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!

EOTT #2 – report from Rae

Sunday, June 19th was the second of the 3 part EOTT series. We’ve been plagued with crazy weather here in the Mahoning Valley for the past month or so. Race opener workouts on Saturday came with many comments of, “I hope the 30mph winds die down before start time at EOTT.” But it was not to be!

The Deerfield course is one of our favourite spots to test ourselves against the clock. The 20k rolling course runs NW-SE through mostly farms & fields.

For the most part if there’s a steady breeze in this part of Ohio, it’s due west, so EOTT usually ends up having a light cross breeze on both the outward and return legs. Unfortunately, on Sunday the wind was railing down at us from the northwest. Dead headwind all the way out – mega bummer!

I can only speak for myself, but the noise of the wind is worse on me than the actual force of it. It took me more than 1/4 mile to get my cadence under control and find my pace, which was greatly diminished compared to my usual speeds… my outbound leg took 23:03, which is more than 2 1/2 minutes slower than my average speed on this course. The return trip was just as noisy with the wind, but at least gave ma a push and kept my time within 45 seconds of my fastest time at EOTT.

So my overall time for Sunday was 41:46, which is was 2 seconds slower than my result at EOTT 1. I guess things averaged out in the end?!

We had a full podium with both Mike and Jeff in attendance this week. Our fine organisers put us 1-2-3 in line, too, so we could all see eachother. Fixed gear has become something of a circus since Team Mandalore started racing in the category. Jeff railed it, despite the tricky conditions, passing Mike about 2/3s of the way through the course to finish just about 1 minute ahead.

Always nice to see more than one fixed gear in the mix!

The weather even had Ryan, our happiest happy warrior, a little down. He gave his team spot with Joe to fellow Cycwarder Amanda and just did solo standard. He finished 2:22 off of Joe’s time for second place overall in a field of 6 for standard. Not too bad Ry Guy!!!

There won’t be an EOTT next month in Deerfield, instead we will be racing the Masters State Championship TT out in West Salem, if you wanna chance to go head to head with the madlads of Mandalore!

EOTT wrap-up

August 15th saw the final EOTT time trial of the season in Deerfield, OH with plenty of Mandalore podiums! TT is something every competitive cyclist should be doing on a regular basis. It’s an opportunity to test yourself against the clock but also a chance to test yourself against your mind. TT is hard and lonely, but the fellows from Stark Bicycle Club and Summit Freewheelers make this event so much fun. The series has been going on for over 30 years and it’s always a joy to race with the “regulars” and goof off with the organisers.

This event was Q Superstar’s first road TT and we’re pleased to say that everyone present complimented her poise and control on the start ramp (oh, yeah, they shove you down a ramp at the start!) Her previous experience at the Cleveland Velodrome where a holding start is done on the banked surface certainly worked to her advantage for a standing sprint start. Quinn’s average speed was 14.62 mph on the 20k course for a time of 51:43… a brilliant effort for her first time navigating the rollers and sharp turn around at the half way point.

The dynamic duo Brian and Ryan pulled double duty this week, competing in mens standard as individuals and heading immediately back out as a team. Brian placed first in a field of fourteen in standard with an overall time of 31:45 / 23.8 mph average. Ryan placed fifth with a gap of 01:22, a time of 42:07 and a speed of 22.82. Their team effort was just as impressive: second place out of six teams in 31:44 for an average of 23.81 mph. They even managed to beat Joe and Heather’s team effort of 21.11 mph!! If you find it hard to tell B & R apart on bike, don’t worry, you’re not the only one. It doesn’t help that we haven’t seen them separated from each other for months… it’s truly a bromance for the ages!

The track bikes went down as usual, with a gap of about 5 minutes between each of them- Joe first with an average of 25.13, Jeff second at 19.87 and Rae third with an average of 18.24.

Team Mandalore will be moving on to more late season criterium, mtb and gravel in the coming weeks. We’re sad to see EOTT come to an end, but very happy with our results over the series. Also, thanks to Brian’s lovely spouse, we now have visual proof that joining the dark side will get you cookies!

congratulations, brian! you really earned those cookies!!!

we’re not trying to brag, but it’s huge. our team, that is. there’s a whole bunch of us.

this weekend saw a happy reunion between the northeast and south branches of team mandalore. 7 of us converged on the second eastern ohio time trial race of 2021 and even managed a few podiums. results are available at http://sfwtiming.com and yield the following insights:

mandalore supreme, joe lawhorn continues to crush the fixie twins with an over all time of 29:24 (25.71 mph) compared to jeff’s time of 37:57 (19.92 mph) and rae’s 40:21 (18.73 mph). the interesting news is rae seems to be gaining on jeff.

for their first time trial brian, ryan and dave all entered a very competitive field in men’s standard. no age groups or aero equipment in this category, just 11 dudes on roadbikes vomiting at the end of the course.

brian finished an impressive 4th with a time of 31:35 (23.73 mph)
ryan was 7th with a time of 33:35 (22.50 mph)
and dave continued his new tradition of not finishing last (10th!) with a time of 43:31 (17.37 mph)

heather came to support but did not race, which meant rae had to be the sacrificial mando for joe’s secondary run: a team effort. she reports being completely destroyed by 2 back to back 20k efforts, but at least showed some consistency, finishing 5th with joe on a 39:15 run (19.26) in the open team / tandem cat. joe’s a fine leader though and she’d do it again!

another great day of racing and spreading the stoke. we can’t complain.

well, we COULD complain about the weather (HOT with thunderstorms), the hills (one gear!), the roadkill (why are so many skunks on rt 14?), the political yard flags that won’t go away (y’all know who you are. no one cares, get on with your life), be we’re not that kind of team.

on deck next week are time trials at the velodrome and parkside crit. or maybe we’ll just ride to the brewery!

womens weekend, sibling revelry & ???running???

it was a busy weekend for rae, quinn, jeff & molly. not that there was any slacking on the part of the rest of the team, they just weren’t doing anything organised. typical.

saturday saw day 1 of the cleveland velodrome‘s womens weekend with the fabulous (utterly olympic) mk wintz & team mandalore’s very own health coach stacy rhea. it was a big first for quinn (and probably a little intimidating) but as usual, our superstar ladies junior figured out the fixed gear and smashed her laps. she learned some pacelines, how to move up and down the wall, speed control and standing starts. we made a pile of new friends and got to hang with some of rae’s favourite racin’ mamas.

team mandalore donated a hat and painting to the raffle and we had a Q&A with a lady sports doctor. (rae is sorry she can’t remember your name, but she did buy some turmeric green tea and she hates it but she’s gonna try again!)

most importantly, everyone had fun, no one got hurt and quinn is definitely ready to join the summit freewheelers juniors development team on their monday night workouts! thanks for the invite, duderinos, we’ll love to be there with y’all!

we had delicious lunch provided by go buddha meals. give them a try, even if you're not on a plant-based diet. you won't regret it. the takeout was totes incredibulllllz. rae feels a little guilty for just hoovering straight into hers before taking a picture, but assures us that the lunch was AS PICTURED on the website!

sunday morning brought the return of the infamous BROTHER-SISTER FIXED GEAR BEATDOWN between jeff and rae at deerfield’s eott time trial. inquiring minds wanted to know which sib had trained more on their fixie and the answer was clearly jeff. jeff was ON FIRE with a 20k time of 37:50 handily beating rae’s 41:44.

kings to jeff! this ride is his PR on the eott course and in addition to beating rae he also beat his other nemisis, “shez the devil.”

because there were not enough fixed gears for a full podium, jeff & rae were both scored in the standard (non-aero) category, which we agree is a fair compromise, since the two of them really only care about beating eachother.

rae snagged a third overall in womens standard, but she bolted immediately after slamming her parking lot beer so she could attend the local fu5k cancer 5k.

thanks shez! i mean “hail satan!” for standing in on the podium!

everyone knows running is for squirrels, but if you have a friend race directing, a team mate sponsoring and only live 1.5 miles from the course you kinda have to show up for the 5k teeshirt run!

rae had to ride straight to the 5k from eott, then switch shoes and slam a water bottle by her 10am start time. luckily, she found a ruck-racing buddy and was able to fast hike the course in fine company. team mandalore’s molly kay a (owner of our sponsor kent cycle) donated her time manning a bike corral and did a nice raffle at the end too!

despite the hot day, the woods were beautiful and there were even a few dogs to pet. apologies to fitzy who is still trying to learn his leash manners and was not able to attend.

as a charity race, there were no official finishing times, but strava says this was rae’s 2nd fastest effort for a 5k. not bad for a fat old lady who just smashed a multitude of fixed gear miles! the fu5k cancer race supports colin cares cures cancer. they’re always taking donations & they’re good folks so you should run their race or drop them some federal reserve notes of love.

that appears to be all there is to say about this past weekend. up next week we’re looking toward getting mtb season started with yc monthly or if we can’t field a team to drive that far far and away, maybe just umpteen laps at WEST BRANCH!!!!!

also jun 1st will see the start of the tuesday training crit … if you’re a lady with a road bike, rae would realllllllly like to have another gal to race with in mens b category. HINT HINT HINT.

ratl 4 and a series 2nd place!

Big news this weekend for the 3 Mandalores in attendance at RATL#4. Robbie raced for the first time & Brian placed 18 our of 36 in his 3rd crit! The mens Cat5 race was in pretty crummy conditions – rain and about 40 degrees – and the boys both did a great job! Robbie, Rae says she’s really sorry she pinned your number upside down 😉

In the womens 4/5 field, Rae managed to eek out enough points to place second overall for the series (a first for her and for Team Mandalore) and reports that the weather was MUCH better for her race. It’s nice when the ladies get the good weather!

What’s up next for the Mighty Mandalorians? This is a rare off weekend for the team, but there will be group rides and adventuring before we get back to racing. EOTT begins this month in Deerfield and the first of June will bring us the Parkside races in Twinsburg.

We’ve also committed to supporting the FU5K CANCER trail race in Kent on May 23rd. Sign up here to help us support Colin Cares! Say hi when you see us scrambling around in the woods, likely confused, as we try to figure out what running is. In all honesty, they sold us with “there is beer after.”