Seven Oaks Race Is On Unless an Announcement Is Made Otherwise

The Seven Oaks race director, Derek Brewer, asks for our patience:

RACE IS ON UNTIL IT IS CANCELLED. Please have patience everyone. This rain stinks but we still have almost 48 hrs until race time. As of now I do not plan to make a call until EARLY Sunday, in time for those traveling a distance. That’s not great for those wanting to camp, but we also are motivated to get this race in. As other races have done we have the option of a delayed start as well. Please stay tuned. Thanks, Derek

Seven Oaks MTB Race – 3rd time’s a charm – is set to go this Sunday Aug. 30

Hope you are ready for another great day of IMBCS racing. Please see start time details and other important info on the flyer and the race page.Bike Race_Revised_Aug30_v2-page-001
A couple of points to highlight:
1.  The course is in great shape, MUCH improved from early this spring.  Please come in time (Or Saturday) to pre-ride and see the new berms, switchbacks, revamped bridges…
2. Thanks to Seven Oaks for giving racers FREE camping on Saturday night!  The forecast for Saturday and Sunday couldn’t be much better for a campout so take advantage!
** If camping, just tell the staff at the lodge, or the camp host that you are racing and pick your spot. It is a FIRST COME FIRST SERVED campground so no reservations to make.
3.  PLEASE PREREGISTER if you can since we are having chip timing, and it will make getting number plates ready ahead of time much easier for everyone.  Preregistration is open until 12:00 noon on Friday Aug. 28.
4. The forecast, so far, looks to be chances of rain Thursday and Friday morning, then dry by Friday noon and through all of Sunday.  As usual though, stay tuned to the website imbcs.org and/or the imbcs facebook page for the latest updates.

August Quartet of Races concludes this weekend!

We’ve got another exciting IMBCS scheduled race for this weekend to conclude our Quartet of August Races!

This weekend’s race takes place on another perennial favorite here in Iowa – Seven Oaks. IMBCS history is filled with racing at this venue and has drawn racers from all over the region.

Third time’s a charm – or so the US version of the proverb says. Other versions: One is sure to succeed at a task or event on the third try. Or….The third time you try to do something, it will work. And then there is even the Shakespeare version in The Merry Wives of Windsor that says: “….this is the third time; I hope good luck lies in odd numbers….”

Continue reading August Quartet of Races concludes this weekend!

Sugar Bottom 2 Hour Race Delay: New Start Times

Official word from Sugar Bottom Scramble race director, Mike Frasier at 6:20 this morning:

The last shower just went through, we ended up with around 0.25 in of rain. We will go ahead with a 2 hr delay for all events, this will allow the trails time to settle into hero-dirt mode for the Scramble. See you there!

Adjusted start time:

11:30 am – Kids Race
12:00 pm – CAT III Men & Women
12:05 pm – Juniors
2:00 pm – CAT I Men & Women
2:05 pm – COMP
2:10 pm – CAT II Sport Men & Women

IMBCS Racer Spotlight: David Roll

We continue with our feature series of Spotlights here at IMBCS.org highlighting some of our many IMBCS participants throughout the state of Iowa. You can get to know some of those involved in racing and see how they do it, why they do it, what got them started, and read some of their thoughts. We will continue this feature throughout the season.

IMBCS.org Spotlights continues to provide a nice representation of ages, categories, and locations to introduce you to people you may or may not already know so you can read their thoughts about racing mountain bikes. Are you considering racing in an IMBCS event this year? You don’t have to be a member of a team. You don’t have to have an expensive bike. You don’t have to have matching socks. It doesn’t matter whether you are a beginner, a seasoned veteran, male, female, young, old – mountain biking in IMBCS events is open to everyone. We will show that in our Spotlight series and encourage you to sign up for a race and give IMBCS a try.

Today’s Spotlight features one of our CAT II racers, David Roll. He is in his second year of racing in the CAT II Sport Division after his initial season in CAT III back in 2013. Many of us are members of his Facebook ‘Mid West Velo Swap’ Group as we buy and sell new and used bikes and bike parts. Truth be told, my wife would love to have me post up about 1/2 of our garage on David’s Facebook Group in hopes of having more room to park her car. David’s interview is timely to be posted today as he, like many that have been interviewed before him, loves the Sugar Bottom race that we will all get to experience tomorrow. I enjoyed my pre-ride lap at the George Wyth MTB Race last weekend as David rode behind me and gave me tips on some of the sections of what to watch out for and how to handle the course in his opinion. Cracking a beer after the George Wyth MTB Race and chatting with this gregarious guy after the race was a nice time.

Let’s meet Mr. David Roll and hear his perspective on racing mountain bikes in Iowa.

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David negotiating the Hin und Zurück TT at Center Trails

Current Home:  Waterloo, IA

Age: 37

Employer: John Deere & Co

Racing Category for 2015: CAT II Sport

Race Bike(s): Salsa Spearfish RS-1

Bike Team:  Rasmussen Mountain Bike Racing

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BB: What’s your favorite idea of a great mountain bike ride here in Iowa?

David: Well it has been awhile, but the Maney’s and I use to go hit up Sugar Bottom on Sunday and then run over to Red’s Ale house for something to eat and tip a few pints. Sometimes we would have Jamie Parkin and Scott Shelman ride with us. We even rode with Kevin Betters there once. I guess, riding someplace with other people from IMBCS in a non-race forum.

BB: When did you start racing mountain bikes?

David: 2013 was my first full year, and I liked it, so I kept pedaling.

BB: What kind of race results and series results for the IMBCS did you have in prior seasons?

David: Mid-Pack, I do well in the overall points because I show up to the races. I am not great, just consistent.

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Another race in the bag!

BB: What are your goals for this year with regard to your mountain bike racing?

David: I would like to race the remainder of my races crash free, and podium one more time. Pretty bad when everyone’s first question after the race is, how many times did you crash today ;)

BB: What has been your favorite race venue to date in the IMBCS?

David: Ida Grove. I really like how that place flowed and had great climbs and a super long descent. Also I liked how it was a joint venture with Psycowpath. I like being in a bigger field, I have more people to pace myself with and meet. On a yearly occurrence, Sugar Bottom is the race to make. ICORR puts on such a good event, they are meticulous about their course, and the field is huge.

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David in the woods at the George Wyth MTB Race

BB: David, in preparing for the 2015 racing season, how many hours a week do you train? (Minimum, Maximum, Average)

David: Well I am not referred to CPT Strava for nothing. I like aiming for 10hrs a week, no less than 6hrs, and the max is capped around 14hrs. I have slacked off a little this year, pursuing my MBA, so I am not consistent.

BB: Have you ever had something happen during a race that prevented you from finishing?

David: Not in the IMBCS races. I did have a severe mechanical at Land Run 100 this year. Fortunately, it was at mile 9.8  right before the red clay peanut butter started. One thing Mike Maney has beaten into my head is constantly stay on top of your maintenance. I do more of my own this year and I am having less issues.

BB: Do you use a coach?

David: No, but I am planning on using one over the winter. I know what to do, I just need someone to hold me accountable. The plan is to train up for something big in April that happens near the end of the month in Grinnell.

BB: Do you strength train as part of your training?

David: No, but I was doing Yoga fairly consistent till RAGBRAI.

BB: What do you like about the Iowa cycling community in terms of mountain bike racing?

David: Rasmussen’s. I really do. Even as a CAT III racer TJ Fort and Kevin Betters helped me along asking me how I was doing, giving me pointers and such. The Iowa scene is really what I have come across nationally – mountain bikers are good people. We are all weird in some manner, but we love to talk and ride bikes.  And when you go to events like Fat Bike Birkie or Cheq 100, the Iowans are always together laughing. You’d be hard pressed to find a bad apple in our lot.

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David lined up at the Fat Bike Birkie

BB: What would you say as words of encouragement to folks out there who are trying to make the decision to race a mountain bike in Iowa or not?

David: Go to your local singletrack, find the club that maintains it. If they have social or other weekly rides do those. Compare yourself to other people, and race once a month. CAT III exists for a reason, there is no shame in racing all year, I did.  Racing gets the passion flowing, and without the passion it is hard to get the motivation to ride for some people.

BB: Thank you for the interview, David. We like passion! All the best for the rest of your IBMCS season.

I suggest introducing yourself to David the next time you see him at a one of our races. You’ll get to know him quickly and enjoy the visit. That being said…

Sugar Bottom Scramble tomorrow, August 23rd. Details are here. Come on out and join the fun!

Most photographs courtesy of Eric Roccasecca

IMBCS Racer Spotlight: Liz Van Houweling

This weekend brings us IMBCS #9 Sugar Bottom Scramble at the Sugar Bottom Recreation Area located between North Liberty and Solon, Iowa! In our 13 year history of IMBCS, one venue stands out as having been included on the schedule every single season for each of those 13 years. Sugar Bottom!

Let’s hope that Ma Nature continues with her nice music for our August Quartet this weekend, as both the Hin und Zurück TT and the George Wyth MTB Race were able to play out as planned on their scheduled days. The George Wyth MTB Race had 86 racers toe the line. That turnout included our highest percentage of Women racers this season (22.5%) including a field of 10 Women in the CAT III race alone! Racers who attended were treated to excellent weather, very fast racing, perfectly groomed trails, wonderful spicy pasta, bagels, coffee, beer, fruit, prizes, and a great job by Race Director Lee Geisinger and his entire CVAST crew.

This past weekend’s turnout puts our total number of racer entries at 515 racers at this point in the season as we try and climb our way to the 1000 – 1100+ mark for total entries by the end of the 2015 season. We have a lot of new faces showing up at our races this year which is great for our growth and really exciting to see. I urge everyone to continue to consider coming out to one of our events whether you are chasing series points this year or not. Bring a friend. Bring a colleague. Bring a partner/spouse. Bring a teenager. Bring a kid. Bring a neighbor. Bring a Presidential Candidate! There is plenty of fun left to enjoy as we head into our next 6 events. We have age classes and categories for everyone and for all abilities to give mountain bike racing a try here in Iowa.

Numbers to date…

IMBCS #1 – Illiniwek Abermination had 188 racers

IMBCS #2 – Beverly Fat Tire Frenzy had 117 racers

IMBCS #5 – Iowa Games had 59 racers

IMBCS #7 – Hin und Zurück TT had 65 racers

IMBCS #8 – George Wyth MTB Race had 86 racers

Let’s see if we can get a good attendance number to support Race Director Mike Frasier and the ICORR crew for their Sugar Bottom Scramble. I know they have been working diligently in preparation for Sunday and have the trails in good shape.

Racing this coming weekend means that it’s time for a new racer Spotlight for all to read.

In case you’ve missed any of our previous racer Spotlights here at IMBCS.org, we continue with our feature series of highlighting some of the many IMBCS participants throughout the state of Iowa. You can get to know some of the folks involved in racing and see how they do it, why they do it, what got them started, and read some of their thoughts. We will continue this feature throughout the season.

IMBCS.org Spotlights will attempt to provide a nice representation of ages, categories, and locations to introduce you to people you may or may not know so you can read their thoughts about racing mountain bikes. Are you considering racing in an IMBCS event this year? You don’t have to be a member of a team. You don’t have to have an expensive bike. You don’t have to have matching socks. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner, a seasoned veteran, male, female, young, old, tall, less tall – mountain biking in IMBCS events is open to everyone. We will show that in our Spotlight series and encourage you to sign up for a race and give IMBCS a try.

Today’s Spotlight features one of our CAT I racers, Liz Van Houweling. I first met Liz last year in March standing around post-race at an event as we all waited for the awards ceremony. She was standing with Ryan Van Houweling and Ryan introduced me to her. Liz and Ryan were married this June – which I guess explains why they are always standing around together. Liz gave me an easy tip at the George Wyth MTB Race on how to pronounce her new last name correctly. Even though it looks daunting to pronounce, it’s just like saying the English word “howling” as in “the wind is howling outside”. Well, if you have been to any of the IMBCS or Psycowpath races, you feel the wind howl as Liz races by. She is fast. Her riding has been impressive enough to land her on the podium many times this year and last.

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Evidently, Ryan and Liz rode to their wedding in June…

Let’s get to the interview so we can get Liz’s perspective.

 

Name: Liz Van Houweling

Current Home: Waukee, IA

Age: 25

Employer: Zoom Performance and Fitness By Design

Racing Category for 2015: CAT I

Race Bike(s): Niner Air 9 Carbon

Bike Team: Des Moines United

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Liz atop the Beverly Fat Tire Frenzy CAT I Women’s Podium

 

BB: What’s your favorite idea of a great mountain bike ride here in Iowa?

Liz: While I wish we had real mountains here in Iowa, I do love the fast, flowy singletrack that we do have. The perfect trail for me would have a good mix of challenging climbs to get the heart rate up followed by rewarding descents with big, smooth, sweeping downhill turns. Although I won’t turn down a pancake flat, wide open trail that just lets you go FAST!

 

BB: When did you start racing mountain bikes?

Liz: I did my first MTB race in 2014. I raced on the road for about 6 years prior to that and was ready for a new challenge!

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BB: What kind of race results and series results for the IMBCS did you have in prior seasons?

Liz: Last year was my first year racing IMBCS, and I was fortunate enough to win the series for CAT I.

 

BB: What are your goals for this year with regard to your mountain bike racing?

Liz: With it only being my second year, I am just excited about the progress I’ve made since last year. My fitness is very similar, but the difference in my skill level has been huge. I want to continue to race and do well in a lot of the local Iowa and Nebraska races, but my big goal for the season is to improve upon my result at last year’s Dakota Five-O race. Last year I really struggled with crashes and mental barriers, so I’m excited to enter this race with a lot more confidence, experience, and skill!

 

BB: What has been your favorite race venue to date in the IMBCS?

Liz: I have really enjoyed a lot of different courses for a variety of reasons, and it’s wonderful that every race course has its own character. Illiniwek is just fun because it’s so smooth and fast with a healthy amount of gradual climbing. But Banner is probably my favorite! It’s relatively close which has given me the opportunity to ride it more often and learn the climbs and turns better. The trail is always either going up or down short, steep hills, and it’s a good challenge for both fitness and skill. I still get excited when I’m able to “clear” a whole lap!

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BB: Liz, in preparing for the 2015 racing season, how many hours a week do you train? (Minimum, Maximum, Average)

Liz: I really don’t like riding in the cold or on the trainer in the winter so I only rode about 4-6 hours in the winter after racing cyclocross. This summer I’ve been trying to get in more volume to prepare for longer cross country races and for Dakota Five-O. Max is about 12 hours, but I probably average 8-10 hours most weeks. Things like getting married in June and lots of cancelled races due to weather have made consistent, focused training a little difficult this summer.

 

BB: Have you ever had something happen during a race that prevented you from finishing?

Liz: I have been lucky in that I’ve never had a bad enough mechanical or crash that has prevented me from finishing a race. Last year’s Dakota Five-O finish was a real struggle after crashing about 10 times (including going backwards and over the handlebars!), but I made it…even if I was nearly in tears crossing the finish line! I owe a lot to my wonderful husband and personal mechanic for always making sure that my bike is in perfect working order for every race :)

 

BB: Do you use a coach?

Liz: I am a coach for Zoom Performance, so I am my own coach! I also have the opportunity to talk with the other Zoom coaches about training which is very helpful. I also ride with my husband, Ryan, and he has a lot more mountain bike experience than me so I am constantly learning from following him on the trails and and being pushed by chasing him up gravel hills!

 

BB: Do you strength training as part of your training?

Liz: I am a personal trainer, so I know the benefits of strength training. However, I am guilty in that I don’t do a lot of it on my own. With limited training time during race season, I think I personally benefit more from training on my bike rather than spending time in the gym. Steep hills and scurrying around tight trees are my on the bike forms of strength! Every off season I have good intentions of doing more strength, but that never quite happens like I plan.

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BB: What do you like about the Iowa cycling community in terms of mountain bike racing?

Liz: I love how inviting it is! The atmosphere around a mountain bike race is so different from road racing with people socializing, congratulating, sharing trail/training secrets, recounting race stories, etc. Everyone is just so friendly and welcoming! It’s also fun to make friends from all across the state and have the chance to see them for a lot of weekends each summer (and into the fall/winter if they race cx!).

 

BB: What would you say as words of encouragement to folks out there who are trying to make the decision to race a mountain bike in Iowa or not.

Liz: Just do it! Even after racing road for 6 years, I was hesitant to race mountain bikes because I was super intimidated by the thought of trying to RACE a trail I’d never even seen. But it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made! There is a category for everyone and the other racers are more than happy to offer advice. Not to mention, one of the best ways to improve is to go to new places and ride. Iowa has some very beginner friendly trails as well that would be perfect for first timers. Just go into the “race” with the intent to gain experience, learn/practice a skill, and have fun!

 

BB: Thanks for participating in this Spotlight, Liz! Best of luck on the rest of your season and at the Dakota Five-0.

 

If you see Liz at one of the upcoming races, introduce yourself and say hello. She will most likely be standing next to 6’5″ Ryan visiting with people after the race waiting for the awards ceremony.

IMBCS Race Director Spotlight: Lee Geisinger

This coming weekend features our second August Quartet race in Waterloo, Iowa – IMBCS #8 George Wyth MTB Race. The weather forecast looks like Ma Nature is going to be kind to us with sunshine all week leading up to the event, and temperature in the 80’s at race time. In addition, the forecast says we will all be home, showered and relaxing before chances of storms move in. PERRRRRRRRFECT!

George Wyth State Park is a very scenic park with trails full of wooded eye candy.

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4 IMBCS events have now taken place, and participation numbers (entry fees as well as the kids races) look like this so far…

IMBCS #1 – Illiniwek Abermination had 188 racers

IMBCS #2 – Beverly Fat Tire Frenzy had 117 racers

IMBCS #5 – Iowa Games had 59 racers

IMBCS #7 – Hin und Zurück TT had 65 racers

There is no doubt that Ma Nature has tempered our IMBCS racing season to date, and in some cases contributed to participation numbers being down. Believe me, as the current IMBCS Director, I would love to see our participation numbers burst out to the upside as we march ahead with our remaining 7 races.

The good news is that we have a lot of new racers this year showing up at the events which is good for our growth as new faces enter the sport. Vacations, conflicts with other cycling events, work schedules, and family time all contribute to participation numbers fluctuating. However, if you do have an open date on one of our race weekends – please consider coming out to one of our events. You do not have to be chasing series points in your age class and category to come out and race. We welcome new, young, old, first timer, old timer, occasional, curious and those who want to give mountain bike racing a try at any level. It’s a great social event to race, and then hang out chatting it up with others post race.

This Sunday features a race course very conducive to those who want to give singletrack racing a try, but fear the big hills. George Wyth has no hills to worry about. Just fun singletrack that is perfect for everyone. Great for beginners – and also great for advanced riders who will see some very high average heart rates as you will be on the gas stomping your pedals the entire time.

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Post race will feature some excellent pasta and brew to recharge your carb loads as you visit with others.

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Rasmussen Bike Shop Team posing for a group photo at last year’s George Wyth MTB Race.

In case you’ve missed any of our previous racer Spotlights here at IMBCS.org, we continue with our feature series of highlighting some of the many IMBCS participants throughout the state of Iowa. You can get to know some of the folks involved in racing and see how they do it, why they do it, what got them started, and read some of their thoughts. We will continue this feature throughout the season. You might be next, so check your email box for a Spotlight interview!

Today’s Spotlight features one of our returning race directors, Lee Geisinger. I raced in the George Wyth MTB Race last year and totally enjoyed the event, the post race atmosphere, and can attest first hand to how well Lee and CVAST host this race. This will be the 4th consecutive year of the race. Participation numbers have grown each and every year as word of mouth has spread the news of how fun it is. Last year saw just over 100 racers at the George Wyth MTB Race and here is what I wrote about it after the race…

Yesterday was the 4th race in the 7 race series for the IMBCS 2014 Season. This event was a return visit from last year to the very scenic George Wyth State Park on the Cedar River in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area. Race host Lee Geisinger and his CVAST crew promised to deliver. And let me tell you – they did!  Great trail. Great sponsors. Great food. Great chip timing.

Continue reading IMBCS Race Director Spotlight: Lee Geisinger

Hin und Zurück Live Results Links

Racers, spectators and fans can follow a live race with the free Webscorer app:
Download it on your phone (it will be the Webscorer FAN app as you won’t need to pay for the PRO version).

  • Tap “Download races”, tap “Recent races” and based on the sport (Cycling – mtn cross-country) and location filters (Des Moines, IA United States) find the race which will have a red “LIVE” label

  • Tap the race to download it, and then navigate to the distance / category results panel they’re interested in following

  • The results refresh automatically – no need to re-download the results to get the latest finishers to show up

  • The FAN users will go to “Download races”, tap on “Recent races” and based on their sport (Cycling – mtn cross-country) and location (Des Moines, IA United States) filters find the race which will have a red “LIVE” note on it

  • User taps the race to download it, and then navigates to the distance / category results panel they’re interested in following

  • The users can simply wait for the results to be updated automatically

Today’s races to look for in the live list and results list are:

Hin und Zurück TT CAT I & COMP

Hin und Zurück TT CAT II Sport

 Hin und Zurück TT CAT III and Juniors