What you need to know:

-the dates: march 26th and 27th, 2011
-the place: decorah, iowa
-the plan: ride a gravel century saturday followed by a gravel metric sunday
-the reason: i prefer company while training for spring gravel racing
-who's invited: anyone that gets it
-lodging: free to the first 8 that register
-registration: send me an email at springtrainingdecorah@hotmail.com
-what to bring: every cycling related thing you own and a willingness to suffer
-food: far less organized this year...we'll figure it out

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


thursday: kent and steve show up, unload and we hit tbocks for some food. drew rolls by the windows so we head for home to meet him. pick up gunner and head out for about 33 miles of pretty soft nighttime gravels. pick up a stray spinner back at my apt and head to mabes for some grub then walmart for breakfast necessities. nothing too exciting just good to stretch the legs and let people get to know each other.

friday: wake and start cooking eggs and hashbrowns and burning the shit out of some honey and brown sugar sausage links that were still ridiculously awesome. even softer gravels but surprisingly no rain. wind was noticeable but not much of an issue. same 5 rolled out and we rolled into harmony (midpoint of the out and back) without gunner but he made it there before we left. friday meant $1 fish sandwiches at kwik star which seemed like a great idea. so good i ate two. not such a good idea. once gunner was ready we rolled out and kent decided to attack the first hill into a headwind with legs that hadn't loosened back up from the rest we took. total dick move and blew up the group. so kent, drew and i continued to push the pace until a rotweiler and a couple other farm dogs decided to join our group. i pulled off the pace a bit for a photo op of one of the dogs running alongside kent and drew. they took this opportunity to attack another hill attempting to leave me (and the directions to get home) behind. dick move #2. i burned a few matches, caught up just in time for the biggest climb of the trip. all was in fun, even the supposedly unknowing attacks made by kent. got back to my place and cracked a couple beers while steve showed up and eventually gunner after heading to his place first. pasta and steaks at the oaks and a couple more beers then replenishing breakfast necessities before an early night to bed.

saturday: 5:30 breakfast came early and identical to friday except i failed to burn the sausage. the first 12 miles were into the wind and shattered the group instantly. wes held on with kent, drew and i as we battled about a 20mph headwind and still softer gravels. a light mist was just enough to add ambiance. about 20 miles in kent broke a pedal. we planned to have support meeting us at 35 miles but i called julie and asked her to throw in another bike (bringing the decorah bicycles shop truck-thanks again travis) and necessary tools. along the way we met back up with gunner who had made a wrong turn at some point. julie caught us at about mile 30 and a quick pedal change was performed and we continued onto the sattre store for our first scheduled break. ham sandwich and blueberry pie left me feeling pretty good til we rolled away from the store into an actual rain shower. thus began the "middle 50". lots and lots of climbing, a bit of walking, drew's broken saddle, my loose brake hood, some wind, some softer gravels and increasing quiet time. the quietness brought on by the suffering was broken periodically by the ongoing argument as to the accuracy of kent's gps in terms of out total climbing (still not sure its accurate). along the way i had convinced everyone in the group that bacon was the key to endurance riding. everyone tried it, not sure everyone is truly convinced. think maybe if they would have rolled up a candy orange slice into a slice of bacon they would have fully understood the power of the precooked bacon. digressing. murderous, murderous hills especially given the conditions and their timing during the ride. rolled into casey's in ossian at mile 85 with dreams of pizza dancing in our heads. WHAT CASEY'S IN THE WORLD DOESN'T HAVE ANY PIZZA AT 3P.M.?!?!?!?!?!?!?! total bust, settled for roast beef sandwich, glazed donut and a pepsi. steve had pulled the plug following an explosive water bottle cage and some nasty back spasms so he and julie met us at the gas station. this provided an opportunity to dump camelbaks before the final 20 miles. we left ossian knowing the final 20 was back into the original headwind but it turned out to be not as bad as expected. sensing the end the pace would occasionally pick up despite kent's verbal protests. thinking he knew something we didn't as he started to fight cramps about 95 miles in. still not sure who decided to attack the final hill or who won or whose idea it was to stoplight dragrace down water street to my apt or ride the bike trail that was still ice packed when we were already over 100 miles in...but all of these decision truly seemed appropriate at the time. finished out 105 miles in just over 10 hours but was simply thrilled to have finished them

ended with about 203 miles in 18 hours of ride time in less than 48 hours. huge thanks to kent, steve and drew for making their respective trips to join me in a very selfish attempt at getting help training for transiowa. good to have gunner join us everyday as well and a couple more locals start out with us on saturday. drew is an incredibly strong rider and i was constantly impressed by his efforts. huge thanks to brad/carborocket for sending us out some samples. pretty sure they went over well with all the riders. maybe better than the bacon. lots more stories that i've failed to share, including 2a.m. pugsley and steelhead adventures in the sideyard following bar time after the saturday century. drew's already planning another big ride near rochester and we're already talking that this century will be battled again later in the year with hopes of better conditions. definitely looking forward to seeing all these guys around at a number of races this year. and barring some catastrophe, this WILL happen again next year.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

saturday's century

saturday's stats: 105 miles, 10hrs09min, 7000' climbing, 120 avg heartrate

friday's metric

friday stats: 66 miles, 5hrs15min, 4200' climbing, 123 avg heartrate

thursday night ride

stats: 32 miles, 2hrs30min, 118 avg heartrate, 2600' climbing

Thursday, March 11, 2010

getting started

kent and steve have made it. so has the rain. looking pretty hit and miss with the weather for the next few days. planning to head out around 6p.m. tonight for 30ish miles of sloppiness. yay.

Monday, March 8, 2010


-people will be arrive throughout early afternoon as best i can tell
-approx 6p.m. departure for 30 mile ride. guessing we'll be heading to ridgeway and back to keep the hills to a minimum. the timing of this ride will be flexible and will be leaving from my driveway in back of the old bookends and beans building at 309 e. water st. any locals wanting to join can either swing by or give me a call to see if the time has changed at all. if someone from out of town gets delayed, we will delay the ride. don't show up at 6 and get pissed if we don't leave til 8 just to wait for one person. we will wait.
-finish ride, clean bikes, eat, sleep.

-6:30a.m. wake-up call and breakfast
-8a.m. departure for no-drop metric to harmony and back. depending on gravel conditions i'm estimating a fairly chill pace and about a 6hr finish time.
-finish ride, clean bikes, get cleaned up.
-dinner. couple of ideas here but final decision will be made by the group from out of town. locals are welcome to join, just stay in touch as to where we're going. regardless, all will/should plan on eating everything in sight. the way the weather looks, saturday is gonna hurt.
-back to apt to get bikes set up for saturday.

-5:30a.m. wake-up call.
-7a.m. departure for saturday's self-supported century. guessing a few of us will choose to ride this together but if anyone drops off the back or feels like pushing on you will have cue sheets. guessing gravel conditions will lead to finish times between 8-12 hours. PACK YOUR LIGHTS!
-finish is back at my apt. we will collect there and clean up/clean bikes before deciding what to do for the rest of the night. whatever that is will most likely involve an unnecessary amount of alcohol and food.

feel free to call me with questions: 563.380.4791
don't be surprised if i don't answer, i usually don't. leave a message and i'll get back to you.

Mar 8

AM Fog / PM Sun
AM Fog / PM Sun




Mar 9





Mar 10





Mar 11





Mar 12





Mar 13

Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy




Sunday, March 7, 2010

like i said...

bring everything. don't know how much rain is forecasted but there's some maybe coming down everyday from now til thursday. bring everything. cross bikes, mountain bikes, fenders, rain gear, plenty of food. LIGHTS!!! if the roads get as shitty as it looks like they might our finishing times are just gonna get later and later and possibly start running into daylight issues. an incredibly masochistic side of me can't help but smile when i think about how truly miserable and painful saturday might be...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

finalizing the century

took a drive friday afternoon to check out the cue sheets and see just how many street signs are missing/have been turned and to figure out exactly where all of you are going to get lost and hate me. i have done my best to draw your attention to potential problems, danger areas, etc. PLEASE DON'T BE STUPID!!!!! there are a couple times you will be riding the shoulder of highways for short distances, there are some raging fast (35-40mph) downhills, there are dogs, there are cars, there might be ice, it might get dark on you, you have to go from mile 35-85 without refueling...DON'T BE STUPID!!!! the first picture below is the sattre store. this is your 35 mile stop. look close. it is a house in the middle of nowhere and the owner lives upstairs. i will be calling just to make sure she's open for us. refilling your water will probably mean asking her to fill your bottles from her kitchen sink. i don't think the food is expired. do NOT expect hot dogs or pizza. we're talking bags of chips and fig newtons. maybe a 12 pack of busch light. the second picture is a casey's that is your 85 mile stop. expect normal gas station fare here. please understand this...you/we are going to get worked by this century. its no joke. i rode the first 35 miles of it last week and was deviously happy. i rode about 52 miles yesterday that was kind of like riding the last 50 backwards...we're really in for something with this ride. and with it being on the heels of a metric, just make sure you bring the right mindset and plenty of water/food. for what its worth i will probably be leaving with approx. 150oz of fluid with no plans of refilling liquids at the sattre store. i expect the 50oz carborocket and 100oz water to get me to the 85 mile stop. side note...thinking at this point we might have a contest to see who returns with the most busch light mile markers. yes, in northeast iowa the gravels are littered with empty busch light cans and if anyone feel the need to be an environmentalist while you're out there you might just get rewarded for being an awesome person.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

carborocket shows the std some love

brad keyes is throwing in some support for the std by sending us some of his top-class endurance drink mix carborocket. this is the only thing i've drank on the bike other than water for the last year and a half and he's sent us plenty to go around so everyone that shows up can give it a try and maybe even have some to go home with. brad's story behind why and how he developed carborocket sounded similar to mine with stomach issues, cramping problems and appetite loss. he developed this to be gentler on your stomach and for me, it works. its gotten me through a 31+ hour finish of transiowa on a fixed gear as well as a large number of other epic rides. if you haven't tried this stuff and you like riding your bike for a really long time, you owe it to yourself to try it out.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


recon photo from 2/16:advice from 2/16 recon: really just a reminder, bring all your bikes and every bit of gear. absolutely no idea what we'll be riding in. rode the first third of the saturday century and we're gonna get worked if its anything other than perfect conditions. which, considering the dates...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

sag service

HUGE THANKS goes out to travis at decorah bicycles. he has agreed to provide sag service for the std. this is a very big deal especially because the timing of it puts it right when the shop will be getting busy and they will be open almost the whole time we'll be riding which means they'll be sacrificing an employee from the shop if we need someone. please do all that you can to avoid needing this service, but if you do need them please understand and respect what they are doing for us. i'm guessing little things like gas money or little debbie snacks dropped off at the shop would provide a pretty suitable thank you. if you need anything bike related while you're here, they'll take care of you.

Monday, January 25, 2010

saturday century

this is the first version of the route for saturday's century. still need to drive/ride it ahead of time to make sure its all in good shape/rideable. couple of things to note...refueling stops are at the sattre store (more info on this place later) around 35 miles and in ossian around 85 miles and total mileage will be around 105. around mile 50 you will backtrack on a road for about a quarter mile. i don't like the idea of having us do this because of possibility of confusing riders but as of right now its my best option. just pay attention to what you're doing and on the off chance you meet someone make sure you understand the route. also, at about the 100 mile mark you will be riding the shoulder of highway 9 for about a quarter mile. this is just outside of town and its something we do a lot as its part of a common gravel route. the shoulder is huge there and its possible to stay well out of harms way until you're ready to cross the highway. only problem will be mental fatigue that far in. don't be stupid.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

friday metric

most likely route for the friday metric. an out&back to harmony, mn. don't worry about creating your own cue sheets, i'll have those for you. gonna go ride it today to make sure there aren't any road closings, etc. oh, and get excited, we ride past an elk farm.


also, it appears i am officially full at my apartment for places to crash. i have gotten multiple offers of other places to crash so please email me if you're still interested and i will get you in contact with possible housing opportunities.

Friday, January 15, 2010


ok, so far there's been two questions coming up with some regularity that i'll try to answer without rambling on unnecessarily.

1. concerns about being too slow/holding the group back: thursday night will be sort of a meet everybody, get the blood flowing after driving here, chill kinda ride. we're just gonna cruise for a few hours. saturday's century will be self-supported so there won't be anyone to hold back. early finishers will probably collect at my place and get cleaned up before eventually moving to a bar. everyone will have directions to the bar and my cell number so feel free to join us when you finish. that only leaves friday's metric. i have a hard time expecting to hammer this thing knowing that we've got a century to do on saturday and my intentions are for it to be a no-drop ride. obviously this is within reason. as stated before, you will have cue sheets should you get split from the group. however, i still don't expect this to happen. some of us will be capable of riding faster than others, that's natural, but if you can average 12-13mph on gravel i figure we'll be doing okay. most likely the metric on friday will be an out and back to harmony, minnesota which has a few good hills but certainly isn't as grueling as what we're capable of around here.

2. what if i can't make it for all three days? come anyway. PLEASE. i love having people to ride with and the more the better. a heads up if you're planning on coming would be great but i will make plenty of extra cue sheets for friday and saturday so come along for the ride and bring some friends. i'm pretty sure we'll be having a number of locals join us for some, if not all of the rides also. the only difference for people not making the whole thing is that i'll leave what space i have available for sleeping for those committing to all three rides. as of right now i only have one or two spaces left anyway. i have had a couple of local riders mention that they might be able to help house so the number of free housing spots might be going up also. again, just email me with any questions.

i'm am doing these rides to get in miles, not to set any sort of speed records. i would rather ride with slower people that enjoy the ride and the possibility of suffering through some really nasty conditions than hammer out a 6 hour century with some total d-bag racer boy. come ride your bike and have fun.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

here's the really wordy version of what the hell is going on here

okay, so i like to ride gravel roads as a method of training, racing, socializing, therapy, transportation to local bars, recreation and general jackassery. i prefer riding really far because sometimes it just feels good to hurt. i'll be participating in transiowa again this year and hopefully dirty kanza as well as one or two other endurance/ultra-endurance events. so instead of adding to the list of races that are springing up (which is awesome!), i decided just to plan a spring training of sorts for anyone getting ready for the gravel/endurance racing season. hell...i might even make t-shirts.

the plan is to have people arrive sometime thursday march 11th, then head out for a night session of about 40 miles. rise early friday, have breakfast then head out for a no-drop metric century (62ish miles). friday night we will gorge ourselves either on local pizza or just make a shit ton of pasta. rise early saturday and head out for a self-supported century. most likely then have dinner at the bar i work at.

the first 8 (not that i'll get more that one or two idiots the first year) out-of-towners are welcome to crash at my place. i have a recliner, a couple couches (one pulls out), an air mattress and some extra floor space. locals are more than welcome to join for any and all scheduled rides. yes, scheduled. i will post times and places of departure for each ride. oh, and i live in an apartment above a coffee shop for all of you coffee addicts.

i will have cue sheets made up and both friday and saturday rides will pass by gas stations to allow for necessary refueling. i will also have sag set up for saturday but if you decide to join us for this and just flat out aren't in shape to ride these miles you will be forever shamed.

as for what to bring...EVERYTHING!! it will be mid-march in iowa. bring your mountain bike and cross bike for sure and i'd say a set of studs for one of them just in case. also consider bringing your pugsley, tandem and unicycle cause you just never know. BRING YOUR LIGHTS!!! and make damn sure they last longer than 2 hours. we will make the best use of daylight we can but thursday will be in the dark and my guess is some will end saturday in the dark. bring appropriate clothing for winter riding and pray you don't need it. oh, and bring your cell phone, borrow one or be willing to knock on a farmer's door.

BRING A SENSE OF HUMOR AND A WILLINGNESS TO SUFFER!!! i will not be selective. i will not tell people no, but you know damn well whether or not you can do this. I WILL RIDE ALL OF THESE MILES ON ALL OF THESE DAYS! don't be afraid of showing up and having weather cancel the rides. unless riding a bike is impossible, we will ride. even if it is impossible we might still try. there will most likely be times during the three days that you and i will suffer, just be willing to smile, share some of my bacon and keep pushing.

please understand that northeast iowa has a fairly serious amount of elevation change. i'm leaning toward making one of these three days considerably less climbing intensive than the other two, but that might be thursday making the remaining 162 miles that much more difficult.

we will ride a lot. we will most likely hurt from time to time. we will have a riot doing it. and anyone willing to stick around saturday night...you're damn right we'll celebrate.

check back regularly for more information. most of it really won't matter. just come ride your bike.