Archive for the 'Family' Category

2016 Mansfield Hollow Cyclocross

The Mansfield Hollow Cyclocross was my sixth race in 12 days. This block of racing started with the Vermont 50, and then continued with The Midnight Ride of Cyclocross, KMC Cross Fest Day #2, KMC Cross Fest Day #3, and The Night Weasels Cometh. A week before the VT50, I did the Hammerfest Triathlon, so it has been an awesome three weeks of competition.


Promoted by the Thread City Cyclers, this race is one of my favorites. The venue, Mansfield Hollow State Park, is beautiful. We were there during this past summer for the Shenipsit Striders Nipmuck South Trail Race. The course design is fantastic. The post race refreshments are awesome. The volunteers do a great job.


I finally had a clean race. My cross results have been a little uneven. I had a hard fall at the VT50 and hadn’t been right since then. Midnight was OK, but I was sloppy. I underperformed at KMC and hit the ground several times, which isn’t surprising given how difficult the conditions were. I just wrote about Weasels, which I had to do on my pit bike.



So, coming into one of my favorite local races, I was ready to ride strong and without an incident. Thankfully, things came together. The weather was perfect. I was able to ride in my short sleeve skin suit and it felt just right. I had a good start, and even moved up a bit on the first lap. I settled in and had a nice race long battle with Expo Wheelmen rider, Jeremy Brazeal. I was able to hold him off for 8th.


After a few weeks of active rest, I’m going to be even stronger. It was a fun day for Team Horst Sports. We had a really strong turnout. We were well represented in the Juniors field. Sean Rourke, Nate Summers, Shepard Livingston, and Lars Roti all had good rides. In the Men’s Cat 4 race, Andris Skulte and Randall Dutton were our racers.


In the 40+ race, I was joined by Wade Summers and Arthur Roti. In the 50+ race, Pat Cunningham took 2nd place. He was followed by Matt Domnarski, Tom Ricardi, and Dave Geissert. The foliage is just starting to get good in Connecticut and the Hollow is a great place to see it.

Race Results


2016 KMC Cross Fest & New England Builders’ Ball

This past weekend, we participated in another milestone for New England cyclocross racing. With high expectations, the KMC Cross Fest moved from Providence, Rhode Island to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in the Quiet Corner of Connecticut. It was great to welcome the Cross Fest to our state, which will also host the 2017 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships.



Cross Fest was a very successful event when it was held at Roger Williams Park in the capital of Rhode Island, but for a variety of reasons, including the scale of the event, it was moved to the new venue with much fanfare. Others will determine the fate of the event’s future, but I declare it a success. With three days of top-level racing, the New England Builders’ Ball, the race expo, a Gran Fondo, and other activities, it was a big deal.


New England will always be the hotbed of North American cyclocross and I’m not just saying that because I’m a native of the region. We have the deepest fields, most competition, the history, and culture that make cross great. It’s great to see the sport grow, and Cross Fest in Thompson is another step forward for the growth of the sport. The speedway venue is bound to spark copycats, which is fantastic, because Thompson itself is a copycat of Zolder, one of the storied Belgian venues.


Horst Engineering and Team Horst Sports were involved in several ways. First, we exhibited Horst Spikes at the Builders’ Ball, a celebration of New England’s bespoke bicycle builders, craftsmen, and craftswomen. Second, we sponsored so many of the great riders in the elite fields, including men’s and women’s overall winners, Stephen Hyde and Katie Compton. Third, our team was well represented throughout the weekend. From morning until afternoon, races were filled with our riders. Andris Skulte, Randall Dutton and Tom Ricardi represented us in the Men Master 40+ 4-5 races. Matt Domnarski, Pat Cunningham, Paul Nyberg, Keith Enderle, and Dave Geissert were in the Men 50+ 1-2-3-4 races. In the Men 35+ 1-2-3 races, I was joined by Art Roti and Wade Summers. Most importantly, our emerging Juniors squad was represented in their respective age groups by Lars Roti, Shepard Livingston, Nathaniel Summers, and Sean Rourke. Not to be left out, Cole Ricardi, who rides for CCAP, but is affiliated with us, was also in the Juniors races.



I had the opportunity to race at 3:00 P.M. on both Saturday and Sunday. The 35+ field was super-competitive. I was able to remain on the lead lap, but to keep the races from running long, race officials had many of us, including me, finish one lap down. My racing age is now 45, so some of these men are 10 years younger. Even still, some of the top finishers, including Matt Timerman, Adam Myerson, Todd Bowden, and Alec Donahue are 40+ like me, so I’m not making excuses. Clearly, after watching the top guys fly over that course, I have to keep working to improve my own skills.


My performance was about the same both days. Saturday’s race was the much wetter affair. The entire weekend was an advertisement for our Horst Spikes line of Cross Spikes. The course was made “Belgian style” with multiple challenging features including two flyovers, long sections of mud, a nasty sand section/run-up, a set of barriers, a nasty uphill run-up that was super-steep, an off-camber descent, and a slick uphill that was rideable. Mix in some pavement, some grass, and more mud and you have a winning layout. With rain on and off all weekend, the weather was a huge factor. Traction was critical, and Horst Spikes played a big role. Everyone on our team, including the Juniors used them with great success. I used my stainless steel Long spikes both days. The Juniors used Mediums or Mini-Standards. Most of the adults used Long spikes like me.



We got a lot of positive attention for supplying Cross Spikes and they were put to good use. Saturday’s conditions were very challenging. I had a pretty good race, though I was tentative on some sections of the course, and faded badly in the last two laps, giving up ground. I ultimately ceded about 10 spots from where I was riding in the first half of the race. A few late bobbles cost me, but ultimately, I was happy with my race. On Sunday, the course was still muddy, but not as wet. That made the race faster, which I thought would favor me. However, I made a series of mistakes, six to be exact, that ultimately cost me about 10 spots again. I never fell on Saturday, but on Sunday, I hit the ground on three occasions. One time, my chain was knocked off and it cost me even more time to get it back on. I was pushing too hard on Sunday, was tired, and that is when you make mistakes.



Cyclocross is a balance between strength and technique. You can be the strongest rider, but if you aren’t smooth, you won’t be successful. After all these years, I’m still seeing that balance that will lead to the perfect, or “clean” race. The falls on my left side (all of them) were on the same spots as my hard fall from last weekend’s Vermont 50, so I’m a little beat up after four races in eight days. Cross is a physical game, but that is what I love about it. Art and Wade had good races too. We may have been in the back half of the field, but our consolation is that our competitors are some of the best in the business.


Our 50+ teammates fared even better with Pat and Matt cracking the top-20. We saw a lot of friends over the course of the weekend. It was great to welcome the Park Ave Bike Shop crew from Rochester, New York. One of my longtime endurance sports friends is Erik Grimm. He had a fantastic weekend, finish fifth in the 50+ race on Saturday, and then winning it on Sunday. I watched his podium ceremony, snapped a few photos, and was inspired to go ride hard.


Watching the junior riders was another thrill. They had to ride the same course, including the tough run-ups and the off-camber descents. Watching our son get up and over one of the flyovers, without walking, was a weekend highlight. I’m excited to see these kids race and grow up.


Some people camped out, but between the weather, soccer, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, and the NipMuck Trail Marathon, I decided to drive back and forth. That meant three trips in three days and about six and a half hours in the van. That was a bummer, but October weekend’s are incredibly busy for our family. I rarely miss NipMuck, so it was good to see the start yesterday morning on the drive out to Thompson. I was sad to leave our Shenipsit Striders friends behind, but this weekend was all about cyclocross.


A big thank you to Richard Fries, the event staff, the volunteers, and the sponsors. I could write more about Cross Fest, but my bike needs cleaning, my gear needs washing, and I have to pack…for Night Weasels Cometh, which is Wednesday. Cross season continues. I look forward to KMC Cross Fast in 2017.


Race Results, Day 2

Race Results, Day 3

2016 Vermont 50 Mile Ride & Run

After a one year layoff, we returned to the Vermont 50 Mile Ride & Run for the 17th time. Our first was in 1999, six years after the 24 year old race was founded. Every VT50 has been memorable, but 2016 was special for many reasons. For us, the VT50 is about the community of athletes, volunteers, and spectators that come together to make this such a great event.



From the registration in May to race day on the last Sunday of September, we anticipate this event. We have met so many great friends and enjoy seeing them all. Some of them we only see once a year. Others we see all of the time. Over the course of 17 years, we have seen many mountain bikers and trail runners. This year, there were more than 1,050 finishers in the various categories including:

  • (651) 50 mile mountain bikers
  • (181) 50 mile trail runners
  • (217) 50 kilometer trail runners
  • (28) 50 mile relay teams


The kids mountain bike and trail running fun runs/races were on Saturday and there were LOTS of kids.

One of the highlights of the weekend came when I checked in at registration on Saturday evening. There was a large banner hanging in the tent. It listed 33 names of bikers/runners who have done 15 or more races. One of the names was mine and two others were Team Horst Sports mates, Arlen Zane Wenzel, and Arthur Roti. Seeing the list brought a huge smile to my face. Arlen introduced me to the race in 1999 and Art joined us a year later. Thousands and thousands of unique athletes have done the VT50 over the last 24 years and it is cool to think that only 33 have done 15 or more. That’s special.



In appreciation for our support of the race, which benefits Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports, we each received a Farmhouse Pottery handmade mug. This was totally unexpected, but greatly appreciated. Every year, I go to this race to compete and compete hard. My goal is to have a better race than the prior year. I’m still at a level where I can expect to improve on last year’s time/performance, but that won’t always be the case.


Photo Credit: Patricia Dowcett

We attended the race in 2014, but didn’t compete because I had crashed and broke my shoulder a month earlier. Debbie opted not to race, so we drove to various aid stations and cheered on our friends. In 2015, Debbie and I had the opportunity to go to Japan, where she ran the ULTRA-TRAIL Mt. FUJI, which was the same weekend. UTMF was a unique opportunity, and after 17 years in a row, we actually welcomed the break from the VT50, though I remember seeing all of my friends’ social media activity, and wishing I was there.



That made it easy to return in 2016, and we were thrilled to be there. We made it a family affair and in addition to our two children, we brought along my mother-in-law, Barbara Schieffer. She loves adventure and we enjoy sharing ours with her. She was a big help, keeping an eye on our children while we were racing. To keep things simple we camped at Ascutney Mountain Resort, practically in site of the start/finish. On Saturday afternoon, we met up with our teammates and friends. For the first time, the organizers held a kids mountain bike race. It was just for fun. There were one mile and two-mile events on the mountain trails. Our kids participated and had fun. The bike race was followed by the kids fun trail runs, which have been held for several years. Once again, there were 5K, one mile, and a 1/2 mile options. Our son did the 5K and our daughter did the one mile.



Autumn arrived last week and the weather changed on Saturday night, with the temperature on Sunday morning only in the mid-30’s Fahrenheit. It was quite cold. The day turned out to be a beautiful one, but it even by the end of my race, shortly after 11:00 A.M., it was still chilly. The sunshine was brilliant, but the air was cold, and a stiff breeze was blowing. The singlespeeders started in Wave 1 at 6:00 A.M. I used a handlebar light for the first hour, which was smart, since I skipped using one in 2013, and struggled a bit in the darkness. Debbie started with the 50 mile runners at 6:30 A.M. The other bike waves were in between.


The VT50 course is always tough, so we were fortunate to have extra dry conditions. There were only a handful of (barely) muddy sections, and there wasn’t any water on the course, which is amazing. There have been years where there wasn’t a dry spot and we were poured on. I remember some of those mudfests. I rode my Seven Sola SL singlespeed with my Niner carbon fork. I rode that bike all summer at the Winding Trails Summer Tri Series, but was a little unprepared for the beating I took with the fully rigid setup. By the 25 mile mark, I was wishing for a front suspension fork. I’ll consider one for next year, but there are no guarantees. I’m a bit stubborn like that. I like the bike the way it is, even though it compromises my ability to have a peak performance.


I checked my race log and came up with some fun statistics: I’ve done the race 15 times. I have ridden it 13 times, run it once, and one time, I rode to the 17 mile mark before breaking my chain (twice) and running the rest of the way to the finish. I’ve accumulated 82 hours of time on the various iterations of the course.


After 15 times,  I’m still seeking that perfect race. I’ve had some stellar results, and can’t count this year as one of them, but it was still a solid ride. I went out strong, but one hour into the race, I had a wicked crash. I came into a sharp right hand turn at the bottom of a fast descent with too much speed. I made the turn, but was out of control and right after the bend, there were deep ruts in the trail. I wiped out hard, falling on a fallen tree that had been moved off trail. I hammered my left arm and hip. For a moment, as I lay in the woods, I thought I broke my arm. There was another rider right behind me. He saw the whole episode. He yelled back to check on me and I indicated that I was OK. I remounted and after a few tentative pedal strokes, I got moving again. Both the hip and arm hurt bad, but after the initial shock, I knew I could get to the finish, barring another hard crash. Of course, at that moment, the thought of  four more hours on the bike kind of bummed me out.


I don’t know what kind of impact the crash had, but by the 15 mile mark, I knew that I was lacking some of my usual zip. I was hurting by 20 and went through a long bad patch that lasted until mile 40. Somewhere in between, I made the decision to stop at an aid station and eat some real food. I had been relying on what I carried, including some gels, some energy drink, and water. Some days, that works for me, but yesterday, it wasn’t enough. When I stopped, I ate some pretzels, bananas, and potatoes, which revived me. Things improved, and by mile 40, I was picking up the pace again. However, it was too late. After my strong start, I had been passed by more than 60 people, which was demoralizing, but understandable. Despite the effort to ride fast, I made sure to soak in some of the incredible views. It was a gorgeous day in Vermont.


I never felt comfortable on my bike, which happens. I accepted my fate for the day and pushed as hard as I could. The last five miles were harsh, with some additional singletrack before the final twisting descent to the line. Three of my teammates had passed me earlier in the race. Led by Anthony Eisley, we had an awesome day. He was followed by Mike Wonderly, and Arlen. Not far behind me was Spike McLaughlin. He was followed by Erik Emanuele. Then, he was followed by Art Roti and Mark Hixson, who smashed their own tandem record in fine fashion. Congratulations to all of the riders and runners. With so many finishers, there are more than a 1,000 stories to be told. There were so many great performances.


Debbie was our lone runner. She put together a good race, her first ultra since Wapack and Back in May. The VT50 has never suited her strengths, but she wanted to give it another shot, and was happy with her result. She prefers rugged and mountainous courses. Vermont has hills, but there are more dirt roads than she likes. She finished in 8 hours and 53 minutes and was third in her age group, which was a morale booster.



In addition to our teammates, we saw so many friends, that it would be difficult to list them. It was great to race with our Coach, Al Lyman. Once again, Race Director Mike Silverman, and his volunteer team, did a fantastic job. Every year, the race develops a bit more, without losing its grassroots vibe. From the live music on both Saturday afternoon and Sunday, to the USA made technical t-shirts, to the farm fresh fruits and vegetables at the finish line, to the maple syrup awards; this race gets the details right.


We had a lot of gear to pack up, but by 5:00 P.M., we were on the road again, and headed south. We made a pit stop in Northampton to visit Paul & Elizabeth’s for dinner. It was a nice way to celebrate another Vermont 50.

Race Results


9/27/16 Update: I neglected to mention that I was happy to see the race organizers make an extra effort with recycling. This makes for a much more sustainable race. There were clearly labeled bins throughout the start/finish area that included single-stream recycling, compost, and trash. I wish I had a photo. This is great. What made me unhappy was how many people disregarded the signs and just threw everything in the trash. I saw volunteers picking recyclable materials out of the trash, which is deplorable. The Vermont 50 community needs to do better. At Horst Engineering, we recently launched a revamped recycling program and battle similar challenges with our employees, but the process is getting better. Of course, it doesn’t improve without letting people know (education) when it isn’t working to expectations. I would expect that the VT50 committee would share this feedback with the competitors. Also, Debbie noticed (its easier to see when you are running) LOTS of trash out on the course, and especially energy food (gels, bars) packets. This is ridiculous. If you aren’t carrying a pack, then you should have pockets. This race should be run with a Leave No Trace philosophy. Most of the trails are on private property and for one day a year, we are given the privilege to ride/run on them. Let’s not blow it.




2016 Silk City Cyclocross

Today we returned to the Silk City Cyclocross, our favorite local cross race. The venue at Manchester Community College is a 10 minute drive from our house, which is fantastic. With UCI level races in Rochester, NY, some of the elite racers headed west for the weekend, but you can’t beat a top quality grassroots event that is this close to home.

Once again, the Expo Wheelmen put on an excellent race. The club came out in force and there were many volunteers. Expo are friendly “rivals” of Team Horst Sports, but that makes it fun. We support them and they support us. Just like the first CCAP Rocky Hill Cyclocross Training Series race of the year this past Wednesday, our team came out in force to support the first race of the 2016 CT Series of CX.


Unfortunately, true cyclocross weather is nowhere to be found. Summer temperatures were still in full force today as the mercury hit 90 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity was high too. Before the start of the Masters races, we had a good rain storm, but it cleared and the strong sun came out. The small amount of rain wasn’t enough to cut down on the extreme dust. This race was even dustier than Blunt Park was two weeks ago. Some sections, the soft dirt was so dry and deep that it was over your ankles. So much for mud. Its going to take a lot more than a passing shower to cure this New England drought. When it does rain for any length of time, I’ll welcome it. Drought isn’t good for Horst Spikes sales. We need some proper mud!


Cross Spikes still came in handy today, given the fair amount of running on the rugged course. I chose to run on four sections of the course. There were two steep run ups and a few off-camber sections with loose soil that necessitated at least a little running. There was also a set of berries that forced a fifth dismount (for me). I had a front row start position and then botched the start when I couldn’t get my foot in my pedal. I recovered quickly and made up for the bad start in short order. I spent part of the race in fifth place, but the heat got to me and I faded. With three laps to go, Expo rival, Stan Lezon and a Sunapee rider put some distance on me. We had a good battle going, but after more than six miles of hammering, I was toast. I could really have used a sip of water, but in most cyclocross races, there is no feeding, and I wasn’t carrying a bottle. If there ever was a day to carry one, this was it.


I had to back off and go into maintenance mode for the last three laps. I was never able to make ground on those two guys, but I had a healthy gap back to the guy in ninth. My teammate Mike Wonderly had a fantastic race, making up for his back row start and surging to the front. He wasn’t able to get the win, but settled for second, a fine result. Wade Summers and Art Roti weren’t far behind me. It was also great to see Ted D’Onofrio. We are going to have a great season in these 40+ events.


Our 50+ teammates did even better. Pat Cunningham kicked off his season with the win and he was followed by Matt Domnarski. Keith Enderle was also in the field. Our newest mate, Tom Ricardi, did very well in the Category 4 race, along with Andris Skulte. Everyone had a good day. Even the kids got in to the action. The Girls and Boys 9-11 year old race featured four Team Horst kids, including our son. Our daughter did the kids race. A couple of our roadie teammates, Arlen Zane Wenzel and Erik Emanuele stopped by on their long ride and joined us for a cool down. Unfortunately, there was nothing cool about the Silk City Cyclocross.


Thank you to Jon Tarbox, Dave Hildebrand, and their Expo mates for putting on a great race.

Race Results (will be posted when online)

2016 Kids Who Tri Succeed Triathlon

Yesterday, we returned to the Kids Who Tri Succeed Triathlon in Mansfield, Connecticut after skipping in 2015. Last year, the kids did do the sister race in Farmington. In 2014, I scored one of my favorite photos of all time. It’s kind of hard to top that moment, which is memorialized with a large canvas print of the image hanging on the wall in our house.

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2016_Kids Who Tri Succeed Triathlon-4

Our kids are “fit” as they have been doing the Winding Trails Tri Series all summer. Our son did five of the Tiny Tri’s and our daughter did the three kids races. Fitness is just for fun. Kids Who Tri Succeed is a great starter triathlon for someone new to the sport and judging by the size of the fields, it is growing in popularity.

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We saw the usual cast of characters, including our friends, the Ricardi Family, who, like us, have also been going to this race for many years. Our son first did it in 2011 when it was his first triathlon. He has come a long way since then, and this year, graduated to the long course. Horst Engineering has sponsored the race for many years. Our support, the support of other businesses and families; and the volunteers make the race possible.

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The race isn’t without its quirks. It isn’t easy to coordinate four age groups between the ages of four and 14. The timing is often jumbled up, despite the best efforts of the timers. Some kids went off course, some kids did extra laps, and some kids didn’t complete the required number of laps. Despite all of the volunteers, the coordination should be better. It’s hard to be critical because the local race is one of the only ones dedicated to children and there are many challenging variables to deal with. Debbie and I want to see the race improve because that is what will keep the kids coming back.

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Our kids had a good time and they have continued to learn how to race thanks to events like Kids Who Tri Succeed.

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2016 Winding Trails Summer Triathlon Series

The 2016 Winding Trails Summer Tri Series wrapped up last Tuesday with the 10th and final race of the season. Even though WT is a training race, Debbie and I put our heart and soul into the series. She was intent to improve her off-road triathlon skills, particularly her swimming and mountain biking. She also really wanted to improve on her second place finish in 2015. I wanted to retain my overall title from last year and prove that I could do it again.


We had 10 spectacular evenings at Winding Trails in Farmington, each time, joined by our children. Our son did five of the Tiny Tri’s, a huge step forward for him, and our daughter did all three of the Kid’s Races. The Winding Trails sunsets are spectacular and I always leave the venue with a smile when driving past Lake Dunning. There were no t-storm caused rain outs and the course was always in good shape. We appreciate the hard work that Race Director, Jimena Florit, her staff, and volunteers contribute to making this a success.

After every race, Ken and Aubrey Schulz, and their young son, joined our family for a picnic dinner. Our kids dubbed it “The Grand Feast.” Having some supper at Winding Trails always beat going back into the Rt. 4/Interstate 84 traffic. Four weeks ago, I started to fade as week after week of all out efforts took its toll. I lamented to Ken, who shared my suffering, that I was looking forward to the end of the series despite having fun. I don’t know if we will return for the full series in 2017. The kids love it, but the Tuesday efforts often compromise the weekend race results. I couldn’t show up and not give it my all. I’ve raced there 41 times in recent years and it always hard to get there after work. I’ll have to think about 2017, but there is no rush, the series won’t kickoff again until next June.

Alas, Debbie and I both came up short. 19-year-old Lauren Cenci, who is less than half of Debbie’s age, had her number all season. Debbie was always close, but never close enough, and the overall went to Lauren, who has come on strong. Debbie was first in the 40-44 age group and improved dramatically, which is fantastic. It is really hard to race hard every week for two and a half months, especially when you are still doing other races.

Coming in to the last race, I had a shot to overtake my nemesis, Jon Arellano, who finished behind me in 2015. He and I have battled every week like warriors. The finish was bittersweet because I won the race (the battle), but lost the series (the war). I went down knowing that I had given it my all. I was cross-eyed after our fourth sprint finish of the summer. Four times we finished within two seconds of each other. Neither one of us was willing to give an inch.

In this last race, I pulled back my usual minute plus deficit, after the 1/4 mile swim, on the five-mile bike loop, catching Jon around the four mile mark. He hung tight, but I got a small gap coming in to T2. He rides in his running shoes, so his transitions are always super quick. He always picks up 15-20 seconds on me and this was the case again. I chased him out of T2, but reeled him in quickly and led the first mile of the three-mile run with him right on my shoulder. Joel Emmendorfer was also in the mix, but this week, he faded from the picture. Jon and I exchanged the lead no less than seven more times over the next two miles.


I attacked him on every climb and he pulled me back on every descent. I tested him several times, thinking that I could break away and overcome my points deficit. The week nine standings showed that my best eight races trailed his best eight races by 0.2 points (679.0 to 678.8), though I can’t really explain the scoring system. It can’t be that complicated, but I’ve never understood it. I’ve got great respect for Jon, but like him, but I’m a serious competitor and wasn’t going to make it easy on him. Of the 10 races, I won four, he won three, and we got beat by Gabriel Jiran, Jason Soukup, and Joel in the other three.

The cat and mouse game continued over the bridge and in to the final stretch as we briefly slowed our pace. With a hard acceleration, he took the lead with 200 meters to go, but I pulled him back and in a furious sprint, passed him on the left as he crashed in to the course tape before the sharp right to the finish. I got him by a couple of seconds and thought I was going to collapse. The racing and the weather were both hot.

I was thrilled to end the series on a high note after a couple below par weeks. My legs were heavy from Wildman and my heart was heavy after the passing of my uncle, Guy Roy. All my career, I’ve raced for my team and myself, but this time, I was propelled by the motivation of racing for my uncle who was a true outdoorsman and an inspiration for how I live.

The 2016 stats are neat to review. Aside from my automated Strava data, I stopped keeping a training log years ago, but I never stopped logging my race results. Over 10 weeks, I raced 84 miles. It took 518 minutes total. My fastest time was 50:49 in week three. My slowest was 52:47 in week two. The average was 51:49. The temperature is usually the biggest factor when comparing week to week times, but rest and competition are also big factors.

Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 12.32.28 PMWhen the calculations were done, it was announced that Jon took the overall series, and I congratulate him. He really earned it and I’m sure he is proud as heck because I made it super hard on him. Those types of victories are always the sweetest. When you have to really work for it, you appreciate it so much more.

I’ll add a link when the final results are published. Like Debbie in 2015, I couldn’t have been far back. Upon further reflection, the results don’t matter that much because the fierce nature of my 10 Winding Trails efforts lived up to my adventurous lifestyle and symbolize how I fight hard in everything that I do. I’m pumped for cyclocross season and after some “rest,” I’ll be ready to race again.

Race #10 Results

Race Results (will be posted when updated)

Peter Limmer & Sons: Bootmakers

Last weekend, after the Wildman Biathlon, Debbie and I stopped at Peter Limmer & Sons in Intervale, New Hampshire. It had been a few years since I stopped at Limmer, but I wanted to drop off my boots for a simple refinishing.


I got my custom “Limmer’s” 15 years ago in 2002 after waiting four years. The current backlog is shorter, but at the time, output was lower following an injury that Peter suffered while racing a dragster snowmobile. I remember the wait well because I mailed my $35 deposit (it’s now $50) during one Winter Olympics, and received my boot shipment during another. Peter, Jr. the proprietor, master bookmaker/shoemaker, and 40+ year veteran of the company, was the only one at the shop late on Saturday afternoon.



I showed him my boots and he commented that they didn’t need refinishing. They were in great shape. In recent years, I have only worn them for trail work and bumming around. They are classic Tyrolean style boots, made with thick leather uppers, a heavy last, and rugged Vibram soles. These aren’t trail running shoes! On one of the boots, a gap had formed between the tread and the sole. He said it wouldn’t take long to repair it and suggested that Debbie and I go into North Conway, walk around a bit, and come back in an hour before he closed up for the day. He said they would be ready.


We took his suggestion, left the boots, and went in to town. I wrote my Wildman blog post near the bar at Flatbread, and Debbie did some shopping. I returned to Limmer just before five to pickup the boots. Peter and I had a great chat. We talked about boots, family business, Horst Engineering, our mutual love of the White Mountains, aluminum casting, motorcycles, precision machining, succession, custom bicycles, and a whole host of other interesting topics.



It was a great conversation. I bought a pair of new leather laces for $7.50 before departing with my newly repaired boots, probably good for another 15 years. I have a real appreciation for craftsmen like Peter, and my uncle Steven, and my grandfather, Harry (Horst). Peter’s father, Peter, Sr. started the business in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, before moving to New Hampshire in 1950. Like my grandfather, Peter, Sr.’s father came from Germany. Peter, Jr. learned his trade from his father like my uncle learned his trade from my grandfather. Peter’s grandfather was a master shoemaker in the Bavarian Alps, whereas my grandfather was a mechanical engineer and toolmaker from Bad Liebenstein.


It’s great to see how stuff is made. Our country has to retain these skills. When you read a story like this, you realize that my boots are far more than walking shoes.

Horst Engineering

Thread Rolling Inc.

Sterling Machine

Horst Spikes


#taekwondo #tkd #taekwondo #tkd #threadrolling an .875-14 "J" thread on this #inconel lollipop @horsteng #precisionmachining #instamachinist #manufacturing #aerospace #madeinconnecticut #madeinnewengland #madeinusa #boston @appalachianmountainclub #appalachianmountainclub #boston @seven_cycles #sevencycles #zakimbridge #charlestown #carfreecommute #oldlyme #connecticut #oldcolonybeach #longislandsound #oldlyme #connecticut #fullmoon #oldcolonybeach #longislandsound #oldlyme #Connecticut #lynnwoods #trailrunning

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