IMBCS Race Director Spotlight: Michael Vittetoe

We’ve got an exciting IMBCS scheduled race coming next weekend on Sunday, July 12th at Sunderbruch Park in Davenport!


You want images of the park and trails? Check it out! You want images of the race from last year? Check it out! And here as well.

Three IMBCS events are already in the bag for the 2015 season, and next weekend promises to be a THRILLING weekend of racing!!! Check out footage of racing the FORC Side Thrill Ride at Sunderbruch Park from last year by our very own IMBCS Points Coordinator and Advisory Board Member Mr. Rob Cook…

Yes, it is time to load up the cars/SUVs/vans/18 wheelers and drive to Davenport in the Quad Cities to get your thrill on and feed your dirt fix. Sweet Iowa Singletrack! Wooden berms! Wooden Bridges! A Party Deck! Groomed and ready to race trails! Food Vendor! Unique Custom Award Medals! Cash Payouts for CAT I Men and Women! Series leader call ups at the starting line!

Who could resist?

Bring a friend. Bring a spouse. Bring a kid. Bring a colleague. Pre-Riding will be available on Saturday with the course being run in a counter-clockwise direction just like last year. Course maps for the Junior/CAT III and the CAT I/COMP/CAT II race courses are available here.

CAT III and Juniors launch at 9 am

CAT II Sport fires up at 10:45 am

CAT I and COMP blasts off at 1 pm

Pre-register here to save $5. This is one of our USA Cycling sanctioned events, so a license is required (day license or annual for everyone below CAT I Level – an annual is required for all CAT I’s).


We continue with our feature series of Spotlights here at 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. 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 feature is the third Spotlight featuring one of our race directors for the 2015 IMBCS season, Michael Vittetoe. I know you will find it interesting to hear from the perspectives of what makes IMBCS happen – our Race Directors – in these series of interviews. The job of being a race director is not an easy task. It deserves plenty of kudos, thanks, and respect for those who go out of their way to provide us with a venue, an event, and an IMBCS race. It’s mentally, physically, and emotionally taxing to add directing a race to one’s normal routine of family, friends, work, sleep, recreation, and riding bikes. If you want to know who the race director is when you arrive at one of our events, just look for the person with heavy bags under their eyes on race day. That will be the race director.

Michael was also the race director for our first race of the IMBCS season at the Illiniwek Abermination. He has done an excellent job the past two years directing the FORC races on the IMBCS schedule. I have already begun discussion with him about a possible additional venue for the 2016 season as plans are already underway for the IMBCS future believe it or not. In addition, Michael was a great contributor to the discussion and consultation between IMBCS Advisory Board Members and Race Directors to move IBMCS forward with gender equal cash payouts for our CAT I racers. I can’t thank him enough for his contributions to the discussions.

Let’s get to the interview so you can meet Michael and hear some of his thoughts on directing a race. Here he is with his lovely assistant…




Name: Michael Vittetoe

Current Home: Washington, IA

Age: 28

Employer: Corn/Soybean Farmer. Formerly Civil Engineer.

Racing Category for 2015: Sport

Race Bike(s): Giant Anthem 29

Bike Team: none

Trail Organization Associated with Race: Quad Cities Friends of Off Road Cyclists (FORC), Sunderbruch Park.


BB: When is your upcoming race?

Michael: Sunday, July 12


BB: What can we expect for the type of trail features a racer will encounter on the race course?

Michael: Wooded singletrack galore. The course will consist nearly entirely of flowing singletrack with a wide variety of trail features to challenge riders of all skill levels. Most notably, the Jubilee Trail and its wood berms are always a hot spot.


BB: How many times have you served as a race director for an IMBCS event?

Michael: The Sunderbruch race will be my 4th IMBCS event.


BB: How did you become the race director for this event?

Michael: I started going to the monthly FORC meetings and helping with trail maintenance. The club was looking for a new RD to replace Brian Kingsbury and Ryan Neipert, who did an excellent job, and I was looking to get more involved. I participated in a bunch of races that year (2013) so I had a pretty good feel for the race scene in Iowa/Illinois and we figured it was a good fit.


BB: What are some of the challenges you faced in getting this event ready?

Michael: The Sunderbruch race is a relatively easy one to get ready for. The trails and facilities are great so it is simply a matter of getting things trimmed up and the weather to cooperate, which is easier said then done.


BB: Who are your volunteers and trail crew?

Michael: The whole FORC club pitches in big time to make sure everything is top notch. Len and Amber Guldenpfennig (Guldy) organize the course marshals and mountain bike patrol, which is no easy task but they do a great job. Mandy Griesenbeck and Vonda Johnston head up the registration table and keep things running smoothly amongst the pre-race chaos. Our trail crews spend countless hours making sure the course itself is in great shape, Aaron Mielke and Drew Hansen are the club Trail Stewards for Sunderbruch and Illiniwek, respectively. I could keep going with dozens more, but in the interest of time (and attention spans) I’ll leave it at that.


BB: Why hold an organized race on your trails?

Michael: FORC hosts races for a number of reasons. The first being that it is just a darn good time to get everyone together to go fast in the woods. Second, to promote the club and trails to users that otherwise might not know they existed. And third, the club uses the races to generate funds for trail projects such as the new wood berms at Illiniwek and other expenses involved with maintaining 25 miles of trail.


BB: When it is all said and done after the event is over, do you feel a great deal of satisfaction for giving back to the cycling community by hosting a race?

Michael: Yes, it is very satisfying at the end of the day. Seeing the smiles on the faces of the racers and hearing how much fun they had makes all of the hours spent planning and working worth it.


BB: We may have a lot of new racers in Iowa this year. Is there any advice you could provide to them to get them to come out this weekend and try your event?

Michael: If you are looking to test your technical skills along with your fitness, this is the race for you. The course is modified for the Juniors and Novice racers to save the most challenging sections for the more experienced categories.


BB: If any money is being raised through this event, what does it go towards?

Michael: Trail projects, see answer to previous question. (….the club uses the races to generate funds for trail projects such as the new wood berms at Illiniwek and other expenses involved with maintaining 25 miles of trail.)


BB: In the event of weather looking suspect this weekend, where should racers turn for the most up to date announcements?

Michael: Unfortunately, I have plenty of practice with weather issues as we have had rainout scares at all 3 races I have previously directed. We will be updating the FORC website ( as well as posting on a plethora of Facebook pages/groups, IMBCS page included.


BB: Thanks Michael. Not only for the interview, but for all you do for the Iowa bicycling community. I know I share with others a great appreciation and happily extend our thanks for your hard work.


There you have it folks! Introduce yourself and make sure you thank Michael for all he does when you see him at the upcoming FORC Side Thrill Ride next Sunday, July 12th at Sunderbruch Park. Thank the FORC crew and volunteers as well. Without all of them – IMBCS and racing in Iowa does not exist.

This is your Iowa Series born and bred. Let’s support efforts like FORC and race our own events to help them raise money to maintain and add features to their trails so we can all enjoy them for many years to come. In addition, consider joining your own local trail organization and volunteering some hours to do trail work and make Iowa a better place for all mountain bikers and trail users.

Photos provided courtesy of Eric Roccasecca and Mrs. Vittetoe

Iowa Games Race Report

This past Sunday, June 28th, we finally saw mountain bike racing happen again here in Iowa after a long stretch had passed since our last event on May 3rd. Contrary to the pun, that was an eight week drought of withdrawal for many racers due to Ma Nature!

Ma Nature did not disappoint this time around either as we had a morning shower before the race. However, not enough rain fell at Peterson Pits to derail plans for the event to take place. Part of this has to do with the particular trail system at Peterson Pits being a multi-use trail and the type of soil being able to withstand a lot of abuse. Our riding on it actually rode it into shape compared to many of the normal horse hoof prints that were there before the trail was marked.

Race Director Kyle Sedore’s smile says it all about getting this event off the ground and in the books…


IMBCS and all participants would like to thank Kyle and his entire crew that helped put on our first ever very successful joint Iowa Games/IMBCS race. I apologize for not getting an interview with Kyle completed for our website featuring the 2015 Race Directors. I was gone for nearly a month and somehow missed getting that task accomplished. In spite of that, Kyle has a rich history of directing races for IMBCS and as Commissioner for the Iowa Games race. We thank him for his continued support of the sport and taking on the role of directing one of our events. It is the work and enthusiasm for cycling from folks like Kyle that make this series tick. Thanks Kyle!

We would also like to thank our partnership with Iowa Games and the Iowa Sports Foundation for joining with us this year and providing our online registration system for races. In particular, Kim Abels and Zack Elsbecker deserve a huge shout out from all of us for their efforts and contributions to making IMBCS better this year.

Racers faced sections of dry trail, sections of tacky trail, sections of greasy trail, sections of sand, and several mud bogs (playing in mud puddles is really a helluva lot of FUN), beautiful sunshine and ideal racing temperatures that all led to nothing but lots of post race smiles, and vibrant post race stories.

IMBCS Photographer and Website Developer Eric Roccasecca captured an excellent Iowa photograph on the day that speaks volumes to capturing a taste of our state…


A total of 54 racers toed the line at Peterson Pits on Sunday including a group of 16 CAT III (Beginner) Racers. The CAT III Racers took off at 9 am for their 4 laps…

CAT III Start Iowa Games

Places were changed back and forth as everyone focused and gave it their all…

IowaGamesCAT III Racer

One section of the trail became muddy enough that a decision was made to cut that section out of the course for the latter races at 11 am. Most of the CAT III Racers completed their 4 laps, but everyone was smiling and filled with stories to tell at the end. Many took advantage of the lake to wash the mud off of their bikes and legs from the day’s race.

CAT III Post Race

There were several new racers to IMBCS and to mountain biking who gave it a try and enjoyed themselves. I urge everyone to keep up the effort to bring a new racer to an event so they can give racing a try. This new first time racer had so much fun, she is already asking about the next one…


Racing continued at 11 am with the start of the CAT I, COMP, and CAT II races. CAT I Men saw a wire to wire duel unfold between Michael Maney and Nathan Kullbom that came down to just a few bike lengths between the two of them crossing the line with Nathan edging out Michael after battling back and forth for 5 laps…

CAT I Men's Duel Wire to Wire

We had another brand new racer choose at the registration table to give the CAT I Women category a go. In her first ever mountain bike race, Jamie Johnson walked away with the overall top cash prize for CAT I Women and the rest of the cash podium found Katherine Roccasecca and newcomer Becca Vanderglas (from Colorado who was passing through on vacation)…

CAT I Women Podium Iowa Games

Most faced post race bike and kit washing due to playing in all of the fun mud puddles.


Striving for variety this year in the IMBCS – Peterson Pits provided that variety in spades this year not only due to it’s non-climbing pedal to the metal all the time type of terrain, but also due to the variety of soil conditions we got to race on which made it a lot more technical and fun than had it been dry. There was nary a moment you were allowed to lose focus on this course today.


We had some well deserved podiums from veteran racers such as Joe Short, Sterling Heise, Rob Cook, Andre Rethman, Sean Alstott, John Peters, and many others as well from some brand new racers to IMBCS. Full race results and points can be found here.  


FUN was had by all. Thanks Kyle and crew for supplying exactly what IMBCS is all about.

Our next race is on Sunday, July 12th at Sunderbruch Park in Davenport entitled the FORC Side Thrill Ride.


Photographs are courtesy of Eric Roccasecca and Bruce Brown

Race is on for IMBCS #5 Iowa Games!!!

Game Face Everyone – the race for Sunday is ON!
by Eric Roccasecca

IMBCS #5 – Iowa Games race at Peterson Pits. If you missed the early online registration dates, or were afraid of the weather so you didn’t register – not to worry. A reminder to all that onsite registration is available on Sunday for the IMBCS #5 race at Peterson Pits starting at 8 AM June 28th.

Peterson Pits is an ideal race course for all types of riders. It is a beginning racer friendly track (separate course for Beginners that the rest of the field), as well as leg burning full out racing for our experienced riders. Bring a friend. Bring a colleague. Bring a kid. Bring a spouse. Bring a date. Racing and fun for all on a course that everyone can ride without fear. Mud? No worries say our race director Kyle Sedore and his lovely assistant, Paul Varnum. 

Don’t believe me? Just ask Kyle…


Photo Courtesy of Janan Felts

A little mud can be fun. After all, this is mountain biking.

This is our first partnership event with Iowa Games (our online registration sponsor/provider). Come out and support Iowa Games, earn some IMBCS points, and get your game out on some dirt. Details can be found here for start times, categories, etc…

  • $35 on-site registration.
  • Directions: Proceed west off I-35, exit 113; north on Dayton Road; left on East Riverside Rd; right on Grand Ave. US Hwy 69; then east on 180th St. to Peterson Park.

Race Director Kyle Sedore wants YOU!


IMBCS # 4 Solistice Slam at Ewing Park Reschedule Announcement..

Ma Nature is dumping pails of rain on us this year (yes, it is one of those years). As we experienced with Seven Oaks, this is causing the usual havoc for most of our dirt venues leading to courses not being ready to ride come race day.

I just got off the phone with our Race Director – Nathan Cline – for the Summer Solstice that was scheduled for this coming Sunday, June 21st. Due to the amount of rain the Des Moines area has received, we are making the call today to cancel this Sunday’s race and reschedule to to a weekend in September. The TBA weekend for the reschedule is September 19-20 (yes, we are aware of the destination event known as Chequamegon takes place on that weekend and many Iowa racers may be in Wisconsin that weekend). However, choosing a date that was available for Nathan, Team Sakari and one that allows enough time to get the trails ready to ride at the Ewing Park system is what led to this initial TBA September 19/20 reschedule.

In any event, no racing this Sunday at Ewing Park for the Solstice Slam. Sorry about that, but some years Ma Nature dictates to us when and where we can race – no matter how well we have planned things in advance.

Seven Oaks Race Postponed Again

Official word from Seven Oaks race director, Derek Brewer:

Due to the rain last night, we are sad to say we will have to postpone the race for tomorrow at Seven Oaks. I am very disappointed after seeing how good it looked yesterday, but it just doesn’t appear that it will be able to dry much today. At my house, 15 miles from Seven Oaks, we only had about 2/10″, but there was considerably more here. Thanks to all that have been following the updates and making plans.

Information about a new date will be posted on Facebook and the IMBCS website soon

Seven Oaks Trail Looks Good

Official word from Seven Oaks race director, Derek Brewer:

Just got back from the trails…weed wacked and hiked 1–1.5 miles and I was happy with what I saw. Trails are overall FIRM and TACKY. Like Adam said, very few puddles and greasy spots. I had no problem hiking in my smooth boots.


Saturday evening’s rain is forecasted to stay south, and Sunday is supposed to stay dry until later. SO, don’t make other plans just yet, get your gear packed, buy some bug spray, and COME RACE with us on SUNDAY!!! Keep checking back here for any updates. THANKS!!

New CAT I Gender Equal Payment Schedule kicks in for IMBCS #3 this Sunday at Seven Oaks…

A huge thank you to IMBCS racers, the IMBCS Advisory Board, and the 2015 IMBCS Race Directors for engaging in a healthy discussion regarding a new rule change to the IMBCS Rules/Guidelines with regard to gender equal cash payouts for the top spots in the CAT I Overall Men and Women races.

Equal Pay

This is a big step forward for IMBCS and something we can all champion.

Racing fires up in earnest with the next 3 consecutive weekends of IMBCS events: Seven Oaks, Ewing Park, and Peterson Pits.

So ladies and gentlemen – get on those bikes and come out to our races to compete!!! Encourage others. Bring a friend. Join the fun!!

IMBCS #3 Rescheduled for June 14th at Seven Oaks!

The soup is just too thick to hold a viable race this Sunday at Seven Oaks…


There were two factors being fought to get this one together. One, some trail damage from a prior event had left trouble spots that just could not be addressed in time for this Sunday. Two, the amount of rain in the past week has left things simply too soggy to be able to dry out in time even for a shortened upper loop course to be considered. There have been more bouts of heavy rain falling today at Boone which has pushed everything over the edge.

The landowner at Seven Oaks as well as trail steward Adam Brooks, and race director Derek Brewer have decided to cancel Sunday’s event and rescheduled the race for Sunday, June 14th. Online Registration will now be extended for 2 weeks to allow for that date change. The electronic race timing company has confirmed they are available to be at the race on June 14th. So in the course of this morning with phone calls, site visits, new rain, and obvious concerns – all of the pieces are now in place so the trail can be ready for the event to take place on June 14th.

We apologize for those who had plans to camp and attend the race this weekend, but we do hope that everyone adjusts their schedules and can now attend on Sunday, June 14th.

Look for an announcement to help with trail work at Seven Oaks on Facebook. Adam and Derek will organize that and it would be greatly appreciated if you have the time, tools, and ability to pitch in and help them get the beloved Seven Oaks trails back into shape.

Seven Oaks Race Postponed to June 14

Official word from Seven Oaks race director, Derek Brewer:

Sorry all to have to postpone. The trail coordinator for Seven Oaks has closed the trails due to all the rain we have received.


We will plan to use the June 14 date, same start times. We will get the registration system opened up again so you will have about two more weeks to pre-register! Thanks for your understanding. We want to have a better course and conditions in two weeks.


Keep checking the IMBCS website for additional information on the race.


Check the Seven Oaks MTB Facebook group for updates on the trails and how you can help out. The trails may be opened possibly next week. While some areas may be closed, when it is good to ride, tires on it will help.