Free Your Mind, And Your Legs Will Follow

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Chequamegon 100 Recap

Cruisin on the 7 hour, 400 mile drive up to Cable, WI

Its amazing how the roads and scenery change as soon as you go from Illinois to Wisconsin.

The Hell-ement was all packed up and doubled as my bed for two nights. Cozy. 

Riders pouring in around 5:45 am at Lakewoods Resort

The Mariachi looking all to clean at this point....thats about to change

Dennis Grelk's Tandem setup

Charlie Farrow's beautiful Gunnar....pre broken spoke

Tim Ek's new Spearfish looking dialed!

The checkpoint at mile 60 was a true god-send....I was so mentally exhausted at this point

Thats more like it....rained on and off all morning, soaking the trails

My riding partner for the day Steve Fuller getting a congrats on his finish from Mr. Joe Meiser

The finish line celebration

This bike was so dialed in all day....Such an amazing ride!


Shower and changing area after the race....never felt better

This was on my mind all day....

Two great dudes. Zach from Salsa Cycles and Ben Witt of Milltown Cycles. Thanks to you guys for the food and laughs at the checkpoint, I needed it!!!

The Chequamegon 100 was more than I could have ever expected. I was unprepared for the race to say the least. I hadn't ridden a mountain bike in 2 years on single track. I didn't have a mountain bike 3 days before the race. I built my Mariachi on Wednesday night. Got a short ride in with my boss Bob on Thursday morning. Then drove up to Cable on Friday evening. The bike felt great but I was nervous to how I would handle some technical single track with a new bike. I arrived in Cable around 11:30 pm and got some stuff together, reorganized the car, and fell asleep in the back next to my romantic. I slept surprisingly well and awoke to my alarm at 5:15 am to see some cars also getting ready for the start of the race at 7 am. I got up and kept organizing, changing, pumping up tires, etc. Soon, I saw some familiar faces from Charlie Farrow and Tim Ek of Duluth. Charlie was laughing as usual and Tim had his game face on. I let them be and snapped some photos of their rigs and went about my business. I also spotted Dennis Grelk on a tandem, Rafal Doloto from Nebraska on a geared rigid 29'er, and Steve Fuller on a Dos Niner. We rolled to the finish line after leaving our drop bags with food and water for the 60 mile checkpoint with Zach from Salsa. A quick speech was made from Joe Meiser and Tim Krueger of Salsa and then we were off....flying down a gravel road and then ducking into some single track. The first 10-20 miles were tire to tire trying to pass people when the opportunity came about. This didn't go without getting passed a few times as well. 

Shortly into the race I was riding behind Steve Fuller and said hello and we began to chat about his Dirty Kanza and Trans Iowa and all the goodness. He stopped for a food break and I kept riding. The first section was around rock lake....and it held up to its name. This trail had rocks everywhere and was kicking my ass on the rigid SS. After mile 30 came a surprise checkpoint revealed itself to me and I chugged a quick coke and had some doritios and then headed off into the pouring rain. We cruised down more of the fireroad we came in on and then were shortly onto some more single track where I met up with Steve again. We cruised together most of the day and it was nice having someone to talk to and help the miles go by. Also, Steve road in front of my for a majority of the early sections of the race setting a comfortable but snappy pace. We both agreed that we wanted to take in the beauty of the area, finish at a decent time, and enjoy the thats what we did. 

Mile 50 until the checkpoint at mile 61 were the longest 11 miles of my life. I started to get cramps at mile 40 when the humidity really picked up from the rain. I was sweating heard and losing salt. So, I kept it under control with liquids and food and kept pushing. The single track miles just seemed to DRAG felt like 10 miles on the road was 1 mile in the woods. I was mentally fried and said out loud several times: "WHEN WILL IT END!!!". Just about this point I saw a Salsa tent and we rolled into the checkpoint. I was relieved!!! I needed a break. Steve and I chilled for 30 minutes here to get some energy back and more to regain some mental stability. 

We took off and headed back up the "Birkie" trail that I had heard everyone talking about all morning. I had no idea what it was....just an open rolling plain with a small trail cut through the middle of it. It was VERY bumpy and had some really big hills on it. I didn't mind this section because I felt that we were actually making up some miles. Steve told me that he was fried and that I should just go I did....but he kept coming and would catch me as I had to walk some of the climbs. After riding some more beautiful single track we thought the end was in sight when we hit a long stretch of a fireroad right outside of such luck. The last section of the Ojibwa trail was ROUGH. We were fried and the trail seemed that it was newly carved. There wasn't a lot of flow to it and I was still battling cramps. I had lost Steve miles back and was trying to stay mentally strong and just get the race done with. Just as I thought I was hitting a breaking point I was on the last section of fireroad back into town. I crossed the finish line at 12 hours and 16 minutes. Shook hands with Joe from Salsa and waited for my friend Steve to cross the line. When he did I was greeted with a big hug and felt honored and proud to have ridden with him and to have completed this event. It was a lot harder than some of the other gravel events I have ridden and tested me mentally more than a lot of them as well. You have to stay focused every second of the race to pick your line through the single wears on you after a while.

The post ride party was at The Rivers Eatery in Cable and they had New Glarus beer and brick over pizza....just what the doctor ordered! I changed and met Rafal from Nebraska and some great guys that Steve rolled in with from Iowa. We hung out all night, drank beer, and laughed. What a great event!!! I was proud of myself for finishing and regaining some mountain bike skills I haven't used in a very long time. The rest of the year is going to be spend on 35mm tires or wider.....fuck those road bike things, they are worthless. Fat is where its at!!!....just like my women....

A big thanks to Joe, Tim, Zach and Ryan from Salsa. Ben from Milltown. Twin Six. Lakewoods, the rivers eatery, and anyone else involved in helping out with or sponsoring this event. CAMBA did an excellent job of grooming their trails and making some of the best single track in the midwest. We raised enough money for the event to make even more single track in that area to make the race even tougher next, tougher?! Thanks to my buddy Steve for riding with me and keeping my hopes up whether you think you did or not, you helped me through it! Chin up, Zipper Down. Don't let it loaf.

- JB, Slender Fungus

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Chequamegon 100 and El Mariachi

The new mountain bike has been built. I have had this frame for nearly a year now just staring me in the face every day. I knew how I wanted to build the bike and exactly how I wanted it. I just never had the money. After building a few bikes already this year and paying bills yada yada....I finally saved enough to build my last bike for a while. I have WTB i23 frequency built with wheelsmith double butted spokes on Chris king ISO disc hubs. A single speed rear hub with a 17T cog with an 18T in reserve incase I need it. The BB is a chris king with Shimano Saint 170 cranks, salsa 34T blue ring with Salsa chain guard, XT pedals. The headset is a chris king with a thomson stem, on one mary bars, paul levers, and ergon gp1 grips. Salsa seatpost clamp with a thomson seatpost and brooks b17 saddle. The tires are specialized purgatory low knob at 29 x 1.95 with tubes for now and going to run tubeless later on. Avid bb7 brakes with standard 6" rotors front and rear. The cables are jagwire ripcords which feel great. The bike is dialed and I am looking forward to seeing some friend and racing with some madmen up at the chequamegon 100 on saturday. I will probably be a bit sketchy since this is a new bike and I don't have a lot of mountain bike miles in yet this year....but its going to be fun!! Report to come after the race!

- Cookie Fungus

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My Trans Iowa

The morning section of peanut butter gravel and strong headwinds followed by riders that didn't want to take pulls so Jeremy and I plowed away at the front taking pull after pull and cranking out the small victories such as making checkpoint 1. 

The first B-road was soaked after the mornings rains and I figured that I was about top 35%-ish in the race at this point. Charlie Farrow right behind me where as he shortly after passes me...a familiar sight

The men of the Slender Fungus with a very very warm welcome

"This budweiser is sooooooo good"

Managing a smile on the way into checkpoint #1 with my partner Jeremy. 

Jeremy and I crossing the finish line. We were thrilled. We had done the impossible on one of the hardest TI courses out there. When Gumby took my bike from me so I could rest it felt strange because I felt like I needed to keep going...but it was over.

Cheers to my fearless partner and I, still taking it in. 

Great photos from Steve Fuller on his photostream. Thanks so much Steve for the great photos. It was always great to see you along the route and give us some sign of life in those lonely Iowa corn fields. It was great looking at all of the photos and smiles on everyones faces. Especially to see photos of the other guys as they started and finished. Check it out and ride your bicycles as usual!

Monday, June 11, 2012


The pug out roaming on my commute home the other night.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


An awesome write up with photos from Cornbread on Dirt Rag. This is a great race and the weather wasn't over 100 degrees this year....surprise surprise. Enjoy!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Some shop things

Just in case...

My boss Bob with Chrissy Wellington

Ti Fargo I built ready to take across the country, good luck pete!

An older Merlin Cielo that I upgraded to Ultegra Di2

 Hidden Battery