Friday, October 30, 2009

Bluff-Land Epic; Part II of the race recap...

Part II: A redemption of sorts….

As we left our intrepid group, Eki was “circling the drain”, Farrow leaving the pit alone, had embarked upon a forlorn hope that the man-child would falter and that Schotz would experience a catastrophic collapse, and yet all the while Kershaw seemed to be taking it all in stride.

This was Kershaw’s first twelve hour mountain bike race, which would be a daunting proposition for most, but for him it was just another weekend endeavor. Kershaw first appeared on the DBD radar when rumors of his epic Arrowhead 135 ski first surfaced early last February. To ski the full Arrowhead135 is a rarely accomplished feat and takes a tremendous amount of fortitude (note: only four or perhaps five have ever been able to ski it). Regarding his impressions of his first WEMS, from his diary, he submits simply and without fanfare: “I thought to myself that this is going to be the most brutal day of riding I have ever had (think rugby on a bike). Ironically, as the laps started adding up, I found that I got stronger and more skillful at negotiating the course. I thought for sure my first lap would the strongest, but really the laps toward the end were cleaner and more satisfying.”

When queried about whether he had seen Eki during those fateful hours comprising the mid-race parameter, Kershaw volunteered, “I did see Eki near the half way point of the race at the pit-stop, and he seemed steady, yet I initially found it strange that he would linger during the heat of the race. Furthermore, I was taken aback when he asked me to roll him a ‘Kotak Adjaib.’ He was at the pit when I arrived and thus he greeted me with a, ‘Bravo Kershaw, well done!!!’ Before I could respond in kind, he quickly added a most disturbing request….’Say Kershaw, I am having a bit of a time of it, and I am afraid that I am played out. Me hands are all but useless. Hence, would you be a good chap and roll me a tight Kretek with the blend that we use for these sorts of occasions?’”

Having studied DBD protocols, Kershaw knew that Eki was asking him to assist in rolling the proverbial “last smoke”; essentially a rite of passage as old as the founding of the Freemasons. Nevertheless, Kershaw did as he was told and then following further instructions (as any good under-study should), placed the hand-rolled cigarette between the clinched teeth of the stalwart, yet pale Eki. Eki then signaled, using secret hand gestures as ancient as Stonehenge, that he required some distance. Kershaw, being a quick-witted lad, knew the score and thus swiftly mounted his Clockwork steed (a creation of local fire and steel) and made haste unto the course for yet another lap on the torturous course.

As Kershaw worked his fully rigid 29er machine across the myriad of logs and stones and hills and gulches, where upon a particular traversing criss-cross he spied Farrow. Their eyes momentarily met and Farrow called out, “Well done young Kershaw, perchance what news, if any, on old Eki?”

“I am afraid Sir Eki has inhaled his last smoke!” was all there was time for Kershaw to utter…lest we forget that there was a race going on! Upon hearing the news, a strange incomprehensible saline solution momentarily filled old Farrow’s crusty eyes, but he wiped it away and bucked up. Again, there was a race to be fought.

It went on like that for the rest of the lap, with each rider alone with his thoughts of imperfection, absurdity, and the finiteness of our time here on this planet. It helped ones demeanor to curse with dramatic discourse the logs, the unrelenting logs, the God forsaken logs. As he neared the pit stop, again Farrow felt unfathomable pangs deep within is manly loin area, for he knew that old Eki would be well on his way to “a better place, where men don’t have to shoot their dogs and eat their livers.” Yet, upon arrival to the pits there was no corpse of Eki? How strange?

Farrow asked the mother of the man-child (whose pit was close by), “For where art thy Eki?” The matronly woman, reluctant to give forth any semblance of information that might benefit the aged rivals of her off-spring feigned muteness. But Farrow was in a surly mood and was thus not willing to use his legendary charm to coax a reply from the loyal mother. Instead, he charged forth from his steed and once again within a close proximity declared with feeling, “Do you know where Eki is?”

The woman relinquished in hushed tones, “He took a few drags off of a foul cigarette, paused, looked upward to the sky, snuffed it out, put a leather case that looked to house a WWI era British Issue revolver back into his rucksack, mounted his steed and rode off. But, it matters not, I tell you, for neither of you shall catch my son!!”

Eki had experienced a renaissance, a revival, a reawakening, and was back in the fray…Farrow’s heart soared, even his chapped loins rejoiced…. Eki was back in the game...

“Hold your tongue, woman!” But alas, Farrow did not hear her foreboding words and only knew a great sense of relief. Released from negative thoughts of body disposal and the like, Farrow’s bike seemed lighter, the hills softer, the logs less loggier

AS fate would have it, Farrow and Eki were not able to reel in the impressive youth and Schotz was not about to be stopped. But Kershaw proved himself an able endurance rider winning the single speed class. All survived to fight another day. Bully!

[Postscript: The talented young rider that took second place in this event is named: Jake Begley...Unbeknownst to the writer upon the initial publication of this recount due to a delay in access to the official results. Bravo Young Jake, your future looks bright indeed!!!]

Submitted by W. Churchill, Club Historian

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Get those entry fees in...Pronto...

Hey Sports Fans: Don't pass up the Tuscobia (12/19) and the Northshore Ultra (in mid January)...these are local events put on by guyz that love racing and want to afford more "USCycling nonsanctioned" affordable, thoughtful, and challenging events up here in the Northland. WE NEED TO SUPPORT THESE KINDS OF EVENTS!...Send in your entry fees before November 1st and save big bucks. I have personal knowledge of the one in Duluth and it is gonna be GREAT.....Access available to their perspective sites on the right of this page...Winter racing is a total blast...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Part I: WEMS--The Bluff-Land Epic Chronicles

So after all the trials and tribulations, all the ups and downs, it had finally come to this— his final stage exit. Of course both the poets and the novelists would have conjured a more fitting end to a noble life lived, but such is the tragedy of authenticity. Like Achilles, he was known by anyone and everyone who had ridden with him to be a brightly shining, glowing star that would never stand for the fading mediocrity and spiteful nature that irrefutably accompanies the corps of the aged enduro-racer (think Farrow and his curmudgeons).

Eki’s gums were swollen and his teeth loose— the first signs of scurvy, his hands were decrepit, really mere useless claws— from hours of log jumping, and his lifeless knees were so misshaped and swollen that they resembled nothing more than two large black leather bags of marbles, relics of the like used by school children of antiquity.

"Be a good sport and send me diary to my widow," were the first words he had spoken to his comrade, Farrow, since the second lap of the Buff-lands Epic 12 hour WEMS race, now it was some five hours later. Farrow feigned deafness and thus said nothing. He, too, was living through his own hell, but his base instinctual need to track and hopefully wear-down the man-child rider that was out ahead of them, gave him misguided strength to push through the dark times that they were now collectively experiencing. But let us not forget that Farrow had somewhat comparatively fresh legs while the stoic Eki was six hours into his eighth WEMS race and his eleventh endurance race of the season. Both of the old lads were teetering on the precipice; that fine line between movement and lock-up and Eki, rightfully so, was feeling it down down down to his very soul.

Shortly thereafter, together they arrived to the pit area having nonverbally agreed (using secret hand-symbols as old as Stonehenge) to make a momentary stop to reload on fuel. Upon arrival, Eki (in a sullen down trodden voice that still maintained an air of detachment and honor) declared with candor, yet simply, "I am just going inside to that yonder Porta-potty and may be some time; perhaps I’m cutting you loose. I did enjoy the time. Give my regards." Then with admirable forthrightness Eki stumbled and tottered, ultimately breaking from that sacred bondage that exists betwixt racer and his trusted two-wheeled steed, then he gently laid the freed bicycle on the turf, and did NOT look back. Next with stern deliberation tinged with a hint of regret, he reached into his rucksack and revealed a smallish leather configuration of the size not unlike that of which an antique WWI-era British military-issue revolver might reside. Of course, given DBD speak, the lexicological implications of his statements (and his subsequent actions) were clear, he was all ‘played out’ and thus he knew the manifestations of such a realization required a drastic protocol to fulfill his solemn oath to the DBD Honor Code. Mallory, who was there in an observatory role, recently reminisced, "At the Bluff-Lands epic, we knew that poor Eki was walking to his death, but though we briefly considered an effort to dissuade him, we knew it was the act of a brave man and an English gentleman. I, for one, felt a tremendous since of pride."
The reader may ask, “Where was Farrow with all this drama playing itself out?" Already devastated by a glimpse of the hard-charging dark-angel and mischievous sprite, Schotz, who was in hot pursuit, Farrow was thus forced to confront the real possibility of being lapped and thus further humiliated. Plus he had to wrestle with news that the youth was gaining momentum. All of it put together, essentially had the effect of simply and irrevocably numbing him to the circumstances as they unfolded.

“I admit that I was a wreck, but I do remember when old Eki produced the smallish leather configuration from his rucksack, that my eyes began to fill with a strange incomprehensible salty solution…but really I felt nothing. I guess I do remember hoping that he would leave me his new Gary Fisher. I remember asking myself if it would be inappropriate to sell it, or how long I should hold on to it before I tried to sell it. I guess I also remember thinking that he was going the same path as “King”, Amundsen’s favorite husky, when the Norwegians ran out of food on their back from way the Pole,” reflected an unapologetic Farrow.

At Mallory’s drunken urgings, after a very brief bout involving a deeply, cognitive sense of loss (or may be it was forbearance) for his fallen comrade, Farrow shook off his melancholy and with renewed fortitude manifested by a stiff upper lip and a jutting chin, rode off for another lap with a hope and a prayer that the two leaders would falter. Farrow knew that the leader, Schotz, was solid. In fact probably on any given day, Schotz is the best in the Midwest at this distance, and so the most that he could hope for was that the irrepressible Schotz would suffer a mechanical. However, for the untested youth in second place, he thought that a real chance still existed if he could continue to ride at a steady pace of about fifty-five minutes per lap. Thus a mid-race plan was hatched, Farrow would steady himself and grind it out, playing the odds, which usually meant that the youthful ones would eventually falter, especially once the sun set and the darkness came onto the racers and demons begin to stalk their quarry with tenacity. Yet as the course brought forth its unrelenting climbs and its immeasurable logs (placed willy-nilly, thus representing a scourge of biblical proportions for any lightweight wheel-set), the grave underpinnings of what he had just witnessed regarding the reduction of Eki began to take hold of him. Although the lap times were short, nearly always under an hour, even late in the race, this particular lap seemed to take forever. A loud report, which turned out to be no more than a stick breaking, nearly sent him into the dirt. Was Eki’s “card finally punched?” Had he really ‘cashed in his chips’, ‘bit the dust’, ‘brought the farm’, ‘gone belly up’, ‘kicked the bucket?’ Had the ‘fat lady finally sang’, for old Eki?
To find out….Read Part II…Will Eki end it all to avoid a DNF? Will Kershaw supply the final finger of rum and cigarette to the inconsolable Eki? Will Farrow persevere? Will Kershaw impress? The answers to all these questions and more will be revealed in Part II…

Narrative by W. Churchill, Club Historian

Monday, October 19, 2009

La Crosse was such a BLAST!!!! Thanks again...WEMS is the best series in the NATION...thatz right, the NATION!!!!

The WEMS @La Crosse did not disappoint [The Bluffland Epic]: Schotz schools the field, Youth confounds Duo from DBD, Kershaw impresses veterans, Eki miraculously climbs out of the Abyss of the Damned, Farrow stays relatively sober for much of the race…A fully embellished race recap to follow in a few dayz…Thanks to the guyz at the HPT [Human powered trails] :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Coulee Valley Country amid the OLD MAN RIVER awaits!!!

Brave men and women, upon two-wheeled mounts, congregate this Saturday upon the picturesque Mississippi Bluff Country to battle demons...Deep within their fiery loins, these soldiers of righteousness know that the battle has already been decided by forces well beyond their comprehension...May the gods of antiquity take mercy on the small contingent from the MN northern lats and yet strike down the interlopers from west central Wisconsin...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Extra Extra Extra

A.P. via telegraph wire: Eki Found, Alive!

Follow up to: Eki Missing, Farrow Person of Interest--

Duluth Chief of Police: Tim Ek or "Eki" as some know him, has been located. You may recall the stalwart cyclist recently went missing after his ill fated Heck of the North attempt. Investigators have been working around the clock to locate the man. Investigations have included extensive interviews with Farrow, who I might add, is clearly disturbed, as well as a detailed forensic look at the scene where the chainless Specialized Tri-Cross was discovered, near Grain Elevator #5. The facts are these; Farrow, despite finger nail removal, water boarding, and a relentless onslaught of cold water enemas maintains that he was not involved. Tracks were found at the lake shore that lead straight away from the bicycle and disappeared at the water's edge. To us, this meant "Eki" did leave the shore on his own, albeit with help from Farrow's coaxing efforts to have him "end it all, as it should be done, according to the DBD…”

Now, here's where the story takes a turn for the surreal. Eki was discovered in a remote trading post near Hudson's Bay. It seems he stowed away on a 1000 footer, made his way through the St. Lawrence Seaway at which point he identified with a renaissance festival and ultimately an unsavory group of individuals who transported him to upstate New York. It seems he spent some time in the Hamptons portraying himself as a wealthy descendent of an individual he's only identified as "Mallory".

It was approximately two weeks later that he was discovered working on a remote trap line near Hudson's Bay. In his possession was a picture of a crazed looking Farrow in a tee-pee that investigators have determined was a rest point in last year's Arrowhead 135 ( hard-core winter cycling race) and a DVD of the movie Into the Wild. It appears that the aged athlete was so ashamed of himself and what he'd done to the reputation of all that is DBD during the Heck of the North he was doing his own impression of Alexander Supertramp or Chris McCandless.

Eki's wife was available for comment after her recent release from the archaic mental health facility in Moose Lake, Mn where she did a short stint following a break down that she still places firmly on Farrow's shoulders. Ms. Ek was allowed to view a picture of the grayed and scurvy ridden Eki and speak to him briefly via satellite phone as he was being flown back to Minnesota for further questioning regarding his partner's (Farrow) involvement in his disappearance. She had this to say, "The man in that picture is not my husband, the man on the phone was not my husband. I WANT MY HUSBAND BACK!! DAMN YOU FARROW!!"

The Duluth Police Department is deeply satisfied with this outcome and also acknowledges that there clearly is a long road ahead for Ek and his wife, but with years of therapy we're confident that they'll pull through this. As for Farrow, he is currently being held, but will be allowed a "work release" if you will for an upcoming WEMS race in La Crosse that he plans to attend with, yes, his partner, Eki.

In a bizarre turn of events, earlier day, upon leaving the Kitchee Gammee Club in east Duluth after consuming a seven course "lunch", as the duo escaped the throngs of curiosity-seekers by commandeering a local rickshaw, Eki yelled out, “Bully, Bully, we are good to go…onward to victory” As Farrow prominently displayed the V for victory hand gesture.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Is there serious trouble at the DBD? —An exclusive interview with Earnest Shackleton, the second in command at the DBD…

In what can only be surmised as a calculated effort to head off the advent of potentially damaging media coverage of what has been described by many pundits as a “disastrous month” for the prestigious, albeit secretive, even cryptic, DBD Adventure Club, Sir Earnest Shackleton, second in command @ the DBD, has agreed to sit for an unprecedented interview session (even though suffering from snow blindness, exacerbated by his untimely death). The interview was held at the majestic DBD Smoking- Room within the fabled Kitchi Gummee Club situated in old Duluth. Note: Shackleton insisted that he speak in a rare Highland Sherpa dialect, so much of the interview involved an interpreter (of Shackleton’s choosing). Also, while Mallory was indeed in attendance, he refused to answer any and all questions, but he freely imbibed, with disconcerting gusto, upon the generous stocks of aged whiskey and other hand crafted libations.

Interviewer: Sir Earnest Shackelton is there indeed a schism developing within the DBD?

Shackleton: Please call me “Ernie.” Do you mind if I smoke my pipe? Please feel free to do like wise. Can I have my Man-servant get you anything? A little brandy perhaps?

Interviewer: Are the rumors true? Sir Shackleton, is there serious internal divisiveness within the DBD?

Shackleton: Please call me “Ernie.” Would you care for a bit of pickled caribou?

Interviewer: Ernie, are the rumors true?

Shackleton: We are not unaware of the public perception that there is currently a degree of tumult within the club. But you must remember that we are a group of unrestrained individuals that do not hide disapproval or discontent, even when other club members are involved. When Hillary and Tensing stepped onto the summit of Everest, Mallory and his boyz cried foul due to the use of bottled oxygen by the 1953 team. When Amundsen ate his dogs, Scott’s crew was quick to criticize. When Tilman sank his beloved Mischief in the chilly waters off Norway, Slocum openly snickered. When Eki left Farrow for dead during the Trans-Iowa V, Mallory went on a drunken binge and broke a bottle of Remy Cointreau cognac over a pro-Eki club member’s head in this very room. These spats are nothing new, they happen from time to time, and they always resolve themselves in fact I find the whole matter rather invigorating.

Interviewer: Our sources indicate that The New York Explorers Club recently leaked to the New York Times that Mallory had gone completely berserk upon news of the Heck of the North debacle, yet out of fear for their personal safety, the powers-that-be at the NYT opted to not publish the leak. Can you shed some light onto this?…Is this true; is the DBD involved in some kind of extortion or cover-up?

Shackleton: It would be inaccurate to convey to you that our group has never ever engaged in active disagreement with the New York Explorer Club. We acknowledge that our people in the American colonies have, of late, had a tough time of it. But let me remind you that Eki has done something like ten enduro-cycling events this year, something like 140 hours of racing (an amazing number), so of course the hinge factor will swing against him from time to time. Eki has done the club proud with his efforts at the Trans-Iowa and his work at the WEMS races. We are not uninformed as to Farrow’s propensity for erratic behavior, but the same can be said of both Dr. Cook and Mawson, who upon maturing with age (and untimely deaths) have become model club members.

Interviewer: What do you make of the young up-starts, Kershaw and Buffington? Buffington has gone on record as comparing the DBD with a “Barney Fun Club for the Aged.” And Kershaw has raised eyebrows with his implied tendencies to reject conventional religion for the occult with his attack on the religious affiliation of the recipients of Farrow’s heroism during that recent fire rescue.

Shackleton: It would be to mislead to deny that we know nothing of these two young men. Of course Buffington’s comment was simply a manifestation of his frustration in learning of the long road ahead, should he pursue his dream of being chosen. We cannot confirm nor deny that Kershaw’s effort to craft a DBD-like cycling event within the barrens of the Northern reaches of America met with approval. Perhaps some among us felt that it was too short, while others may have conceded that it was a great expression of distaste for the direction most cycling events are heading within the colonies. But as you are no doubt aware, entry into the club nowadays requires one to have met with an untimely, albeit honorable death or to be grandfathered in by those few among us that are still among the living. To answer your question: Yes. We know of them, we know of Buffington’s impressive effort at the recent WEMS event at the Thunderdown where he rode to an overall second place finish on a single-speed. And we know that he was in the lead going into the final lap; he could have won and next time he will win. We were privy to Kershaw’s effort at last February’s Arrowhead 135 where he skied the arduous route in impressive fashion. A feat that is not easily achieved and has thus defeated many solid men. As to his supposed tendencies towards supernatural phenomena, who cares! Is he a Devil Worshipper? It matters not for again we accept all, or nearly all, as long as the fellow is tough-as-nails! Itz none of our business! Let me take a moment to convey to your readership that the DBD is proud of itz efforts at maintaining diversity within our ranks. Henson, Norgay, London, Vonnegut, Prince Luigi Amedeo of Savoy-Aosta, Dylan, Crazy Horse, and Uemura are all life-time and post life-time members and we pride ourselves on complete tolerance of any and all belief systems (sans fascism, alcohol & caffeine abstainers, serious people, and the like). If someday Kershaw would be asked to join he would clearly fit in well with the group regardless of his spiritual leanings.

Interviewer: What is ahead for the group?

Shackleton: We intend to have a presence at this upcoming weekend's final WEMS event at La Crosse. The club shall also be represented at the classic Arrowhead 135 as well as the two upstarts, the Tuscobia and the Northshore Ultra. Oh my! Look what time it is? Sorry, I need to get a move on as Mallory and I due to have tea with the Queen Mum…Cheerio…I hope this helps to quell any rumors…all is worries...


Ben Koenig from Wisconsin....Third place @ Moab 24 hour Championships....Most Impressive...Where has he been hiding?...He is just a 21 year old KID!!!! Amazing...I wonder how he could afford it? Great impressive...BRAVO

Thursday, October 8, 2009

24 Hours @ Moab

Good luck to all the millionaires as they compete for the United States Cycling Org. endorsed MTB National Championships for 24 Hours...held in Moab, Utah this coming weekend...I'd love to do the 24 Hr National Championships again someday as it is a cool thing to line up next to the best( I assume their people pay the exorbitant expenses), but I fear that the accountants are now in charge of National Cycling Events in this country... (I did it the two times, when it was at 9 Mile @ a tiny fraction of what it now costs). No way would I ever pay that kind of money to do a 24 hour MTB loop race, maybe if it was one of the Alaskan Classics or a stage race up in Canada. The day before and the day after, a guy can ride that same course for $0.00, but on the day of the event, to race @ Moab, it costs something like $350+ entry fee, $60 for the United States Cycling License (it may be more), plus they charge you to camp, etc. etc. etc.,....So it would cost a guy from the Midwest close to $1000 to race in it, may be even more than that!!!! ...NO WAY, NO WAY...even if I could afford it, there is no way. The whole thing reeks of shameless opportunistic greed... In any event, Good luck to Charly Tri, if he can ride at his potential he will be right up there in the top five!!!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Thanking Jeremy Kershaw, his beautiful family, and all the other great volunteers!!! The Heck of the North was a resounding success!!!

I felt like I was in the middle of some kind of a senior citizens convention, Farrow kept wanting the group to stop so he could take yet another leak and all of his old cronies in the back row were egging him on telling him to ride up to the front and stop the race and then all these other old guyz were comparing bikes bragging about like ’yeah this bike is from 1976’ and then they were all complaining about having weak bladders and colonoscopies and cancers and bad eyes and sore knees, and bad kids, it was all very strange.” J. Ross Fraboni.

Regardless of the youthful Fraboni’s take on the Heck of the North and while it is true that the peleton was well represented by the elder statesmen of the sport, the race was won fair and square by three youthful albeit delightfully amicable characters. The overall title went to a fine young local family man, Shawn Gort (in an impressive time of 5 hours and 43 minutes) whilst the prestigious title of fastest man on a single speed went to a young unassuming fellow from Madison, Wisconsin named Matt Braun (thatz the same Braun that finished in fourth place, with his brother, at this spring’s 300+ mile Trans-Iowa) and the fastest female of the day went to Kristin Riching. While I did not have the pleasure of meeting Ms. Riching, I heard nothing but great things about her. Letz work to get more women racing next year!

Todd McFadden (Duluth resident and simply one of the best mountain bike racers in the Midwest for the last decade or more) and Tim Andrew (a fine all round athlete from Duluth) followed closely into the finish on Gort’s wheel. The top ten also included Mike Dietzman ( a fast fast rider from Ely and getting faster), David Lugwigson (classic rival of Pramann for decades...think Lance and Ulrich, but not really), Chris Shotz (perennial winner of the Hard-Core WEMS series) , Ross Fraboni (multi-faceted rider—can do it all), Jim Palmer (strong rider from Rochester, that keeps getting faster), and Dave Pramann (thatz the same Pramann that tied for 2nd place with Eki at this spring’s Trans-Iowa—the race by which all other gravel road races are measured and the same Pramann that has ridden the Arrowhead 135 four times and in two record setting times, of which no one has come within four or five hours of touching!!!). So you can see that it was a group of seasoned and very talented riders.

Apart from those mentioned above there are several others that bear mention, as well, for noteworthy performances including; Rich Hendricks who last raced his bicycle in 1986 and yet placed third in the single speed category and is now primed for a go at winter racing. Chris Skogen (of the masterful Almanzo 100) at 210 lbs looked exceptionally strong; Hansi Johnson not far off the front group looked like he had been out for a ride in the park at the finish; while Dean Gies, Mike Weispfenning, Mick Dodds, Matt Evingson and Scott Totten-Hall, all venerable fixtures here in town representing the very best about cycling in Duluth, Minnesota, all finished and all with smiles on their faces. Dave Simmon (good friend of the author, Arrowhead 135, Dirty Kanza 200, and Red Ass 300 finisher), finished well even though he has a new baby to think about. Josh Peterson, (a full on Suffer-Fest professional and stalwart gravel road and mtb racer with a pendent for grave suffering at the annual Arrowhead135) finished well and also was the creator of the wonderful trophies. A special thank you to JOSH PETERSON... And another special kudo to Jason Buffington for his TOP-NOTCH post party...complete with most excellent hand crafted brews....

In all seriousness or as much as I can muster, I do believe that had Old Lady Luck swung a different way on that Saturday both Tim Ek and Jason Buffington would have been right there in the hunt for one of Josh’s elegant trophies…so it goes…."The hinge factor" must never be undervalued, especially in endurance cycling, no one knows where or who old lady Luck will decide to strike…the key is to stay in the game…and to take the good with the bad...and drink lots of good beer no matter how the hinge swings, but I digress.......

The fact of the matter is that if the truth be known the older fellas agreed to sit back and let the youth of the Northland have their day in the sun, but that will not be the case at next year’s Heck of the North!!!!!!!!!!!!
Again many thanks to Jeremy Kershaw...What a great gift you have given to Duluth Cycling...

Disclaimer: If I left anyone out that I personally hang-out with or was especially inaccurate in my descriptions, please forgive me for I have grown old and forgetful, I suffer from a multitude of maladies, my kids have all gone bad and they never call, my eyes are going bad, and I am due for yet another colon check and I can't go for more than fifteen minutes without having to go the bathroom. I've got one foot in the grave and the other has that funky stuff on me toe-nails....On behalf of Rich Hendricks and myself, we would like to personally thank the young fella on the Salsa 29er that saved us on the malicious attack initiated by that Fraboni kid leading into the first ATV/Snowmobile section...the author