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Monthly Archives: March 2014

A Virtusan’s Best Friend

This post is long overdue. And I mean LOOOOOOOONG overdue. We need to first say sorry to someone, and then turn around and thank that same someone.

We need to apologize for taking so long in writing this blog post. So, we sincerely apologize. We were – and are – afraid that whatever we write will never truly express how we feel. Hopefully, we can come close.

Now, on to the thanks.

We’d like to thank a very special someone who has supported us not only financially, but emotionally and spiritually as well. For the last two years, Cead Mile Failte Ceilidh, or just Ceilidh (pronounced Kay-Lee) for short,  has been our biggest and furriest (yes even furrier than Bob) sponsor.

Wheaten Terrier

Ceilidh is a gorgeous Wheaten Terrier.

Before Ceilidh, I had never even heard of a Wheaten Terrier, but after being educated by my good friend, and Ceilidh’s mom, Ann, I’ve come to realize just how much of a Virtusan Ceilidh really is.  Don’t believe me? Read on.

  • Although Wheaten Terriers are now beloved animals worldwide, they were once known in Ireland as “dogs for poor men,” much like Team Virtus is known as a poor man’s Tecnu Extreme Adventure Racing Team. Wait, what? We’ve never been called that? Well, maybe it’s about time you all start.
  • Team Virtus does a little bit of everything – AR, mountain biking, cyclocross, knitting – just like Wheaten Terriers did a little bit of everything back in Ireland – hunting, herding, exterminating vermin, guarding livestock .
  • Most Wheaten Terriers weigh in at 30 – 40 pounds, but not Ceilidh. In true Virtusan fashion, Ceilidh is a bit husky, tipping the scales at roughly 60 pounds!
  • Ceilidh also has a Virtusan’s heart and spirit. He’s a bit mischievous and rowdy, sometimes chewing and eating everything in sight – just like we do before, during, and after every race.
Caylee's practicing for a Mystery Event.

Ceilidh’s practicing for a Mystery Event.

Because of Ceilidh’s  financial support, we’ve been able to race at Dirty Kanza more affordably, reduce the cost of our jerseys, buy some Control Markers for our Adventure Non-Races, and many other things. And for that we, thank you.

The financial support has been incredible and unexpected, and as much as we truly, truly appreciate it, that’s not the only reason we love Ceilidh and his parents, Ann and Mark.

As amazing as Ceilidh is, Ann and Mark are just as amazing. Every time we race, we know they are keeping an eye on facebook and any other outlets to see how we’re doing. Knowing they are behind us makes us push ourselves that much harder.

Wheaten Terrier through window

Ceilidh is ready to go!

It’s really great knowing that we have friends  (the people- as well as the four-legged-variety) who had never even heard of Adventure Racing until a few years ago, out there watching us, supporting us, and cheering us on. It means more to us than they’ll ever know.

Wheaten Terrier Puppy

Here is Caylee as a pup. Just look at that face!

So to Ceilidh and his parents, from all of us Virtusans, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Ceilidh is, and forever will be, a Virtusan, through and through.

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The Hardest CAC …….. Post I’ve Ever had to Write

It is with great sadness that I must inform you that we will not be providing you with free CAC. We originally planned to pleasure all of you with our CAC on April 5th, but that just isn’t going to happen.

Crying over our CAC

Sorry, James Van Der Beek. No CAC for you.

Whether you believe it or not, Bob and I have poured a crap-ton of work, not to mention our hearts and souls, into working on our CAC last year as well as the year before, the Deuce 3 years ago, and the First Team Virtus Non-Race the year before that (clearly we didn’t come up with good names for our Adventure Non-Races until the second year).

We’ve spent a lot of time away from our families as well as quite a bit of our own money to give you the best, free non-racing experience we could.

And we’ve loved every damn minute of it.

But we just don’t have time to get our CAC polished and ready by April 5th. Bob is now living in Ellisville and remodeling his house there, and my life is crazier and busier than ever with kid activities and other miscellaneous miscellany. It’s been really difficult for us to put our heads together and really work hard on our CAC.

Mmmm...

Bob likes to use all of his senses when working on his CAC. This photo was taken on a scouting trip from last year, and it was not staged. For real. Bob just really enjoys tubed meat.

 

So we’ve decided to postpone the CAC this year. We did not come to this decision lightly. We toyed with the idea of changing venues. We thought about using a permanent Trim course at Rock Bridge or Rockwoods Range to save us some time and hassle. We even considered doing an Urban Adventure Non-Race. We’ve thought about a lot of different ways we could provide you with our CAC again this year.

But in the end, we figured no one would want a soft, lifeless CAC, and we don’t want to offer you anything half-assed. And that’s exactly what it would have been if we had tried to put it together by April 5th.

We sincerely apologize. We hope you don’t hate us. And we hope we haven’t messed up anyone’s plans.

We’re still considering doing the Cinco-De-CAC-O (it would be our fifth year!) sometime later this year. If you’d be interested in that, please let us know in the comments. If there’s not much interest, we won’t waste our time.

We’ve also considered just doing a campout at Pine Ridge or somewhere else the weekend of April 5th just to get together and ride/drink/eat half-priced-meat together (Maybe at Two Rivers?). So let us know if you’d be down for anything like that as well.

Again, we apologize. We hope you can forgive us. We hope you don’t hate us forever.

Seriously. Please let us know if you want to see our CAC at a later date and if you’d want to get together somewhere the first weekend of April. Do it! Leave us a comment.

The 3rd Annual MLK Ride

If you missed the 3rd annual Martin Luther King ride back on January 18th, I really feel sorry for you. You missed out on a great day. Below you will find a brief write up of what went down, but trust me when I tell you that it was 412% more awesome than this will show.

MLK 3 Ride at the Berryman Trail

Above is the group that stuck around for a photo at the start of the ride. There were a few people who rolled out earlier for TWO laps at Berryman and one guy who even ended up doing THREE laps! There were a few people who showed up later and did a lap as well. We probably had 20 – 25 people all together.

Since I’ve put on a serious “winter coat,” I only planned on doing 5 – 10 miles before heading back to the trail-head to fire up the grill. My friend Rhonda had only ridden single track once or twice before, so she wasn’t planning on doing a full lap either. So we decided to stick together at the back of the pack.

Rhonda on one of the climbs.

The trail was in great shape, and although it was chilly to start, the weather was pretty damn nice considering it was mid-January.

The riding was fun, but my lungs and legs hated my fat ass. So I talked Rhonda into bailing around the 5 or 6 mile mark. We cut out on a jeep road that would lead us to a gravel road leading back to the trail-head. There was one frozen puddle across the jeep road that was a bit tricky.

Icy crash on the Berryman Trail

This photo may or may not have been staged. It may or may not have actually been me who crashed.

We hopped out on the gravel road and made it back to the trailhead with no more issues. We changed into dry clothes, and I fired the grill up.

But first I tapped the keg (courtesy of Dave Baettie via Team TOG – HUGE thanks to him/them). I only tapped the keg so early to make sure it would be ready for the rest of the riders when they rolled in – of course I might have had a sample or two. Besides, the keg had my name written all over it.

Blue Moon Keg at the MLK ride at the Berryman Trail

It’s mine. All mine!

After the grill was good and hot I kicked off what has become an MLK tradition: Grilled Chocolate Chip Cookies! Kate brought a bunch of cookies, and when grilled over charcoal, they taste just like they’re fresh out of the oven with just a hint of smokiness.

So.

Damn.

Good.

If you’ve never done this, do it the next time you grill and thank me later.

There was a plethora of tubed meat, beef patties, cheeses, side dishes, desserts, and ice-cold Blue Moon. Everyone brought a little something to share, and for that, I thank you all.

BBQ after the MLK bike ride at Berryman Trail

Food always tastes better after a good ride.

As the riders started to roll in, everyone gathered around the grill, eating, drinking, and making merry while trying to stay warm. Here are a few photos of the festivities:

Berryman Trail Group Ride

L to R: Becca, Steve, Dave (or Jim) Chuck, Josh, and Rhonda.

Helmet hair at Berryman

Blue Moon Dave rockin’ some serious helmet hair.

Group at Berryman Trail

L to R: Kate, Me, Becca, Phil, Chuck, Caleb, Rhonda, Dave, and Dave (Jim).

Mo and some of the other Team Red Wheel guys were there, but this is the only photo I got of any of them. I think the rest were always at the keg.

Mickey Mouth was there too! This ride was good training for the Super Century… Oh wait… Mickey never did the Super Century.

Everyone was having a grand time after the ride, but then I turned around to see a truly horrific sight. As my eyes fell upon the ghastly scene, it felt like someone kicked me in the nards and punched me in the face simultaneously.

How could anyone, especially someone I considered a close friend, do something so terrible?

Please be warned that the photo below is difficult to look at. If you are sensitive, you may want to scroll right past it. You’ve been warned.

Virtus Jersey on the ground

This poor, poor Virtus Jersey was abandoned by Kate.  She left it to die alone on the cold concrete. This is blasphemous!

Kate tried to hide the fact that she had disgraced our team, but I’m a photo-ninja. I was too quick for her, and I got the above photo. Then I snapped one of her trying to hide the evidence:

Kate with her disgraced jersey.

What’s that behind your back, Kate?

Many miles of single track were shredded, lots of stories were told, much bread (and wind) was broken, gallons of beer were consumed. It was another fantastic ride and barbeque.

Our brethren from the Hoosier Daddies  were dearly missed. They were the ones who truly made the 1st MLK and 2nd MLK rides/parties a smashing success. Hopefully, they’ll once again join us at MLK 4 next year, and hopefully so will you. And maybe someday, our very own Bob Jenkins will make it to the MLK ride… maybe.

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