Wednesday, April 03, 2019

C.O.G. 100 Event Report: Photo Dump

Following I have decided to share a bunch of images from the C.O.G. 100. Some are my own images and most are from the work of Jon Duke, who was doing our event photography. Jon is going to make these images public today, and the link is HERE. Jon has donated his work and these images hoping that many of you will consider helping Imagine Grinnell, the organization he is involved in, and who is behind the Prairie Burn 100, a gravel event coming up in June. So, if you have a thankful heart for what Jon has so generously done for all of us here involved with the C.O.G 100, please consider a gratuity and donate by clicking here.

Now on with the images......

Part of what I love about the country in Iowa is the oddball stuff you see. Here we have farm animals, not fenced in, sheltering by a country home.
N.Y. Roll addressing the field at the start from the bed of the "Truck With No Name". Image by Jon Duke
The start- We were seriously blown away by the turnout. When we conceived this thing we were thinking maybe 35-45 people would actually show up. When 76 came to toe the line, it was an amazing sight to behold. 76 single speed freaks! That's bigger than many Trans Iowa fields were!

Thank you one and all for coming.

The early miles were headwind, then East with a heavy cross wind. Riders were bundled against wind chills in the teens. Image by Jon Duke.

The struggles riders were facing were evident. Against severe winds which pushed the wind chills into the teens, riders fought cross winds and headwinds for much of the event. Coupled with soft roads, it was a struggle to maintain a speed which would allow for an official finish. I liked this image because it conveys all of these things- the riders bundled up, the hills, and you can see the tire tracks pressed into the roadway. I can almost hear the groaning frames and feel the pain of straining legs by looking at this image.

Riders march to the end of one mile of Level B Maintenance Road. Image by Jon Duke
This is a classic gravel race shot for Spring. Muddy Level B, or "MMR", as it is known elsewhere, has figured heavily into the lore of gravel grinding. It seems that you really cannot say you've "graveled" until you've marched through a muddy road with a bike on your back. It's a badge of honor for some, for others, it maybe is more of a nightmare! I like the caked up mud on the soles of the shoes of the rider in the foreground.

N.Y. Roll talking with Tony, (just barely out of the shot), while riders scrape mud from bikes and shoes in the background.
The conditions of the roads that day really cannot be properly described. All I can offer is that these were the worst conditions I have witnessed in Powesheik County since T.I.v11. I also can offer this shot. Note the bicycle tracks into the roadway. It was like this- off and on- throughout the 111 mile course. This "mud" had a lot of clay content, and it liked to stick to everything. Riders were off their mounts scraping off the mire all throughout the course.

Two riders, heading west, at about the halfway mark of the inaugural C.O.G.100.  Image by Jon Duke
Of course, you really cannot understand the ferocity of the winds that day, unless you were there. Here above we have two riders heading West, and you can see the "lean". This was necessary to keep upright as the wind pushed you sideways. This slows you down, even though it isn't a headwind. It also impedes free-coasting down hills. Basically, it saps any good momentum you might gain from gravity, and you have to work that much more.

Most of the course was oriented into that crosswind. Obviously the headwind oriented bits were worse. Riders reported that even going downhill there was no advantage due to the soft roads sapping away any free ride down. It was a course and condition set that demanded effort for every inch of the 111 miles.

A smiling Tom Claver. Image by Jon Duke
Perhaps one of my favorite images from the C.O.G. 100 is this one by Jon Duke of Thomas Claver, a local Waterloo rider that was competing for the first time in any discipline on a bicycle. His first race was the C.O.G. 100! And......he finished! What is more, this is the bike I worked on the day before the event, which I alluded to in the first event report this week.

The other thing I like is what Tom represents here- The attitude of most gravel grinder folk. Happy to be riding a bike in the country with like-minded folk. While not all gravel riders are like this, most are, and that's what I like about being involved in this niche of the sport of cycling. Bravo Tom! Your effort and attitude are awesome!

That's a wrap on the photo dump. A BIG THANKS goes out to Jon Duke for his awesome contribution to the C.O.G. 100! Please consider donating to the Imagine Grinnell organization and show your gratitude for what Jon has given. (Link at the top of this post)


Next- My thoughts on putting on this event, not doing Trans Iowa, and more.


teamdarb said...

So many different bikes and people shiwed up. But the one thing that surprised me...."what is a B Road"! I thought I knew what it was. Then we went pass one fron the start. The tire tracks had to be a foot deep or more. Good show. I mat be back for June..... with 36er unicycle.

blooddoc23 said...

Lessons learned and observations: I can walk 3.4 mph up a steep hill pushing a bike. For this event, no more than 2:1 ratio with my legs. I suffered with 42-18 and I won't whine too loudly as I met many who had much bigger ratios than that and they seemed to be doing fine. Always bring lights, you never know! Always check your water bladder before the first event of the year, just in case it leaks. Saw a skeleton of something while walking in a short patch of grass alongside the B road. It added to the effect. Overall had just a great time and I hope you have it next year. Thanks for putting on a great event!!

S Sprague said...

Thanks for the pic's GT and Jon Duke!
So, GT, how is the Truck with No Name?

Guitar Ted said...

@ S Sprague- I think all it is going to take is a couple of new bolts, nuts, and an exhaust gasket. The system became disconnected just ahead of the cat converter, but nothing broke. looks like just rusted bolts were the cause. Excessive back pressure under load during my "muddin' session" probably finally broke those rusty bolts off.

Thanks for asking!

Michael said...

Love the pictures. I shared Jon’s site around on FB.

People that can finish a course like this amaze me.