1200 Miles & a Cup O' Dirt & a little Mississippi Mud!

Take the year long challenge of completing a dozen or half a dozen dirty centuries and join the fun in December! Everybody who completes this challenge will be rewarded with a custom hand-made stoneware mug as well as be in a drawing for other prizes. Read the FAQ for details, and welcome to the fun!

I've increased the fun to give some more folks a shot at the cup - a bit 'watered down' - We'll have the 1200 Mile Cup O' Dirt and a 600 Mile Cup O' Mississippi Mud and new in 2008 is the 1/2 Liter O' Dirt - earned by completing 12 metric centuries in the year! A special award will be presented to anyone completing either a dirty century or metric century in each month of the year.

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Dirty Half-Dozen

Score another dirty hundy for Mike Johnson, John Adamson, Ron Saul,
Chris Congdon, and Jeremy Fry is now on the list, too. We
met downtown Cedar Falls Sunday morning (7/22) with
the intention of riding 'till we didn't want to ride anymore. John
and Mike are in the final stages of their Leadville prep, so this ride
was an important gauge of their fitness.

We spun out of Cedar Falls through George Wyth State Park, past the airport, then right down through the heart of Waterloo. Yeah, that added a little bit of
pavement, but that's how we hooked up with Jeremy, and then made
straight for the gravel of Ansborough Ave as it heads due south out of
town. We stayed on Ansborough for miles. It was a glorious morning
for a ride: not too hot, blue sky, and a light, but strengthening,

Somewhere down in Tama County, our road T'd and we started
winding around to get across Wolf Creek and into Traer where we
stopped for coffee, doughnuts, burritos, etc. The terrain had gotten
surprisingly hilly, and we'd lose Paul on the climbs. He knew the
route, so we kept going, and sure enough, he showed up before our
coffee got cold. We left Traer to the north and west on an
aptly-named road called Ridge. Ridge Road climbs west out of Traer,
and then stays on the ridge-top, following the terrain instead of the
compass. It is really strange - this pocket of hills - there's
nothing else like them for miles around. With great views in all
directions, it is worth doing a dirty hundy just to find this road.
Eventually, Ridge Road peters out into the regular grid and we find
ourselves flying north with a great tailwind. We crank up the pace
and have a little fun attacking the hills and each other and we cruise
into Reinbeck at about Mach 5.

A short break for more food and drink,
- free pizza samples! - and Mike discovers a broken spoke to be the
cause of a new wobble in his rear wheel. He disconnects the rear
brake and rides the next 50 miles without it. Paul rolls in, decides
he doesn't really need to stop, so we all move out together. It seems
like it's taking a while for the legs to start spinning again, so the
pace stays a little more subdued than the before the break. There are
hills and we lose Paul again. A dragonfly perches on John's shoulder
and rides for several miles. We arrive in Dike for another stop.
Paul follows a few minutes later and decides to head directly back to
CF. He'll get a decent 80 miles for the day. The rest of us leave
Dike going west and north to our favorite Chequamegon-training hills
near New Hartford. After a lap of the hills, we hit our final stop
in NH. My legs are really tired, and it gets harder to get going
again after each stop. We're 10 miles from home and Mike and John and
Jeremy charge the last three hills on Westbrook Road while Ron and I
lightly spin it in. So, a hundred miles for the five of us, but more
importantly Mike and John both look to be in excellent shape for


Chris Congdon

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