Marilyn Ruseckas, cyclist

 

Marilyn Ruseckas' Mtn Bike Racing MedalsSPONSORS

SEVEN CYCLES

STAN'S NO TUBES

FIT WERX

KENDA TIRES

Resume:

2011 UCI Cyclocross Masters World Champion, Mol, Belgium, 50+

2010 US National Cyclocross, 2nd place, Bend, OR Masters 50-54

2010  UCI Cyclocross Masters World Champion, Mol, Belgium 50+

2009  US National Cyclocross Champion,  Bend, OR  Masters 50-54

2009-Present, Race to the Top of Vermont, Mt. Mansfield, Stowe, VT               Overall Women's Record Holder

2000, 1999  UCI MTB Masters World Championship Bromont, PQ  40-44

1996, 1997, 1998  Mt. Washington Hillclimb, Overall Women's Record Holder

1997-2000  New England Mountain Bike Championship, Pro Women

2010 Podium Mol, Belgium

2010 UCI CYCLOCROSS MASTERS WORLD CHAMPION

Mol, Belgium

Cross Nats Podium 2009
2009 CYCLOCROSS NATIONALS

Masters 50-54       

1st place

Bend, Oregon

 

Overall Women's
Record Holder

Mount Washington Bicycle Hillclimb
1996, 1997, 1998

Masters Mountain
Bike World Champion

1999, 2000
Bromont, Canada

[Photo by Kathy Ruseckas]

[Photo by Adam Whitney]

Mountain biking in Florida

This year on our second annual trip to Florida, Adam and I brought our Seven 29ers. We had always heard the mountain biking was exceptional in Ocala, so we finally got the chance to check it out for ourselves. We stayed at the Silver River State Park for two nights and rode three solid days. The cabin we rented was more like a house, it was really nice.Cabin in Ocala

The trail system is free to ride, it's clearly marked , mapped, and easy to follow. The first day, we rode for a couple hours before we ran into a local guy who was training for 12 Hours of Santos. He enjoyed showing us the hilliest and most technical trails of the system. We got a great workout that day.

The second day, we did the IMBA Epic ride which consists of 42 miles of single track. You ride for hours on end on smooth, fast trails, nothing like what we have here in Vermont. What a treat in mid-winter. By the third day we were able to link up the trails and ride without stopping at every intersection. There's a lot more to do there that we didn't have time to get. Some to go back for another year.

Santos TrailheadAdam's Dad lets us use his pick up for the time we are there. It is a perfect rig for our purposes. In addition to the Santos Trail system, we found a few other really good trails, too. There's a mountain bike specific park called Chuck Lennon in DeLand. It's a system consisting of three one-way trails that all link together. It's not as much as Santos, but if you do it all twice, it makes for a very fun ride. It's all twisty single track with a lot of quick climbs and short descents. It is designed to flow and be ridden fast. Very entertaining.

Another trail we found was the Dairy, a 7 mile loop of directional single track in New Smyrna that we were able to incorporate into a ride from Adam's folks' house. Good stuff, we'll be back!

MTB riding in Ocala

 

2011 Trip to Belgium Recap

Thanks to our sponsors, Seven Cycles, NoTubes.com, and Fit Werx for helping us succeed in our goal.

This year Adam and I returned to Belgium to defend my 2010 championship in Mol at the UCI Cyclocross Masters Worlds. Our small team’s hard work and training paid off and we came home with the 2011 rainbow jersey and gold medal.

We based ourselves out of Mol this time, renting an a-frame right next to the race course. It was off season for this lakeside resort, so it was very inexpensive. We took day trips from here. Everything was only an hour drive or so. The accommodations were very nice with a modern bathroom, plenty of hot water, TV, and a fully equipped kitchen with a refrigerator for tasty Belgian beer.

There were endless opportunities for good riding from our house, too. Bike paths run along every road and there are maps that detail a numbered bike route system. Non-technical single track trails in the woods and back roads were perfect for our ‘cross bikes. We found our way around without any trouble.


On Sunday, January 16, we traveled to Bakel, NL to race in the Rabobank Dutch National event. There was a field of about 30 women. I started in the last row, had a terrible first lap, but managed to pull off a fifth place finish. I caught and passed so many young, blond Dutch girls, it gave me great confidence for the next weekend’s race. At the start, an official recognized my masters worlds skin suit and he asked me about it. When I came through the start-finish every lap, he announced my name, (with lots of rolling r's), as a masters world champion from the United States of America, in Dutch of course!

Despite a last row call up, Adam’s race was going great that day, too. Unfortunately, he got a flat tire towards the end of the race. The pit was pretty far away, so the wheel change came slowly, but he was able to finish and get a good workout.

One day we met with our friend, Hugo, who took us on a very cool ride. We rode through an industrial area near Antwerp. We rode to the town of Doel which is mostly abandoned because they are going to dig it up to make a new harbor for shipping. They will take the rubble from Doel and fill in another harbor that is not being used. It is very controversial. In the meantime, graffiti artists have gone to work painting the town. There is a nuclear power plant very close by adjacent to an antique windmill. It is a very surreal setting.


On the way home we rode through a very rural section of farmland. It was a great ride.

The race course at Mol was fun and very challenging. There were lots of tricky sand sections, twisty single track, a set of barriers, a couple of run ups, and a paved start-finish section. My race went off early and I did what we set out to do. I got in a good warm up and won the race. The Dutch girl pictured with me is Ilona Meter, winner of the 30-39 race.

It was a relief for us when it was over, but Adam still had his race to think about later in the day. He was the only American in his field of 50 guys. Some of the top finishers in his race have won masters national titles all over Europe and masters world titles in other cycling disciplines as well. Adam finished on the lead lap in 30th place.

Thanks to our Belgian friends, Hugo and Paul, for coming out to support us at the race!


The day after the race, we went to watch the elite World Cup in Hoogerheide, NL. It was such a spectacle. We saw lots of friends and racers that we know. The course was very difficult and all our Americans did well. Pictured are Katie Compton, the women’s winner, Tim Johnson going through the start-finish in 3rd place, and me with Danny Summerhill.

On our last day, we went back to the track where we rode with Filip and met Hugo last year, the Vlaams Wielercentrum Eddy Merckx. This year Hugo was able to ride with us instead of instructing from the sidelines. The track was full to the limit of 100 riders that night. 98 guys and 2 women. It was extremely nerve racking when we first arrived and had to move up on to the track in traffic. Thanks to Hugo for coaching us as we went. Before long, Adam and I got used to it and were hammering around with the rest of the field. If we had a velodrome like that nearby, Seven would have to make us a couple of track bikes!

We don’t know when, but we would would like to go back someday.


   

FJG Race to the Top of Vermont-new course record!

On Sunday, August 29, Adam and I entered a mountain bike hill climb called the FJG Race to the Top of Vermont in Stowe.

I went into it defending my previous record and set a new course record for women on Sunday with a time of 43:26:7, two minutes faster than last year.

Adam placed 2nd in his age category and 4th overall. His time was 38:42, 1:27 faster than last year.

The course is 4.3 miles long and climbs 2,663 vertical feet on the famous Mt. Mansfield Toll Road to the summit parking lot. The racecourse starts on pavement for a third of a mile, then switches to gravel for 4 miles.

Racers face a steady incline throughout the course, with a 10-degree maximum pitch. Among the rewards is one of the most spectacular views in the East, overlooking three states and Canada.

   

Putney Podium

On June 27, we had a great time racing at Putney. Mike Broderick and Mary McConneloug (Kenda Seven NoTubes) were there and it was a pleasure to visit with them. I lined up with Mary as we were the only two pro women. Naturally, she beat me handily, but I still managed to beat the times of all the expert women behind us. I will also mention here that Mary beat all of the expert men, except for one!

   

Coyote Hill, Root 66 Series

Sunday, May 30th was the date of the Coyote Hill mountain bike race. Adam and I entered it restoring vague memories of the course from having raced there so many years ago. I remembered long, dark, earthy laps with many stream crossings, roots and rocks, and challenging hills. Not much had changed there, but coming back to the sport so many years later brings with it new dynamics amongst the competition. I am still categorised as a pro on my license, so I raced in the Pro-Open field with the Cat 1 women behind us. I lined up with three other pro girls, Mo Bruno-Roy, Linnea Koons, and Andrea Smith. Three of us were on Sevens and all of us were on titanium 26er hardtails with three, six mile laps ahead of us.

At the start, we hit the first hill. Andrea reached the top and entered the singletrack first with Mo right on her wheel. I was next, happy enough that they were in sight let alone not last. In the woods, Linnea caught up to me, then dropped back while I bridged my way up to the leaders. Due to some fumbling on their part in the technical sections, I managed to get by and had the lead for the rest of the lap with Mo right on my wheel. She went by just before the next lap and I held on to second place for much of the second lap. Linnea bridged up looking and sounding strong, but it wasn't until the start of the last lap that Andrea caught and passed me. I finished up fourth and we were all within five minutes of each other.

I am happy with this result. My racing age is now 51 and I still beat the times of all the expert women behind us. It was a pleasure to have interaction within the race, not just getting shelled out the back and riding the whole course in no-man's land.

Thanks to Seven Cycles, Stan's NoTubes, the promoters of the race series, and to Tom and Gabriela at Coyote Hill. It's a lot of work and the event was run very well.

Seven Sola

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Start of the 2010 Season

Going to Belgium to race the Masters Cyclocross Worlds in January definately seems like the end of last season. However, it was in 2010 and I suppose it counts as the beginning of this season. I have never raced bikes so much in the winter until this year so I have a much better fitness so far this season than in years past. We have already ridden the local gaps and hills so many times that it's hard to believe it's still April.

Last weekend we rode our 'cross bikes in a Gravel Grinder put on by Five Hills Bikes in Waterbury. That was a fun ride, but at times it felt like a race for those of us who do race and tend to go hard. The dirt roads are coming around and that is encouraging because it opens up more riding options and gets us off the busier roads.

The weekend before was the Sugarbush Triathlon. That's the infamous 4-legged tri that is usually a run-paddle-bike-ski. Due to the early date, sometimes the weather forces changes to the event. This year, the ski was changed to a trail run due to lack of snow. The team that I ride for has been together more or less for the last 15 years. This year I rode the bike leg and posted the second fastest women's bike time. Local mountain bike pro Leah Davison was there and she beat me, fair enough, but our team smoked theirs!

The weather is really nice. We plan to go on our club ride tonight and look forward to some upcoming mountain bike races.

   

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