It's not very hard to talk me into going up to Marquette, MI to bike race. All my experiences there have always been fun and the weather has always been perfect. This year, Brian, Andrea, Alicia, Jamie and I all rented a cabin on Lake Superior for the weekend for an awesome weekend of racing, grilling, hanging out, and relaxing?!
Friday night we kicked it all off with a 9:30 pm "Solstice" criterium in downtown Marquette. 8 corners and a .7 mile lap meant screaming fast lap times and a ridiculous average speed with Bissel, Priority Health, and Frank Pipp of Health Net turning the screws. Brian and I both pulled off a top 10.
No pictures from Saturday's 100 mile death march road race. Racing two big teams that are only trying to beat each other and Frank Pipp was tough, there wasn't much to do but follow and hope to get lucky. I didn't get lucky enough to make the split, but finally after 90 miles I got away with two other guys to roll in for another 9th place. Had to bust out the grilling skills that night for the beach house barbecue, we ate well and had to finish it off with a nice lake Superior ice bath to cool down the legs. It was cold, really cold.
Not part of the stage race, but always part of the weekend, the mtn bike race Sunday morning at Marquette mountain. If every race could be like the race at Marquette mountain, mountain biking would actually be mountain biking in the midwest. It was my first chance to race the GT marathon on some serious trails. Technical rocky singletrack, sustained singletrack and four wheeler climbs, and decents long and technical enough to open significant gaps. There should be more races at Marquette mountain, I'd do them all.
Immediately following the mtn bike race it was back in the car, stuff some food down our throats, switch back to the road shoes and head over to the final stage of the stage race.
I think the most interesting part of the weekend was discovering that after doing an hour fourty-five minute mountain bike race, sitting in a pack of riders is waayyyyyyy easy. I thought I'd be toast by this point, but the before and after feeling from the circuit race was exactly the same and I think my only comment after the race was - that was easy.
Well, easy until 3 hours later when we had to pack the car up and head home, that's when we discovered we were slightly blown out from the weekend. It was an awesome weekend though and you can't ask for better racing or weather in the midwest.