Saturday, April 29, 2006

Soaked One word, SOAKED! Unbelievable conditions this weekend made for a race to remember. The race started at 4:00am with the best conditions of the day. Overcast with a light sprinkle and hardly any wind. Guitar Ted led us out for a three mile prologue on a paved road. From there it was a left turn onto the gravel roads of Iowa. The conditions got worse and worse. The first few miles were a set of grueling hills. The guys at the front of the pack, including Matt Maxwell, were setting an insane pace. I tried to hang with them, but only lasted a few miles. I overheated and had to slow down to recover. The roads were like peanut butter which made that hard. The rain just got worse as the miles ticked by. I was soaked from head to toe. I came to the first B-level road. A few guys were already walking in a small patch of grass on the side of it. I did the same. After probably 50 feet, the grass disappeared, and my tires were so caked with mud they wouldn't budge. I had to carry my bike for almost a mile. After getting all the mud scraped off it was back on the gravel. It was soft and it was slow going. I don't know how slow because my computer quit working from all the mud being wedged around the sensor. A short stretch later, and another B-level road awaited. Luckily this one had a nice wide ditch to ride/walk in. From there it was a short paved road to the first town, Alton, IA. There were a few cars parked on the side of the road waiting for their riders. I waited around and a few guys came rolling in. We decided to call it quits, and ride the paved road to the next passthrough town. Six hours and 45 miles from the start of the race I was cold, wet and ready to get off the bike. Paul Jacobson and I decided to pull the plug and his ride was kind enough to give me a ride to Algona. We called G-Ted to tell him we were DNFing. He said that there were only 8 0r 9 guys left on the course. They were still 80 miles away from Algona, and there was no way they were going to make the time cutoff at 6:00pm. Ted and Jeff decided to call the race at Algona. So the first one to Algona would be the winner. Matt Maxwell and Paddy H had both dropped out of the lead group that had been going all out from the start. Very impressive race for those guys in the horrible conditions. Great job guys. I picked up my drop bag, and Ted and Jeff were nice enough to hand out some freebies to everyone. A big thanks to those two for putting on an incredible event! Even with the bad weather it was still a great experience. One that I won't soon forget. Thanks guys. Sorry that I don't have much of a story to tell, but I'm sure there will be a lot of good ones coming on the MTBR forum and blogs. Stay tuned. Also check out the Trans-Iowa Radio broadcasts on the Trans-Iowa site. Priceless : ) Later.

9 comments:

brian said...

Nice job on a super tough race in EPIC conditions, Vino!

I read the mtbr reports, that is just insane. Too bad the weather couldn't have cooperated a bit more...

G-reg said...

Good Work, sounds like it's ttime for the Pop's first total rebuild.

pw said...

Way to slog through Simmons!

When you were driving back, did you ever contemplate that the Pugs might have been a good back up bike? I'm curious. Imagine a drop bar cyclocross pugs, priceless.

Jeff Kerkove said...

Thanks for coming down!!!!

Paul said...

Great work Dave. It was great meeting you and sharing some time in the van!

Guitar Ted said...

Thanks for all the kind words! It was good to meet you, but as usual, not enough time to chat!

Good luck with the rest of your season!

Paddy Humenny said...

nice effort Dave

gjc said...

hey Dave:

Did you leave a white Giro helmet in my van? After I unpacked stuff late last night in Michigan, I found a helmet that does not belong to me or anyone in my crew.

Send me an email if it's yours.

Gary

gary_cale@jccmi.edu

G-reg said...

I just got my "Dave/Vino" edition Dirt Rag. A cover story is "Get Tough" and there is a Pop and a Pug review. For folks that don't know, Simmons has advanced to the highest levels of bike-dorkery in record time.