Thursday, April 30, 2009

the big pile

and he who has the biggest pile of bikes...must be at 24MOTAB.
yes indeed the first real shorts and shirt sleeves weather of the year grew a tall stack of bikes for the April 09 edition of 24MOTAB. when was the last warm weather MOTAB? September of 08 maybe? just goes to show that the foolhardy are hardy fools to keep coming back month after month. a few puddles here and there at the abandoned building but otherwise good course conditions and good peeps to go with it. kinda nice to have some extra sunlight at the end of the day too. at the end of this day, Brett took the honours with his first recorded 24MOTAB victory and judging from the pictures he looked all the part of the champion. well done sir! unfortunately in what is becoming habitual sloppiness in record keeping, second place sucka and DFL weren't really kept track of. Oh the shame! we'll blame it on spring delirium. that's it, next month we need to start awarding stuff for second place and DFL again. I heard of at least two people who have DFL traveling jerseys in their pocession, so maybe those will return. the mosquitos will probably have returned by then too so expect a quick awards ceremony and then running for your lives. see you then!


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

back to the simple life

ah, now that we've had a taste of early spring European racing it's time to settle back into the routine that brings us here month after month, year after year- yes it's 24MOTAB time once again. this Sunday 8:00 at the abandoned building with pre-ride refreshments at Mickey's around 7-ish.

apparently a referendum did pass with this last election that will pave the way for something to be done with the abandoned building so maybe sometime in the next year or so. we've heard it before so who knows, but for now don't take 24MOTAB for granted cuz once the abandoned building is gone then 24MOTAB will be gone with it. get it now!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

the when

No pun intended but I hate this part. This is the part where I have to quantify and verbalize all the action, all the sensations, all the feelings etc. of a whirlwind that for me is Christmas, New Year's and Halloween all rolled into one. So let me say just this- I don't look for people who ask "why", I only look for people who ask "when". On Saturday I found those people.

Saturday April 11th 2009, all bunnies eve day and the Kitten Factory contingent rolled up to Westmoreland Park just off of Midvale and Tokay and started getting ready. It looked to be a warm, sunny day and despite his misgivings about that the Kittenmaster said "well, alright!". Chris, Billy and Kelly E. had shown up to get the registration started and soon this year's edition of H8TR Riders began to arrive. Familiar faces from the first MBM and the second mixed with first timers and all pretty much knew what to expect.....or do they. Oh they'd been bombarded with posts and emails form the kittenfactory, they've bantered on forums, they've done recon, plotted strategies and talked among themselves but until the wheels came to a stop it was anyone's guess as to how things would turn out.

At 9:50 the Kittenmaster stood atop his picnic table pulpit and dispensed the final instructions and with that they were off. A controlled lead out was just barely controllable as the speed was already starting to pick up heading down Midvale, but the Kittenmaster regulated and soon things were back to a relaxed pace and heading down the Southwest Bike Corridor. From the lead spot watching a parade of riders snake across the Beltline overpass, it was a thing of beauty. A minute later, the hand pointed forward, GOOOOO!!!! was shouted and the serene snake attacked. Jesse and Cory have great accounts of the opening mayhem and if you ask him nicely maybe Lyle will post the one he wrote (c'mon Lyle, wake up the hurtbox) it's almost as good as having Phil Ligget and a helicopter camera crew showing you life off the front. I'll try to gather some of these blogs and photos together because together you might get an idea what went on from a bunch of different perspectives.

From the Kittenmaster's viewpoint it was ride like you meant it (and he always means it) but to also act as on trail streetsweeper and caretaker making sure that those stopped along the trailside were okay. Oh and who should be the first person the KM stopped to check on but last year's MBM: H8TR100 champ Scot Van Asten walking his way back to the road just a little past Whalen. Course conditions were dry, hard, fast and bumpy on the unfinished segments and SVA's rear der dropout had fallen victim to the deadly combo. Game and frame over, but Scot knew it was the luck of the draw and treated it as such with a laugh. That is keeping things in perspective! He's already said he'll be back next year and we don't doubt that for a second!

Despite his love of foul weather, the KM had to admit that this was a fantastic day for riding! Leaf litter, dead grass, dirt and people going full bore made him think of cross season and the fall. Perfect. And speaking of cross season, the KM soon caught up with Nils Gibson, a man who's class in getting somewhere is only matched by his skills in getting there. Serious style we like to call it. We rode along for a while hitting Purcell Road and the beginning of the finished portion of the H8TR when off in the distance another rider was stopped alongside the trail. Dammit, if there wasn't such a thing as the H8TR winner's curse before, there is now- Cory Gwin the first MBM champ had been felled by a flat! Not enough to stop him of course but enough to make for a tough chase to catch up. Assured that Cory was doing fine and soon to join back in the chase, the Kittenmaster rode off only to hear Cory yell "I H8T you!" behind him. The Kittenmaster's day was made!

From H8TRville proper to the tunnel of H8T things rolled along uneventfully with various riders suffering happily alone or in small groups, but past the tunnel, into the turnaround and then to the mountain stage things were hotting up with the off the front group and the chase group. DAMN this was a real race! Stationary domestiques Phil, Roy and Kevin were at the ready with a cooler full of water, PBR, Mountain Creek, sausages and Little Debbie snack cakes. All reported that the OTF group were on fire heading up into the Dirty Alpes with Jesse leading the way. KM missed them by about three minutes but was there in time to see the chaser train steam by and head for the pass. Damn, that was exciting to see!

On the way back the Kittenmaster latched onto the NateTrain and he and Nate Jacques took turns pulling into the ten mile an hour north wind. Nothing like last year's stinging ice pellet north wind beatdown but enough to keep you pedaling steadily every step of the way. Once they hit the city limits Nate churned forward and the KM rode the rest of the way in with Frank Chemotti wheeling into the park with about half the riders returned. The Kittenmaster knew he'd done his job seeing several regular denominators of road, mtn and cx races sprawled across the grass.

Once everyone returned (and once again, everyone did return) the awards were given out which aside from the mens and womens 1-2-3 places also included the best brother/brother combo finish (there were five sets of brothers originally) awarded to the Curtes Bros., Mike and Joe, the dubious technical challenge award given to David Ziehr (three flats and he still finished!!!) and DFL to Karen Bates who stopped in Paoli for a bit to look in the art galleries (umm, the officials think you might have strayed off the course a little Karen...). Then there was a prize drawing and what better place to say thank you to all our sponsors and prize donators? This wouldn't have been nearly the event it was without you!
So thank you:
Twin6 (Mpls) you too can wear the H8T!!! in both his and hers!
Planet Bike
Ben's Cycles (MKE)
Team Polska (MKE)
Portland Design Works (Portland OR)
The Milwaukee Fire Dept
Cognition Caps
ZR Cycles
P-Lip Designs (Columbus)
Revolution Cycles
MacLabs (H8TRville)
Screendoor Printing

And while we're at it, without the MBM volunteers this just wouldn't have happened anywhere near as smoothly and seamlessly as it did!
Billy, Chris, Kelly E., Ryan, Kelly P. , Jessica, Roy, Kevin and Phil- thank you from the kittens.

more blogs and more pictures as they arrive.
thank you to all the riders- you only asked "when".

Sunday, April 12, 2009

postcards from H8TRville

some pictures from the H8TRcam for yesterday's MBM Spring Classic. more in a day or two.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Everyday is H8TRday!

What a day!
Right now the kittens are bushed after a long day out on the trail. So we're going to sleep for a couple days and then come back with a recap of all the MBM:HOTS H8TR goings on. But for now, that was a day made for spreading the H8t!
Final Results:
1st- Jesse Lalonde
2nd- Matt Gehling
3rd- Lylez Hanson

1st- Meghan Korol
2nd- Claire Cannon
3rd- Katy Steudel

The kitten factory will be closed for some much needed rest now.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

ink, paper, scissors

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Sketch Brah checks in

Sketchy Dave did another recon and here's the latest on course conditions. Go DNR!!!

Did another full recon to the tunnel, this time solo. The light rain/snow/frothy mix paired with the high winds made the "pre-purcell" trail from seminole to the gravel sector very ride-able and fast, there is almost a hint of a singletrack. South of Henry Rd in Bosco is a bit soft and eroded, not too bad, but don't eat with your hands off the bar. From there through Belle-vile is great. On my way to the tunnel (mile or two south of Belle-vile), the erosion channels that Adler nutted himself on were still present. The tunnel is do-able with a minor dismount at the ice sculpture, as the underground ice is still there and slippery. The way back I was encountered with flag straightening winds. There was a positive spin on this as luckily I watched a DNR service truck with a flatbed trailer full of gravel turn in front of me off one of the county highways and drive all the way to the erosion damaged spot and began to repair the trail. I stopped for a moment, chatted with the fellows, and went on my way. Apparently, the section of trail always gets wrecked and the Highway Dept, nor the farmer wants anything to do with properly draining the shoulder of the road (HWY 69) so the DNR has to fix the trail every hard rain. The headwinds continued and my PowerTap CPU went on the fritz, but nothing too major as far as conditions to report. This was my last recon before the Hate and if the weather stays mild, we'll be in for a fast one.

pictured up above is just a smidge of the H8TR Booty (mostly crappy home made trophies but there's imported Portland love in there too. more to come!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

At Home In The Killing Fields

The Exceedingly Polite Version:
Today started out early with a full run of the MBM course (almost...). It seemed a little chilled at first but once the internal combustion warmed up the temps were perfect. I headed into Madison on the H8TR with the intent of rendezvouing with Lyle, Colin and Trevor on their way out. I was about 200 yards from Whalen Rd when I met Zack on his way out. We exchanged pleasantries and he said he'd meet us out at the tunnel. Right on. Said hello to the skunk and the two deer carcasses (not much left of the those two fellows) and stopped at the bridge over the Cap City trail to wait for my three co-riders. and wait and wait some more. I was starting to cool off so I thought I'd I'd start back out and maybe they would catch up.

Trail conditions despite the rains from earlier in the week were fast and with the wind at my back everything was in its right place. It goes without saying that I love the unfinished part of the H8TR and today the love was stronger than ever. From Whalen to Henry the speedway was open. A little slower out in the open past Belleville but by then you're almost to the tunnel. On the segment leading up to the tunnel there was a farmer feeding a massive brush fire with a Bobcat. Even 50 yards away I could feel the heat and it was appreciated as the sun hid behind the clouds. I got to the tunnel and switched on the headlight and aside from a twenty yard chunk of solid ice and then some canned ham sized ice deposits for another twenty yards, the tunnel is clear. I called Zack's name in the tunnel but got no response so continued on to the other side and then on from there. About another 75 yards on I saw Zack's bike lying by the side of the trail. Hmmm...suddenly I heard a voice yelling behind me to get the hell off his lawn and there was Zack sitting above the tunnel entrance. We exchanged pleasantries again and he came down. Then we went back through the tunnel and 2/3s of the way through we met what might have been last year's MBM Classic winner Scot Van Asten (it was dark and we couldn't tell but whoever it was they were on a mission). It had to be a H8TR though because who else would be on a road bike in the tunnel on an early spring day.

Crossing back over Tunnel Road we finally met Lyle, Colin and Trevor. There had been some technical problems with Colin's pedals hence the slow up. We all exchanged pleasantires and then went to ride through the tunnel again and then back. Whilst traversing the washout gullies paralleling hwy CC, Colin nutted himself on the saddle while trying to get unclipped from his errant pedal. The rest of us stopped and chuckled good naturedly whilst Colin good naturedly gasped for breath. Colin being the trooper and hard man that he is perservered and we continued on. There was a mild mild headwind from the southeast but otherwise again conditions were nearly perfect. Arriving at the outskirts of H8TRville I bid safe travels and good fortune to my companions and headed back to the Kitten Ranch for a respit. What a pleasant morning's ride!
The Usual Version:
ARRRRRGH!!! RIDE!!!! FAST!!! ZACK!!!! LATE!!!!ARRRRRRRGH!!!! KILL!!!!!!!!!! FIRE!!! TUNNEL!!! ZACK!!!!! RIDE!!!! LYLE!!! COLIN!!!!! TREVOR!!!! RIDE!!!! TUNNEL!!! ARRRRGH!!! RIDE!!!! NUTTED!!!! PAIN!!!!! RIDE!!!!! ARRRRRGGHH!!!!!! END!!!!!

Help A Monkey Out

sorry it's a little late on the notice but the man could use yer help.
details are here

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

What's Up P-Lip?

Phil has a secret. A H8TR related secret? oh yessssssss.

Oh Deer!!!

Up above and right here, Creepyfriendly weighs in on the race you luv to H8T.
Oh yes you do.