Monday, April 01, 2019

C.O.G.100 Event Report Part 1

N.Y. Roll kept calling these "diplomas" at the pre-event meeting.
NOTE: This report may be a two or three part deal. So, hang on until later in the week if you aren't interested in this event report. Otherwise, here we go.......

 Generally speaking, I think that overall this event was a success, with a few complaints about a couple of things. I'll get to all of that. First, the stats:

  • Starters- 76
  • Official Finishers* - 10
  • Winner Mens- Ian Hoogendam
  • Winner Womens- Kae Takashita
*There were several "unofficial finishers" and there may be more in the future. I'll come around to this later.

Friday the day of the "getting going" of the C.O.G. 100 was obviously very different for me. Generally speaking I had this day off from work, since Trans Iowa was such a huge undertaking. However, with the C.O.G.100 being about a third of what a typical T.I. would be lengthwise, and with the lower amount of work, no "official pre-race deal", and with not having to recon a 100 miles plus of course on the day before the event, I felt that I could actually go to work. Which is what I did. I went to wrench on bicycles.

Oddly enough, I had to work on a racer's bike, where he was wanting a different cog on the rear of a Salsa Fargo. I thought it might be a pretty unique situation- an event director making a mechanical change to a racer's bike the day before the event. Bet that doesn't happen often! (We'll find out if that person finishes later)

The low water crossing on the 330th Ave Level B. I showed this image Friday to many folks.
I left work and headed home to grab a bite to eat then hit the road. My main goal was to see with my own eyes what the condition of the low water crossing at the 330th Ave Level B was. It was forecast to be really blustery, cold, and we were supposed to have rain. How much rain? Was the waterway already flowing a large amount of water? These were the questions I was wondering about. My concern was for the riders and not having them get all wet feet and then getting hypothermia and dropping out because of this unnecessary deep water crossing- (if it truly was deep). "Deep" to my mind was anything going over the top of shoes. I figured most would not be riding this section, but hike-a-biking it.

So, I met N.Y. Roll at the "Big T Maidrite" in Toledo for another sandwich, (I assumed no supper later), and then we high-tailed it to the remote location of the Level B. It was raining pretty steadily by this juncture and when we turned off on the gravel at 400th Ave from Highway 63, the roads were so bad it was all I could do to maintain 40mph. I pretty much was out of control at that speed, slipping, sliding, and working the truck motor hard! 

Well, we made it eventually and N.Y. Roll walked down to this site in the pouring rain and saw the image to the left here. It was obvious that we had nothing to be concerned with, so the "Plan B" reroute, (which would have added mileage and we were loathe to implement), was scrapped.

Sorry Grinnell! My feet were a little muddy Friday night!
So then were were pressing it close to being late to the Peace Tree Taproom to meet up with whomever chose to hang out with us. The roads, by this point, were so mushy, loose, and overall treacherous that my truck was working like it was going 80mph and we were going 30mph, if we were lucky. We were a good 20+ miles out from Grinnell, and then.....the exhaust note on the truck changed! It was louder. Something broke. Having been a car mechanic, I was on diagnosis mode right away. Power was okay, temperature holding steady. Things weren't appreciably different other than the sound. Hammer down!

I ended up getting there late, and N.Y. Roll and I set up shop, much to the bewilderment of the patient Peace Tree staff. We had several folks get in line to get their waivers signed and number plates distributed. In fact, we were both pretty surprised to find out we had folks coming to get signed on right up to the 10:00pm cutoff. (N.Y. Roll thought we'd be able to leave at 9:00pm) In fact, 52 folks signed on Friday evening. With the late drops we were aware of, there was a possibility of having 88 starters. I was guessing there would be no-shows due to the weather. People were asking me what I thought we'd have at the start line. I said, 75. Pretty good guess, looking back on it!

We considered the Friday festivities a big success. Peace Tree thought so as well, apparently because they asked where our post-event festivities were going to be. Obviously, they were pleased to find out that we were suggesting that the riders show up at Peace Tree again Saturday afternoon.

So that was Friday. I was going to stay in the motel that night and was wondering if my vehicle was going to be up for what was sure to be a rough 100 miles plus of gravel travel. N.Y. Roll was going to run around solo in his Subie. We had my friend Tony, a veteran of T.I. volunteering, coming in the morning to be available for any course concerns. So, I had options to go with if the truck wasn't up for the challenge.

Next- The Chilly, Windy Challenge


TinyRVLife said...

Truly epic. I was naive enough to think that because it was a shorter ride than Trans Iowa, I could somehow stand a chance to finish in time. Hah!

x3speed said...

Same here! I also am curious how folks gearing/ tire choices panned out.

TinyRVLife said...

My choice of gearing was too ambitious for my fitness level. I had 42 x 21. I wish I had run something a few teeth easier, maybe 40 x 22? Basically, with the gearing I had, I spent most of my time churning at like 40-50rpm.

My tires were Bontrager GR1 Team Issues. They worked well enough given the sticky conditions. In retrospect, I don't expect them to have performed amazingly in those conditions, but they were fine. And they didn't hold on to mud too much which was helpful.

x3speed said...

Wondering if the "slick: tires were more effective at float? I also was pushing too much with a 38x18.