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Milk It With Us at the MLK2 Ride

It’s here, ladies and gentlemen.  After a full year of anticipation, the second annual Martin Luther King Ride (MLK2) is THIS SATURDAY!  Last year we simply had way too much fun (thanks to the Hoosier Daddies), so we’re doing it again.  I can’t even tell you how awesome this ride/party was last year.  I’m not kidding.  It was amazing.  Just go read the report linked above.

Grilling Cookies at the MLK Ride

There will be cookies, thanks to Kage, and yes, we will grill them. Seriously.

We’re meeting at the Berryman Campground Trailhead (Google Map Here) at 8:00 AM on Saturday, January 19th.  We’ll probably roll out at 8:30-ish.  Last year, there were some wickedly fast dudes who rode the entire 25-26 mile loop, but there were also fat, slow guys (Me) that only did part of the trail.  So don’t be shy.  It doesn’t matter if you ride 2 miles, 25 miles or no miles at all.  It doesn’t matter if you’re fast or slow.  It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, veteran or newby, blue-eyed or brown-eyed.  All that matters is you aren’t a douche bag and you want to ride and have fun with like-minded people.

Courtesy of the Hoosier Daddies

Mmm… Beer… Courtesy of the Hoosier Daddies

The Hoosier Daddies made the first annual MLK Ride one helluva party, and they’re planning on doing it again.  They’re bringing beer, brats, buns, plates, a grill, some tunes, and the oh-so-delicious blackberry whiskey.  If you’re so inclined, bring a dish to share.  That would be swell.

The weather looks like it’s going to be nearly perfect, so make sure you’re there.  Leave us a comment to let us know you’re coming, or head over to the facebook event page to do so and get any last minute updates.  While you’re there, be sure to like our team page as well.  And leave a comment here or on the facebook page if you want to carpool with anyone.  I know some people are looking for a ride to split the gas in the Jeff City area, so again, don’t be shy.  Speak up!

First MLK Ride

If you weren’t here last year, make sure you are this year.

We’ll have riders from St. Louis, Mid-Mo, Kansas City, Rolla, Springfield, and who knows where else.  There is even talk of some people camping the night before and/or after.  Single track, food, beer, cookies, camping, whiskey, tons of laughs…  There will be something for everyone!  C’mon.  You know you want to be there.

Lastly, Here is a link to some trail info including a pdf of a trail map of the Berryman Trail: Click Me!  So if you don’t want to miss the best ride of the year (so far), then we’ll see you on Saturday!

 

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Burley Joe Dirt Ride – Gravel at its Finest!

On Sunday, January 17th, I headed down to St. James, MO for the Burley Joe Dirt Ride.  Bob Jenkins and his girlfriend, Cara, along with 7 or 8 other Team Redwheelers also headed down there in a foggy convoy.

Foggy Convoy

It was a cold and wet fog, the kind of fog that you can feel clinging to your body as you walk through it.  There was even a little bit of ice on the ground here and there (just ask Cara who unfortunately slipped on the ice in Bob’s driveway).  I was kind of hoping for a nice day since the forecast called for 45 degree weather and sun.

When we got to the parking lot, it was nearly full.  There were probably 40 or 50 people there.  I guess there was some important info given right before we rolled out that I missed.  There was apparently a long ride (the Burley Joe Dirt Ride = 27 miles) and a shorter ride (the Joe Dirt Ride = 20 miles).  We were told, although I missed it, that the orange arrows were for the long course, and the pink arrows were for the short course.  I didn’t even know there were any arrows at all until about halfway through the ride.

So, after starting at the back of the pack, I passed a handful of people.  Then I realized my left crank was loose (man, there are so many jokes I could come up with here…).  I had to stop twice to tighten it down.  A few people passed me during the maintenance stops, and I found myself completely alone for most of the ride.

Gravel Road Ride - Burley Joe Dirt

Self-portrait near the top of a long, hard climb

At first I thought it sucked to be riding by myself.  Then as I settled into a groove and the sun came out, I loved it.  It was so peaceful, and the weather was simply perfect.  I think I only saw two cars, and the scenery was unbelievable. The hills were painfully long and steep, but the views were worth the effort (although I had to get off and walk a couple of times).

Joe Dirt Gravel Road Ride View with Bike

typical scenery on this gravel road ride

Well, I had apparently missed the orange arrows that pointed the way to the longer ride, and I ended up doing the shorter ride.  After passing a couple of people at the end, I rolled back into the parking lot in around 2 hours, and my bike computer said 16.25 miles.  I was a little disappointed, so I just turned around and started to ride the short course backwards.  I figured I’d ride 5 miles out and then turn around to get my total mileage around the 27 miles that I had planned on doing.

It was actually very cool to see the really fast guys coming the other way as they finished the long course.  I soon ran into Nick and Corey finishing the long course.  Corey decided to ride with me for a little bit in the opposite direction to see if he could find his girlfriend, Noelle.

Scardick on Joe Dirt Ride

Corey "Scardick" Case

We soon ran into Noelle and her riding partners, Dana and Pam.  They had a couple of bike issues, but they were all rockin’ the short course.

Noelle on the Joe Dirt Ride

Noelle

Pam and Dana Joe Dirt

Pam and Dana

We thought about waiting for Bob and Cara, but the ladies hadn’t seen them in quite awhile.  We thought they may have turned back, so we figured we’d go ahead and turn back.

I had ridden 6 miles in the opposite direction, so it was 6 miles back to the parking lot.  Apparently, my computer wasn’t working right at the beginning of the day, because everyone else clocked the short course at right around 20 miles.  So, I ended up doing around 32 miles altogether in a little over 3 hours.  Not bad for me.

We got back to the lot, and Bob and Cara weren’t there.  We talked about the ride for a little bit, and while I was standing there holding my bike upright by the saddle, we heard an eardrum-shattering explosion.  The ladies jumped back about 10 feet, and I may have wet myself – just a little bit.  My front tire just exploded – literally.

exploded bike tire

Shreded Tire after the Explosion

The bead of the tire was completely shredded and the tube had a 6 inch gash in it where it blew out.  I’m not sure what in the hell caused it, but I was very thankful that it didn’t happen while I hit over 30 mph on some of the bomber downhills!

After saying goodbye to Corey and his gang, I hopped in my Explorer and headed back out to make sure Bob and Cara were okay.  I only got about a mile and a half when I saw them.  Cara looked pretty cooked, but she was still smiling.  She thought about hopping in the car with me, but I assured her that she was very close and most what was left was downhill.  So she finished the ride.  Pretty damn impressive.

Bob and Cara at the Joe Dirt Ride

Bob and Cara

So, all in all it was a great day.  Perfect weather, fantastic scenery, huge hills, no traffic, and great friends.  What more could a guy ask for?

Point of No Return – From Clydsedale Racer to Chippendales Dancer

Alright… This is going to get ugly… And I mean really ugly. I’m talkin’ Rosie O’Donnell-With-No-Makeup-Ugly.  But this is just something I’ve got to do.  I have no choice.  My good friend and Teammate, Bob Jenkins, has burned his ships on the shores of his enemy.  And now I’m ready to up the ante, so to speak.  I have to do something to hold myself accountable.  So here goes…

Once upon a time, I actually had abs.  No, seriously.  I really did.  Please stop laughing.  And I mean abs that you could actually see.  In fact, I was so shredded that I even had back-abs.  Okay, that’s not true.  Seriously, though, I used to be in really good shape.  Unfortunately, I got fat and lazy.  Actually, I guess I got lazy and then I got fat, but the two seem to go hand in hand.  In fact, someone actually once told me, “You look like you used to work out.”  Wow… That isn’t exactly a compliment, is it?

Over the last few years, my weight has fluctuated from 246.5 (my heaviest weight ever) down to 193, back up to 230, back down to 200, back up to 230, back down to 200…  It seems like every time I got close to my goal weight, I would just start to slowly slip back into my lazy, french-fry eating ways (Damn, I love fries!!!).

Well, I did it again.  As of January 4th, 2010, I was back up to 230 pounds again.  I am disgusted.  I am disappointed.  And I AM DONE!  I figured if I posted a picture of me on this blog and vowed to post a picture of me every month, then I’d have to make some serious changes – and STICK WITH IT.  Oh, I forgot to mention that I’d be topless in the pics.

So, this is gonna be hard, but I don’t care.  I have to do it.  So, here’s a warning.  If you have a weak stomach, then please don’t scroll down any farther.  If you couldn’t watch Bear Grylls squeeze water out of an elephant turd into his mouth, then you’d better not read on.  If you had to hide your eyes when Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods ate this, then you should really stop right now.  I’ll wait while you find another post to read on our site…

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You’re still with me?  Wow, you are a sicko, aren’t you?  Okay then.  I warned you.  This is your last chance to turn away before having an image of me without a shirt, burned into your mind permanently.  If you’re okay with that, then here goes:

Fat Luke

Fat Luke on 01/06/10 - Weight was 227

Fat Luke from the side - 01/06/10

Fat Luke from the side

Fat Luke's Back

From Back Abs to Back Fat - 01/06/10

So, there you have it.  I hope you don’t have too much trouble picking the chunks of vomit out of your keyboard.  Don’t blame me, though, because I warned you.

I’m already down to 222 as of this morning, so I’m on my way.  I’d like to get below 200 pounds by May 1st, which just so happens to be the date of Syllamo’s Revenge.  I still can’t believe I signed up for this thing.  I figure if I’m gonna ride 50 miles of single track in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, then I’d better no longer be a “Clydesdale.”  And, who knows?  If I end up getting Back abs, then I just might start a career as a Chippendales dancer (If you click that link, that’s me on the right and my future self on the left – hopefully without the poofy mullet).

So, that’s my goal.  Lose 22 more pounds in a little over 15 weeks AND KEEP IT OFF.  No problem, right?

Go ahead and make fun of me in the comments section.  Call me lard-ass.  Tell me how disgusted you are at the sight of me.  Tell me I’ll never make it.  I don’t care anymore.  The time is now.  As Bob said in his blog, “Failure is my motivation, and the tank is full.  Please……please doubt me. Oh, I love it when they doubt me.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Leadville Ain’t Got Nothin’ on The Arrowhead 135

Well, okay… That might not be true.  The Leadville 100 and the Arrowhead 135 are completely different races.  For some odd reason, though, I am more drawn to the Arrowhead 135.  It is a winter race in Minnesota.  Yah, it gets really freakin’ cold up there in the Winter, dontcha know? (Sorry to all of our Minnesotan readers).

Arrowhead 135 Winter Race

Seriously, though.  You need to check this race out.  You can do the race on foot, ski, or bike, and you cover 135 miles of snow/ice covered terrain in temps ranging from 15 degrees to negative 20-something or lower.  There is a 60 hour cutoff, and you are almost completely self-supported.  The only support you get is at 3 check-in stations (although one of them is a small tipi that offers little warmth or space) where you can warm up and re-stock your food and water.

To get a real feel for the race with some incredible photos, check out this guy’s race report.  It is an amazing write-up with incredible pics.  Another good write-up from the guy that took 3rd place in 2009’s race can be found right here (Note: He also competed in the ’09 Bonk Hard Chill and will be competing in the Chill again this year).

This year’s race is happening on Feb 1st through the 3rd, so I don’ t think we’ll be ready for that one.  What do you think?  Actually, I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready for this race – not only from a physical/psychological side of things, but from a gear/monetary side of things as well.

I checked out some of the gear these guys used during this race, and it gets pretty damn expensive in a hurry.  Some of the gear is pretty sweet, though, especially the cold-weather gear bags made by Epic Designs.  I would also need a new bike.  I would love to get a Surly Pugsley.

Isn't this thing sweet?

I think Moots makes a bike that uses the super-fat Endomorph 3.7 tires.  I haven’t looked into it, though.  I’d also need a new sleeping bag, bivy sac, and pretty much an entire wardrobe of cold-weather biking clothes.  Plus there’s the $200.00 entry fee, and the costs associated with getting there and back, lodging, and food.  On top of all of that, we’d have to train longer and harder than we ever have.  But other than that, I say we should do this.

Since I’m not independently wealthy, and we don’t have any major sponsorship deals – YET – I think I’ll just have to dream about it.  Maybe some day…  Maybe…  How about you guys?  Anyone else interested?

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