Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Nick Larson Bags #4 Metric

Nick Larson - the "other" Nick, as he puts it - had this to say about his fourth gravel metric for the year. On with the chase, Nick! For more photos, check out his Picasa gallery.

I logged gravel metric number 4 on Sunday.  I headed off down Adams St. for Earlham with a pit stop at Badger Creek.  Missed the turn off for Badger Creek and ended up taking a break in a corn field.  Oh well, good times were had.

Dave G. Heats it Up

Here's a report from the gravel metric king Dave Giegerich.

#7  5/27/11
#8  5/30/11 As you can see below #8 kicked my butt. I got sick the next day took almost 2 weeks to get rid of a sinus/throat/eyeball infection. Maybe I was coming down with it or the heat let in. Well I chalk it up to training and no pain no gain. :-)

YIKES!!!  Got Zzapped riding today. Was about 90 and humid. Usually I have tolerated much better then I did today. Perhaps, just maybe it's due to I am older, fatter, and uglier each passing year. At about mile 20 on a gravel road, riding my Trek XO2 Cycle Cross, my fluids were gone. 82 ounces. 10 more riding miles, I came to a small town park water fountain. I drank 24 oz, and filled my 24 oz water bottle full. I didn't know just how much I could trust this water, and needed to drink about a gallon before I would be back home. So I found a vending machine and paid to fill up the rest of my bottles.
My stomach was full of fluids but yet my mouth was dry, I wasn't processing fluids as fast as my body was evaporating them to stay cool.
Then signs of heat stress hit. With out the detail I found a bush to hide behind, I don't know why, I was somewhere in nowhere,  and I couldn't hold on anymore, and was glad I  packed some wet ones along for the trip. I would have two more stops at outdoor small town park out houses.
Feeling dizzy, no cell phone service, I started heading home. Sprinkling water on me and down my spine to help cool off. The wind picked up and the added evaporation had me feeling better. I had some concern about going down in this heat. I kept a close watch on my thoughts, was feeling a little whacky and my eyes played tricks on me.
 I thought about getting in the creek for more cool down, but felt good enough to just keep going and get home.
#9  6/11/11
#10 6/16/11
#11 6/18/11 Rode hard today, felt good but left nothing in my gas tank so taking a few days off from the metrics, and be back at em.

Thanks for the Chase

Craig Irving's Dirty Kanza Experience Says It All

As someone who rode as much of the Dirty Kanza 200 this year as possible before succumbing to heat exhaustion, I can honestly report that Craig's rundown of the event here is pretty representative of those couple hundred people that had to hang it up. Mechanical issues from the mud that followed from a quickly moving storm, which followed 94-degree heat and wind made for a fun, challenging race! If you love gravel riding, the Dirty Kanza is not to be missed.

Made it about 140 miles at this year's Dirty Kanza before my rear derailleur decided to donkey up and get stubborn on me.  This was it's final act of protest immediately following a 3-1/2 mile slog through some nasty Iowa mud that someone conveniently left in Kansas.  Of the 15-20 people that came through that section while I was there, five of us lost our derailleurs on it.  I could've converted to single speed, but I weaseled out at this point and called my ride.  I feel approximately 18% less manly now.  It would be more, but I salvaged a couple points by downing a Bud Light that I scored from some four wheelers while I waited.

On a side note, I got to meet and ride with (for a bit) fellow Cup O' Dirt rider Courtney Hilton.  Also spent some time chatting with Mr. Cup O' Dirt Nick the day before the race as well.  It's nice getting to know the folks I read about on the COD.  I'm looking forward to seeing you guys around more.
As a professional bicycle mechanic, my diagnosis would be to poke at that derailleur and say, "Yup, that's your problem right there."

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Century for Dave Mable

Here's Dave Mable's century report. This was delivered by telegram (unfortunately he didn't spring for a singing one) and is transcribed here directly:

Put me down for a century. Almanzo 100. Hardest day on a bike. Period.
Dee and I rode tandem. Made it. dude.
You can certainly tell who was stoking the tandem, and who was the captain.
Way to go, Dave!

The Return of a God

That's a god, not the God. Dave Giegerich is back in the saddle racking up the dirty metric centuries. Here's a couple of reports from the deity himself.

Dear Mr. Nick,
I am guilty of two things. 1. Not getting enough gravel time in. 2. Not reporting my dirty "Cs"

Ok well I am changing that.
I now have four metrics. Here are the last not reported three.
May 7, 14, and 18.
Today's right was great, started to rain and the wind whipped up, I was underdressed, so I just held onto a hard pace to keep warm.

Found out I just can't ride 1000s of miles and not do counter exercises and stretchings not at my old age anyhow. Working on shoulder and wrist injuries recovery. Going good. Hope to start banging out two "Cs" a week now.
"It's no big deal."

Hi Nick,
This weekend was a riding weekend. Saturday and Sunday I rode a Metric gravel each day that makes Metric #6 for the year. Saturday it rained for the first 20 miles, soaking me. But if you want to ride, it works best to learn to ride, rain, heat, snow, or dark, it's part of the fun.
Sunday, the legs were feeling a little tired but knew I would feel better to ride then the feeling of not riding. Ran into a large bull staring me down on the trail and turned around and back tracked, he was unwilling to move out of my way, and he was scaring me.

Attached is a picture of the trail starting to grow shut.
Thanks for the chase.
Dave Giegerich
 I just noticed that this post contains references/quotes from two separate films, both spoken by the same actor. Anyone who can identify these should speak up in the comments to win a free pony ride!

3rd Century for Courtney Hilton

Courtney Hilton has his 3rd century for the year, which he bagged on May 16th. Here's a photo he sent to me. Check out his blog for more!

Craig Irving Gets Serious

It's been a while! I have a few updates to share with y'all from the month of May. Here's the first, from Craig Irving. His report exemplifies what riding and competing is all about: the enjoyment of the sport. It takes a lot to finish a race that you won't get official credit for, and we've all been out on rides that could be made a lot easier with one cell phone call to the significant other. Hats off to Craig.

I'm giving fake Richard the day off for this one because I don't want to trivialize what this race meant to me.  At 7am on Saturday, May 14th I started the Royal 162 alongside sixty other people.  At 2am on Sunday, May 15th I finished the Royal 162 alongside two other people.  Don, Zack and I finished four hours outside the time cut.  We didn't care.  We won't be recognized as official finishers in this race.  We don't care. We fought wind, rain, cold, navigational errors  and crushing lows, but we completed this beast of a race.  For us, it was a huge matter of pride.  We all missed the first cut at Trans Iowa and we were determined to make up for it here.  Mission accomplished, in a big way.  On paper this was my worst performance of the year, second only to Trans Iowa.  In reality, it's the biggest win I've ever had in bike racing.