Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Please welcome our newest team member.
Nicolas Zane Chapman
He arrived Nov. 29, 2009 at 6:21pm. He is healthy and happy and doing great. I think he'll be ready for a long training ride by this Sunday.

Look for him to be cheering on the team this spring.

Bruceton CX

Well fans sorry for the hold up with the updates, but I am here at last. So a short while back it was the Bruceton CX race and the series blowout. A good field of riders where there to do thier damage. The weather was a bit nip, but overall LOVELY. Don Parks and JR did a great job. So, onto the report. The race started with a slight uphill into the course. Almost like always Johnny Martin got the hole shot. Followed by myself and Montana Miller. I took the lead about halfway into lap one with Montana on my tail. We tried our best to gap the other for a few hot laps trading places. Then I felt the burn of a smaller gear on the long downward sections. Young Montana got the best of me. Good job man. So, I got second and that was good enough for the overall WEEEEEEEEEEE!!! Keep Riding and wait for the news from Josh.

Friday, November 6, 2009

October Update

Welcome to the off season. For the last month or so the team has been living up the off season. I call it the off season cause most of us can't do the cross season. That's because the races are on Sat. and people work on Saturdays. Bummer for us, lucky for the other racers.

So, what's been going on during the last month..............Big J and I did the annual trip to Slatyfork in mid October. The first day was bitch'n............5 hours of ride'n the Fork. Doesn't get any better. The other two days the weather got a lil nasty and motivation dwindled and FYI don't take Turkey Point trail, not a fun trail. But one day ride'n Slatyfork is better than no days of Slatyfork.

Steve raced the Marrilla CX, SS race and brought home a win.........Good work man. Looks like he missed the sloppy stuff.
We're working on adding to the current team. As of now we are J. and S. Rowand, Tim W., Sean Z. and myself. We're considering changing the team name, so anyone have any ideas? We're not to creative so it's not so easy for us.
We are seeking sponsorship for the 2010 season, so anyone out there wanting to support some local, devoted and motivated cyclists let us know your interested. Keep in mind we do have the State Champ., WVMBA Series Champ., 4th WVMBA series, 8th WVMBA, 6th WVMBA (sport) series.
Other than that the Thursday Night'r continues every week along with long, slow Sunday rides. Come out and join us. Tis the season for long, slow rides.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Marilla CX

Yarrrrrrr, this past weekend was the Marilla CX race. Team Rowman had work duties to do. So I wrangled my way out for the early 9:30 single speed class. Hehehehe, looking at all the pictures and stories out there I am pretty happy I did. The course was prefect for the first race. Warm and dry for the most part with some light rain coming at the end. Had a pretty good field for the single speed. Don Powers, Marc Glass, John Martin, and Montana Miller just to name a few. I ended up winning the race, but Don and Montana wasn't far behind. Here are a few pictures for your looking pleasures. They are brought to you via Traci. Hope to see ya on the trails soon.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Brought home the Title

Well that's it race fans.........the 2009 WVMBA season is in the books. It was a season full of excitement. Just like the typical WVMBA race it was full of lots of ups and downs. But all in all in was a real successful season for us here at Team Rowman+.

The series championship took place yesterday at Coopers Rock's on a beautiful, late summer, Sunday afternoon. There were lots of people in attendance and lots of fast guys showed up for the series finally. Jeremy was coming into the race with a four point lead over Steve H. on the overall spot. The wily ol Gunnar, who just happened to be the race directer and layed out the course, was within striking distance as well. So even though J would never admit it, I think there might have been some butterflies going into this one.

Myself, I wasn't feeling it at all. I think all the long work hours, home improvements and the long season finally caught up with me, cause I was dead dog tired. But I wanted to finish out and hopefully celebrate my teammates success. The start the the race was a long road pull up from the furnace parking lot. The pace was fairly hot but not enough to break up the elite field. I was able to hang on to the tail end though I was hurting purty good. At the top of the last roller before we hit the trail I saw Jeremy pull off and reach for the tool kit. I thought "Oh shit, not what we need". I tried to offer assistance but he was way to focused on the problem to respond. So, I continued on. Turns out it was a loose pedal that plagued him throughout the race.

I was off the road and hit the trail and made it to Scott's Run Trail a bit off the leaders but I figured I could make up some ground on the decent. Especially on the HiFi. However, dropping down the first decent I quickly caught up with some single speeders and didn't have the confidence or motivation to pass. So I settled in and tried to conserve some energy for the long pull out of Scott's Run. Before the turn up I heard someone coming up on me fast and I knew that it could only be one person crushing it that hard. It was big J. He was on the chase so I quickly pulled off so he could get by easily and the guys in front of me graciously gave way too.

For anyone who hasn't experienced the climb on Scott's run let me fill you in. It's like a consistent up hill rock garden with loose baby heads and a couple technical rock gardens thrown in for good measure. As I made the turn to head up I could see the leaders just ahead which lifted my spirits a bit. I could see Stephen was off to a good start and Jeremy was just ahead doing some hard work. The HiFi made short work of the climb, eating up the bumps making it feel like a just any other climb. But I could feel something wasn't right on the front end. The rough decent had knocked my headset loose and it felt real floppy. So I had to stop on the false flat to correct the problem. In the process I was passed by quite a few. That good feeling I had just minutes before was quickly fleeting. Got it tightened down and proceeded up the hill. My closest competitor this season, Don P. was just in front of me so I set my sights on him and tried to keep a sustainable pace.

The race continued on par through the Nature Loop, onto Roadside, Intermediate Loop (which was a surprise) to the reservoir and down Lebore. I was able to put a gap on Don and caught up with Montana M. and Benji. At this point I calculated that I was in about 8th or 9th place overall. Followed Montana down Ridge Trail, probably should have passed him but I figured he'd just catch me on the climb. To my surprise we took a left at the bottom onto Mt. Chateau which goes further down and has a super technical section on the climb back up. On the climb I could feel myself quickly starting to unravel. I hadn't kept up with my fuel intake and was starting to suffer. By the time I made it to the Rattlesnake climb I was in a world of hurt. BONK! I had to stop and suck down a goo and down some Cytomax which caused me to get passed again by quite a few. The rest of my race was just survival. I was quite pissed when I got to the bottom of Ridge Trail again and had to take another turn down Mt. Chateau. I finally finished in 2h 3min which was better than my time last year when the race was much shorter. Improvement! I was glad for it to be over and was hurt'n purty bad.

I was happy to hear the rest of the team faired well. Jeremy was able to overcome his petal woes and got a third place locking down the series title. Stephen had a good day on his new hottness and got a 5th place finish. Mr. T had a good time and got a top 10 result. Way to go team!

We hung around for the awards. Along with Jeremy collecting the title Steve came it a very respectable 4th overall for the season. Ol Chappy got 8th for the second season in a row. A bit disappointing, I was aiming a little higher but I had a good time anyway. We had some much needed celebration afterwards at Team RowMans favorite watering hole, the Fish Bowl. We consumed some tasty chicken wings and many bowls of beer. We were joined by another Champion, Robbie L. who brought the SS title to Morgantown. Nice work man, we like you even though you ride for the Cracker-dale team ;o)

There was a bit of disappointment for the day though. The boys got hosed at the series awards. There were no prizes awarded for the overall series other than a metal. Not even a bag of swag or a bottle of Hammer Gel. One would think there would be some kind of prize for sticking it out all season, paying all the entry fees, and busting your ass to make the races competitive. Not that we do it for the prizes but it would be nice to get just a little something in return. Something to keep us coming back and doing our best. I see all those sponsors logo's displayed on the web site, could they not toss in a couple of pieces of swag for the series winners? I think the WVMBA organization has some decisions to make over the off season. I think there is a lot of potential there and just in my short time in the series I've seen great strides in the right direction. Just going to throw it out there, J.R. would never let the series winners leave practically empty handed.

And while I'm at it, I have one more gripe to get off my chest. There's a solid cross schedule now to carry on after the XC season but why the hell are all the races on Saturdays. Not like there are other races on contend with on Sunday. Maybe some don't realize a lot of people that do these races don't work Monday-Friday. How many shop guys do you know that race and won't be able to attend do to work? I know of two of this team. Just saying a Sunday race may have a better attendance. You won't see any RowManians at the CX races cause we all work on Saturday's.

That's enough bitch'n..........for now. Let's focus on the positive. Great season, lots of fun, good time had by us at Team RowMan+. I think things can only get better next season. More experience, more training and more desire will carry us into seasons ahead. Expect some changes in the next season. Maybe some new acquisitions, new bikes and hopefully some more sponsorship.

What now? Relax, ride for the fun of it, get fat or in my case fatter. Oh, and the annual fall trip to Slatyfork on the duelies. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Maybe some more season wrap-up to come but that's all for now except for a big thank you to our sponsor, Cox Well Service for their support. They made those long trips down south possible.

See ya at the bars,

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

9.9SSL Top Fuel

Well, here it is. My new and inproved race bike. Since Trek did away with the 69er concept for 2010 I had to rub my chin and decide what I wanted to go with for next year. This is what I decided upon. The Trek 9.9SSL Top Fuel. She is real pretty.

Got a handfull of rides on it and I must say it is the stiffest mountain bike I have ridden in awhile. When I say stiff it isn't a bad thing. The lateral direction is what I be talking about. With the BB90 clear up to the integrated headset. This thing doesn't flex.

The ABP pivot works amazing, keeping the travel nice and supple. With the Rock Shox Sid taming anything you can toss at it up front.

The total package as you see it in the pictures tips the scales at a bit over 23lbs. 23.3 to be exact. That is lighter then my hardtail 69er.

This weekend will be the big test. I will be racing it at Coopers come Sunday along with the rest of Team Rowman. Enjoy the pictures and hope to see ya at the race .

Your favorite Rowmania

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ready to Rock?

With the race season quickly coming to a close Team RowMan planned on heading over to Ohio for the Bob Evans race but long work hours and lack of motivation to make the long trek kept us close to home. So we decided to go up to Coopers Rock to prep for the WVMBA Series Championship next weekend. The brothers and I got up there in the early afternoon and the sun was shining and the sky was blue. Great day to be on the bike. We met up with Sean Z. at the day lot and got ready to scout the race course.

J and I were on the SuperFly's and Steve brought along his newest ride which just could be the hottest bike around. I won't give away the surprise but it is Top Shelf.

We started out on everyone's favorite trail, Scott's Run and then hit the Nature loop then to the Right away Trail. Sean turned us onto a new trail that bypasses the hike-a-bike on the Right away Trail, nice improvement. Then it was back up on top and out Ridge Tail.

It's been awhile since I've road a hardtail at Coopers and I quickly remembered why. So now I'm considering pulling the trigger on the HiFi for the first time in a race. I think the bombing ability will be a nice advantage and hopefully the extra weight won't kill me on the climbs. Which there is quite a bit of hard steep sections to contend with. I'm still not 100% sold on the idea but the HiFi does plow through the rough stuff and climbs well. So, why not?

Team RowMan also hit up the Wedesnday Night'r this past week. First time this year we were all three in attendance. The ride was a bit subdued cause Adam A. didn't make it and Gunnar and Betsy split off early. It was a large group but it seemed like no one really wanted to put the hammer down. We split from the group at Mt. Morris when Jeremy stayed on the gas after the state line sprint and only a few others bridged up. Re-grouped after the turn around and stayed together back to town. Ended up being a good hard ride and I was feeling the burn afterwards.

One more race to go in the XC season. Then it's time for some sweet fall mountain bike rides and the annual trip to Slatyfork for singletrack euphoria.

Looks like Jeremy has the series championship wrapped up as long as the wheels don't fall off at Coopers. And Steve will grab a 4th place overall. Nice work fellers.

Keep an eye out for a report on Steve's new ride.

See ya at the races,

Monday, August 31, 2009

Black Bear Race Report

Another race in the books. This week Team Rowman traveled to our state capital, Charleston, WV for the 23rd (Yes, 23rd) annual Black Bear 40K. I was looking forward to this race for awhile cause the course suits my riding abilities. The course takes racers up and down and around Kanawha State Forest. The KSF has some of the best riding in the state, next to our own Coopers of course. There are lots of steep technical descents that include large imbeded rocks, roots and tight switch backs. There's a lot of ups to go along with the downs but most is fire road style with only mild to moderate grades. However, it does boast the meanest hike-a-bike ever.

As stoked as I was about the Black Bear the Rowands were that much not stoked. They must have been ravaged by the Bear before. But, in true RowMan style they manned up and made the race. It was another 11am start so we had to role out of Motown at the crack ass of dawn. Hell, it was still dark until we got 30-45 min. down 79. We wanted to make sure we got there earlier than last week to get in some more warm up time.

The Sport Utility Neon was like the 4th car in the lot at KSF. Hell yeah, first ones to register. These guys must be hungry to for some race'n. So we did our thing and before long it was go time. Not a real big showing for the expert/SS class. Mostly just the usuals like Steve H., Robbie L., Don P., Gannar, Chris M., LB, Adam S..

The start sent us directly across a stream crossing and then up a steady long fire road climb. I think I got the worst start ever. I was pretty much DFL starting up the climb. I couldn't even see the lead group. But I didn't panic and just put my head down and tried to tap out a good pace. I was able to make up some ground and before long I was just behind Jeremy and Steve who were up with the lead group. I was in the company of Adam S., Don P., and Brad S. By the time I got to the top of the climb the leaders were out of site. Once on top we hit some nice twisty single track. Robbie and his bitch'n bike skills bridged up to me on the down hill section and for the second week in a row I wiped out with Robbie breathing down my neck and then got passed by Adam S.. Just a quick front wheel wash out from riding the brakes too hard. I was back up and going pretty quick with no damage done.

I found myself riding the brakes a lot on the descents. I don't know if it was the pitch or the speed on technical, unfamiliar trails. I had some uncomfortable moments but was able to clean the rest of the descents. It was a total 180 from ACE where I was feeling fast and confident on the descents. The trails were super dry and loose so, maybe that was the difference.

For most of the race I kept yo-yo'ing back and forth with Robbie till he put on a hard push up one of the final road climbs and got by Adam S. I got close to Adam a couple of times but he would pull away every time we hit the woods. I think he might know the trails a bit better than myself.

About 2hrs in I started to fall apart a little and started to think back to last week when I blew it at the end. I didn't want that to happen again. I was able to keep it together and avoid the cramps. Probably do to the great weather. Cool and low humidity. I made it to the long 200 yd., strait up hike-a-bike. By the top my calves were on fire from pushing up hill. I could hear someone below me up the hike'r so I jumped on and tried to push it as much as I could without going over the edge. I made it to the finish without anyone catching up. I came in 6th, my best finish of the season. I grabbed a good chunk of points but still have a good gap to close on Donny P. Only two more to go.

Steve H. got the win for the day and he was unreachable on his home course. No wonder the dude is so fast. Riding the KSF will make ya fast and tough. Jeremy had another showdown with the wily Gunnar. Coming down the home stretch Jeremy was in the lead and Gannar tossed a stick in his derailleur to try and slow him down. But Jeremy's drive to win was greater than his concern for his high dollar gear. Jeremy came in only seconds in front of the ol' pirate to claim 2nd place. He said he tried to drop the Gunny a couple times but he was able to swashbuckle his was back.

Steve had a solid day but actually admitted to doing too much climbing which I didn't think would ever happen to him. Sounds like he was nailing the descents this week. He came in 4th for the day though he was passed by Robbie in the last stretch. Yes thats right, he was caught by a SS on flat ground. I've got two words for ya dude "Big Ring". Good finish anyway.

Robbie got another win in the SS class. That makes 6 for 6 on the SS. Nice work man and thanks for the encouragement. You are a true sportsman.

Next week is an off race week. However, the Chapman's are moving into their new digs so come on down if you like to move heavy stuff cause I know I don't. Next stop for Team RowMan will be the Bob Evans and then the championship race on our home turf (Coopers). Sure to be a good time. Last WVMBA of the year so, leave it all out on the trail.

See ya at the races,

Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm Back

I'm finally back on the the race train after a month hiatus and it's good to be back together with my Team Rowman bros. The team headed down to conquer the ACE Bike Fest in Oak Hill, WV. It was an early 11am start so we had to role out of bed stupid early to make the 2.5 hr drive. But I was pumped to be racing my bike again so I didn't mind. I've been preoccupied the last few weeks going on vacation and working on my new house. My hours on the bike took a dive along with my fitness but I've been working on bring it back up for the past couple weeks. I didn't have high hopes for myself at ACE but I went along for the fun and fastness and to hang out with some cool cats.

We didn't get to ACE till a little before 10am so there wasn't much time to get registered, geared up and warmed up. The first thing we noticed when we got there was the standing water on the ground. Looked like we were going to contend with some muddy, wet trails for the first time in awhile. I was hoping I remembered how to handle the bike on slippery trails.

After registration we got base camp set up and quickly got ready to race. I only got about a 10 minute warm up before the racers meeting. Not optimal for myself, I usually need at least 30 min. to warm up the diesel. The start of the race took us out a flat gravel road around the camp ground and then dropped into the woods. A hairpin turn sent us back the way we came alone the contour of the ridge on a rolly trail. The start seemed to be almost in slow motion. Not like the typical WVMBA start which is usually red line out of the box. But I was cool with it, a little more warm up time. I found Steve's wheel to follow and he was on Robbie's wheel. There was a small gap between us and the lead group with Jeremy, Gunnar, Steve H. and Chris ?. After a small climb we popped out on a gravel road. I grabbed the big ring and closed the gap Steve and Robbie got on me and we stayed together on the road and back onto the trails. The lead group was out of sight by the time we got back on the trails. Those guys were smoking it!

It was cool riding with Steve and Robbie all alone. Felt like a Thursday Nightr. I was feeling good and having a blast on the twisty and rollie trails. We past Gunnar changing a flat at the bottom of a rocky decent. After a short rocky technical section we were back on a gravel road. I grabbed the big ring again. Worked with Robbie for a bit but he couldn't keep pace on one gear. Steve was close behind till we got to the premier decent on the course, Rigamortis. The SuperFly was feeling good so I let go of the brakes and let her fly on the decent. There were some steep, loose rocky sections that made it real interesting. At the bottom there was no sign of my teammate. I was hoping he didn't plummet into the canyon.

Next was some more rollie fire road and then the big climb of the course. Midway up the climb I saw Steve and Robbie closing in. I was glad to see they were still alive and in one piece. On a single track section those 2 were breathing down my neck then the next thing I knew I was falling over the hillside. I don't know what the hell happened. I don't know if it was the oxygen dept I was in or all the paint I've been huffing lately but I pretty much just fell over the side. That's were my race started to go down hill. I went from 4th to 7th in a matter of minutes. I dragged my carcass up the steep, mucky, rutted out climb. At the top there was more of bread and butter though, fast and rollie. Big ring time! I road the next lap and half with Montana M. till the climb came back around. I could feel my legs starting to cramp up so I backed off a bit and tried to spin a bit more. By the time I made it up the climb I was starting to fade fast but only had a few miles to go. But then the cramps hit me hard, felt like my muscles were going to tare in two a couple times. I had to jump off and push the second to last climb. Then Donald P. came around the turn. He was encouraging me to ride but all I could do was hike to the top. He passed me just at the top. I mounted up and kept the gap close hoping to spin out the cramps and sprint it out on the final climb. But when the last kick came I stood up to go then my legs seized up hard and let out a scream of pain. Ouchy! On go. I wasn't happy about getting passed at the last minute but all and all it was a good day. Eighth was better then I expected after my hiatus.

The rest of the team had a great showing. Jeremy got the win after an epic battle with Steve H. and Chris. The three were together most of the race till Steve and J. were able to put Chris in the hurt locker. J. got a 30 sec. gap on Steve for the win. He said it was the hardest battle of the year with lots of going hard and fast. Nice work kid, back on top. Steve came it a solid 4th place. Wish I could have stayed with ya mate. Maybe next time. Good job Stephen!

Only 3 more races left in the WVMBA series. It's been a good season thus far with Team RowMan+ members racking up some real solid finishes. Looks like J. might have the series wrapped up but don't look for him to fade anytime soon. He's still hungry for more wins. Steve's looking to climb up the ranks before the end. I'm hoping to pull together some more fitness and get a couple good results. Maybe we will see a Nate comeback. Tim is back to school but might come out to finish out the season. No coach though, he's in the deep south, miss ya little buddy.

Come out and get your racing in while you can and have fun with Team RowMan.

See ya at the races,

If anyone out there would be interested in sponsoring the fastest team in the state next year send me an e-mail and I will hook you up with our team resume.

Pics. and results coming soon.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Yarrrrrrrrrrrr, This past weekend was the Dirt Derby in Barboursville. Was a pretty long drive , but we made it. No Chappy for us this time around. The new Plus, Tim drove us down. Things where hot as soon as we got there. Even for a 11:00 start, the sun was blazing.

The race started a bit after 11. We rolled out the park on the hardball. About two miles later we popped into the woods. Jesse Stevens was setting a good pace followed by J and myself. We quickly pulled away from the pack. I love that river trail. OH SO FAST.

J, just looking too fast.

We stayed together for about the first lap and well, the heat and the pace started to get to me. I slowly lost contact with J and Jesse.

Jesse went on to win and J got 2nd. As for myself I got 3rd. Our powerhouse Plus got 6th in his class. Good job Tim.

The Full TEAM ROWMAN will be racing the ACE this coming weekend and we hope to see ya there.

HEHEHE, Tim and his go fast treats.

DAMN, he must be sponsored.

Expert podium, hot dang.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Team RowMan @ Valley Falls Challenge

The RowManians had a short trip south this weekend to hit up WVMBA #8, The Valley Falls Challenge. It was a quick skip down I-79 to Fairmont for this one, Sweet! It was just Steve and I in the team sport utility Neon. J caught a ride with his lady Auvid, who was coming down to cheer on her favorite bike team.

Steve and I made the usual caffeine pit stop then buzzed down to Valley Falls. Got there early and set up camp. Jeremy and Auvid arrived right behind us and our newest team member, Tim W. right behind them. So, we did the now routine pre-game and prepared for the familiar pain to come. Oh it hurts so good!

There was a bit of delay at the start while we waited for the sport and beginner class spread themselves along the beginning climb. The challenge of the Valley Falls Challenge starts right from the gun. The expert class starts at the bottom of a steadily steep road climb before bombing back down on some twisty single track. On the line I got shuffled back to the end of the pack while the brothers got good position in the front. On the starting climb the beginning pace was pretty reasonable so I was able bridge myself up to the front third of the group right on Steve's wheel. I was hoping he wouldn't wreck me this time so I decided to pass him. I almost beat him to the trail but he pulled by me just before we turned off the road. He never would have heard the end of it if I would have got him on the climb, and you know that. Looked to me like Jeremy made it in the woods in around 4th or 5th and I could see Steve H., Gunnar, Andy G. and maybe a couple more up in front.

I was pretty geeked about my position at the top of the climb but knew I had to focus on the technical decent so I didn't biff it and blow another good start. I followed Steve's wheel down the decent and was able to keep it on the rail. I did get passed by Benji, but that guy can descend like hell. Saw a number of riders off the side of the trail though on the way down. At the bottom of the decent is a gravel access road so I was able to hit the big ring and power past a couple dudes out the road. I could still see the leaders just up the road so I knew we were in good shape. Tried to do some pulling for Stephen but he couldn't match the power of the Chappy diesel so I backed off and tried to settle into my zone and prepare myself for the big, long climbs ahead where the diesel could blow up. Steve and I stayed together for a good bit with Andy G. and no one else in sight behind us.

When we hit the climb I surprisingly held it together and kept up with Steve and Andy for much longer than normal. But eventually they put a good gap on me and I found myself all alone on the hill. I knew what I had to do so I kept up my cadence and was able to clean the first climb without anyone catching me. I made it to the last kick and could still see Steve just at the top. I couldn't clean the last kick but I saw Steve'o clear it with his 2x9. He's a power house on the steeps.

I hate that climb but man I love the downhill on the back side. I grabbed the big ring and went down as fast as I could on the swoopy decent. Had a great time on the way down letting the big wheels fly. Hit a couple more steeps before starting the second lap but I was able to spin up the first one but had to hike-a-bike the second one. When I got back to the road climb to start the 2nd lap I was passed by a rider on the way up. He was out of the saddle humping it to the top. I didn't chase cause I felt like I could bridge up on the way down. I did, and we road out the gravel road together and he was just ahead of me starting the long climb for the second time up. He must have hit the hill hard cause he dropped me good on the way up. But I was able to clean it again without getting passed. I saw Steve again in the pine section and he was still on Andy G's wheel. I think he's learning how to pace off of others now cause he was able to gap him before the end of the climb.

I finished out the rest of the second lap without loosing any positions. I could see a Night Club'er behind me on one of the climbs, I think it was Benji but I made it to the finish before he caught up. Maybe cause I turned on the afterburners or maybe cause he broke his frame in two right before the end. I came in 7th overall and in the expert class. One of my best finishes yet! Hell yeah! It's about time ol'chappy was able to put together a solid race with no flats, mechanicals or physical aliments.

The rest of the team did good. Jeremy got Gunnar by a wheel for 2nd. He broke a chain and didn't have a quick link so he had to splice it back together. Otherwise he would have taken 1st. Steve got a solid forth, real good considering he was recovering from his fall last week and a busy week of riding around town. Tim came in 12th in the sport class. Nice riding boys! Director Chappy is proud of you.

We had a team dinner at Meriel's and stopped for some recovery ice cream before heading back to Mo-town. It was a fine day.

Special thanks to our number one fan and photographer.........Auvid. Also, thanks to Jason M. and all his sponsors for putting on a great race, one of the best races of the year.

We missed having Nate and Coach around for the race. Nate had to work and Coach is getting ready to move down south to the ATL. You'll be missed little buddy.

It's a couple weeks off for Team RowMan+ to rest and rebuild. Our next action will be the Big Bear Ultra then the ACE race.

See you at the races,

Check out the WBOY news report here.

Monday, July 13, 2009

WV State Championship Race Report

Team RowMan+ had an exciting day at the WVMBA #7, WV State Mountain Bike Championships in Davis, WV. This is a fun, rocky course with riding you can't find anywhere else around these parts. If you like to ride rough, technical, rocky trails then this race is for you. Not an extreme amount of climbing but the climbs that are on the course are rocky and technical.

The weather cooperated for the race. Saturday it sure looked like it was going to be a repeat of last year when the area got inches of rain the night before making the trails very wet with lots of standing water. The storms broke-up before making it to WV dropping little to no precipitation. So the trails were dry and fast with hardly a spot of mud to contend with. I was sweat'n it on Saturday cause I had changed my tires over to some dry treads in hopes of the ground staying dry. No worries.

On Sunday we got to Davis right on time to give us a couple of hours before the start. Stopped by Blackwater Bikes first for registration and then we headed out Camp 70 road and found a nice spot for base camp right around the start area. After some set-up, resting and hydrating it was time to gear up and get warmed up. We did a quick recognisance ride to check out the conditions and look for a place to stash some extra water in case of emergency since it was going to be a longer race (~28 miles).

Steve strut'n his stuff and base base camp

Then it was time for the start. There was quite a nice crowd on hand for the race. There was some nasty drama off the start. I was mid pack going down the the gravel road right behind Steve. We were moving up a couple of spots and then someone came over on Steve and tangled handle bars and Steve lost is front wheel and was instantly on the ground. I watched him do a power slide on his right side on the gravel right in front of my wheel. I was able to get stopped in time so not to run him over but could not avoid going down myself. Luckily, no one from behind came up on our pile up. We got up quickly and checked things out. Steve was ripped up pretty good but no serious injuries and I hardly got a scratch. Steve's bike on the other hand had a twisted stem, a bent pedal and lots of scares. After assuring he was ok I jumped on and hit the trails DFL. Steve tried to give it a go but the pedal put a end to his day. What a bummer!

I was able to pass quite a few and make up some ground but may have buried myself a little too much. Then, after I got passed Moon Rocks all the folks I had passed were right back on me. That was real demoralizing and took some wind out of my sails. Then I realized that they had taken a right turn before moon rocks following the old course where I went straight following a course change due to the logging in that area. I was pretty pissed about how the day was going so far. Then to make things better on Ho Doo Rocks a bolt fell out of my water bottle cage causing it to fall to the side. So, I had to stop and take it off, watching everyone I passed pass me back. Shit! But I took a deep breath and said oh well, "go out and ride well and have a good time". So that's what I did.

I got past a couple and caught up with Sean Z. and we road together through the rest of the 2nd lap and around the start of the 3rd lap. I was happy to see Steve trial side in one piece. He was grinning with a fresh bottle and gel. Thanks buddy!

When things were just starting to go well and we had a couple of guys in our sites, Psssssss, punchure. Double Shit! So off Sean went up the trail while I had to stop and tend to my flaccid tire. I hit with some air and gave the Stan's a chance to seal, no luck. Then when I was just about to tube it, she finally sealed and held. And I was off again. No other events for the remainder of the lap. I came it just under 3hrs. and in 10th place. I guess not too bad considering another tough day for ol'Chappy.

I got back to find out that Jeremy had blown everyone away and got the win and is now the WV State Champ. Great job Jeremy. Steve looked a little rough with some bandages covering his knee's and elbow's. He was in good spirits though, probably a lot better than I would have been. Heal fast Steve'O. It was nice to take a cool down swim in the Blackwater.

Steve's ouchies

After hang'n out for a bit, enjoying few brews and swapping stories we got over to the awards so big J could collect his loot. He also got a sweet state champ. medal too.

Jeremy pumped for the win and flashing the bling

On the way back to Motown I thought stopping by the Candyland in Oakland would be good for the bros. Jeremy could spend his winnings and Stephen could get some recovery sugar. For anyone who doesn't know the Rowands, those boys likes the candy. So, they were in heaven filling up their bags the all varities of candy. Steve got a record 6 pounds of candy. WoW!

Jeremy with some bag envy

Next weekend we'll be down at the Valley Falls Challenge that is put on by our friend Jason M. This is a well put on, challenging race. So, come out suffer and love it with Team RowMan+ and the rest of the WVMBA racers.

See ya at the races,

Pictures on the way soon. For now check out the our slide show and these.
Who is that fast looking guy if the first picture.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Independance Weekend Race'n

The RowManians celebrated our countries Independence Day weekend by exercising our freedom to ride. What better way to experience the freedom we enjoy then by jumping on your bike and hurling yourself down the road/trail.

First up was the Barbour DeTour, the 4th and final race in the WV Road Race Series. It was a nice day for a bike race with low humidity and sunny sky's. It was a purty early start with the flag dropping at 10am. Steve and I didn't get to Philippi till after 9am so that didn't leave much time to screw around. Nate got there a bit earlier but not by much. After filling out some paper work and gearing up there was only about 15-20min left for a warm-up. Not optimal but oh well the first climb out of town would be a good warm-up as long as we didn't get dropped.

Steve rolled out with the 1/2/3's right at 10am. I was coming the other way as they rolled out and noticed Steve was already in the front doing work as always..........That boy will never learn. I got back to the start line within seconds of the roll out. For those that haven't road the DeTour before, it is a rollie, ~30miler (~50mi for 1/2/3) with the largest climb starting 1mi after the start. The pace was moderate going up the first hill but not enough to cause much of a split in the group. I stayed around 5th wheel right behind Nate in case there was anybody who thought they would try and get away. No one did. The course got rollie after that with a few guys trying put in some attacks. I went out on a couple with no hope of getting way. Just wanted to stretch the legs and push it a little since it was such a short race. Not much happened till the group made the turn back towards Philippi. Then you could feel the group starting to get twitchy for the run in to the finish. I put in a hard effort after one of the rollers hoping to get a small break. I got a good gap but then I realized I was nowhere near as close to the finish as I thought. So, I shut it down and went back to the group. BoneHead!

Not long after, it was time for the exciting finish which goes down the same starting hill into town and then takes a 90 degree right off of Main then a 90 degree left onto a side street then about 50 meter sprint to the line. It was a fast decent into town with lots of riders jockeying for good position for the turns. I got onto Robbie and Nate's wheel on the inside cause I knew these guys had the finish dialed in. Robbie launched a lot further than I expected and I lost their wheels by a bit but was still 3rd going into the turns. First turn went well, still in 3rd, second turn I got a little wide and had to back off a bit and lost some momentum. Robbie and Nate got away and I lost two more spots as I tried to get back up to speed. I definitely need more work on my sprinting technique. I still came across the line 5th although the results say 6th (no camera, just pen and paper). Nate got 1st (2nd year in a row) and Robbie got 2nd. Nice job boys. Thanks for the ride in. Wish I could have kept it going.

Then it was time to wait for the 1/2/3's to come through after their second lap. About an hour later the first guys came through. A Cat guy got the win with Adam A. right behind him getting 2nd. A couple minutes back was Steve's group. Steve came around the turn right behind Gunnar but lost one spot in the sprint. Still a 5th is damn good in the big boy race. Good work Steve.

The RowManians also collected some swag and bling for placing in the overall road series (Steve 3rd in 1/2/3, Nate 2nd 4/5, Josh 3rd 4/5). Very cool. Thanks J.R. for putting on an excellent series, I had a great time. Only wish there were a few more races to go. Maybe next year?

After the race we retreated back to Motown for a cookout at the Chappy homestead where we had some recovery burgers and beers and were treated to a fireworks show by Sean Z.

On Sunday the brothers Row headed back down to Philippi without the Man for WVMBA #5, Race to lil Moe's. So I don't have much to report yet just some solid results. Hopefully Steve will fill in the blanks. Jeremy got a 2nd behind Gunnar and Steve got a 3rd. Steve was look'n to take ol' Gunny so he could collect on the overall weekend price but alas the old man was just too wiley. Great work dudes. Still 1,2 in the series.

I can't wait to get back on the mountain bike the next 2 weekends at the WV State Championship in Davis and then Valley Falls in Fairmont. Both challenging races. I think the Davis race just could be my favorite. It's got it all and plenty of it for everyone.
See ya at the races,

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Appy Classic Race Report

Team RowMan+ made the trip down to Grantsville, WV for WVMBA #5, the 13th annual Appalachian Classic. This one's kinda special for me b/c my uncle Mike is one of the founders. In fact, it's his art that is used for t-shirts and emblems. Though he doesn't race any more he represented when he did and has some good race stories.

Today it was just the Brothers Row and the Man (that's me). The other Team RowManians had other commitments and couldn't make the race. We missed you guys.

It was a beautiful day for a race. The drive down was full of blue sky and sunshine. Not the norm for this year thus far but a welcome change. So moral was high for the trip and everyone was hungry for some good ol' WVMA racing.

When we got to the Calhoun County Park we set up camp at the shelter where Team Bi-acher/Cannondale Factory Racer, Chris M.had set up camp from the night before. Ol' boy was looking a bit lonely since his fellow Bi-achers (Gunnar & Betsy) were out of state doing one of the 100 milers. So we pulled in to give him some company and share some of his shade. Chris gave us a run down of the Saturday events (TT and short track race) and the festivities through the night. Sounds like we missed some fun but Chris seem to be paying the price a lil but he's a tough dude and recovered well.

By start time there was a nice size crowed on hand. Lots of the usual suspects: WV Night Club (with Andy W. making a come back after a broken collarbone-good to see him back); Pittsburgh Pro guys; The Riddles; Ohio speedster Dave W.; Jesse S. and some more folks I just can't recall right now. There were a couple of faces I haven't seen at the races for awhile, Jacob B.; '08 Sport Champ. Ian B.

After J.R. flashed everyone and got us all fired up he sent us out on the start. The start of this race seemed especially important to get to the front before the taped off section narrowed down the line and hit some tight turns. There was quite a bit of tire rubbing and jocking for position before the first turn but all the RowManians had good position in the front third of the pack. Then it was a loop through the field, up around the pavilion and down the hill to the access road. Once on the access road I grabbed the big ring and made up some ground with Stephen on my wheel and Jeremy two guys ahead. Jeremy hit the single track in 3rd behind Dave W. and Tim C., I was 5th and Stephen 6th and the pace was smoke'n fast. By far the fastest start of the season. We held that position for a quite awhile till Steve H. put on a balls out pass around the whole group and picked up the pace even more. Of course Steve got around me on the first sizable climb but I held my own for a bit more.

Then, I heard a loud pop. It wasn't from my bike but from my body. The fast start quickly caught up with me and I started to pay the price. Got passed by a few on the paved road climb. It was fun while it lasted but for me it was just survival after that as I dropped from 5th to I don't even know where.

I wasn't the only one having a tough go. I think the heat really stuck it to a lot of guys. Jeremy had his first hiccup of the year with some bad luck loosing a contact lens, pedal issues and more. But being the class act he is, he took took on the job of team soigneur, handing out much needed water bottles. The day wasn't a total loss though. The elder Rowand, Steve put together a solid race on a course the suited him well and out ran some fast guys for a podium place.........3rd. Great work Steve!

After I bonked I was ready to call it quites after the 2nd lap cause I was sweltering hot, low on fluids and hurt'n bad. But after a good water dousing from Benji and his wife and my pure stubbornness, I was able to keep going to at least finish. And half a lap later when I was dangerously close to running out of water Jeremy was trail side with a bottle and a gel. You saved my life dude. Thanks! After that I was able to pass a few guys back so I wasn't going to be DFL. I made it. No mechanicals or flats and a finish so it was better than the last two races. Now I just need a course that fits me a little better.

It's funny how I hurt so much and wanted to give up but some how I still had a good time and wanted to keep riding after the finish. Must be the endorphins I'm addicted to.

When it was awards time I think everyone there took home something. By the end J.R. was tossing swag like a he was a bike parade. Always fun when that happens. Thanks for a great race J.R. and sponsors. I think uncle Mike will be proud.

July will be full of fun for Team RowMan+:

Barbour DeTour
Race to Lil' Moes
WV State Champ.
Valley Falls

Check out the new WVMBA Point Series Standings. Steve'o made a nice jump into 2nd place right behind Jeremy in 1st. The rest of the crew is scattered within the top ten. Look'n good boys. Don't let it go to your head though, still 10 more exciting races to go.

See ya at the races,

Sorry no pics. Forgot the camara. Maybe I can come up with some later on. But who wants to see more pics of us anyway? Anyone?

Friday, June 19, 2009

June Update

First thing to be updated is the road race from the Tour of Tucker Co. Josh and I were the only 2 ROWMANians to take part in this Killer event, and yes I said Killer because thats just what it was! There was a good turn out around 160+ total, and with about 50 in are Pro4/5 class. We started at the bottom of the Mountain. Right from the start the the pace was pretty fast... no one was messing around here. I tried to stay around the front to get the legs warmed up from a rest week. We made the right and headed up the first major climb. A couple of Solay3 guys were setting tempo up front so I sucked in behind there wheels, in 3rd . Well boys and girls, this is where it was over for me and a lot of other riders... about half way up the climb I just could not respond. So I let off the gas alittle bit and let them go. Josh and Robbie L. came up beside me. Joshs was looking fairly strong. I suck some wheel for a little bit, and then let them go on. I thought no reason to kill myself, lets just make this a good day for a bike ride in the great countyside. I wished them well and off they went.
So I kept spinning the wheels, and a few mins later I could see Robbie again so we started riding together and having a good time killin' the downhills. Man can that boy ride! He made me scare my self a few times as we hit 48.5 mph on one of them... kinda crazy when theres gravel and grass in the rode. Anyway, Robbie and I contiued to have a great ride as we hit the bottom of the last major climb, Sugarlands. It's stupid steep and long... Yea it's pretty dumb, but great. As we were coming to the bottom of the climb, a couple people came up behind us, and I decided the legs are feeling good. I finally opened them up a little and to see what I had. Well I was able to put over 5 minutes on the group. I was with, and pass over 20 people up. It made me feel alittle better about myself for the day. Josh pulled out like 17th, think I was 21st. All in all, a good day for a bike ride on some great WV Mountain Roads.

Next up, The 24hrs of Big Bear... well, for this year's addition it was just me. I found me a spot on the WVMBA Dream Team Roster, along side Chris M., Gunner S., and Steve H. All very fast guys, and I had some big shoes to fill to being on this team. I met Steve H. on Friday night to camp in the oh so pro suite in same spot as last year. We got there around 6pm to set up camp, and to go out for about an hour to spin the legs out. The course was fairly muddy. We just hoped it would dry out for the next day. The night club kept it interesting all night as always. The next day, noon rolls around and we somehow suckered Chris into running the first lap. He turned in a good first lap top 10, and then off rolled Gunner. He smoked a lap out and we were now setting in 2nd exp at this point. I took out on a pretty good pace, but not killer...just trying to catch the 360 team from Kansas that was leading us. As I hit the final climb before the rock garden I could see him ahead. I made the pass on the climb and got a good little gap. He closed the gap on the next down hill and we rode together to the rock garden. As soon as I got there, I wasted no time and ran the garden and got another little gap on him. I was then able to get out of his sight up the climb which puts us in 1st exp 3rd overall. When I came in on that lap, I handed off to Steve H. He got out and turned a super fast lap and put us into 1st overall. From that point we never looked back. We did get some heat in the middle of the night from the 360 and WV Night club boys, but we opened the gap back up the next morning. Gunner went out and took are last parade lap. He had a couple flats but no Heart Attacks so we were able to take the win by around 20mins. The Womens Dreamteam was able to pick up the win, and girled almost every team out there... Good Job Girls! Thanks and Congrats to JR for setting up this killer team and his team for winning the full grown man class.
Thanks to Robbie L for keepin the superfly and hifi running all night long!

photos by Theresa Svoboda

Next up for team Rowman+

Appalachian Classic

Barbour DeTour

Race to lil Moe's Place

Product Review: Raced a new pair of Bontrager Race X Lite Mtb Shoes for the 24hr race. Never got a chance to wear them before the race so was a little scared but they performed flawlessly. Put 50+ fast miles on them and the feet felt great. No hot spots, sores, or blisters.

Rock on Nate

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Creek to Peak to Podium

Well guys and girls super J was able to pull out another victory last Sunday at WVMBA #4, the Creek to Peak in Eleanor, WV.

The brothers and I headed down Sat. after work and set up base camp at Ma and Pa Chappy's place which is only about 30 minutes from the race. We were treated to a great nutritious breakfast by mama Chappy, got to play with the puppies and kitties, then got on the road. Made the short drive over the hill and arrived around 10 am with plenty of prep time.

It was clear it was going to be another slogger with lots of mud and wetness. The area got some heavy t-storms the night before so, there was plenty of standing water around the venue. But the sun was shining and temps were warm and yes it was race day........Game on.

The whole team was able to make it down for this one. Ryan and Nate ran the short track race on Sat. evening with Nate getting 3rd behind Nick Waite and Ben Ortt. Ryan had some bad luck and flatted out.

XC race.......There was a bit of funny stuff off the start caused by some of the course markings from the short track still being up. After the start the whole expert class ended up back at the start minutes after we left. The sporters had started by that time and after a quick restart we were off for real. There was a nice pull along a paved road and then a left onto the trails. This was about the time we caught up with the sport group. This made for some interesting congestion as experts riders were trying to get around the sport guys. Some were willing to give way and other were determined to race the expert class. Just tried to be patient and pass when I could. I was around Steve and Ryan so I was in good company.

The trails were wet and muddy and the twisty single track made things interesting. There was a nice long climb to start things out. I was able to keep Ryan and Steve in sight for most of it but by the time I got to the top a slow leak in my rear tire made my rear tire unridable. Time for a some more air, but to my surprise the Big Air strapped to my seat post decided to jump ship. Shit! I had no back up pump so I was out of luck with no means to inflate a tire.

So I started walking.........more like stomping the course. Had to walk for about 45 min till I got to a point where I could cut down the hill. I ran into Theresa Svoboda taking pics for iplay and a couple of spectators who had a pump. As I was standing beside the trail slowly changing my tire Jeremy came flying around the corner. I let out a loud "hell yeah" cause I knew he was riding in first. I didn't see the 2nd expert (Nick Waite) till a few minutes later. Looked like Jeremy was going in for the win as long as nothing tragic happened.

I got the tire ridable again and just at that time Steve came around the turn, seconds behind 4th place Steve Hill. So, I jumped on his wheel and tried to motivate Steve to pull himself up a place. He put on a hard chase but was unable to catch Hill. Good effort dude.

After stopping to give Jeremy a big man hug for the win I went the finish to finalize my DNF. But I wasn't the only one that had a tough day. Ryan had some mechanical issues but was able to finish. Nate took a nasty spill and knocked a leg and shoulder out a whack and had to DNF as well.

Even with all the misfortune, the trip was still worth while since Jermey got win #3 of the year beating some fast competition. He sits atop the point series standings and with Steve and Ryan getting solid finishes they both grabbed a chunk of series points. Great job Team RowManians.

"Jeremy collecting his loot and enjoying a winners shot"

Next up for the team:
Tour of Tucker County
Ryan doing XXC at Massanutten
Nate doing 24hrs of Big Bear on this years version of the WVMBA Dream Team
Then Appy Classic WVMBA #5

See ya at the races,

Gear point of the week:
Jeremy says the Bontrager Mud X performed like a champ in the wet muddy conditions and is definitely a good choice for the sloppy trails.