Casual: Spoiler Alert!!! Peter Sagan is awesome. I just watched him win the first stage of the Santos Down Under for 2018. I’ve decided to have #SaganAF tattooed over my thighs and forearms and his face on my Calves. I’m all in.
I wrote the above a couple of months ago in my last Casual Conversation with Kevin Lee. Another Spoiler Alert…Sagan is still freaking awesome. He just won Paris-Roubaix in killer fashion with a 50km breakaway from the peloton. I’m now accepting ideas for Sagan tattoo’s…
Today however I want to show love my highlighting a friend of mine down in Wichita, Kansas. Mark Moerner. Mark is owner and operator of Apostle Bikeworks Inc located at 2121 N. Tyler Rd, Wichita Ks 67212. He is also one of two promoters (Josh Sears is the other promoter) of the Rage Against The Chainring gravel race series down there. The series takes place every Fall over the course of 4 events. Well heck why am I telling you about…let’s ask Mark!
Casual: Hey Mark thanks for playing along and giving me some of your time! I wanted to talk to you a little about the Rage Series. How about we start off with a quick summary of the series. What is it? Where is it? What are the dates?
Mark: Josh Sears is the co-promoter if the RATC series. This is our 4th year of the series. RATC is a 4 race series in the Wichita area. The gravel course is 25ish miles and the folks who want to just take their time and tour it do one lap and the racer types ride two laps. We have had over 300 riders for the first 2 races. The final 2 races are in Peck, Ks on April 14th and the finale is April 21st in Benton, Ks at Stearman’s at the airport.
Casual: Okay so. Series. Racer types. Each race has podium finishers in different categories? I’m guessing there are also overall Series points winners in various categories? Is the overall series based on accumulated Points or accumulated Times? Is the overall Series a 4 Race requirement or are you allowed 1 throw away result?
Mark: We give out top 3 awards in 6 categories at each of the 4 races. There will be top 3 overall awards also based on a point system after the final race in Benton, Ks. We raffle all of our sponsors swag after each race so all participants have a chance to win something and not just the winners. Our sponsors really like that approach. There isn’t a throw away race but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t still win the overall if you missed one.
Casual: Sounds good Mark. I love the raffle approach. Yes. The podium spots are well deserved and earned (much respect) but I’ve always felt it’s nice to give a little to all those riding their hearts out. Do the race locations themselves have any special significance or just trying your best to show what the area has to offer? (I ask cause I grew up in my area and lately been trying to highlight a few nostalgic places.)
Mark: We try to help out small businesses by starting the race where a business will have a captive audience. Our next race on April 14th in Peck starts starts at a hamburger place and our races there the past 2 years has been his best days financially.
Casual: Very cool. It’s amazing the impact just getting out and having fun on the bike can have. So what about you? Being a small business owner and father are you able to get out much on the bike? Are you more of a trails guy or a gravel guy? I’m definitely more of a space it out find my peace on gravel kinda guy. I just don’t have the focus to enjoy trails. I do find that the moment after I crash…lying on my back staring at the sky…I guess that’s kinda peaceful.
Mark: Haha I try not to end up staring at the sky but it does happen. Before I opened my shop I was riding about 5,000 miles a year. Don’t have that kind of time anymore and I always put my kids first so taking them to their activities and spending time with them is my priority. I have a couple hours before work that I can ride but in my old age I’ve become a wimp and don’t like the cold weather. It’s getting warmer out so I have no excuse now. I like both gravel and Single Track but gravel is easier for me cause it’s less than a mile from my house.
Casual: I think that’s one of the biggest factors for most of my friends when it comes to gravel. Busy schedules and Gravel is just so accessible for all of us here in the Mid West. Okay buddy let’s roll out of here with some fun questions.
1. Favorite cartoon show growing up?
2. Favorite ice cream flavor?
3. Hurts Donuts or Casey’s Breakfast Pizza?
4. Bucket List vacation?
5. Advice or piece of knowledge for someone rediscovering Bikes?
2. Mint Chocolate Chip
3. Hurts Donuts!
4. Iceland. Now that there’s a direct flight to there from KC I might just have to do it.
5. Just ride and don’t worry about watts, Heart Rate, Blah , Blah ,Blah. Just soak it all in as your riding and enjoy life!!!
Casual: Mark thanks so much! As a family man, shop owner and race promoter I know your time is limited so a few moments is appreciated. Always great to chat and best of luck with the remainder of the series!