Monday, April 27, 2009

A Course Preview.

I drove the entire course today and the roads look pretty good. There were some soft spots from the last two days of rain, but I think if it is dry everything should be pretty fast.

Most of the roads have been grated and some sections have new rock down. I cannot foresee the counties gravel laying plans, but it wouldn't surprise me to see some more "squishy" sections in the next two and one half weeks. That said, even the new rock sections seemed to have some decent lines through them that should improve with local traffic between now and race day.

I saw about 15 dogs along the route with only a couple coming out to the road, most of them seemed content to lie by the house and watch the world go by. I also saw an incredible number of turkey vultures so you'd better hope you don't crash and get stuck. There were also some crazy chickens along the course that seemed to be roaming free.

All in all this years version should be rather interesting. The route is similar to last years with the majority of the changes lying between Chatfield and the halfway point in Spring Valley. A large section of last years course was paved over so the course has taken an new direction which includes a trip past a circle barn, a geodesic domed house and over a 95 year old iron bridge. Oh, and there are a couple new hills.

I took some pictures from "tire" level to give you an idea of what the roads should look like. I hope you enjoy them.





Sunday, April 26, 2009

Unrelated

This is unrelated to cycling, but I thought some might enjoy it...I did.


Minilogue - Animals from ljudbilden on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Oh My.

Friday, April 24, 2009

No better transition team.

This is what I was greeted with in Zumbro Falls. There really is no better transition team.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Always a good read.

This guy is always full of entertaining bits. His April 22nd entry made me chuckle...a lot.

Link

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Whoa.

First it was this guy:



And now it is this guy:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

An age of consent.



Just a reminder that I would really like to have everyone download and sign the Race Release form and bring it to the registration table on the morning of the race. This signed release form will be your ticket to ride. You can download it by clicking here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Rok.




A big thanks to the guys in Red Wing for organizing and hosting this years Ragnarok 105. It was beautiful. The weather was light years ahead of last years event and that equaled a much happier group of crazy cyclists. The start was smooth, but not without incident, a big congrats to the guy that was scheduled to be married sometime after he rode the first half. That would never fly in my house.

The lead out was nice, the first hill was not. My legs were tight and achy going into Lerbach road, but they seemed to loosen up near the first summit. Once on top of the first climb the game began. I fell of the lead pack and rode much of the first leg alone. I held a nice gap between myself and the one or two behind me and then I missed the turn at Orson Wells road. I kept riding though, trying to convince myself that I could see other "tracks" in the road. I ended up coming to my senses and turning around, only to have to backtrack my way to the right course.

From the missed turn to Zumbro Falls it was pretty much clear sailing for me. I ran into some others and shared some of the ride, but was pretty much alone (as I stated earlier) for the remainder of the first leg.

The checkpoint in Zumbro Falls greeted me with second half tulips and my beautiful smiling children. I refilled my bottles, hugged and kissed my kids and met up with Ian to hit the second half.

The river road from Zumbro Falls to Millville and beyond was pleasant. We saw a number of rather attractive metal clad buildings, a giant hawk and that rust filled pseudo junk yard that made itself a home to a variety of bicycles from days gone by.

ALl in all, the hills hurt and the minimum maintenance roads were the BEST, especially the second one (rocks the size of racquet balls?). My Casserole actually left the ground on the backside of that one. I saw somebody that had flatted out and wondered how my Vittorias managed to make it through punctureless. I thought for sure I would break a spoke, but nothing.

Bush, Park and 7th Streets all came as a wonderful surprise when I finally pulled the 5th page of the tulips out of my Banjo Brothers map holder. Fighting cramps in both feet and twitches in my legs, I put it on the big ring and hustled through town to the finish line at Colville Park.

Good times, without question.

*photo courtesy of Chris Delisle

More Photos Here:
http://s53.photobucket.com/albums/g41/Boehnlein/Ragnarok/
http://www.theharaldsons.com/images/ragnarok09/index.html
http://www.flickr.com/photos/morbidmtb/sets/72157617001313501/

Friday, April 17, 2009

Red Wing

I am getting ready for tomorrow's sufferfest. The hills of Red Wing have called and I intend to answer. Last year brought cold wind, ice and wetness. This year looks a lot better weather wise, but I can't imagine the hills got any smaller. To those I've met before, I'll see you in the morning. To those I haven't, I'll be the d-bag in the King of the Mountains helmet, stop by and say hello.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

......

Sunday, April 5, 2009

IMPORTANT NOTE

TODAY"S RIDE HAS BEEN POSTPONED. I apologize for the short notice, but the weather and everything inside me have spoken. NO CENTURY RIDE TODAY. THIS RIDE HAS BEEN CANCELED.

That said, if you want to go out in this and ride the ride, I do have cue sheets ready to go. They are the same as they were from last year (like I'd really give you this years?). I'll be up at 8:00am if you want to stop by and pick up a set.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Full Course Pre-Ride

I put up a note a few days ago regarding my riding schedule for the next few weeks. I put a mark about riding the entire Almanzo course this Sunday. While my plans still include riding this hundred mile hog, I realize that the weather may not cooperate. If every thing works out the way the Weather Channel claims it will, the 8:00am start for this adventure should be met with temps in the low 20's, snow in the air and some pretty soft/wet/frozen ground. Good times.

If you're not up for this kind of abuse, I can't blame you. Frankly, if that is what it looks like when I wake up on Sunday monring, I might even re-consider the length of the ride and maybe even the start time (in an attempt to get some more warmth out of the sun by starting later). Since this thing is so dependent on the weather I would recommend checking in here before you suit up on Sunday or at the very least email and let me know your intentions.

*A note to those that could care less about weather.
I've ridden in worse and I'm sure I will again. If you're up for it, so am I. Just let me know before hand and let's do this.