Tuesday, September 22, 2009

CITA's Ales and Trails 2009

Spent Friday night through early Sunday afternoon at Whiterock Conservancy for CITA's second Ales and Trails event. Whiterock is 4300 contiguous acres of oak savannah, prairie, and farmland near Coon Rapids, Iowa. If you are a fan of the outdoors you owe it to yourself to spend some time there. We filled our weekend with camping, mountain biking, a 45 mile gravel road race, a few beers and an evening concert in the riverside barn by Des Moines' ownBrother Trucker.

The gravel road race on Saturday was a lot of fun, if a bit brutal. Squirrel managed to build a course where the B-road sections were the fastest thing we would ride on all day. Very few sections of flat, and a southerly course with a SE wind. After what I thought was a good start, hanging with Dave Lippold to the top of the climb we hit right out of the start, my legs just pretty much gave out. I couldn't get into a rhythm on the climbs and just couldn't get my legs to spin up the way I wanted. Squirrel and I stopped for a mid ride beer at Sammy's car, about 10 minutes behind Dave, and decided to just push in together and try to wrap up second and third spots. Squirrel just dieseled his way along and I yo-yo'd behind on the climbs and caught up on the downhills and on the flats. I had to finally let Squirrel go with about 5 miles or so left and just finish the race out. I ended up finishing in about 3 hours and change. I felt worse after those 45 miles than I did after the 10+ hours of the GLGA a month ago.

On Sunday, Matt McCutchen, Brian Sheesley and I took off after breakfast and spent the next couple of hours just riding around on the double track through Whiterock, taking in the scenery and just having a good time. Screaming fast downhills and some long climbs greeted us almost all of the way into Coon Rapids. On the way back, Brian and I took a different path back that involved some rough pasture land, cows, and barbed wire fence crossings. I hit something in the pasture and developed a slow leak once we were on the gravel back to Whiterock. A quick hit with the CO2 cartridge got me back to the truck and, after a change of clothes, on my way home.

I, and everyone else. had a lot of fun at this years Ales and Trails event. It would have been good to have had more people in attendance. I'm not sure if it's the location, the drive, or something else that prevented us from having more people show up. Hopefully we can increase the number of people, and the fun, for next year's event.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Good weekend

Once I was able to put the job behind me on Saturday, I had a good remainder of the weekend. My former coworker, friend and fellow cyclist Lacey had a camping party to celebrate her birthday on Saturday. She swung by my house and we took off for a relaxing ride to Prairieflower campground near Saylorville Lake while our spouses drove up to the campground. The ride pace was good, the conversation was excellent and the cold road beer on the bench overlooking the prairie was a good way to start the evening. After arriving at the campground we all took a nice 10 mile ride up the bike trail to Big Creek and back before having dinner and drinks. Rick and Jana were waiting for us when we got back and a dinner of grilled asparagus and salmon was soon in our bellys. A campfire, a "few" drinks, and lots of talk rounded out the evening. I took my Salsa La Cruz and loaded everything for the night onto my Bob trailer. I forgot what it was like to pull an extra 40 lbs of stuff. Legs were feeling a bit more tired than I expected.

I got up the next morning around 6 and packed my stuff up as quietly as I could and hit the road. I made my way back towards Greenwood park to help with the first of two IMBCS mountain bike time trials on Sunday. More fun watching people race and talking with everyone afterwards. Between races, Kyle Sedore, Kurt Benson and I strapped a couple of pizzas on the Bob and hit the north half of the Sycamore trail to the start of the second race. The race finished with some music, plenty of beers and a nice schwag give away courtesy of Rasmussen Bike Shop and Kyle's Bikes. I hopped on the La Cruz and made my way home, arriving around 4:30 PM.

A good solid 60+ miles for the weekend, most of it with a loaded trailer in tow, plus good friends, good food and good beer. It would be hard to ask for a better weekend.

Going to be doing it all over again this weekend at CITA's Second Annual Ales and Trails event at Whiterock Conservancy near Coon Rapids. If the weather holds, I'll be riding up to Coon Rapids on Friday if anyone is interested in riding. I'm gonna try an ultralight camping setup with just a seatpost rack, Camelback and a Jandd frame bag to see how well that works out. There will be some gravel involved for sure, so bring a cross or mountain bike.

Friday, September 11, 2009

24 Hours of Seven Oaks

Labor day weekend brought about the 7th installment of the 24 Hours of Seven Oaks. I had been thinking about this event for a couple of years after seeing other people's race reports. A gracious Jacob Naumann had invited me, Mike Lebeda, and Ken Tague to form a 4 man team for the event. The shop's light, fast guys had decided to form a team with enough horsepower to keep the 4 man trophy in our possession for another year, so we decided to just go up, ride ourselves silly and have a good time.

I could give a detailed report of what happened. Instead I'm going to give you this summary paragraph. If you love mountain biking, you owe it to yourself to make it to this event next year. Camping is free, you're surrounded by like minded riders, families and friends, and the atmosphere for the weekend is party-like. If you've never ridden a 24 hour event before, a 4 man team is, in my opinion, the best way to take part in your first 24 hour event. Find three other people that want to ride their bikes and form a team. Ride as many, or as few, laps as you want and have a great time. I rode 6 laps during the race, more than all of my previous laps combined on the course, and I had a ton of fun. Yes, you'll get dirty, you'll get tired, and you'll maybe get a few scrapes. You will also be able to challenge your body, your mind, spend a lot of peaceful time in the outdoors, and make some new friends along the way.

Thanks to the race organizers, volunteers, trail workers and everyone else that made this event possible. A special congratulations to The Rasmussen 4 man team of Alread, Anderson, Blackford and Cline for their 4 man 24 hour win (30 laps) and the two man team of Logan and Sherman for their 2 man 12-hour win. I was also privileged to see and ride with both my good friend Paul Jacobson as he scored a second place in the 12 hour solo and TransIowa finisher Charlie Farrow as he scored a second place finish in the always tough 24 hour solo race.

Although I came back beat up after riding almost 50 miles on my full rigid Karate Monkey, I plan on making the trek to Boone again next year for the weekend, riding more laps, and having more fun.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bike for Sale!!

It's time to clear some space in the garage. I love this bike and waited for 3 years to buy it. Now that I've had it for a year or so, I've decided that it's a bit too small for me. It's too nice of a bike for me to race, so it needs to go to a good home
  • 56 cm 1990 Schwinn Paramount OS.
  • Waterford built frame and fork
  • Candy Apple Red and silver in Waterford Flade Pattern
  • Full 9-speed Dura-Ace drivetrain with Campy Chorus brifters.
  • Chris King headset.
  • Selle Italia Flite Saddle
  • American Classic seat post.
  • 20 lbs w pedals.

Asking $1100 OBRO.

Post a comment or email stevefuller at gmail dot com if interested.