Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bayou Salado

On June 27th, two cyclists headed out from Breckenridge on a journey through South Park to Salida. We climbed steady out of Breck up to Boreas Pass before dropping into Como. Chad took full advantage of his power and was able to win the 1st sprint. From there it was south, where a tail wind blew us to Hwy 24 and into the hamlet of Hartsel. The Muscle showed his talents as he pulled away getting the 2nd sprint. Meet my Wife and kids in Hartsel at the Merchantile for a quick reload before heading on to Salida. We rode steady to the last climb up out of Bayou Salado and into the Arkansas River valley. After a long descent, we arrived into Salida. Once again, out foxed and out gunned, Chad took the final sprint into Salida. We headed straight for Amicas to replenish our depleted bodies. As the winner of the Sprint Competition, Chad will get the traveling trophy which is the Surly flask filled with what is on hand and his name etched in history. I had a great day and an even better riding partner!

Look to the fall for this event to happen again in a slightly different format.

Chad coined the phrase "Colorado Gravel Project", more to come on this. Viva Colorado Gravel!!

Start Line

Approach to Boreas

Shadow Rider

The Views

Weapons atop Boreas

The road goes on forever

Some tar

Look back

Intersections to nowhere

Last climb

Chad and the Arkansas river valley


Finish line


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Searching Deep

Racing 30lbs heavier

The time has come to clear the mind of clutter, race the legs back into shape, and grasp for the brass ring. No more wallowing in self pity.


Monday, June 22, 2009

FDR 2009

The annual Father's Day Ride is in the books.

Gathering of new and old friends.

Waiting for the gun to go off.

We're off


Bear Creek Lake Park for the warm-up.

Approach to Mt Falcon (Red Rocks in the background)

How I rolled

Mt Falcon climb

At the top

The Divide looms in the distance

Lair of the Bear


Hat, a soon to be released Leg Lube, and a beer.

The rub down

Friday, June 19, 2009

Bayou Salado Update

The organization has begun to finalize the plans for this adventure. The start will be currently from the Refuge and stop by the skate rink parking lot (over flow parking) at the base of Boreas Pass at around 8 am on June 27, 2009. We will follow the GDR route from Breckenridge to Salida. Stops in Como and Hartsel if required. The finish line will be around Amicas in Salida, where we will eat and drink. Then an easy 2 hour drive back to Breckenridge to enjoy more beverages on the deck.

This is an unsupported ride. Please ride at your own risk. Rides back from Salida to Breckenridge are for you to arrange. I am not responsible for anything.

Check site here.

Interested? Let me know. Chad and I will tackle this 100 mile day regardless.


Thursday, June 18, 2009


Details here.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Family Biking

Stoker's View

Stoker looking Snappy

Twin Ts (BOT and SBT)

Fallon's new ride


Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Dirty Kanza 2009 – Persistence!

“Pleasure??, I do it for the pain of it” - Lance Armstrong

Chad read to me the above quote from a Graeme Fife article he had brought along. It stuck in my head for most of the ride.

A long day of driving brought Chad Meinert and myself from the foothills of the Rockies to Emporia. I caught up with Dave Pals, Steve Fuller, and Matt Maxwell for a quick dinner at Planet Sub. Then it was back to the Guest Inn for the pre-race meeting. Jim and Joel give us the run down on the following day’s proceedings.

Off to the room to watch the Nuggets lose, then turn in for restless evening of slumber. The alarms going off a little after 4am made us rise with time to stuff some food in our gullet, drink some coffee, and plenty of water as we readied for the long hot day.

The 6am start brought the group out to some cool temperatures and energy in the air. I was really excited to get the ride going. The plan was simple, keep the pedals turning, keep the food intake high, and keep drinking lots of fluids. After some last minute instructions, 85 brave souls headed into the flints for a grand adventure. We rolled out with the escort of a camera crew until that first right turn onto sweet Kansas Gravel.

A few miles down the road, I got gapped as the pace went up and I spun out. The lead group motored down the road with Chad “the muscle” Meinert along with all the race favorites. I settled in for the day. A few futile attempts on my part to hang with small packs of gravel lovin’ cyclists. The wind was blowing strong and making me become focused on the goal of finishing instead of my more lofty goals.

As I was rolling along Dan Hensley rolled up, we chatted a bit about the ride and he imparted some words that stuck with me for the rest of the ride. I can’t remember the quote but basically said it doesn’t get any better as we are just riding our bikes in a beautiful part of the country. It helped boost my spirit as I was watching my speed decrease.

I rolled into CP1 completely out of water but damn glad I made to Cottonwood Falls. The plan for the checkpoints was to have an idea of what I needed and get in and get out. I slammed a quart of Gatorade, munched on a Payday bar, while filling bottles with water. I slogged on toward Elmdale with a full belly and a little zest in the legs. It was only 42 miles during the heat of the day. I kept telling myself this isn’t as bad as those long rides in the Texas heat.

I spent the next few hours in reflective solace as I pedaled and pedaled toward CP2. At sometime during this period I lost the will to eat and felt the urge to puke every time I brought food to my mouth. I remembered those pesky Shot Blocs jammed in my pocket that ended up saving my day. I limped into CP2 with the same plan to grab and go. As I watched riders inhale pizza, I opted to slam a Gatorade and grab some cheese crackers to eat while riding.

I asked the volunteers where I was sitting in the SS class, she said that about 5 single speeders were ahead of me but only 2 recumbents were up the road. Dennis Grelk said that only Skip and Joel were out on the roads. My hopes of a decent placing seemed possible. I pushed on for the next miles in a trying to force feed dry salty crackers into my mouth. I made it through Little Egypt without incident but did walk two of the hills in order to save the legs. One almost wrong turn brought me off course for about 100 yards when I realized my mistake.

A huge boost came when I made it to CP3 to see Chad sitting near the tent. I was stoked to ride with my friend for the last 62 miles. I ran into the store to stock up before heading back out. Skip was inside and offered up his Shot Blocs, I took them later to find out from Joel that they were pulling the plug. Joel gave me some great words of encouragement and we were off. My pockets were loaded with extra Gatorade and a Red Bull for good measure.

With Chad and Greg Bachman, I was in the company of two good men that made the last section a little more fun. Some conversation helped break up the monotony of miles of gravel. One flat on my bike slowed the CO Crew down but didn’t break our spirit. The miles ticked away as the lights of Emporia lit the sky. A lone skunk caused a slight slow in our pace. Greg was the navigator guiding us through maze of gravel roads. Chad was the muscle just keeping the pace consistent and us moving. I just followed.

When we hit the outskirts of Emporia, the sense of relief and joy rushed through me as the lights grew brighter. Chad and Greg were why I finished the event, I can’t thank them enough. They crossed the line tying for 7th place in a time of 19 hours and 26 minutes! A top ten finish in what was a grueling adventure in which 15 finished. I am so very happy for them.

With the finish line crossed, those hardy souls still awake greeted us like we were winners and that erased the pain of the day. Two out of three goals for the ride were reached, more friends made, and memories to last another year. I am happy to have shared them with my good friend, Chad.

I appreciate all those who made Dirty Kanza an event that make me yearning for more gravel. It is the people that keep me going as they make the event. Thanks again to the promoters, volunteers, Skip, Chad, Greg (or is it Gary), Dan, the Vet from Lincoln, the OK guys, Joel, and many I have forgotten. THANK YOU!

I had many song verses going but the one that really stuck was from that classic Ian Flemming movie – “From the ashes of disaster, grow the roses of success.”