8th annual Road Apple Roubaix

500 riders for the 8th annual RAR!

Here in northeast Ohio, the RAR is our season opener. Under fondo rules (timed but no podiums) we gather in the quaint and tiny town of Garretsville to terrorize the local population with a day of gravel riding, hill climbing, beer drinking, arm wrestling and a boisterous welcoming of the spring.

This year, conditions were “partially optimal,” with dry roads, sunshine and warm temperatures. The last several weeks of snowfall and ice made the trail sections of the ride extremely sloppy and slick, but overall it was a great adventure day!

Big smiles from Ryan, who tried a MTB for the first time this weekend!

RAR offers 2 routes – 25 or 47. All 5 Mandalores involved opted for the longer ride, arriving on a mishmash of mountainbikes, roadbikes and fixed gears. Fun fact, Team Mandalore is the ONLY team in 8 years to field not one but 3 fixies to finish the grueling 2500 feet of elevation ON TRACK GEARING. Mountainbike riding Ryan finished 117th overall in an open field of 500. Fixies Jeff and Andy impressed the crowd with their climbing and passing without gears to the delight of riders and spectators alike.

MTB Dave, in the middle of nowheresville, wearing his snacks… and his ROKA sunglasses! FYI- lots of aid stations cut bananas in half so you can just squeeze the fruit out of the skin which is very helpful if you’re wearing gloves!

The team gives rave reviews to the latest batch of Kenda tires. We have a discount code you can use if you want to get out there on the best rubber Ohio has to offer: KENDAPRO25

If you were at RAR with us, our friend James took some great pics throughout the ride & you can check them out here!

Andy would like to remind you to get in a recovery ride and a tasty treat the day after a big event!

more weekends is more fun!

we have some cool updates and photos to share from the first 2 weeks of june. first up, lebanon crit, p/b Queen City Wheels:

allen is learning how to be a USA Cycling offical and this was his first race doing timing and kitten herding. he gets to wear a fancy shirt and carry a clipboard and we think that’s smashingly cool.

ryan: work on your beard game, please. allen: keep up the good work.

ryan attended as a racer and provided the following report:

The race was fun, but super short! It was a packed field, they capped it at 75 racers and that’s what we had. The course was fast and technical with a modest climb on the front straight away and a descent through 4 corners on the back half of the course. I started out pretty fast, but I got caught up in a mid-pack group through the technical section on the first lap and the front groups were just pulling away. At about 5 laps in, the primary race official called out to my group of 7-8 that this would be our last lap because the leaders were about a quarter lap from catching us, so thus began our group’s last lap race for position which resulted in losing one position and finishing in 39th place after only 5-6 miles or racing… It was still fun and my legs and heart told me the race was plenty fast, but after the race was over, I went out for another hour ride to feel like I got the work I signed up for.

the total cost of the wheels in this picture is more than our possum van…

everyone knows weekends are for playing bikes with friends… dave, allen and rae spent some quality family time in and around wayne national forest this past weekend. the wildcat gravel grinder route is as brutal as promised! this weekend, the route was cut short because NO ONE brought enough water. the sad thing about this is, there is a filtration kit in the possum van, we just didn’t bring it. lesson learned: ALWAYS carry the filter because when it’s 90 degrees and 85% humidity and you’re out of water, every muddy puddle you ride by looks like a life saver.

the day ended over 40 miles with somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 feet of elevation, depending on which gps device you’re looking at. if anyone would like to hip us to the cause of these discrepancies, please chime in. we know we’re not that good at math, but…

post-ride raid on the crooksville ice cream stand!

the second weekend of june wrapped up for us at the COMBO great seal funduro. enduro is a strange kind of mountain bike event. rae provides the following observations:

“enduro”… we need to reevaluate the cost-benefit analysis on this one. dave and i drove 3 hours to great seal state park so he could join about 100 other guys who hate climbing in some kind of strange, self destructive mtb ritual. enduro participants lollygag their way up a very steep hill, arriving at the “start line” (read: top) in no particular order. this seemingly disorganised mess is then released from the top one at a time with about 60 seconds between. it seems like it takes them close to a half hour to get to the top and then about 3 minutes to get back down. timing starts at the drop in and ends at the road. or near the road. i guess they just bolt an rfid reader to a tree? whatever. i stood in the road.

so if you’re providing support, you stand at the bottom of the hill and look up into the trees, which emit a combination of man screaming, howling disc brake sounds, occasional bike crash noises and gangsta rap. as the sounds get closer, you lean cautiously toward the trail’s exit to see if it’s your rider. when it’s not, you go back to swatting black flies off your face and chatting with the IMBA medical team. for their own part, the IMBA medical team asks bloodied up riders if they know where they are. if a rider can accurately describe the location and race, they are released for the next stage. many riders arrive at the bottom covered in dirt skids and bleeding around the elbows, knees & face.

there are 4 stages for pro, 3 stages for everyone else.

dave had 3 stages and was off in the wilderness for approximately 4 hours.

his total time for all 3 downhill runs was 15 minutes. the first place finisher in his class did it in 11.

so… a 13 hour day total for 15 minutes of downhill. i mean, at least the dog and i got to swim in a little creek, but we need to rethink this!

all smiles on the way to the start line