We had over 120 racers toe the line for the big races (not to mention all of the kids who took part in the 12:30 p.m. Kids Race) on what started out as a beautiful, July summer morning. The trails were in perfect shape and super fun as usual on this wonderful Sunderbruch system. The wooden berms, party deck, and jump at the end of the lap had spectators cheering, taking pictures, and enjoying the racing. We even had fireworks at the top of the opening climb (my left ear is still ringing) as racers crested the climb. It was a fun day for sure.
I would like to extend my thanks to F.O.R.C. on what was presented to IMBCS at the end of the day at the final awards ceremony. Thanks to all of the donors that have contributed this year to our IBMCS Youth Entry Fee Help Fund, we have been paying the entry fees for all age 18 and under racers at our events this year. F.O.R.C. decided to combine all of the Juniors that had raced at Illiniwek and Sunderbruch, and paid forward 1/2 of the entry fee money that I had given them to cover those racers for those two events. The check for $480 made out to IMBCS from F.O.R.C. was totally unexpected, but goes a long way at pushing us closer to reaching our goal of $2,775 for this fund in 2016. Thank you F.O.R.C. for this contribution and the paying it forward move! It’s a testament to an excellent organization and their devotion to getting our youth out on mountain bikes to enjoy the trails we have in Iowa. Please join me in thanking F.O.R.C. for this contribution!
That being said, I would love to see even more kids and youth out racing at our events. If you know any age 18-and-under riders with a mountain bike who might be interested, invite them to come out and give it a try! We have their entry fee covered this year. We have Kids Races for those age 10 and under, and we have age classes in the Juniors for 11–14 and 15–18. And the more advanced racers can jump up to other categories—we’ll pay the entry fee. Prizes, awards, treats—it’s all there for those who come on out and give IBMCS racing a go. Is it all worth it? You bet. One of our very own under age 18 racers is on his way to Mammoth Mountain in California to represent Iowa and race in the Volkswagen USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships this week: Ethan Jedlicka. Join me in wishing Ethan all the best competing at Nationals!
The sharp looking Vibrant Credit Union Free Ice Cream VW van was on hand yesterday to the delight of all…
Who doesn’t want some ice cream on a hot summer day?
Sponsorship drinks, prizes, cash awards, custom designed wood burned trophies, tents, banners, music, Jamaican Jerk Chicken, a raffle, inflatable finish line, etc. all made for exactly what we want at our IMBCS events: a Festival Atmosphere!
Well done FORC!
Now, about Ma Nature…
What was forecast as a sunny pleasant day throughout the Midwest, turned into a difficult day for race directors in both Iowa and Minnesota as everyone struggled to deal with the storm that seemingly popped up out of nowhere. We saw a Facebook post that the road race in Clear Lake had been cancelled due to lightening, and we all jumped on our phones to check the radar and saw the storm moving across Iowa headed in our direction.
Where did that come from?
The best we could get from weather forecasters going into the day was “Our computer models are all reporting conflicting data, so it might or might not rain on Sunday.” In other words, our best meteorologists didn’t even know. Such is the dilemma with forecasts. They may say it is going to rain, and it doesn’t. They may say the sun will shine, and it rains. We make do with what is tossed our way and somehow manage to get through the season.
I saw the Minnesota Red Wing race announce a 2-hour delay due to rain, but we had to work with what we could. It was too late to announce that we wanted start the Cat 1/Comp race an hour earlier which would have solved the dilemma, but that kind of call has to be made at 7 a.m. and nobody knew at that time that rain was coming, or even if we had, what time it would hit.
Luckily, we got the majority of the races over and done with in fine shape. Ninety+ racers finished, received awards, had their post race beverages, jerk chicken, and ice cream before it even looked like rain. It was only the final 1:00 p.m. race of Cat 1 and Comp that got hit. It happened in the middle of the second lap with thunder, lightening, and rain as the storm finally rolled through eastern Iowa. I had chatted with the USA Cycling official and Mike Corbin about all of the scenarios. We decided that if and when it hit, to finish the particular lap everyone was on and base results on that according to our guidelines for severe weather.
The Comp race was shortened by one lap as a result, and probably was not so material to the their results. It was much more material to the Cat 1 race, as they only completed two laps instead of the planned four. In a race at the level of Cat 1 with a turnout of 20 racers duking it out, it was a material change. Ma Nature threw us a curve, and thank you to all for understanding. It was about a 20–25 minute shower that moved through, but was enough to grease up the trails and leave our bikes looking like this at the end.
Logan, Iowa native Brad Auen brought home the top bacon in the Cat 1 Men (Nate Kullbom was also in the top 5 podium, but dried off and headed home before the awards).
Iowa City’s Emily Robnett brought home the top bacon for the Cat 1 Women.
Women mountain bikers, we have cash awards for you. We have trophies/awards/prizes for you. All you have to do is show up and race! Today was a good payout day as we had 20 Cat 1 racers toe the line.
Scott Shelman brought home the Comp top World of Wheels bacon…
Cat 3 top overall women…
Cat 3 top overall men…
I didn’t get a chance to take the Cat 2 awards pictures as I was out racing myself, but suffice it to say racers enjoyed the day, even the challenges that the rain presented when it hit in the middle of lap two during our final race of the day. It felt pretty refreshing and increased the challenge. Or as former F.O.R.C. race director Michael Vittetoe said to me while I pulled over to let him pass as I got chicken and slowed down to a granny gear crawl in lap two once the rain hit, “Well, this could get interesting….!”
Here’s Michael Maney feeling and, I must say, looking all refreshed after the shower…
Photo courtesy of Jacqueline Maney
Kudos to Mike Corbin, F.O.R.C., all the volunteers, to all the racers, to all spectators, and to all our sponsors for a fun day on the bike.
Then IMBCS racing takes a two week hiatus to allow everyone to recover for our 2016 season’s final trio of races in August—George Wyth (August 14th), Sugar Bottom (August 21st), and the season ending finale at The Mullet (August 28th).
Five more events gives everyone plenty of time to still come on out and enjoy racing our fine trails here in Iowa on their mountain bikes.