The 2016 Bear Claw Epic was the Epic-est
I'm an extremely impulsive person. Always have been. Sometimes being impulsive is a bad thing. Like when I got my ears pierced before my senior picture. Now I have to look at massive, fake diamond ROCKS when I see my senior picture on my Grandma's refrigerator. DUMB.
But sometimes, being impulsive is a good thing. I woke up this morning at said, "Screw it! I'm racing my bike. It's nice out. Cadillac is a cool town and I can be home to do chores by 1pm." On this particular occasion, I'm so glad I followed my impulsive urge to load up and head to the Bear Clar Epic, just in time to throw on a number plate and roll. I'm also really lucky my buddy Scotty Ostlund had $40 cash so I could register day off. You rock Scott. I owe you one. Well, forty.
I decided to race Elite because shit, man, Keegan Korienek is like 16 and if he's got the swingers to man up and race Elite, everyone else should too. As the Leadout Racing trio and Scott Quiring sped away from me a whopping 15 feet into the race, I settled into a good pace with Kyle Siemer, who probably swam 3 miles before the race because he's a tri-ahth-uleete. Terry Ritter joined us and we clipped around for some time before a Hagerty train caught up and absolutely ripped it. I was able to watch the Chef, Paul Olson, show everyone how it's done on the singletrack and learned a few things.
And what wonderful singletrack it was. The course was perfect - fast, with some hills, some descents, and ample room to pass all the way around. Easily one of the best courses I've ridden in a long time, and a true challenge and pleasure for all ability levels.
Anyway, the rest of the race was me chugging around the course with a dude from Founders on my tail. Good guy, him. Founders always has some of the nicest people on their team, which is really cool to see.
All you really need to know is that Scott Quiring just barely beat Dan Korienek in a sprint finish, Erin Reicha smiled the entire race, and I heard "GO CODY!" about 100 times on the course. You have to add this race to your schedule next year. Extremely well organized, the course is amazing, and they serve pizza after your race. You just can't beat it!
Now I'm off for a Short's Space Rock and finishing Flight from Syria: Refugee Stories, which is a free download on Kindle if you're looking for a good, but inherently sad read. If you want to see how a chubby cyclist does against some of the fastest people in the state, check out my strava. If you want to see how fast people did, see Keegan's strava.
Full results are on the internet here.
Wes is a professional cyclist that has a 40-hour per week hobby in marketing that pays most of his bills. He works for Swell Development, teaches indoor cycling at Yen Yoga & Fitness, and rides for Einstein Cycles-Short's Brewing. He lives in Traverse City, MI with his wife and his Beagle, Disco Volante.