Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It's All About Zack

Last Sunday's 24MOTAB was held at the tail end of what we're hoping is the last gasp of winter. The Kittenmaster's trophy had coffee written all over it and it seemed that Zack was almost predestined to win and the K-master told Zack so. A small-ish but rabid pack gathered at the local watering hole for a pre-race drank and then headed over to the abandoned building. Zack and Jess were already there and waiting. Just to make it all legal, his honour V.A. Powell climbed the mountain and poured one for his homies and then we were off. For a weekend that started off with snow and cold, Sunday night was about perfect for an early spring race. And as was preordained Zack took home the first place trophy. Kenny from Delavin was a close second and Nils won a special DFL that we can only hope is hanging in a place of honour. Ah, dogs and children......creepy.

Not only was Zack blazing the trail for a MOTAB win but he was also out on Saturday doing some H8TR trailblazing. Fast was the report before the snow fell and the tunnel looks to be getting even better. Still a little ice but for the most part it sounds like there'll be nothing but rubber and earth (plus pidgeons and a lot of darkness).

The Kittenmaster was busy with power tools making an armful of trophies for the MBM, plus running around getting other bits together for this epic throwdown. Others have been busy too getting bits together to make this edition extra special. Zack has made a trophy that will be a welcome edition to anyone's mantlepiece. Phil has been working on a couple items for some sibling rivalry and Jesse is at work on a secret project. Fear it. FEAR IT!!!

Friday, March 27, 2009


Yeah that's right, we've got some 24MOTAB action this Sunday! 8:00, Sunday, the abandoned building or hitch yer pony up at Mickey's around 7:00 for a pre-race drank.
will the mulch bags return as they always do this time of year? we'll see!

Monday, March 23, 2009

more H8TR reports

Sketch Brah Dave and Meghan did a ride on Sunday too and here is Dave's report:

well.. meghan! and I rode the h8tr from seminole to the tunnel. so with djonn's report combined with ours, one can get a complete idea of what is ahead. from the end of seminole to the "legit" start of the badger at purcell the trail is in primo condition. shotgun shells on wendt, and a fitchburg police speed-trapping people at M (he surprisingly said nothing to us as we came out of the field in front of him and crossed back onto the h8tr; i waved, he returned the greeting.. so i guess we have the blessing of the fitchburg PD.) the only remaining snow aside from the run-up to the exeter tunnel and the tunnel itself was on the stretch from purcell to the overpass at sayles trail. and it only really was patches, but the saturated trail is harder than it looks. from sayles to henry the h8tr is a speedway.. i can only imagine busting that at the 20+ mph we'll be seeing the front groups going. it is equally fast from henry to belle-vile, with some occasional sketchy places, but nothing too alarming. the only "whoa buddy" moments came south of belle-vile as some run-off channels crossing the trail were deep and placed close together to throw off ones rhythm. on the plus, northbound at the run-offs is easily hopped if you ride on the left side of the trail. as i mentioned, the lead up to the tunnel is wet and snow/icey, but maybe today's rains will clear all the snow up. the way back we hit up the belle-vile subway to split a 5 dolla footlong.. it saved the day.

Lemond Poprad, Michelin Mud 2 30's F + R ~ 50 psi.

also check Ronko's tunnel report in the comments section in the preceding post.

reports of on/off rain for the rest of the week. things could get interesting.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

CSI: H8TRville

Today the Kittenmaster took a solo sprint from H8TRville to Madison and back on the H8TR Trail and can report that if conditions stay dry it'll be a fast course come race day. Aside from a few lingering patches of ice and some wet spots from melt drainage everything else is drying out. Waiting for a couple reports from peeps who went the distance today to see what things are like from H8TRville southward. The K-master remains optimistic that the never before raced offroad section of Seminole will remain rideable.

One thing that was noticed was that the snowbanks are bequeathing a few more dead things along the trail, The Kittenmaster found another deer carcass on the south side of McKenna Road maybe only two hundred yards from the one Brassnipples found on the north side. A link between the two? Further investigation is required. A fresh dead skunk was also spotted trailside just before Lacy Rd.

A few roadies were spotted here and there but aside from a phantom speck in the distance that the Kittenmaster chased from Hwy M toward town, no one else was seen on the H8TR. But there were a few fresh tire tracks here and there so no doubt somebody was out there spreading the H8T.

24MOTAB next Sunday with a muted promise of sunlight and warm weather. Get it!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


2/22/09- oh yeah, amidst all the M-B-M excitement some guy won his record tying 5th 24MOTAB victory while the other guy that won the last two in a row came in DFL. well, well, well.

and now back to the usual Hell Of The South chicanery: the Spencer Bros., Joseph and James-Ira did a little ride on the trail you love to H8T and they say things are drying out. The tunnel they say remains the same.

The Kittenmaster will be back in Iowa this weekend so he expects the rest of you to spread some more H8T on the trail as well.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Things To Do In Belleville When You're Dead

Saturday and the fabulous Braun Brothers and the Kittenmaster went out to do a fullrecon of the H8TR Trail. The Kittenmaster suffered a flat tire before even getting out of the parking lot (a portent of the evil to follow I suppose), but after a quick fix and rendezvous with the brothers Travis and Matt they hit the trail.

First impressive thing was that the deer carcass that Brassnipples found a couple weeks ago was actually within the city limits! Hardcore. What can be said about the trail condition this year compared to last year at the same time is that it was both better and worse. Better in that the impassable snowdrifts from last year aren't there (oh don't worry there's still time for another snow dump) and there aren't any downed trees across the path (
yet). Worse in that with last year's total saturation still in evidence, the trail isn't draining nearly as fast so the finished sections have a consistency of wet cement and ride that way too.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves- admittedly the unfinished bits were a blast as always and with the frost still holding things together it was fast. This year the potholes are bigger and the bridge drop offs deeper, but the trail path has been beaten down more by snowmobiles and bikers alike so there are some good lines to follow.

While we were on the section paralleling Wendt Road counting spent shotgun shells, we met a group of bikers coming in the other direction. This was a good sign in that otherwise all we were seeing was pelloton after pelloton of roadies out for an early spring ride giving us friendly but confused waves hello as they saw us disappearing into the thickets and mud. The bikers we met gave us grave warnings about glare ice for stretches of the trail and possible alternate routes. Alternate routes? NEVER!!! We pushed on. Since they had been out earlier it might have been glare but what we found was rideable (we're seasoned Wisco crossers after all and laugh at such things. HA!). We were laughing so hard that Travis fell off his bike on the tail end of the ice and tore his palm open nicely.

The trail leading into H8TRville was sweet and it seemed we'd be at the tunnel in no time. Then the wet cement started. Imagine going up a miles long uphil against a stiff headwind yet somehow the ground remains level and forward progress seems nonexistant. Short bridge and highway crossings were like seconds long vacations and then it was back to pushing the rock up the hill. Record setting paces were not on the menu. We got to the Tunnel of H8T and the waterfalls from last week were gone and in the tunnel itself there was an underwater skating rink. Still not quite do-able but hey there's still almost a month before go time. Don't hold yer breath though.

Somewhat disappointed we turned around and headed back down the wet cement highway. We stopped in Belleville at the local Citgo where Matt loaded up on fine pasteries and the Kittenmaster replenished his water supply from the fresh restroom sink spring water. For a treat we rode half a mile of highway pavement before returning to the H8TR. The glare ice was now glare slush that had Travis and the K-master dismounting and walking for a bit as Matt floated over mud coloured sno-cone with fat tires. Eff this, back to the pavement. Then back to the unfinished section and finally back to Seminole. By the way the section of the H8TR that parallels Seminole is totally rideable so this year barring floods we're doing it! At this point Matt went off to pee in the bushes and an SUV with some old women passed by pointing and laughing. The Kittenmaster flipped them off. Oh Kittenmaster, that's no way to be a goodwill ambassador of cycling!!!

Spent we took Seminole the rest of the way in but doing it at sprint pace line speed. For as much as single speeds can do a sprint pace- just as fast just more spin.

So there ya go. Go time approaches.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

More Trail Recon

Lest you think that the name the H8TR Trail is some cute appelation like calling a big guy "Tiny" or a bald guy "Curly", a recon trip on the trail last Sunday should immediately make you think otherwise.

Warm, sunny weather the last couple days and then the steady downpour from today has melted a lot of the snow on the trail but about fifty yards from the mouth of the Tunnel Of H8T it's still mid January.

But then when you get to the actual tunnel it looks as though you've stumbled onto a tropical rain forest! If tropical rain forests hovered at around 30 degrees! The good news is that there's a lot less ice in the tunnel than last year. The bad news is that the Kittenmaster got a bad bad evil idea for an alternate route in case the tunnel is impassable. bad bad bad.....

Elsewhere rivers of runoff ran wild across the trail and this is where part of the race fee goes, filling in those troughs and gulleys and keeping the H8TR an enjoyable experience for all. wait, did I just say that??? Crap I must be slipping.....
more trail pix here

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Trail Conditions

Our good friend Brassnipples was out doing some trail recon a couple of days ago and came across this sacrifice to the gods of H8T making this the third year running that this kind of carnage has been spotted on the H8TR Trail. We take it as a good sign for the M-B-M: HOTS.

In other news, the missing piece for the DFL trophy was found this weekend in Iowa. It's gonna be sweet, but anyone still on the trail after dark will be left for dead so no sandbagging for last!

The process of selection for the remaining non veteran M-B-M spots on the roster is almost complete and those selected will be contacted in the next couple days along with those on the waiting list (sorry, the Kittenmaster got a finger stuck in the machinery at the Kitten Factory and has had to recouperate before drawing names- it's hard pulling names out of a hat with a bloody stump - warning: gross out factor possible).

More mayhen soon!
the kittens!