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, September 29, 2008

Well, That was a fun weekend!

No, I didn't get any kind of hundy in - but I sure rode my bike alot....and I got to meet Mr. Freakn-ride-his-bike-a-lot-nvrest-Dennis Grelk! What a treat!

Of course, his first comment to me, when I introduced myself was "Hey, you're the guy who always looses my e-mails!"

I thought that was funny!

So - what was he doing in Des Moines, and why did I have so much fun this weekend? Well -the newly annual great dirty stage race across Polk County... or at least parts of some little parks in Des Moines - With Squirrlies Quarter Rage on Friday night and Robbie V's Capital City Cross dressing on Saturday and Sunday, it was just like a freakn stage race across France or some such thing.

Near as I can figure, only me and Kurt Benson did all three stages (like anyone even knew it was a stage race) - but the Friday night $.25 rage and the cross dressing was enough to lure Mr. Grelk up here from SE Iowa. I was a little disappointed that he A) took to lots of pavement and B) rode his little weed-eater engine bike up here - so "No centuries for you!" - still, it was good to meet him and great of him to come on up for a couple o' days of good racing!

Now - there was some Cup chasing going on this weekend - seems the good Mr. Anderson was motivated to get his September hundy in - here is his report....


Finished my September hundy this past Sunday. Did 55 miles of gravel via Dallas Center, Adel, DeSoto, Cumming and entered Waterworks park from the south. Then did 25 or so on the Center trails. Finished by heading out Booneville road to VanMeter and up to Waukee. Somewhere around 106miles. A good ride and route. I’ll have to find a way to shorten the first half and add more miles on the Center trails, although I think that 50 at Center would be my max. I was getting dizzy in Denmans after the 25 (dizzy in denman’s – sounds like a good song title).


Monday, September 22, 2008

Grelk has 9 metrics and Nick and Matt are in the Chase!

From Dennis:

"Took another crack at the Missouri metric I did a couple months ago, only this time I tried to reverse the route.
Felt good to be back on the cross bike. Weather was good cross training weather too, brisk, alittle breezy, and it rained for the last twenty or so miles.
Sure looks alot different without the flooding, but I still did alot of backtracking. I still want to know how the mail gets to those people, no street signs to be found, crazy."

Meanwhile - up in Ames...


We met at the 24-hour race: I'm Matt Maxwell's friend. I'm chasing
the 600 mile cup this year, and as of now have 3 of the centuries
done. Should have another this weekend. So go ahead and put me up on
the blog and be ready to send me some mud soon!

Also, (Matt) Maxwell and I are planning to "organize" a double gravel
century on the 25th of October. We did a shorter one two years ago,
and decided to call it the TOBASCO ride (Tour Of Boone And Story
COunties). I'll get some more info about the route and meeting place
and whatnot, and when I do I'll pass it on so that you can put it up
on the site.


~Nick (Wethington)

So I say - Rock out Grelk - 3 more and you've got yourself 2 cups!
And Nick and Matt - welcome to the 2008 chase - we'll look forward to your 200 miler in October! Hmm - with that on the calener - I might actually have a chance at a real cup this year! (ed. note: I do enjoy a daily cup of coffee from an official Cup O' Dirt - but somebody had to end up with the prototype.....)

PS - I've heard that the Sycamore Trail is in good to great shape from one end to the other! There are also rumors that, starting next Spring, more trail could be added to the area..... watch for details on that exciting bit of news! So - I've mapped out a Denman's style trail... check it out - 21 miles, one way!!! Wouldn't THAT be fun! Geez - 21 miles... Do it twice and have a metric! That WOULD be cool!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Grelk and Fuller Just Keep Riding!

From Mr. Grelk:

Another metric for the tally. Rode home from work un-assisted on the longtail for the first 30miles, than finished it off with a little quicker 30 mile loop on the cross bike.

From Steve Fuller:

I had planned on doing a double this past weekend: 100 up to the CITA
Ales and Trails event on Friday with my camping gear attached, and
the same route in reverse for a ride back on Sunday while someone else
ferried my gear for me. As you may have heard, we had a bit of rain
come through during the week which made this ride a lot harder than I
had bargained for. Two photos that sum up the day perfectly are

I had 80 miles or so done when I decided that enough was enough and
accepted a ride from a great guy named Gil. It was well worth the case
of beer I forced him to accept for his trouble. With the skies not
looking good on Sunday, I opted to drive home and lick my wounds. I
had hoped to get my century total up to 9 so I could finish out the
year with 12. Instead, I'm still sitting at 7 and trying to figure out
a way to dig out of the hole. The rest of the year is gonna be tough.
We'll see what the next three months hold, I'm not completely ready to
throw in the towel yet.

Steve Fuller

Monday, September 15, 2008

Tim's Clickin' em off!


Last Saturday I headed down to Patterson and then up through Bevington and going
north parallel to the interstate. A pretty uneventful ride that totalled 104 km.

This morning, I decided to get up early and try to get my ride in before the football games started. My original plan was to head out west to Earlham. I got about halfway there when the cold front moved through and the skies clouded over. I wasn't feeling too confident about the weather any more, so I decided that I would just stick closer to home and ride around in circles for a while. The only 'town' I visited was Orilla and I went back and forth from there to west of the interstate a couple times and explored every dead end road that goes north of there. I finished the day with 105 km.

Tim Bierbaum

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Welcome To The Chase, Tim!

Hi Dave,

I'd like to throw my name into the list of people pursuing a 1/2 Liter O' Dirt.

I did my first metric on August 10th. I didn't really plan where I was going much. I started at home, down through Waterworks and past the airport to Cumming. From there I headed west. I turned around at a rural water tower just west of 169. I finished with 100 km and change.

Number two came on August 17th. I went down through Cumming, over through Prole. I made a quick stop at the Kum & Go north of St. Charles and ended up with 110 km.

August 24th I wound my way down to Indianola where I refilled at a gas station on the west end of town and wandered on back for a total of 107 km.

I'll keep you posted as time goes on.

Tim Bierbaum

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Yikes! That was HARD!

Well, I mustered up another full hundy - but it took a toll on my body!

I signed up for the 24 hour race at Seven Oaks over Labor Day weekend - and I was kinda hoping to win the dang thing - knowing Squirrel won it on 14 laps last year, and also knowing that he wasn't racing this year - I thought that maybe, just maybe, I'd have a shot at the cool grand o' cash! My other objective was to get 100 miles in - after all, being married, with 3 kids, 3 businesses and all that -it's not often I'm given the gift of 24 solid hours just to go ride my bike - better take advantage of it!

Gun goes off in the sunny heat of high noon and the scramble for the bikes begins - I find myself with about 10 riders in front of me as we enter the single-track... and I know of only 1 who is a 24Hr soloist... causing me to think I'm in 2nd!

I roll around a few laps. Rolling around is too nice a word to describe the trail of Seven Oaks. If you love hard, technical singletrack with lots of 3-5 stroke hills (you know, those ones that take 3-5 hard strokes to muscle up over the top) - you'll love Seven Oaks! It is 8 miles of pure singletrack - no breaks for water, food or just to rest your butt or hands - all work, all the way!

Anyway - it gets to be mid afternoon, about 3:30 and I stop for a refuel and say to my beautiful bride, Dee "I think I'm in 2nd!"

As I am on the last quarter of my next lap, 3 guys roll up behind me. "You guys are riding strong!" I yell back, "What're you riding?" "24 solo" was the reply from Jesse Bergman. "The two guys behind me are 24 solo too."

Crap. I'm in 5th, at best, now - a full lap down on the top 3. Well - there goes my hope of winning the danged thing. My strategy then changes to get 12 laps in, which, with the quarter lap start and some extra rolling around after the race, would give me 100 miles.

I rode at an easy pace - not wanting to succumb to the heat that took it's toll on so many other riders - just wanting to make it to dark in good shape. I took a half hour break about 7 or 7:30 for some dinner, then back out at 8, just as dusk was settling in. I needed full lights as soon as I entered the woods - and had an enjoyable lap in the dark. I had been keeping my laps right on an hour, with a short break to refuel and refill the bottles. I ate a 1/2 a peanut butter sandwich or banana after every lap, along with a swig of Mtn. Dew. On the bike I had one Powergel each lap and would drink about 2/3 of a large bottle of Powerbar Endurance, plus 1/2 a small bottle of water every lap. This seemed to work, as I never felt even a hint of bonk.

The only thing that I really felt was just pure, simple fatigue. Tired. Those 3-5 strokers really get to you. The roots, ruts, rocks and bumps really get to you. My wrists seemed to be taking it the hardest. It got to the point that I had to hold on to my bars via the bar-ends, and only held the grips if I needed to use the brakes (which is alot!). As time wore on - my wrists really gave me the most trouble.

At 9:20pm, I did a fun lap with Kim Hopkins. Kim wanted to do a full lap in the dark, but wanted company. I was happy to oblige. It was fun. I kept her in front of me, so to keep her flooded in my light as well as hers. That was good, cuz at one point her light went out! Yikes! Light restored we continued our lap. As we came down into 'camp' I rode by the MOB squad - who yelled "HEY MABLE! CAN YOU BUNNY HOP?" "Yep." I came around the corner and Kyle Sedore was lying down across the trail! Bunny hop, yes. But over a human (I use that term loosely!)at 10:40pm, after 66 miles of Seven Oaks!?!? "DON'T MOVE!!!" I yelled, as I picked up the speed needed to clear him - JUMP! Up and over - I, thankfully, cleared him! I can not believe he did that, but I am glad I made it!

It was a fun lap - but my fatigue was setting in - and with 8 laps behind me - I decided a long break was in order - plus the midnight chairlift rides and pasta party were looming just ahead! I checked on the results and I was in 4th, as Charlie Tri dropped out. I thought that was cool, but I still went to bed, falling to sleep about 2am.

I woke up at dawn... ate and dressed... and checked the results. 7th. rats. Well, If I ride a lap, I'll move up to 6th. No matter what - one more guy was done, so If I get a lap in, I'll move up. I didn't really care. I had 100k in, and that'd count for the Cup (rather, Half Liter)... but Dee says "Well, YOU signed up for the 24 Hour race, not the 12." Geez. She's right. OK -she talked me into getting on my bike and doing at least one lap. By the end of that lap, I felt great and went for another, doing my fastest lap of the race - 55 min. I did two more, right on an hour, and got my full 12 laps in. Rode around the gravel road for a bit to get my 100 in- and I was DONE!

100 miles of Seven Oaks - that is by far one of the hardest 100 miles I've ever done - and I ended up 6th/16. I'm pretty happy with that- I could have done maybe one or two more, but that's about it. Jesse, Andrew, Matt, who each did 16, 18 and 15 laps, respectively, My hat is off to you! That's guts and discipline! Congratulations to them, and everyone else who took on the singletrack of Seven Oaks.

Now, it's time to re-hab my wrist in time for Chequamegon. My left wrist has swollen and it hurts to hold/lift stuff. It'll be OK - I'll freakn tape the thing and we'll make it through Chequamegon in 2 weeks - even if I need a cast when I'm done!!!

Thanks for reading - and anyone else wants me to post their Seven Oaks stories, send em my way!! dave@all9yards.com