Tuesday, March 10, 2020

C.O.G. 100 (Not Final) Recon Report

Lots of glum looking skies and dun colored landscapes during recon.
I was going to do a final recon of the C.O.G.100 course over the weekend, but the weather was too nice, and Monday it was supposed to rain. So, I figured, "Why waste a perfectly good riding day on recon when it is supposed to be ugly Monday?" In some ways, I wish I had been all wrong about this. I was right, unfortunately, and boy! Did it ever get ugly!

Rain started in before the Sun got up Monday and it stayed raining all day long. The clouds were low and with the brown vegetation everywhere, it was really quite the depressing scene out in the country.

I headed out around 8:00am and went South toward Grinnell, but I never went to the city proper, choosing instead to contact the course outside of town and then head on toward the "lollipop" section which will bring riders into the convenience store opportunity and back out again. The way I have it figured the course will overlap at one point for about a mile and a half, but it shouldn't be difficult to figure out for riders. By the way, you won't be able to short-cut the course because we will have observers at a point on the lollipop watching you. If you don't go by, you will be DQ'ed. Pretty simple. That way we will know everyone did the prescribed course.

So, anyway, I got around the lollipop part okay, but it was messy! The frost is starting to get drawn up out of the ground now and the rain was starting to make a mire out of the roads but not quite bad enough to impede my progress. It was still sketchy out there though. With about three inches of unfrozen clay on top of a harder surface of frozen, or semi-frozen road, there were times I felt out of control in the truck going 25mph.

Here you can see how the truck was pushing the gravel down into the melted road surface, but I wasn't sinking in.
The county hasn't been idle, by the way. There was a lot of evidence of fresh gravel on the roads, probably laid down over a week ago, by my estimation. Some few patches were fresher than that. With the frost coming up, it will give the roads time to recover from Winter before the end of March and I am betting on lots of fresh gravel by the time the event rolls around.

Due to a bridge reconstruction, this long climb will not be part of the C.O.G.100 after all. 
Of course, by now you've all realized that things did not go totally as planned. We had news of a bridge repair which necessitated a reroute, and that was done weeks ago here without any sight of the course down there. Well, upon laying eyes on it, what was listed as unpaved has been paved. Again ANOTHER reason that event directors and ride promoters ALWAYS should go look at the courses they come up with to verify them. So, I diddled around looking for a quick way around it but I ran into even more pavement. Why do we keep paving things here in Iowa? We can't take care of what we've got paved already. Anyway......

So, instead of wasting a bunch of time trying to figure out a route in worsening road conditions with no map, I decided to come back to G-Ted HQ and redraw the back third of the event. We will have to recon that soon, and then.......maybe......we can wrap this nonsense up and print up some cue sheets!

This steep up will be on course, so prepare your legs and choose an appropriate cog. 
I'll be getting to work here and finalizing things soon. Stay tuned! It's getting to crunch time and opportunities to wrap this up are dwindling. You'll see more on this sooner than later.

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