Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday News And Views

Challenge Accepted:

I've known about this deal since about 2008, I think it was, when I started compiling rides and races for my old "Gravel Grinder News" page. It is "The Cup O Dirt Challenge", a challenge to any rider to do six full centuries or twelve "metric" centuries, (100 kilometers equals around 63 miles or thereabouts) in a calendar year. I believe when it first started the rule was you had to complete 12, full 100 mile, rides in a calendar year, but this is how it is now. By the way, you can check out the older site, which has rider stats still posted in the left sidebar going back several years, HERE.

So, I accepted the challenge for this year. I've always wanted to do this, but I just never got it on my schedule of "things to do" and I figured that, like last year, I probably did enough miles to get a cup, or darn near did. In other words, it shouldn't be hard to pull this off, in terms of metrics, but why stop there?

That's right, I am aiming for the bigger miles. I'm going to try to squeeze out six centuries at a minimum. If you manage to get twelve, you get a "bonus" of some sort. Hmm..... Well, we will see. The thing is, I have to have a plan.

The "plan", I think, will be to have at least a century a month. Gosh! and we're almost half done with January already! I will say one thing, I won't be doing a century this weekend! So, January might prove to be a toughie. That means I'll have to pack two into one month, at some point. Maybe..... Otherwise, I am going to shoot for the moon and try getting 12 centuries. If I miss the target, I still get the Cup-O-Dirt. No way to lose here, as far as I can see. So, look for "COD Hundies" to happen throughout the year.

Heritage Trail, Triple D 2014
Triple D This Weekend:

The big fat bike, run, and ski race in Dubuque is Sunday this weekend, and I know a few guys going over to make an attempt at this race. It's called "Triple D" because there are three events and you go from Dubuque to Dyersville and back to Dubuque. Triple D, get it?

I completed this event three consecutive years, in '12, '13, and 2014. It's tough for sure, but this year it will be a bit extra tough, seeing as how the temperature is never going to get above 0°F around Iowa that day and the night time temperatures will be well below that. There may be wind to deal with as well, so anyone doing this one should be taking the thing quite seriously. I know there are a lot of ways to find trouble out there on this course. Take my attempt in '13, for example.......

That was the year that it was very warm just before the event, and then that evening before the ride the temperatures dumped to well below freezing, leaving the Heritage Trail, a recreational trail that the majority of the 75 miles of the event is done on, all glare ice. Yeah, I went for a flyer into the ditch, and I could have gotten pretty messed up right there. Fortunately, I didn't. It's a tough event no matter what the weather, but this year should prove to be one of the tougher Triple D's in a while. I'll be eager to hear the stories afterward, that's for sure!

Frigid Plans:

With all this Triple D talk, I was thinking I should take a ride sometime over the weekend in commemoration of my past accomplishments there at Triple D and I am thinking about those from here that are doing Triple D, I thought it would be a way to show solidarity with them. Anyway, it will also probably be the coldest ride opportunity for the Winter here.

I'm not making any promises, but I think I'll give it a shot. The Green Belt will be good and frozen, and the track is clear, so I think I would ride there. The wind isn't bad through there, so it may be the best place to be. That ride will be on the Ti bike, most likely, as it has the Body Float seat post on it which should mitigate the craters out there. I rode through the Green Belt on my Blackborow DS and my upper body was aching badly afterward and that due to my fall last Saturday. A bit of carbon fork, sprung seat post goodness should go a long way in helping me stay fresh. The Ti Muk is what I would have ridden at Triple D too, if I had went.

Okay, that's a wrap on this post! Good luck and a safe ride to all you Triple D freaks!


Courtney Hilton said...

I'm proud to say that first picture is of my first cup that Nick delivered to me after a very muddy ride on ERT in des moines back in 2011! Awesome!

Jim Smith said...

Glad you're able to join us! Dave Mable and I resurected the challenge last year and have been really pleased with its success. Good luck in your chase for the cup!

Michael Lemberger said...

Thanks for the shout. Triple D was indeed something this's my ride report:

Michael Lemberger said...

Apparently, I need to go back to link school. Here's this year's report:

Guitar Ted said...

@Michael Lemburger: That works better! :>) Good read! Funny how when you've been on a course several times that you begin to become so familiar with the certain sections. I'm sure that knowledge comes in handy but also can be a way for your mind to trick you into quitting as well.

That chain deal! I sure hope that guy sends you a sixer or something nice for risking your fingers to frostbite. Very cool of you to do that in such difficult conditions. Kudos!

Michael Lemberger said...

Fortunately, Lance changes things a little every year, and I did get turned around a couple times. The challenge is still there!

Thanks, but a big part of the reason I stopped to help that guy was just to see if I could actually fix something in those conditions without risking my own equipment (or neck, for that matter). Turns out that I can, so that's good to know!

Guitar Ted said...

@Michael Lemberger: I get that! Good on you. I did something similar when I changed out a tube on my fat bike at sub-zero temps.