Wednesday, January 25, 2012

New Western Nebraska Gravel Adventure Coming Soon!

You know, what with running Gravel Grinder News, I have to say that the number of gravel grinders are just growing with no sign of abating anytime soon. Just over the past month I've nearly added a third again as many events as I had before the Holidays on the site.

In another converging tangent to this, I have been hearing about a small, but passionate group of riders doing some amazing back road/gravel stuff in a place many think would be totally boring. Let me tell ya, nothing could be further from the truth!

Typical Western Nebraska terrain
I actually got to go out and see some of the stuff I am talking about for myself a few years back. Me and my buddy from Linclon, NE, MG went out on another mission, but suffice it to say that what you will find out there is nothing short of amazing.

Nebraska? Amazing? Hey.....ya gotta get offa the interstate! What a lot of folks don't realize is that I-80 follows a river valley. So yeah.....it is gonna be boring.

Just drive about five to ten miles in any direction perpendicular to that ribbon of mind numbing concrete and you'll find some undulating, scenic, challenging terrain perfect for exploration by bicycles. And that's exactly what some folks I know have been up to for several years out there in the western reaches of Nebraska.


They have been plying their trade in adventure cycling out there and realized that they have something to offer in terms of a gravel grinder type event. Talk has gone in ebbs and flows over the years. I remember some banter at one point about doing a companion event to Trans Iowa and the Dirty Kanza 200 and would have been part of a "Gravel Triple Crown". Heck, I know for a fact that ol' MG has been pushing for something like this for years. So, while this may be some news for most, I know some of us will be thinking, "bout time fellas!", and meaning that in a "hell yeah!" sort of way. We know how difficult these sort of deals are to put together, so you can't expect folks to just jump on putting together a 150 plus mile event.

More Nebraska gravelly goodness.

Yep, I said 150 plus miles! Maybe even close to 200. Details are being sorted now as I speak. They even have a name for this beast- but I'll let one of the "DSG Crew" guys, (the fellas that are involved with the event), tell ya direct-like:

"The "DSG" crew in Western Nebraska is working to put on a gravel grinder . . . but this one is different.  The terrain is varied and the route is very remote.  The overall mileage will be in the neighborhood of 180 miles.  We're still working out a lot of the details, but it will be in the self-supported spirit of races like the Trans-Iowa and Dirty Kanza.

The event will occur on June 30th with the pre race meeting on the 29th.  It will be based out of the small Nebraska town of Gothenburg, which has Swedish and Germanic roots.  In keeping with the local heritage, we're calling the race "Odin's Revenge".  Odin is the king of the Norse gods, known for seeking wisdom at great costs and inflicting suffering where necessary.  He's also associated with a number of other cool mythological elements, including being the father of Thor.


We plan to have a lot more information in the coming weeks, including a web presence, registrations details, course profile, etc."


Okay, so while this all sounds pretty rad, and there is a date and such mentioned, don't go and get yer panties in a bunch just yet. No registration has been announced, and I have zero idea how it all might play out other than to say that the first year will be limited to 75 folks. How they do the registration and roster cut off is their deal, and as yet, undetermined. 

But ya gotta be stoked about the possibilities of an event like this. The terrain will be remote, and the feeling will be much like the DK 200, only even more "western", if that makes any sense.   

When I know more, I'll let ya all know. Till then, stay tuned............. 

12 comments:

Exhausted_Auk said...

Last summer we set off on Hwy 20 west from Waterloo, and took it all the way across Nebraska and into Wyoming. It's quite a scenic highway. About 1/2 way across Nebraska, we camped at Smith Falls State Park, which boasts Nebraska's highest waterfall. OK, so the waterfall isn't huge (!), but the park is quite a hidden gem.

MG said...

I remember that trip well, my friend... It was a fun adventure, and let me tell ya', you aren't going to want to miss this event either. Based on what I've seen from the course maps and recon photos (race promoter) CQ's sent me, it looks like it'll be a lot of beautiful gravel roads... Many of which I've never ridden, so I'm stoked. It'll be a great way to use the fitness I've gained through my build-up to the Dirty Kanza 200 earlier in June... Excellent.

These guys are famously good hosts. It'll be worth the trip.

George said...

I've often thought that western Nebraska is a truly beautiful and under appreciated place.

Chad Q said...

Thanks for the promo guy's !!! I've been working on the course for a few years now. It finally is gonna happen!! Without the help of my fellow DSG crew members I couldn't do it. This will be a course that will be talked about for sure !! I hope to see you guy's here for the inaugural run!!
CQ

paxtoncoyote said...

It will be talked about in more ways than one I think, I'm glad to be a part of the evil scheming!

MG said...

Thats what I'm talkin' about...

Marc Pfister said...

Western Nebraska? Looks central to me, unless Nebraska is divided, from west to east, as "Panhandle", "Western", "Central", and "Lincoln".

Must be like the dividing line for "Northern California"...

Guitar Ted said...

@Marc: Sorry if I have offended your sense of Geography. I looked at Nebraska and see that Gothenburg falls on the western half, but if you want, I'll call it Central Nebraska.

Whatever you want to call it geographically, Gothenburg has that "western feel" to it, (as far as the surrounding countryside), and is actually slightly more west than Dodge City, Kansas, which I think anyone would say is "in the West".

But as I say, you can quibble about that all ya want. This event should be epic no matter what yer geographical perspective on the location is.

paxtoncoyote said...

most of us Nebraskans consider anything west of Kearney to be "west" but if we must sweat the details we can call it "west central" Nebraska & I think after riding some of this folks will definitely know "they're not in Kansas anymore...Toto!"

capn cowbell said...

Check odinsrevenge.blogspot for more info now.

Llama said...

Here's the link http://odinsrevenge.blogspot.com/

Scott Redd said...

Being from Omaha, I always thought of Lincoln and beyond as "western Nebraska." :)