Sunday, May 22, 2016

From The End Of The World To Your Town

I haven’t said a lot about my new role as the captain of Team Pedal Moraine, and for the most part I have been silent because I haven’t done any racing yet. But others have. We’re already 3 races into the WEMS season and 1 race into the WORS season, plus there was another mountain bike race unaffiliated with either series. TPM racers were present at all of those.

The WCA road season is more than halfway done—don’t ask me why it starts in April and then ignores most of July and August—but TPM hasn’t been a part of it. We’re not really a road racing team. There will be some Team Pedal Moraine participation in the Tour of America’s Dairyland, June 17-26. This year’s Tour visits West Bend on June 20, so that’s an ideal occasion to fly our colors. But I think we’ll make a bigger splash in Fond du Lac on August 14 when 6 of us line up for Race The Lake, the largest road race in Wisconsin. Race The Lake attracts more than 1,000 competitors and starts in multiple waves. I will be doing it for the first time, and unless I make an unexpected addition to my calendar it will be my first road race since the Omro Classic in the 2008 Wisport series. As TPM captain I think Race The Lake is an important opportunity to increase the team’s profile, so on Thursday I paid the not-inconsiderable registration fees with team funds. I want current members and prospective members to recognize that the team isn’t only about mountain biking. In 2015 we competed in more cyclocross races than mountain bike races, did some road races, and dabbled in multi-sport and winter fatbike events. We're more than just brown dirt cowboys.

Today, though, was a time for Team Pedal Moraine to take things a little slower and get back to its roots. I invited my teammates to join me at New Fane for mountain biking and a picnic. It was the sort of gathering that fosters a sense of community within the team, and that’s something our members have always appreciated. If that’s something you aren’t getting from your current team, then think about joining us.

For me, today also was the end of a very solid week: 201 miles covered, and more than 12 hours in the saddle. That’s my fullest week of training this year and a big rebound from last week. It was exactly what I needed in advance of the challenging Gravel Metric next Sunday. True gravel grinders don’t appeal to most Team Pedal Moraine racers, and Illinois is below an imaginary line that my teammates hesitate to cross … though they routinely travel twice as far to race in northern Wisconsin. I expect to be the only TPM guy in attendance, just as I was in 2014 when a rider who knew me only by my kit said, “Team Pedal Moraine, you are a useful and courteous cyclist.” And well he might have complimented me, as I had been towing him into a headwind for miles. But I’m hardly a hero; just someone my mother might know.

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