Monday, October 31, 2011

First, a BIG thank you to everyone who came, who rode and who conquered AGGI v2.

Mario Czarnomski once again proved unbeatable, setting a new course record as he crossed the very vague finish line with a finish time of 3:44:30. Unfortunately, Mario was unable to stay for the last finishers (frankly, we think he was just avoiding the GRAND PRIZE), so the GRAND PRIZE (from the Land of Sky Blue Waters) went to Matt Maxwell from Ames who finished a close second. Rounding out the podium was newcomer Charles Showalter. Tops among the women was recent Kona-qualifier, Jenny Lorenz, who was heard muttering throughout the day, “Hot tub, where’s my hot tub? Has anyone seen my hot tub?” All will receive FREE entry to next year's race.

Additional shout outs to:

  • Das Pitbull for tasty Crucible Jam. If you didn’t get any, you missed out. Morning-after toast just isn’t the same without it. FREE entry for you in 2012.

  • Tom Gehring for hauling himself and his beautiful Wild Turkey rig all the way from the Twin Cities. (Tom, the Surly Beer didn’t suck! FREE entry for you next year, too.)

  • Richard Studer for hanging in there and finishing in the dark. Richard had surgery this past week and still decided to show up and ride. FREE entry for Richard.

  • Zoey’s for great pizza pies, cold beer, friendly conversation and warmth.

  • Mother Nature for sparing us the rain and offering up wonderful hills, beautiful scenery and dust-free roads. But did you really need to include the wind, and then more wind?

  • Melanie, you’ll be back.

  • Lord Nibbles, Patron of the Hamster Clan, for signing in as such.

  • Big Al, for the sculpture and the host truck.

  • The spectators. Okay, so they were cattle, but it’s a start.

  • That dog off Rollins Rd that made us pick up the pace and then keep up the pace. “DOWN, BOY!”

  • In the end, numbers were up, times were faster and laughs were had well into the night. Another successful - and FREE - American Gothic Gravel Invitational in the books.

    Until next year,


    Monday, October 24, 2011

    It's Time!

    PowerBar®, The Crucible® and the Iowa Gravel Society™
    The American Gothic Gravel Invitational™
    Sunday, 30 October 2011, 12:00 pm

    A 60-mile, balls-to-the wall, dust-in-yo-teeth, winner-take-all, free-of-charge bike race across the gravel roads of Linn County, Iowa. Yes, IOWA!

    Everyone gets: Dirty, satisfaction, camaraderie, the cue-sheet keepsake you see here, BONUS POSTER seen above (suitable for framing – WOW-FUN-WOW, COLLECT ALL TWO), and a get-together of some sort afterwards (but only if you stick around for the last finisher. Bring a few bucks if you're hungry.
    Zoey's was dang tasty last year). Word has it there MAY also be Crucible Jam for a lucky few. While we can’t guarantee a broken spoke, flat tire, dog bite (a couple strays have been added to the course) or saddle sore, if the fates are with ya, you may leave with a story to tell.

    One person gets: The grand prize (but only if he/she sticks around for the last finisher).

    Rules: Sign the notebook before the start. We roll out as a group at high noon (later start time this year… I need to mow). Once we hit gravel on the other side of Highway 13, the race is on. Follow the cue sheets ‘til you hit the finish. Sign the notebook with your name and finish time (there’ll be a stopwatch [or cheap Timex] by the notebook). No aid stations. No outside help. Don’t be stupid. Don’t cheat. Ride safe. Stop, look and listen. When you cross the highway(s), look and then look again. Don’t be a tool (ride like your grandmother is watching). And don't, don't, don't litter. The roads are open and the farmers are working harder than any of us. Stay to the right and outta their way. The roads and fields are theirs, not ours. Wave and they’ll wave back.

    Cue sheets: Click the pic. These are the only directions you’ll receive. Print ‘em. Bring ‘em. Lose ‘em and you'd better find someone to ride with. If you bring a buddy, make a copy for him/her and make sure your pal doesn’t get lost.

    Start/Finish line: Indian Creek Elementary School parking lot (by the OLD football field), 2900 Indian Creek Road, Marion, IA. There may be some road construction near the start/finish – look at it as your chance to ride creatively.

    In the event of a tie, the 100-yd Grant Wood Dash of Death will be held at the adjacent track to determine the winner. We’re REALLY hoping for a tie. Bring your running shoes… just in case.

    Fine print: You’re receiving this because you’re one of a select group (or someone we thought really had nothing better to do). This is an invitation-only race because we’ve seen what happens when some FREE events are opened to the inconsiderate masses. That said; if you want to bring along a kindred spirit, that’s cool, too. In fact, we encourage it.

    Large print: YOU'RE ON YOUR OWN. There is no sag wagon (though Crazy Pete will again ride ceremonial DFL and pick up the carnage), so choose your weapon wisely. If you get a flat, fix it. If you break down, work some mechanical magic or start walking. No one is coming to save you (unless you have a very forgiving spouse, child, parent or domestic partner). You got into it, you get out of it. That said, offer a helping hand if someone needs it, even if that means slowing down. As mentioned above, don't be a tool... but feel free to lend one.

    See you soon,

    Photo: 2-hour gravel ride, 30-minute run, 9:00 am, 50 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 4,200 yds (ytd 2220,000 yds.)
    Bike: 93 miles (ytd 4,894 mi.)
    Run: 14 miles (ytd 1,201 mi.)

    Some days you can see forever. Other days you can see even farther.

    Tuesday, October 18, 2011

    Video: 2-hour gravel ride, 30-minute run, 7:00 am, 40 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 4,300 yds (ytd 215,800 yds.)
    Bike: 77 miles (ytd 4,801 mi.)
    Run: 13 miles (ytd 1,187 mi.)

    FACT: Zombies don't ride bikes. Get out and ride.

    Monday, October 10, 2011

    Photo: 40-mile gravel ride, 4-mile run, 9:00 am, 60 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 1,500 yds (ytd 211,500 yds.)
    Bike: 130 miles (ytd 4,724 mi.)
    Run: 4 miles (ytd 1,187 mi.)

    Monday, October 03, 2011

    Photo: 26.2-mile run, 12:00 pm, 70 degrees, St. Paul, MN

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 2,600 yds (ytd 209,700 yds.)
    Bike: 26 miles (ytd 4,594 mi.)
    Run: 40 miles (ytd 1,183 mi.)

    A mass of humanity?
    A mess of humanity?
    I'm missing the humanity.