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.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cup O' The Day - Tim Riekena's Chase


While my North Missouri riding weather is usually milder than Iowa's (and I should know since I grew up in Iowa Indianola HS-1977), getting in all 12 metrics has been a journey in itself. I have a lot of respect for you guys/gals up north.

From icy gravel to eating hot July dust, this challenge has been a blast. It's taken me all over North Missouri, and then some.

I never got in a true century which was disappointing, but I guess that's why we make goals.

Last July, I got in two metrics, which ended up being a good thing. During my cross
country season (I coach) I was diagnosed with a hernia. The doctor said he would do the procedure after the season was over. So, in November, two days after I rode my 12th metric, I had the procedure. Recovery was stupid slow, still is. I had my 12 metrics, but I was hoping to get in one every month (December). Time was running out.

I've had a few days off during Christmas Break and started thinking about trying to get the December one in. Local riders have told nothing but horror stories about our icy gravel we currently have. One buddy actually went to the doctor concerning injuries he sustained while riding our gravel. I didn't think trying to ride 62 miles on local icy gravel was a good idea. The last thing I wanted to do was crash and re-injure the hernia thingy.

Yesterday, I loaded up the bike and drove south. I went to the KATY trail down by the Missouri River. The KATY is a flat, 220+ mile crushed limestone trail. They had less snow there, but enough to make me to pull the plug.

The first 10 miles took me well over an hour... plus a lot of effort. I couldn't believe what was happening. Where I wasn't plowing through 2 inches of crusty snow, I would be on soft sandy-type gravel. The freeze/thaw cycle had already hit the surface making it like riding through sand. There was nothing easy about it. Surface conditions, plus the fact that I hadn't ridden in 7 weeks, took its toll. I got in another 8 miles and realized I wasn't' going to make it back to the truck if I kept going.

So I turned around. I think my total was around 36 miles. I'm glad I had the 12 metrics in, but I really wanted to get in that December one.

Since I've been riding MTBs, I've had a few DNF's due to equipment failure, or not making a cutoff time, but never have I had to DNF myself. Still, it was strangely one of my best rides. I saw awesome scenery, a bunch of bald eagles, zero cars, truck or tractors, and only a handful of people. When I rode up to the truck, I was much more tired than any other metric I've done.

Like they say, even a bad day on the bike is better than not riding.

Thanks again for putting on this challenge. I hope to get up to your CIRREM event...surly my hernia thingy will be totally mended.

Tim Riekena
Chillicothe, MO

"None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm."
Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cup O'the Day - Nick Wethington's Pursuit.


Well, I set out at the beginning of this year with a dream of finishing all three of the available cups. My first ride for the cup was a long, single-speed slog out in hills of the Des Moines River valley, and the last one was at the Tuscobia Ultra, a 75-mile haul on nice loose snowmobile trail. I rolled over that last qualifying mile in the dark somewhere near Park Falls, Wisconsin, and it was quite a moment to realize that I had just finished my dream. So, yeah, that makes 12 metrics and 18 full dirty rides!

For posterity (and to remember how many I'd done), I kept a record of all the qualifying rides and their dates. Here's that for you:

January 18th - 62 miles
February 2nd - 135 miles
February 15th - 62 miles
February 22nd - 100 miles
March 8th - 62 miles
March 15th - 100 miles
March 29th - 115 miles
May 31st - 100 miles
June 11th - 62 miles
July 9th - 65 miles
July 13th - 110 miles - 6 Full
July 20th - 105 miles
July 27th - 100 miles
August 3rd - 165 miles - 6 Metric
August 9th - 100 miles
August 16th - 115 miles
September 17th - 65 miles
September 27th - 104 miles - 12 Full!
October 4th - 62 miles
October 17th - 210 miles
October 25th - 100 miles
November 1st - 65 miles
November 14th - 103miles
November 15th - 103 miles
November 29th - 63 miles
December 6th - 100 miles - 18 full centuries!
December 12th - 65 miles
December 19th - 78 miles - 12 Metrics!

I'd really like to receive all three cups, but I know that you're doing this all out of your own pocket and the kindness of your own heart, so let me know how much those cups cost and I will gladly tip you a few bucks to cover the cost of my three.

Thanks for putting this on - it really pushed me to add a lot more miles to my rides than I would have, and travel to some places that I normally wouldn't see. Plus, it was great training for my winter bike racing season.

~Nick Wethington

Ed: ROCK IT OUT NICK! Glad you enjoyed the chase - congratulations!

3 cups will be ordered (and delivered randomly throughout the year, right Grelk? #2 is here....) - or handed out at CIRREM?!?

And to the rest of you - watch for a new Cup O' The Day daily (or mostly, I hope!)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It may be quiet... but I am watching!

So, send my your stuff - Cups will be ordered by mid Jan - and presented in the snow and rain at CIRREM!


Peace! - Dave