Monday, April 30, 2012

May Challenge and TI Congrats

First, I want to congratulate both Matt Maxwell and Charles Showalter for their impressive finishes at Trans-Iowa this past weekend. I'm sure they'll both have reports for us once they recuperate. I know of a few other people in the chase this year that made it at least partway on TI, which is a feat in and of itself, so expect a few more Cup ride reports outta that.

It's been too long since any sort of challenge (besides the challenge of earning a cup) has been done under the guise of getting people out on their bikes. So, here it is: whoever gets the most miles in Cup O' Dirt qualifying rides in May will receive a special prize. You can combine your metrics and fulls for the month towards the prize. More details about what the special award actually is will be published later in the month. For now, get out on your bike and ride in some dirt!

Davie G. Earns the First Cup for 2012

Well, I'm not terribly surprised that Davie G. is the first official Cup O' Dirt chaser to earn a cup this year. For his first twelve metrics he'll receive one cup. Congrats, Dave! Going to try for 200 metrics this year?

Dear Nick,
Been riding and not reporting in, yes I am guilty. But I am here to report Metric Gravels #s 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14.





















As you can see by my calendar I am trying to pick up the pace. Hoping for a couple more this weekend.... All riding has been in my corner of North East Iowa.
Some pictures attached.
Thanks for the chase.
Dave Giegerich

Venteicher March/April Update

Here's a full report from the Venteichers about their Cup O' Dirt exploits in March and part of April. Enjoy the photos.

Howdy again!  Lee and I have been busy little NE IA beavers, and we each completed a Full and a Metric in March.  So far in April we have each completed a Full, and Andrea has now pulled ahead slightly by doing her Metric for April as well.  (HAH!).  This brings Lee to 4 Full (he only had 2 before…he just got some advance credit on the blog) and 5 Metrics total, and Andrea now has 4 Full and 4 Metrics in the chase.
Lee wanted to thank Mr. Brian Fuhrmann for joining him on his last two Fulls (maybe Brian'll join the chase as well w/Lutsen 99 and who knows what else coming up).  Lee and Brian pushed for their own PRs on both Fulls and set them…along with PRs for pain.  Fuhrmann also showed that he's got some mad camera skills by topping Andrea's hillbilly totem pole pic (and he even got a hippy totem pole in back of the frame).

So far I have found that my Gmapping superpower has got to be the ability to find roads where the bridge is completely gone or only quasi-safe even when the road supposedly goes through on the online map.  

I also came across some nice graffiti under a train bridge somewhere near Columbus Junction in SE IA that extolls several of the world's greatest vices:  smoking weed, neglecting proper footwear ("i need my boots"), wrath (conveyed by the classic middle finger), lust ("double D, yo!"), and, of course, cycling on small bikes.

The other pictures I am including are less amusing, but just illustrate how freakin' awesome the riding is around here...the quad-crunching climb to the top of the bluff usually guarantees one a million-dollar view of what the locals call "God's country"--and don't you forget it, yo.

Peace out---
L&A Venteicher

Friday, April 27, 2012

Eric Buck Joins the Chase

Another new cup chaser for 2012! Eric Buck had this to report from his rides this year. Welcome to Iowa and to the Cup O' Dirt, Eric.

Hey Nick,
Now this is my kind of ridin' and racin'! I'm game!
I'm from Oregon and Washington and Utah if you will, so, I didn't even bother bringing a mountain bike with me to Iowa. Nope, bought a Salsa Vaya frame and built it up my way. It's been a blast to ride, even more so now that things are turning green.
I've done three metrics so far this spring. An out and back from Council Bluffs down the Trace trail for 70 some miles. Another on the Trace from Malvern for 80some. Last weeks ride started in Atlantic and went south to Lewis, then looped through Marne, Wiota, Cumberland, and back to Atlantic. Battery died on that ride so I'm not sure on the mileage. Iowa's not flat I know that much.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

New Tandem Chasers Charlie and Pat Jenkins

It's exciting to have a tandem couple chasing the Cup O' Dirt (besides Dave and Dee Mable, of course). Here's the first post from Charlie and Pat Jenkins, who live in Texas.

Hi Nick,

Time to join the fun! Pat (my wife) & I just took possession of our new gravel grinder tandem (Calfee Bamboo). We completed our 1st gravel century on it last weekend: 127 miles (Red River Riot, St Jo, Texas). This gravel stuff is definitely addicting!!!!!!!

Please add us to the "Cup O' Dirt" fun.

Charlie & Pat Jenkins

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Metrics 7 and 8 from Davie G.

Dave Giegerich just keeps cranking them out. Here's a couple more from him:

Hi Nick, I'm at it again. Last Wednesday gravel Metric #7 on the FatBike, just a easy roll, on the back roads on NE Iowa. Sunday on 4/1/12 I rode metric #8 on the CX. a out and back. Tried to work the return half of the trip  on my upper end of heart rate, cause I needed quick slack'n the pace.
Here's a picture of the cemetery in Dyersville.
Thanks for the chase
Dave Giegerich

The Struggles of Chad Terrell

Looks like the automation to make this post appear yesterday morning failed. Sorry! You get two today. This one's from Chad Terrell, one of the many new cup chasers this year. Sounds like an exciting winter.
It took me three tries to get my second metric in. On Feb. 8 I drove down to Cumming to ride a previous years CIRREM course. The conditions went from icy to sloppy as the sun melted the snow. At mile 10 I fell on the ice and slowed down after that. At mile 30 my rear derailleur hanger protested the sloppy conditions by self destructing. After that I started walking to the highway which was 3 miles away. AFTER walking up a long hill that I had previously bombed down an accommodating man in a tractor offered me a ride to the highway. I placed my bike in the tractor’s bucket and climbed up into the cab. The man was in his forties and told me that he used to go on RAGBRAI. He dropped me off at the highway and I stuck out my thumb at the trucks that went by since I was still 20 miles from my car. Two rides later I was back in Cumming.

My factory derailleur hanger was a soft piece of cast aluminum so I replaced it with a stronger CNC’ed one to prevent nuisance failures just in time for CIRREM, which was my second attempt at my second metric. The conditions were even worse than on my previous attempt. I didn’t fall but I saw several others that were not so lucky. At mile 48 my new hanger proved to be stronger than my rear derailleur. My derailleur snapped in half and was sucked into my spokes. Thankfully, I was going slow enough to stop before any serious damage was done to my rear wheel. I called Bob at the Tap and he sent a driver out to pick me up (thanks guys).

So with two mechanicals in Feb. I decided to wait for dry conditions for my next attempt. On March 28 I rode the CIRREM course again and finally finished my second gravel metric. I hit 41 mph coming down one of the hills but decided that it would be nice if my next gravel metric had less than 2600’ of climbing. Later, Chad Terrell.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Look for Davie G's Wallet

If you're out riding the gravel near Dubuque, and you see Dave Giegerich's wallet, send it his way. Or go and have a nice night out on the town with his money, take photos, and send them his way.

Another ‘double’ weekend. Two metrics. Saturday, the Fat Girl and myself did a GPS ride of Heritage Trail from my front door in Dubuque, to Dyersville for 31.2 miles and back home again.

Sunday’s ride on CX set out to explore gravel had 18 miles in and it had warmed up enough to take my windbreaker off. It was at that point I find out I did not zipper up my seat bag and I had lost my wallet. 200 dollars, driver’s license, credit card, and a slow learners award for me, being the 2nd time in 6 months that I have done this. So I turn around and retreat watching the trail for my wallyfold. No wallet, and back home I decided to cut the grass and my lawnmower like every year needed repairs and would not start, so out of frustration, I run out and buy  a new lawnmower, with my son's credit card, cut the grass, saddle back up and rode my butt off to finish the metric and  mellow out.

So getting back on track,  and hoping for some weekday centuries as well.
And thanks for the chase
Dave Giegerich

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Matt Maxwell's Updates

Here are a few updates and a shameless promotion from Matt Maxwell. The attached picture is from when I "delivered" his Cup O' Dirt from 2009 to him at work a few months ago (he works like 4 feet away from me, so I really just brought the cup to work.)

I suppose if Jared can do shameless self-promotion I can too.  First off, my (metric) centuries:
Arrowhead 135 (135 miles): I did it on the bike this year.
CIRREM (63 miles): my Pugsley is still covered in gravelcrete.
Ten O'clock Mass rides (65 miles x3): 2/19, 3/11, and 3/18.
So that's 5 metrics and one full for the year so far.   
Now for the self-promotion:  I'm leading rides from the back door of Skunk River Cycles at 10:00 AM on Sundays.  Mostly it's an excuse to get me out of bed and on the gravel.  If you want to join me just show up or contact me through Facebook to get more details.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Charles Showalter's First Full Century

From the desk of Charles Showalter:

Craig and I rode a full century today. We met between our houses, near Ely, and headed southwest. We rode through Western, into Walford, past Swisher, and into Amana.
We hit a couple nice B roads and one very steep hill. This photo of Craig is from one of the Bs.
We rounded it out by riding back east past Ely and near Sutliff before heading back to Mount Vernon.
It was my first ever gravel century.
The weather was perfect and we had our usual good times. Take it easy.
Do NOT mess with Craig Irving. See that face? He will mess you up.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Davie G. Reporting In

Welcome to another full week of updates! I have a few to catch up on, so there'll be an update a day for at least the next week. Enjoy.

The first is from Dave Giegerich:

Dave reporting in. Back to back Metrics this weekend. That doubles my total for the year. As you can see I am off to a slow start but wheels are starting to roll. Saturday I heard rumors  of large crowds and much revelry in Dyersville so I rode one of my many gravel options to there to check it out. Thousands of people in green, in fact the whole town started turning green as can be seen by this picture.

Sunday wasn’t planning to a metric but I had 20 miles in against the wind and realized if I could do 11 more in this direction the wind would blow me back home for the remaining for the back half.
Woofing down some highly nutritious Oreo cookies here

Oh, I have one confession to make. I did these rides on a bike of ‘lesser stature’ yeap my Fatty needs a new BB, so I rode these rides on my CX.