Katherine’s Banner One Bite at a Time Plan

Does Banner have an undeserved bad reputation? I think it does. I believe these trails are just misunderstood.

I have said for years that “the trails at Banner may be the most fun and most feared trails in central Iowa.” But I think it’s time for us all to forget that fear and enjoy the fun. I’m tired of hearing that Banner is only for experienced riders.

Banner has some advanced trails, but that’s only some of the trails. And once you get a feel for Banner’s character by riding the beginner and intermediate trails first, the advanced trails become much more manageable.

Continue reading Katherine’s Banner One Bite at a Time Plan

IMBCS Season 2016 by the Numbers…

2016 was another very successful IMBCS mountain bike racing season. Our 14th season to be exact. Once you see our participation numbers below, you can take a look and see how they compare to our prior 13 seasons right HERE.

Whiterock

Congratulations to each and every racer who tossed their leg over a mountain bike to give Iowa’s dirt a chance with your competitive spirit and effort!!

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This season, we saw a few changes for IMBCS when compared to prior years. The main change this year was having all events sanctioned under USA Cycling for the first time in our 14 season history which we announced HERE. We had USA Cycling Officials at each and every event this year, and some rules were enforced that are designed to increase safety and enable fairness to our competitive sport. Thank you to USA Cycling and all of the officials that officiated our events. Jeff Mertz was instrumental in meeting with me and discussing all things related to USA Cycling for our series. Our regional representative, Larry Martin, was very helpful in guiding me, and all of our race directors as we migrated to the USA Cycling format, online registration, one day licenses, and the post event race reporting process. We also had a USA Cycling State Championship at the Whiterock Conservancy Liberty Bell Cup.

Thrills2

Continue reading IMBCS Season 2016 by the Numbers…

Sugar Bottom Scramble Race Recap…

Yesterday was the annual running of the Sugar Bottom Scramble at Sugar Bottom Recreation Area hosted by ICORR, and Goosetown Racing. Race Director Mike Frasier made the call on Saturday to delay the start of all races by 2 hours to allow for recent rains to soak in and the course to dry out.

Good call Mike! We were all treated to hero dirt, and delicious Sugar Bottom singletrack because of it…

Sugar Sweet Singletrack

Gorgeous blue skies, and temperatures around 70 degrees made for some of the best racing conditions IMBCS has had all season.

Blue Sky!

Continue reading Sugar Bottom Scramble Race Recap…

Sugar Bottom Scramble: Two Hour Rain Delay

The Sugar Bottom Scramble is delayed two hours due to the recent rain. All races will start two hours after the previously scheduled times. This will give the trails time to dry and be ready for all of us to race on Sunday!

Here is the official word from the race director, Mike Frasier:

Half inch of rain [Friday] night has left a few greasy spots in the trails. A couple more hours of drying time will help dial them in more, so we’ve decided to delay the Scramble two hours. Looks to be a beautiful day on the trails, hope to see you there!

Schedule and course maps are on the Sugar Bottom Scramble race page.

George Wyth MTB Race Recap

First of all, kudos are deserved by CVAST, Race Director Lee Geisinger, and all of his volunteers for pulling off the 4th Annual George Wyth MTB Race!

Well done to all!

Lee has done an excellent job as race director over the years. This year it included working full time, going to school full time to work on his PhD, and of course family. Lee, you’re the man!!! Today was Lee’s last hoorah (for now) as race director for the George Wyth MTB Race as he has his dissertation to attend to this coming year. So Lee will be passing the race director reins on for another to take the helm next year. We’re all behind you, Lee, as you get that PhD finished, and we thank you so much for all you have done for the George Wyth MTB Race and IMBCS! We do appreciate it.

Lee and Ashley

Two inches of rain fell on Thursday evening and Friday morning in the Waterloo area, so the flat course at George Wyth was bound to retain a bit of that rain water. In spite of that, the CVAST trail crew led by Chad Reisinger had the dirt whipped into excellent racing conditions for all of us. We only had three mud bogs that we had to race through today, and yours truly jackknifed like an 18 wheeler on ice on one of them which led to a nice soft landing in very warm and deep mud. As I lay prostrate on the ground thoroughly stuck in the mud, Dave Roll bunny hopped over me and announced he was coming through. Thanks Dave! 😉

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George Wyth MTB Race Is on Schedule!

We all get nervous when it rains, but don’t worry, George Wyth is on for tomorrow, Sunday, August 14, 2016!

Official word from one of the race organizers, ‎Chad Reisinger:

To answer you questions, yes the GWMTB race for 2016 is on as scheduled. Yes we have had a lot of moisture the last few days and it has made some wet spots. I have ridden the trail twice today and I got to say it is a very fun course this year. We even had a great trail ride today on the race course. Yes you will have some mud. But it is fun mud. It was drying up fast this morning, and most of the standing water should be gone. We do have one reroute we had make, as Alice Wyth Lake level is just way too high. But even the reroute is fun and fast. Registration should be available by 8am at the race.

Should be an awesome race tomorrow, see you all in the morning.

All details are on the George Wyth MTB Race race page.

Season Ending Trilogy of Races

MulletPush

2016 has been a banner year of venues for IMBCS with the best variety we have ever offered Iowa mountain bikers, and the racing options for IMBCS racers to choose between marathon, or XC categories. Ma Nature has forced us to only have to scratch one race (Ewing Park). This means that CAT III and Juniors only need 4 races minimum to qualify for year end awards, Marathon racers only need 3 races minimum, and CAT II/COMP/CAT I only need 5 races minimum to qualify for year end awards – not to mention the all too fun name draw for sponsor prizes. Racers who qualify, must be present at the Mullet Fall Classic race to reap the rewards of the drawings (Hammer Nutrition kits, LW Coaching Training Plans, Zoom Performance Goodies, Bodywork Solutions Hour Long Body Massages, and more).  Many have a race or two or three to qualify for these awards and drawings, but August brings a trilogy of chances to catch back up if you’ve missed out on some racing earlier in the season.

SolsticePodium

Remember, all age 18 and under racers race for free!!!!

Here are your remaining three options to round out our excellent 2016 season:

Sunday, August 14George Wyth MTB Race at George Wyth State Park in Waterloo. This is a flat course and is our perfect entry level venue for racers this year.  Oskar Blues Brewery beer for all those who are legal, pasta from Doughy Joey’s, and fun for all.

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Sunday, August 21Sugar Bottom Scramble at Sugar Bottom Recreation Area in Solon. This race is our classic Iowa favorite that usually draws the largest number of racers in Iowa. Voted Iowa’s most favorite singletrack by many year in and year out.

Lap1ExhaustedSugarBottom

Sunday, August 28The Mullet Fall Classic at Lake Ahquabi State park south of Indianola. Elected as the readers’ choice top mountain bike race by Iowa Momentum Magazine for 4 years running, this year promises to be even better. The venue is also an excellent beginner course, though it has plenty of climbing to challenge everyone. This year it will be the season ending finale returning to a race route used several years ago (including a clockwise direction), chip timing, and a GotPiggy.com Hog Roast that is included in your entry fee which will feature a whole hog and all the trimmings including corn bread, slaw, and baked beans to take care of your post-race appetite. Our final party is sponsored by Oskar Blues Brewery and Red Bull, and will feature Series Year End Awards, Music, and fun for all.

The Hill

We would love to see as many of you as possible come out and enjoy our season ending trilogy of races. Pick one. Pick two. Pick all THREE!!!!

Rules Update for the Number of Races Counted in Points for the Series

  • A participant’s four best scores will count towards their series overall score in the Marathon Category.
  • A participant’s six best scores will count towards their series overall score for Junior and Cat 3 (Novice).
  • A participant’s seven best scores will count towards their series overall score for Cat 2 (Sport), Comp, and Cat 1 (Expert).

If you choose to do more IMBCS XC races than the numbers used for best scores, you will receive ten additional points for each race beyond that as bonus points. Bonus points for the Marathon Category will be a one time bonus of 25 points for racing the 5th race. Theoretically, if a racer so chooses, one could compete in both the Marathon Series and the XC series with the required minimum numbers needed to qualify for the series yearend awards.

The above reflects the change due to the scratch of the Ewing Park race. Nothing changes for Marathon, Cat 3, or Juniors. The change comes to Cat 2 Sport, Comp, and Cat 1 by changing the number of best scores counted from eight best scores to seven best scores.

Correction: The minimum number of races to be considered for year end series awards for Cat 2 Sport, Comp, and Cat 1 now also drops to five from the original six. The minimum number of races to be considered for year end series awards remains the same for Marathon (three), Cat 3 (four), and Juniors (four).

Note: Complete rules and points totals are available on the 2016 Series Information page.

Trail Etiquette by Liz Von Houweling

Liz Von Houweling has written an article for all of us Just in time to capture the month of August and our final trio of IMBCS races, plus the Women’s MTB Clinic sponsored by Zoom Performance and Rasmussen Bike Shop on August 27th. Many of us will be able to enjoy the excellent fall weather conditions for some casual mountain bike rides here in Iowa. Liz has some thoughts on the unwritten rules of mountain biking that are well worth reading and adhering to while you are out on the trails…

Mountain Bike Trail Etiquette

Mountain bikers are a pretty easy going bunch, but there are many unwritten “rules” to follow while out on the trail. Even if you develop an incredible amount of skill and fitness, the surest way to lose respect from your fellow riders is to not adhere to proper etiquette.

Respect trail closures. When a trail is “closed,” that means that you should NOT ride it! Riding on soft and muddy trails can leaves ruts and destroy the trail. Stay on the existing singletrack even if it means going THROUGH the mud. Leave no trace—if you’re leaving tire tracks behind you, the trail is not ready to be ridden.

Continue reading Trail Etiquette by Liz Von Houweling