Instead of a picture of the start, take the five minutes and see just what 1,900 riders coming down Hayward’s main street looks like.
The 29th Chequamegon Fat Tire race has been filed away in the history books…but what a race it was. This race brought many first for me that made for an awesome weekend of racing and spending time with my family.
For the first time Ayden put on a number plate and participated in the kids race/parade. he kept talking about how he was like and dad, riding really really fast. He really didn’t follow the directions and basically rode where he wanted to ride. He had a blast and talked about his race all day…It was a blast to watch.
FYI....I'm the rider in the lower left corner of the pic
I was lucky enough to grab a “preferred” start for the race this year. It made for a relaxing warm-up for the race, to say the least. Being able to show up an hour before the race, warm-up on the bike that you are racing, and roll up to the start line fifteen minutes before the cannon goes off is a routine that I sure could get used to.
The hwy 77 rollout was a blast and was pretty laid back because of a pretty stiff head-wind. 5 wheels back sure gave me a new perspective to racing. I tried to take in every second of the experience….hoping to learn a thing or two about racing at that level.
By the time we hit Rosie’s Field the game us off and the chase was one. Note to self….when you it the Birkie trail, position is all that matters. Meaning, don’t get caught in the back.
Picture by Kelly Rudolph
I came through OO in no man’s land because I had a horrible position in the chase group that I was in. By the time I came through OO and got my hand-up from my wife I was all alone on some pretty fast sections of the course. I latched on to a group of about ten riders (one being a teammate of mine, Mike Johnson) that came through and this time I didn’t make the mistake again. I sat second wheel for the most part of the second half and took a pull here and there to try to break the group up. By the time we hit the last Birkie section the group was down to four as we began our climb up the high point. I got dropped, along with two other riders right before the Birkie food station. The three off us took turns pulling on the two-mile downhill gravel road and when we hit the final Telemark ski trails I put one final effort in to put some distance between us. But when I looked back I saw a train of riders come up on us fast. So much for that…
The group caught me on the descent into Telemark. I kept them to a about a three-second gap knowing that I had enough in the legs to out sprint them on the final climb to the finish. I picked my way through the group and rolled across the finish line for my first top 100 finish (80th).
It was one of those races that you put the “perfect” stamp on it. Everything worked together perfectly on Saturday and the legs felt great throughout the race. But It wouldn’t have happened if it were not for the support from my wife and made it a point to let me get out on the bike, my son and all his “good tuck daddy” speeches, my parents for their continued support, my extended family for their entertaining gambling on my races, and Twin Six for making me look fast with the clothing and the kit.
Nothing beats a post race tailgate party with family and friends
The little man who brings the perspective to my races
Here’s to another great Cheq 40 race…cheers.