Monday, June 29, 2015

Odin's Revenge Report: The Load Out

Gear pile
Note: I was absent from posting on these pages for the past two days since I was out of town riding at Odin's Revenge. What follows is going to be another one of my long-winded race reports, but first......

I want to thank the DSG Crew, Chad, Merrie, Matt, Garret, Bob, Paul, Kyle, and all else who lends a hand in putting on this spectacular event. I want to also extend a special thank you to all of you that mentioned that you read this blog regularly and have learned things from my writing, or just that you enjoy it as a part of your day. That means a lot to me. 

And now...... on with the show. 

Okay, so as with Dirty Kanza, I went out to Odin's with Tony in his nice Ford truck. We left rainy ol' Iowa for Nebraska at 8:00am sharp with excitement and expectations. We had our rigs prepared and sights set Westward.  Odin's Revenge, perhaps the antithesis of the Dirty Kanza 200 in almost every way, is a definite throwback, if one can use that term about gravel/backroad events, to the earlier days of the gravel scene. A time when events were smaller, less hyped, and more about the ride and the people in it. Not that "bigger", more hyped and produced rides aren't great, but Odin's reflects a different way of doing things that is appreciated by me and others that attend the event. Different flavors and all.... and that's a good thing.

Rainy ol' Iowa
Sunny ol' Nebraska
Anyway, we eventually ran into fantastic weather and the trip out was enjoyable, fast, and without fanfare. The traffic was pretty intense in places. I am always amazed at the volume of traffic on I-80. To me, it is something to be avoided unless efficiency is of utmost importance. But that's just me.......

And there's the turn off!

So, I know what many of you may be thinking- Nebraska? Flat! Boring!!

Bzzzzzt! Wrong answer. What many folks do not realize is that the interstate travels in the wide, yawning Platte River valley. You know- flat and boring? Go off that ribbon of concrete either North or South and you will discover a Nebraska you might just be surprised ever existed. Hilly, green grass for miles, canyons, and beauty that will take your breath away. Out here is where Odin's Revenge lives and breathes. It has a challenge for you that is tough as nails, and in my opinion, it is the toughest 100 plus mile gravel event anywhere.

The usually lazy, meandering Platte River was swollen to epic proportions due to Colorado's heavy Spring rain fall, so our usual meeting spot at the KOA Campground was not a viable meeting spot. Instead we met at an old, rustic steakhouse called Walker's Steakhouse. It turned out to be a fantastic place to have our gathering, and the food was really good. I almost expected a long-haired rock band to come out and do some covers of Bad Company and REO Speedwagon songs plugged into the early 70's era Kustom PA system sitting on the old stage there. It was one of those places that seemed like it should have the stale stench of pilsner and cigarette smoke in the air. It certainly showed signs of having been "that place" in days gone by. Instead of that long haired rock band we got something even better. Paul Siebert, a very talented musician and friend of Odin's Revenge, came back to play his instruments and serenade us all with a wide variety of classic rock and folk tunes while we ate and chatted each other up. It was a fantastic backdrop to the pre-race meeting. 

Slightly run down, 70's decor from a time gone by. The Odin's crowd awaits Chad Q's announcements at Walker's Steakhouse.

Greg Gleason, (eventual winner in green), David Mizelle, (seated in cap), and others hob-knobbing at the pre-race meeting

The pre-race meeting was like those I would hope for. Smaller, folks chatting all over, and the vibe was outstanding. These gatherings are like little gravel family reunions where everyone seems to know everyone else, or will soon know them. It's one of the things I most enjoy about these gravel events, and especially with Odin's Revenge.

Well, the pre-race festivities went off, schwag was handed out, and we went back to the motel for some shut eye before the 4:30am wake up call. I got to stay with Jeremy, a local I ride 3GR with on occasion, and the guy that helps me out with Trans Iowa recons. Before we hit the sack, Jeremy said he wanted to ride with me for the event and see if he could help push me across the finish line with his "motivational coaching style".

Yeah......more like a sarcastic, biting ribbing on occasion. Ha! Jeremy and I like to throw barbs at each other, so it's all good. Anyway, with that bit of motivation on my mind, I fell asleep.

Next: Back Into The Hills


Scott Redd said...

Gotta love Jeremy. :)

Exhausted_Auk said...

Yes, you gotta love my brother!