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, November 26, 2007

Lax Logger...but not chasers!

Well, I've been lax in logging both miles and updates! There certainly has been some action in my abscence, however - with Paul Jacobson completing one more dirty ride for his official Cup O' Mississippi Mud! Congratulations Paul! No slacking there, lemme tell you!

All the while our little friend in Iowa City has been clicking away the miles! He's collected FOUR since our last update - for a total of 10! 10 down - that's a thousand miles of dirt, folks! He currently leads all cup chasers and at this point, appears to be the only one in the state... nation...WORLD to have a true shot at the full Cup! Read about his latest rides below!

Meanwhile, a High Hamstring Tendonopathy has kept me from running and from any hope of some really long rides in the near future. I am hopeful that the ingredients of recovery, time and weather will come together to allow me to earn the Mud - but we shall see - 35 days left - we shall see!

From Steve Goetzelman:
I am fortunate enough to get a week off work for the celebration of our ancestral continental thievery. I decided to use two days of my break to roll out two more gravel centuries for the dirt cup and just to keep it "real" I did them back to back.
Monday morning I met Brian at College Green Park for the 9th gravel century. It was very foggy and around 40 degrees. We rolled out at 8 and went to the Northeast for starters. I really like the gravel roads up that way and the moisture of the last couple of days had made the gravel and B roads very user friendly. The fog was projected to break at 9 and that was a lie. We got good and wet as the beads of water soaked into us.

Near Solon we turned to the East and went North of Cedar Bluff and past Buchanan to cross the Cedar River and head into West Branch for Casey’s. Nice conversation and no views. We had some tasty vittles and went back for more, around halfway done. Brian was feeling tired as most of his training lately has been townie riding to school and back so he turned into Iowa City and I kept going alone. Again. Sniff…
Finally, as my on-bike computer told me I had ridden 68.1 miles, the sun came out! I was well on my way to the wilds found Southeast of Lone Tree at this point and the accursed mass of incandescent gas had me sweating and gulping all my water in short order. I removed a layer or two and soldiered on to my intended turnaround where I was able to let the wind push me back to Lone Tree and a store of convenience. A quick fill of the bottles and the last leg back to Iowa City was a breeze. 101.3 miles ridden, 85 of them on gravel. I felt quite spry!

Tuesday morning I found myself in a large pickup truck heading through another helping of dense fog out to Parnell. Eppen and the Thrillah are building a house out there and they gave me a ride out so I could hit some new roads. The house is surrounded by B roads and after a quick look around the job I was off, wondering what I had gotten myself into. The fog was thick, the wind in my face and my legs were already feeling the previous days ride. I figured they would settle in.
I had a vague plan of action that would lead me to What Cheer, appropriately. The roads were hilly and deserted. I did not see a car until I had ridden 32 miles! I missed What Cheer and set about to the Southeast with no map and no idea where any towns might be found. The fog stayed thick and I hit some awesome B roads. At some point I happened upon Webster which has no Casey’s but did have a sign that informed me that Wellman was 8 miles away by Hwy 22. I was low on water, food and morale at that point so I found a nice gravel road to parallel the highway and rolled it in. Casey’s found, and only 62 miles into the ride! The grumpy staff could not sink my soaring spirits and I left filled with hope and pizza. The gravel to Riverside was a treat and I found myself on some of the roads I had ridden back on the single speed century, the first familiar ground of the day.

I took a pass on the Kalona 4-wheeler trails that have eaten so many derailleurs and quickly found Riverside, just where I had last left it. Finally got some tailwind as I turned north. One mile from town, about 85 miles done, disaster struck. Flat tire! I had a good cry and changed it, my first flat on one of these dirt cup rides. Back on my way and at the crest of the first hill I could see that the sky ahead was a large dark cloud. At the top of the next roller I entered the fog again and the temp dropped significantly and what do you know, the wind switched to the north! Yeah! It sucked, actually. My legs were pretty spent at this point and this change of fortune did not please me.

I rode through Hills and out to the gravel East of there to finish up the 6 miles of rockin’ I needed. The late start and flat tire delay were coming to play here as the daylight started to fade in the foggy gloom. I only had one small light with me so I strapped it to the drop of my bar hoping it could be seen from ahead and behind. I got into Iowa City just before 5 and there was a bit of rain coming down now. The good motoring commuters cared little for my plight and it was a nerve wracking trip across town but in the end I got a hot shower and had a beer. 104.5 miles and 81 on gravel and I was plenty tired but happy to have my goal accomplished.
Ten down, just two to go!

Photos: www.flickr.com/photos/7538232@N08