McLain Farm Adventure Race

Transmission from Dave Yellowman…

Wow. What a busy end-of-season Team Mandalore is experiencing! So much work, so much FUN! Like that time at McLain Farm Adventure Race. Well that’s the new name. But we knew about it before it was that cool.

Hey who am I kidding it’s always been cool. So KNOBby Side Down Racing – KSD, Summit Freewheelers, Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association, Road Apple Roubaix eat your heart out.

We got pictures of all y’all taking time out to head east and south to take on some of the BEST gravel in Ohio. I was there….yes, Yellowman was given a megaphone at the finish line and used it to punish/encourage butt sore riders to finish those last 100 yards. Ask anyone who was there. It was an event to attend. It took a lot out of riders with a punishing course. But it gave back with a satisfaction of accomplishment. And Pizza boats. Folded Pizza…..whatever those guys eat down there. (note from the Team Captain: it’s called a “heel,” it’s a bread full of spaghetti dinner, and it comes from Naples Spaghetti House) Come across the finish line and you can get your fill. I met so many novice and accomplished riders who pushed themselves to the limit. Lots of big smiles.

Of course Team Mandalore showed up. You see one of those flashy jerseys, perhaps hear yelling, maybe someone is acting inappropriately. Yup, that’s us. Make sure you are planning ahead for next year. Keep track of the new site: McLain Farm Adventure Race.

Make no mistake. We may accost you from down the trail. We may ask you for beer mid-race. But we support Ohio cycling. Lot’s of our sponsors helped out at this event. And they always support us and our antics. Just ask our McLain Farm finishers. They made it through too with the help of our cool sponsors.

We wish to thank ALL of our sponsors for helping us spread the stoke.Deals Gap Motorcycle ResortowayoKenda Tire | MTBKenda Tire Road N GravelNuun HydrationKent CycleMindmeld TechAlden Canvas llcOM Therapeutic MassageRust Belt Revival Trail Coalition#spreadthestoke#thisistheway#lifeisbeautiful#mtb#allbikesallpeople#enduro#downhill#ohio#love#anarchism#keepcyclingweird#anarchistBikeTeam#Stacy Rhea#Youse Guys and that Podcast

EOTT 3

The rain came in like mad for our local time trial series wrap-up. Rider leaving the start line before 8:20am reported getting smacked by hail on their outbound leg. By 8:45 gusty winds were blowing and the team was divided on which weather event was worse. Many of us use the painted white line on the edge of SR14 as a guide we we can keep our heads down, but not this time. Too slick.

We heard many mutters of, “mother nature always gets a podium.”

We second that. Third and fourth it, in fact. Jeff & Rae played bikes in the fixed gear division (4 riders this time!!), Shez biked aero age group and Ry went in mens standard.

Even though the sun didn’t come out until we were all done, it was still a great wrap up to our TT series and we are eternally grateful to our friends at Summit Freewheelers and Stark bicycle Club for keeping us rolling and always giving us more bananas than we can eat!

Pelatonia, with Tommy

A few folks from work were bugging me early in the season to participate in Pelotonia. I had already done this 2 times before and my enthusiasm ran out for the fundraiser during my 2 nd time. That time was in the summer of 2020. Folks decided not to have an official Pelotonia due to the pandemic. The fundraising was tough when the excitement is taken out of it. After a few arm twists I gave in. I was committed to riding 102 miles. Why 102 miles? My guess is that they wanted to be sure no one’s strava said 99 miles.


My memories were still accessible from the first Pelotonia experience in 2016. I had ridden 50 miles in the event. I can remember how awesome it was to ride with so many people and to see how many sincere supporters along the streets for the whole 50 miles.


But this year, 102 miles was a lot. I was intimidated. I had never ridden longer than 50 miles at a time before in my life. But mountain biking is permanently engrained in my being and training for a road ride can’t be as hard as riding mountain bike can it?


At Cardinal Health, I helped organize Wednesday night group rides and participate in a Saturday group ride. We did our share of training. I pulled in a few 25 mile rides, a few 30 – 40 mile rides and one 64 mile ride. That 64 mile ride was my new distance record. But to be honest, that 64 mile ride was super boring. There were no awesome trails to rip down, no sweet jumps to hit and no rock gardens to tame. The ride was from Columbus to Mechanicsburg and back. Half of the ride I rode alone. Endless corn fields, flat and straight roads and one rolling coal from the locals. I wanted it to be over. What saved me was during the last 20 miles or so, I put on my Def Leppard Pandora station and jammed to some top rated rock ‘n roll.


The event was going to be anything but boring and I knew that. The pre-party was awesome with live music, food and booze. All free for riders and their (1) guest. We got cool swag and tons of free samples. We were able to try this drink called Kill Cliff. We never heard of it but it tastes great. They allowed us to take home 6 cases of it.


The race day was off to a hilarious start. I go to pull into the parking garage and some rider clipped into his bike decided to pull next to his buddy in my lane. He didn’t realize there would be cars entering so he panicked and fell right over, unable to unclick. Since he didn’t get hurt I could laugh about it on the inside. It was about 6:10am. I grabbed my bike and headed over to the Cardinal Health team.

Team “Pedal, Tommy, Pedal!” at Pelatonia 2022


During the ride, we had stops every 20 miles. The first stop being at the 10 mile marker. We stopped because all that anticipation makes you want to pee. We started back on and rested at the 20 mile mark to refuel. Pelotonia is so organized, each stop had bike racks, shots of pickle juice, more Gatorade than you can shake a stick at and tons of food and fruits. Food was mostly peanut butter and Jelly. One of my favorites.


A fully staffed lunch was provided at the 57 mile marker. Great time to recharge. I ran into my sister-in-law at that stop. She is a nurse practitioner volunteering at the first aid station.


I was in a group of 3 riding the 102 mile. The lead is a Triathlon competitor. She was fast. I carried the pace for about 60 miles. So many times I thought my body would quit at that pace. After 60 miles, I fell back to a slightly slower pace. Fortunately, with so many riders, you were never alone on the road. Even if you were, every intersection was managed to give the biker the right of way and signs clearly marked the turns.

At mile 80, I took a 30 minute break. It was a good time to refuel and socialize with other Cardinal Health riders before doing the final stretch. The last 10 miles were the most hilly. Taking a break was a good idea.

Tommy & Jacob


I was tired but not exhausted by any means. This surprised me since 64 miles was the longest I’ve ever done. During the last several hill climbs I saw many people walking their bikes and folks along the side looking completely defeated. This was about the time my mountain bike training took over. I raced up each one of the hill climbs with ease. It was amazing how much energy is restored after a 30 minute break.


The finish was epic. You go from deep countryside to a metropark trail that ends up at Kenyon College in Gambier. The finish is a long epic finish with folks lining the sides cheering us on. My wife and son were there to see me roll in. It made me so happy inside to see them there supporting me.


Riding Pelotonia 2022 was an amazing experience. I raised almost $3K in donations. 100% of that goes to fund cancer research. Most of us riding in Pelotonia have had a loved one fall victim to cancer or are survivors themselves. Me personally, I lost a mother to cancer in 2007. She was 45 years of age when she lost her battle. My mother was an avid cyclist. I remember when she bought her Giant Kronos road bike in 1993. It was awesome and I wasn’t allowed to ride it. When I got older, my mother let me ride the bike on some longer rides. That bike is what I ride in Pelotonia. Same bike in both 2016 and 2022. It has seen some sweet upgrades since then. What I loved most is that feeling of remembrance during the ride and knowing there is a possibility that my mother was with me along the way.


Pelotonia is so meaningful to many people. If you could imagine the total of everyone’s sense of meaning during that riding weekend it would fill a mountain. Thanks to all who supported my ride.

-Tommy Schira Jr

Tommy @ Devou Frienduro

Devou Frienduro 2022


Let me start by saying, “Devou is an awesome place to ride a bike.” This park can be broken down into several downhill stages. I think 7. It is just under 2 hour drive from Columbus Ohio on the other side if the Ohio River near Cincinnati.


I am not much of a photographer and usually don’t take photos much of myself. The day before I had done 102 miles riding Pelotonia. Since my body wasn’t sore, I was hoping for a good race.


When we got there, (my cousin Tyler Schira was with me), right away folks were talking about how greasy it was on the trail. That wasn’t good since Tyler is kind of new to mountain biking. He was riding my Transition Scout and I was on the Giant Reign. Team Mandalore has an awesome shirt design. Folks
recognized me right away. Tyler and I were excited despite the greasy warnings.
We both rode 2 stages. I love the 2 nd stage Full Monty. There is a gap jump toward the end I love hitting. Yeah, the trail was a bit greasy. During the transfer trail to stage 3, Tyler took a spill on some rocks and ended up falling 4 feet down a shale garden. He banged up his arm and needed some first aid.
I had already been ahead and didn’t realize his crash. I waited for him to catch up with me but he didn’t.


Others came so I asked. Folks made me aware of his crash and I knew right were that was. My legs were done. Energy was just not there for me to complete the race. Pelotonia had taken it from me and rightfully so.


It was time to call it and I headed back. Man it was a hot day. Everyone was drenched. Tyler and I decided to leave but without regret. Later I heard from others that One of my friends got stitches in his knee due to a crash and another broke his hand by hitting a tree. It was very greasy out there.


Something about Kentucky nature and wet conditions made it feel like riding on ice in some situations.

Jeff Swartout Challenge with Ryan

TT name: Jeff Swartout Challenge, July 15th in Cincinatti OH
10.2 mile course
My Finishing time: 27:14, 22.5mph average

Not the best performance, and I wasn’t really hoping for one. I did about as good as I was thinking I’d do. The TT competition in Cincinnati is stronger it seems than we have up here. The standard men’s road bike category had 13 finishers and my performance was good enough for 12th place! I was trying to save myself for two crit races the next day, but unfortunately I crashed in the first two laps of the first crit race, so those races were pretty unremarkable.

The course for the TT was really good though. A short, gently undulating route along pretty lightly traveled roads in greater Cincinnati. The road was in good shape and there was no traffic besides the other bike racers.

Make Big Changes With Baby Steps

When you’re motivated to make a change in your life, sometimes it feels as if you need to tackle everything at once and completely revamp your existing lifestyle. However, you’ll be more successful if you make small, sustainable changes, allowing each new habit to become permanent before pressing orward again. According to the National Institute of Health, change comes in several stages:
• Contemplation
• Preparation
• Action
• Maintenance

Once you reach the maintenance stage, it’s okay to set new goals and move through these stages for your next changes.


Break Big Changes Into Achievable Goals

Too often, big goals become overwhelming and feel insurmountable. This is why many experts recommend setting up a series of small tasks that lead toward your ultimate goal. Boost the impact of your goals and achieve success by learning to make SMART goals and to habit stack. The acronym SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Habit stacking refers to moving through a series of actions that you generally repeat in the
same order every day. For example, if you already drink water first thing in the morning, stack that with doing some stretches.


Incorporate Small Goals Into Your Existing Lifestyle

There are several great fitness changes you can make that fit easily into your existing routine, such as walking after dinner or parking at the back of the parking lot for extra steps. A task like this can help you fit exercise into your routine even when you have a very full schedule. Consider adding a few minutes of meditation or yoga to your day or scheduling time to meal prep each week. Use the following ideas or use them to brainstorm other ideas:
• Find a partner to keep you accountable or join a team like Team Mandalore.
• Eat a rainbow each day.
• Increase your fiber intake.
• Keep a journal of how much water you drink and how many vegetables you eat in a day.
• Practice saying “no” and maintaining healthy boundaries when asked for help.
• Set aside several minutes each day to self-reflect.
• Get into nature for 20 minutes a day.
• Recognize something to be grateful for every day.

Any one of these habits could provide you with increased energy, better health, improved sleep habits, and decreased depression. Just be sure that the small goals you choose lead directly to your end goal.


Establish an Atmosphere for Success

It can be hard to make and maintain changes without a supportive atmosphere. Create this environment in your home by upgrading your lighting, adding plants to your décor, and setting aside a place for exercise and meditation.
A separate spot for meditation makes it easier to reflect and decompress during busy days. Remove sugary treats and temptations from sight and stock your fridge with ready-to-eat veggies, water bottles, and other healthy snacks.
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have room for a full set of gym equipment in your home; use a chair for triceps dips or do a minute of wall sits.


Start Your Journey With One Step

Every time you try for a new goal and don’t achieve it, you increase your chances of not succeeding in the end. Rather than jumping toward a goal that’s out of reach, set achievable goals that build toward larger goals. Small tasks are less intimidating, instill a sense of momentum, and help you maintain focus. With each new success, you’ll enjoy more confidence with less stress. As Desmond Tutu said, “There is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a
time.”

**a note from the captain: many thanks to Shelia Johnson of wellsheila.net for an insightful and fun little article!**

SWAMP DASH! with Jacob!

Jacob Schira had an exciting day at the Gator’s Swamp Dash.  He was racing in the five and six year old class.  The weather could not have been more perfect for racing.  The ground was dry and the temperature was warm.

Jacob’s pretty much the bomb… and he’s getting fast, too!

The little racers started off first. The three and four year old’s on balance bikes raced to the finish. There was a total of 277 racers that day.  Kids rode in heats of 10 riders.

Jacob is anxiously waiting his turn in the race as the rest of the riders in his heat are getting ready for staging.

He is finishing hard on the final stretch with only 20 feet to go!

PEDAL PEDAL PEDAL!

Jacob Schira from Team Mandalore finished the race and wears his medal proudly.

Jacob may only be 6, but he’s FIERCE!

Check out Gator Park’s Swamp Dash at: https://www.thetrailgators.org/mountain-bike-race-series/swamp-dash-at-gbp/

**From the Team Captain: Jacob is a habitual overachiever with a great attitude and we’re proud to have him on the team. Our juniors don’t pay for their kit and we reimburse their parents for race registrations as long as the bank account holds out. It’s important for us to thank our many sponsors and supporters who make this possible so we can remove some of the financial barrier and get MORE KIDS ON BIKES!

Shez & Rae take Ohio State TT Masters Champsionships

We haven’t had a masters Ohio State time trial championship since 2019. We’re sure of it cause that’s the number on our last first place jerseys. Held on the lovely streets of West Salem, OH and curated by our sisters at Team Stelleri Performance Training, State is always a blast and a chance for us to see old friends. You know, OLD, cause it’s the Masters’ TT!

Shez entered her age cat for 40km, placing first in her group and earning a new state jersey with a time of 1:29:45.

Shez, all smiles at one of her favourite courses.

In the absence of a dedicated fixed gear cat, Rae entered the “fun division” 22km, otherwise known as the Eddy Merckx.

Yeah, that’s a thing.

It’s also known as the “cannibal class,” so, you know, that’s fun. It’s done on some kind of a standard bike: no dish wheels, no skinsuits, no tt helmet, no forward bars. Steel frames and wool shorts encouraged. She asked the USA Cyling official if he was gonna give her a rollout for her gearing and he said, “nah, if you can get that started you’re fine.” Yep. That’s her kind of race…

Our friend Mike from Lake Effect Racing showed up on his (also steel) fixie and raced in the mens cannibal. Rae placed 3rd, with a strong PR on the outbound leg of 22:22 (yes!) but lost time on the return route due to fierce crosswinds, finishing that segment in 24:39. Her overall was 46:38. Mike placed fifth in his group, still besting Rae by 5 minutes (figures) but reported to the post race gathering that Rae rode like a wildwoman & he was unable to execute a pass while they were on the course together.

Kristen, Samantha & Rae, cannibal women of the Ohio State Masters TT

We also had the especial delight to seeing our friends Karen and Doug from our southward fam fam, Team Dayton. Karen placed first in her 40k age group as well.

Yes, yes we are the best looking group at the event. It’s true.

The weather was beautiful, if you don’t mind fighting steady crosswinds from every direction on a winding course. As usual, the timing team from Summit Freewheelers did a great job keeping track of all of us and they are continuing the tradition of giving Rae the number 69. We’re so grateful we have so many good friends helping us keep it weird out there!!!

As a last bonus, here’s our EOTT race director, Mark, chasing Shez with a hammer at her start.

Mr. Erzen, sir, can you please not chase my teammate with a hammer? Appreciate it… -Rae

Jacob, on Fire at the Chestnut Ridge Scorcher!

The Scorcher at Chestnut Ridge (thetrailgators.org)
Jacob Schira competed in a mountain bike race on July 16, 2022.


It was a rainy day and it was difficult on the young riders. Jacob being 6 years old raced in the 5/6 year old class. The race course was a field course with about 16 feet of elevation gain and .3 miles in length.


Many riders came to race. About 288 bikers came to race that day.
The rain wasn’t too bad when Jacob was staging to race. He was ready. So were all the other little racers.


Jacob finished strong and he hopes to finish in better position next time. He hopes to convert from a single speed to a bike with gears to help him when the terrain gets steep or tough.


The Trail Gators put on a great race. They are very organized with many volunteers. Coach Armstrong kept our spirits high during the difficult weather. Eventually, the race had to be called off for the older riders as the rain came down tough.


Next race is going to be at Granby Elementary in September at their Gator trail course.

-Tommy Schira Jr
Jacob’s Dad.

Camp Tuscazoar Reign of Pain 6 Hour MTB: a dispatch from Yellowman

“That is so sick, Bro”!
Have you ever heard a mountain biker say that one?

Sometimes when you’re sick it takes some time to recover. Recover your strength. Recover your wits.

Well the Tuscazoar Reign of Pain did that to six riders for Team Mandalore. how many laps can you put down with your partner in six hours? Team riders split into pairs: Rae Havoc and brother Craig, Yellowman and Dunk, Tommy and his young ward Tyler. All came ready to race and ready to be as obnoxious enough to be noticed, loud enough to be heard (even over Kenny “Bullhorn” Kocarek), and vibrant enough to be seen a mile away.

who goes first? where’s dunk? what the hell’s going on?

There was so much going on….the boxing gloves, the slip and slide, the maple syrup.This was the best attendance yet for this event. There were a lot of talented cyclists from across Ohio. There werea great many efficient and organized teams present. Then Camp Razorcrest was set up right in the middle of it all. No worries. We’re Team Mandalore. We are there to have fun and spread the stoke.

After sending out our first three riders at the mass start the rest of us at Camp Razorcrest double checked our gear. Ate some food. Drank something cold. At this time a rider from the CAMBA Race Team was dragged to our camp after it was discovered he was missing a bolt from a shoe. Can’t ride with one shoe! So we set up our new friend Miguel and got him on his bike to blast out of the gate and hit the trail. THAT’S how you spread the stoke!

So Yellowman knows all kinds of people. He dragged a friend along to hang out, drink our beer, eat our food. Really glad he could join us. Shout out to rider Chris Dubray as he only decided to sign up last minute to throw down a couple solo laps. Across the way were two more old riding friends of Yellowman, Bud and Jon . Shenanigans Cycling sent a represenative group as well camping out right next door. Like I said it was a parade of the best riders around. That parade did laps, just about everyone under the team tent made two laps. That’s about 20 miles and 2,300 foot of elevation gain. Yes. The ‘pain’ of the Reign of Pain. Six hours seems like a lot of time but with two minutes to go we still had a rider on the course.

kings to Tyler for finishing his second lap with less than 2 mins left on the clock.
THIS IS THE WAY, SON!

Tyler came in just under the gun to finish up his first Mountain Bike race ever. Smiles all around. Old friends were greeted. New friends were made. Have fun. Spread the stoke.

Tyler, Craig, Dunk, Tommy, Fiona, Rae, Dave & Annabel