registration process) with the Bob Matthews designed Mullet shirt. After that - you will have to be content to accept whatever style and size of shirt we have available at check-in on race day. So order in advance by the 26th to make sure you get the size and style that fits you!!!

Momentum Magazine chose The Mullet as the best mountain bike race in Iowa for 2012. This year marks it as the Iowa State Championship with winners qualifying for the 2014 USA Cycling Nationals!!!

New for 2013: Kids race at 3:30 p.m., a longer Marathon race begining at 11 a.m., a later start for the XC categories in waves beginning at 1 p.m., a new FAT BIKE category, and a Saturday race this year so everyone can recover in time for work on Monday!

Current forecast is for 73 and sunny on October 5th!!!!!!!

Grow those mullets and get registered ASAP:

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Mullet needs volunteers...

The Mullet Fall Classic Volunteer List Sign Up: If you, or if there is anyone you know who would be interested in being a volunteer for the October 5th race, please respond to this thread, send me an email or respond on Facebook. We need 4 course marshals for the day of the race to provide safe crossing of the campground road; 2 - 3 volunteers to help at registration/check-in for all racers; several volunteers to help with course set up on Friday evening October 4th/several to help on Saturday morning October 5th; and volunteers to help with course tear down after the race on Saturday October 5th.
Thank you in advance.  You will receive a free t-shirt, food, and drink for your efforts.
Thus far, a few people have responded.  I have so far, but could still use help in all areas...
Registration Volunteers:  Lisa Seidenkranz, Melinda Reese, Tara Starr
Course Set Up:  Bruce Brown, Al Boone, Ron Cooney, Bryce Gilbert, Bob Matthews, Ed Reynolds, Doc Link
Course Tear Down: Bruce Brown, Al Boone, Ron Cooney, Bryce Gilbert, Bob Matthews, Ed Reynolds, Doc Link
Course Marshals:  Iowa Trail Bombers/SAE
Finish Line Chute Pull Off Tag Collectors/Back Up Scoring:   Iowa Trail Bombers/SAE/TBA
Kid's Race:  Iowa Trail Bombers

Monday, August 12, 2013

2012 Trucker Hats - 2nd batch!!!!

Attention Mullet Mad Hatters: The remaining Mullet Trucker Hats from the 2012 race are in my hands!! It's a rather long story how they ended up in my hands in August of 2013, but no matter what happened with the hats - the buck stops here. I will take the blame. If you pre-registered last year (I have the list) and did not get one of the initial 110 hats that were handed out at registration last year, send me a PM on Facebook or post up here (Eric Larson, Joe Short and Eric Chriswisser - I have your hats). 
I have hats for the remaining 30 riders that pre-registered and are due a hat. A big shout out and thank you to Beaverdale Bikes and their T-Shirt Graphix business. 
This year: everyone gets a shirt at the 2013 Mullet Fall Classic!!! I am ordering enough to put a shirt on everyone's back. Registration is up and running and the first person has registered (way to go Luke!!!).

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Permitting Process underway...

I received the USA Cycling permit and insurance for the October race yesterday.  That allowed me to file a special events permit this morning with the Iowa DNR for holding the race at Lake Ahquabi.

So things are underway and in process...

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Trail is trimmed, sight lines open...

I addressed the eastern portion of the trail (the whole section after the pavement climb and into the backwoods) today with the scythe.  It's all clean, open and ready to ride.  I still need to remove the downed tree, but that is on tap for removal after August 11th with Al Boone.  Actually, I could go out with my hand bow saw after looking at it today and determining I could do it the old fashioned way.  Probably do that tomorrow morning.

Edit:  Tree is now removed thanks to my hand held bow saw.

I went searching for a plausible way to get us safely back down the hill to the start/finish area that would make things safer.  Probably the climb will be up the old railroad tie section that is now graveled in nicely covering the ties.

Here's what it used to look like before the new gravel was added...


I've been doing this climb all year and it is not bad at all with the lime chip gravel on it and how baked in it is.  It's more fun than the pavement climb and solves at least one prior unsafe section if we did this.

If we climbed that and turned left into the backwoods section at the top of the climb, it would remove that nasty right hand bender that is so unsafe coming the other way after the pavement climb.  This would take the pavement climb out of the equation and instead, we would use the main Ahquabi hiking trails to get us back over to the top of the pavement climb, and descend back down by the lake to get us back over to the start/finish area.  It would be enough new variety to make this year's route different.

I was over trimming and exploring a descent when I whacked myself with the scythe in the leg.  That stopped my work today, but I will be back out again this week to mark that section out and see what I can come up with that will improve the descent and keep the new route as an option.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ahquabi trail status...

I rode a lap on Monday, July 29 after RAGBRAI to see what kind of shape the trail is in at this point in the season.  I am happy to report my numb hands got very happy as the DNR's long awaited boom hedge mower attachment arrived and has been put to use on the main trail sections.  After 3 or more years of trimming by hand with my loppers, the machinery can now make a swipe through and open up the trail making sight lines safer and the trail fast with no worries of face slappers.

The connector sections and deep woods on the east side that are not maintained by the staff will get treatment this week and next from me with the loppers and my scythe.  I am still trying to figure out a safe way to get us down the hill and around the new boat shelter area to complete the loop, but there are several options to make it work safely.

There are a pair of downed trees that need to be removed, but the entire trail is rideable and fast at the moment.  The work done along the shoreline as the project to rebuild the shore and control erosion is now complete with limestone chips being spread over the baked dirt with ruts being removed.  Other areas have been treated with mulch to help with water absorption and mud control.

The permitting process is underway at USA Cycling as I completed everything online yesterday (July 30th) and submitted it to USA Cycling.  A FAT BIKE category was added (non USA Cycling and non IMBCS), but will be available for fun with prizes for the top 3 finishers.  The FAT BIKE category will do 2 laps and tires must be at least 3.7" in width to qualify as a FAT BIKE.  A KIDS RACE for ages 10 and under has been added and all participants will be rewarded with treats at the end.

I ordered 3 Kybos this year as 2 was not quite enough last year to handle the crowd.  Other things are in the works as well to make the event be worthy of riding in this year.  

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Race date change to Saturday, October 5th..

Heads up for your calendars! 

The Mullet Fall Classic will be held on Saturday, October 5th this year.  That is a date change from the originally scheduled Sunday, October 6th.

The reasons are listed in the post below.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

2013 Race Planning...

I am happy to announce that a group of Indianola mountain bikers will be joining forces to bring you the 2013 version of The Mullet Fall Classic.

Ron Cooney, Bryce Gilbert, Bob Matthews, Al Boone, and Bruce Brown met to discuss possibilities for the race this year.

Things under consideration....

Changing the date from Sunday, 10/6 to Saturday 10/5.  That would allow for camping and recovering before going back to work on Monday.  It would also help with course tear down following the race which is always difficult to do before it gets dark.  Having the day on Sunday to tear down the race course and get the park back into tip top shape would help.

Fat Tire category.  That's right.  Something about Fat Tire bikes and having their own category.  Maybe prizes could be meat?  More on that later...

Kids Race!!   That's right.  We will, for the first time, have a race for the kids this year!!!

Music.  Maybe.  We are looking into having a post-race party with music if the DNR allows it and we can find suitable entertainment.

P.A. System.  Yup.  Too many people are racing this event now to hear what is going on without a P.A. system.  Time to bring in the foghorn so everyone knows what is going on.

Fund Raiser.  This year, we have decided to raise money to help purchase some small trail maintenance equipment for the Indianola based trails (Banner and Lake Ahquabi).

Sponsors.  We will be pursuing sponsorship for this race.

New T-Shirt design.  In the works and looks like it will be T-Shirts for all this year.

Mullet Hair Growing Contest.  Yup.  Start growing them now.  Prizes for the best, naturally grown Mullet hair do.

There might be some other things in the works as well, but for now that's a brief summary of our collective thoughts on creating an excellent State Championship for Iowa Mountain Biking.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

New for 2013 - USA Cycling sanctioned official Iowa State Championship for Mountain Biking!!!

As the title says, The Mullet Fall Classic will be the official State Championship for Iowa under the USA Cycling sanctions.  Both in XC and Marathon disciplines!!!

Mark your calendars now to make it a A Priority Race if you are interested in being the State Champion for Iowa in your category!!!!  I am busy getting the website at USA Cycling all set up and the categories entered correctly before it goes live.

Top 3 in each division receive USA Cycling State Championship Awards.  In addition, winners will qualify to race at the USA Cycling Nationals in 2014.

What does this mean in terms of changes for the 2013 Mullet vs. the 2012?

Not too much from the standpoint of the racers, but more on my end as the promoter.  We will be following the IMBCS format for categories, age classes, and distances.

Here is information for the categories and age classes.....

The IMBCS will use the following structure for categorizing racers:

• Elite – Pro and Category 1 racers, for men and women.
• Comp – For those that feel they fall somewhere between a Category 1 and
Category 2. This class is one category only, all participants will be scored
together regardless of age or gender.
• Category 2 – Sport racers for men and women.
• Category 3 – Beginner racers for men and women.
• Juniors – 18 and under for boys and girls.

Please note, that following the 2013 season all category winners, with the exception of Category 1, will be encouraged to upgrade to the next highest category.  If a category winner chooses not to upgrade then they will not be eligible for free entry the following season and the free entry will be awarded to the next eligible participant within that category.  The purpose behind this rule change is to encourage competition and fairness within each class structure.

Also note that there is no longer a singlespeed class, however singlespeeders are welcomed and encouraged to compete in whichever category best suits their abilities. Those competing on singlespeed bikes will be scored in whichever category they choose to compete, in other words, if a singlespeed competitor competes in the Comp class, they will be scored as a Comp competitor.

Age groups within each category will be as follows:

Elite Men
19 – 29, 30 – 39, 40 – 49 and 50+

The 2013 guideline for cash payouts will be such that the top five overall finishers, regardless of your age, will receive cash payouts.  The top finishers in each age group will receive prizes. Cash payouts and prizes will be determined by each race director.

Elite Women
Open – for Pro and Category 1 women of all ages.

Comp (Category 2)
Open – primarily for men, however women are welcome to participate. This class is one category only, so any women participants will be scored with the men.

Category 2 Men
19 – 29, 30 – 39, 40 – 49 and 50+

Category 2 Women
Open – open to all Category 2 women of all ages.

Category 3 Men
Open – open to all ages

Category 3 Women
Open – open to all ages

Juniors 18 and under
Boys – open to all boys 18 years of age and younger
Girls – open to all girls 18 years of age and younger

These rules are the new 2013 IMBCS rules and will apply to all of the races in the series.

Registration will be online via the USA Cycling website as well as available on race day at Lake Ahquabi.  Insurance will be through USA Cycling.  There will be a USA Cycling Official overseeing the timing and scoring of all races.  Race results will be posted immediately after the USAC Officials have approved the results and later on the USA Cycling website.

We will still - hopefully - have all the things you have become accustomed to over the past couple of years.  Restrooms on site.  A death spiral or two near the finish line.  A big year end party for the Iowa Mountain Bike Championship Series.  Cash Awards for CAT 1 and Marathon winners.  Medals and prizes for everyone else.