2015 AAVC officers

Thanks to the many AAVC members that voted online in the past week for the 2015 AAVC officers! We had the best "voter turnout" rate, largest number of candidates running for positions, and more than twice that number of nominees, showing once again that the club is the most active it's been in nearly a decade (maybe more)! It also attests to increasing involvement and contributions from a whole lot of people throughout the year with the club who love being involved, but chose not to seek officer duties, too.

Without further ado, the people taking on AAVC officer roles for 2015 are:

AAVC 2015 Officer Elections

The annual elections for next year's club officers is just about here. Online voting will start on Thursday, December 11 and run through Tuesday, December 16. Current AAVC members will receive a personal email on 12/11 when voting opens with a link to the ballot. About a day after the close of voting the votes will be tallied and we'll announce the winners!

Get a sneak peak at who's under consideration for each office below.

Pittsburgh's Dirty Dozen

Mark McCulloch reports from the Pittsburgh Dirty [Baker's] Dozen - a KOM race to the top of 13 of Pittsburgh's steepest climbs. 

Yesterday me, Chris Wiekler, Colin Hebert and Jesse Ramsey from Tree Fort Bikes climbed 13 of the most brutal hills in and around the Pittsburgh area on our bikes. The event is the called the ‘Dirty Dozen’. The event promoter (Danny Chew) is a two time winner of the Race Across America.  His goal is to bike 1 million miles before he croaks. I have no idea where he stands in his mission. Because he is sick in the head, he created this event 31 years ago. It started off with 5 riders and recently has blown up to 300+ riders. 

The AAVC crew + Jesse.  [We still love you Jesse!] 
For about 20 riders, this KOM (King of the Mountain) challenge is a race. We all start from a park at 10a doing warm-ups on a paved  velodrome track and ride together as a group to the first hill. The bottom of the first hill is about two miles from the park. At the base, Danny blows his whistle and it is ‘game on’. At that point it is every man and women for themselves. The top five finishers from each gender at the top of the hill gets points (5 through 1). At the end of the 13 hills, the man and women with the most points is the overall winner. For guys like me this is nothing more than a challenge to see if I can survive the day without walking my bike up the hill or stroking out. For every hill my heart beat was 180 beats per minute. It is amazing in the 31 years this has been going on nobody has dropped dead on one of these hills.  Once we all reach the top of the hill, we roll together as a group to the next hill base and Danny blows the whistle for round two. Wash, rinse and repeat 11 more times. There are two food/water fill up rest stops along the route.

Some off the hills are more brutal than others. The steepest hill in the world is Canton Avenue with a 37% profile. This is hill number 9 and the highlight of the route. And to add insult to injury, it is mostly cobblestone. I made it up the hill on my first attemp, as did Chris, Jesse and Colin. It was a total rush. Having hundreds of spectators encouraging you up the hill with cow bells was a big boost. But believe it or not, this was not the hardest hill of the day because it was over before I knew it. 

DICX '14

Five years... That's how long Jeff Wood has been putting on DICX.  Five years... Five years of tequila shot shortcuts.  Five years of kids chucking marshmallows.  Five years of CX in Detroit.  The DICX - on par with SSCXWC - in the D - and not just for hipsters...  Race Reports for the DICX '14 are below. 

Patrick McEnaney-
I'll get the race report ball rolling following today's fifth edition of Detroit Invitational Cyclocross going into the books. The Racing Greyhounds, Velvet Elvisesesesss (Thanks Terry!), Liberty Brewing, Tailwind Racing (Thanks Rebecca!), Motorless City Bicycles, et al., did a mighty fine job once again. No amount of boost taken by opting for the tequila shot shortcut helped me go fast, as the legs and body were just tired from the gun today. Congrats go to Brian Kearns for keeping the pressure on to take third in the "Overly Competitive Pricks" field (aka Cat123). The course was wicked challenging once again with a well-laid combination of flats, jogs up and down the Dorais Park rise, and of course, the vintage Dorais velodrome. With temps in the high 30F range at race time, everyone was treated to a heaping portion of mud on a off-camber downhill turn, this was followed shortly by a greazy and wicked steep run-up. The 5-pack of barriers followed by a snow mound put the hurt on everyone's quads after scrambling the run-up. As an added bonus, outside the shelter of the trees, the hillside and velodrome segments were wind-whipped enough to allow minimal recovery time. And if the spirals of death, mud pit, run-up, stairs, or barriers weren't enough, a chicane filled with barrels and exit chutes that were moved every-other lap put a severe challenge to my brain, which was substantially twisted after n - tequila shots.

It was an appropriately painful sunset to my 2014 cx season. Good luck to all headed to regionals in GR!

Terry Carpenter-
Good turn out, very muddy, fun, and painful. My derailleur is messed up so I had to do the whole thing in big front ring and/or run a lot. I think I was hallucinating by the end.  Jeff Wood puts on a great race!  Michael Belanger designs a sick funny painful course. Madman CX design team Jeff, Bellringer and company! Had fun chasing Patrick around heckling him.   Brian the Turkey Kearns and Ellie also kicked ass (as is expected).

PS thanks to Ducky Detroit Natalie Jameson Kiesling and Motorless City Craig Koengsley for the gear to keep me warm (since I wore "normal" clothes to race, I forgot to pack dry normal clothes).

Even Patrick gets a shot
"toward the win."
Brian gobbled up third.

The Iceman Cometh

Below you will find a compilation of race reports and stories from Iceman 2014. From what I have heard, this epic race from Kalkaska to Traverse City was one of the most challenging to date. After being inundated with rain for a week prior, the trail was then worked into a mash reminiscent of peanut butter and marshmellow fluff by more than 3,500 mountain bikers. Much of single track was unrideable and the race took a great toll on many men, women, and machines.... 

Patrick McEnaney-
Patrick enjoying some 51k IPA.
Photo credit: Chris Schmidt

That was punishment for me and the bike. I felt good once I got into a rhythm, but spent a lot of time trying to get around huge bottle-necks of riders that had no skillz for the admittedly difficult conditions. Lots of people dropped out from what I heard. I rode back up with a buddy from Houghton to chase the pros and get action shots as they crossed every road, that was wicked cool. The lead group of 6 sides formed very early and stayed together past the half-way point. The podium was very familiar If you follow the Iceman, Brian Matter notched his fourth win. For the ladies, it was a race for second from very early as Georgia Gould soloed well off the front. Even Emily Batty couldn't hang with her and Emily has world cup podiums. My take -away: if I get stuck back in wave 16 again next year after being in wave 4 in 2012, I'll just transfer my entry. I ended up finishing in 2:56.

My post-race activities included laying on a couch at my buddy's house, drinking beerz and watching "The Dirty Dozen". Also, sand-extraction from my eyeballs.

My assessment is Lee Marvin could have kicked some serious arse in the Iceman.

I'm still extracting sand from my eyeballs.

Mad Anthony CX

Compiled by Tyler Trask and Harvey Elliott

MACX started off with a BANG this year  thanks in part to a Civil War era cannon provided by the Historic Fort Wayne Coalition. For those of you who don’t know, Mad Anthony is the BIGGEST cyclocross race in Michigan and the venue is pretty unique among races as the course takes you up, down, over, and through (read tunnel) a star-fort built in the 1840’s.
AAVC'er Mark McCulloch in the barriers.
The fort is located on the south side of Detroit and also provides some great vistas of the downtown skyline. Combine this with a beautifully sunny fall day in mid-late October and you couldn’t hope for a better race. Cyclocross in Michigan is often cold, wet, and bleak. This particular race drew a stark contrast to the norm with high temp of 69F and a full pallet of fall colors. In fact, it almost seemed wrong. Were we really in Detroit, or had we all died and gone to Louisville? 

Cyclocross is growing, you hear about it on the national stage and you can see it here in southeast Michigan. Mad Anthony set a new record for attendance - with nearly 320 participants and their families arriving from all across southern Michigan and Ohio for the race. You also see it in sponsorship with major financial backing from Trinity Transportation – a provider of motor coaches, sedans, shuttles, and buses in southeast Michigan and Toledo Ohio – and a huge pile of swag from Trails Edge Cyclery, Alchemist, Velocio, Beat the Train, Detroit Endurance Lab, alloneword, The Sufferfest, and North Peak Brewing Company. Mad Anthony started in 2009 as the only sanctioned race in Detroit and five years later the event seems downright dignified. The race has already grown 4x and there’s clearly room for more as the field blows apart in the first 500m... This race is tough and the up-and-down of the trenches make this one a personal battle for all racers. This year’s course took the best elements from last year and added some new twists. They maintained the two “run-ups” inside the fort with two off-camber descents. They also saved that big drop off the gun emplacements on the 5th point of the star and thankfully extended the landing zone straight out to the inner wall. 
This made the drop faster, but also safer by eliminating that 90-deg turn onto the service road below. Another addition/modification was the barrier on the North side of the fort. Previously you’d come off the service road in the trench and make a 135-deg turn onto a sidewalk followed by a sketchy off-center ramp leading to the outer wall. This was removed so you made the turn, gassed the climb, and raced to dismount/remount over a knee-high wall. This actually helped the flow through this area as the riders were able to remount on a slight downhill before snaking around the exterior embankments. It also provided a great spectacle for the hecklers and seemed to be a crowd favorite. In all, this year’s course traced out 1.8 miles of the fort yet managed to keep the action close for the spectators. 

Waterford Hills Double Cross

Harvey Elliott's Race Report from the Waterford Hills Double Cross:
Waterford Hills is one of my very favorite CX courses and takes place on the same track as the Wednesday Night Worlds road race series.  The course strategically uses sections of the track and in-field to give you some technical sections and climbs
Harvey Elliott battling with Dalton Guggemos on the track.  
 while maintaining a seriously fast average speed.  I know Danny also likes this course because he won both days last year and seriously kicked my ass.  Thankfully, he’s now one cat up.  This race is also a double header with the course on Saturday being reversed for Sunday.  All these factors seemed to spell good news for Ann Arbor riders who took 29 spots on the podium over the course of the weekend.  

Wheels in Motion Fall Trainer Night

Don’t miss the Wheels in Motion Fall Trainer Night, Tuesday, October 7th from 6:30 - 8:30pm.

See demos, try some out, compete against others in short races, and take advantage of special deals! Get all the details on the event page.