IMBCS Race Director Spotlight: Lee Geisinger

This coming weekend features our second August Quartet race in Waterloo, Iowa – IMBCS #8 George Wyth MTB Race. The weather forecast looks like Ma Nature is going to be kind to us with sunshine all week leading up to the event, and temperature in the 80’s at race time. In addition, the forecast says we will all be home, showered and relaxing before chances of storms move in. PERRRRRRRRFECT!

George Wyth State Park is a very scenic park with trails full of wooded eye candy.

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4 IMBCS events have now taken place, and participation numbers (entry fees as well as the kids races) look like this so far…

IMBCS #1 – Illiniwek Abermination had 188 racers

IMBCS #2 – Beverly Fat Tire Frenzy had 117 racers

IMBCS #5 – Iowa Games had 59 racers

IMBCS #7 – Hin und Zurück TT had 65 racers

There is no doubt that Ma Nature has tempered our IMBCS racing season to date, and in some cases contributed to participation numbers being down. Believe me, as the current IMBCS Director, I would love to see our participation numbers burst out to the upside as we march ahead with our remaining 7 races.

The good news is that we have a lot of new racers this year showing up at the events which is good for our growth as new faces enter the sport. Vacations, conflicts with other cycling events, work schedules, and family time all contribute to participation numbers fluctuating. However, if you do have an open date on one of our race weekends – please consider coming out to one of our events. You do not have to be chasing series points in your age class and category to come out and race. We welcome new, young, old, first timer, old timer, occasional, curious and those who want to give mountain bike racing a try at any level. It’s a great social event to race, and then hang out chatting it up with others post race.

This Sunday features a race course very conducive to those who want to give singletrack racing a try, but fear the big hills. George Wyth has no hills to worry about. Just fun singletrack that is perfect for everyone. Great for beginners – and also great for advanced riders who will see some very high average heart rates as you will be on the gas stomping your pedals the entire time.

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Post race will feature some excellent pasta and brew to recharge your carb loads as you visit with others.

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Rasmussen Bike Shop Team posing for a group photo at last year’s George Wyth MTB Race.

In case you’ve missed any of our previous racer Spotlights here at IMBCS.org, we continue with our feature series of highlighting some of the many IMBCS participants throughout the state of Iowa. You can get to know some of the folks involved in racing and see how they do it, why they do it, what got them started, and read some of their thoughts. We will continue this feature throughout the season. You might be next, so check your email box for a Spotlight interview!

Today’s Spotlight features one of our returning race directors, Lee Geisinger. I raced in the George Wyth MTB Race last year and totally enjoyed the event, the post race atmosphere, and can attest first hand to how well Lee and CVAST host this race. This will be the 4th consecutive year of the race. Participation numbers have grown each and every year as word of mouth has spread the news of how fun it is. Last year saw just over 100 racers at the George Wyth MTB Race and here is what I wrote about it after the race…

Yesterday was the 4th race in the 7 race series for the IMBCS 2014 Season. This event was a return visit from last year to the very scenic George Wyth State Park on the Cedar River in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area. Race host Lee Geisinger and his CVAST crew promised to deliver. And let me tell you – they did!  Great trail. Great sponsors. Great food. Great chip timing.

In fact, it was an overall pleasure to participate from online registration all the way to the end of the event. Our series can be proud to say that it was yet another huge feather in the IMBCS hat. Kudos to Lee and CVAST!!!!

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Suffice it to say, Lee and his CVAST crew promise to deliver again this year. The trail is groomed and ready. The sponsors are lined up. Ma Nature is on their side. Come and get some! The more we support our events, the better they get – including our trail organizations. If you are not a member of your local trail organization, consider joining. Those that live in the Cedar Falls, Waterloo area – ask around at the race how you could become a member of CVAST and get involved.

Let’s get to the interview so we can get Lee’s perspective on hosting this race.

 

Name: Lee Geisinger

Current Home: Waterloo, IA

Age: 35

Employer: University of Northern Iowa

Racing Category for 2015: CAT II

Race Bike(s): Specialized Epic – Surly Big Dummy (Go faster Daddy!)

Bike Team: NA

Trail Organization Associated with Race: Cedar Valley Association for Soft Trails (CVAST)

Lee and Ashley

Lee and Ashley

 

BB: When is your upcoming race?

Lee: August 16th

 

BB: What can we expect for the type of trail features a racer will encounter on the race course?

Lee: The loop we have chosen for the race is fast, flat and flows well. No climbing, just non-stop cranking.

 

BB: How many times have you served as a race director for an IMBCS event?

Lee: This is my 3rd year as race director for the George Wyth MTB Race. I have also recruited two other CVAST members to help, Robin Galloway (timing) and Chad Reisinger (Trail).

 

BB: How did you become the race director for this event?

Lee: I typically have the summers off, so I guess CVAST thought I had the free time to get everything organized and going. George Wyth is literally in my backyard; I will jump on board with anything that helps promote, build, and maintain soft trails in the park.

 

BB: What are some of the challenges you faced in getting this event ready?

Lee: Really the only challenge I face is the stress of making sure everyone who participates walks away pleased.

 

BB: Who are your volunteers and trail crew?

Lee: CVAST members come out in droves for all and any events in the Cedar Valley. There are a lot of very dedicated members that are more than willing to help with events!

 

BB: Why hold an organized race on your trails?

Lee: To promote the soft trails in George Wyth State Park.

 

 

BB: When it is all said and done after the event is over, do you feel a great deal of satisfaction for giving back to the cycling community by hosting a race?

Lee: Absolutely, we try to make this as fun of an event for all participants involved! The post race beers are typically the best tasting.

 

BB: We may have a lot of new racers in Iowa this year. Is there any advice you could provide to them to get them to come out this weekend and try your event?

Lee: George Wyth is an excellent place to get started in mountain biking. Although there are challenging trails, for the most part the trails are friendly to all ages and skills levels. We tell people – if you have never tried mountain biking come on down and participate in the beginner race; you don’t have to look at it as a competitive race, rather a somewhat guided tour of the trails.

One of the great feature of George Wyth is there is so much to do for all family members. Waterloo/Cedar Falls shopping is a 5 minute drive and the park itself has several amenities for all ages. There is also camping, and every year a few of the racers and volunteers stay in the park campground, right next to the trails.

 

BB: If any money is being raised through this event, what does it go towards?

Lee: All proceeds will help support CVAST and the maintenance and creation of sustainable soft trails at George Wyth State Park.

 

BB: In the event of weather looking suspect this weekend, where should racers turn for the most up to date announcements?

Lee: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CVAST/

 

BB: Thank you so much Lee for taking the time to do this interview and sharing your excellent perspective. Now let’s all get out and enjoy this great event, help raise money for CVAST and have a great time enjoying some nice weather and mountain bike racing on the same day!!!!! Make sure you say hi to Lee. Thank him as well as all of his volunteers and the CVAST crew for their hard work.  Without them, we have no trails and no events.

 

Photographs are courtesy of Eric Roccasecca, Angy Snoop, and Lee Geisinger