Midwest Cycling Podcast Season 2, Episode 6: Jason Engle, Curator of the Flyover Midwest Omnium Race Series

midwestflyover

Two weeks ago, Mark and I were announcing the criterium at the La Crosse Omnium, which just so happened to be the omnium race that kicked off the Flyover Midwest Omnium Series. As everyone who's ever listened to the podcast knows, one of the biggest reasons we do this is because we love getting to meet amazing people, and we love to help them share their stories. So when Jason Engle came to the stage to introduce himself and explained that he was the man behind the Midwest Flyover Series, it was pretty obvious we had to get him on the #MWCPod. 

THE INTERVIEW

Jason Engle not only promotes races, but he races in them, too. 

Jason Engle not only promotes races, but he races in them, too. 

When Jason moved away from Souther California six years ago to expand his business, and found himself living on the east side of South Dakota, he knew pretty quickly he'd have to find something to fill the daily thrill of surfing the big, sparkling waves of the Pacific ocean. And as you might have guessed, he turned to cycling, road racing.

After competing in some local races Jason realized there was potential in combining some of the Midwest's great cycling events into one series, and the idea for the Flyover Omnium Series was born. He drew on his background in motocross, in which race series travel throughout the season to different venues, and track points along the way. He's managed to secure some of the largest payouts you'll see at any races in the midwest, and on top of that, the men's and women's fields are racing for equal purses.

As you'll hear, Jason feels it's important to give back to his community, and he's chosen to do that with cycling and the Flyover Omnium Series. We always say Midwest is best, and Jason is one of the people who's making it that way. 

LINKS FROM THE INTERVIEW

Flyover Midwest Omnium Series

Flyover Midwest Omnium Series Facebook

Flyover Midwest Omnium Series Sponsors:

 

 

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Todd Poquette Show, Episode One: On preserving the future of cycling, and bringing together different user groups to improve and maintain trail access.

    Todd Poquette and his wife at Michigan's Governer's Fitness Awards earlier this year. 

    Todd Poquette and his wife at Michigan's Governer's Fitness Awards earlier this year. 

    When we recorded the third episode of the Midwest Cycling Podcast with our guest, Todd Poquette, we learned pretty quickly that Todd was a special individual. We already knew that we had him (and Danny Hill) to blame for the suffering we will endure this September at the Marji Gesick 100. But what we didn't know was what a thoughtful, introspective person he is. We learned pretty quickly, when Todd speaks, you listen. 

    So when we got the chance to talk with Todd about something more important than racing -- the future of mountain biking itself -- we jumped at the chance. It something a lot of us probably don't think about that much, let alone do anything about. But Todd is not like the rest of us. 

    THE INTERVIEW

    Todd preserving the future of mountain biking with the Bothwell Middle School Mountain Bike Club. 

    Todd preserving the future of mountain biking with the Bothwell Middle School Mountain Bike Club. 

    Todd cares about you. And he cares that you have great trails to ride and that the future of mountain biking grows from a stable base. That's why Todd made us feel bad about wanting to exclude equestrians from some of the trails we use. And we listened. Because we want to be part of the solution! 

    Todd also laid out plans for the Bothwell Middle School Mountain Bike Club. Because as cliché as it may sound, kids are the future. And what better way to preserve the sport than by doing what you can to usher in the next generation of riders and trail advocates? Since recording the podcast, we know that Todd has cleared the hurdles he talked about in the podcast and the Bothwell Middle School Mountain Bike Club is up and running. It's good news and I'm pretty certain it will become a model for other youth mountain bike clubs to follow. 

    LINKS FROM THE INTERVIEW

    906 Adventure Team 

    906 Adventure Team Facebook Page

    Range Area Mountain Bike Association

    Range Area Mountain Bike Association Facebook Page

    Thanks for listening everyone! Remember, the Midwest Cycling Podcast is on iTunes and Stitcher. Please rate us, and if you have time, leave a review. 

    --Mark & Sean... & Todd. 

     

     

     

    Midwest Cycling Podcast Season 2, Episode 4: Charly Tri of My Bike Guy Mobile Bike Repair

    mybikeguy

    Mark my words, ladies and everyone else: mobile bicycle repair is the future of bicycle retail. Why it hasn't caught on sooner is beyond me. I used to work at a shop in Appleton, WI that offered to return customer's bikes to them by bicycle and bike trailer. It was a novelty. Today there are actual mobile bicycle repair franchises. Yours Truly has a mobile repair business in Eau Claire; our friends at Broken Spoke Bikes in Green Bay are launching their own mobile repair service; and our next guest has just launched his own mobile bike repair service, My Bike Guy, in Rochester, MN. 

    It's the future, bike shop owners. Prepare yourselves. 

    THE INTERVIEW

    A couple years ago, I got a Facebook message from our guest inquiring about my mobile repair business. He told me he was thinking of starting his own, and asked if I thought it was possible. Anything is possible, my friends! And as Mark's mom says, dreams are free. So Charly and I talked mobile repair and I asked him to stay in touch and keep me posted, and he did! I ran into him at Frostbike this past February and we decided that mobile bike repair was something we needed to talk about on the #MWCPod. 

    Charly doesn't just fix bikes, he rides them, too! 

    Charly doesn't just fix bikes, he rides them, too! 

    As you'll see, Charly isn't just an innovative bike mechanic and future Uber driver. He's also a man who's dedicated to cycling and being a part of his community. He's done some pretty epic rides and shares some epic tales. And on top of it all, Charly is a fun guy to talk to , and we're really happy he took the time to talk to us. 

    LINKS FROM THE INTERVIEW

    My Bike Guy

    My Bike Guy on Facebook

     

     

     

    Midwest Cycling Podcast Season 2 Episode 3: Marcie "The Marshall" Weiss

    We're so excited to have have Wisconsin's most famous USA Cycling Referee's on the Midwest Cycling Podcast.

    Over the years of announcing and road race spectating, we developed a pretty amazing network. Spending a day at the races with the referees has allowed us to develop a great raport with them, (well, some of them, anyway...) which is why we're so excited about this week’s guest.

    Marcie Weiss, who is known to us as Marcie, "The Marshall", has never stood by and let us have all the fun at the races we’ve worked together. She often joins in with us when we’re making jokes, especially at the expense of Masters racers. But let’s face it: Masters racers are so easy to make fun of! Sorry Masters!*

    One to go! Marcie Weiss in her element in the elements as The Commissaire Extraordinaire. 

    One to go! Marcie Weiss in her element in the elements as The Commissaire Extraordinaire. 

    The interview:

    Marcie comes from a lineage. Neh, royalty of USA Cycling referees and she walks us through what it is really like to referee a USA Cycling event. Little did we know she has been moving up the ranks and becoming more and more involved with big name events, while having more responsibility being thrown on to her. For anyone wondering what it takes to become a referee this week's episode of the Midwest Cycling Podcast will walk you through it. So take notes of all the sweat, the sacrifice, the tears. It isn’t a glamorous position with USA Cycling. But yet, somehow Marcie Wiess remains Wisconsins Commissaire of Cycling.

    Thanks for listening everyone.

    --Mark & Sean

    *We’re not actually sorry.

    Midwest Cycling Podcast Season 2 Episode 2: Kaat Tahy, Promotor of the HellKaat Hundie Gravel Race.

    This week the #MWCPod ventures back the east side of Lake Michigan to talk with Kaat Tahy, Race Director of the Hell Kaat Hunide. It was a bit of a strange one for us because Mark was unable to "attend" the interview, and I had to fly solo. 

    We meet Kaat through our friend and previous podcast guest Mike Clark. Kaat and Mike race a tandem together on gravel, and when Mike started telling us about the Michigan gravel scene and about Kaat's race in particular, we knew we wanted to have her on the show. 

     

    THE INTERVIEW

    We say this a lot on the #MWCPod, but it's true: our guests are amazing. This week is no different. Not only does Kaat promote one of Michigan's best gravel races, but she also raises money for JDRF, which we've talked about on the #MWCPod before. But here's the rub: Kaat is dealing with Lupus. She needs a new kidney (Check out the links below!) but she puts a great deal of time and effort into helping people with Type 1 Diabetes. So our question is, what's in it for Kaat? Well, to find out, you'll just have to listen.

    LINKS FROM THE INTERVIEW

    Midwest Cycling Podcast Season 2 Episode 1: Michigander Scott Chambers, Curator of the Midwest Fat Bike Series.

    Sometimes Life approaches you, and is like, "Dude, how's life? Just kidding. I know how it is. I AM Life. Anyway, you got a minute? 

    And you're like, "Yeah, Life. Why? What's up?"

    And then Life proceeds to tell you about some plans it has for you that you're not gonna like. And then you tell Life about your podcast, and Life goes, "Pfffft. Podcast?" 

    Ok, don't worry everyone! Everything is fine! I just that I've been imagining this conversation between me and Life over the last couple months because I really want to get back to doing the podcast! And guess what? 

    WE'RE BACK! And it's officially Season 2 of the Midwest Cycling Podcast! 

    So with apologies to Scott Chambers for waiting until his Great Lakes Fat Bike Series was complete before posting his podcast, please allow us to introduce... 

    Scott Chambers, curator of the Great Lakes Fat Bike Series, which is a series of fat bike races that criss-crosses the midwest over the course of our long, strange winters.

     

    We mention this in the podcast, and I'll say it again here: Scott is a pro. It's a pleasure to listen to someone like him talk about his passion, and he does it with eloquence. Seriously. He made us feel like amateurs. Which is ok because that's what we are!

    THE INTERVIEW

    Scott said we didn't need a picture of him on this page, so I put a Yeti in here, and you'll just have to listen to the interview to understand why. 

    Scott said we didn't need a picture of him on this page, so I put a Yeti in here, and you'll just have to listen to the interview to understand why. 

    Scott lays down everything you'd ever want to know about the Great Lakes Fat Bike Series, and we even get to hear his personal story. Which, for us here at the MWCPod is kinda why we do this. Normally we'd say more here, but Scott does such a great job, you should finish reading this and go listen. 

    LINKS FROM THE INTERVIEW

    Thanks for listening everyone!

    --Mark & Sean

     

    Midwest Cycling Podcast Episode 15: 509 Cycles Founders Sarah & George Kaptiz and Joel Augustine

    509 Cycles is based in Green Bay, WI, and was launched by people with an almost unmatchable passion for fat bikes. 

    509 Cycles is based in Green Bay, WI, and was launched by people with an almost unmatchable passion for fat bikes. 

    Hey folks, we're back with another great episode featuring some of the people who make cycling in the Midwest awesome! This week we have a couple guests who've been on the show before in Sarah and George Kapitz, as well as their partner and long-time friend, Joel Augustine. If you haven't noticed, there's a new bike company in our back yard: 509 Cycles, and this crew happens to be the company's founders. 

    If you recognize these names it's probably because you're familiar Broken Spoke Bikes in Green Bay, Wisconsin. George and Sarah are also the owners of that shop, and between getting married and running their bike shop, they also started this bike company. But they didn't do it alone, and that's where Joel comes in. He designed the 509 Cycles Jabit III frames and was responsible for finding someone to build them, among other things. But I don't want to give it all away here. You're just going to have to listen! 

    The Jabit III Ti in all it's splendor. I don't know, I can't see the dent in the top tube! Like Mark always says, just think of the story... 

    The Jabit III Ti in all it's splendor. I don't know, I can't see the dent in the top tube! Like Mark always says, just think of the story... 

    THE INTERVIEW

    In the interview these three layout the whole history of 509 Cycles, which began almost two years ago. As you probably know, we're always interested in how people manage to live the bike life with all the Real Life that so often takes precedence. So aside from running a great bike shop, and finding time to ride, and planing a fat bike race series, and getting married, and being parents, and traveling the country and world with family, and countless other endeavors, this crew managed to find time to also launch a bike company. Even for the interview, we had to get Joel on the line from California. 

    We also took some time to talk about Snow Crown, the fat bike race series that George and Sarah are putting on in their "free time". It begins on January 21st with Shell Track and continues throughout winter with two more races. Koldwave takes place at Snow Kraft in Sturgeon Bay, WI; and Fat Camp takes place in Suamico, WI, at the legendary fat bike trails at the Reforestation Camp. 

    This interview is either going to inspire you, or make you feel bad for not doing enough in life. Either way, we're grateful to have this crew on the podcast, and we're looking forward to seeing the bikes in person. 

    George's steel Jabit III in Bear 100 form. 29" wheels with the Rock Shox RS-1 and drop bars.

    George's steel Jabit III in Bear 100 form. 29" wheels with the Rock Shox RS-1 and drop bars.

    Midwest Cycling Podcast Episode 14: Wisconsin Cyclocross AND Chicago Cross Cup Overall Points Champion, Dan Teaters

    It's hard to believe, folks. Not only are we back after a brief hiatus due to computer problems, but this time, those computer problems didn't destroy our interview with Dan Teaters. I'll tell you what though, when the computer guy told me I needed a new hard drive, I got really nervous and scared that this episode might not survive. I was beginning to think we might be cursed. 

    Alas, my computer came back from the shop and the file transfer worked, mostly, and here you go everyone: Dan Teaters, of Green Bay, Wisconsin is Mr. Midwest. He's your Wisconsin Cyclocross and Chicago Cross Cup overall Points Champion!

    Dan Teaters plays the long game on the CX season. Or at least on the even-number year CX seasons.

    Dan Teaters plays the long game on the CX season. Or at least on the even-number year CX seasons.

    The interview

    It's always more fun for us when we get to interview our guests face-to-face. So if there was a silver lining to losing Dan's first interview, it's that we were able to meet in person over the holidays at the Wheel & Sprocket store in Appleton, WI

    During our conversation we traced Dan's cycling history starting with his first mountain bike ride with a neighbor, through his entry in the Wisconsin Off Road Series and Superweek, and all the way up to winning the two cyclocross championships in 2016. Plus we even dig into what's ahead for him in 2017.

    We were amazed how Dan could burn through a full road racing season and both cyclocross series and not get burned out. The man plays the long game and is a picture of consistency. And he's fueled by a competitive spirit that never allows him to give up. 

    We're thankful that attitude carried over to podcast interviews...

    Finally, we get to hear how Dan manages to balance family, work, and training to win these two series, as well as how he's using his success to give back to the cycling community. 

    Look closely at that check. It's not made out to Dan, instead he's giving back to Chicago Cross Cup. This is one our favorite parts of Dan's story. 

    Look closely at that check. It's not made out to Dan, instead he's giving back to Chicago Cross Cup. This is one our favorite parts of Dan's story. 

    Enjoy, this is a good one. 

    Please subscribe to the Midwest Cycling Podcast on iTunes or Stitcher, and thanks for listening! 

    --Mark & Sean

    Links from the interview

    Wiconsin Cyclocross

    Chicago Cross Cup

    Team Wheel & Sprocket

    Wisconsin High School Cycling League

    Wisconsin Off Road Series

    Dan's personal website

    Wiscrossin' Podcast

    Dan's Sponsors

    Midwest Cycling Podcast Episode 13: Mike Clark, Co-National Ride Coach and Head Tech Supervisor for JDRF Ride to Cure

    Happy holidays, everyone! We're back after spending some time with our families and doing some fat biking to bring you Episode 13 of the Midwest Cycling Podcast. This week's guest is an incredible guy who has some amazing stories to tell you from his experiences working with the JDRF Ride to Cure. 

    Mike Clark, co-National JDRF Ride Coach, and Head Tech Supervisor for JDRF.  

    Mike Clark, co-National JDRF Ride Coach, and Head Tech Supervisor for JDRF.  

    In 2005, Mike Clark was asked by one of his bike shop's customers to become a Ride Coach for a newly-formed Western Michigan JDRF Ride Team. If you're not familiar with JDRF, it's a foundation that raises money to fund research that will lead to a cure of Type 1 Diabetes. Mike has been involved since being asked to coach that team, and in the years since, he has become the Co-National Ride Coach, and Head Tech Supervisor for the JDRF Ride Program. 

    That means Mike can be seen at every JDRF ride that takes place throughout the country. He sets up a pop-up bike shop at each venue and makes sure each rider's bike is working flawlessly. Then he does the 100-mile rides and makes sure all of his team members, as well as anyone else who crosses his path, have a great day on their bikes. If it sounds like a lot of work, it is. And it's a labor of love for Mike that all goes towards the goal of curing Type 1 Diabetes. 

    Mike Clark in his JDRF Ride Kit.

    Mike Clark in his JDRF Ride Kit.

    THE INTERVIEW

    I'm not gonna lie, you guys. This one gets a little emotional. Nearly everyone who participates in a JDRF ride is doing it because someone they love has Type 1 Diabetes. The people who raise money and show up to ride all have a story to tell, and some of them can be as heartbreaking as they are inspirational. I would imagine for most people who attend one of these rides, it's hard to get through the weekend without shedding a tear, and for some listeners, it might be hard to get through this interview without a kleenex or two. 

    For Mike, and the people who participate in JDRF, taking a heartbreaking story and turning it into one from which people can draw strength to make a positive change in the world is what these JDRF rides are all about. Mike tells us that the success of this program has a lot to do with the Power of the Bike, and the people who ride; something a lot of our listeners have very likely experienced in one form or another. 

    Is that a bicycle built for THREE, Mike??

    Is that a bicycle built for THREE, Mike??

    LINKS FROM THE INTERVIEW

    Please don't forget to rate the Midwest Cycling Podcast on iTunes or Stitcher, and if you have time, leave a review. We appreciate it! Happy New Year, everyone!

    Thanks for listening. 

    --Mark & Sean

    Finally! Episode 12! MWCPod Talks to American Professional Cycling Pioneer, Tom Schuler

    You're probably wondering where the heck we've been. Well, Mark was in California for work, Sean screwed up the schedule (again!) and we had some trouble connecting with this week's guest, Tom Schuler the last two times we tried. But the third time was the charm for us, and Tom, and we couldn't be more excited to share this episode with you.

    Tom Schuler in his element at Tour of America's Dairyland.

    Tom Schuler in his element at Tour of America's Dairyland.

    Let me throw this palmarès at you:

    • US National Team Member
    • Member of the 1980 Olympic Team
    • US Amateur Champion
    • Member of Team 7-11
    • US Pro Champion
    • Over 100 Career Victories
    • Raced the Giro d'Italia in 1985
    • Raced in Milan San Remo in 1987
    • Raced in the World Championship in 1985, 87
    Schuler as a National Road Race Champion and member of the 7-11 team.

    Schuler as a National Road Race Champion and member of the 7-11 team.

    I mean, come on! Tom is truly one of the pioneers of American professional cycling, and a Midwest native who grew up in Michigan. Luckily for our cycling community, Tom chose to come back and settle in Milwaukee when he transitioned from professional racing to team and event management. 

    This was a very exciting interview for us. We had a list of questions, as usual, with which we intended to dig into Tom's history in cycling, but once he started talking about Team 7-11 and really laying the historical foundation for American Professional cycling, all we could do was sit back and listen. Tom was holding court, and it took us a few minutes to process what we were hearing.

    For those of you who race the road, odds are high that you've participated in; know someone who has participated in; or at the very least, have heard of ToAD - the Tour of America's Dairyland. It's a Big Deal, and Tom is one of the reasons it exists and has gone off without a hitch for the last decade.

    You all are really going to enjoy this one. I promise.

    THE INTERVIEW

    As I mentioned, Tom was holding court and Mark and I were just along for the ride. Tom starts at the beginning with his time as a professional road racer for the iconic 7-11 racing team and takes us all the way up to the present as we talk about the Tour of America's Dairlyland and the Bone Ride. Along the way we get some great insights into what it was like to be on a trailblazing American racing team, as well as what it's like to be on the production side of a multi-day racing tour. 

    LINKS FROM THE INTERVIEW

    Please don't forget to rate us on iTunes and/or Stitcher, and if you really liked this episode, help us out and share it with your friends. 

    Thanks for listening!

    --Mark & Sean

    Midwest Cycling Podcast Episode 11: Danny Hill and Todd Poquette of the 906 Polar Roll

    Well, here we are, once again with Todd Poquette, talking about biking in Marquette, MI. This time, though, we were able to get his partner in crime, Danny Hill on the show, too. Why? Why are these guys back? That's because registration has opened for the 906 Polar Roll and we wanted to know: What's up with these guys and the epic rides they put on? We wanted to know what's in the water in Marquette that makes life there so epic? And could they send some our way? 

    Seriously, though, if you remember our conversation with Todd from a couple months ago, Danny was unable to make it due to technical difficulties. So we're happy to have this second opportunity to talk with Todd, and to be able to connect with Danny. These two guys will get you excited about mountain biking and fat biking in the midwest. And if you listen to this and you don't get excited or curious about mountain bike up in the U.P., check your pulse, because you're probably a podcast listening zombie. Which, as far as zombies go, isn't so bad. But we wish you a speedy recovery, nonetheless. 

    What do you mean you can't recover from being a zombie? 

    Sorry, I digress. 

    If you can't find Todd, blame Danny. 

    If you can't find Todd, blame Danny. 

    THE INTERVIEW

    In this week's interview, Danny and Todd told us all about the 906 Adventure Team, and their rolls in putting together the 906 Polar Roll. They also explained some of the challenges in putting this race together, not the least of which is wondering what Mother Nature has up her sleeve. We also asked them to describe their individual rolls in making events like The Polar Roll and the Marji Gesick 100 happen, as well as their jobs on race day. Todd and Danny will be the first people to tell you that it takes a village to make these events happen, but as you'll hear, it all starts with these two guys. So if you're participating in either of these events in 2017, you know who to blame. 

    Don't let the smile fool you; like Ivan Drago in Rocky IV, Todd is trying to break you. 

    Don't let the smile fool you; like Ivan Drago in Rocky IV, Todd is trying to break you. 

    LINKS FROM THE INTERVIEW

    906 Polar Roll

    906 Adventure Team

    Marji Gesick 100

    Range Area Mountain Bike Association

    Nequemanon Trail Network

    Thanks for listening everyone. Don't forget to rate us on iTunes and Stitcher, and if you have time please review our podcast. 

    -- Mark & Sean

     

     

    Midwest Cycling Podcast Episode 10: Fender Give-away and Story Time with Mark & Sean

    This week we decided to take a break from interviewing awesome people, and it's definitely not because Sean screwed up the scheduling.* But are we going to give you all the week off? Heck no! Since we love hearing ourselves talk we decided to regale you all with tales of our recent post-Thanksgiving ride, and of our cycling days of yore. And we decided to add something that would actually make it worth your while to listen: We're going to give away a pair of Planet Bike Cascadia fenders. Or, as we like to call them, "frienders". Why do we call them that? You'll just have to listen. 

    These fenders will keep the horse shit off your boots and off your friends' faces. 

    These fenders will keep the horse shit off your boots and off your friends' faces. 

    THE FENDER GIVEAWAY

    We're giving away a pair of Planet Bike (a Midwest company!) Cascadia Hybrid Fenders! Go to the Midwest Cycling Podcast Facebook page and tag a friend who needs Frienders, and we'll randomly select either you, or your tagged friend, to receive these full-wrap Crap Blockers! We'll announce the winner in the intro to next week's podcast.

    THE STORY TIME STORIES

    Sean racing in Canada. You can tell it's not the race from the story because he's clearly not hungover in this photo. 

    Sean racing in Canada. You can tell it's not the race from the story because he's clearly not hungover in this photo. 

    One of our favorite podcasts is The Moth. We love listening to people tell stories, and you know we love having people tell stories on our podcast. So we thought, why don't we tell a couple stories? Sean shared a story about being hungover and racing in Canada, where things are just slightly different, eh? And Mark shared a story about being in a deep, dark valley of physical conditioning and suffering through a ride around Lake Winnebago that he probably should have prepared for a little more. 

    Mark, had to pour himself into his jersey and bibs back in 2006. 

    Mark, had to pour himself into his jersey and bibs back in 2006. 

    LINKS FROM THE... NOT INTERVIEWS

    Global Fat Bike Day

    Santa Cycle Rampage, MKE

    Planet Bike Cascadia Fenders

    Thanks for listening, everyone! Don't forget to enter the contest on our Facebook Page.

    *It's totally because Sean screwed up the scheduling. 

    --Mark & Sean

    Midwest Cycling Podcast Episode 9: Zachary Schuster, The Commissioner of Wisconsin Cyclocross and Host of the Wiscrossin' Podcast

    Listen to Stitcher

    The reason we started this podcast is that we kept meeting amazing people at the races and events we announce. We didn't meet this week's guest at an event, but he is most definitely one of the people that make Midwest Cycling great, and he has a great story to tell. 

    Zach Schuster is The "Commissioner" of Wisconsin Cyclocross. He's also become The Voice of Wisconsin Cross as he announces more and more races, and I think he is also quickly becoming the face, and the goodwill ambassador of the sport as well. If you race CX in Wisconsin, you know Zach, and incredibly it's just as likely that he knows you, too. His depth of knowledge of Wisco' Cross is nothing short of amazing. He's like that encouraging guidance councilor in your elementary school who knew every kid's name! So he's also the Councilor of Cross. (I'm really stretching for a new nickname here, Zach!)

    Zach Shcuster is The Commissioner of Cross in Wisconsin. Or maybe the Cross Councilor. Or maybe The Voice and/or Face of Wisconsin Cross. Or maybe the Crossbassador. Nicknames are hard! Photo credit: Anderson Bortoletto

    Zach Shcuster is The Commissioner of Cross in Wisconsin. Or maybe the Cross Councilor. Or maybe The Voice and/or Face of Wisconsin Cross. Or maybe the Crossbassador. Nicknames are hard! Photo credit: Anderson Bortoletto

    But seriously, nicknames aside, Zach is building a lot of energy and excitement around cyclocross in Wisconsin through his announcing and his race reporting. If you're a fan of reading about cycling and pouring over great cycling photos, you have to check out Zach's website, The Gingerbeard. Zach is also the host of the Wiscrossin' Podcast, which is a great, as well. Many of our listeners are likely aware of it, but if you're not, check it out. 

    THE INTERVIEW

    We spent a little over an hour talking with Zach. We learned how he got involved in cyclocross, and subsequently announcing races. We discuss the growth of cyclocross in Wisconsin and how the sport stacks up in the region. Zach also uses his aforementioned knowledge of the Wisco' cross scene to provide with some insight as to who will be in the running for the upcoming Wisconsin CX Championships. 

    LINKS FROM THE INTERVIEW

    The Gingerbeard

    Wiscrossin' Podcast

    Wiscrossin' Podcast Facebook Page

    Zach's race team, L5 Racing

    Wisconsin Cyclocross Championships

    Trek WCA Cyclocross Series Facebook Page

    Midwest Cycling Podcast Episode 8: Kierstin Kloeckner of Silent Sports and Roots Rated, and Mileage Maven

    This week's episode of the Midwest Cycling Podcast brings us another amazing guest. A guest who likely knows the backroads and gravel roads of the midwest as well as, or better than, almost anyone. She's been riding a bike (or big wheel) almost since birth. Which is weird because just last week our guest, Brian Davis, theorized that none of us came out of the womb on bikes. It only took us one week to disprove that theory. Sorry Brian.  

    Kierstin Kloeckner is our guest this week, and we're so excited to share this one with you because Kierstin is truly a Mileage Maven and a quintessential representative of Midwest Cycling. She grew up racing and riding in Minnesota and now lives near Madison, WI, where she rides obsessively, and is involved in advocacy that helps make her community safer for people riding bikes. She loves to help people learn to ride year round and is an expert in winter cycling and commuting. She is truly one of the people that makes cycling in the Midwest awesome. And she loves Twinkies! 

    "Cycling is about Twinkies and bourbon!" -- Kierstin Kloeckner

    "Cycling is about Twinkies and bourbon!" -- Kierstin Kloeckner

    THE INTERVIEW

    Kiersten-bigwheel-mwcpod

    As I mentioned before, Kierstin tells us about being born on a bike. Or big wheel, rather, which of course means she grew up around cycling and bike racing. She tells of a youth dedicated to bike racing, about falling out of love with the sport as a teen, and then rediscovering the adventuresome side of cycling. We discuss her writing at Silent Sports Magazine and her blog, Two Wheels From Home. Also, if you're interested in becoming an advocate for cycling in your community Kierstin drops some great tips on how to get started, and if you ever have questions about how to dress for winter cycling, Kierstin is your women there, too. Soak up this interview, everyone. Kierstin is one of the great resources of our community. 

    If you're enjoying these podcasts, please take a minute to review us in iTunes, or at Stitcher.com, and tell a friend or two. We'd greatly appreciate it. 

    Thanks for listening.

    --Mark & Sean

    LINKS FROM THE INTERVIEW

    Two Wheels From Home

    Silent Sports Magazine

    Roots Rated Magazine

    Bike Winter - Madison

    Axletree (Illinois bicycle advocacy group.)

    Handsome Cycles (Midwest Fenders, y'all!!)

     

    Midwest Cycling Podcast Episode 7, Part 2: Brian Davis of The Weatherneck and Fix It Sticks (no hyphen)

    Listen to Stitcher

    We're back with Episode 7, Part 2, of the Midwest Cycling Podcast. Brian Davis, creator of The Weatherneck and Fix It Sticks continues to regale us with incredible stories. One involves one of your hosts undergoing a Supernova at Interbike and Brian subsequently taking an elevator ride with Bob Roll. In another, Brian explains how his contempt for people telling him what to do led to the creation of The Backbottle. Still another is about Brian nearly viral Tour of America's Dairyland crash video, and we also find out one of his nicknames. We talk about cycling mentors and the networking power of cycling, and of course, Brian answers our three closing questions: What was your first bike? What was the last bike you rode? And, what was your favorite ride/race/event, ever? 

    Any guesses as to what the nickname is? 

    Any guesses as to what the nickname is? 

    We want to thank Brian for having us in his "Skunkworks R&D Facility". Each one of these podcasts has been a great experience for us and this one was no different. The two episodes we've been able to do in person with our guests have been so much fun. In truth, they've all been extremely fun, but we normally do them remotely so it's always cool when we get to sit face-to-face with someone. And we'll leave you with this:

    If you like the Midwest Cycling Podcast, please rate it on iTunes, or at Stitcher.com

    Thanks for listening. 

    --Mark & Sean

    LINKS FROM THE INTERVIEW

    The Weatherneck

    The Weatherneck Kickstarter

    Fix It Sticks

    BackBottle

    Midwest Cycling Podcast Episode 7: Brian Davis of The Weatherneck and Fix It Sticks and... and...

    Listen to Stitcher

    There's a good chance you've heard of this week's guest, or at the very least one of his inventions. But what you may not have realized is that the creator of Fix It Sticks and the Weatherneck is one of our own. That's right, Brian Davis, Turbo Inventor, is born and bread Midwest; a St. Louis native who now resides in Appleton, WI. (Man, we could do a whole show just on Appleton alone. Lotsa fun people and fun things happening there. But I digress.) We actually got to do this interview in person in Brian's workshop, where the magic happens.

    Full disclosure: Brian is a friend of ours, and we had a funny feeling going into to this one that we weren't going to be able to keep this episode anywhere close to one hour. When we arrived and saw the beer, we knew it would end up being a two parter. When the Old Number 7 made an appearance, I began to worry about having to edit out two hours of slurred speech and giggling. But since we're all professionals here, we imbibed responsibly and kept it to a tight two hours. But don't worry, you don't have to take it in all at once. We've broken it into two episodes, the second of which will appear in your tiny magic box in a couple days. 

    Brian Davis had the wherewithal to snap this selfie after the one of the best JRA stories we've ever heard. Notice his hat... Then listen to the show.

    Brian Davis had the wherewithal to snap this selfie after the one of the best JRA stories we've ever heard. Notice his hat... Then listen to the show.

    THE INTERVIEW

    You might be wondering what's with that picture of Brian with all the concrete on his face. One of the reasons we wanted to have Brian on the show is that we figured he would have some good stories to tell. And holy cows, were we right! I don't want to spoil anything so I'll just say that this photo is the result of possibly the best "just riding along" story we've ever heard. And that's not the only story we get into with Brian, so I don't think you're going to want to skip this episode. 

    Of course Brian has come up with some truly ingenious cycling products that you're likely to have heard of. And we wanted to talk about those, too. Brian recently kicked off a new Kickstarter campaign for the latest version of the Weatherneck and looks really cool and is more functional than version one. We talk about that and Fix It Sticks and some sort of weird bucket system as well. 

    Brian Davis modeling the latest version of The Weatherneck. 

    Brian Davis modeling the latest version of The Weatherneck. 

    This is great episode everyone. Remember that there's two parts. We'll hit you with Part 2 in a couple days. 

    Thanks for listening!

    --Mark & Sean

    LINKS FROM THE INTERVIEW

    The Weatherneck

    The Weatherneck Kickstarter

    Fix It Sticks

    Back Bottle

     

    Midwest Cycling Podcast Episode 6: Justin Michels Salsa Cycles Midwest Brand Ambassador.

    Listen to Stitcher

    It's time to get weird everybody! This week's podcast guest is none other than Justin Michels, Salsa Cycles Brand Ambassador for the Midwest. They say it's not who you are, it's who you know, and us zeros here at the MWCP just happen to know some heroes in high places. Justin is one of those heroes. Mark and I have known Justin for quite a few years and we've seen him go from shop rat, to shop manager, to industry rep. He is a humble man wise beyond his years, and we think you'll enjoy his story. 

    Justin at the finish line of the DIrty Kanza, at which he finished in 20th place. A remarkable feat over a brutal 206(!) mile course.

    Justin at the finish line of the DIrty Kanza, at which he finished in 20th place. A remarkable feat over a brutal 206(!) mile course.

    THE INTERVIEW

    Within the past year Justin has accomplished some impressive feats. He transitioned from the retail side of things as manager of The Recyclist Bicycle Company - a great shop in Kaukauna, WI - to the industry side as a Brand Ambassador for Salsa Cycles. 

    He's also gained a new love for weird and esoteric events like the Dirty Kanza and Marji Gesick 100. Justin signed up on a whim for the Dirty Kanza and finished in 20th place, even beating a couple of Salsa's sponsored riders. This is nothing to sneeze at, even with all that gravel dust up your nose. He also competed in and finished Gravel Worlds, a 150-mile saddle sore-enducing suffer-fest. A bum knee got the best of him at Marji Gesick, but he'll be back for that next year. He tells us that in training and competing in these types of events it's all about balance, having fun, and riding within yourself. 

    We also grilled Justin about his favorite Salsa bike, and you may be surprised at his choice, and then you'll a new bike to add to the list of bikes you "need." He told us about Ride Camp, and of course his Origin Story. Put this one in your earholes. You're going to like it. We promise. 

    Thanks for listening.

    --Mark & Sean

    LINKS FROM THE INTERVIEW

    Salsa Cycles

    Recyclist Bike Company

    Dirty Kanza 200

    Gravel Worlds

    Marji Gesick 100

    Midwest Cycling Podcast Episode 5: Cindy Petted of Wisconsin Women's Cycling and the Wisconsin Women's Fund

    There's an old saying by Stephen Lawrence Winwood, and it goes a little something like this: Roll with it, baby.  When we started this podcast, way back in just-over-a-month-ago 2016, we planned on putting out an episode about once every two weeks, or so. Ish... But then we found ourselves lining up a whole bunch of interviews with a whole bunch of awesome people, and before we knew it we were putting this thing out there weekly. Well this week we decided to try a different release day to see if anyone cares. And we already got one complaint, so at least one person is paying attention! (Mind your business, Brad!) But the point is, we're just kinda rolling with the schedule here at the Midwest Cycling Podcast.

    THIS WEEK'S GUEST: CINDY PETTED 

    Yourseses Truely and Cindy Petted at Koldwave last year. 

    Yourseses Truely and Cindy Petted at Koldwave last year. 

    Listen to Stitcher

    This week's guest is one of the people that inspired us to do the Midwest Cycling Podcast. We met Cindy and her husband Brian a few years ago at the Cross of the Century in Door County, WI. We were announcing that race and Cindy and Brian were there to watch and to ride the Door County Century the next day. Spoiler alert: We became friends! We borrowed Cindy's cowbells and gave her a case of gatorade and the rest, as they say, is off to the races! (That's what they say, right?)

    THE INTERVIEW

    We talked to Cindy about her business, Wisconsin Women's Cycling, and her non-profit, The Wisconsin Women's Fund. Through these entities Cindy works to help women break into the sport of cycling. We also talked about the Wisconsin Women's Century Ride and the Cindyrella Classic. And of course we covered Cindy's Origin Story as well. 

     If you've participated in any bike races in Wisconsin over the past few years, there's a good chance you've seen Cindy and the Wisconsin Women's Cycling crew. I think people - men and women - who are just beginning in the sport of cycling will enjoy this interview. I mean, everyone will enjoy this interview! But those who are new to the sport might glean a little extra from it. 

    Thanks for listening!

    --Mark & Sean

    LINKS FROM THE INTERVIEW

    Wisconsin Women's Cycling

    Wisconsin Women's Fund

    Wisconsin Women's Century

    Cindyrella Classic

    Wisconsin Women's Cycling training rides

     

    Midwest Cycling Podcast Episode 4: Thomas Prehn of Arsenal Cycling

    One of the things Mark and I love about announcing races - and one of the things that gave us the idea for this podcast - is getting to meet all sorts of interesting people. We started to realize that the people we meet have really cool stories to tell. Well, add this week's Midwest Cycling Podcast guest, Thomas Prehn, of Arsenal Cycling, to that list. Now, Thomas doesn't currently reside in the midwest, and I initially balked at the idea of having him on the podcast for that reason. In fact, I scoured the internet for a map of the Midwest that included Colorado but I couldn't find one. But that's ok because Mark made one for me, so it's all good, everyone. Plus, as you'll hear, it turns out Thomas is a Midwest native and has quite a few ties to our beloved region. 

    Mark's map of the Midwest. Good news, everybody! Colorado is in the Midwest now! Ironically, he excluded Kansas and Nebraska. 

    Mark's map of the Midwest. Good news, everybody! Colorado is in the Midwest now! Ironically, he excluded Kansas and Nebraska. 

    THE INTERVIEW

    Thomas is a former professional bike racer and national road race champion. He retired from pro cycling and began a career in market research and development with Nike, then moved on to Cateye, and most recently has started his own company, Arsenal Cycling. He just completed a successful Kickstarter campaign for Arsenal's first product, the 4Sync Synchronized Lighting System, which we talk about for quite a bit, because they are truly a cool set of lights.

    As I mentioned earlier, Thomas currently lives in Boulder, CO, but he is technically a midwest native, having been born in Illinois. That's right, friends, he's a FIB: a Friendly Illinois Bicyclist. (Ha! What did you think I was going to say?) We talk about his experiences racing Superweek back in the day, and how much he enjoyed the heat and humidity. (Yes, you read that right.)

    We also learned that he appeared in the pilot episode of the Breaking Away spinoff featuring Shawn Cassidy. (Shawn Cassidy, people!) (And yeah, there was a Breaking Away TV spinoff!) And Breaking Away took place in Bloomington, IN, so even though Thomas lives in Boulder, the midwest ties are strong and deep. (Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating a little.)

    Classic stuff, my friends. Classic. 

    4SYNC SAFETY LIGHTS

    Oh my goodness! Check these out! Do it. Seriously, they are awesome. I was hit by a car once in broad daylight, and I can't help but think if I'd had even a regular blinky the driver may have seen me. If I had a set of 4Syncs, I'm certain he would have seen me. This is a really, really smart idea. I think once the lights hit the market, they're going to be one of those "Why didn't I think of that?" items. Check out the link to Thomas's Kickstarter below and see for yourself.

    4Sync Snchronized Safety Bicycle Lights.

    4Sync Snchronized Safety Bicycle Lights.

    Midwest Cycling Podcast Episode 3: Todd Poquette, Marji Gesick Race Promoter

    Since we recorded last week's episode with George and Sarah from Broken Spoke Bike Studio we've been whirling around in a wretched tornado of regret, fear, and self doubt. You see, we got called out during that interview and we were challenged to sign up for next year's Marji Gesick 100 mountain bike race. We had heard so much about the MG100 since it took place a couple weeks ago, and we were already intrigued, and, let's be honest, a little baffled that anyone would do such a crazy thing. But I don't think either of us really thought we'd be signing up for the challenge any time soon, yet here we are. We've both signed up for the 2017 Marji Gesick and there's nothing left to do now but surrender to our fates and make nice with the cycling gods. Wish us luck, friends. We're gonna need it.

    The fear and anxiety led us to reach out to the one and only, Todd Poquette, the sadistic mastermind behind the Marji. We figured that 1) we needed to learn more about what we'd gotten ourselves into, and 2) we were pretty certain Todd had an amazing story to tell. 

    Blame Todd? Todd's got your "Blame Todd" right here! We heard Todd gets flipped off a lot for coming up with the Marji Gesick. 

    Blame Todd? Todd's got your "Blame Todd" right here! We heard Todd gets flipped off a lot for coming up with the Marji Gesick. 

    THE INTERVIEW

    Todd did indeed have an amazing story to tell. Several, in fact, so where do we begin with this one? This interview was unbelievably fun, for starters. For those of you who have had the pleasure of meeting Todd, you already know what a gregarious person he is. We could hear clearly in his voice his passion for his Marquette community, his love of mountain biking, not to mention the pure excitement when he talked about the Marji Gesick. Which, when you consider how brutal the MG is, is sorta sick!

    Todd regaled us with tales of Tinker Juarez nearly killing with a single facebook message; getting flipped off countless times; and of course, the origins of the Marji Gesick Race. He also called out Mark, again, because at the time of the interview he had not yet signed up for next year's race. (Don't worry everyone, he's got it taken care of. And he's already shaking in his chamois, like me.)

    We should note that we tried to have both Todd and Danny Hill, who's well known as the Mad Genius behind the trails and route of the Marji Gesick, but due to technical difficulties, we were not able to connect with him. Hopefully we can try again soon. We're sorry, Danny! Blame Todd! 

    Thanks for listening, 

    --Mark & Sean

    LINKS FROM THE Interview

    Marji Gesick 100

    RAMBA (Range Area Mountain Bike Association)

    NTN (Nequemanon Trail Network)

    906 Polar Roll

    906 Adventure Team

    Marji Gesick Recaps