Thursday, January 17, 2013

First Update for 2013 from Christina Anthony

Welcome Christina Anthony to the chase for 2013. I have no doubt that she'll crush us all (including Dennis...)

Hello, I'm joining the chase for 2013! Our first gravel metric was completed on New Year's Day on the tandem from Donnellson to Keosauqua with stops in Farmington, Bonaparte, and Bentonsport along the way for human fuel and a lot of warmth. Temperatures were on the frigid side with either the actual temps or the windchills being in the single digits for the entire ride. 
We (Dennis Grelk and I) left just a few moment after 9am. Our first goal was Farmington's gas station about 15 miles away. It took us almost 2 hours to get there. Along the way, I had unzipped nearly all my layers. My toes were a little chilly, and I actually took my hands out of my bar mitts for part of that ride. At the gas station, I ate 2 peanut butter cups and drank half my bottle of water. We also bought toe warmers and put them in our boots. (Toe warmers are amazing, and I had no idea how I've lived this long without them.)
Then, we took off for Bonaparte, another 5 miles away. We didn't actually go into town, but stopped briefly and I took off my winter cycling coat and put on my windbreaker jacket instead. I ate a few handfuls of mixed nuts and drank some hot chocolate from one of the thermos we took along. We kept riding.  
Bentonsport was the next town, another roughly 5 miles away. It had no services, but we walked through town anyhow as we couldn't ride the bridge with the tandem and both of us had cold toes. I drank more hot chocolate and ate a few Reese's peanut butter eggs.
The final leg from Bentonsport to Keosauqua (our turnaround town) about killed me. I was coldish, I had to pee, we were crawling along... I was starting to think that Keosauqua was a town that Dennis had made up. I was playing some messed up head games, doubting my ability to complete the ride, thinking it was ridiculous that I even thought I could do it, etc, etc...Somewhere along the way, we finally stopped and I watered the pines, hoping no one saw me, but not even caring if they did. I ate a few fun sized snickers and drank more water. Dennis was kinda laughing at me and telling me "Let's just make it to Keosauqua before we throw in the towel..." So, we kept going... 
And, I can report that Keosauqua does exist... We pulled into town a bit after 1pm and after 30 some miles. At the gas station there, I ate 4 Reese's peanut butter cups, drank a V8, and part of a Pepsi Throwback. We went to the laundry mat and Dennis dried his clothes while wearing my windbreaker jacket (a humorous sight). I added another set of toe warmers to my boots and drank more of my Pepsi Throwback. And, then we reversed direction and went back home... 
We went on a different route back, and we flew so much faster with the wind slightly at our backs! My spirits were lifted so much... Dennis said we were climbing hills at the same speed as we were doing flats on the way out to Keosauqua. I kept the rest of my Pepsi Throwback handy, and that seemed to be a power drink for me. I had to store it under my coat after a while as it started getting chewy when it froze... We passed by Bentonsport and rode through Bonaparte, but didn't stop. Outside of Bonaparte, we walked up a super steep hill, warming out toes up. I drank a bit as we walked. We stopped to walk probably at least 3 more times. We made it home in roughly 3 hours, at close to 5:30 tonight. I lost my power in the last 30 minutes of the ride and had to eat more, a fun sized snickers and a peanut butter egg, 2 miles from home just to get home.

I attached 2 photos from the ride. (Photo credit to Dennis Grelk). 
Christina Anthony

Courtney Hilton's Death Ride Report

If Courtney completes the "Fat Cup", I'll see what I can do about getting a "Fat Cup O' Dirt" commissioned. It'll be at least 3.7" across...

I did half of the death ride in July with guitar Ted about 70 miles.  Then after a lot of working I finally got in a metric in October.  I think this earns me one cup for 2012.  No plans for 13 yet but I want to start the "fat cup“ this year!  I'm doing all my cup rides on a pugs this year.

Courtney's Centuries 3&4 - Dirty Kanza

Here's a little bit of catching up on Cup O' Dirt full centuries from Courtney Hilton. If you've never done Dirty Kanza, it is a really fun race (though hot and difficult most years...). Registration is still open for this summer if Courtney's report makes you want to go!

Well This could be a long post so I'll start from the beginning.  The Starting line was a street paced full of riders in front of the Granda Theater in downtown Emporia.  They had staged signs for times you "expected" to finish in 12 hours, 14 hours, 16 hours, 18 hours funny but there was no sign for never.  I looked for my group in the 18 hour but at the last minute found them in 16.  I told Craig he was very ambitious 16 hours is really fast.  At 6am after a short little speech that we couldn't hear anyway from our distance from the start line we were off.  I was feeling a little 'under the weather' even though the weather in Emporia was perfect the weather in my stomach was not.  My group was Don, Barbie, Craig to begin the day,  Barbie was setting the pace for the first hour at 17+mph.  I decided (and by 'I' I mean my stomach and legs) to back off to a reasonable 13-15mph as this is a pace for finishing a 200+ mile gravel ride.  I did catch back up to the group on 'Texaco Hill'.
I was starting to feel better around 9am and finishing was looking like a realistic possibility.  I got in to checkpoint 1 at 10:20 and was back on the road at 10:45 with Craig.  We let Barbie and Don go since it was obvious that they wanted a little more speed than we cared to do.  The next 40ish miles to check point two was a blur.  The only part I remember is the ride through the long b-road section with all the low water crossings and stopping for a road side potty break with leaves for tp (and I made good use of the course map)  I think it was around 2:30 or 3 at checkpoint 2 but I really cant' remember now.
I'm not totally sure what time we left Checkpoint 2 but I do remember we were way ahead of schedule and looking at a pre-midnight finish!  The roads after 2 were a lot more 'B' service and some were almost single track level.  I stand with my cross bike decision.  We did talk on the B-road from last year were it all went wrong, Craig thought we should have brought a couple forties to pour out for fallen derailliers and broken dreams.  I said we are mountain bikers will drink the fourties and leave the bottles for the deraillers.  Once we were past there this section was the most fun section to ride.  I do remember feeling towards the end of this section that I was Done, but I told myself to suck it up and quit whining and just ride.
Checkpoint 3 feels like victory.  It was still light out about 7:50, didn't expect that.  We Stopped for too long here (almost 30 minutes) but I think we needed the rest.  I remember that after this point all I was thinking was are we there yet?  How many more miles.  One wrong turn in Americas set us back about 10 minutes or so and I thought I was going to die on the last hill.
We finally pulled into town and Craig says lets pick it up a little and finish strong so I heard start doing 20+ to the finish.  A couple wrong turns later we were in the finish straight.  They had blockades up the whole street and I heard the derailer clicks next to me.  The adrenaline took over and this is were the 53 ring comes into play.  I always dreamed of finishing a race in a sprint for the line with a couple people.  I never thought it would be a 200 miles race.  Gear kept dropping and I picked up speed, no one had come by me yet so I kept moving I caught a glance at the computer on my bike under on of the street lights 35mph.  I shifted again and was out of gears (53x11) and crossed the line.... Only one guy was sprinting with me but I won, well 151 overall.  Really I didn't even care if I was DFL I finished and did in 17.15 way faster than I had ever imagined.  And I'm never doing it again...ha ha ha.

2012 Reckoning

I need updates from everybody that was chasing a cup in 2012. I think the only people I have complete information for are the Venteichers and myself. So, send in your ride reports or just a total of all your rides for 2012. And a special note: thanks to an anonymous donor, if you got a Cup O' Dirt for the first time in 2012, your cup is completely paid for! I may or may not be able to divulge the benefactor. If I can, I'll be sure to publish their address so's you can send them thank you cards or bits of gravel from each of your rides in 2013.

I'd like to get the cups ordered by the first week in February so I can try to hand a few out at CIRREM. I'll be moving to another state in March (one that has mountains, even), so would love to be able to get as many mugs delivered as possible before then. Don't worry, though, the Cup O' Dirt will continue in 2013! Get started riding.