Sunday, January 31, 2010

Good luck.

Good luck to everyone who has the balls to take the start for this tomorrow.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Cards.

Stocking up.

Are you ready? Do you have your bacon lined up and ready to cook? An extra tube set aside? How about a wind screen? Maybe a dust mask? Not that you'll need the last two, but hey, maybe. Here are a couple of things that will truly make your life easier come May 15th.

First are the base miles. Ride, ride, ride. Ride to work. Ride to school. Ride to the store. Get a long one in on the weekend. Ride.


Second is a case to hold the cue sheets (directions). You'll need some way to keep your cue sheets some place that you can see them. If you were fortunate enough to come out and race last year, you already have the perfect case from those nice fellas at Banjo Brothers. If not, then don't worry, you can still get the ideal holder for your Almanzo/Ragnarok/Heck of the North cue sheets and while it isn't free it's still a pretty sweet deal. Check it out here.


Third (and certainly not required) is the 2010 Almanzo jersey. This little piece of history is not guaranteed to make you faster or stronger, but you'll look a lot better covered in dust if you're wearing one of these. I'll have more information on how to get one of these and make sure it fits next week after registration has closed.

Monday, January 25, 2010

...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Mission Statement.


To provide a world class cycling event for absolutely no charge. Ever.

It can be done, it is being done and I am definitely excited about it. I will continue, with complete sincerity, to encourage anyone I meet to come out and give the course a go. I commit to making your riding experience and subsequent visit to Rochester a pleasant one both by serving as your start/finish host and inviting you to my home for the pre and post game celebrations. Yes, it is gravel. Yes, it is one hundred miles. Yes, it is windy, but it is not insurmountable.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

...

Reminder.

Here is a list of required items as well as a list of suggested items. Figure out what works for you and let me know if you have questions.

*Remember, you are on your own for this. This means, beyond the one and only checkpoint, that there will be no outside help (fellow riders excluded) allowed. If you get lost or stranded or cannot continue for whatever reason, your race is over. At that point, use your backup resources for help (i.e. wife, husband, girlfriend, son, etc.) and if they are unavailable, go to the nearest farmhouse and try to figure it out on your own.

First and foremost, your bike should be in excellent running condition. There is no better time for a full tune up than a week or so before the event.

SUPPLIES YOU MUST CARRY:
• Approved Helmet
• Red rear flasher
• A minimum of two liters of water/sports drink
• 2 spare inner tubes and pump/inflation system.

SUPPLIES YOU SHOULD CONSIDER CARRYING:
• A cell phone to contact the “outside world” should you need help.
• Waterproof / windproof jacket
• Cycling computer
• Tire levers
• Puncture repair kit
• Chain tool
• Allen wrench set
• Spoke wrench
• First aid kit
• Money for pay phone
• Butt butter
• Food
• Chain lube
• Cash, debit card or credit card. (To purchase food/water/supplies.)
• Handlebar map case
• Zip-ties

DURING THE EVENT:
• Pace...if you get tired, take a rest. Don’t start too hard.
• Try not to crash.
• Sometimes walking is a good break, you've got all day to ride your bike.
• Water. This is a must. Drink more water than you would ever think you is possible.
• Food. Find out what you like. Eating during activity is much, much different than eating at the table. Bring a variety of food. I like to bring some gels and some solid food, but I thrive on pre-cooked and chopped bacon. To each their own. Please recognize the symptoms of dehydration and/or “hitting the wall” and act accordingly.
• If possible, ride in a group so that if someone does get hurt, there are enough people to stay with the injured person
while others go for help.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Still need a postcard?

If you simply cannot find a postcard anywhere in the metro, I've got you covered. Drop by any of the following spots and there ought to be a card just waiting for you to fill out and send in.

The Alt
Bicycle Chain
Calhoun Cycle
County Cycles
CRC
Hiawatha
Shockspital

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Entry Fee.

Today I did something amazing. I asked for money. I haven't asked for money since I borrowed $400 from my grandmother eleven years ago. That was to pay some bills that I thought were so incredibly overwhelming. I think, if I remember correctly, the total on all the debt I carried at the time was something like $1500. Smothering. Unbelievable. At the time it was. Now, not so much. Now there is a house and a car and some student loans and an equity loan on the house and a few other things. It is what it is and I know I've talked about it here before so I won't get into it again. It's money. We all live with it. We all deal with it.

Back to my story. Today I asked for money. Money to pay an entry fee at a race called the Dirty Kanza. For those of you that don't know, the Dirty Kanza is a 200 mile gravel road race through the Flint Hills in Kansas. The ride is very much like the Almanzo in that each rider is responsible for themselves. For all 200 miles each rider must take credit for their own success and failure. From the start to the finish. Self-supported.

Now, I know first hand the expense involved with putting together and hosting a gravel road race. This coming May will be my fourth attempt. To date, I have yet to ask for money for anything. Not a cent from the gracious Almanzo sponsors. Not a cent from the riders (although their have been a number of non-solicited contributions made by some generous participants). I have always felt weird about asking for money. It seems like it would be a bit odd. Seriously. I'm the one that has asked people to come to my home. To my city. I'm the one that has asked riders from all background to come and ride 100 miles of gravel. No one has forced me to do it. So why should I ask anyone to pay me for it?

The sponsors are generous with their contributions. Everyone that came to the race last year left with something. Everyone. Every last person took something home. That's the sponsors. I bought jersey numbers and some Ball jars. I bought some flour and eggs and I made pancakes. The coffee was donated by a sponsor. The packets were hand made. By myself and Matt and my wife. The map cases were donated. By a sponsor. The patches? Matt paid for those. Sure there was expense. Sure there was gas for the car and the multiple trips to mark the course, but if I didn't burn it on that trip, I would have burned it somewhere else.

My point here is that my race, the Almanzo 100, is an entirely self-supported affair. You come. You ride. You own it. I make it pretty clear that if you get stranded I'm not coming to get you. Does that mean I absolutely will not pick you up should you be stranded with no other option? No. What it means is that by coming to Rochester on the 15th of May this year, you are making the admission that you are taking on the sole responsibility that comes with riding in a "self-supported" cycling event.

I don't pay to maintain the gravel roads the Almanzo runs on. I don't take out an insurance policy to protect myself and the sponsors of the Almanzo. I don't have course Marshals to make sure you are not cheating. I don't pay a driver to go out and sweep the course and fill your flat tube with air. I don't stock aid stations with cold beverages and tasty food. I don't do any of that.

I buy jersey numbers, give you directions and send you on your way. I make sure that a sponsor has supplied enough beer for you to drink at the end of the day. I make sure that a sponsor has supplied the table with enough stuff to try and get everyone something. I make pancakes because I want to. I invite you to my house because I want you there. I want you to come and be apart of my life. I want you to come to Rochester and ride the roads that I ride because they are incredible. I want you to come along with me and visit some of the greatest gravel in the country. I want you to have fun and do something that most people will never do in their lifetime. Come, ride a gravel century. Do it with friends and do it for free. The way it ought to be.

Like I said before, I know very well the costs involved with hosting an event like this. I know what it takes. I also know what it's worth and the smiles on peoples faces after slugging it out with 40mph winds will go a lot further than a dollar any day. There are gravel races out there that charge an entry fee and that's perfectly fine. Cover your costs. I can respect that. There are also gravel races out there that are free, the way I believe them to be. No one is better than another. We are what we are. I know for me, and that's the only person I can speak for, keeping the racing free is more important than covering my expenses for jersey numbers or printing or patches. At the end of the day, you shouldn't have to pay to ride your bike.

So I thank you Mike, Jeni and Mark. Thank you for your willingness to help a friend get to Kansas, but I must switch my momentum and move back towards what I believe in. I cannot go to Kansas this year. I cannot pay to ride a self-supported race. I simply do not believe in it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

THE LIST (2010)

The Gentlemen:
Abbott, Brian
Abel, Jeff
Ahrens, Samuel
Allebach, Dustin
Amel, Eric
Amundson, Bjorn
Amundson, David
Elliot, Amundson
Anderson, Kris (sweet card)
Anderson, Randy
Antoniolli, Lou
Applen, Eric
Aronson, Greg
Austin, Clay
Austin-Phillips, Jeff
Avery, Burton
Baggio, Mike
Bailey, Dan
Barich, Christopher
Barnes, Jeff "Rock Lobster"
Baryenbruch, Scott
Behrends, Tyler
Bell, Pete
Bell, Seth
Benishek, Mark
Bennett, Robin
Berg, Tom
Bialis, James
Bianchi, Keith
Blackford, Rick "Buckshot"
Blackmore, Jeff
Blake, Adam
Bobush, Steve (great card)
Boecker, Sascha
Bollom, David
Bond, Greg
Borgen, Pete
Borstad, Todd
Botz, Jeff
Bouma, Landon (Thanks for getting caught up)
Bowman, Jared
Bowden, Kevin
Bradshaw, Mike
Bratz, Jeff
Braun, Matt
Breen, Luke
Brown, Bob
Brown, Mike
Brown, Ryan "Pugsley Chops"
Bruessel, Brent
Bucklin, Dave
Budnick, Jake
Buehler, Bob
Buffington, Jason "Brewmaster"
Buntenbach, Jamin "JMan"
Burma, Chad
Busch, Matt
Busch, Mike
Cain, Jeramy
Campbell, Justin
Carlson, Derek
Carlson, Kent
Carlson, Ryan
Carlstrom, Zach
Cary, Neil O.
Cassell, Jim
Chenoweth, Paul
Chenvert, Chuck
Chinn, Derek
Christianson, Bjorn
Clark, Rob
Clausen, Ted
Cochran, Bryan
Cochran, Jim
Cole, Adam
Connell, Bill
Coogan, Ryan
Davies, Rich
Deuhs, John "JayDee"
Dietzman, Michael
Doom, Ben
Duffin, Matthew "Race for the Steak"
Duffy, Joe
Dukek, Brian
Dullard, Jeff
Easton, Ian
Edel, Doug
Edge, Corey
Eifert, Jon
Elder, Sam
Ellis, Lee Daniel
Elson, Brandt
Emeryman, Mark
Erdmann, Jonathan (BEST CARD. HANDS DOWN. PIC SOON)
Erickson, Scott
Evanoff, Nick (great card)
Eversonic, Hurltron (nice to finally get a card)
Faceplant, Robert
Farrel, Shane
Farrow, Charlie (two card monty)
Fazio, Scott "Sideshow"
Feltovich, Brian "Utah!" (excellent card)
Fifield, Gary
Fischer, Mike
Fischer, Todd
Fistler, Ben
Foley, James
Fonkert, Ryan "Long Distance Larry"
Fortner, Chris
Francl, Luke
Frane, Jeff
Franken, Bill
Freese, Steve
Fuller, Steve
Gammel, Jed
Gantzer, Jermiah "Monkey Boy"
Garbis, Nicholas
Geary, Patrick
Gehring,, Tom
Giesen, Isaac "San Diego"
Gillespie, Bryan
Gillespie, Marshall
Gillihan, Todd
Goblirsch, Jim
Godfrey, Corey "Cornbread"
Goetzleman, Steve (that's a whole lotta mustache card)
Granacher, Joerg
Grant, Collin
Green, Robbie
Gregg, Wesley
Grelk, Dennis
Grell, Bruce
Gritman, Bob
Groh, Brian
Grooms, James "I'm coming all the way from Kansas"
Guzld, Pintz
Hanks, David
Hansen, Scott
Hanson, Bradley
Hanson, Chris
Hatcher, John
Hayes, Tim "Super Rookie"
Heinzen, Bob "Thor" (great card)
Heisserer, Dave
Held, Robert
Hendricks, Rich
Hermann, Jordan
Herz, Matt
Hiniker, Matt
Hoff, Lanny
Holloway, Mike
Holtan, Ross
Homstad, Gregg
Horsman, Troy
Hoven, John
Huber, Tyler
Huff-Hanson, Chris
Huot, Jake
Imholte, Brian
Iverson, Daniel
Izakovic, Martin
Jacobs, Asa
Jacobson, Paul
Jazdzewski, Jeremiah (great card)
Jargo, Kevin
Jeppesen, Shawn
Jirsa, Nick
Johnson, Kirk
Johnson, Kyle
Johnson, Mike
Johnson, Zach
Jorgensen, Jamie
Kershaw, Jeremy
Karre, Andrew
Karrow, Eddie
Kelley, Brian
Kensley, Nathan
Kimmel, Dan
Kinderman, Scott
Klees, Drew
Klemp, Christian
Knudsen, Dan
Koenigsfeld, Norbert
Koski, Peter
Kowaliw, Mark
Kraemer, David
Krawczyk, Andrew
Krause, Troy
Krohn, Brad
Krolak, John
Kruck, Josh
Kucera, Ryan
Kulas, Steve
Kvittem, Brent
Lambert, Andy
Larkin, Christopher
Larsen, Zak
Larson, Brady
Larson, Cody (great card)
Laurel, Steve
Lawrence, Troy (great card)
Lenz, Scott (great card)
Lefler, Ken
Lettman, Trevor
Leugers, Eric
Levitz, Marty
Lew, Gene
Lindberg, Andy
Liden, John
Lindsay, Steve
Lupfer, Tim "Pugsley Stache"
MacNaughton, Don
Mainguy, David
Malvick, Reed
Marek, Brent
Marquette, Rollin
Martin, Nick
Mason, Chad
McClure, Scott (excellent card)
McCormick, Paul
McQuiston, Jeremy
Meehan, Shaun
Meiser, Joe
Melcher, David "Dog"
Meyer, Justin
Michaelsen, Noah
Miller, Ben
Miller, Brant
Mikkelson, Chris
Moran, Tom
Muffin, Nanner
Neace, Jon
Neis, Greg (great card)
Nelson, Alex
Nelsen, Mike (great card)
Nelson, Bruce
Nielsen, Jonah
Nikodyn, Matt
Nikolenko, Viktor
Norton, Jeremy
Novak, Duane
Novak, Jason
Ogren, Leif
Oliver, Jim (great card)
Olson, Chais
Olson, Tim
Oney, Ben
Ortega, Ben
Ortmann, Levi
Ortmann, Robert
Oswald, Chris
Oswald, Nick
Palmer, Jim
Pamlenyi, Steve (great card)
Parascholl, Milam
Parr, Brandon
Pavlica, Bob
Pascual, Jose
Peakrow, Aaron
Pearson, Derek
Perrill, Geoff
Peterson, Bennie
Peterson, Josh "Death Rider" (Excellent Card)
Pidde, Aaron
Pierre, Andrew
Pike, John (great card)
Pitts, J. (sweet card)
Polson, Shawn
Popp, Ben "11d 1hr 12min, whoa."
Pringnitz, Jim
Prosser, Ed
Puzak, Tom
Rahimi, Kaveh
Rassier, Scott
Rayburn, Jack
Reese, Dave
Reeve, Eric
Rettig, Dirk
Rhodes, Felix (great cards)
Richardson, David
Riegel, Ambrose
Riemer, Kid
Rients, Jesse "Defending Champion"
Rittler, Craig
Robb, JJ
Rockne, Jeff
Roddy, Adam
Roe, Steven
Rogowski, Ben
Romo, Reggie "I'm coming from Texas"
Rosane, James
Rosenberg, Andy (great card)
Rosenberger, Aaron
Ross, C.
Ross, TJ
Rudnick, Martin
Rush, Gunner
Saathoff, Ryan
Sample, Todd
Sandberg, Jonathan
Sanders, Jeff
Sauber, Larry
Saul, Ron
Schacht, Derek
Scherber, Thomas
Schmidt, Alan "Big Al"
Schmidt, Alan
Schmidt, Craig
Schriener, John
Schuetz, Justin
Shaw, Andrew
Shen, Ted "The Stranger"
Sherman, Scott
Shively, Josh
Shockey, Ben
Shoemaker, Darryl (great card)
Skaaly, Tony
Skoglund, Andy
Smith, Paul "Cipollini"
Snyder, Aaron
Soroos, Gunnar
Sprang, Brad
Squirrel
Stauffer, Al
Steeves, Dan
Stephens, Kurt
Stets, Dan
Stoffel, Patrick
Stokke, Bob
Strese, Daniel
Struchynski, John
Stuber, Tod
Stukel, Jason
Sudheimer, Erik "Defending DFL"
Sumada, Bob
Sundby, Scott
Swanson, Brett
Swanson, John
Sween, Brad "Chuckwagon" (nice card)
Sylvester, Matt
T-Baggins
Tetmeyer, Andy
Thieman, Andy
Thell, Jerry
Thill, Jim (great card)
Thoele, Owen
Thompson, Rob
Thordson, West
Tsai, Patrick
Tummel, Jeremy
Van Hook, Jordan
Van Horn, Billy
Vanderscheuren, Mike (Banjo Brother #2)
VanderWoude, Mark
Varani, Robert
Virnig, Chet
Virnig, Sean
Vosberg, Roy
Voss, Carl
Walker, Jeremi
Warrington, Larry
Webster, Graeme
Weisbrod, Heath
Weisgram, Mark
Werst, Phillip
Weith, Steve
Wesson, Rob
Wethington, Nicholos
Weum, Kris
Wieland, Joseph
Williams, Jeremy
Wilson, Brad
Wilson, Drew
Wilson, Kurtis
Wood, Brent
Yokanovich, Paul
Ylvisaker, Peter "Crazy Pete"
Yoong, Garrick (GREAT card)
Yoong, Geoff
Young, Erin

The Ladies:
Alquist, Greta
Amel, Elise
Armstrong, Jodi (great card)
Barret, Michelle
Berg, Wanda
Bond, Veronica "Holy Crap This Isn't a Tri!"
Brick, Tara
Brown-Caldwell, Connie
Carragee, Christine
Christy, Karen
Claypatch, Carrie
Cochran, Molly
Danielson, Melissa
DeShano, Lisa
Everine, Danielle
Fistler, Katie
Gilpin, Jean
Goldammer, Jeni
Hamann, Cara
Hanson, Molly
Harris, Christine
Kane, Chris
Kessler, Cassandra
King, Susannah (great card)
Lane, Brianna
Larson, Mara
Lockhart, Fiona
Mac, Kelly
Martin, Amy
Nelson, Kellie
Novotny, Lydia
Psihos, Charlynn
Richardson, Kristin
Rittler, Tiffany
Ruhtenberg, Maria
Sanford, Darcy
Scanlon, Sean
Schoen, Carly
Stow, Jana
Strate, Chelsea
Thoele, Allison (great card)
Tsurutani, Gabriella (yes, exactly)
Van Horn, Jen
Wittmer, Stephanie

The Tandems:
Joshua Stamper & "Big Al" Stamper
Sean Eastling & Chris Prescher
Elise Adair & Ian Nancekivell
Paul Krawczyk & Janna Krawczyk
Dave Mable & Dee Mable
Steef Mansfield & Mike Jost
Brian & Kim Eppen