Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Got up Sunday morning at 12:30 in the AM, picked up Charles at 1:30 and arrived at Courtney's house in West Des Moines at around a quarter to four.  The three of us rolled out shortly after 4am for the Missouri border.  Details?  You betcha...

  • Trip stats:
    • 210 miles in the bank, 120ish being gravel.
    • 18 hours and 30 minutes to get the job done.
    • My best guess:  four to five miles of hike-a-bike and a couple dead ends.  
    • I believe our final B road count was 11.  I lost track though.
    • 7400ft of climbing through 192 miles, but sure felt like more.  That's on pace with Trans Iowa though.  I didn't get the last bit because my Garmin died, but it was fairly flat.
  • How I held up:
    • Pretty zen for the first 80 miles or so.  Didn't even mind the B road hiking.  Then I bonked a little.  Then I recovered.  Then I bonked big time.  I couldn't eat or drink much of anything the next 110 miles without wanting to throw it back up.  The lone exception was the frozen beef and bean burrito I tossed in my frame bag for a later treat.  That thing was mighty tasty when I finally got to it.
    • Physically I held up pretty well.  Legs felt fine until the end and my body was doing well.  Contact points were getting sore, but were still manageable.  My pace dropped a little after my first minor bonk, but not significantly.  I dropped off a bit after the big one, but picked it back up and did well enough the rest of the way that I'm not too worried about Trans Iowa, barring nasty conditions of course.
    • I got really cranky on the return trip.  I blame the bonk because I'd like people to think I'm not a grumpy asshole, but I should still try to not be like that at Trans Iowa.  Otherwise no one will want to ride with me.
  •  Random nuggets from the trip:
    • It was kind of the drunken, shirtless rednecks to take a moment away from incoherently yelling at each other while trying to free their mud-stranded jeep at 5 in the morning to remind us that we're "bicycle faggots".  Charles was nice enough to exchange pleasantries, mostly commenting on how much fun they must be having.  Courtney waxed something fancy about having a vehicle that could be carried out of a mud pit.  More concerned with the fact that they were drunk, greatly outnumbered us and still had a vehicle free, I kept my mouth shut and went to unholster my dickhead repellant.  Thankfully, shorter attention spans prevailed and I didn't have to ruin a perfectly good frame pump.
    • Derby, IA is a depressing town.  Main street is a post office buried in a row of abandoned and decaying brick buildings.
    • After trudging through the sixth or seventh B road, Courtney turned to his Garmin to try to reroute any other hike-a-bike sections.  Unfortunately, the Garmin was even more sadistic with its reroutes, leading Courtney to claim that it was stuck in Guitar Ted mode.  It was known as the Guitarmin the rest of the trip.
    • Gummy worms and candy orange slices aren't good endurance food.  
    • We found out that people will drive a long way for cheap cigarettes.  The lady working at the gas station in Missouri told us that she's had people drop $1000 in one trip on tobacco.  Ironically, those are the same people that think it's crazy to spend $1000 on a bicycle.  I can see their point though.  Bicycles don't burn all that well.
    • Charles has gone from being destroyed by a metric in mid-October to doing sprints at the end of a double because he wasn't feeling worked over enough.  I have to face the fact that I'll never be able to put the hurt on him again.  That makes me a sad panda.  By the way, he took third in a gravel race the day before. 
    • Regardless of how tired or lousy you feel when crawling out of bed, watching the sun rise through the mist on a quiet country road is worth the early start.  Always.


  1. You nailed it. All you need is the pictures and something about bush light....

  2. I'll get that all up later.

    One more note of randomness that I did forgot about though. When I hear Charles shouting "hey Craig, check this out!" it's just best to not look.

  3. Funny and informative read there Craig. Great job, you're all getting stronger and good luck at TI. I am sure impressed with all of ya...