Saturday, March 10, 2007

race report - playing in the mud #1

the race season began in iowa today.
beautiful sunny skies,
which made each mile warmer than the last,
also made for some challenging gravel climbs.
the high pace set by riders kurt hantelman,
chad vandelune, and dave lippold helped tear the pack apart,
but created a little chaos at the bottom of the forest street hill.

riders try to make sense out of the aftermath of
the rocket-like attack of's lane anderson
on lap one. rider the mostly reverend
is all smiles following what he termed
"another show of force for team robinson" after he learned
that intrasquad teammate lane anderson took the win from
mercy rider paul denninger.

sporting their new kits, teammates kurt hantelman & the mostly reverend deftly negotiate the sometimes-sloppy corners, while ably controlling the rest of the race.

yes, the 2007 road season was kicked off in fine fashion today, with the inaugural running of the "chad vandelune gravel road series," held on county roads north and west and east of mitchellville, iowa. two laps of a gruelling 30 mile course were ridden. the charming aspect of this route is that fully half of the course is run over good, old iowa country gravel roads. hills, potholes, washboards, snowmelt-filled bottoms, and angry dogs awaited a field of nearly 50 riders from the upper midwest. mike, a racer from the twin cities, noted "i've never ridden anything like this before. this was the hardest road race i've ever done. i'm definitely coming back next week, and i'm not coming alone." officiated by the legendary former nebraska district rep dirty dick thompson, the race came off without a hitch. light winds [a high was sitting over central iowa] allowed racers to be challenged by the series of hills--unending hills, by all accounts. this was not a race for the weak or feeble. it should be noted that pig was not there. after a neutral roll-out from the spacious staging area, the pack headed off in a fairly friendly mood, which lasted some seven or eight miles, until the long, concrete hills through and beyond valeria. after several hills in four miles, the course turned south--literally and figuratively. the gravel was nigh. at times the gravel was good, at other times it was bad, and at other times, it down-right sucked--your tires in to about two or three inches of sloppy muck. it was really quite hard to maintain any momentum, to say the least. climbing was best done in a 39-19, 21, 23. heartrate was 170+ much of the time. notes: the first angry dog, a large, menacing great pyrenees, was sporting a dark, muddy, shoe-shaped spot on the top of its head on the second lap. we counted at least eight angry farm dogs, and only one set of owners who tried to control their pet. anarchy prevails in the canine world. most riders chose 23c or 25c road tires. there were maybe three or four cyclocross bikes. 28c tires were roundly declared "too wide." the course improved by the second lap. more riders would be welcomed next week. this is good shit. even though the route will be the same next week, the race will be completely different, because it will be even dryer, which should make it much faster. our time was 3 hours 43 minutes. sweet!


gpickle said...

Uh, whats this our time stuff? Was it a field sprint or what? What were the gaps? I need details!

the mostly reverend said...

details, details. mr gpickle, you need to realize there's more to life than just gaps and details.
know that what's done is done, and be happy with the doing of it.

but, yes, there was a field sprint for 3d, and after an early jump by mr. cyclocross [48-tooth schprocket], a lethal response by kurt--which ultimately prevailed, i was on the wheel of mike, with his 54-tooth q-ring, knowing that i had his number, after watching him during the race. he wound it up, i wound it up, and we're shooting toward the line, when he hesitated--stopped pedalling--because of an on-coming truck in its own lane, and we didn't get back up to speed in time to catch kurt. mike took second, and i third in the field sprint. i didn't want to attack kurt [teammate], so was stuck with the response mode i utilized. still, i was quite happy with the race, and with my results. it really was a hard race. my ralph atb [all-terrain bicycle] was the right bike for the course.

Anonymous said...

check out and be there next week.

gpickle said...

Okay, Okay already..
Sounds like a good time was had by all and its another reason to be happy for Des Moines but as I don't live there and am averse to travel now that I am in my golden years I won't be hitting this series. Later on...

Pete Basso said...

We need to market this race to the guys training for the Trans-Iowa this year. Isn't that what the course was like for them last year. I bet the race would get more mtbkrs out there if we pushed Kerkove and Buchanandale to show up!!

Nice job, sorry I missed it. I'll be out of town again this weekend too.

the mostly reverend said...

basso--we need to market it to our OWN team members so more of THEM show up.
i'm just afraid it's too hard for some of them! ;-)
this race is like castor oil--it's good for you, but might taste a little bitter going down.
if folks don't show up, that's all the better for those of us who do!