Showing posts from September, 2018

ALMANZO 2014 - and everyone lived happily ever after

[archive item dug out of a dusty laptop hard drive or something --- originally sent May 18, 2014] Gravel Compadres - Stellar effort all.  Everyone made it through with only a couple of mechanicals and nothing more frightening than the expected dark hours in middle of a great day. Short story from me is that I grabbed the wheels of the Batteries & Bulbs Racing Team and followed them to Preston.  We were on a tear --- Preston by 11:15a -- running about a 6hr pace.  Spotted Craig-o and frantically, maniacally, grabbed water and some calories from Craig-O as the team rolled past me.  I got back on the road feeling like I was cooked and wasn't going to catch the group.  About 5 miles up the road, I spotted them just getting back onto their rigs after a nature break.  I banged it out up the hill and caught them before they were back up to speed.  I was riding way outside of my range and I knew it --- but the draft was there and if I could stick with them up the hills and roll

ALMANZO - 2016 - Recap Series, vol. #6 (ridden yes, written maybe)

[archive item dug up from a bunch of emails --- this one was sent on May 15, 2016] Gravelleras & Gravelleros (& Dan Gold) [note: there's a link to photos at the bottom --- and given the high ramble factor, you may want to scroll down --- I'm not going to remember what mess of words I wrote, so I sure wouldn't expect you to.] The  Almanzo  never disappoints -- there's always some new frontier, some new batch of challenges that it drops at your feet and stares at you, daring you to pick it up (or to stay home).  This year, it was wind. Mid-week the weather forecasts for the backroads and country hills outside Rochester started to look the same every day, every hour that I was checking. AccuWeather, National Weather Service, you name it --- they were all saying pretty much the same thing --- it was going to be cool but not cold, sunny but some clouds, and it was going to be windy.  Not partly windy, not mildly or occasionally windy -- it was going

RIDE REPORT -- WESTSIDE DIRTY BENJAMIN 2017 -- hot in yo face news from the backroads of MN

[archive dug out of email cavern -- originally sent on June 10, 2017] CHASKA, MN (Gravel News Network) -- DIRTY BENJAMIN --- (unedited --- so read it during your "free time" because I'm not providing refunds if you read it when you shoulda been doing something else and feel disappointed with your decision.) This story has a happy ending.  Even two hours before it was over, it was pretty happy times.  Even before the devouring a "Q Ban" pulled pork sandwich and a pile of baked beans at Q-Fanatic BBQ post-race with friend and fellow rider Mike Pasdo. That happiness is because there was a tailwind for maybe the last 20mi of an otherwise grueling day in the saddle. It's also because there were no wild animals chasing us during the windy sections when we could've been caught and eaten by an army of slugs, or whatever they call a group of those things if they even travel like that at all. Yes, we are talking about hot wind in yo face today. We

ALMANZO 2015 - Recap Series, vol. # something between 1 and 5

[archive item dug up from email -- May 18, 2015] I like getting up early, but only once a year do I alarm myself out of sleep before 4:00a.  Almanzo calling.  And I wake up wondering what I might have forgotten in my panicky packing the night before.  Wondering how stupid I am to be riding with a new cassette that seemed like it might have stripped the hub's threads when I put it on, and how moronic it is to take a brand new pair of mountain bike shoes on a maiden voyage of 100mi (with a water crossing).  Wondering over and over if I even packed the shoes in my bag, and what a random person would think of the several baggies of white powder that I had stuffed into larger baggies containing squeezable baby food packets.  And how the drop bag I assembled for 3 people could weigh more than my bike......more on the drop bag later. In my cycling year, there is a simple pleasure that may or may not occur, depending on the year, and that is seeing Erick Kyllonen walking out the