Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tailwind - Stony Marathon XC

I haven’t race the Stony Marathon since racing it in Sport 35-39 back in 2009 due to conflicts with vacations and other family events, so I was actually looking forward to it this year.  I was happy that it was moved to May after hearing the horror stories about the heat last year.  The weather this year was perfect and the rain the few days prior firmed the trail up nicely.  Training has been going well and I had a big rest/transition week coming into this race.  Usually this mean I will be a bit stale, but I was hoping that since this was going to be a long race that it wouldn't be an issue.
I arrived early and was obviously ready to race as I was pulled over by the Park Police for speeding in the park… they even yelled at Mary Ann who was following me!  Once we made it to the parking lot, we got the BSing out of the way and I recruited someone to hand up bottles.  After a good warm-up everyone was lined up and ready to go.  We had 9 guys at the line which is a pretty large group for SS, especially considering this is a 50 mile race with about 5000ft of climbing!  After the issues with traffic during or first 2 races, it was agreed to start us after the elites.  I liked the idea of this but was a little concerned about groups of the faster geared guys catching us and us being in their way! 

Coming into this race, I really didn't have much of a plan outside of wanting to be towards the front and hopefully leading going into the roller coaster.  At the gun, Todd Greene and I were side by side and I asked if he wanted to lead.  He look over and decided to settle onto my wheel.  Being in front puts a certain pressure on you to keep a good pace.  Joe and I talked about this after he led the first lap of Pontiac earlier in the year.  I felt good, so I decided to push the first few climbs at the beginning, including bombing the fast downhill in between, and keeping the cadence up on the flats to see what happened.  When I looked back on the 2 track before the pines, Todd was still with me, but we had a gap on the rest of the group.   At this point I decided to just keep it rolling and soon I was on my own.  I would periodically look back and see a glimpse of the group and then look for them at the start finish to assess the gap.  I caught a couple elite guys and would get a tow on the flats when I could.  The gap at the start finish seem consistent till the start of the last lap where it seem to have grown a bit, so I back it down just a notch to try and enjoy the end of the race.    In the middle of the roller coaster I looked back and saw the group coming through about 30s back!!  I still felt good, but started to worry and put the hammer down.  By the time I rolled through the short single track section before 3 gear hill, I couldn't see them and relaxed a bit and just focused on getting up 3 gear hill and making it to the finish.  I finished the grind up 3 gear hill and looked back one last time near the finish line to see I was in the clear and then soft pedaled in for the win!

Sorry for the "wall" of words, but I couldn't link to pictures from the photographer that was there, so here are a couple links if you wish to check them out!

The KLM train!

Cruising through the Roller Coaster!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tailwind - Island Lake Induction XC Race

Training this year could be summarized as “the search for my limits”, limits in both time on the bike and pushing speed/power.  I set some training goals that involved training peaks metrics and speed on some training rides.  A lot of the goals have already been achieved.  I power tested after Pontiac and had my best 20 min test ever, still short of my goal for the year, but very promising.  Promising in 2 ways… the first was that I felt strong through the whole test and reverse split the thing!  The second was that I did another 20 min interval after it at subLT and felt good.  These are both good signs as usually I start strong and fade bad and would be so blown out at the end that I couldn’t even think about doing another 20 min interval even remotely hard.  I had a great week of training and felt good till Sunday when I found my limit and was blown out!  After a day of rest, I had back to back goal breaking rides to Richmond and back.  Couple days of rest and it was race day…

Jim Ridley Photography: 2013 Island Lake Induction - USAC-2, May-11...Digital Images are $20 Email ridleyjm@sbcglobal.net &emdash;
Thx Jim Ridley Photo!
After a good warm up with the team, we were lined up and ready to go.  This race, Tailwind started us ahead of the Expert 50+ guys which was good, but still put the Expert 15-18 guys ahead of us.  I was feeling good and looking forward to a great race.  The whole cast of characters were there and hungry as usual.  At the start, I missed my pedal and ended up at the back of the group… not the start I wanted!  I worked hard to get to the front and managed to settle in at 3rd wheel.
Kyle was really aggressive at the start and was crushing it in the single track most of the first lap.  He obviously thought that he was going to lose us in the single track and I must admit, the kid has some skills.  I just sat back and tried to be efficient and then drafted on the flats.  The pace was pretty quick and at one point Patrick made an attack on a flat section and I had to dig to get back on his wheel.  My legs felt flat and I could already tell that I wasn't going to be able to make any kind of move.  We caught the group ahead of us before the end of the lap and had to work to get around them.  (See Video below from Cameron Buccellato... we are the group with the blue KLM kits about mid way through!)

Jim Ridley Photography: 2013 Island Lake Induction - USAC-2, May-11...Digital Images are $20 Email ridleyjm@sbcglobal.net &emdash;
Thx Jim Ridley Photo!
Gears are definitely an advantage on a wide open course like this.  As we came through the start/finish for the second lap, Todd made a huge move and blows by us and we all have to sprint to pull the train back together.  Shortly after, I let Joe go around as it was obvious that I was holding him up!  A few miles into the second lap, we catch a large group of 40-49 guys and they are going just fast enough that we can’t pass, which ends up neutralizing our race a bit.  We had it whittled down to 4 guys… Todd, Patrick, Joe and myself.  With the slightly slower pace, we were then joined by Todd Ace and Kyle along with a few of the 15-18 guys!!  It was a mess as 3 different classes were trying to get into a better position for the finish.  There was a lot of tire rubbing and a few low speed crashes.  Somehow, I manage to make it around the group and it was back to Todd, Patrick and me for the sprint… or so I thought.  At the last minute, Joe came out of nowhere with a ballsy early sprint and we all scrambled to react.  We were on a sandy 2-track and unfortunately, I had to take the bad line through the sand to try and get around Patrick and Todd.  I gave it all I had, but had to settle for 3rd with a time of 1:40:08.3, as Joe held on for the win with a time of 1:40:07.7 and I couldn't pull around Patrick who finished in 1:40:07.9!!  The 6th place SS finished in 1:40.11.1!!  Chaotic… but fun race!!

Congrats to Joe, Todd and Patrick for a great race!!  Also Congrats to B-Rad for another W... he is on a roll!!

Looking forward to rest week and then the Stony Marathon!!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Rest and Proper Gear... Pontiac XC

I was pretty blown out after the Yankee TT… maybe before it!  The plan for the week in-between Yankee and Pontiac included lots of rest which was greatly needed.  Although getting things going after rest days is always rough as your body shuts down and tightens up.  Brad and I had a good ride on Thursday and then pre-rode Pontiac on Saturday.  I put my normal SS gearing back on the Quiring which felt good and so did I… we may have actually had too much fun on Saturday!!

I surprised myself and actually had everything ready and packed in the car the night before, which is a rare occurrence for me.  I was up and on the road in short order Sunday morning.  I was worried the night before as I would have no excuse for the race as I know the course, I have put in the saddle time, I have the right gearing and I am rested.  Bike racers are full of excuse on why they don’t perform, but I really had nothing to fall back on if I didn't do well. (I did however find that as thin as I am, I have 10-20 lbs on the other guys!  Maybe I could play the fat card?! LOL!!)  I grabbed my number and got everything ready and warmed up.  I tried to warm-up with the team, but they were going faster than my legs wanted to go, which wasn't confidence inspiring.  I just rolled on my own and was ready to go.  Joe Seidl dominated the Yankee SS race which put a target on his back… even if he is on the same team.  There was a good turnout for the race with about 7-8 guys on the line and all were more than accomplished SS MTB racers.  They started us behind all the expert and elite men, which I figured would be an issue, but also a possible advantage as getting around people is an art.  The art of passing and putting people between you and your competitors can be good… but you need to be at the front.   So goal number one was to get towards the front and stay there.  They also changed the start/finish layout for the race to bring everyone out into the spectator area more.  One observation was that there was a tight right hand corner at the finish and if things came down to a sprint position would be everything.
The final Sprint... Arianna caught me with a weird expression!
Joe took off at the gun at a blistering pace with me in second trying to close the gap.  I knew his plan was to make us all suffer on the climbs and he did a good job of it.  I was running second wheel and he would gap me on the steeper climbs and I would reel him back in on the down hills and flats.  We caught a lot of traffic on the first lap… not sure exactly how many, but somewhere in the neighborhood of 20-25.  It seemed like we were constantly passing.  It made the lap harder than it needed to be at some points by forcing track stands on climbs, but easier in other areas due to a slower pace.  Joe was relentless and at one point I let him go a bit and Patrick Russell went around me.  I dug in a bit and stayed on Patrick’s wheel and eventually Joe let up and we regrouped.  Joe led the first 3 miles or so of the second lap and then just let Patrick and I go.  I was hoping he was just going to jump on our wheel and recover, but we never saw him again.  I knew from last year that Patrick liked to be in front, so I let him stay there and I followed.  The pace was hard, but manageable.  He would put in some digs on the climbs and I would have to close the gap now and then on the flats.  Pete Thompson, who was racing Expert 40-49, had a flat and then caught and passed us near the end of the lap.  Patrick latched on to that train and we were moving pretty good.  We were catching some guys at the last climb and Patrick pulled a slick move to put him between us at a less than opportune time for me and I had to make a risky move to get around him and latch back on before the final flat section.  Patrick was still on Pete’s wheel, so I had to spin like made to catch up!  We rolled into the start finish area together and I attacked just before the right hand turn, took the inside line and held on for the win.  This was a great race as the competition was good and the trail is one of my favorites!!

Team KLM had a great SS showing with Todd Greene getting 3rd and Joe Seidl finishing in 4th!!  Mad props to Brad Lako for a dominate performance in Expert 30-39 taking the win!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ramblings and Yankee TT

Quiring back together!
Early season races can be good and bad… They are a time to test your winter training and to try new things.  The problem is that sometimes the new things don’t work and depending on where the race falls relative to your training plan you may or may not be at your best.  Due to the time commitment involve with any endurance sport, the challenge during training is just as much mental as physical.   A good result is motivating and a mediocre or poor result can send you into a spin.  Also the longer you are in the game, the harder it is to see gains.  You need to always keep the big picture in mind and work hard knowing that in the long run the work will pay off when you want it too.  Everyone wants to be “fast”… but “fast” is always a relative term.   Faster than last year, faster than your buddy, faster than the guys in your current class, fastest guy in the state, the country or the world?!  We always joke that “every ride is a race”… because any time a couple guys get together, it is always a test to see who can push who to the point that they crack.  Whether you are the one turning the screw or the one that cracked… it motivates you to work harder.  Today… you don’t even need to be riding with someone as you can race virtually with www.strava.com .  Not sure why we torture ourselves for any of this?  It’s tiring and sometimes painful… but the chemical rush that our body provides gives us a high that’s hard to get any other way.  It must be this high… as it would be a lot easier to sit on the couch and watch TV or take up bowling or golf.

This winter/spring has been a bit rough as the weather has not been very cooperative at times with high winds, cold and snow/rain.   Motivation to stick to the plan and get outside for me has come in the form of Brad Lako.  Somehow we both seem to drag each other out in the elements to get our riding in, although there have been a few rides where I was questioning our sanity!  This has helped to minimize trainer time which in turn minimizes the mental side of things.  Being an engineer and a numbers guy, having a power meter and trainingpeaks PMC (Training log with fitness and form calculations) turns training into a video game for me which gives me short and long term goals to keep the motivation high.  The harder you work the better your score, but this also has to be balanced with rest to maintain form.  (see chart above)   The chart has 3 parts… ATL (Acute Training Load/Short term stress), CTL (Chronic Training Load/Long Term Stress) and TSB (Training Stress Balance/Form).  Call me weird, but working with the numbers and watching how your body responds is almost as much fun as racing!  The Human body is an amazing machine.
Jack Kunnen Photography: Yankee Springs TT 2013 &emdash; IMG_3335-2Jack Kunnen Photography: Yankee Springs TT 2013 &emdash; IMG_3152-2Sorry for the rambling… My original intent was to post about Yankee, but listening to my friends talk about their results got me thinking about mine and all of the above.  Which brings me back to Yankee!  Mary Ann and I woke up early, picked up Brad and Joe Seidl and headed to Yankee.  I had thrown my SS back together late in the week and decided to try out a bigger gear than I would normally have run to see how it would work.  I am still a bit new to the SS thing and haven’t had a lot of time to experiment, so now seemed to be as good of a time as any.  I did a quick warm-up and then rolled the non-race portion of the trail and everything seemed OK and rolled to the start.  Terry Sensiba started 20s ahead of me and he always does well on this trail, so I figured if I could catch him, it would be a good day.  I passed a few people in the first few miles, but Terry was long gone.  I kept pushing, but could tell that the legs weren’t sharp and the gear felt heavy.  I had to run the conveyor belt climb both laps which was a good indicator that the gear was too big and I never really was spun out on the flats.  Live and learn.  I have also been pushing the limits with training and this race fell at the end of my second training block.   Since Yankee is just a single fun race for me, my training plan just absorbed it as a hard day of training.   My pace on the second lap was really starting to reflect the 3 big weeks of training proceeding this race .  About half way through the second lap, Joe (who started a minute or so behind me) caught and pass me.  I was excited for him as I knew he was having a stellar race!  I pushed hard to the end and rolled in for 7th.  Not a bad finish all things considered.  The best part of the day was seeing Joe get the win and Brad in 3rd.   They have both been working hard and the results show it!! 
Joe and Brad Representing!
With a good week of rest and changing my gearing back to my norm, I am looking forward to warmer weather and Pontiac this weekend!! 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

BRX 2013

I have done this race every year but one and have had a blast every year.  Not sure why other than maybe because it is early season and there isn’t a lot of pressure, as most people don't really expect to feel great.  It may also be that Rick Plite puts on a great event (Read Party!) and his passion and enthusiasm for the race is contagious.  Whatever it is, this year’s event was no different… probably even better.   The move to downtown Hastings was a nice addition and helped to alleviate the congestion at the Sager/Shaw sections of the race which are usually very sandy and nearly unridable.

Mud the day before
The weather in Michigan this time of year has been depressing (More than it normally can be).  It snowed 4+” the week coming into the race and the weather didn't look like it was going to be north of freezing till the Friday before the race.  All of the recon rides were stating that the conditions were very icy with ruts.  On Friday the report changed to icy with lots of mud.  I was on the fence as to whether or not I would even race, as staying home and riding was looking better than 5hrs in the car and racing in the mud.
I started training a bit later than last year due to work travel and wanting to be able to have something left at the end of the year for CX.  So the thought of racing in March with no form and crappy conditions was not appealing.  But as stated earlier, Rick puts on a great race and I wanted to support his efforts.  Sager/Shaw sections were bypassed for safety as they were all ice and Rick paid Barry county to spread sand on the other icy sections.  So Brad Lako, Dan Bannink, Wayne Harper and I loaded up in the early Saturday morning hours and headed to Hastings.

Icy Roads
After a very short and freezing warm-up, I found myself standing at the start shivering violently waiting for our start.    Lots of familiar faces were lined up and ready to do battle… Simon Bailey, Dave Messing, Jamie Parker and Jarod Makowski just to name a few.  The start was a bit slow, but I knew that would change soon, so I just tucked in.  Once on the dirt, things heated up and everyone was tested on the first few climbs.  Icy ruts and potholes were abundant… and when they weren't,  it was just plain icy!  I just worked on staying rubber side down in the lead group and put in my digs when the pace seemed to slow.  Once on the pavement climb our group quickly whittled down about 5 or so guys.  Once back on the dirt (ice), Jarod laid down the pace till we hit the "wall" climb, which at that point was a mine field of slower riders and people walking.  We navigated it without incident and caught the leaders of the wave ahead of us that contained John Osgood and Dan Bannink which added to the fire power of the group.  We rolled at a pretty steady hard pace till we were back on the pavement close to town.  As we neared town, Osgood put in a dig and we all quickly jumped on his wheel.  Once the finish turn was in sight, Dan attacked to try and lead me out, but I couldn't get on his wheel fast enough and ended up sitting 4th wheel behind a couple of guys in my class.  The finish was a bit confusing as there was a guy pointing left, but he wasn't up by the actual turn and we thought they may have changed the finish.   After realizing what happened/where to go, we started our sprint.  I didn't get the jump and couldn't pull around the top 2 guys and rolled in for 3rd in class with a time of 1:48:38 which was good for 10th overall in the race!!

One of the coolest parts of the race for me was the team competition.  The KLM crew as a whole did very well with Brad Lako, Joe Seidl, Dan Bannick and Cindi Bannink all on the podium in their respective classes and netting us the win in the 36 mile Team Competition!!

Jack Kunnen Photography: Barry-Roubaix 2013 &emdash; IMG_2461

Next up... Yankee Springs on the SS!!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Back to this Blogging Thing!

I've been slacking with the blog… so I figured it’s a new season and I should get back on track.  Here is a very abbreviated run down to get back up to date.

I left off in mid CX season… I ended up racing Masters at the LOHS race.  I had a horrible start, but was reeling people in when I slid out and broke my front brifter.  Wouldn't shift and no braking… Game over.

      Iceman was a mess as just after I found out I had an infection that I was dealing with and the body was just not functioning.  I finished right at about 2hrs and was glad to be done.  This race seems to be my nemesis. 
      Headed down to Louisville to the USGP the next weekend after being put on some Antibiotics… let’s just say things weren’t firing on all cylinders, so I pulled out and enjoyed the rest of the weekend.  It may have been more fun watching than racing…

      After a break from training and racing, I decided to do one more CX race which was the finals at Addison for fun.  It was hard… but I had a great time sliding around the course.    

      We went to San Diego to see Mary Ann’s family over Christmas for a week, so we shipped our bikes out and did some fun rides.  The weather was less than ideal, but better than cold and snow!   Later in January, we took our yearly trip to Tucson and had blast.  You can’t beat the nice roads and beautiful weather.
San Diego 

Mt. Lemmon with Wayne
      Wanting to see what this Fat Bike stuff was all about, I borrowed my friend Bob’s Fat Bike, did a few rides and signed up for the Ypsilanti race in January.  I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I lined up in the A race and just stayed towards the front.  The pace was hard, but after a couple laps there were just 2 of us.  I took the lead at that point and just tried to hold a hard pace.  By the end of the lap I was riding alone.  I kept the pace high, had fun and rolled in for the win!  Not a bad way to start the season.  It was fun (Like riding a monster truck), but not sure if I am going to run out and buy one anytime soon.
Like race in a 2 wheeled Monster Truck!

New Team… I had originally joined the MCG squad to race road.  The road team has diminished this year and it is just not convenient to race out of a shop that is 1 - 1.5hrs from home.  Mike and the team at Trails Edge treated me well and I appreciate everything they have done.  My friend Brad Lako has been harassing me to join the KLM team for a year or 2 and I finally caved.  We have amassed a good group of guys and I like that the shop is 2 miles from home.  There is a contingent of guys that want to race road, so it’s all good.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cyclocross Season has Arrived!

I have always enjoyed Cyclocross, but have never really had good fitness at the end of the year.  I have had some reasonable results, but nothing to write home about.  I am usually struggling to find motivation to stay on the bike after 8-9 months of training and racing.  This year has gone pretty well with respect to training and racing, so I am coming into the CX season a lot fitter and more motivated than ever.   There was some debate in my head about whether to race in the B’s or go straight to the Master’s 35+ class.  Since CX is in a class by itself in some respects.  It’s not quite road racing, although tactics and drafting come into play, and it’s not exactly Mountain Biking, even though you are mostly in dirt and riding with knobby tires… albeit skinny ones.  My point is… just because someone is fast in one venue or another, doesn't mean jack in CX.  Fast guys will still be fast and slow will be slow, but just because you can beat someone on the road or on the trail, doesn't mean you can best them in a CX race!   For this reason, I chose to stay in the B’s and see how it goes.

Kensington Day 1:
After getting there at a reasonable time and getting in a quick loop of the course in my street clothes… (Obviously I didn't get there early enough!).  I got everything set and it was quickly time to go.  I was a little worried as I didn't get a good warm up, but that’s life.  The course was really rough and sandy with lots of turns and no real straightaway sections. 

After I quick loop or so, I weaseled my way into the front row of the 40+ B’s and waited nervously for the start.  One of the changes for this year was splitting the B’s into 2 groups… under and over 40.  Being old… I was in the 40+ group which would start 30s behind the under 40 group, which started 30s behind the elite women.  This adds a dynamic to the race that I wasn't sure about… having to pass a lot of people.  It was a level playing field as we would all have to pass the same people to win, but they could be moving targets and potential hazards.  In my head, just like in mountain biking, I was planning to try and get around them as fast as possible, putting them between myself and the guys behind me.

The whistle blew and I got the initial jump.  The guy to my left was bound and determined to win the race before the first corner, so I let him go and jumped on his wheel.  He blew the first technical corner and I went by him and put the hammer down.  Things went well until I caught one of the elite women who was being overtaken by one of the younger B men and was run into the tape as they almost got into each other in the corner.  I took off and soon realized that the tape was caught on my seat post, but somehow managed to get it off without stopping.   Brian got around me during the incident and so I took up chase for a couple of laps.  I kept him in sight, but couldn't seem to real him in and started to ease up a bit when I saw that he had a bit of trouble.  I started to chase hard again and reeled him in towards the end of the 2nd to last lap.  I went around him and pushed hard on the last lap and had a pretty good gap.  The only issue was that my hand had blistered in the palm due to the bumps and had torn open.  Needless to say, it wasn't a pleasant feeling and wasn't helping my concentration.  While working by a couple of riders, I took a less than desirable line and had to unclip as the bike slide out.  When I remounted, I noticed the chain was off and it wasn't going back on very quickly.  After fiddling with the front derailleur I got the chain on and was under way.  Riding easy through a bumpy area near the finish line, trying to keep my hand from being shredded, Brian came by me and I was back in chase mode.   We had a couple corners and the sand pit till the finish.  I made sure to take a fast line through the turn before the sand and managed to go by Brian and hold on for the win.  This was my first CX win!  I was pretty stoked.
With 2 big blisters on my right palm… Kensington Day 2 will be interesting.

Kensington Day 2:
Adam - The Bunny?!
An attempt to get to the race earlier failed, although I did go out and warm up a bit better than day 1.  The course was modified slightly and run in reverse through a lot of the sections.  It was getting really sandy and loose.  There were a lot of crashes at the start of the C race due to the loose conditions.  After taping up the hand, I lined up in the front row with the usual suspects and got a good laugh as Adam York was strutting around in a dog suit heckling… I thought he was the Bunny?!

At the start, Thomas pulled in front and then the same guy from yesterday squeaked by both of us.  He again blew an early corner and Thomas and I went around.   Thomas was setting a pretty good pace so I just stayed on his wheel.  Halfway through the lap Josh took off and I followed.  He was putting it down on the flats and I was having to really work hard to keep him in sight, but would close the gap on the climbs near the end of the lap.  I could also see Todd charging hard from behind, motivating me to keep pushing.  At this point my hand felt like there were nails on the handle bar and every downhill or braking event was painful.  I kept debating on dropping out… but continually told myself it will be over soon.   I caught and passed Josh at one point, but he quickly recovered and went back around.  I knew my only chance was to attack at the climbs near the finish.  As he slowed on a climb near the end, I attacked and didn’t let up till the top of the last climb and rolled in for the win.   My hand was happy to be done… hopefully it will heal up before the Lower Huron race in a couple of weeks!

Trails Edge Podium Sweep!
Congrats to Lako and Osgood on their wins and the Bunny for a dominant win in the A’s!

Lower Huron:
After all the rain late in the week and the day before the race, I was worried it was going to be a total mudfest.  They had called for rain the day of and it had been raining early in the AM, but seemed to be clearing up.  As we headed to the race, the clouds moved on and it was looking like it was going to be a great day!  With being fully recovered from Crank the Shield and having some CX specific training under my belt, I was feeling good coming into this race.  The only concern rolling around in my head was that Lower Huron always has a couple of expressway sections and it will be interesting to see who can keep the pace high in these areas.  Learning from the Kensington race, I left a half hour early and got there with enough time to do a couple laps and get a good warm-up in.  Surprisingly, the course had very little mud and the temps were approaching 70?! 

The start of this race is a long straight pavement stretch that is basically a drag race.  Todd took off like a bullet and I end up settling in on his wheel.  He was setting a blistering pace and we were passing people in large groups.  On the pavement at the start of lap 2, I looked back and saw that Brian was with us, so I attacked to put some separation between us and make him do his own work.  This put me in front of Todd and I never let up the whole lap.  I was alone the rest of the race and just held a steady hard effort and rolled in for the win.  I also had the fastest time in the B’s, so I am going to move up to Masters 35+ for the Lake Orion race and see how I fair.  Should be fun!