Tag Archives: #naturalstatecrits

Monday Race report from NWA

Whether you race or ride your bike. It is a great way to meet new people. This weekend there were a ton of folks riding and racing their bike. Me? I truly enjoy the freedom of being on a bike. This weekend was no different. I wish I could have been a part of the awesome event that was put on by Cycling Kansas City. The Cider Mill century was enjoyed by 385 men, women and children. To put on a ride like that takes a bunch of volunteers and the CKC board. Thank you to all those that participated and took time out of their day to help. The next ride is the Summer Breeze on 8.26.2018 and I hope to see everyone out for this event.

This weekend had so many options on the race/ride calendar. I, however, committed to racing in Arkansas at the Natural State crits. Along with KCBC teammate Kyle Guinn. We roomed with Connor and Ian from Moveup and Alex from Colavita. 3 days of crit racing at its finest. It started with Friday night under the lights and it was .6 of a mile, 6 turn short course. If you were not on the front line, you were left behind. Ian Pepin was our main focus for this race but he ended up on the back row. Alex Flunker and I worked to stay with the front pack. We also had Thomas Lewin from the KC team Grip n Rip join in the fun. I ended up getting caught behind a crash in the middle of the race, then again later in the race and took me all but out of the race. By the end of the 1st race Thomas took 7th, Alex 9th, Ian 17th and I was in 12th. The only female to race from KC was Molly Benton (Elektra racing). Molly took the course with 56 other pro123 women. This was a really tough field and Molly (cat3) took it on the chin like a champ and ended her race in 50th. I’m proud of that lady for stepping in the ring with the pros. Our Cat3 men had Tim Jansen (AKA Jan Timson) of GP Velotek and Kyle Guinn from KCBC. These boys averaged 25+ miles an hour and Jansen came away in the money with a 6th place finish. These tight turns did not favor the time trial champion and Kyle landed in 28th.

Alex, me and Thomas

Saturday in the town of Rogers AR, The KC area represented with 16 athletes, 10 of the 16 were the women of the KC. All of these ladies raced in the 3 4 5 womans race. This race had 30 women in it. I would have loved to see more teamwork between the 3 teams from KC that were represented. Amy Cottrell took 6th, Kelly Skinner 10th both from Elektra racing and were in the money. Grip n rip showed up with 4 women, GP Velotek fieled 2 and 4 from Elektra. There was a total of 30 women in the race. Velotek, Elektra, KCBC, Colavita and Move up all set up base camp together on Saturday. I would have liked to have the Grip n Rip folks with us but we did not get to coordinate that to make it happen.

Amy on her trainer
Kelly, Marianne and Molly
Connor, Kyle and I with Marianne spinning
the Marianne selfie

Our goal for the men cat4 was to get Ian on the podium. I figured if any course would favor him, it would be this one. We did what we could to keep him protected and he did all the work in the last 5 laps to get into position for the uphill sprint and he took 2nd. The kid that took 1st almost lapped the entire field but Ian kept that from happening. Time to upgrade Ian. Tom Lewin took 7th, Alex in the 8 spot and I was shot out the back and 18th.

and though she be but little, she is fierce


The cat3 race had Tim Jansen working hard for a 3rd place field sprint finish. After the race I asked him what he was doing to get him to where his fitness was. He said he put this weekend as his A race and focused on what he needed to do to best put him in position to win. One hell of an effort. Our KCBC teammate worked hard to hold on to the 28 spot. Kyle had a moment where he took off and went for and won a prem. So, our man Kyle did not walk away with out any $$. After the race we invited the Velotek and Elektra team over for dinner and made a hell of a shrimp and pasta meal. The ladies brought over salad, wine and garlic bread. This is where we get to get out of our race kits and just sit around eat, drink, tell stories and just enjoy each others company. Here is a great photo of the ring leader of the evening. Kelly Skinner has a dynamic personality and was nice to have in the mix. The pictures pretty much tells the story.

Kelly giving a dissertation on quantum physics
Proper top podium pose. why is Kate wearing one shoe?

I think the dinner was the best part of the weekend. We are all amateur athletes and all have to go to work on Monday. We love riding and that is the common bond we all share. We are human and sometimes we suck and other times we are amazing. I hope you don’t judge a human when they are having one of those days that they suck.

Day 3 of the Natural State was a much longer course with more turns than the other two races. The women kicked off the day with a morning race and all 10 of our KC women worked hard to get into position, only to get crashed out in the finale turn while a prem was at stake. Kelly, Sev Tournadre and Carol Stauffer were all but taken out of the race. Marianne Melling had a huge effort and took 5th place. Amy was in the money at 10th, Michelle Sheppard with elektra at 13th. I decided to double up and start the day with a masters race. I was feeling great and sitting in a top 10 position with 8 to go. Then we had a crash and the race had to be neutralized with 7 to go. The last 6 laps were fast and after 15 minutes of waiting in the sun we all were suffering and out of 29 racers, I sprinted for 12th place. Ugh, in 4 hours I get to do it again. Next up, Cat3 race and boy did it not disappoint. It was a battle of positions and Tim was in the money one more time at 10th and Kyle ended the weekend with a hard fought race at 31st.

Kyle Guinn

There were other KCBC athletes out there racing. One of our mountian bikeracers, Michael Conley was racing in the Marmaton Massacre in Ft. Scott. Michael had a rough go at the race in the single speed category and ended up crashing out and breaking his helmet. Glad he was not seriously injured.

Last but not least was our Triathlete Iron Woman, Michelle Lingenfelser. Michelle took the top podium spot at the Big Shark New Town Tri. She also was 5th overall on the bike portion of the tri. That is 5th out of 215 men and women. WOW! Great Job Michelle. We are all very proud of you. By the way, 2nd place was a 15 year old! Don’t you just love it!


Thank you for reading. And remember, every friend you have today was once a stranger. Go out and meet new strangers. Even if they suck at first, they might just be having a case of the Mondays.


Case of the Mondays Race Report. The Natural State.

This weekends races took place in beautiful Bentonville, Rogers and Springdale Arkansas. All three races were Criteriums. By the way, the race report is not always about the races.

Here are most of the actors in this weekends report. Sev, Jordan, Ian, Zach, Molly, Will, Bonnie, Jeremy, Jen, Chris and the race director.

Holding on to 2nd

Friday:  Sev, Ian and I left Kansas City Friday afternoon. So, this was a surprise road trip crew. Ian and I were set on driving down. The surprise was Sev. I had mentioned the race to her and to drive but didn’t think she was all that interested in going. So, this was our crew. Being on the road for 3 hours is just long enough to get to know someone and not long enough for them to drive you crazy, (I love my road crew). I have been on those 12 hour road trips and by the end of the trip, you have come to the end of your road. I named this road trip the gangster rap race weekend and proceeded to play Tupac as pulled into Cave Springs. My reason for this was simple, it was the NWA (Northwest Arkansas) cycling community that was putting on the race. So, GRRW just made sense to me.  After 3 hours of getting to know my fellow racers, we get to Cave Springs AR to our cottage in the woods (thank you Lisa and air bnb). It’s nice to have an entire house and not a hotel that you have cram into for an entire weekend. Enough about our accommodations, here is how the Friday night crit turned out.  Well as you may or may not know, I race for the US Military endurance team but have created an alliance with a team called Move up. These guys are awesome and during this race we were hitting on all cylinders. Zach ended up with $100 prime with a little help from me pulling just before the prime was called. I am so proud of Zach and his effort. But Ian, this kid at 20 years old had some wisdom in this race. With about 2.5 laps to go I am sitting at about 4th wheel and waiting to drop the hammer. About that time Ian gets to my right outside wheel and when I looked back he looked loke he used a bit of energy to get himself into position. So, I give him a minute to breath and then I get out of saddle to start a push. Ian tells me “not yet” so I sit back in and wait for his command. This is important because he has a better view of what is going on and will know if a flyer is coming up the side. With about half a lap to go one of the racers gets out of saddle and that’s when I hear Ian say “now go go go”. So I took off and pulled through into the head wind and up hill section. I broke to my left to give Ian the sprinting room and he took off. Ian took 3rd place and I came in at 9th. Between the 3 of us we earned $280 for that race. Ian and Zach split there portion with me. They did not have to do that, I was happy to put in the work. not to mention that I am not a sprinter yet. I am more of the work horse. I am proud of those guys. At 28 and 20 years old they showed class.

Our cottage n the woods

Saturday: We were all excited for this race after our strong Friday finishes. But what goes up, must come down. Sadly we missed our start due to some incorrect information from an official. This meant we had to chase the group or get a DNf (did not finish). In hindsight we should have taken the DNF or maybe waited for the peloton and joined in on the fun. We were disappointed and not happy with the officials. Although this was our fault, we should have stuck around the start line. it is a hard lesson to learn. The day was not a total loss. Sev won some money and raced like she owned the course and I got to have lunch with my road crew and Jordan. Jordan is a cat 2 and is 23 years old, he is also a very nice and respectful person. It was nice to sit and have an actual conversation with him. He also took 9th in Saturdays race. which is amazing because he is racing against pros and cat 1 guys. I also got to meet Will and Molly. Will does not race and is Mollys husband. When Molly races he is always there and he likes to call her chicken. I need to ask him why he calls her chicken? It is nice to see how much he takes care of her. I also met Jen and her husband. He is a mechanic and totally takes care of his girl Jen. So, here is an interesting fact, I asked several guys if they wanted to do RAAM (Race Across America). They all looked at me like I am crazy. When I asked Molly and Jen, they didn’t even flinch, they were all about it. I like these two:)

Sunday:  Last day of the race weekend and it all started at 5am. After not getting enough sleep and burning out my legs, we all ended up not doing very well except for Sev, she was 9th and in the money once again. Ian ended up taking 12th and I was in the bottom half with Chris and Zach. Although it was fun, just not where we should have been. I did get to have some great conversations with Jeremy (Springfield, MO) and Chris (McPherson, KS). Actually, I asked Chris to come to AR to race. I was surprised he came down. Although, I think he is like me when it comes to traveling.


Racing for me is not about winning. It is about having a great time and meeting new people. Don’t get me wrong, I most certainly like to win but it is not number one on the list. There are people that show up, either alone or with a team, they race and then they go home. Everyone has there own way and I can appreciate that. I am not wired that way. I like to show up early and maybe I get to put up barricades or the wheel pit tent. I get to know the race director (although I totally forgot his name). I figure that 99% of these folks are volunteers and many hands make light work. This is where I met Bonnie. Bonnie and I had an instant connection on Friday night when I asked about results and for some ice because one of the KC racers hurt his knee. We chatted for a few and I thanked her for time and putting on the race. It’s funny, most of the time when I thank an official or director, they will generally thank me for coming out to race. With Bonnie it was no different. I have a feeling that everyone loves Bonnie and she is the glue that holds the organization together.


Me, Ian and Zach

Every friend was once a stranger. I wonder if that sounds better in french:)