Monthly Archives: March 2008

Hillsboro Roubaix – UCI 0.0

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Hillsboro Roubaix is a pretty long race for the end of March. 90 miles or so. Especially when it has been such a harsh winter for most of the Midwest. It is a pretty good and interesting course. Lots of narrow roads that wander through the countryside. It finishes with a couple small hills and then over a mile of brick before the finish line. Thus, the name, Hillsboro Roubaix.

I was having a pretty good day. I rode a pretty conservative race, so I had a bunch of juice the last hour. I did felt alittle funky the first lap. They were burning some wood and clearing fields in a valley. The smoke was hanging. Not good for athletics. I was amazed how much clothing everyone was wearing. But, it kind of scared me so I put on more than I would of normally. I promptly stripped it off during the first lap. It was in the 30’s when we started, but warmed up during the day.

I think that Adam Mills has written a pretty good description of the events that happened during the race. He was having one of the best races that I’ve witnessed him race. He was pulling equal with Brian (Jensen) most of the last lap. And still had the energy to shell the other 3 guys left to finish 3rd. He writes pretty well about racing against friends. It was something we were a bit concerned about, since Brian was a team mate most of the last 4 years. Also, good photos of Lawrence Kansas after KU won a trip to the final 4. So, check out Adam’s Blog.

1. Steve Tilford- HRRC/Trek Stores
2. Brian Jensen- Sucessfull Living Professional Team
3. Adam Mills- HRRC/Trek Stores
4. Bill Stolte- HRRC/Trek Stores
5. Josh Carter – ABD
6. Jordan Roessingh I S Corp
7. Ryan White- ABD

My friend Fraiser!!!!

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My friend Dennis Kruse’s dog, Fraiser, passed away today. He was my friend. I was fortunate Dennis brought him down from Wisconsin last week so I could see him one last time.

He made my life and those of others that knew him happy. Here’s some photos of Fraiser and some of his friends.

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Nokere Koerse, Bel (1.1) Regrets?

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I saw on cyclingnews a couple days ago the Nokere Koerse results for this year. I have very few regrets in my years in the sport of cycling. There are too many moments that come and go during each race to be second guessing yourself. I hate the should of, could of, would of stuff. Obviously, hind site, after the race, analyzing your tactics, etc. is easy.

But, my Kokere experience is different. I’m guessing the year was 1991. I was over in Belguim training for MTB races by mainly riding PRO road races. Trudi was working for Motorola, so Ghent was home base. I’d been doing a bunch of kermises. I think the true definition of a kermis is a festival or carnival held in the summer in Belgium or Holland. But, they often hold bicycle races concurrent with these small town fairs. These races can have anywhere from 30 riders to 300. There are special PRO teams in Belgium that concentrate only on these events. These races are usually on weekdays and start mid afternoon to finish in the early evening.

I had been riding these races a couple times a week. The first one had maybe 35 guys. Normally there are around 100 riders. The kermis teams plus the other pros that lived in Belgium from PRO Tour teams that weren’t racing with their team, make up the field. I rode down to Hulste where the Motorola team was based. I was there early, but when I got there a bunch of the Motorola riders wanted to race. But, they weren’t getting ready fast enough. Anyway, I was with this guy from Belgium, Luc Eysermann, a whole story in himself. He knew how to get there. So, Nathan Dalberg, New Zealand guy, Luc and myself ditched the rest of the Motorola guys and went. Trudi and Jody(another sougneir from Motorola) waited for their team.

Entry into these races is crazy. Typically, you go into a dark bar, completely filled with smoke. Not just any smoke, but smoke from the foulest smelling cigar type things in the world. There are a bunch of old, ex pro bike races sitting around drinking and smoking. You show a guy your license, he types you name onto a start sheet and they hand you a number. No $ exchanges hands. They take the start sheet and print up a million copies and hand them out to the crowds. And, there are crowds. As soon as the start sheet is distributed, I normally got swarmed by people wanting to take a photo of me. Only a head shot for their “pro bike racers head shot collection”. Or, better yet, if I had trading cards with me, it would turn into a feeding frenzy. They all wanted the never heard of PRO American’s trading card. A real treasure!!

Anyway, Nathan and I got entered and swarmed. Trudi and the rest of the Motorola guys got lost riding there. They barely made it to the start. I was suprised about how many real teams and riders were at the race. I thought it was just a normal kremis. But, all the real teams were there with full squads. I’d ridden 30 miles, maybe more, to get to the race. It started crazy fast. Normally these races cruised for the first lap, 10km or so, and then started racing right at the end of the warmup lap. But, this went from the gun. Kremises were never controlled. That is dope controlled. So, a lot of the guys were crazy out of their minds on amphetamines. Kermises, could and sometimes, were the fastest races on the planet.

The Nokere course, as now I know, is famous. It finishes on a cobble/brick climb. It is pretty hilly for a Belgium race. This day was weird. It was sunny and nice in Nokere. And raining and sleeting on the backside on the course. Pretty miserable.

I never saw a Motorola guy from the get go. I don’t think any of them stayed on the first lap. I was lucky enough to be at the front when they blew off the gun. It immediately went into echelons. And it stayed that way for the remainder of the day. Finally, after 3-4 hours, I found myself in a group or 6-7. All the good teams, plus Steve. I didn’t know any of the other riders of course. I was riding good. But, the conditions were brutal on half the course. It was so strange. Going through Nokere, where the festival was, it was sunny and warm. On the back side, it was raining and freezing. This was a total distance of less than 5 km away. Only one valley over. Trudi told me after the race she was wondering why we were covered with road spray looking beat.

Anyway, after 100 miles or so, I’d been in this break for a couple hours. I was feeling great, but was riding well within myself. These guys had no idea who I was and didn’t expect me to do much of anything. Everytime I went through Nokere, I was looking for Trudi for my rain jacket. She and Jody were always in the same place drinking beer. But, I didn’t have much luck communicating my wishes.

With about an hour to go, Trudi was after the finish line and I thought she told me that she was taking the Motorola riders that quit back to Hulste. I thought, shit, I need to get my stuff from the car because I had to ride 30 miles back to Ghent. I’d already ridden something like 130 miles and figured that was enough for the day. I rode just another mile up the road and turned around and went to the car.

The car was there, but Trudi wasn’t. I went and found them in the crowd. It turns out she said that the Motorola guys were leaving. Riding back. But, she and Jody were staying. At the time, I didn’t really care about stopping. It was just a kermis. So, Luc and I rode back to Ghent. He took us out of the way to ride a bunch of the famous climbs from all the classics in Belgium. I was feeling great. It was a super fun day! I was stoked to have nearly a 100 miles of racing plus the 60 miles there and back.

The next day, I rode to Hulste to visit Trudi. Noel Dejonckheere, director for the Motorola Team, asked me about the race from the day before. He said “what happened to you in the break?” I said how did he know I was in the break. He said he was watching it on TV. He said one minute I was there and one minute gone. I told him the turn around, training story.

Then he proceeded to tell me what an important race this was. How the town had passed a law about leaving the main street cobble for the race. That Gerrie Knetemann and Freddy Maertens (past World Road Champions) had won the race previously. It was the most famous kermis in Belgium. Plus, it was something like 5K to win.

I had no idea. I’d raced a bunch of different kermises in Belgium. I’d finished in the top ten. I’d never received a penny. A lot of the time they left my name out of the results in the news paper the next day. It was a super cool race. I was having one of those days that don’t come along that often. But, I was there to MTB race. And use road races for fitness. But, on a yearly basis, when cyclingnews prints the results, I do have to reminisce about what could of, should of , would of happened if…..


					

Trainers??? 1st Day of Spring!

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I got a email from a guy in St. Louis. He had some ??’s about training. I tried to give him some answers. Anyway, he gave me his schedule and it involved riding 3 days a week on a trainer. 3 hours on Wednesday. I told him that I thought that was completely nuts. He had some extenuating circumstances-family, work, time constraits, etc., so I could understand his inability to get outside and ride.

I do realize that I have the luxury to be able to ride during daylight hours virtually the whole year. And during those hours, I can usually wait out the weather, so I can cherry pick the best time to ride.

But, that being said, I don’t understand this trainer thing. I love riding my bicycle. I dread riding a trainer. One of the main attractions of the sport of bicycle racing is the beauty of riding a bicycle. That means riding a bicycle outside. Not riding a stationary machine in your basement. I have almost never done a indoor trainer workout that matches a similar workout outside. Plus, on a trainer, it is nearly impossible to stand up. At least, stand up and ride properly. And riding off your seat efficiently is a super important aspect of the sport. Plus, the sweating aspect is a huge negative. It all wears me out mentally.

Daylight saving time is here. 1st day of Spring is today. So go enjoy your bike OUTSIDE whenever you get the chance.

Holy S**T!!!

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I was contacted today by Fred Dreier from Velonews. They are doing an article about the upcoming MTB season and are doing a sidebar about the 25th anniversary of MTB/NORBA. I thought, that’s cool. Then I started thinking and it was 25 years ago this year I won the first MTB National Championships. Holy crap. That is unbelievable. I might have to go through a life crisis or something. I’ll have to think about that too. But, that probably isn’t something you do consciously. That’s all I can fathom today/maybe for the rest of the week.

1983 Solvang, CA

tilford.jpg

HELL’S KITCHEN ROAD RACE

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Arkansas is a nice state. Beautiful. Kind of undiscovered. But, Northwest Arkansas is going crazy with construction. I think it is Walmart trickle down, but whatever the case, it is nuts. The towns above Fayetteville, Rogers and Springdale are booming. Riding around there is pretty strange. Huge 7000 sq.ft. trophy houses. Stone, brick, spectacular. Next, mobile homes surrounded by cars with no wheels. Pretty weird.

A bunch of us jumped into my van and went down to Fayetteville for the Hell’s Kitchen Road Race on Sunday. We left a day early to get to the warm weather early. But, it wasn’t warm and we barely got in a hour and a half before high tailing it back to watch the KU game. (KU won the Big 12 in basketball, #1 Seed in the NCAA midwest)

The race started at 10am. Pulling up, it seemed like there were alot of people for a regional event. I ran into the promoter, Ben, and he said they had over 300 entries. 200 was the most they’d ever had. The course is very nearly the Joe Martin circuit race. Except alot harder. There is only one climb every 20 mile lap, but it is hard. Over a mile long, pretty steep at the top. Enough to make a selection.

I’m not sure how many guys started the PRO 1-2 race. Somewhere around 40 max. It started out pretty animated considering it was in the mid 30’s. The best regional guys came because of the lack of other races to attend. Long story short, I got away all 3 times up the climb. The 1st time to make a 10 rider split. The 2nd lap to get down to one other guy. And the last time to ride to the finish alone. I felt pretty good considering the point of the season. I rode my big ring up the hill the first two laps (11 X 27 cassette). The last lap, I rode the fist half of the climb in a 53 X 21 or so and ended up having to shift into a 39 X 24. Pretty weird how quickly that can go south on you.

Winning alone is always nice. That is the 2nd time in the last two weeks. We had 4 guys in the top 8 (1-3-6-8th). Pretty good results for a little disassociated riding. I was riding well within myself and probably should of used that form to help my guys get better results. But, that is easy to say after the fact. We’re supposed to win the race first, but it’s always nice to work on stacking the places abit.

PRO 1-2 Results Hell’s Kitchen Road Race – Hogeye, AR

1 (1 – Cat1) Stephen Tilford 35598 HRRC Trek Stores
2 (2 – Cat1) Terrence Keenan 43652 THF Realty
3 (3 – Cat1) Adam Mills 102467 HRRC Trek Stores
4 (1 – Cat2) William Gault 192707 CTCA Tulsawheelmen
5 (4 – Cat1) Zach Reed 29400 Iowa City Cycling Club
6 (5 – Cat1) William Stolte 34257 HRRC Trek Stores
7 (6 – Cat1) Nolan Froese 222865 Mesa Cycles
8 (7 – Cat1) Brian Dziewa 126190 THF Realty
9 (2 – Cat2) Joseph Schmalz 197714 Heartland
10 (8 – Cat1) Janne Hamalainen 199458 CTCA Tulsawheelmen
11 (9 – Cat1) Peter Beland 47037 BMC

Chasing the weather.

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Winter in Kansas has been severe this year. It reminds me of the winters when I was a kid. Lots of snow, frozen lakes, big winds continually. Usually, by now I would of cried UNCLE and headed somewhere warm until the end of April. I’ve been kind of doing intervals. One week gone, a week back, etc. It makes you appreciate the warm weather all that much more. But, it kind of gets you off track of what you’re trying to accomplish at home.

I planted a garden yesterday. Turned the soil, raked it out and then planted the early stuff-lettuce, spinach, chard, beets, etc. I was leaning over no more than 30 minutes total. Last night I was hobbling around. My hamstrings were/are killing me. It is amazing how out of shape you can get for any other endeavor in life when you are in cycling shape. As far as I can tell, cycling fitness is like a black hole for every other energy source you body has. And it converts every muscle into something that is only good for cycling. You can ride your bike for 6 + hours, but can’t stand around for more than 10 minutes. Go figure.

So, the weekend here is supposed to be miserable again. Dennis Kruse, from Cable, Wis. came down here for some early season riding. He left Cable a couple days ago and the temperature was -5 degrees. He rode here the next day at 60. But, tomorrow is going to be crummy, so we’re heading down to Fayetteville, Arkansas for a long ride tomorrow and then a road race on Sunday. Just a weekend trip.