Wednesday, July 28, 2010

St. Cloud Times Article

(Mike Schroden maneuvers the rocks on a training ride in Quarry Park and Nature Preserve. Shroden is training for another 24-hour off-road bike race. (Jason Wachter,

Cyclist pushes himself to extremes

Through mud and muck, over roots and rocks, Mike Schroden conquered the elements in his first crack at an event most cyclists won't even attempt in their lifetime.
The 29-year-old St. Cloud resident finished third in the 24 Hours of Summer Solstice off-road mountain biking race June 26-27 in Toronto, Ontario.
Yes, 24 hours.
"Know what I'd like? To be top five," Schroden said, recalling his thoughts before the race in Toronto. "I thought, realistically? Is this realistic? Maybe I'll learn experience, but the area was unfamiliar and I knew that it could be strong competition."
For the last two years, Schroden has trained — physically and mentally — for this and other 24-hour off-road mountain biking races in hopes of adequately preparing himself for the USA Cycling 24-Hour Mountain Bike National Championships that will be held Oct. 9-10 in Moab, Utah.
In Toronto, Schroden went shoulder-to-shoulder with strong competition — but not strong enough to keep him from surpassing his goal.
"There was definitely quite a bit of traffic," said Schroden, who co-owns Revolution Cycle and Ski in St. Cloud along with friends Ben Doom and Harry Forsyth.
He also has committed time to creating and supporting the Dutri Club, a club organized to support duathlon and triathlon athletes in the St. Cloud area.
The 24-hour race featured 2,200 riders. There were four-person teams, two-person teams and solo riders. Schroden was one of 100 solo riders in the 40-and-under age division.
To place third, Schroden completed 17 10.5-mile laps of the course from noon June 26 to noon June 27. In front of him were two individuals who each completed 19 laps, one faster than the other.
But the journey to third wasn't simple.
A long ride
Before becoming involved with 24-hour mountain bike racing, Schroden participated in cross country racing, longer point-to-point bike racing and long-distance mountain bike races. Cross country is shorter two-hour racing and road racing and the other events were 40-, 60- and 100-mile races.
But 24-hour races brought Schroden's cycling to a whole new level.
"He's done really well and in the biggest (24-hour race) in North America, he got third," Doom said. "He loves the endurance events: The longer the better."
Schroden's training program had to be adjusted significantly.
"Basically, I had to restructure my whole training program and how my body works," said Schroden, who was sponsored by Cannondale Factory Racing. "I had to get my body to go and go and go like the Energizer Bunny."
Schroden had to train himself to overcome issues with nutrition, exhaustion and physical elements.
"Obviously, the main goal is to stay on your bike and stay awake during that period," Schroden said. "You travel as many miles as you can in the most efficient way."
In order to prepare for 24-hour races, Schroden has taken it to the next level with training.
"The time spent training has increased over the last two years," said wife Angela Schroden. "(Before) he would ride his bike two to three hours a day and now he progressed to eight-hour training."
In addition to increased time on the bike, Schroden also pays careful attention to his diet and sleeping habits.
"I experiment with different foods," Schroden said. "(I've used) energy gels, some other foods easier to eat on the bike and foods that digest fairly easy to not upset my stomach."
Fatigue factor
Although Schroden doesn't alter his sleeping habits to prepare for the 24-hour races, other factors affecting his energy are taken into account.
"Ten days prior (to the race) I was monitoring my sleep," Schroden said. "I limited the amount of caffeine I took in. I was eating extremely well and mentally I knew what I was getting into."
Thirteen hours into the race, Schroden's mental and physical training paid off.
"At that point I wasn't riding as smooth," Schroden said. "I wasn't staying focused. At one point I clipped a tree... I just noticed there wasn't something right and I actually started talking to myself."
Within 35 minutes, deprivation was solved
"(It) was all I needed," Schroden said. "It was like a full night's sleep, pretty much."
After regaining energy, Schroden was back on track with quicker lap times, increasing his speed as time passed.
Schroden's wife contributed significantly to his success.
"He needs food made, beverages available, his bike cleaned, emotional support," Angela Schroden said. "I did all those things at the race and realized that it's not just a one-person job."
Staying awake for the entire 24 hours, Schroden and his wife stayed in contact while she constantly kept tabs on his progress throughout the race.
On lap five, Schroden was informed he was in fourth place. By the next lap, it was third.
"It was really motivating to get that response from her," Schroden said. "From there, I kept on plugging along and mentally stuck with it. That kept me on the pace I needed to be."
The road ahead
The race in Toronto established a foundation for Schroden's future races.
"Besides getting third, I gained valuable award in knowing what I need to do in the future as far as nutrition and bike setup," Schroden said.
"(I know) changes as far as what I need to do and keep time limited when I come into the pit and what I can expect to happen 13, 14, 15 hours in."
Schroden will participate in two more races before competing in the national championships. He will be competing in the Wausau (Wis.) 24, and the 24 Hours of Seven Oaks race in Boon, Iowa.
About 5,000 racers will attend the national championships, some solo and others with two- and four-person teams.
"I hope to have a top-10 finish out there. That would be excellent," Schroden said. "I think it's realistic, but it's a pretty high goal.
"I know the competition will be tough and there's a lot of people that train for that particular race all year long. I'm figuring things out still, but I'm figuring them out pretty quick."
Training for and participating in 24 hour races only scratches the surface of Schroden's involvement and passion for biking.
"He's a hard worker," Angela Schroden said. "Owning (Revolution Cycle and Ski) takes a lot of work — mentally and physically. His heart is into his shop that comes first, before his training, and his training is very important as well.
"He has to be aware of his time spent and how to organize. He gets up at 5 in the morning, does his training and works 10 hours."
Doom, who frequently bikes alongside Schroden, puts it simply.
"His drive helps him," Doom said. "It's easy to say, 'I'm not going to ride today.' He's able to control his mind so well. (He has) overall drive and ability to control his brain.
"(It's) his overall attitude. He's always positive on the bike. He's a fun guy to ride with because of that."
While placing third in one of North America's largest 24-hour mountain biking races was a particularly rewarding feat for Schroden, it's only the beginning of his endeavors.
"It was a valuable learning experience ending in a good result, too." Schroden said.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

24 Hours of Summer Solstice

In a couple hours I am headed to a city near Toronto, ON to race in the 24 Hours of Summer Solstice hosted by Chico Racing. This race claims to be one of the largest 24 hour events in North America bringing in athletes all across the continent. I am competing as a solo athlete and this will be the first attempt at the 24 hour circuit. This is a long awaited race for me as I have been training for these style of events for some time now, and I have to say that I think I am ready.
More to come as Angela and I are on the road. I will try to share with my Blackberry pictures of places we travel through and of the gear that is needed for a 24 hour solo event. So Long!!!

I will try to have Angela update as the race progresses through this channel and/or Facebook.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Better Late Than Never

So this is a little past due, but great job to all those that participated in last weekend's Apple Duathlon. Here is a picture of the crew that showed up for the event.
Here is a picture of my wife, Angela, and her sister, Jenny, taking home some hardware. The two of them competed in the womens relay finishing in first place. This is the second time that the two of them have stood on the top podium position.

Angela had her best time on the bike course ever. She completed the course in a time around 56 minutes with an average speed of 21.8 mph. Others from Du Tri St. Cloud also had personal bests this year. Congrats to all.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Assistance tonight

My two co-workers helping me out tonight. Good night at work with my little buddies, Pavlov and Julius. They just scored a treat!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Chequamegon 100 Completed

This past weekend I made my way over to compete in the inaugural Chequamegon 100. The race started in Seeley, WI at 7 a.m. on Saturday with about 170 riders in attendance. The start of the race rolled us out on gravel roads, very soon to double track and not more than 3 miles in we were on the promised singletrack. More than 75 miles of singletrack for the day.
From the start we rode back to Hayward on singletrack with a little mix of the Chequamegon 40 trail backwards. I was very happy to ride the singletrack instead of the 40 trail. Too open and boring but still very beautiful. Once we arrived at Hatchery Creek trailhead, the group of us amounted to 7. Yes, we were the lead group.
At about mile 30 something we stopped to make sure we were going to correct way. A couple more riders joined us that were riding very fast. We had a great group now. Now at 40 miles in, we were unsure where we were and what direction to go. Yes, we are not on trail and a little lost. We have now rode the same singletrack 3 times back and forth trying to find our way, and riding way out of our way. Some tempers started to flare but I just thought to myself that I am riding my bike and enjoying myself.
We found our way onto the trail and arrived at the drop point where we were able to have some nutrition or whatever one may need dropped off. I used a Victoria's Secret bag to identify my bag so I had zero time trying to find mine amonst all the others. I was glad to see that bag!
Seven minutes and we were off again. Some riders chose one way, we chose another, and we soon found out that neither of us were on the correct trail. At this point, we were about 6.5 miles over out targeted mileage. We, Horkey and Heath, agreed that we couldn't waste time or energy going in the wrong direction anymore. From the 65 mile cue point, we made sure that we were going in the right direction. I wanted to take that 3 seconds to keep my mental sanity at each marker. It worked kind of. One more time being unsure of our route through some logging area and then we were on track again. Just three of us on trail together and there was not too much talking going on but we were on our way. Just more and more singletrack to one last big climb on the Birkie trail that lead us to the final gravel road to bring us home. The day ended with close to 110 miles traveled in 9 hours with a tie for 3rd place.
Cheers to a great event with great people. Great job Tim and Joe.
I tried to load a pic but was unable at this time.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Good Luck

This weekend I am standing on the other side of the fence as a supporter. Tomorrow, Angela is running the half marathon here in Green Bay, WI. Also running tomorrow is Jenny, Angela's sister, and Danny(Jenny's husband). Should be a great time with good weather in the forecast for the morning.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Time Flies

One week ago was the start of the 3 days of intense, long hours in the morning before putting in a full days worth of work. My goal was to ride for 6-7 hours each day Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. I pretty much achieved this in my little world, but the days proved to be a challenge set forth from Mother Nature.
Wednesday started out a little chilly in the morning and it felt cooler from the winds gusting to 30 mph. With the winds that fierce I planned a route to take me SW to Paynesville, MN. With hitting the wind directly for 4 hours in the face any chance to take cover or get a cross wind was well liked. Making my way around Lake Kronus I found a little shelter on the lake road. As I found my way into Paynesville the skies started to spit on my a little bit. No big deal I thought. When I rolled into the Casey's gas station for the scheduled refueling, the skies started to open up. I kept the break very short and headed North out of Paynesville. This part of the ride was the toughest. With the cross winds and the rain feeling like needles, the trip about 15 miles to the North felt like it took forever. Once I turned back to the East I was moving very fast. Too fast! By this time and where I was in the route, I was headed home. Luckly the trip home went well and I rolled in very close to 7 hours that day.

Thursday morning Ben and I headed out again at 6 a.m. The route planned for the day was to go North on the East side of the river to gain a little coverage from the wind. Destination was Little Falls and by going up the East side we were able to enjoy the views as we were doing a usual route backwards. Once we arrived in Little Falls we started to roll back to the South, then to the West, then further West, then South, and then back to the East. This brought us home in just 6.25 hours of riding. We had a couple stops, with one top fix a flat. Thanks for joining my Ben.
Friday morning when I woke up it was raining. Not to mention it was cold also. I had to do everything I could to convince myself to swing my leg over the bike outside. I did and it was brutual. I have to admit that I could only make it 4 hours though. I was extremely cold, wet and tired after 13 hours of riding in the last two days. I planned a route to keep me on the outskirts of the town just incase I needed to pull the plug. Honestly I made it longer than I thought considering that I was soaked all the way through in the first 45 min. All in all I was glad that I toughed it out that day. I looked as if that morning had been a race, I would have done it. By doing what I did over the last three days, I hope the training will pay off come 20 hours into a 24 hour race.

On Satudarday Angela graduated with a double master's degree. An outstanding achievement for you! I am very proud of you.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Check back

Just a quick update for now. With the last three days of very long training, I made it through and I feel pretty good. A total of about 270 miles with some very tough conditions. I will post about it later tonight when I have some down time.
Today is all about Angela. She is going through graduation with achieving here double Masters Degree. Way to go. I will post a pick later.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Coffee Day

I was planning on getting out for a few hours this morning on the road bike thinking that the trails were going to be wet. The rain this morning though is keeping me in since I have been a little under the weather. In turn this leaves me with a morning filled with coffee drinking and catching up with some other items.
While on the computer I came across some pictures from this past years Mora Vasaloppet. These pictures were taken from my wife's sister in-law. Don't worry, I don't have skiing on the brain.


Thanks Rachel.

Time to go hit the weights now.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

New ride

Last night I was able to take my new Cannondale Factory Racing team bike out for a quick spin. The bike of choice for 24 hour competitions this year is the Scalpel.
So far it feels great and the Sram XX has a super smooth feel. More to come after I get some time off road with it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I will catch up with this blog someday here soon. Lots of fun stuff going on in the bike world. Life has been just a little hectic lately. Busy in a good way though.

Hope everyone is having a great earth day with this beautiful weather.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

It's Go Time!

I am sitting here this morning after another quick night it seems like. Getting through the regular morning routine of drinking coffee, getting the bike ready, and looking ahead of what is in store for the rest of the day. The only thing that differs is that I am looking at a map instead of just so called wing-ing it; destination- Elk River, MN.
The wind is brutal this morning in a not so pleasant direction with a little bite to the air to remind us that it is still the beginning of April. Plan on leaving at 8am to make it be 5hrs to Elk River. (I am taking the round about way there.)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Quick Night

About six hours ago I got home from changing the store around with Ben and Brian. Now I am up and I know Ben is up because we are meeting for our 6am ride. Anyone interested, let us know for next week. I love getting a 3 plus hour ride in before work, but I have a feeling that today I might be dragging a little at the end of the day. Today is the last Community Education class that we host in the repair center at the shop. Next classes start in June; make sure to sign up early to save a spot.
Specials thanks to Jenna for helping last night too. (Brian's Wife)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dirt in March

I have to say this is the first time that I have been on dirt in the month of March for a very long time. I hit the trails early this morning accompanied by Brian and Jesrin to the south end trails. Plum creek, I must say, is riding very well. With the morning temperature below freezing the trail was solid but I would have to say that during mid day I think it would still be OK to ride with out any damage to the trail. The North Loop trail on the other hand, is a trail that needs to dry out before riding. Some have attempted and it has resulted in many ruts in the trail. For now, we just need to stay off.

As far as training progresses, I think that I am in a pretty good position for the year. Right now though, I can tell that my legs are not recovering as well. The only thing that has changed with training in the last few weeks has been a incremental increase in hours, but not quite enough to make that big of a change in the way I feel. My only conclusion is that shop is at a very busy time and it is go go go. Being on my feet 12 straight hours day in day out, will do it I think. I am not going to complain because fitting and getting new people on fancy bikes is a ton of fun.

With the busiest time of the year in full swing, I am going to be putting my non bike related hobby aside for the season and restart with it again in the fall. This past winter I started throwing pottery again for the first time in 13 years. I must say it was the most relaxing thing I have done in a long time. Too bad I just don't have time to do it anymore this time of year. Here is a picture that Angela took of a couple pieces.
Already looking forward to next fall to get back to the studio. I have a list of stuff that I want to make.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spring Time is Near

It's Raining, It's Raining, and riding must go on. Well, that is- riding must go on but it will be downstairs. This is the most crucial time to take care of one's self is when the temps are still low for riding outside, training time increases, and when there is still some flu bugs going around. For me, I would normally go ride in the rain, but when the temps are chilly and the training hours are stacking up, I head downstairs on the trainer to make sure I keep training on the quality side.
Speaking of quality, last weekend I was able to achieve some great early morning riding before work. Sure was nice and I am now on the bike full time after 3 hours on Saturday and 4 hours on Sunday.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I have been putting off getting on the bike for about the last month for couple reasons. It is not because I don't like to ride, but skiing has been wonderful and I feel mentally it will be good for me with the long hours that I will be putting in this year.
Yesterday though, was a bike day. How could I resist with the sun shinning and with the tems near 40 degrees. We, Matt N. and I, rode out to St. Joe to explore the new Co Rd 51. I can't wait to do a little hill time trial on that with a road bike. Very nice. I also noticed that the county has done some improvements to Wild Wood ski area on 51. Looks very nice. Hopefully I can make it out there for a ski before we lose all the snow.
The ride from there lead us to some grave for a while and popped us out West of Avon. Just a few hills in there which felt great.
Finally back home with a good almost 4 hrs, I had a 3 minute pit stop, and I was off and running to finalize some year end ski room stuff at the high school. More on that soon.

Riding tip for early spring riding: Bring plenty of nutrition products with, even if you think, "I won't eat all of that."

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Just a little tease

I know, I know- it has been way too long since my last update and even the last update was not worth much at all. Well, I have something that is a little worth while but most of it is going to have to wait since my wife and I are going on our third brand new computer in the last couple of weeks. There has been numerous problems with the new ones that we have received and Angela has done a wonderful job handling the problem to figuring what is going on. Not having a computer is not an excuse for not blogging, I know. We have plenty of computers at work and that is exactly where I am sitting.
Tax season is on and our tax appointment is this week. There are just a few things that I need to read through and collect to be ready. Ready as most anyway.
Soon as I can recover some pictures from the old computer, I will post a little about what I was up to over the holiday months. I like posting with pics.
So I will leave you with this image.
Yes, this is going to be my new ride, 2010 Cannondale Team Scalpel. This bike and along with my Team Cannondale Team Scalpel from 2009 will be my race bikes for 2010 24 hour Solo National Championships.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I guess it was a butterfingers game. Not the result MN was looking for.


Just like all other Minnesotans tonight. I guess we'll have to see what the end result of the Vikings game will be. Stay tuned for more from the last two weeks.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Setting sail

Angela and I are ready to have a little fun. Still does not seem that warm, but when Ben said it is still minus 20 in Minnesota it feels even warmer. I will try and update as we go.
Here I sit at the airport to depart for warmth. I personally can't think of a better time to go someplace warm. First stop miami, then the big boat!