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RACE REPORT (05jun2021): Spring Valley / Almanzo 100 -- Meteor Theory v. Heat Wave, Gravel v. Skin

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  MINNEAPOLIS, United States (GNN, the Gravel News Network) -- Gerasimos G. "If nothing goes wrong, there's nothing to write about." Quick Background on Almanzo (and Meteor Theory) The Almanzo 100 was one of the first gravel events in the midwest to be attracting 1,000+ people. I did this event for several years in all sorts of weather (some race reports here in The Gravel News Network ).  This year, the city of Spring Valley took the lead on the event, renaming it the Spring Valley 100. The date of the event, normally the first Saturday after Mother's Day (in May) meant the weather had varied from the 30s to the 80s, cold rain to hot sun, mostly wind and sometimes calm. This year was in June, yesterday, June 5th, and temps were in the 90s with winds gusting up to 25mph. Perhaps it's also useful to briefly share the "Meteor Theory" that I apply in pretty much every event. It is a plan to go out hot, hotter than what can be sustained, and then slowly peel

RIDE REPORT (15aug2020): The DAMn - Day Across Minnesota - A Great Plan Meets Physical and Mechanical Reality

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  MINNEAPOLIS, United States (GNN, the Gravel News Network) -- Gerasimos G. "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." The source of this quote is Mike Tyson, but he might have been quoting Socrates, or maybe the kid in our neighborhood who threatened a man in the paint store after he was asked why he like the Beatles instead of the Rolling Stones. Prologue... When you have a plan, especially a really detailed one, the proper thing to do when it goes wrong is to share it. This is critical for the betterment of our species, especially our subspecies of cylcus humanus. We must not continue to fool ourselves into planning for the unplannable. Therefore, consider what follows to be part recap, part confession.  The Day Across Minnesota... A word about  The DAMn ,  since not everyone reading will know. The Day Across Minnesota is a 240-mile gravel road race that starts at 12:00a at the first click of a Saturday in August in Gary, South Dakota and traverses the widt

RACE REPORT (14oct2018): The FILTHY 50 -- finally filthy, so very filthy

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MINNEAPOLIS, United States (GNN, the Gravel News Network) -- Gerasimos G. One of the greatest mysteries in the Minnesota gravel cycling scene is how a race called the "Filthy 50" has gone so long without really getting filthy.  I mean, it's a mid-October event in Minnesota where there have been blizzards on Halloween.  Sure, the race has been dusty, but all of my memories of the Filthy 50 are filled with images of sun and mild (or hot!) temps. I don't think I've worn a jacket. Ever. (link: http://the-filthy-50.com/history) The combination of the relatively shorter distance and the weather history (along with the fact that it is late in the season so riders are in good form) has made the Filthy 50 into the "gateway drug" for gravel cycling.  I don't count the names beyond my friends, but I know that the Filthy has been the first gravel event for probably a dozen of them. All that changed on Sunday.  If Trenton had, as legend has i