I haven't put in as much time on gravel this year as in the past, but this "challenge" was a huge part of my motivation a year or two ago.  It's a neat idea too.   Check it out!



Almanzo Gentleman's Ride 2011

I enjoyed every minute of my day out there.

The course was as beautiful and challenging as ever. I know it well at this point, but it still captures my attention and challenges me each time I ride it. The fresh gravel, changing seasons, wind conditions etc. can have a huge impact on the "feel" of things out there.

It was a privilege to ride on a team with such great guys (Tim Werts, Andrew Folpe, Sam St. Pierre) and to have a common goal together. Things didn't always go perfectly, but we endured and supported. In the end we finished in just under 6.5 hours including stops. We maybe spent a little too much time stopped and a little too much time working out how to work together, but I think we were all pleased with our overall performance). I know I left most everything out there.

More events should be run with this type of format. I had a few conversations with riders at the finish with regards to the format and the course and we all expect to see many more strong teams out there next year. This even is ideally placed in the calendar for a lot of riders whos seasons are otherwise winding down, many of whom don't yet know about our ride. Hopefully that will change.
Maybe some pictures added later.  Check out Almanzo.com for more.


There is also this


Can't complain too much about extra money, but I've been hit with a lot of busyness the last week or so.  Laura is off exploring the West with her sister which has left me in charge of all 7 animals, work is asking/allowing me to work 12 hour days, football is back, my bikes need work, things are popping with the Almanzo, we've listed $5k worth of bike parts one bay, I'm stuck 85% of the way done with a frame repair, my deck is half powerwashed and I'm sleeping 5 hours a night.

Luckily, I've also managed to ride my bike a bit.  Saturday's group ride saw a large pack of us hitting the Spring Valley donut shop en route to Iowa.  Most notable about that ride was that the wind was exactly as strong in the exact opposite direction as during the Royal 162...  meant it was hard work getting down there and quite easy coming back, a welcome difference!  Almost convinced the roadies to stop by Royal's grave.

Can't wait for the Heck of the North.  I'm starting to see the roads when I shut my eyes.  Feel the cold of the start line.  Consider my strategy.  Consider the fact that I maybe, just maybe, feel strong enough to actually need or deserve a strategy.


Dakota Five-0 race recap part 1

Dakota Five-0

I sat beside the trail while 100, 200, 300 riders streamed by. I was maybe 5 miles into the Dakota Five-0 and eventually watching the stragglers from the 1st wave limping past me. After I stopped retching and my heart rate dropped below 140 I continued to sit. I ripped my number plate off, crossed the trail and contemplated where I could go hide for the rest of the weekend.

Then I turned and rode up the trail for 17 or so more miles of steady climbing. At first I was uncertain, but I slowly regained my ability to eat and drink and then to climb. I knew I had self-selected into the "tour" category of the "race, ride, tour" event (who knows how many minutes I actually lay there before starting again, or how much extra time it took because of multitudes of people I would have to pass), but I still found myself picking off riders in large clumps because it was fun to ride fast. I reached the 22 mile checkpoint and knew it was going to be mostly downhill from there. I love going downhill, love how precise my new mountain bike feels and how soft it feels for a hardtail. I passed more and more people. I passed some people like they weren't moving. I rode with others for a while. I was able to eat and drink normally. The last couple of steep climbs were conquered. I pointed it downhill the rest of the way to the finish and let everything hang out.

I crossed the finish with a huge smile on my face.

More to come about this last weekend including pictures tonight or tomorrow. While some of it was great, not everything quite met my expectations off the course.



Is still coursing through my veins as I type.  As 12pm CST rolled around I was punching refresh over and over praying that the clock would turn over.  Finally the time turned and I flew through the bikereg registration process...  hope I'm on the front row at JINGLECROSS for my efforts.

No, I'm not any happier about the 6.95 processing fee than I was last year.