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Monthly Archives: July 2012

A Monster of a Group Ride

 

I have big news, everyone: Our man Jim Smith, overlord of Monster Bicycle Company and proud sponsor of the Cedar Cross,  is organizing a long group ride on the Katy Trail.

Ride deets are as follows:

Date of departure: 10/20/2012

Point A: Columbia, MO

Point B: Hermann, MO

Distance from A-B:  Approximately 90-ish miles

Upon arrival at point B, Jim wishes for us to “camp and be merry.” I’m cool with that.

The next morning, we’ll resume travel in an Easterly direction en route to Point C 

Point C: St. Charles, MO

For anyone who has never done a long Katy Trail ride, there’s a trip planner at www.bikekatytrail.com where you can find tons of info regarding places along the trail to refill water/buy food/take a crap, etc. There are towns and trailheads about every 10 miles, so you can customize this ride to suit yourself. The possibilities are literally endless. 

Justin and Aaron at one such “kiosk”

You can bet I’ll be stopping in Treloar for delicious cheeseburgers and again in Augusta for a growler of their fabulous craft beer. This is going to be a great ride with great people, and you should be there. ALL are welcome.

Rumor has it that Jim is going to be giving away one of his custom-built titanium frames during this ride, but I might be making that up. Seriously, I’m totally lying about that.

 

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The 2012 Tour de Donut

The 2012 Tour de Donut was a blast. Goals were set, bets were made and dreams were shattered. I may or may not have forgotten to pre-regsiter for the race until it was too late, but Patrick Albert, (via Kate), totally saved my ass on that one. It would’ve totally sucked to drive all the way down there just to have to turn around and come home. I owe both of you, big time.

In the interest of brevity, I’ll try to keep the story short and let the pics/videos tell most of the tale. I’d also like to apologize in advance for the shitty quality of the videos; I’m new at this and don’t know how to edit them.

The night before the race, I camped out next to these guys. A good group of dudes who offered me a cold bottle or two of Blue Moon. That’s what you call instant friendship.

Early in the morning, the empty field where I’d slept was quickly transformed into a tightly-packed parking lot.

Good thing I wasn’t still laying on the ground. Cars were coming from everywhere.

There were something like 1600 racers lined up, so it was pretty congested at first.

When the race started, the field of riders was slow to get moving. I’d say at least half the riders were the type who only ride a few times a year, so that was understandable. Better safe than dead. We were moving slooooooooww until the crowd thinned out.

As you can see, it took just over 8 minutes to cross the Start line.

Once we finally got going, the course lead us through town, where there would be a rib-cookoff later in the day. It smelled pretty awesome.

The first leg of the race was relatively flat, save for a rolling hill or two. Having started so far in the back, I was having to really put down an effort to get past some of the larger groups. Some of these folks were really having trouble riding in a straight line, and how we managed to not have a massive crash is a mystery to me.

Once the crowd thinned down, I was able to enjoy the scenery.

Weaving my way through the crowd, I latched on with a speedy group and we started going through the gears. It didn’t take long before my 1×9 gravel bike was out of gears and I was spinning like a madman just to stay in the paceline. I was out of my comfort zone for sure, but it was really fun. I haven’t been on a road ride for years and I had forgotten how fun it can be.  I hung with those guys for about 6 miles and finally let them go. The first donut stop was about 8 miles into the ride, so we got there pretty quick.

You’d think they were giving away free donuts or something.

My plan was to eat light at this stop, then get serious at the next one. No sense in riding the entire course with a full belly when I could wait til the end, right? I put down 8 donuts, recorded my thoughts and took off. I couldn’t have been there for much more than 10-15 minutes. I still felt good and had lofty goals for the day, as you can see here.

8 Donuts down and back on my bike, you can see I was feeling a little bit cocky.  This stretch of road was flat with zero traffic, so it was pretty enjoyable. The scenery on this section gave me a better understanding of why the WTFAR boys love Illinois so much..

Breathtaking.

I found myself riding along with some pretty cool fellas from Springfield, and noticed that one of them was rolling on a rear tire that was about 80% flat. They didn’t have a pump, so I charged them $20 to use mine. OK, that’s not true. Of note, the dude on the left was riding a bull-horned singlespeed with platform pedals. Pretty badass if you ask me.

Springfield dudes

I think I was about 5 miles from the 2nd donut stop when I rolled up on Rocky, one of the dudes I had camped with the night before.

Rocky and I had matching shirts, but he upstaged me with his fancy accessories

Rocky had a flat tire, no spare tube and no pump. BUT, he had given me free beers the night before the race and that makes us buddies. Despite our best efforts, though, Rocky was going to have to wait for someone to bring him a new tube. The good news is that he flatted at the top of a rather large hill where we got to see people really suffer.

Entertainment at its finest.

It was only a few miles down the road before we reached the 2nd and final donut stop. With 18 to go, I decided I’d knock them out in 2 groups of 9.  I stacked them up on an empty box, then made way to sit in the grass and get to business. At least 3 times, people confused me with some other guy that had apparently been gorging himself and throwing up in the field….very flattering. 

I was nearly done with the first “stack” when things started to go bad. They still tasted pretty good, but my body was done with this shit. Mentally I was fine, I wasn’t really feeling all that full. I fought it as long as I could, but that old familiar feeling of pending spewage swept over me, and despite my most concentrated efforts…I vomited approximately 3 donuts.

With that, my donut quest came to an end.  Sadly, there’s no video of the actual purge, but my thoughts afterward may be found here.  The final 9-ish miles to the finish line were quite hilly and I did a lot of burping and dry-heaving. That part really wasn’t any fun at all, especially since noone was around to see it. I did get lucky and make some more friends though, when I crossed paths with yet another rider with a flat.

 

This guy also had no pump, tube or patch kit. I gave him my last one and you would’ve thought he’d won the lottery. He was a happy man. We got back on the bikes and he totally dropped my ass, but he was waiting for me when I finished. Pretty cool guy. I talked with Kate for a few minutes after the race, then went to lay in my truck and dry heave some more.

So, despite my failure and earned obligation to be the fattest man to ever wear a speedo at the Thunder Rolls,  I had an outstanding time. I’m sure it would’ve been more fun if I’d known more people, but I did get to talk briefly with Allie and Stephen, who were at the CAC this year with Justin. I’m not 100% sure, but I think the TDD was Allie’s longest race. She looked pretty happy when I saw her, so my guess is that she did well.

I’d really like to go back and do this race next year, but I think I’d rather do it like Kate did, turning in a solid time and only eating a donut or 2 when I’m hungry. I still can’t believe I lost this bet.

The Tour De Donut is this Weekend

*Photo taken from race website

For those who don’t remember, Team Virtus put on a disappointing performance at last year’s Tour de Donut. Between Luke, Adam and Rusty only 22 donuts were consumed. Though I was unable to attend, I’ve heard varying tales of dauntingly thick, cake-style donuts and how hard it was to stay hydrated and still eat them. Still, one has to wonder what the hell happened out there…

Oh, what could have been.

Things must be set right beteween the Tour de Donut and Team Virtus. The world demands donut domination, and that responsibility appears to have fallen squarely on the shoulders of Kate and I. The other guys are too ashamed of themselves to try again, and that’s totally understandable. Excuses abound; Adam even went so far as to make up a story about “job-shadowing” at Pauline Potter’s gyno clinic:

“Sure is dark in here..”

At any rate, I’m throwing the gauntlet down right now and pledging to the world that NOT ONLY will I consume more donuts this year than each of them did last year, no, that wouldn’t be enough. I will eat more than they did combined.  I’m gonna go the distance… to redeem what has been lost.

23 donuts or death!! See you there.

Kate: Lucky for Bob, I wasn’t a member of Team Virtus at last year’s Tour de Donut, or he’d be stuck eating an additional 9 donuts (one more than Adam choked down, for those who are keeping track).  After 2010’s second place donut-adjusted AG victory, I had high hopes for 2011.  Unfortunately, I fell flat, placing 6th in my AG and spending the next month or so working off those donut calories.  This year, I’m still deciding on my strategy, but leaning towards a very un-Virtuslike donut avoidance.  After all, I’d kind of like to finally check out the RibFest after the race…without having to throw up first.

Congrats and Shame!

I’ve gotta be honest… I’m a bit disappointed right now.  I nonchalantly slipped a HUGE announcement into my last post, and only ONE Virtusite noticed it and responded accordingly (Thank you James Browning!!! You get the Gold Star!).  So this means one of three things:

  1. You didn’t read my last post, so shame on you… OR
  2. You read it and somehow missed the huge announcement, so shame on you again… OR
  3. You read it, saw the announcement, and didn’t think it was worthy of a comment, so DOUBLE SHAME on you!

So I guess I’m going to have to spell this one out for you.  Our very own Robert L. Jenkins III has completely duped convinced Cara Willoughby to marry him!!!  That’s right…

Bob and Cara are ENGAGED!!!

Bob and Cara are engaged

Here we see the soon-to-be-newlyweds when their courtship was still brand new.

If you’re reading this and if you care at all, please leave a comment for Bob and Cara.  If you don’t, then SHAME on you!

So, congratulations, Bob and Cara!  May you enjoy many decades of wedded bliss.  Here’s to hoping you make many future adventure racers together, and hopefully, we can get Tenacious D to play at the wedding.  Anyway… We love you guys.

On a side note, Bob turns 33 tomorrow, so happy birthday, Bob! You’re getting older, but you’re still young enough to be Maw Maw’s son.

Moonlight Ride

So, I know it’s VERY short notice, but I just found out about this myself.  Tonight is the Tour de Jeff City Moonlight Ride.  I guess technically the ride is tomorrow morning at 2:00 AM, but you know what I mean.  I’m not sure why this ride isn’t publicized more, because we had an absolute blast last year.

Start of the 2011 Tour de Jefferson City Moonlight Ride

I thought maybe 20 – 30 riders would be there, but there had to be over 100.

Adam and his girlfriend Michelle, Bob and his then-girlfriend-now-FIANCE!!!! Cara, and my wife, Becca, and I were all supposed to do the 15-ish mile ride together.  However, when it was time to roll out, there was no sign of Bob or Cara.  I tried sending Bob a telepathic wake-up-call, but he’s a pretty deep-sleeper.

Michelle and Becca were both very new to cycling, so they were pretty nervous about riding in front of so many other people.  They did a great job, though, and we had a really great time.

About a third of the way through the ride we saw this Tool Bag pull up in front of us:

Bob at Tour de Jeff

“What? Am I late?”

Apparently, someone (Cara) turned the alarm off before it really woke either of them up.  I guess my telepathic message must have actually worked!  Yes, we are that close.  Cara, unfortunately, just couldn’t make herself get out of bed.

So now we were riding 5-strong: Two couples and Bob on his Kona Joe.

Bob on his Kona Joe

This bike is baller and a ton of fun to ride.

We took our time and enjoyed the ride together.  It was a beautiful evening spent on our bikes with great company, so what more could you ask for?  At about the halfway point, we stopped for some refreshments at the aid station, and we took a few “couples” shots:

Adam and Michelle Moonlight Ride

Adam and Michelle

Becca and Luke Moonlight Ride

Becca and Luke

Bob and No Cara at the Moonlight Ride

Bob and… uh… Just Bob.

Group Shot Minus Cara at the Moonlight Ride

Left to Right: Luke, Becca, Michelle, Adam, Bob, and… uh… Just Bob.

We then rolled past the capitol building which is always really cool at night, and then we stopped for a photo-op by the fountains.  Look at this photo, and you’ll see why Becca is the perfect match for me:

Peeing into a fountain at the Tour de Jeff City

Becca and I are like “Pees” in a pod. See what I did there? Get it?

We all had a lot of fun, and Becca and Michelle did great on their first big group ride.  There were no crashes at all… Until the VERY end.  We made it back to the parking lot at Hyvee, and as Michelle rolled off the street and into the parking lot, she got a little cocky.  She was pretty excited to have ridden her bike so far with no crashes, and as she entered the parking lot, she raised one hand in triumph and let out a victorious, “Woo Hoo!”  And then BAM!  She crashed right there in front of us.  It was amazing.

Michelle's crash at the Tour de Jeff

No one was hurt in the making of this hilarious moment.

It was fantastic, and we all had a good laugh (once we knew she was okay, of course).  My kids heard this story and to this day whenever they see Michelle, they say, “Woo Hoo! Bam!”  And that cracks me up every time.

After loading the bikes back up, we headed over to Country Kitchen for some grub.  This was probably my favorite part of the event.  We sat around talking, laughing, telling stories, and making fun of Michelle.  We even found out some disturbing info from Bob’s childhood, but you had to be there.  We were sworn to secrecy.

Bob without Cara

Bob and… uh… Still no Cara.

As you can see, this ride is really great.  With this crazy heat we’ve had for the last couple of weeks, there is no better time to ride than 2:00 AM, right?  And we all have the day off tomorrow to catch up on sleep, so there is no excuse for missing this ride.  Let us know if you’ll be there so we can all ride together or at least meet up after the ride for breakfast.

And be sure to go here for the map and other info.  We are starting and ending at St. Peter’s Church on Broadway by the Capitol this year instead of at Hyvee.  You don’t want to be like Cara and miss all the fun do you?  We might even have another “Woo Hoo! BAM!” moment.  You don’t want to miss that, do you?  Anyway, we really hope to see you there.

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