Friday, June 19, 2015

Took A Look At Minooka

During the last couple of years, mountain bike trail development at Minooka Park in Waukesha has garnered mostly positive reviews from riders and, as of today, I can tell you that it’s a fun place to ride. But fun wasn’t my first priority. I rode at Minooka today because I wanted to preview the trails that will be used for the Colectivo Coffee Bean Classic in the Wisconsin Off-Road Series on August 16. And the jury is still out. Minooka is all singletrack of the tight and twisty variety. My biggest challenge was not to overcook the corners. I wanted to go faster than the course would allow. In the race, passing will be virtually impossible. A strong start will be critical and call-ups for the series points leaders will be a huge advantage.

Of course, I won’t be one of those series points leaders. I haven’t done any WORS races yet this year and the only one I might do before Minooka is the July 26 short track cross country race in the WORS Cup. The June 28 race in Eau Claire is too far away for someone with no series ambitions and the July 12 race in Mt. Morris conflicts with the state championship road race.

I probably should mention that I’m thinking about entering the state championship road race …

Before going to Minooka today, I drove around the course that will be used for the state championship. It’s a quiet 5.7-mile circuit just a few miles outside of East Troy. There is some climbing on the course—no leg breakers, but a couple of rolling hills that will be hard enough at race speed. My race would be 90 minutes long. That’s probably 5 or 6 laps. I am tempted but I am not ready to commit. Let’s see how my training goes over the next couple of weeks.

This very full Friday of cycling began with a trip to East Troy for Day 2 of the Tour of America’s Dairyland. (ToAD kicked off in Shorewood yesterday, but I opted for the Thursday evening group ride from the high school parking lot in West Bend.) I got to see some great racing and I was especially privileged to spend a little time with pro rider Laura Van Gilder, who has more victories than any other woman in American cycling history and is still a top competitor at age 50. We share more than just AARP eligibility: she also is a native Pennsylvanian and an avid cyclocrosser.

ToAD continues tomorrow with the Giro d’Grafton, and I will be the corner marshal at Turn 3 for the men’s pro race. This year’s course has just four corners instead of six, so it will be insanely fast. I hope to see you there.

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