Monday, April 30, 2007

Trans Iowa Version III, April 28th - 29th

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The (gravel) road goes on forever......

And the party never ends!

See you all in Iowa!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

T minus ?

Well I am about to embark on another adventure in Iowa for a race of epic proportion, TransIowa. This race is approximately 324 miles on the gravel roads in Northeastern Iowa around the city of Decorah. We have only 34 hours to complete the race which starts at 4am Saturday, April 28th and the official end time is Sunday, April 29th at 2pm. The interesting aspect of this race is that we will not know the first half the route until Friday night with the second set of cues cards handed out at the mid-race check point at mile 127. The race will consist of about 100 riders from all over the US and even some from Canada, most of those will brave this event with the use of a derailluer while the select group of riders like myself will do it on singlespeed. I'll be running my Waltworks 29er with 38c cross tyres and pushing a 32x14 (~63 gear inches).
You may ask yourself why? My answer is that I am a freak that has been cycling/racing for a long time and now I need to push my body beyond pre-conceived limits. I have dug deep many times at the tail end of a 1hr crit or 4hr ride but I have never had to do it at 3am with more that 200 miles in my legs, it is time to make that happen. Mentally and physically I am prepared as most attempting this feat but what lies waiting around the next corner is the wildcard. The weather last year played havoc with the event as no one finished, I made it 63 miles and pulled the plug. The contingency for this year envolves bar hopping all the way back to Decorah ~ the plan does stand firm to finish.

The race director (GTed) will do his best to update the world on Ride424 with real time reports on the race.

Here is my post from last year:

Iowa and Bikes (reposted from April 2006)
When I first started riding a bike, I lived in the small suburb of Chicago called Carol Stream. We would ride from morning to night without worries of cars or anything else for that matter. This began my obsession with bikes. I would rebuild them, swap out parts, and even have derbies in the driveway. This little neighborhood had a street called Iowa Court which amazingly enough is where I lived. Through this period of my life I rode often with friends and more importantly with my father. Upon graduating from High School, I headed away from the influences of my friends to Iowa State University. My first roommate was from the town of Mallard, which is a TIv2 pass thru town, and spent many a weekend learning about rural farm life. Spending five years in Ames I frequented Michael’s Cyclery a bit. They built up a great set of wheels for my campus bike and gave me a glimpse into a cycling lifestyle. There was a guy called Scooter on my dorm floor who was a racer and I was always in awe at his dedication to the sport. He would be on the trainer as we headed out to the bars. I have become that dedicate person.From Ames I moved to Marshalltown, where my wonderful wife is from. She had done Ragbrai five times and I thought she was the coolest. I still do even though she is more of a marathoner now. I ventured back to Michael’s Cyclery to purchase my first bike, a touring Schwinn. From there I added another bike, this time more of a racing one with indexing downtube shifting. The touring bike turned into the around town bike and the other was one I headed out in the fields of Iowa. Having lived in Marshalltown for a year it was time to marry and move on.This brought us to the great State of Texas! Lived in Houston for awhile and held tight to the Iowa roots I had planted by becoming involved with the alumni association. Here my passion for bike could not be quelled by the looming chemical industry or the mass of cars. I hooked up with West End Cycles and started racing mountain bikes. We traveled all over the state to attend races, from Lajitas to Tyler. I was a great time to race as it was more about the hanging out drinking beer and riding than anything else. During this period we traveled to Austin a lot. One trip was to watch the Tour of Texas. A college roommate came down to watch his brother race in Zilker Park. Finally, we moved to Austin. I got a job with the electric utility and quickly got caught up in the road racing scene. One of the first rides I showed up on my Borthwick, which was handmade in Marshalltown, and many of the riders asked if I knew Porky. Porky was the son of the frame builder and the black sheep of the family. Some of these guys would head to Iowa for Ragbrai and then to Super Week. Also, I met a few Iowa transplants who came to Austin to race. After a great stint in what I consider my favorite city, it was time to move on.We ended up in the mountains of Colorado. Here life took a drastic change. No job other than keeping up with one child, who is an Austinite! We added another for good measure and to make sure I was getting enough on the bike strength work hauling them around. One of the new neighbors happens to have grown up in Mallard, Iowa and knows my first college roommate.
Now as my life ebbs and flows, I will go back to Iowa to finish up some business that looms. The initial plan was not to do TI again until the timing worked out better. I am missing my daughters 7th birthday and her first sleepover party (though 6 girls spending the night wasn't looking like much fun for me). I will be a time again to reacquaint with fellow riders and make new friendships.
No plans to post until next week, so please take some time to enjoy your days!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Days and Counting

The time seems to be flying by in the days approaching TI, I have my crap spread all over the house with lists of lists keeping me on task. The plan as it stands is to head from Denver early on Thursday morning, drive to Mtown for the night. Get some good sleep have a big farmers breakfast before heading to Decorah Friday. Then meet up with my brother and head for pizza at Mabe's prior to the TI meeting.

The head is spinning with details that keep me less than concern about the event it's self.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Monday, April 16, 2007

Sunday Ride

With some sore legs I headed out on the last big ride before TIv3. About halfway into the ride I started feeling good, then the winds kicked up.

Lookout Mountain Looms

Vernon Gravel

Blurrrry Gravel through the trees

The divide covered in snow

Climbing out of the valley


Another great day for racing only to be squander with so-so legs in wrong place at the wrong time. The race start fast as a couple teams put the hammer down early, as DT would say "It's on like Donkey Kong!" I hung tight for a bit but being small in stature racing with giants I got shoved around more than usual, I tried to be assertive but end up on a bad line thru the gravel washboard. I drifted towards the back with hopes of making it up on the climbs, before I knew it the group was strung out for as far as I could see. Worked my way toward the front on the finishing straight climb only to get ridden off the back. Ended up in the second chase group working pretty well together trying like mad to get the group ahead. To no avail, ended up with a disappointing 31st. Did find out later that my saddle was 3 cm lower than normal, no wonder I couldn't generate any power and my legs were sore afterwards. Brian (teammate) and I rode up to Jamestown after the race then I headed home for a hike up Green Moutain.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Snow day

Looks like Denver is preparing to get hit with another round of bad weather. The weekend will be sandwiched in between two fronts. The plan is to race Boulder-Roubaix this Saturday with the new bar/stem combo on the DeRosa.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Final push

Need to maintain some momentum over the few weeks which will mean a continuous dose of saddle time. The WaltWorks is ready and will be running a 32x14 with some 35c Conti Speed King Cross (if they arrive in time).

TIv3 Information: There is a chance to pass through the Little Switzerland of Iowa on the way to an undisclosed check point. Will we head to the bohemian alps? Over towards M'town?

Monday, April 09, 2007


Found this in the local paper -
".., a lot of mountain bikers do use foul language on trails and drink a lot of beer."


Some images from my icy ride on Friday.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Spring Break over

I spent some great time with the kids last week, taking a nice tandem ride (~40miles without much complaining!), skiing, and hanging out. It was a great break for me to refresh and prepare for the end of April.