• Posted May 4, 2004

Interview with Mary Kate and Ashley Olson


Okay, if you haven’t heard of it already, I’m Iowa’s newest member in the Mary Kate and Ashley Olson Fan Club ). Hey, it is the first thing to come up on Google!

Madeline Ruth Hollander was born last Wednesday, April 28 at 7.26am at Iowa Methodist in Des Moines. She weighed 8lb, 4oz and was 20” long. She is beautiful and Mandy and I are really enjoying our new life with her.

My buddy Arlo Leach noticed that there just happens to be a sick climb on the Tour de France called the Col Du Madeline… coincidence? Don’t tell Mandy.

This definitely puts things into perspective for me and is teaching me better time management skills as well. I’m actually working on the column before deadline, right?

I’ve got quite a few issues for you all this edition with a great interview with our hillbilly in the woods, Mr. Squirrel; mountain bike issues and few choice rants (yeah!)



Since I’m now a father and a little home-bound for the next few eighteen years. I figured I would go check out our friends at Expedia to see what it would take to set up a racer-geek weekend. (All prices Monday, May 03, 2004; depart Des Moines, double occupancy.)

Tour de France:

Hotel: Comfort Hotel Lamarck-Caulaincourt
Neato: The Sacre Coeur is a fifteen-minute walk from the hotel. Catch a beautiful view of the city.
View the race:
Enjoy Paris and the surrounding area during the day and watch live coverage on TV every day from noon to 6pm without commercial interruption. If you’re up to it, try and score some train tickets to watch the L’Alpe d’Huez Stage 16.
On Sunday, take a Metro to view the finish on the Champs Elysees. If you are close to the Arc d’ Triomphe, there’s a McDonalds to make you feel at home.
Return: Monday, July 26
Price: $2942.46
Website: TdF 2004 Website

Departure: Friday, June 4, 2004
Hotel: Hotel Windsor
View the race: Catch public transportation to the Start/Finish, or better yet, the infamous Manayunk Wall.
Return: Monday, June 7, 2004
Price: $866.48
Website: USPRO Website

San Francisco Grand Prix
Departure: Friday, September 10
Hotel: Hilton Fisherman’s Wharf
View the race: Get up Sunday morning, shake out the cobwebs from one too many Irish Coffees at the Buena Vista and walk a block over to the race course and then up the Taylor Street Hill to get a great spot!
Return: Monday, September 13
Price: $988.34
Website: SFGP Website
+++ Interview
The Squirrel aka Brian Pottorff
Nice pic w/ Cameron Chambers?

Q. So why do you ride a Single Speed?

A. I like the simple things in life, plus my buddy Cameron Chambers loves to ride his and he just beat Tinker this year in the 24 Hours of Pueblo. The SS is a training tool, pure and simple.

Q. Are you racing single or gears this year?

A. I'm doing both, racing single speed in the Heartland Series (this is where the animals hangout), and I'm going to get my a$$ handed to me in the expert field with gears here in Iowa. I'm a twinkie ya know.

Q. So I saw you on the first Tuesday Night World Championships, do plan on racing the road?

A. Heck no!! All you roadies scare the livin’ hell out me. Ya'll are freaking crazy!! I'm a dirty boy, and would like to keep it that way. I like to go and watch, perhaps I could take Westy's place as the Devil or something along those lines.

Q: You're the patron behind the Science Center mountain bike trails in Des Moines. How did that come about and what have you done back there?

A. Awh... yes that would be me "the Guardian Saint" of the Center trails. Meow I don't know how this came about; I'm just kind of always out there doing something. I have no life!! What have I done back there? Hmmmm...... I don't like this question... help build some trail. I'm not one to toot my own horn; it's taken many volunteer hours from more people than I can list to get this trail to almost 12 miles long.

Q: Who or what has been instrumental in getting permission to build and maintain these trails and what training was necessary to maintain the sustainability?

A. CITA, IMBA, ERTA, and Ken Miner (Kansas IMBA rep.) have all been instrumental in getting permission to build and maintain these trails. Working with the land managers and other user groups has helped us (CITA) gain credibility as a club also. I've had a couple day's training with the IMBA trail care crew last year on trail building procedures, but there are others in the club that have more experience than myself. IMBA's trail building book is also a great resource.

Q: What do you see as the five-year plan for trails in Des Moines? Iowa? Growing or

receding? What will it take to improve the scene?

A. It's to early for a 5 yr. plan right now in my opinion; I'll get back to ya on this. In Iowa, I see Seven Oaks being the next premier MTB location. Trails will prosper in Iowa, as we cyclist advocate and educate our peers and other trail users. More of the hardcore riders getting down with the sickness of CITA. New blood runs through the veins of CITA now, the LBS are scratching our backs, many new faces on the trail to preach the dirt gospel too. Like I said before advocate and educate everyone on the trail. There is power in #'s and I hope everyone has the common sense to see the truth in this.

Q: Fave brew?

A. New Castle brown ale, baby!!!

Q: You're the mushroom man. When are they going to be coming out and will it be as good as last year? What is your fave recipe?

A. Whoa I feel special I'm the mushroom man and the guardian saint. I'm so cool. (jk) Mushrooms are already popping up, I don't know if it will be like last year, we'll just have to wait and see. I eat'm any way I can, really don't have a fave recipe.

Parting Shot: Can cycling at its most fanatical be called religion?.... Come Sunday, or whenever you may conduct your time of congregational worship, you'll be where your soul tells you to be. For some of us, there'll be single track and tree's, fire roads and open sky.
~Mike Ferrentino

RANT #1: Media coverage of cycling in Iowa

If you’re reading the newspaper that depends on Iowa, cycling is RAGBRAI and bike racing is a lifestyle, not a competitive sport. Unless it is July and your name is Lance.

As Jason McCartney’s epic Tour of Georgia stage win was being documented on, I was going bonkers, emailing a storm up with the staff at the Des Moines Register to get an article in the paper.

After all of the hard work, we see a picture on the front page in the upper left hand corner and a few paragraphs.

Luckily, we got some wind in our sails and Nancy Clark picked up the news and wrote a great article in Tuesday’s Des Moines Register. Check out the latest of J-Mac with his interview in Tuesday’s Des Moines Register.

So what does it take to get more bike racing in the paper? Good relationships with writers and editorial staff. Cyclists writing the editorial staff telling them what they want to see.

It just so happened that Jason and John Lieswyn joined us in Altoona and Waterworks Park a few weeks ago to show us all how human we really are. Did the media pick up on it, despite our best intentions? No.

Will it always work? No. Can we make it better? Yes. Write your local papers, tell them what you want, and even offer to help with leads on news articles that are cycling-related.

BTW ~ Congrats to Jason and Health Net. When am I going to get a interview, eh?


RANT #2: Promoters pissing out on events

Are you planning on racing on the road in central Iowa in May? Better check out elsewhere...

We’ve had two weekends of racing peter out in the past two weeks.

I know for a fact how hard it is to put on events. I’ve been doing it for nearly ten years now. Granted, (DMOS/Mortgage Solutions) cancelled our Thursday Night Crit Series because it would be too much work to make a fun event. But then again, we’re also promoting over a dozen events from January through December.

If you’re going to put on an event, do it. Don’t just talk the talk, follow through, eh?


RANT #3: Iowa Rider of the Year Points

Am I the only one that thinks that Iowa Rider of the Year Points are a waste of time?

Don’t get me wrong. Mark Guthart does a fantastic job getting the information updated and verified. When you see him at the races, be sure and thank him.

Shouldn’t Iowa racers consider a points competition that is based on the big races (Iowa City, Memorial Weekend, State Championships) including at least one race per registered team in the state. (You do remember that if you’re a registered team, you need to put on an event, right?)

One, we would have a true barometer of who is the Rider of the Year and not who chases points from January to December.

Two, it would be a much easier process to administer with monthly updates on a few races, instead of a dozen.

Three, results would be guaranteed to all racers. How many events have you competed at where the officials only get the top three places and you were fourth out of fifty?

Think about it.


RANT #4: The Cat1’s in Iowa

Every spring I hear more racers complaining that someone else earned a Cat1 upgrade and they didn’t.


I don’t understand the problem. If they deserve it, give it to them.

Question: I’ve got a NORBA Expert license. Does anyone really care?


Random Notes

I’m right, I’m wrong… ‘Back to the Bricks’ in Adel isn’t going to happen for 2004. Keep it tuned here for 2005. Keith Wells and Midwest Rolling Thunder are not going to have information about a new event in Adel soon. Thanks to for the update and no one else.

If you like DQ: check out his website and ask to be added to his email list. Some pretty funny stuff can come out of it.

This guy owns the store: Randy Reichardt has been closing the deal on quite a few Cat4 races already this spring. Started as a Cat5, now upgraded to Cat3 racing for QCP in baby blues... future Cat2, Lou?

Don’t piss off my lawyer. I’ve heard that Kim West and Jeff Corbett from Health Net have done a little e-mail sparring as of late. I’m hoping to get my hands on this one.

Crashes, cont’d: Scott Wall pulled me aside at the Elkhart TT a few weeks ago and told me that the Iowa Games crash really did happen. Hopefully, I’ll have an account in future issues.

ISU Cat 3s Rule: Congratulations to Dave Lippold, Dave Cornelison, Will Hartman and Brian West, winners of the team title at the Velotek Grand Prix in Lawrence last weekend. They beat the DMOS/Mortgage Solutions team of Chad Vandelune, Eric Lambi and Lane Anderson by ten seconds. Apparently, Lane received a 30 second penalty for starting late in the TT. Andy 'Acorn' Cornelison demolished the junior competition of the Lance Armstrong Junior Race, sweeping the TT, RR & Crit. Basically Iowa asserted their authoritay.Showdown in Ames this weekend?

Snake Alley Rumor: Apparently the Snake Alley race will be run downhill this year, so you can use your 53 to 55 chainrings up front and an 11-21 in back! This should be a super-fast race!


Races on deck:

Ames Road Race: Saturday, May 8
Memorial Weekend in Burlington, Muscatine and Rock Island. Rock out!
Keep training, see you at the races!

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