dirtendurance

About going long in the dirt on a bike

Is thing on???

Spit, sputter, cough, BANG!!

This thing still runs? Shit. Going to try and make a run at the blogitty thingy again. Last post was about… yeah who gives a turkey. This weekend bring us to the longest gravel bike race. It takes place in Iowa. Yep ya read it right IOWA. It’s kinda down right riduclus when ya get right down to it. 322 some miles on gravel and dirt roads transversing the state. Iowa flat? No not one bit. Never ending hills for a hell of a long time.

This year the nice fella over at Mountain Bike Radio will be hosting live race updates. Another cool feature will be us riders can call in and leave messages on the site for you to listen to during the event. If ya want some late night entertainment stay up and listen to the riders call in during the wee hours of the morning after riding for over 24 hours with no sleep. Now I may call in and check in and I might not .

I would go into my bike setup for this event but it’s nothing speical. My Giant TCX from Cycle Works will do the trick. 100ozs of water and a shit ton of sugar laden calories with a load a caffinne pills and gels should keep my rolling. Oh yeah how can I forget the little “creature” that sits on my right shoulder during the night. Never says a damn thing but I keep checking to see if he/she is there.

It sure feels good to write again this is really good. I must keep this thing up and running. Its good for my mind. When I started this I said I would keep the content interseting for the reader. Maybe all my posts don’t have to be about cycling. Thats something to work on.

Ponca’s Revenge

The Ponca 4hr marathon race would be another test of ones mind, body, and soul… I have heard all good things about this park and its trails, so I to get signed up Friday night and see what it had to offer.

With over 3 inches of rain Thursday into friday I was a bit skeptical that it would go off, but all the rain would never reach the north-east corner of the state.(till later).

It’s quite a drive up. Almost 3 hrs….ugh! Upon arrival well worth it for sure!!

This race was two weeks after DK200 so having much to go with was asking for a small mircal. Just looking for a solid ride and lots of fun on new trails.

As we lined up I took my place in the back of the field of 20 riders. I know not a huge field but when ya gotta cram all them fellas between two trees right at the gun it’s kinda sketchy. Not bad tho. As we made it down the road to the single track I was waaaay in the back. To far for sure. The single track starts with a grunt of a climb. And some of the fellas had a time getting it up and over. Missed gears dropped chains trying to muscle it up and not enough muscle. Shit, Stop and get restarted and lose contact with the front 10 or so riders. Better just settle in and recover a bit. Its four hours you have always been able to pick em off as the race wears on.

As the race wears on…… I was just not feeling it. Then it started to rain. Great!! now they will call it off and I can get the hell out of here. Never happened. The dirt was so dry that we kept on a racing. Meaning we were not damaging the trail at all. The rain was soaking in pretty well as it fell. And just as I was not having a good time the legs somewhat came around and we felt pretty good. However going crazy fast wasn’t in the cards. It was slick as a mofo and my rear tire is a hard pack type.

As soon as hr 3 rolled around the skies cleared and it was getting tacky and faster. But I wasn’t. Just running out of steam is all. Climbing sucked big time. The descents were way fast but didn’t last near long enough. As the time winded down I rolled through the finish and the offical said I had 10 mins left if I wanted another lap. Naw. Thats good. I was just in it for a good day in the saddle. Hell I had no idea how many I had anyways. Ended up with 8. Pretty good with that. 2 off the winner and I could have gone out for a 9th but hell that would have only moved me up a couple of spots. Another solid top 10. I’ll take it. I really need to get the starts down that’s for sure. I’m apprehensive to really get on the gas at the start afraid to go boom. I know I can drill it. It’s just a matter of doing it and seeing how it all plays out.

Would going into the single track 5th wheel or so help the outcome? No idea. If you know it would I’d be interested in you opinion.

Photo’s are credit to McColgan Photography!!!!!

DK Two Hunda

The fifth go round at the Dirty Kanza 200 would prove to be one of those races where listening to my body over the last 12 weeks would pay off. If you don’t know me  I’m one to burn the candle at both ends and never take the time to recover. It’s hard for type A peeps like me to lay low. Just ask number one fan how my attitude is on a “rest day.” Enough of that crap let’s get to the race….

Number one fan had got a call from her sis and asked if the kiddies wanted to come out and stay at her place for the weekend. They were kinda bummed about missing the support crew boat this year, but it was a super relaxing drive to Emporia! Wife and I got to enjoy some nice adult conversation our the 4 hr drive to the venue, instead of the same ol “she hit me”, “he smells bad” yada yada on the road.

We arrived to Emporia around 4 and trotted on down the rider sign in. While at sign in the ran into some of the Lincoln and Omaha brothers and sisters. Asked if we had supper plans. Nope. We all headed to the local Mexican joint and put the feed bag on!!

Race morning I awake to the weather channel saying it’s only 50 degrees!? Hmmmmm…… Arm warmers?, Knee Warmers?, and a section of the USA Today from the front desk recycling box. Yep. In past years if ya showed up to the start in your summer kit you were already over dressed. After 16 oz of Skratch cup o java a half a bagel with some peanut butter and a nanner, we rolled out the door for the start.

At the start in front of the Granada theater it was like old home week. I hadn’t seen some of the fellow gravel grinders for the better part of a year. It was good to catch up while waiting. I never once felt nervous or anxious at the start. Calm cool and ready. I had been self talking myself up the last couple of weeks on my commute to work in the morning. “It’s your race no one elses’ ” Steady, “Only so many matches”, Lead and never Follow.” Crazy dumb shit like that.

400 of us all took off into the Flint Hills of Kansas at 6am. I did what I came to do sit in, no unmeasured efforts,and don’t jump on a wheel that s blowing by at 20mph. As we rolled along around mile 30 something a big bunch of riders were coming toward us. They had missed a turn and left the course! Bummer! I knew from past races here that when people get lost or have bike trouble they pin it to make up for lost time. So as that group would start to come around us the pace would pick up. Or riders would jump on wheels. Me not a chance. 170 miles to go.

I would make it to CP 1 in good time. 3 fresh bottles of Skratch some food and out on the road for a 40 mile leg. I was in the cp for less than 5 mins. BOOM! As I was eating on the bike I saw a rider not more than a few hundred yards up the road. It was TK!! Sweetness a good bud and we could enjoy this next 40 miles together. Nearing the 100 mile mark the “hot foot” would start. If ya have had it ya know what it is. If ya haven’t well it sucks. Set your foot on fire and that’s what it feels like. Chatting with TK would help keep my mind off it and eating and drinking helped to. Not far from CP2 MG would join our little pack. It was super rad!!

CP2 would be over 100 miles into the 202 mile journey and we rocked it out in less than 7 hours. Four more fresh bottles restock the food, a can of coke, 4 pickles and out. about 10mins or less. MG and TK would leave the CP together. However our ride along side each other would end not for out-of-town. It bummed me out to ride away from them, but I was feeling it. And when it feels good keep it rolling. We had talked earlier in the day that we would not be hurt if we could not keep it together.

I rode the whole 60ish mile leg to CP3 alone. Just me. I had some bad and some good. I had to sit up and enjoy the beauty that I was blessed to ride in that day. I also got closure on the passing on my good friend Jim who the world lost to a brain tumor in late may. Last year I raced in his honor. He was battling thru all the shit and I mean UN HOLY SHIT one must go thru in treatment of this horrible disease. After the rain last year I had my phone out and was going to pull the plug. No way I can finish this bitch now it ain’t in the cards. And then as the rain stopped and the sun came out I slogged thru 10 miles of mud and cow shit to make it into the cp before the cut off. Why? Because Jim couldn’t quit. He was fighting a goddamn brain tumor and I was worried about suffering thru mud. Shit.

As I neared cp 3 about 8 miles out I took a good long pull off the water bottle and emptied it. I reached into my jersey pocket to grab a full one and that to was empty. checked them all and no dice. Your out bud. I backed off the pace and engaged survival mode. You might be thinking “Gammel it’s only eight miles?” And your right. However 8 miles out I could flat, break a chain, crash, ect. All things that stop you from moving. therefore your core temp rises dramatically. I’m sure the temp had climbed into the lower 90s by now. I made it into CP3 at 5:00pm. Poured 50 ozs of hydration into myself. Damage control. I wasn’t feeling bad at all. I was mentally preparing myself for the shit to hit the fan. After two guzzled cokes and 4 fresh bottles and restock on food I was off. The sun still in the sky and I only had 37 miles to go. Only 37 miles. A mid-week training ride. Hold the phone here… I left with out my light. What if it all goes bad? Flats, crash, break down? Crap. Hell I wasn’t worried one bit this was my race. I was going to do it! A daylight finish!! Just like the big guns. I rolled into the finish to the largest crowd of people I had ever finished a race to. It was magical. Riding in getting high fives from complete strangers, throwing beers on me and LOUD cheering. It was something pretty special.

Lets wrap this up already…. I’m sure I will forget some thank you’s, I must thank my wife first and foremost babe none of this crazy nonsense I do would ever work with out your support!!, second my team Cycleworks/Moose’s Tooth for my Giant TCX and the chance to race and be apart of the best shop in the 402. And Thanks to Jim Cummings for the DK200. With out the vision of Jim we could not be able to chase our dreams. Finally to any one and I mean anyone I have ridden or met within the cycling community. You all are a special part of my life and I could not imagine it without any of you.

@GammelA brappn the new whip!!

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Good n fast!

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Easter ride!!

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From earlier today. Flat as heck and windy as a mofo.

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Lets go racing!!! Swanson race recap…

Lets set the week up first. Paid good attention to the training calender this last week and did all that was called for. Yoga some tempo Tuesday and some xc effort Wednesday at Platte River State Park. Easy stuff till Sunday.

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This is Doc and I letting the “others” catch back up. Great to chase ya Biggs!! That was hard and fun as hell.

Race day was Sunday. Won’t bore ya with all the routine pre race mumbo jumbo. Got to the site in time for sign in. Marathon start is at high noon. Sweet! I didn’t mind with a pre ride I have been here before nothing to really worry about. I am however worried about how I’m going to start. You see we have the largest filed in the class ever 40 riders. My plan don’t burn matches early to get to the front and blow it in the first hour. So I sat in easy about 10 or so back. Image

It did feel pretty fast tho. I’m not the best at a big group start in mountain biking. The neutral gravel roll outs I’m more comfortable. When I say I’m not good at it I just mean I haven’t done it enough, but with more races that will improve.

My GiantXTC composite from Cycleworks/ Mooses Tooth was flawless. That 2×10 sram drive train is so nice. Never missed a beat.ImageThis has got to be about lap 2 or three. Feeling pretty good. Got a got rhythm going, quick in the feed zone to get a fresh bottle of SkratchLabs hydration. It was right around 80+ degrees all day long. In April in the Midwest that’s plain HOT. The hydration mix these kats put out is legit!! No cramps, no gas, and the best part no sick to your stomach feeling. Good stuff.

I did make one error in the feed zone. I had caught two guys “camping out” late in the race and wanted to get some distance on them while they were taking a break. My error only grabbed a small bottle and hit the gas. Ooops. Bottle empty 1/4 of the way into the lap. So the rest of the lap with nothing to drink. I think I had to have help getting my lips apart to drink when I returned for a bottle.

So after 4hrs of riding. I ended with 9 laps. Top ten to start the season. Stoked!! Only stopped to grab bottles. Ate during my laps. Licorice nibs are good!!

 

 

Keepn it real

PCL T REXGiant in the rock gardenSmooth Platte River Trails

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