Expectations have been exceeded… I arrived in Minneapolis on Friday afternoon and headed straight to QBP. The lack of snow on the ground and the vibrant deciduous foliage was contrary to my last visit here for Frostbike. I was greeted with friendly faces and a warm welcome. Moki and I were ready to get out of the van and stretch our legs. Joel from Foundry was kind enough to take me on a ride through the infamous river bottoms. Abundant single track littered with colorful leaves and some sandy sections made for the perfect cyclocross ride. I’ve tried my best to document the Heartland Revival Tour – here are some photos I’ve accumulated.
I got settled into the Comfort zone. Rob and Leah were generous and accommodating hosts for the weekend. Not to mention, good friends. Rob is actually the man responsible for my entire partnership with Foundry Cycles. We shared stories and beers over dinner and I got a good night’s rest. The Green Acres Cyclocross weekend was looming and I felt a slight bit of pressure. More than anything, I was excited to race in Foundry’s backyard with 2 of my fellow Foundry tradesmen and to represent Feedback Sports in the twin cities racing scene.
Setting up the expo was smooth. Bob, from Now Bikes, knew I was coming out from Colorado and hooked me up with a great site for the tent, adjacent to the flyover!
Race Recap: Two days of racing makes for two opportunities to win. Unfortunately, I did not win either day. Eric Thompson, the local yokel, put on a clinic, showed everyone how it’s done, kicked some serious ass, destroyed the field, and crushed my dreams… the list goes on. He won both days.
Lets start with Saturday: I felt good, my bikes were dialed, the course was fantastic and I got a front row call up. I took the holeshot and held the lead for the entire first lap. It was probably not the smartest move, but it sure was fun. The crowds were awesome! Everyone seemed excited to be there and highly encouraging for an out-of-towner. The venue was perfect; BBQ and BEER were readily available and the heckling was hilarious. My favorite two heckles were; “You only caught 3 feet of air, go back to Home Improvement” & “There are hills steeper than this in Colorado, why are you going so slow?”
Racing through a corn field was a new experience that I thoroughly enjoyed. Bunny hopping barriers and stairs definitely gave me an advantage over the competition but it wasn’t nearly enough. On the straights, Eric was out of the saddle pinning it! I was happy to hang on for second and when I left the venue Saturday night I told myself that Sunday was a new day.
The promoters did a fantastic job altering the course the second day. Instead of a pure power road climb, we went up a much steeper, loose climb. This was good for me because it was more technical. They also added in some really ripping single track through the woods. It was in those woods where I had a really close call. I must have hit a root or something, but my handlebars slipped down and almost sent me over the bars. Eric and I were on the front at this point and he heard the loud noise that carbon makes when it moves unwillingly. It was my own fault for not making sure the stem bolts were properly torqued. Instead of attacking, Eric actually sat up and proceeded to stay with me almost an entire lap so I could get my pit bike. A true class act. Luckily, Todd from Foundry handed me my pit bike and I was back in the game… only to be ridden off his wheel for another 2nd place finish. I hung with Eric for as long as I could… Word on the street is that he is undefeated in MPLS CX. It would be great to have him come out to the front range. We became friends over the weekend and I’m sure we will race together again.
When the racing was all said and done, Foundry cycles took us all out to dinner and we reflected on what turned out to be an awesome weekend of bicycle racing. The weather was amazing and the atmosphere was super fun. Good times were had by all and I hope to come back next year. This event should be on the national calendar.
Now I’m pointing the van south towards Louisville, Kentucky. Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships are this Saturday at 7pm in downtown Louisville at Eva Badman Cyclocross Park.
Drop me a line if you are going to be in Kentucky!