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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.


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.

CAC Attack!

As Bob noted in his last post, the best adventure non-race in the world, Carnage at the Creek (CAC), will happen again in 2013.  We aren’t quite sure on the date yet, but we’ll keep you posted on that front.  What I want to share with you today, though, is pretty disturbing.

It has come to our attention that our beloved CAC had come under a vicious and unprovoked attack.  No, I’m not kidding.  And I know what you’re thinking:

But how could this be?

Who would possibly attack a CAC that has given so many people pleasure?

I thought everyone loved CAC.

Well, that’s what we thought too.  But take a look at this:

Clearly, Todd from Whiskey Tango Foxtrot has some issues with the 2012 version of the CAC.  I’d like to defend my CAC since it is so precious to me.  So please watch the video above and then read my point-by-point rebuttal below.

Point 1: The Hike-a-Bike Section – This section may not have been “fun.”  I can admit that.  However, there are always parts of every adventure race where you think, “This sucks.  I’m never doing this again.”  But then you look back at it later and realize it was awesome… Unless you’re a wimpy Packers fan like Todd is.

Point 2: Getting Lost On the Way to the Race – Out of all the racers, volunteers, and super sexy race directors – over 30 people in all – only two people got lost.  Can you guess who they were?  I’ll give you a hint: Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.  That’s right, Brian and Todd. (And I love the fact that Todd risked his life for this shot.)

Point 3: Local Turkey Hunters – Well, there isn’t much to say about this one.  Yes, it was turkey season.  Yes, there was one disgruntled hunter.  But he was probably more irritated with the 200 Bushcrafters in the area that weekend.  Besides, it’s not like anyone was shot.

Point 4: Ticks in MO – Missouri isn’t the only state with ticks.  Maybe Todd had more than his fair share of ticks, but that’s understandable.  Everyone knows that Ticks are attracted to high levels of estrogen. (Todd’s rockin’ a sweet hat, by the way.)

Point 5: SuperKate Sleeps Like a Baby – Okay, I can’t really say anything about this one either.  I’ve heard her snore, and it’s amazing that such a delicate, little flower could produce such a horrendous sound.  Perhaps she’s developed sleep apnea in her old age.

Point 6: Proximity of Jefferson City to Iowa – Nothing I can do about this one.  Maybe if someone put on an adventure non-race in Iowa, we would travel to that hell-hole.

Point 7: Snakes – It’s common knowledge that snakes, like ticks, are attracted to estrogen.  (A very nice touch sitting on the toilet in this shot.)

Point 8: Bad Singletrack – I don’t get this one.  I think the singletrack is easy and fun, but I guess I have a basic understanding of how my bike works and at least a modicum of athletic ability.

Point 9: Half-Priced Beef – I ate this questionable meat, and it truly was delicious.  And I didn’t get sick.  Man up, Todd. (That brownie looked delicious in this scene.)

Point 10: Bob Jenkins and Lukas Lamb are Sick SOB’s – What can I say?  We tried to emulate the sickest, most sadistic race director we know – Gerry Voelliger.

Point 11: Smelly Rowboats – Coming from someone who lives in the middle of Iowa, a state most well-known for the stench of pig poop, this makes no sense.

Point 12: ??????? – There was no point #12, but don’t think I didn’t notice that hideous Cheese Head in this shot.  You’ll pay, Todd Garrison.  Oh, you’ll pay.

Porn Stache

I think this weak attempt at a stache is Todd’s way of compensating for lacking in other areas.

Obviously, all of Todd’s issues with our CAC are unfounded.  For the rest of you, don’t worry.  The CAC will be back sometime in April (probably) 2013.  It will be bigger, longer, harder, and, as Todd said, maybe even bushier.  Please don’t listen to Todd.  He clearly has a case of CAC-envy.




Monstercross pre-ride:

It has long been a goal of mine to put together a kickass Monstercross course. Over the last several months I’ve scouted most of the gravel in Callaway county and a large portion of the Cedar creek trail. This is all in hopes of creating a 50 and/or 100 mile course. This report is a chronicling of our most recent trip into the unknown.

Mountain Feedbag and ipod: required gravel-riding gear

Sunday’s scouting ride was supposed to be 40-ish miles long…more on that later. Adam and I rolled out from Dos Primos at around 9am, and it wasn’t long before we were riding North on County Road 363.

Familiar territory, this is the first leg of the Dirty Jenkins

The weather was absolutely magnificent. Seriously, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the high-temp was only going to be around 80 degrees. Perfect weather for anything, except working or cleaning the house. Laundry be damned, we had more important things to do.

Adam's got a fancy system for his earbuds

For those unfamiliar with the Cedar Creek trail system, do yourself a favor and print this map.  (It’s a friggin’ nightmare to find online.) A combination of singletrack and gravel roads, the trail system is largely unused. When you’re out there you almost never run into another person. The trails are pretty nice, save for a few sections that have been horse-trampled.  From 363, we turned left onto 364 and followed it all the way to the National Forest entrance. Once you’re through the gate, you get ride through stuff like this:

What, this doesn't impress you?

Follow those tracks for a while and you’ll eventually come to this opening:

That yellow dot is Adam leaving me behind. What a dick.

From that hill, it’s only a short ride until a steep piece of downhill singletrack drops you onto the gravel of Burnett School road. Burnett School road becomes Shelton road as it snakes Northward. This section is almost all uphill, but the view on either side of the road is a welcome distraction from the effort you’re putting forth to get up the climb.

Adam climbs Shelton road like a hoss

About 100 yards before you get to Hwy Y, theres’ an area on the right that has been mown down. This is actually a part of Cedar Creek trail, which was put there to keep people from having to ride on Hwy Y. Very thoughtful, in my opinion.

This connector puts you straight across the street from "Bob Veach Rd."

That connector will put you straight across the street from Bob Veach road. Bob Veach Road is a relatively flat piece of gravel with a few rolling hills. It goes almost straight North for several miles.

Not a single cloud in the sky.

There are a few nice houses and a couple of families who are really into horses. It’s not uncommon to see people out here just riding around on horseback.

17-ish miles into the ride

Eventually you’ll see a sign for Clinkenbeard rd. This is where you wanna hang a left.

You dont wanna miss this turn. Trust me.

Clinkenbeard has a few more climbs, but nothing too earth-shattering. Eventually, you intersect Engelwood road, where you turn right and immediately turn left onto Johnson Cemetry rd. At this time you will be promptly attacked by two asshole dogs. Bring your dog spray or a pistol, I know I will next time.

Johnson Cemetery rd runs into Ginn Lane, where you take a left. Ginn Lane has got some nasty climbs and a twisty downhill that’ll streak your chamois if you don’t tap the brakes. This is a fun road.

A pretty pic, but we all know pics dont do justice

Barnes Chapel road leads you to the Moon Loop Trailhead, and this is where Monstercross truly begins.

Moon Loop is marked with Yellow Diamonds

***A little bit of history on the Moon Loop: When the US Forest Service took ownership of this area in the 1930’s, the area was so eroded that it looked like the surface of the Moon. Hence the name “Moon Loop” . ****

Anyhow, Adam and I made our way into the woods and commenced the taint-bashing experience that is riding a cross bike on singletrack. The first 100 yards or so is pretty bumpy, but then it opens up.

Ahhhhh...the glory of MONSTERCROSS!!!

The “open-air” type of trail soon ends and you find yourself riding through a very nice piece of our National Forest.

It doesnt get much better than this.

Every good cyclocross course has barriers, and this one will be no exception. There are a number of “barriers” out there, and when this race finally happens you will come to love each and every one of them.

"Natural" barriers

A run-up is a staple item for any decent cross course, so it’s only natural that a Monstercross course has one or two of them. We crossed a dry creek, and on the other side is a steep “run-up” past the old Mill Site.

Fat guys don't enjoy run-ups

Towards the end of the trail, Adam smacked a hidden log and went for a little trip over the handlebars. It was awesome, and I made him stay in the thorns until I got this picture.

I may or may not have laughed my ass off.

Truly great race-courses don’t happen on accident. It takes a lot of careful planning and scouting….and getting lost. Somehow, we wound up back at the trailhead, having done the entire loop instead of only the first 3 miles like we’d planned. To say I was frustrated would be a serious understatement.

We were both running pretty short on water at this point, but we got lucky when we found the water spigot in front of Barnes Chapel Church.

We would've been pretty screwed if we hadnt found this water.

By now we were both feeling a bit drained, so we opted to alter the route. There would be no more scouting of virgin trail today, the smart thing to do was take our candy asses back to the gravel and head for Highway J. Along the way, we stopped to take a leak, (read: I had to walk the hill) and Adam found a McDonald’s cup with 2 Monopoly stickers still on it. He was rewarded with a coupon for a free 1/4 pounder with cheese.

Proof that only assholes win at Monopoly

After crossing Rutherford Bridge, we took a left and headed up county rd 354. This is a super-shitty piece of road that we will not likely include on raceday. The one highlight to this piece of road is when you get to ride past the home of a very “Shrek-like” guy who REALLY doesn’t want you trespassing on his land. Check out the sign in his front yard.


I’d really like to get a closer shot of that sign, but I’m pretty sure this asshole is just dying for an excuse to shoot someone. Just in case you’re curious, this is how it reads:

Property owner will shoot to kill any man woman or child dispensing weaponry toward this property

Said owner will engage and subdue anyone dispensing weaponry within 150 yards of said property

No Trespassing

Unwelcome domestic animals are killed

No aid now available to distressed National Forest visitors

Someone must have really pissed that guy off. The funny thing is that I’m pretty sure he spent more time working on the sign than he did on his house. One whole side of his house doesn’t even have siding on it, just plastic-wrap.

Once we hit Highway J, we rode pavement all the way back to New Bloomfield. I dont know about Adam, but my ass was dragging pretty bad at this point. I must’ve eaten a bad snack or something, because my stomach was all kinds of messed up. When we finally made it t0 a gas station, I got some beef jerky and Coca Cola. I thought the sugar would calm my stomach down…I was wrong. I walked out of the gas station and promptly vomited 2 cans of coke and a bag of beef jerky. And while that was disgusting, it was even more disgusting that Adam took no pictures. I think you know what that means.

After I got all the puking handled, we were back on the road…headed for that glorious plate of shrimp nachos at the end of the rainbow. At the end of the day the cyclometer showed 56 miles, but that doesn’t account for any of the hike-a-biking or tree-hurdling we did out there.

Paved roads are so much easier to ride than gravel

It was a day full of triumph and failure, but the greatest shock didn’t happen for me until we got to Dos Primos. I ordered a pitcher of beer and my beloved shrimp nachos….then couldn’t eat or drink any of it. After barfing jerky and coke, the prospect of a followup performance with shrimp and beer was too much, even for me. Luckily, Adam fell short on the photo-taking once again..thus saving me years of embarrassment.

The next day, I went out there and figured out where we went wrong. We missed the connector, but if the trail were better marked, we wouldn’t have had any problems.  I have since “re-marked” the connector, and am looking forward to scouting/pre-riding this course again very soon. When this race-course finally comes to fruition, you better be there and you better pack a lunch.

Team Virtus Non-race #2: The Deuce

The 2nd annual Team Virtus adventure non-race, (“The Deuce”), has come and gone. For those who came to volunteer, non-race, or stand around waiting for your husbands to finish.. I’d like to extend a very sincere THANK YOU.  Thank you for coming out and supporting local, FREE racing. Good people with positive attitudes are what non-racing is all about, and we hope you’ll all come back next time.


Who would have thought organizing an adventure race could be so much fun AND such a pain in the ass?  I mean, seriously!! I think we all had our moments of anxiety before and during the Deuce……

Planning an Adventure Race

EFF Word!! Eff word REALLY LOUD!!

…. but now that it’s over I think we can all agree it was a success. And since we’re shameless self-promoters, we thought it’d be fun to give you a behind-the-scenes look at how we set things up.

Setting the course was a lot of fun. Late in the summer last year I found a substantial piece of National Forest land about 10 minutes from my house. On my days off, I’d just go out there and walk around. It didn’t take long to compile a list of “cool stuff” we wanted to include in the race, and it was also nice to watch my dogs roll around in every disgusting mudhole they could find.

Course markers are super-expensive if you buy the good ones, so we decided to make our own.  I think we spent $8 on spray-paint and twine to come up with all our 31 checkpoints. Each non-racer would be given a small notebook and an ink-pen to record the images we put on each control.

Yeah, so the paint came off.... big deal. 

Each racer was provided with a series of maps with pre-plotted checkpoints. They were also given maps specific to the Cedar Creek Trail and Pine Ridge Conservation area. These additional maps would prove to be very beneficial to anyone wise enough to use them. (**Coughs while pointing at Phil & Corey**) 

On the morning of the non-race, I was very nervous about whether or not anyone would actually show up. We had really poured ourselves into planning this thing, and it would’ve been a huge let-down if noone showed up. I passed the time by amassing our pile of schwag on a dinner table in my driveway, and drinking coffee next to my fire-pit.

Adventure Racing Schwag

We didn’t technically have any sponsors  for this race, but we did have some really good friends help us out. Nick Smith, (Owner of Redwheel Bike Shop), was generous enough to donate two $20 gift certificates. In addition to that, he sold us  a great deal of cycling gear for a heavily discounted price. The Brickhouse Deli also gave us a $10 gift certificate and sold me a few sandwiches on the cheap. The schwag was legit, we had about $300 worth of stuff to give away.

People started showing up and I could finally breathe a little. It looked like we would have 2 solos and 2 teams of two competing this year, and that was AWESOME!!  I can’t remember who drove the furthest, but I know the majority of our non-racers lived a few hours away. Jim and Wendy Davis had planned on being there, but ran into some issues finding a baby sitter. We had also hoped for more local kids to show up, but there’s always next time.

Travis Hammons from Offroad Medics showed up along with his professional support team made up of his wife and son.

Travis Hammons

Here we see Mr. Derrick Boos from Orange Lederhosen along with his better half, Emma.

Derrick from Orange Lederhosen

Another impressive  fact is that we had just as many volunteers as we had racers!!! Phenomenal!! We actually had more help than we needed, so we called Drew at the last minute and told him to save himself a trip all the way to Holts Summit. Big thanks to him for being available to volunteer, and sorry to him for not letting him know sooner that his services were not needed.  Having so many helping hands really made the event run seamlessly. My mom even showed up with bananas, oranges and granola:)

 Mrs. Jenkins - AKA the best volunteer EVER!

My mom is awesome, just in case anyone was wondering. She’s also married, so don’t try any bullshit.

Everybody gathered around the fire while I explained the rules and did my best to look important. Non-race directing is serious business, so I made sure to wear clean underwear that morning. Gotta be profesional..

I’ll tell you one thing Team Virtus doesn’t waste money on, and that’s a starting line. For a non-race called the Deuce, it only seemed appropriate that the start/finsh line be a brown smudge:

Relax, it’s only some mud from my yard.
Starting time was fast approaching, so we got everyone lined up and started the countdown.

Obviously we’re going to have to figure out a more glorious way to start the race next time. A simple “GO” and honking my horn just didn’t seem to get people motivated….so I took off running down the road, leading everyone on their way to non-racing glory. The Deuce had officially crowned!!

Sometimes running while honking a horn can land you in an awkward “kodak moment”

It’s disturbing, I know.

Robby and I hopped in the car and made way for CP3, which had been named “WTF died here?” The CP was right next to some roadkill and needed a bit of touching up. I’m sure you’re wondering what I mean by that. Well….we’d seen a dead skunk near my house, and thought it would be funny to add it to the checkpoint. We put our little friend in a Wal-Mart bag and hung him off the bike-rack. A short drive later, we added him to the CP and took a photo:

I’m sure the skunk would have been glad to know his life served a greater purpose. He looked really happy to be part of the non-race. Just look at that fanged smile!!

As we drove along, we got to see how our non-racers were faring on the gravel section of the first bike leg. The weather couldn’t have been better. Things were really looking good for the Deuce.

I believe corey and Phil got to CP 1 first:

Derrick seemed to appreciate the coolness of CP 1, named “Big Brother”. It’s a giant revolving radio-tower of some kind. Apparently he found some cool stickers there as well. You just never know what might happen at a non-race.

As I was driving past, I got to witness Corey & Phil’s first navigational blunder of the day.

I guess someone should’ve put a giant yellow sign next to the road that says “DEAD END“. Oh, wait…it’s already there.
**Pause 10 seconds for awkward silence.**

After a brief conversation with “Snail Trail”, I was back on the road. I’m not sure, but I think Corey was trying to draft the car:

After that, Robby and I headed to Pine Ridge campground to meet up with the rest of the volunteers. The campground served as a transition area for 2 key points during the race, so it was important to have food and water there. Our volunteers were doing a great job and things seemed to be in order, so Robby, Darin and I headed over to set up the 2nd mystery event.

Most adventure races include some form of paddling, but we don’t have the resources for all that. Canoes, insurance, medical staff, pfd’s… not on our salaries. We had to get creative for this one.

Check. it. out.

I bet you’ll never see that shit at a Bonk Hard race, and if you do you’ll know it was TV inspired. We stretched a length of rope across the pond and staked down both ends. If you wanted to get this CP, you had to get in the Flytepacker and pull yourself across. In the above photo, Robby demonstrates the proper way to cross the pond. Look at that form!!

If you look at that pic and the photos below, you’ll notice  that everyone who did this event seemed to have one thing in common….see if you can figure out what it was:

I wish I could’ve been there to watch, but there was too much other stuff to do. Lucky for us, Darin volunteered to oversee the mystery event and take a lot of pictures. He was also kind enough to tear it all down after the race and drop everything off at my house. Rumor has it, he was also passing out full-size Snickers bars to anyone who wanted one. Helluva team-mate, that guy.

When I got back to the campground/TA, I was happy to see that everyone had made it to the first transition. Muddy bikes littered the campground while checkpoint “Pain-Train” rested in the background.

The volunteers said everyone seemed to be having a good time, and aside from Phil and Corey intentionally riding a couple extra miles to see if the people following them were in good shape,” noone was having much difficulty with the navigation. This was great news, but it meant that I had missed watching everybody attempt the first mystery event…

This mystery event was Luke’s brainchild, and I think it’s a testament to him being a sick, sick bastard. By the time non-racers made it to the Prowler sled, they had already burned some pretty serious calories. Nevertheless, they were required to push the sled, (weighted w/ 90 lbs), around the campground’s turn-around area. 1 lap per team-member.


I guess it’s a good thing my mom had a bunch of food and Gatorade laid out nearby. Kate seems to be happy about it.

After pushing the sled, racers headed back into the woods for an orienteering leg. This section of the course was added  at the last minute because Luke and I were afraid the course may be too short. We would later regret this decision, but we’re glad  people got to see more of the park. Most of the controls were close to the Cedar Creek trail, which was detailed on one of the “extra” maps we provided before the race.

It’s hard to see, but if you look closely you can see two property lines of either side of the trail in that photo. The barb-wire fence is wrapped around a tree just to Kate’s left, and our control is hanging from a tree along the property line just to travis’s right. The Cedar Creek trail passes through a space no more than 10-feet wide between these 2 property lines. Pretty damn cool if you ask me.

By now, some of the racers were showing signs of fatigue. They had ridden approximately 15 miles and hiked 3-5. Travis was clearly experiencing a flurry of different emotions…




It wouldn’t be a true adventure race if we didn’t showcase some of the area’s historic landmarks. Here, we see Kate next to the old Nevins homestead. There’s a trail that leads straight to it, so if you’re ever in the Pine Ridge Ranger District area you should check it out. Lots of cool stuff out there.

Once they got the O-section cleared, teams made their way back to the T/A to get their bikes. Everybody seemed to be having a good time, and my nerves were finally starting to settle down. Most people were glad to see the food/gatorade station too, and a few of them paused here to refuel and chill for a bit. Robby and I were already hard at work making sure the beer we were providing at the finish line was fresh and tasty.

If you look at that photo, you’ll notice Emma using a stick as a crutch. She twisted her ankle early in the day while volunteering at the race. You’ll also notice that Kate’s about to head-butt me in the ass… I’m not sure what that’s all about.

I guess it was all the stress and caffeine that forced me to take a break from non-race directing so I could handle other, more important business…

Apparently I wasn’t hidden in the woods as well as I thought. As you can see from the photo below, this was clearly a disturbing sight. Even young Ethan seems mortified…

…Sorry, mom.

After leaving the TA, non-racers rode a short connector trail leading them southward to the next o-section. There was a large tree fallen across the trail, so Robby and I took turns beating the shit out of it until it finally broke into small enough pieces to clear from the trail. We got it finished just in time, and took the opportunity to get a few quality photos.

I like how you can see the chunks of wood in the background of that photo. We worked our asses off getting that thing off the trail!!

Here’s another good shot of Super Kate, who had run 21 miles the previous day:

It was obvious by now that the race was going to take a lot longer than we had planned. We had hoped everyone would be finishing in a 6-8 hour time frame, but that wasn’t going to happen. Most everyone had to skip over the 2nd orienteering section in order to finish before dark. This was especially disappointing since so much work had gone into laying out this section of the race. There was a lot of scenic real-estate people didn’t get to see, and that kinda sucked. I REALLY wish you guys could’ve done that section. I guess the good news is that we can use those same checkpoints for a later non-race.

I received word that our good friend Travis Hammons had suffered a catastrophic bicycle malfunction involving his front derailleur. The poor guy rode several miles of gravel in his granny-gear before I tracked him down and drove him to the finish. I can only hope he enjoyed the parts of the race he got to experience.

Team Snail Trail ran into some issues of their own. Navigational blunders and  repeated flat tires crushed their hopes of Deuce victory, and they too had to take a DNF.  The good news is that Team Virtus never leaves a man behind, so we sent out a car to pick them up and return them to race HQ. At least the Fail Trail would be ridden from the comfort of a heated vehicle. On the ride home, there was a bit of discussion as to the accuracy of our maps and where the CP’s were plotted. I assured Corey & Phil that each checkpoint had been triple-checked with a GPS to ensure accuracy and that the additional trail maps we provided before the race would have been very helpful. It got really quiet in the car, but the smell was one I won’t soon forget.

When I dropped the guys off, we discovered that someone had stolen a cyclocross bike right off the back of Corey’s truck earlier in the day. Right away, those of us at HQ set out to find it. Our efforts were fruitless and it was a blight on an otherwise great day. I really hated to have this happen. We put a lot of work into making this a fun event and it’s a shame that some asshole tried to take a shit on the Deuce. If you’re the thief and you’re reading this report, fuck you.

Meanwhile, the last 3 non-racers were still out on the course battling it out for first place. After leaving the 2nd mystery event, they followed a piece of singletrack to a gravel road. The road goes sharply downhill to a bridge, where the next CP was tucked away.

We had to put the marker somewhere less visible, so it wouldn’t be stolen or tampered with. We dropped it about 10 feet below the bridge on a piece of string. After they got this checkpoint, racers had to turn around and go right back up the giant hill we sent them down. We did it just to be assholes:)

From there, there was a series of moderately challenging gravel climbs until a casual 8-mile gravel ride to the finish. I believe Derrick was the first non-racer to cross the brown smudge and claim the title of “Deucemaster”. This isn’t the best finish-line photo we’ve ever seen, but it’s clear that Mr. Boos is ready to load up his gear and grab a cold beer.

It couldn’t have been longer than a minute before Luke and Kate came rolling through the finish. Now here’s a woman who knows how to have a photo taken:

I will mention once more that Kate ran 21 miles the day before this non-race. Seriously, she’s  a brunette version of Wendy Davis. We’re currently begging Kate to race with us in a 4-person co-ed AR later this year. We offered her a $50,000 sign-on bonus, so we’ll see what happens there. If we can get her signed on, all we have to do is get her a  big enough pack to carry all of our stuff. Very impressive woman, that one.

Becca and Otis seemed pretty happy to see their old man at the finish line. It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t mention that Becca was kind enough to bring a cooler FULL of foil-wrapped baked potatoes for anyone volunteering or racing. Did I mention she also brought a huge crockpot of rotel dip?  That’s what I call finish-line food!! Thank you Becca.

 So now that everyone’s race was done, it was time to sit around and drink a beer or two. Or twelve. A lot of people had brought food for after the race, so we had quite the spread. I have no idea why we don’t have photos of the food, but I definitely remember eating  a heavy plate of Ro-tel and nachos with my baked potato. Here we see everyone chilling out while Corey fills out a police report for his stolen bike. Phil and Travis had to leave early, so we went ahead and drank their beer for them.

What happened next was something that Luke and I had been anticipating for months. Ever since we started racing, we have always thought it would be great if there were some sort of award for the people who don’t “win”. I think we’d all like to run 4-minute miles and ride 100 miles in 5 hours, but that’s not reality for most people. We’ve always had more respect for the teams who beat the cutoff by 10 seconds sprinting it out for 47th place.  After all, if you finish a 12 hour endurance race in 6 hours, what have you really endured?

So, we decided to create such an accolade. We would select the racer or team we thought had shown the most “Virtus-like” behavior and present them with a trophy.  But what would the trophy be? The answer was simple… a Beaver Stick. Next, the trophy would have to have a cool name. This was something we worked on for quite a while. We wanted the name to represent our team, BUT we also needed it to have a Deuce-related theme. I believe it was Luke who finally concluded that the name would be………the SHAT.

S.H.A.T. stands for “Strength and Honor Achievement Trophy. I know, it’s totally badass, right?

Speaking of badass…check out this photo.

After the non-race was over, Luke and I spoke briefly about who deserved the SHAT the most. Between Kate and Derrick, I just didn’t know, and neither did he. Each racer had shown a rock-solid positive attitude all day. There was simply no way to choose one person over the other, so we decided to change the rules. The Deuce would have 2 SHAT winners. We gave Kate the Beaver Stick, and told Derrick he could go to The Brick House Deli and choose his own Beaver Stick. All he had to do was tell them he needed the Team Virtus discount. It all worked out perfectly.

After everyone left, Luke and I reflected on the day’s events and talked about what we can do to make next year’s non-race even better. I think our biggest opportunity for improvement will be judging how long the course takes to complete, cuz  we definitely screwed that up. That being said, we’d much rather have the race be too long than too short. I believe Luke got some info from Kelly Sumner from Off Road Fixation for solving this problem, so it shouldn’t happen again.

All things considered, the Deuce was a great success. From a non-racer’s stand-point, the race was FREE, we had more schwag than we could give away, the course was legit, and everyone left for home with a full stomach and a story to tell. We even offered shower services, for crying out loud. Depending on how you look at it, you might even say that someone got a free cyclocross bike at our race, but I guess that’s not really funny.

From a Team Virtus stand-point, we worked together to create an event we can all be very proud of. Each member of the team, present on raceday or not, contributed in some way. Except Adam…he was with his girlfriend at some kind of couples retreat. What an asshole. Adam, you’re fired from the team until further notice.

I love doing that.

I have to say that directing a non-race was pretty stressful. The planning, the agonizing over what CP’s to keep and which ones to get rid of, where to put transition areas, hoping the weather would hold, worrying if the race would be lame…it took its toll on my nerves in the days leading up to the race. I had a lot of anxiety about whether or not people would even show up, and then when they did show up I was nervous about whether or not they were having fun. After the nerves wore off and I could see that things were going smoothly, I really enjoyed myself. None of the positive things that happened on raceday would have been possible without my team-mates, friends and family. You guys are all awesome. I think the fact that we had so many volunteers is proof that people believe in what we’re doing, and I can’t wait to see how this thing grows.

Don’t forget to read Kate’s report, and check out the rest of the photos here and here.

Be there next time, cuz all of your friends will be:)

Prelude Deuce Report

3 years ago I “competed” in the first annual CXMAS non-race put on by our friends at Team Seagal. It was 8 degrees below zero with the windchill and when my sweat got into the fabric of my jacket, it actually froze. It was certainly an epic ride, and one I’ll likely never forget. All non-racers were rewarded for their efforts with one of these:


That, my friends is a spoke-card. I like to think of it as a cool scar; something that shows where my bike and I have been and what we’ve done. I look at that photo and I’m able to recount the day’s events: the bitter cold, the bomber downhills, and trying to draft Pete Goode for 10 miles down the Katy Trail. Mostly, I remember being impressed at how the members of Team Seagal functioned as a unit to make the event so seamless.

The Godfathers of non-racing. Matching jackets and everything!!!

A spoke card wasn’t all I got that day. I left with a free PBR hat, PBR t-shirt and 12 pack of beer. Needless to say, I was a happy camper. There were something like 25 riders that year. Sadly, I took no photos.

 In 2009, the race was anything but underground. Over 140 people showed up, donated money to GORC and had a great ride. Luke’s wife had a kidney stone, so he stayed home.

CXMAS is a festive painfest. Whiskey, cupcakes and bacon abound. I remember being offered various brands of delicious whiskey and enjoying them all…before the race even started. I don’t remember ever crashing, but I do remember being drunk, lost, and having nothing to drink other than a camelbak full of bourbon and Pepsi.  You might say I got a little bit dehydrated.

At long last, I came to the manned checkpoint where each rider had to drink at least one cup of eggnog. My good friends, Sir Mason Storm and “Lawman” Jim Davis were manning the cups, so I was obliged to hang out for a bit. They told me Nick Smith had the current nogg record at 5 cups. Well, I just couldn’t let that happen. I drank five and felt good, five more and I was feeling full. After 12, I knew i was eventually going to puke so I went for broke. After 15 cups of disgusting egg nog, I called it done, joined a group of riders and pedaled a few miles to the finish. Along the way…there was epic vomiting.

Mr Storm was raining eggnog. (See what I did there?)

When I crossed the finish line I was awarded with a pair of speakers for my efforts. I didn’t know it was a legit contest with prizes so I was thrilled, especially considering I was one of the last riders to clear the course.

Pictured here w/ Mike Bobelak who donated the speakers, Wendy on the left

Needless to say, CXMAS is a non-race I look forward to every year. The routes are always well planned, fun and challenging. The event is FREE, the schwag’s  endless and the beer is free. Sadly, Adam Hempelmann crushed my nogg record in 2010. Personally, I think it’s bullshit that any man with huge pectoral muscles and 6-pack abs is able to consume that much nogg in one sitting. He probably has an enormous penis too, the bastard.  I’ll get you in 2011, Hempelmann.

 A Team Seagal non-race is a lot like a family reunion, minus the fried chicken and awkward forgetting of names. You always leave with more friends than you came with, and there’s always a story to tell….a badass story about bourbon, bacon and the geysers of egg-nog I saw shooting out of Luke’s face last year. You should have seen it.

So why am I telling you this? Two reasons, actually:

1. So you will be at CXMAS next year.

2. To give credit where credit is due

Team Seagal brought non-racing to Missouri. We’re just trying to help carry the torch and spread the love. And now that your history lesson is over we can finally talk about “The Deuce”…..tomorrow.




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