Monday, April 30

TransIowa V3 Pre recap

Well I'm home. It was an experience from start to end. Meeting all those from MTBR and Bloggerland at the prerace meeting, riding with Ira and Brian off the front at the start, outsprinting dogs on a flat tire, chicken and blue gatorade at a gas station, multiple river crossings in the darkness and cleaning every hill in the race even the sickly steep ones while cracked in the final miles. To all those I rode with throughout the day, thanks a bunch. Extra special thanks to Joe and Brian for all the conversation out there about everything from serious discussion about raising children to mile after mile of dreaming about eating bacon for breakfast.

As Marni posted and is now official, I was 2nd SS and 6th overall in just over 27 hours. I'm very pleased with how the race went although there was definitely suffering in the last couple hours after I finally cracked from trying to chase down 1st SS. Great ride out there Joe K, I couldn't reel you in.

The trip home was less awesome. My flight from Rochester was late so I missed my connection to Denver. Slept (sort of) in the airport after being awake for 45 hours straight and finally made it home today. Thanks for everyone who left comments on all the blogs. I got to read them on Dave Nice's computer after the race before I drove back to the airport.

Hopefully the full report can come tomorrow.

Thursday, April 26

Off to Iowa

Well I don't know if I'll have another chance to post before the race starts on Saturday morning, 4am Iowa time. If you're wanting to follow along these are your best chances to get some info on the race while it's going on. I'll be back Sunday night and post a quick report then if I don't get a chance to post sooner. Viva la gravel!

Marni's Blog if I can phone in updates myself
Ride424 audio updates
Offical TransIowa Blog
G-Ted Productions Blog
MTBR Endurance Forum
Really hoping to experience this feeling again...

Wednesday, April 25

CCTT #3 Report

See I cheated tonight and started this post before the races began in hopes of getting it done quickly when I got home and catching some Zzzzzzzzzz's. Well I didn't get it done quickly but I did get started. Enjoy the pictures until I post the final times. Times posted!Welcome to the water park. All that rain we've been getting here has done a number on the local waterways.Well Cherry Creek Reservior is no exception and we arrived to the races today to find a shortened course and quite the small river crossing to get to the starting line! Luckily most of the gang arrived in time to find out the change in course except for poor Bill.
The girls of course wanted to get a closer look at all that water so they almost decided to take a dip in the drink!
Mike has to show them the proper way to ride without getting wet.
Yea 15 minutes of racing is what it's all about. Go hard 'til you can't see straight and want to puke. In the end the course was only about 10k of eye blurring suffering. I didn't take my warm up too seriously and wasn't quite ready to go 31mph out of the gate but I did my best to have fun anyway. I'll take 12th on the short course with pulling my left pedal at the start any day.

The real story is Marni kicking some butt and keeping Michelle in sight and finishing 15th in the girl's cat 4's. Way to go babe!

Full Crew Results Race #3 (Provisional)
Scott De Leeuw - 18:31.07 - 20.3 mph - 57th of 66 - Sr 4 Men 35+
Dinh Le - DNS
Bill Henderson - 17:20.00 - 21.6 mph - 22nd of 23 - Sr Men 35+
Mike Brevoort - 16:56.60 - 22.1 mph - 40th of 49 - Sr 4 Men
Erik Arentzen - 17:07.86 - 21.9 mph - 42nd of 49 - Sr 4 Men
Chris Plesko - 15:16.28 - 24.6 mph - 12th of 49 - Sr 4 Men
Marni Plesko - 19:48.81 - 18.9 mph - 15th of 24 - Sr 4 Women
Melissa Clark - 21:28.73 - 17.5 mph - 21st of 24 - Sr 4 Women
Jeanie Brevoort - 21:00.20 - 17.9 mph - 18th of 24 - Sr 4 Women
Michelle Arentzen - 18:31.47 - 20.2 mph - 11th of 24- Sr 4 Women

After the races we got some tasty Jimmy John's sandwiches and sweet free loaves of bread. Score! On the way home I dropped my singlespeed off with Mr.Nice at the distillery so that he and Mike could begin the journey tomorrow to Iowa bright and early. I will be going to work and leaving around 3:30pm to catch my flight to Minnesota. Friday morning I'll grab a rental car and drive to Decorah and meet up with Dave, Mike and the rest of the TransIowa entrants. I'll get my short ride in, have dinner at Mabe's, sit nervously through GTed's pre-race meeting and then try to sleep. It's getting close now. Good night!

Tuesday, April 24


Rain is good and bad right? It brings our green spring to life and it also floods things like especially overbuilt suburbia when there is too much.
Denver got about a month's worth of rain (or snow) today depending on your particular elevation.
A few states to the east all the TransIowa contenders are hoping for enough rain to make the gravel packed and fast and not so much that we're in for a repeat of last year's unrideable mudfest. What will we get? Well we've got another couple days to wait to find out.

The bike is ready except for tomorrow's final shakedown of the new chain and computer gadgetry. The bags are 90% packed. Just need to relax now and get some sleep. The weather will be what it will be and I'm going to give it my best non-refundable plane ticket shot no matter what. Saying stuff like that is supposed to help me sleep at night right? Finishing is the number one goal...

Monday, April 23


I believe DH calls the tapered and ready to rock feeling "sparkley" among other adjectives. Well I'm not quite there yet but I can feel it coming and boy am I excited. Despite yesterday's migrane and today's standard hangover, my legs are coming around. Good solid workout hours today and great food to back it up. Tonight Marni and I made our French chicken dish accompanied by lots of salad greens and fruit. A glass of sav blanc went with it nicely too. Yum! That's going to be delicious for lunch tomorrow. Don't worry, no wine at work mom.

Paul has got the TransIowa countdown going which I've been checking every day along with the weather. Oh look Chris, there are 24 hours less on the countdown than when you checked yesterday morning. At least the weather is hanging in there so far. Temperatures are in comfortable wool clothing range with enough rain in there to keep me honest in packing. In other TransIowa news, the SS got a dose of brake work done tonight. New pads and a rotor up front coupled with new pads, cable and housing in the rear. Smooooth now. Only a couple more bike details to attend to and I'll drop it off Wednesday night for it to make the journey safely to Iowa by van with Mike and Dave while I fly after work on Thursday night.

Major props to Bill and Erik (who is blogless still) for kicking some ass training lately. Way to step up the hours Erik and start commuting. Way to go Bill with the most excellent linkage of JeffCo trails and remembering to bring me some free velco straps for the secret TI3 helmet project. Scott, now it's your turn!

Also way to go Michelle for joining the gang for the Lair O' the Bear MTB ride. You did great and you're ready to come with us whenever you want. Marni loved having you there too.

Can't forget a couple quick shout outs either. First congrats to Lynda for being back out on the dirt and second to my Dad for joining the SS 29er revolution!

I leave you with the picture dump of the last few days...


Marni got sick yesterday while on our fun Lair O' the Bear ride and I came down with what seemed to be a migrane in the car. Needless to say the rest of yesterday was spent lying in the dark suffering for both of us. Marni is still at home today while I'm here at work since I'm the only person in the lab that didn't quit or take vacation today. My migrane is gone but I'm still feeling like I got hit by a bus and pretty weak since I didn't eat anything yesterday after breakfast. Hopefully Marni will start feeling better soon. I'm going home to check on her when I have to leave to pickup a cartridge for my 3D printer here at work. At least wanting to poke my left eye out and die yesterday kept my mind off TransIowa...

Saturday, April 21

Shopped out

Awe crap, the first rendition of this crapped out so I guess this will be shorter. Today was mostly sleeping and shopping. Marni and I hit up Target, 4 different bike shops and plenty of eating establishments throughout the day. Among the purchased items were some Co2, tubes (the horror), a new chain, new cap, new gloves (scary as my favorite kind are no longer made), food, Endurolytes (damn those are expen$ive!), a trick new taillight and a few other random purchases. We also hit up the GoLite sale to scour the bins for any bargins. Marni and I found a couple hoodies plus a couple other decent deals among the picked over piles. The most relevant purchase? A pair of WP/B Reed pants that I already took scissors to in order to make knickers. They might be coming to TI depending on the forecast. Don't be afraid of women's clothing and gear modification to get things as light and perfect as possible.

Tomorrow is Lair of the Bear with some of the crew. Can't wait! Then I'll have to finalize the rest of the bike details (new pads, straighter rotor, chain, computer etc). Time for more sleep.

Friday, April 20

First Date

Last night Marni and I joined the gang again for the premier of 24 Solo. It was put on by the new Devo junior cycling team in Boulder and lots of people were in attendance. Joel and his wife Jill were also there and we got to chat a bit before and after the show.

The movie was great. We had just watched Off Road to Athens, also produced by Gripped Films and this one was just as good if not better. They did an amazing job with the camera work considering this was an actual race they were filming for much of the movie and not some actor who could stop for 50 takes. Even though I already knew the outcome (and I won't spoil it for those of you who don't), I was pretty nervous watching and I think so was Marni. The movie hit close to home for those who really know what racing this stuff solo is like and their crew who support them. Marni said my hands haven't been that clammy since our first date! She also said it glorified the crew's job a bit more than in reality which is probably true. I still owe a huge thanks to all those who have crewed for me in the past and who I'll rope into the job in the future. Right guys? :)

In the end the movie got me realy excited and also a bit nervous for TransIowa and the rest of the season. I'm really prepared physically so now I just have to focus on keeping my head in the game and execute my plan, with allowances for things going wrong. If you are at all interested in endurance races but especially if you're family and crew of a 24 solo racer, definitely find a showing of this movie or order the DVD. You'll be glad you did.

Last but certainly not least, congrats to my little bro Nick on his 13th birthday! Yesterday he entered the world of being a teenager and I wish I could have been there to celebrate with him. Hope to see you soon Nick! Now go ride with Dad on his new SS 29er...

Wednesday, April 18

CCTT #2 Report

If this report had a more clever title it would be "Try to improve, I dare you!"Cherry Creek Time Trial Series race #2 was quite windy to say the least. The day started pretty calm but the winds kicked up something fierce in the early afternoon and never let up. Marni and I rolled out from Westy and battled traffic for a while before arriving at our new warm up spot at the school.Scottina and Melissa were already there warming up so we got changed and headed down to the restrooms prior to our warmup. I think Marni got quite a scare in the women's restroom with all the girls talking about how scary it was out on course in the wind. It was much more relaxing this week though not having to get our numbers despite the wicked wind that had kicked up. By the time we got back to the car it seemed as if everyone else had joined us. We had the full crew with Bill, Dinh, Erik, Michelle, Mike, Jeanie, Marni, Scott, Melissa and me all there. Warmups went pretty smooth with the Element playing huge wind block. The wind still liked to grab my front wheel on the rollers a bit but it was plenty manageable.Eventually warm ups were done and we rolled down to the start to face our challenge. Marni's parents were there again this week and it was really fun to get to see them before the start and hear them cheer us on. First I was off and then Marni 20 seconds back.My race went well. My legs are still in early taper mode which means blah but they were at least much better than at the Roubaix on Saturday. I pushed hard into the wind passing people right and left. The big downhill into the turnaround was quite interesting as I got airborn for a second in the aerobars at 42.1mph! I think the course worker probably had a chuckle when I screamed a bit. After the turnaround I did my best to harness the crosswinds into forward momentum but I was pretty gassed pushing the big ring into the headwinds. Finally I got out of the trees and started to pickup a crosstailwind and then a full on tailwind. 30-35mph cruising never felt so good. I gave it my all with my left calf starting to revolt near the line. I saw Marni's parents as I crossed the line and eventually circled back to hang out with them and cheer everyone else on.Everyone came along pretty fast except for Dan the man who flatted and Scott rode out to rescue him with a tube and CO2. Marni ripped it across the line only a little over a minute slower than last week which was awesome. Way to go babe! Final results put everyone slower than last week although the Brevoort's were the big winning couple with both of them less than 60 seconds slower than the week before. Way to go Mike and Jeanie! Marni and I weren't far being them though :D

Full Crew Results Race #2 (Final)
Scott De Leeuw - 32:53.5 - 19.2 mph - 65th of 71 - Sr 4 Men 35+
Dinh Le - 55:52.4 - 11.3 mph - 71st of 71 - Sr 4 Men 35+ (flat tire)
Bill Henderson - 29:29.3 - 21.4 mph - 20th of 23 - Sr Men 35+
Mike Brevoort - 30:08.8 - 20.9 mph - 45th of 62 - Sr 4 Men
Erik Arentzen - 30:36.3 - 20.6 mph - 50th of 62 - Sr 4 Men
Chris Plesko - 26:10.9 - 24.1 mph - 8th of 62 - Sr 4 Men
Marni Plesko - 36:10.0 - 17.4 mph - 25th of 32 - Sr 4 Women
Melissa Clark - 39:00.4 - 16.2 mph - 31st of 32 - Sr 4 Women
Jeanie Brevoort - 36:18.3 - 17.4 mph - 26th of 32 - Sr 4 Women
Michelle Arentzen - 32:33.8 - 19.3 mph - 16th of 32 - Sr 4 Women After the race we all waited around for the results and took a group picture before heading off to Snooze for Dave Nice's GDR Fundraiser party. I think a good time was had by all there so it was quite a sucessful night for everyone. Hopefully next week it won't be so windy!


We're in the final 10 days now and TransIowa is haunting my thoughts and dreams. Everything is prepared physically which leaves me the bike, gear, food and weather to stress over. Actually almost everything else really is set, just pending the final weather report. There are only a few things to buy, arrange and triple check before I leave 8 days from now. My strategy is to finish and after that I'm holding the rest of the plan close to my chest.

Throughout all this I still have to keep one eye towards my Grand Loop planning. Things have arrived and more things have been ordered and delivery dates will now be worried over. Even KTR is an afterthought at the moment, although my post TI downtime will certainly bring it to the forefront of my mind.

Tonight however is the second race of the CCTT series and Marni is going to do great with her new aerobars. Me? Well we'll see. I made some small but important tweeks yesterday to my position and I felt okay at 34(!) mph while trying them out. After the race we'll head over to Dave's party for a bit. Tomorrow is the primere of 24 Solo here in Boulder and it sounds like some of the gang will be joining us there as well. Maybe all that stuff can keep my mind from being totally consumed... Paul, your countdown will soon be up!

Sunday, April 15


Well there is no more big work to be done. Today I went out for another big ride on the Monocog. Huge thanks to Erik for coming along. I'm not sure that I would have left the couch (or bed) this morning without someone else holding me to my word about riding.
Here's a few more pictures from yesterday's race, this time from Marni's camera.
Today was good. Beautiful weather, good company and a weird assortment of food. Mini Snickers, Ensure Plus, blue Gatorade, jerky and some cliffblocks powered me for 79 miles and 3200 vertical feet. I could have made the century mark again for sure but it was getting to be evening already since we slept in today and I didn't want to be cooking dinner at 8pm so I bagged it a bit early.

Total for the 3 day binge:
286 total miles
152 miles on the road bike
134 miles on the singlespeed MTB
~14,000 vertical feet
~15.5 mph average

The best part? I never felt cooked or had any injury symptoms. My muscles easily kept doing whatever my head would tell them and my knees and joints never complained. Hopefully that continues into the future.

Time for sleep...

Saturday, April 14

One more day

Okay this will be a quick and dirty abreviated version of today. Thanks to Bill for the picture! More pictures from Marni's camera tomorrow and maybe Erik's too. And if you think the following is crazy, you should checkout Mr.Nice's blog when he gets home. He was well on his way to a double century on his 'sheep when we parted ways in Longmont.

I started out just after 6am and rode up to Boulder for the Boulder Roubaix road race. The race went okay. I had no fast legs and I made a stupid mistake early, got caught behind an almost(?) crash and had to slow a lot and run the base of a hill. The pack which I was (stupidly) at the back of took off and I got gapped. I chased as hard as I could but without an ubertopend today I couldn't catch. Eventually I sat up in no man's land until a small group caught me which contained my team mate Brad. After another 3/4 of a lap I got the chase group to organize into a decent paceline and we made good time from there. The final sprint was so-so. I tried to jump early but spun in the dirt and screwed myself. Stuck on the front I lead the group out and got 3rd out of our little pack. So so result but a great workout nonetheless. A 75% dirt road race at 22+ mph. After the ride Marni took all my stuff (she also gave me awesome handups and brought clothes to change into at the start line since it was 25deg when I left at sunrise) and I headed off with Erik, Dave and Michelle. We rode to Carter Lake and then back to Erik and Michelle's house in Longmont. From there I split off and headed home while Dave headed to find food in town. Just into Hygene I met another Feedback team member from the 4's (Andy) and we rode togther. Another 30 something miles later I climbed the Wall and cruised the last 6 miles in 20 minutes to get home.

Totals for the day:
152 miles
6800+ vertical feet
1 43 mile Cat 4 road race
Top Speed 52.8mph (Erik and Michelle were smoking me down the hill too)
Average speed 15.7mph

Yep. Just one more training day tomorrow on the Monocog and it's TransIowa taper time. Nice to see Mike out at the race today too! Hope it went well for ya. Well it's time for a movie up in bed, goodnight everyone.

Friday, April 13

The final push

Well the weeks are flying by and Monday starts my taper for Trans Iowa V3. That leaves just one more weekend of dedication and hard work to go. Luckily I think all that snow is just going to be flurries and the weekend will be reasonable, maybe even up to 60. Tonight I'll be heading out after work to drop off my entry for the Roubaix and put another few hours in on the road bike before I meet Marni for dinner at Murphy's. Tomorrow morning it's up early to ride to Boulder and race the Boulder Roubaix at 8:30am with the Cat 4 men. Big thanks to Marni for coming out to watch and help me with handups if needed. Sounds like Joel is also going to be out there shooting some pictures of the race and some of the boys might show up for our ride early to watch. After the race I'll be heading out to continue my ride with Erik, Bill and Dave out to Carter Lake before riding home eventually. Saturday night I'll recover and get some sleep. Early Sunday I'll be up and riding for a bit before meeting up with the boys again for more riding. Sunday I'll be on the Monocog perfecting my TI setup and I'll put in another 150 miles if I'm lucky. Making it home for Sunday dinner will be oh so sweet and I'll be more than ready for taper time. There you have it. The weekend goal in writing. Time to execute.

Thursday, April 12

Thursday post

Really this is my Thursday post. Look at the time stamp and everything. No really. I didn't post it this morning and roll back the time because I fell asleep on the couch. Actually I just liked these pictures and wanted to post them up. There was a big snow storm predicted but it never came. Instead it was just cloudy cold riding on the SS yesterday. Legs felt good though so maybe I'll race the Roubaix tomorrow as part of my 100 miles or so? More later when I figure out my training for this weekend.

Wednesday, April 11

CCTT #1 Report

The first race of the series went well all things considered. Marni and I arrived plenty early but the line to get our numbers and t-shirts was very slow moving. We went straight there when we arrived, hit the bathroom afterwords and got changed as quickly as possible.
Despite our early arrival and hurry to get our numbers we still ended up short on time. I ran out of time to do even my full short version of the warm up plus the chilly temperatures and windy conditions made clothing choice a little harder. Nevertheless at least we got some warm up time in unlike a few of our unlucky friends! I tried to stay calm and remain focused on getting Marni ready for her race. I knew what to expect already and didn't really care what happened in my race so I wanted to make sure she had a good first time trial.
We took a few pictures while we adjusted layers, ate some Clif Blocks and drank a little water. Marni had some cramping issues in the race so I think hydration during her everyday routine needs some work. Other than that the pre-race prep went okay and I think next time already having our numbers we will have more than enough time for getting ready and proper full warmups.
With 5 minutes to the start we hopped off the trainers, I ditched my jacket and we tossed everything we didn't need into the Element. We got to the start line in the perfect amount of time and soon after I was off on my ride. Marni followed me 20 seconds later and thanks to our "start house" practice last night, she had a clean getaway and didn't worry about the person holding her up before the start.

My race went well with a decent tailwind on the front part of the course. After the first couple miles things alternated between crosswinds and headwinds and I did my best to stay in position and on the power. I definitely need to tweek my TT position a little more and get a significant amount more training on it this year. My breathing sucked and I'd have to rate my stillness and head position as quite sloppy with my cornering coming in as poor. Luckily the power seemed to be there anyway despite a so-so ride and I was quite happy to stop the clock just a couple ticks past 25 minutes. That's only 22 seconds slower than last year's fastest time despite plenty of areas for improvement. It felt good to do some real hard riding though after all my endurance training and I'm looking forward to the rest of the series. I've been easing my way into the speedwork this year since it's such a long season. Plus I even managed to score 5th place in my catagory. Go figure!

Marni's race seemed to go well. She was the first of our girls to start and had someone to chase when Michelle passed her and motivation to stay ahead of the other girls starting behind her. Without aerobars and with some leg cramps in the final 3 miles she still managed an 18.1 mph average to finish under 35 minutes. Way to go babe! You're going to do great with some more practice and your aerobars in the future. Pretty much every free and purchased speed trick in the book is still available to you.

After the race we got to say "Hi" to Marni's parents who arrived in time to see both of us finish. That was a nice treat and Marni was really excited. Then the group got warm clothes on and headed to Old C's for some dinner. One time trial down, six more to go. Let's see who will be most improved! (Here's a hint, not the writer of this blog.)

Full Crew Results Race #1 (Final)
Scott De Leeuw - 31:04.8 - 20.3 mph - 66th of 70 - Sr 4 Men 35+
Dinh Le - 29:00.7 - 21.7 mph - 56th of 70 - Sr 4 Men 35+
Bill Henderson - 27:44.5 - 22.7 mph - 18th of 22 - Sr Men 35+
Mike Brevoort - 29:18.8 - 21.5 mph - 45th of 57 - Sr 4 Men
Erik Arentzen - 28:40.0 - 22.0 mph - 49th of 57 - Sr 4 Men
Chris Plesko - 25:02.4 - 25.2 mph - 5th of 57 - Sr 4 Men
Marni Plesko - 34:52.6 - 18.1 mph - 21st of 28 - Sr 4 Women
Melissa Clark - 36:38.9 - 17.2 mph - 26th of 28 - Sr 4 Women
Jeanie Brevoort - 35:25.2 - 17.8 mph - 24th of 28 - Sr 4 Women
Michelle Arentzen - 31:07.8 - 20.2 mph - 13th of 28 - Sr 4 Women

If you guys or girls really had a faster time due to a missed start, email it to me and I'll update it for our personal series record keeping.