Sunday, March 29, 2009

A cold one.

I went out this morning and battled the crushed rock again. I'm not sure of the temperature, but I do know it was pretty cold. In fact, it was cold enough to produce little icicles on my beard and freeze the long drips of snot that the wind would blow onto my face. All in all it was a pretty good ride. The roads were hard packed and the landscape was void of cars and people and dogs.

Since this morning took me into unknown territory, I made up some cues sheets last night so I wouldn't lose my way. I also rounded up some zip ties and strapped one of the new Banjo Brothers map cases to my bars and stem (see photo below). This little thing is about as handy as they come. I have used a larger version (made by another company) in the past and have always had trouble bumping it with my knees when I would get out of the saddle and climb hills. Not the case with this gem. It's the perfect size to hold a quartered 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper. It's got an opening in the right spot for easy "on-the-fly" access and the plastic window allows for easy reading.

Bottom works pretty damn well.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Schedule

Here is a schedule of the dates that I will be riding. Anyone is welcome to join the fun.

Sunday, March 29th - Gravel - My House 8am

Sunday, April 5th - Entire Almanzo Route - My House 8am

Saturday, April 18th - Ragnarok Race - See site for details

Sunday, April 26th - Gravel - *TBA*

Sunday, May 3rd - Pavement - to Minneapolis *email me*

Monday, May 4th - Pavement - from Minneapolis *email me*

Sunday, May 10th - Gravel - *TBA*

So, I need to ask a favor.

My 8 year old daughter is coming to visit from Rhode Island. She'll be here for 3 days starting Easter Sunday (April 12th) and I need a bicycle for her. I was thinking that I could build her up something to roll on 700c's, but I am afraid she won't like it (read: not cool enough). Either way I need something.

If anybody has an old frame and some of the bits to go with it, I could use it/them for a bit.

If anyone has an old youth sized bike (preferably girly), I could use it for a bit.

Anything will be helpful. I realize it is short notice, but I'll come get it and bring it back. I'll be happy to make a donation to your cause if you can help a brother out. Let me know. I'd go out an buy one, but money is fairly tight around the 'ol Almanzo house.

Thanks in advance,

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Monday, March 23, 2009

Slick Five Oh Recap.

Sun, sand, rock, mud, pavement, the ice covered tunnels, a squirrel and the highest point in Hennepin County, not to mention the hoards of drunken bastards trying to putt pool balls into the holes of a legless billiard table and the assumed soon-to-be tax collecting passersby in Wayzata. Good times fer sher. I finished up with around 80 miles from start to finish. Had a great time and met some incredible people. Thanks to Ian for the lock-up early and Rauland for the post ride security, next year I'll bring my own. Also a big thanks to the two that guided me back in to downtown. Priceless. I'll see some of you in May, if not before. Here are some photos:

Friday, March 20, 2009

Bike riding birthday.

I turn 31 tomorrow. I'll be attending this ride as a means to celebrate my approaching antiquity. If you haven't considered attending please do. It should be a good time and hey, I could always use another wheel to hang on to.

As long as your here, enjoy the following. It's like a birthday present from me to you.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A little recon....

I went out this morning and surveyed the route. It is beautiful. The following is a sample.

I went out this morning and surveyed the route. This route is beautiful. Here is a sample.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sunday Sixty

Who would like to hit the gravel this weekend? Let's say 60 miles.

I have had something come up that will require my attention for the better part of the day. I realize that leaving later may alter some rider's ability to participate, but unfortunately my plans are locked in. Having said that, I must change the start time for Sundays ride from 10:00am to 5:00pm. That's right, leaving at 5:00pm from my house. That means were going to be coming home in the dark. I would suggest bringing lights. Both front and rear.

If you can't make it, no hard feelings. I realize this is short notice, but if you can, please let me know so I don't end up waiting for people who aren't coming. Thanks.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mentally Unfit

I failed. I talked myself out of it. I gave up on myself because I was cold. I was wet and I was weak. I DNF'd in Des Moines last weekend and I am ashamed. I have no race report because I am embarrassed. I could blame quitting on having a mechanical issue, but that would be ridiculous. I gave up. I will tell you, however, that the weather was nasty, the riders were friendly and the farm animals seemed to be hiding under whatever cover they could find. My bike choice was poor (fixed cross bike running 39/17). The hills were plenty and the rain was never ending. Iowa is beautiful. I strongly recommend giving this one a try next year. The organizers were great and the pre and post-race food at this place was pretty sweet. Thanks again to the folks in Central Iowa for allowing me to give it a go, I'm just sorry I couldn't talk myself into finishing.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Friday, March 6, 2009


Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Pre-race Ride.

For those that are interested, I am going to take a full-route ride along this years Almanzo course (which happens to be the same as last year, but we've already discussed that). We will be leaving from my house around 9am on Sunday the 5th of April. We will stop in St. Charles, Chatfield and Spring Valley. This is not a race-pace ride. The purpose of this trip is to accomplish a couple of things.

1. Get my legs ready for the year.
2. Get anybody who lives along the route and might care excited for this years race.
3. Continue filming the route, it's inhabitants, it's riders and the interactions that all three with have each other.
4. Have a good time.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Where to stay...

I just got off the phone with Dean Rich at the Rochester Guest House International. He said, that since there are so many riders coming down for the race that will probably need a place to stay, he would hold a block of rooms for riders and give them a reduced rate. Here are the details for the hotel that is literally across the street from the start/finish line.

Where: Rochester Guest House International (RGHI)

When: Friday May 15th and possibly Saturday May 16th

Reduced-Rate rooms for riders and their support persons

Why: Because Dean and the folks at RGHI are super friendly and helpful

Who: Anyone who is riding or supporting a rider in this years Almanzo 100

How: Call the hotel at the number on the website (link) and mention that you are part of the ALMANZO group. If you have any questions feel free to contact myself or Dean Rich at RGHI

This block of rooms will be available until April 6th. That means you only have a little more than a month to take advantage of the 54.99 (one bed) and 59.99 (two beds) rates.

Monday, March 2, 2009

More about the Jerseys.

Here's the deal. In order to get the first round of jersey by race day, I am going to have to put in an order in the next few days. That means that I am going to have to have commitment money from anybody who is interested. The final cost of the 3/4 zipper, three pocket jersey is going to be $70. You can send a check or a money order made out to me, Chris Skogen, with a note attached marking the size you need (see below). Thanks to those that have e-mailed me about this and as soon as I get them I will bring them to you (that's right, hand delivered). Thanks again and remember, if your name isn't on my list to ride this year, you're going to have to wait.

Sizing info:
Mens Chest Size - 36(XS), 38(S), 40(M), 42(L), 44(XL), 46(XXL), 48(XXXL)
Womens Chest (inches) - 30(XS), 32(S), 34(M), 36-38(L), 40(XL), 42(XXL)

Mailing info:
Chris Skogen
1217 7th ave nw
rochester, minn. 55901