Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Race Photos: 6/24/2008

Honestly, you may be able to manual ... but, you probably can't manual like this. Jacob Hinzpeter is showing super smooth style and blazing speed in '08. His backside is going to be an awful familiar site to his competition for the rest of this season.

Anatomy of a wreck ... the obvious problem here is the rider who's having his issues down low ... he's full sideways and has exactly no feet on his pedals ... a problem which which I've become all to familiar with throughout my many years of racing. What's somewhat less obvious is that our lead rider, Anthony Brzezinski, in dodging our slideways rider down low, is testing the absolute outer limits of the first turn. Careful young man ... I'm not even sure what's behind that corner ... it could be the end of the earth !!! Congratulations to the tough young man in red, by the way, who came back to take the next two round wins and the overall for this class last night.

David Smith with perfect turn form shoulders square to the direction his bike is moving in ... head turned to the direction he's ready to move in. Class is 8 intermediate ... but, Garrett Kluth (chasing) is still only 7.

Dane O'Donnell and Daniel Walkowiak had some real back and forth laps with Dane taking down the overall win.

RJ Eckert hauling so much mail that his tires are actually airborne in the middle of the first turn. The shadow line at his tires tells the story. Talk about speedy delivery ... pretty cool, RJ.

Payton Dickerson has got to score the save of the year with this little number. He speculates that his leg cramped up just as he was about to pull up for the big first straight double. As he went up the front side, he got bucked pretty hard. At this moment, with the front wheel dropped and on straight arms and legs, Payton is probably as convinced as I was that disaster was inevitable. However, he managed to hang onto it and came out of this really awkward looking moment smelling like a rose.

Nobody has Milwaukee's rhythm dialed like Ben Kohls. Another super looking photo of him pulling a very solid group of riders, including Dana Mittelstadt, Andrew Wipiejewski and Payton Dickerson into the last turn at warp speed.

Chris Wipijewski (48), Collin Kohls (3) and Nate Booth (57) barreling down into the first corner. With Kohls a little dinged up from a street riding incident that happened earlier in the day -- Wip was pretty much tail-lights and took down a nice win in 15 Intermediate.

Target: Finish line -- target acquired -- affirmative -- all systems go -- achieving maximum thrust !!! 7 year old Maxwell Wilson has the look of determination of a fighter jet pilot.

Monday, June 23, 2008


True:  20 years of age separate the riders running  side by side in this photo ... but, the fact that he's blasting the 23' double probably gives away the fact that Ben Kohls #1, is the 17 expert while #347 Fred Yanke (a former pro) has a day job to think about.  Chris Bratz, inside, wound up third.  Yanke actually made us old guys pretty proud when he pulled Ben all the way to the rhythm section.  And, it's not like Kohls is any kind of pushover at Milwaukee ... the kid is almost certainly our fastest regular competitor. 

Pride of Edgar, WI right here, folks ... #18 Tyler Witt made the trip to Milwaukee to dust off #10 Jared Engelhart and #22 Eric Hahn.

#287, Tina Gillis with a big first straight lead over #505 Ginger Kluth and the Redline Cup #1 of Terri Bratz.  Gillis just returned to racing after a long time away earlier this summer ... and already, she's a factor in her class at nationals, and giving a few of us guys fits when she gates up in our classes.

Len Cabaltera leading out the 28 and (way) over novice class.  Karl Ausdembruch sits in second in the SE colors, Mike Wenzlaff sits in third, and Jay Labecki sits in fourth, biding his time as he often does.  Jay moved around Wenzlaff for the three spot as the riders crossed the line.

The two riders out front in this photo are sure to be up to intermediate in no time flat.  #79 Sam Cabaltera has a couple of wins and #282 Dane O'Donnell, using the inside line in this photo to his advantage, pulled away after this shot for the win -- it was his sixth.  #309 Jonah Ausdembruch, 103 Daniel Walkowik and #6 Brittany Brzezinski are giving chase.

Mikey Cabaltera (#91 - 5 and under novice) leads#87 Max Schmitt down into the first turn.  The order changed as the race progressed, with Devonte Smith taking the win, followed by Schmitt and Cabaltera. 
Brad Olson (#4 - 15x) pulling the 17-18 Intermediate class down into the first turn.  Giving hot pursuit are #19 Bryce Engelhardt (17i), #34 Keith Hartfiel (17i) and #13 Dana Mittelstadt (18i).

Jacob Szymanski (10x), Kasen Vanooyen (10x) and Reece Rankins (9x) having at it tooth and nail ... no lift in any of these guys ... they are all battling to get down into the first turn first.

Kuwahara Klassic Pics:

Yeah, we'll have oodles of pics to post up from the Kuwahara Klassic this past weekend ... but, that'll happen later this week. The one above was submitted by Brian Woods, and it's a good one of the first round of a very stout 41-45 cruiser class.

Riders - from left to right: John Engelhardt, Ken Nork, class winner - Bryan Dickerson, Jim Morey (in white), Brian Woods (#13), Kevin O'Donnell, Mike Froh, Ed Morris.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Kuwahara Klassic a BIG success !!!

Thanks to all who came out and joined us for the Kuwahara Klassic at Milwaukee BMX yesterday and congratulations to all 20 of our class winners.


Moto 1:  13 Cruiser
1. Nathan Labecki
2. Jacob Szymanski
3. Kolbee Givens

Moto 2:  41-45 Cruiser
1. Bryan Dickerson
2. Mike Froh
3. Ed Morris
4. Brian Woods
5. Ken Nork
6. Jon Engelhart
7. Jim Morey

Moto 3:  36-40 Girls Cruiser
1. Tina Gillis
2. Terri Bratz
3. Ginger Kluth

Moto 4:  5 and under Novice
1. Devonte Smith
2. Max Schmitt
3. Mikey Cabaltera
4. Sam Niemi
5. Carson Walkowiak
6. Kasie Brezinski

Moto 5:  6 Intermediate
1. Evan Aden
2. Ken Nork II
3. Rachel Rankins

Moto 6:  7 Intermediate
1. Zane Mencheski
2. Brandon Redieske
3. Garrett Kluth

Moto 7:  8 Novice
1. Dane O'Donnell
2. Sam Cabaltera
3. Johah Ausdembruch
4. Daniel Walkowiak
5. Brittany Brzezinski

Moto 8:  8 intermediate (all riders receive expert points)
1. Cameron Carey
2. RJ Eckert
3. Bernard Schneider

Moto 9:  10 Novice
1. Nathanial Windsor
2. Noah Tanker
3. Samantha Brzezinski

Moto 10:  10 Intermediate
1. Trevor Krause
2. Travis Witt
3. Jacob Wenzlaff

Moto 11:  10 Expert (all riders receive expert points)
1. Kasen Vanooyen
2. Jacob Szymanski
3. Reece Rankins

Moto 12:  11 Intermediate
1. Sean Engelbrecht
2. Kolbee Givens
3. Cole Baake

Moto 13:  14 Novice
1. Colin Baake
2. Anthony Brzezinski
3. Cory Baake

Moto 14:  14 Intermediate
1. Tyler Witt
2. Jared Engelhardt
3. Eric Hahn

Moto 15:  14 Expert
1. Jacob Hinzpeter
2. Zach Wenzlaff
3. Kyle Celichowski

Moto 16:  15 Intermediate
1. Colin Kohls
2. Seth Engelbrecht
3. Jack Hall

Moto 17:  16 Novice
1. Andrew Wipijewski
2. Nate Booth
3. Josh May

Moto 18:  17 - 18 Intermediate (all riders receive expert points)
1. Brad Olson
2. Keith Hartfiel
3. Dana Mittelstadt
4. Bryce Engelhardt

Moto 19:  19 - 27 Intermediate (all riders receive expert points)
1. Ben Kohls
2. Fred Yanke
3. Chris Bratz

Moto 20:  28 & Over Novice
1. Len Cabaltera
2. Karl Ausdembruch
3. Jay Labecki
4. Mike Wenzlaff
5. Tyler Anders
6. John Menchieski

Friday, June 20, 2008

Racing this weekend:

Please remember that registration for 2008 Saturday Milwaukee BMX races will be open from 9:30 until 11 a.m. Race fees for the Kuwahara Klassic double point event this Saturday are $20.

Things will be busy with the Kuwahara Klassic this weekend and we'll have lots of goodies to raffle througout the day including a Kuwahara race bike and a couple of framesets. Tasty !!!

Fond du Lac BMX Sunday Single Pointer
Our good friends at Fond du Lac BMX passed along word today that their track is ready to rock and they are resuming their normal racing schedule this Sunday. So, if you don't have anything planned for Sunday ... and, you still got your psych on from the Kuwahara Classic ... or, if you are the lucky winner of the Kuwie bike and you need somewhere to shred on your new scoot ... head on up Highway 41 and check 'em out.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


This is the homepage image that I pulled up at this morning ... recognize the picture? The track? The volunteers?

Rock on, Milwaukee !!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

First EVER Kuwahara Klassic THIS Saturday

Yeah buckaroos ... I once read that Kuwahara means "Mulberry Meadow" in Japanese in a BMX magazine that was published by a a semi-odd, but incredibly entertaining guy with a peculiar fixation with the movie, "The Wizard of Oz" (which, did you know that was the first movie ever to be shown in color?). For something like 25 years, I told that non-truth to anyone who would listen. Well, the Kuwie website says otherwise ... but, while Mulberry Meadow may be out ... the Kuwahara Klassic is definitely in !!!

In addition to those very important double points and big awards up for grabs ... Kuwahara Bicycles has kicked in all sorts of stuff, including a Laserlite Pro bike like the one shown in the photo above. Some lucky BMX dude, dudette - or mom or pop is taking that thing home with them Saturday afternoon. The bike will be raffled off at the track. This bike is a race ready pro XL that is chock full of radness and retails out for just about $550. Suh-weet !!!
We've also got a couple of Kuwie framesets that will also be part of a raffle. So, bring a few extra bucks, and think about how you are going to get all your goodies home if you are one of the lucky winners !!!

Good luck ... and we'll definitely hope to see you Saturday.


I'm still grinning like the cat that ate the canary every moment I consider what all got accomplished last night ...

  • all the washouts are filled
  • all the straights are repaired and ready to be watered and rolled
  • the first straight is almost totally re-constructed and was rolled smooth as a baby's bottom
  • all the rock piles that we made throughout the night were swept up, scooped up and hauled away
  • The corners were raked, washouts filled and with a bit more work, will be ready to roll
  • Areas around the track were improved, cleaned and straightened up
  • Weeds were cut
Basically, we pulled together, with the help of nearly 30 volunteers, our biggest single work event yet ... and the condition of the track reflects it. To us an analogy -- we didn't just get the car washed -- we absolutely tuned and detailed it while we were at it.

We dragged, tamped (thanks for the equipment lend, Chris Mitchell!) and had two major pieces of equipment (Skid Steer run by Mike Froh courtesy of Pro Electric & a John Deere 4wd tractor piloted by Mark Kluth) all running at once.

Huge thanks to all who's names I recall ... and, my sincere apologies to those I miss ... guess if so many of you continue to help, we're going to have to have some sort of sign-in sheet !!! Mike Froh, Bryan Dickerson, Chris Mitchell, Bill Wilson, the Kluth family, the Kohls family, the Braatz family, the Mittlestadt family, the Olson Family, the Brzenski family, Wipijewski family, and the Eckert family.

All in all, I count 17 busy bees in the photo above ... and every one of you deserves every accolade we can send your way. But, let's not miss the obvious ... thanks, as always, for your help.

For those of you rippers who come out to tomorrow night's practice or Saturday's first ever Kuwahara Klassic presented by Kuwahara Bicycles and enjoy our track ... you absolutely know who to thank for their efforts. Without them ... and the work effort they so generously put out last night ... we might not have been able to race this weekend. But, leave no doubt ... this thing is ON !!!

We weren't the only one's hit hard ...

Earlier this morning, I received an e-mail from my wife Denise, an Iowa native who has been watching with pensive interest, how our neighbors to the west are coping with their flooding. As I was flipping through the photos of Cedar Rapids attached to her e-mail ... I stopped and stared at this one for a long time. It's remarkable what something so simple as a window sticker can mean in a photograph ... but, here is quite obviously ... an unknown BMX family that probably lost most all of what they own. It's just devistating to even consider. On their website, Cedar Rapids BMX (also an ABA track) notes they are in shut down mode due to impending flooding. Let's hope that the track is on higher ground and spared so that some sense of normal life can go on in the community.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

All Hands on Deck:

A reminder that tonight's race is cancelled, and also a request that if you can, please come out to help rake tonight (please bring a leaf rake if you can) so that we can get ready for practice on Thursday and racing on Saturday.

Special thanks to Randy Olson, who has been exceptionally gracious to the track this spring ... donating his time and the cost of running his quad (and van to get it to and from the track) for dragging and rolling. Last night, right about dusk, as John and I were looking over the track and trying to figure out a plan of attack for tonight ... Randy rolled up and asked if we would be bothered if he dragged it. I don't know where you volunteers come from ... but, we're sure delighted (not to mention hella lucky) that you found and continue to support Milwaukee BMX.

Below is a photo of Randy doing his thing ... yup, he's in full moonlight ... and, it's much darker than the image suggests ... I had the shutter speed set so slow that I couldn't hold the camera steady enough to even come up with a still shot of him. Cool stuff.

Friday, June 13, 2008


We are officially cancelling our Tuesday June 17 race. Our track has really gotten beat up from the record rainfalls this spring. While we hope that all of our competitors and your friends and families are high and dry ... we are also asking for your help. If you can join us Tuesday night, there will be a volunteer crew working hard to get the track back in shape in time for the earned double points Kuwahara Classic, which is scheduled for next Saturday - June 21st. With a bit of cooperation from mother nature and enough help from our dedicated volunteers we should be able to have the track ready for the race, as well as next Thursday's gate practice.

Like so many other people in SE Wisconsin that are coping with flooding issues -- we're simply playing the hand we've been dealt here and trying to make the most of a bad situation. We appreciate your patience ... as well as all of your dedication and help.

Midwest Nationals:
Best of luck to all of our racers who are heading to Rockford, IL this weekend to compete in the ABA's Midwest Nationals. The Midwest Nationals is one of the biggest and most competitive races of the ABA summer tour and will feature many of the fastest racers from throughout the United States. We will not be traveling this year ... so, if anybody gets photos they'd like to see posted up right here ... send them to ... or, even better, save them to one of many web photo albums and shoot us a link. Go fast, guys and gals, and bring a few big trophies back to Milwaukee !!!

Kevin O'

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

And Now, For Something a 'lil Different ...

This is a sight that Milwaukee race fans aren't treated to real often. Yup, that's Jeff Burton's Sprint Cup short track car, staged up just in front of Kevin Harvick's hauler. Milwaukee Mile has hosted a variety of Sprint Cup (Nextel, Winston, et. al.) test sessions through the years ... but, this is the first in a while that I can recall being open to the public. I work about two laps from the Milwaukee Mile ... and Dane's school is about 1.5 laps from the track ... so, it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that when we hear about any type of race car buzzing around the place, we go and check it out.

I Have to admit, the Cup cars were pretty cool ... as are the IRL and former CART (champ, etc) ... but, in our book ... the neatest thing we've ever seen on the Milwaukee Mile were the USAC Sprinters from a couple years ago. By my watch ... the USAC sprint division gets beat only by the IRL or Indy style cars. Considering the USAC sprinters are sit up, open cockpit, open wheel, front engine, rear drive configuration ... it must have taken an enormous amount of courage to make the lap times they were pulling. 850 hp - 1200 lb. cars out there were absolutely hair raising.

Anyway, thought I'd share a few of the images that I got of the Cup guys today. Hope you enjoy them.

This photo of Kevin Harvick intrigues me ... look closely at the track beneath the right rear quarter panel ... there's a light shining down. My guess is that one of the crew workers who was responsible for that corner of the car (shocks, springs, etc.) probably forgot his flashlight in there. I'm guessing even a super tough mag light turns to dust if it winds up rolling down a track at 130 mph.

Terry Labonte, believe it or not, in an un-painted, unmarked Petty Enterprises car. He wasn't turning the fastest laps ... but, it's still cool to be able to say that I saw the former NASCAR champion turning laps in person.

Brian Vickers was going super quick in the #83 RedBull car. Look closely at the front splitter (spoiler) on either of the RedBull cars ... they are just glued to the track. You can tell there's some heavy braking going on with all that front nose dive.

The second team RedBull car, this one driven by Former open wheel ace, AJ Almendinger. Once again, check out that front splitter ... that's downforce, baby!

David Ragan finally hit the track in his Roush Fenway Ford Fusion when we were on our way out ... this shot was just hard to get. I haven't shot race cars in years, and I forgot how fast you have to pan to keep up. You can tell I'm on a pretty fast shutter speed on all of these shots as the fence is relatively clear. Even braking hard into the corner ... he's probably still rolling at close to 100 mph.

Though we never put a stop-watch on any of the drivers testing ... my ears told me that Casey Mears was likely fastest. Maybe I'm not recalling correctly ... but, it seems to me that at one of the Loudon, or maybe Phoenix races, the announcers were discussing how the Hendrick motors were turning a slightly easier gear, and running a higher RPM as a result. You could absolutely hear it in Mears car -- which was just screaming bloody murder -- as he approached the braking point on the straights -- compared to the rest of the testers.

Monday, June 09, 2008

All track activities for the week of June 9th - 15th are CANCELLED:

This includes the scheduled single point race (Tuesday June 10) and open practice (Thursday June 12).

There's a large amount of standing water on the track yet today ... so, it's likely going to be late tomorrow before it's even dry enough to assess how much work we'll have in front of us to get back to racing.

Thanks again to everyone who came out for Saturday's race ... looking back through our records confirmed that 14 motos is a new high number for a single point race. And, we were just two signups away (and you gals know exactly who you are) from having a 15th moto as well. Great stuff. We hope everyone had fun.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

First Race of 2008 a HUGE Success:

Mother natured huffed and puffed, and dropped monumental amounts of rain ... in fact she's back to her old tricks at the moment this is being posted ... but allowed us a couple hour window through which we ran our first race of the 2oo8 season.  The total moto count of 14 was nearly as high as any single point we ran last season -- so we're really happy with the turnout.

Huge thanks to all of you who grabbed a rake, shovel, or shoved a wheelbarrow that allowed the show to go on.  We are really grateful and fortunate that the BMX community is so willing to pitch in and help out.  

Below are a bunch of images we were able to capture during the mains.  Results will be posted soon.

13 x works their way on down into the first corner ... a super smooth Fondy BMX rider is leading out Milwaukee regular Nathan Labecki into the first corner.

RJ Eckert out front and in command in 8 intermediate.  A quick peek over his shoulder let's him know that he's going home with another win in his portfolio.

16 expert Brad Olson is pulling intermediates Colin Kohls and Chris Wipijewski down the first straight.  Olson's dad Randy worked all last weekend to get the track completely dialed in ... only to learn the first lesson of outdoor BMX track preparation.  Anything you can improve in two days work, Mother Nature can undo in a couple of hours.

Eastern view of a Westbound Baake.  I'm not sure if this is Cole or Colin ... but, both were looking good all day.

Reece Rankins was pretty seriously quick all last season at Milwaukee ... but, has made noticeable improvement since our last race ... he was pulling out the stops in the 9x class all day.

The Kuwahara kids, Sam Cabaltera and Dane O'Donnell putting it on the 8 novice class.  Neither one of these kids is going to be hanging around that class for very long.

Pretty much ... Ben Kohls owns Milwaukee BMX ... yeah, the kid is just dialed at our track.  Dana Mittelstadt, in hot pursuit, is rocking the intermediates trying to chase Kohls down.  Mittelstadt is another rider that's made major progress in the year that Milwaukee BMX has been in existence.

Jay Labecki made two fantastic position passes in each of his mains ... I watched as he zipped on by me at the line in the 41-45 cruiser class ... and in his 20" main, he laid a similar move on Karl Ausdembruch going into the last turn.  Len Cabaltera followed suit to pin down the second.  Talk about re-shuffling the deck !!!

Yeah, we shot a few "glamour" shots post race ... this is pretty much my favoriate of the day.  Brad Olson, clicked out and dialed in ... good jump, cool photo.

Our Best Wishes
John Maurer passed along word that Brian Pochel, who I can recall from his days as an A-Pro in the mid and late '80's, has been waging a fight with cancer for nearly a year.  Last year, it was discovered that he had tumors in several of his vital organs ... which is typically a sign of advanced stages.  After what was thought to be a successful course of radiation and chemotherapy ... it's recently been discovered that the cancer is back.  Brian has always been a straight arrow guy and this is nothing that personal habits or lifestyle brought on -- like Lance Armstrong -- Brian is an otherwise athletic guy who just happened to develop tumors.  We're all hoping and pulling for Brian that remission will be somewhere in his future.

Friday, June 06, 2008


We are planning to race as scheduled today.  Because of the rain, we can use the help of as many volunteers as can make it between 9:30 and 10 a.m.

Thanks for your help and continued interest in Milwaukee BMX ... and we'll see you trackside.

Saturday June 7th Race is ON:

Let's start this post with the hopes that our friends that join us on a weekly basis from the areas affected by the Tornado(s) that moved through the area today are all safe and sound.

The heavy weather that moved through SE Wisconsin today sure did a number on the track ... but, it's nothing that a whole lot of effort can't undo. So, if you can, please consider joining us trackside between 8 and 9 a.m. (much earlier and it may not be firm enough to work on) to fill the washouts, rake and roll the track. If we get a big enough crew of us working out there ... the chances are good that we can start at our scheduled time.

If you are coming out to race, but can't make it early ... no problem ... but, please be patient as those of us who are scrambling to get the track in racing form are all volunteers and laboring out of our love for the sport.

If we do happen to get more precipitation tonight, and the track takes further water and is just unworkable ... we'll attempt to have the race cancellation posted by 7:30 a.m. But, as things stand, we are going to attempt to run our scheduled race tomorrow.

We hope to see you there.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Thursday May 5 Practice is CANCELLED

More than 2" of rain at the track this morning force the cancellation of tonight's open practice. We are still scheduled to race on Saturday ... and are figuring to do so on schedule. Keep checking right here for more updates as we get closer to Saturday morning.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Saturday May 31st - New Rider Clinic

Thanks to all of you who came out and braved the winds and soft track conditions to get your first full swig of BMX Brew.

Also, thanks to the volunteers -- who helped prep our track, which had been swamped the night before by a formidable shower which moved through the Franklin area -- as well as those of you who helped run the clinic.

Track Operator and greeter extrordinaire, John Mittelstadt, introduces the instruction crew and provides some basic overview of the sport of BMX.

Bryan Dickerson (with beard) explains the many benefits of additional safety gear. Though only a helmet, long pants and long sleeve shirt are required by the ABA, Dickerson also wears elbow pads and a chest protector, and, at 40 something, can still hang with and beat a bunch of the kids half his age.

Tim Eiring demonstrates the proper technique to roll over obstacles, using his arms and legs like the big shock absorbers on a monster truck while keeping his upper body relaxed and his head still and level.

The young lady in the image above asked me a couple of times if I've ever crashed my BMX bike. "Sure" I told her, but not so much lately. She told me that she had crashed twice in the day of the new rider clinic. That's pretty good I told her, and offered a high five. I remember a friends dad who tried to take up the sport as an adult back in the late 80's and he used to pretty routinely crash twice every lap. But, he stuck with it for a couple of years and had a lot of fun racing despite those early frustrations. Stick with it, kiddo, and you'll be riding clean fast laps in no time flat.

This young guy was one of a couple of "spinners" ... the classic 16" BMX bike seems to be geared so that parents can keep up to kids at a walking pace. That easy gear is a bit of an enemy at a BMX track, however, where a little more speed actually helps the kids get over obstacles. Not to mention, the amount of revolutions these little guys make just to get around the track must be comparable to a stage in the Tour de France. Since each rider rode about 20 laps each, I'm guessing these little grommets slept well on Saturday night.

-- end --

Practice - Thursday Night - June 5th
First Race - Saturday - June 7th