big weekend out for team mandalore!

Maybe it’s because no one was sure how things were going to work out because of covid, but it really felt like this past weekend had TOO MANY events to choose from! We checked in with our friends and they were everywhere from northern Michigan to southern Ohio doing everything from crit races to track tt. Here’s the rundown of where the Heroes of Mandalore could be seen.

Annabel and her fan club…

Joe & Heather spent their weekend with their NICA kids and the Unioto Sherman’s MTB Team. From all accounts they made the family proud at Bailey’s and continue to have fun and spread the stoke at their second race.

sister team foundlings at baileys!

MTB was also on the schedule at the Bedford Cleveland Metropark & Team Mandalore had a great turnout with Ron racing in expert (30 miles), Rae, Ross & Dave in sport (20 miles), Rachelle and Fiona in beginner (10 miles) and Annabel in youth. Annabel beat a few other kids on her 2 mile loop and scored a third place ribbon! Annabel would have beat them all but we thought it was a better idea to start moving her into the big girls category.

the bedford gathering of the mandalores

There’s a ton of photos up on the CAMBA facebook discussion group – Thanks to Timothy Neff for all the effort taking pics and especial thanks from Rae for the verbal “encouragement” on the course while she struggled to finish her second lap on a shoulder injury. No, really, you’re priceless, mate!

Cyclocross season is also upon us and what better way to get off a good start but to drag the foundlings to a second race! Dave and Rae took Fiona and Annabel down to Kings Mill for the Carter Park CX, presented by our friends at K & G Racing and directed by our teammate Allen. No, they didn’t want to go. Yes, they both threw up on the drive down.

Allen represents our partnership with K&G Racing, as we share him as a team racer. This race was partly about getting some of the kids to try CX and also about fulfilling our volunteer obligations. Rae did not race, opting instead to be “director of FUN” for the youth race. Our girls did great and looked to actually be enjoying themselves on a difficult, technical course. Rae, Allen and Dave did donut hole handups, fruit punch handups and finish line ribbon holding for all the kids. Team Mandalore also donated prize bags filled with goodies from our sponsors and, of course, stickers!

Ryan Hotpants spent the weekend at the Mass Ave Crit Races in Indy, but we’re going to dedicate an entire blog post to that as soon as he gets off his pants and writes it!!

Team Mandalore can’t do all this crazy shit without our sponsors and supporters. Every day we wake up thrilled yet slightly confused that people actually want to see us race bikes!

Coming up next, the COMBO FunDuro series continues, but at least we get a week off!

so what happened after crusher?

rae & dave departed from the upper late friday morning after taking a rock hunting wander around champion. the plan was to visit our sponsors alden canvas near traverse city and take a preview ride on the iceman cometh course saturday. the weather was excellent during crusher (thursday – friday) but not so much on saturday.

the greater traverse area saw upwards of 4 inches of rain on saturday in a near-constant downpour from 5am until the mid afternoon, so we sat around at the alden hq looking round for cool rocks between belts of rain, drinking beers and goofing off.

at some point we realised there was a NMMBA race going on in traverse on sunday and decided, “why not?” dave spent 2 days putting up with rae’s shit on the crusher trail and deserved a race of his own. for her part, rae finds it almost impossible to resist showing up at some random race and trying to get a podium spot. so off to the traverse city trails festival they went!

big event, this- like 300 people big. sponsored by short’s brewing and featuring 2 of the local trails with a connector, there were 2 distances- 28 (elite) & 15 (novice and sport). dave entered novice and rae entered sport, both of which started after the “big” pro / elite start, which was cool to watch.

the trails were really nice, especially after the giant boulder pile fest that is crusher- pine duff to sooth the soul. and the chapped ass cheeks! the fellas from the nmmba crew were super welcoming and on our podiums they even announced that we had just came down from the youp to do this race. while we were riding back to the van, someone passed by and shouted, “good job today, eh?” it was like, “uh, they think we’re from the youp.” i guess that’s better than them knowing we’re from ohio?

in the interest of transparancy, rae did make an effort to let everyone know that team mandalore is “an ohio bike racing team with a michigan drinking problem.” we feel like that covers all our bases.

so… podiums anyone? a pair of podiums? gratuitous post-crusher podiums? YEP! HELL YEP.

dave finished 5th overall for mens novice and 3rd in his age group! rae finished 6th overall in womens sport and first in her age group. the trophies were a little unwieldy to ride back to the van carrying but totally worth it. we’ve always wanted 2 big ass slabs of black walnut log to hang up at camp razorcrest!

and most importantly, THANK YOU and Jah Love to brigett and chris at alden canvas who took care of the trail dogs for us while we raced and allowed our sweaty, uncivilised asses to camp in their yard for yet another “stupid thing to do on a bicycle.” and thanks for giving us some shirts to take back to the team! SEE YOU AT ICEMAN!!!!! (the mandalores cometh!)

Squatchin’ at Cmp Tuscazoar Reign of Pain, July 3 2021

The 331 Racing / Knobby Side Down Camp Tuscazoar 6 hour event is in the books and it was an EXCITING chapter. Our first team MTB event of 2021 brought Quinn, Dave, Ross, Ron, Rae, Duncan, Heather & Joe out to compete with Craig and foundlings Annabell and Fiona helping with support.

Ron & Dave after the “warmup” 2 mile flow trail start, heading into the wilderness.

Team duo competition included co-ed duos Duncan & Rae, “team 4 wheels and 2 staph infections,” head to head against Joe & Heather, “team Lawhorn.” Dunk & Rae eeked out a slightly shorter time than the Lawhorns in the 3 lap competition and after that, Dunk enjoyed himself a 3rd lap. Way to wreck yourself for the team, Dunk. Overall, our co ed duos placed 8th and 9th out of 10 in co-ed open but first place in shit talking and selfie game!

Joe, Heather, Rae and dat strong selfie game.

Ross & Dave teamed up for a 3 lapper, as well. Tuscazoar is an incredibly challenging course at 10 miles and 1,521 feet of climbing elevation and Dave put in an impressive 2 laps (with a Ross effort in between) for an overall win in the duo “fun” division. Oh, why were the laps “impressive?” Because Dave took 00:26:04 off his lap time on the second go. We’d make a don’t have a heart attack joke, but that’s really in bad taste…

Dunk, Ron & Rossi see Sasquatch, though it looks like Duncan’s trying to ignore him!

Ron went solo, completing 3 laps with a time of 05:40:16 for an overall 21 out of 31 in Mens Open. We hear he only fell over twice. Nice work, old man!!!

The biggest excitement of the day, however, was Quinn, who completed the solo course in 3 hours and 8 minutes, finishing with a smile to share the podium with our friend and Shenanigans teammate, Connor, as the only solo junior riders. Podium standing juniors each got a bottle of maple syrup! Every junior who showed up to this race is a total badass, by the way.

Mandatory Mando Podium Photo

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