Wednesday, December 31, 2008

FYI - New Years Day Ride

I'm passing this along:
"Lets meet at Heritage pond for our new years day ride this year. We'll do a mix of trail and gravel riding so bring your fat tires. Looks like a good chance of snow. We're going to wait until 2pm so the Hawks game will hopefully be over. See you then, Happy New Year!! Brian Walsh, Free Flight Bikes, 563-582-4500"

Gearing up for Triple D (prelim trail report)

Things are coming along, all my local home boys have been scoping the route and possible bridge out bypasses, riding some new sections that may be included to mix things up a bit. Will be a great event this year... and they're forecasting temps ranging from 31d to -18d (now that’s good weather forecasting)...

Trail reports are actually pretty good considering all the rain and warm weather that Dubuque had last week. Heritage Trail is still 100% snow and ice covered from Dubuque to Farley. Farley to Dyersville has exposed sections of rock, just like last year. But there's multiple days of snow forecasted prior to the race and no warm days so this section may be usable by the skiers this year.

I've been reading blogs from last year’s racers and others from the area, what a disease winter biking and running has become... check out for some great winter ride photos.

Race weekend is also ICEFEST Weekend in Dubuque again this year:

Friday, December 26, 2008

Must watch video

Click on the Title then scroll down partway, video is on the left...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Winter Training - How is it possible?

Ok, I’m attempting to get back into shape for winter biking (I know how strange that sounds, but hear me out)... the problem with this is, I feel like my biking endurance is improving but there's this one problem: Today there was a 95 degree temperature delta and a 115 degree “feels like” delta... as I’m sitting out by the pool tonight (currently 75) I’m trying to comprehend what 115 degrees colder would feel like... I really don’t remember being cold at -20 when racing Arrowhead last year, but now when its 60 I’m putting on my coat for a morning ride...

Surly Swag

The crew at Surly Bikes will be bringing some cool swag for the Triple D Winter Race. They have also forcibly required one of their own to attempt the race. Thanks Guys!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hotel Sharing

Please drop me a line if you are interested in sharing accomadations at the Grand Harbor Resort for the Triple D Winter Race. I already have a couple who is looking at sharing a room...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

For Sale (winter items, updated

  • $100, Hopey Steering Damper (#23-900) - worked great for controlling the squirm that my standard MtnBike experienced in the snow (not an easy installation, but once installed works great).
  • $100 Manatu R7 fork (uncut steer’r tube), used maybe for a month or two - like new condition
  • SOLD DaveyGie - Two Nokkian Extremes 26" Studded Tires $30 each
  • SOLD ZZZ - Pugsley Offset Fork, and Complete Wheel (build with the light weight drilled rim) $250
  • SOLD Rear snow wheel (drilled rim 34 mm rim, Star drive DT Swiss 240 freewheel with ceramic bearings) $100 (about 800 miles)

    See: for a picture of the Offset fork and rear wheel.

Triple D 2009 - Get your hotel booked...

Well, here we are one month out from the 2nd Annual Triple D Winter Race (Bike or Run or Ski)!!!

The most urgent of the announcement is for hotel reservations… as you may be aware of we are at the same location as last year and we have even better group rates than last year (rooms are only $119, and this includes water park passes). BUT this rate is only good for the next two weeks, after which it will be going up to $199! Make sure you get in on our group rate by saying you are with the “Triple D Winter Race”.

You owe it to the family to treat them to a indoor water park and you owe it to yourself to torture yourself at the Triple D winter race. I promise it will be easier this year! (last year this weekend was in the 30’s) …Really… we’ve shorted the bike route by about 8 miles… so how difficult could a 52 mile bike, run or ski race be??? If that’s too much there are 22 mile run and ski versions just like last year.

GU Energy has committed to help sponsor Triple D this year! We have a couple of additional sponsors that are still unconfirmed, but needless to say this will be a good time for all. What other race supplies a free bar tab at the finish line?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Heritage Trail Blog

Here's a link to one of Dubuque’s newer winter riders. Check out his blog for pictures of heritage trail. There are also some good pic's back in November but be forewarned: "there’s blood in his Nov. posts."
Also, I added a "Follow" this blog link on the right side. Click and be known.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Triple D 2009 - First Trail Report

With all the good weather up in Dubuque, I called back to see if there were any rides going on... and sure enough, even at 5d F a hearty group of three (Bill, Karl & Traci) ventured out on the Triple D course to do a little recon for a bridge detour that will need to be incorporated in to this year's route. Also, they found the GATOR that I brought back with me the last time I visited DBQ. But it doesn't look like he's doing to good where I let him loose... so sad. Photos by Karl (Karl's always the only one who remembers to bring the camera, but we rarely see any pictures of him... but looks like someone got his camera and snapped one of him laying down on the job).
Trail report: Snow machines are already out packing it down... good riding (about a 4" base).

Thursday, November 27, 2008

New Snow Bike

Some of you know i'm gettting a new snow rig for winter racing... I thought i'd post a picture of it in testing:
I forgot how well some of you know me... I’ll be more careful in the future when I post some Franken bike photos, just to clear things up "The bike pictured is NOT really my new bike", but I would like to give it a ride on snow. I'm sure to post a review or two on my new snow rig in the weeks to come prior to the Triple D Winter race on Jan 10th and the Arrowhead Ultra in early Feb.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Triple D 2008 Racer Comments

Thanks for pulling off some spectacular events last Saturday. I enjoyed every mile of the Double D run. Heritage Trail is beautiful in winter, and coupled with tailwind and sunshine, it couldn't be beat. The moon was even visible most of the afternoon. Putting our finish line in Durango was a genius decision. Indoor accommodations, food and drinks were so welcome by everyone. I'd never heard of such a good idea as the bar tab for participants. EVERYTHING was so nice and first class. I hope you consider offering the events again next year. Epic! Thanks for providing the blog links. It was quite a day all around, and from my perspective, it was all good! Thanks so much.
- Lisa Paulos ’08 Female Foot Category Winner

Thanks to you and all the crew for putting on a great event. Great support crew effort under difficult conditions. Also, please pass on my appreciation to Gene Tully for his work in creating the awards. My family and I enjoyed the experience. If you decide to do it again next year, I hope to attend.
- Mike Zeigle ’08 Male Ski Category Winner

I know Ben had a blast, and will talk about it for weeks (years?) to come!
- Julie (Ben Shockey’s Wife, 2008 Ultra Bike Overall Winner)

Thanks again Lance! It was a wonderful weekend for the family! Also, here is my recap on my blog. I have never been known to be a writer! %^) You put on an amazingly organized race. Being a past race director (running events not, bike, ski, run!) I know how hard it is and you did an amazing job!
- Paul Jacobson

...happy volunteers, and park rangers were a real find. Thank you Very Much for putting on the race and all your efforts, as a very experienced race volunteer/director, etc I know how much it took…
- Dave Pramann, Arrowhead Ultra Course Record Holder

-10F (+ a 20 mph wind) and tough riding conditions cut our ride to about 20mi…But as I try to recover today ,I'm positive I had 50 BEERS,' WOOHOO'!!Thanks to all that attended and helped celebrate. For those who couldn't make it--wish you coulda been there! Thanks to Lance for all the work putting on the race. A fellow racer asked if I'd do it again. My reply was a quick NO. But am already reconsidering!!!
- Z Man, Celebrated his 50th Birthday at DDD and the motivation behind our pub crawl ‘09

Triple D 2009 Information & Registration

Please forward this to all that you know who bike, run, ski, snowshoe. This event is more about completing the event than it is a race, but a race it is...

January 10th 2009

Ultra Bike (54 miles Dubuque to Dyersville to Durango)
Estimated finish time between 7 - 12 hours*

Ultra Ski & Foot(50 miles Dubuque to Dyersville to Durango)
Estimated finish time between 6 - 12 hours*

Foot [Run/Ski] (23 miles Dyersville to Dubuque)
Estimated finish time 3 - 6 hours*

*Estimated finish times based on DDD 2008… expect quicker times as I’m sure the weather couldn’t be as bad as it was during DDD 2008 (-6 & 20 mph wind w/choppy rutted snow conditions).

Rules and deadlines:
1. Registration with check or money order must be received at least one week before event start (by Jan 3th 2008). See Address below.
2. Hotel reservations can be made any time before the event! We have negotiated hotel sponsorship and have a great rate for all… see Hotel Information below. This is a great race to bring the family along to, let them enjoy the resort while you enjoy… well you get the idea. Need to specify that you are with this event (TRIPLE D WINTER RACE) to receive the discounted rooms. If you want to share a room send me an email, and i'll get you into a group.
3. Entry fee is $50 for all categories (tandems, if you’re crazy enough to attempt this is $50 total, if you decide the day of the race to ride singles the other rider must pay $50 – this is the only exception to pre registration).
4. There are multiple categories (Bike, run, ski, etc.)
5. No refunds will be allowed. However, you may change categories the day of the race. Please make a good guess as to the event you MAY race in so that we can make appropriate reservations for racer transportation.
6. Sign in will be from 8-9 am on January 10th at the Grand Harbor resort (Dubuque, Iowa, the hotel directly north of the river boat casino ). You will be required to sign a release form at this time if you don’t send one with your registration (see below). Also, it is recommended that you carry a cell phone, and include this on your release form. We will use these if you go missing from an eta checkpoint.
7. Pre race meetings will be held at your respective starting lines at 9:55 am.
8. Race will start at 10 AM sharp.
a. The bikers will have an escorted rollout starting from riverside ampatheater in front of the Dubuque Star Brewery (same as ’08).
b. Ultra Runners and Skiers Will be transported to the Dubuque Heritage Trail head north of town on Hwy 52 (aka the Hwy 52 Ponds Trailhead)
c. Standard distance Runners and Skiers will be transported to the Dyersville Trailhead.
9. No outside help from anyone except other racers. This means that there are no support crews of any kind. If you take a ride, you are forfeiting your right to finish the race and you must contact race officials to notify us when/where you are dropping out of the race. However, participants are encouraged to help each other. The buddy system is a good way to do this race for the first time.
10. Any combination of forward motion is allowed (i.e., skiers can run, runners can snow shoe, bikers can push, etc.). No towing/pushing other racers, you can assist them but not in the forward direction.
11. No littering (and no stashes). Leave no trace. Make use of sanitation facilities provided along the trail (there are a couple of restrooms on Heritage trail and at Dyersville. Bring your own t.p. just in case.
12. If you leave the race course for some reason, you must re-enter the course exactly where you left it or notify race officials that you are dropping out as soon as is feasible. Short-cutting the course is not allowed and may be grounds for disqualification, at the discretion of the Race Director. Turning around early is allowed and encouraged over dropping out in the middle of the race (as this reduces the time our volunteers spend shuttling racers), record the mile marker or location where you turned around to receive credit for the distance raced.
13. Stop at all intersections and obey all traffic laws.
14. The course will be marked (better than last year) and maps (better than last year) will be provided (compass is recommended, GPS and cycling computers are also allowed - but temperatures may prevent them from working). There are forward and backward mile markers on Heritage Trail.
15. There will be no cut off time! This race is about finishing! However, we will have sag available. It is required that everyone have two flashing red lights (one front and one back) and a head light. For the bikers these can be on you or the bike.
16. Stay safe, stay warm, warn other trail users when passing, etc… read up on frost bike and hyperthermia so that you know what to do to prevent and treat these winter risks!
17. Awards will be given for ALL who complete the entire Ultra distance and first place in each category (categories TBD, but they will be something like [Male/Female], [Bike/Tandem/Ski/Foot], [Ultra Distance/Short] etc.).
18. Awards will take place at 10 PM on the 10th (at the grand harbor resort (DO NOT stay at the finish line bar, have your drinks, socialize and head back to the Grand Harbor by 10). Cash will be awarded to the top ultra distance finishers in addition to the awards.
19. Cash: Numbered tickets will be given to all starters. Additional tickets will be issued to finishers. The better you finish the more tickets. We will then give away all race profits lottery style. Exactly the same as last year. We are estimating that we will have about $1200 in cash awards. However this could be much higher if you pass the word… race expenses will be kept to an absolute minimum, no profits to anybody (expenses include: event room, insurance, trail access fees, shuttle, sag, course markings, beer and pizza at the awards)
20. For those who feel rejuvenated after the beer and pizza, there will be a pub crawl (by bike or car) starting around 11 pm.

Send $50 per person to:
Triple D c/o
Lance Andre
1735 Eden Lane
Dubuque, Iowa 52001-4027
Must be received by Jan 3th, roster will be updated regularly.

============ RELEASE FORM ==================
2009 Triple D Winter Race Application & Waiver
NOTICE: This application and Release Form is a contract with legal consequences. Please read it carefully before signing it. Racers in the Triple D Winter Race must be at least age 18 years by the day of the event unless prior approval (January 10th, 2009).

Name: ____________________________ Age: _____ Sex: ____

Estimated Race Category: __________ (Actual): ______________

Address: _____________________________ City: __________

State: _________________ ZIP: ___________

Home Phone: _____________ Race Cell Phone: _______________

E-mail: _____________________________________________
I have competed in Winter Racing in the past: Yes No (circle one)

If Yes, Event and Distance: ______________________________
I have competed in ultra distance races in the past: Yes No (circle one)

If Yes, Event and Distance: ______________________________

In consideration of the acceptance of my application for entry in the 2009 Triple D Winter Race, I hereby freely agree to make the following contractual representations and agreements. I fully realize the dangers of participating in a winter skiing / bicycling / running / snowshoeing race held in the remote Iowa wilderness during extreme winter conditions, and fully assume the risk associated with such participation, including but not limited to the following dangers: hypothermia, frostbite, collision with pedestrians, vehicles, wildlife, and other racers and fixed or moving objects, dangers arising from surface hazards, equipment failure, inadequate safety equipment, weather conditions, and animals and the possibility of serious physical and/or mental trauma and injury, including death, associated with winter athletic competition.
I hereby waive, release and discharge myself, my heirs, executors, administrators, legal representatives, assigns and successors in interest (hereafter collectively "successors") any and all rights and claims which the sanctioning organization, the promoter and any promoting organization(s) and their board of directors, property owners, law enforcement agencies, all public entities, special districts, and properties (and their respective agents, officials and employees) through or by which the event will be held for any and all damages which may be sustained by my participation in of associated with the event, or travel to or return from the event.
I agree it is my sole responsibility to be familiar with the race course, the rules of the sanctioning body, and the special regulations of the event. I understand and agree that the situations may arise during the race which may be beyond the immediate control of the race officials or organizers, and I must ski, bicycle, run, and snowshoe so as to endanger neither myself nor others. I accept responsibility for the conditions and adequacy of my equipment and training. I have no physical or mental condition which, to my knowledge, would endanger myself or others if I participate in this event, or would interfere with my ability to participate in this event.
I agree that it is at the sole discretion of the race directors to change the rules at any time in the interest of safety and sportsmanship or for any reason deemed appropriate by the Triple D Winter Race officials, and I agree to abide by those rules. I understand that the race officials may pull any participant out of the event in the interest of the community, law, safety, time, sportsmanship; due to suspicion of cheating, acts of nature or any reason deemed appropriate by the Triple D Winter Race officials.
I agree, for myself and successors, that the above representations are contractually binding, and are not mere recitals, and that should I or any of my successors assert any claim in contravention of this agreement, I or my successors shall be liable for the expenses (including legal fees) incurred by the other party or parties in defending, unless the other party or parties are finally adjusted liable on such claims for willful and wanton negligence. This agreement may not be modified orally, and a waiver of any provision shall not be construed as a modification of or as consent to another provision herein of as a consent to any subsequent waiver of modification.

______________________________ DATE:__________
PARENT OR GUARDIAN OF A MINOR: I, as a parent or guardian of the above named minor, hereby give my permission for my child or ward to participate in the event, and further agree, individually and on behalf of my child or ward, to the terms above.

______________________________ DATE:__________

Emergency contact or Guardian: _________________________

Address: _____________________________ City: __________

State: _________________ ZIP: ___________

Home Phone: _______________ Work Phone: _______________

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Triple D 2009 Race Poster

Please pass this along to those who seem a little off kilter... More details comming very soon.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Triple D Feedback

I've gotten quite a bit of feedback from last year's racers and even some for what will be first time racers... I'm taking it all in, and may be making some slight modifications to the event.

Ideas of consideration are:
1. Extending and/or offering true ultra distances for both the skiers and runners
2. Starting the Race much earlier (9 am or even 8 am), logistically all registration and payment and signed releases would need to be in, leaving only the prerace meetings to occur the morning of.

Items that ARE changing from last year:
1. Everyone will finish in Durango (bikers, skiers & runners). This will shorten the Bike part by a solid 8 miles and will prevent those who make it that far from getting lost in negotiating their way back into town.
2. All full course finishers will receive awards. This will be retroactive for the two bikers last year who didn't receive awards (I'll be presenting them at this year's ceremony, and shipping them out if you don't make it back this year) you deserve them, it was brutal last year.
3. I guarantee that the weather will be different this year. Heck, we're doing it almost a month earlier...

Monday, September 15, 2008

cheq 40 fun?

Update... as most may know by now, the Andre tandem didn’t fair to well, during the roll out some d!ck tried to whip around us and in the process tangled bar ends at 35+ mph on the way to the highway turn... what followed was lots of blood, torn jerseys, and taco'd wheels of a reported 10+ bikes. The crash was so bad that is shaped the outcome of the overall placement of the women’s and affected numerous top riders overall (see )

After cleaning our serious asphalt road rash (down to the meat on a couple of spots), spending just about exactly 55 minutes truing our rear wheel and disk rotor enough that major damaged wouldn't be done by the rubbing tire and disk, bending the rear derailleur so that a couple gears would work, we rolled out of Hayward.

We passed the trail cleanup crew, about 10 miles in, the stone saddle rider about 3 miles from OO. Can you believe that? Riding at about 19 mph we didn’t see a soul until 6 miles from OO!?!

We had a nice clean ride from Hayward (in the rain the entire way), only putting our feet down once on a muddy rut, we cleaned all of Firetower (which was pretty impressive given that 1400 riders had crewed and loosened it up pretty good and we only had 3 gears (middle ring only). We finished at 1276 overall passing about 450 racers (from OO to the finish), subtracting our 0:55 delayed start, we might have been around 300 overall - 10 minutes and 2 places from a podium finish (although we rode numerous parts much much slower because of our broken bike & spirits)... before the race I was planning on a 2:24 finishing time...

Not sure where it happened (because I was on the lookout), but we did pass one other tandem (we didn’t get last place, and we did finish unlike 4 years ago with our disastrous attempt to ride a cycle cross tandem [9 flats by OO]).
I guess a bad day on a bike is still a good day... right??? Because it was a bad day on the bike…

Anybody looking for a slightly used mountain tandem??? ;-p

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Triple D 2009 set for Jan 10!!!!

More information to follow... will be nearly the same with the exception that all racers will finish at Durango (Dubuque to Dyersville to Durango = Triple D). Mark your calendars for January 10, 2009 for the craziest 60 mile bike (or 24 mile run or ski race) in North America!!! Only 4 bikers finished out of 30 last year, are you ready to give it another shot?

Arrowhead Ultra set for Feb 3rd (Monday), come on, how hard can 135 miles be?

Iditarod Trail Invitational - Feb 22nd, 1100 miles... that just sucks no matter how nice the weather and trails are.

Colesburg 40 Race Photos

Colesburg 40 - Results

Sorry this took so long… between travel, work, Cheq40 Training & sleep there just wasn’t any time left to type the results up.

First, let me give thanks to our overworked volunteers: Jody Bramel who ran our start/finish line, helped with registration and her son Alex who drove the short course sag. Rob Leigh who drove the long course sag and water wagon. David Hartig III who supplied the filled water jugs and shower hose. My wife Traci who ran registration and typed the results. Chris Sauer reserved the park. Without these great individuals this race would not have gone off as well as it did.

Again, the course markings… we tried not to make this an “adventure race” none the less we still had a couple racers miss a turn or two. I apologize for this, there are a couple of the turns that exist in places of high-speed where no matter how well we mark the course they just aren't obvious at 35 mph. We will see what we can do about this next year because riding 40 out here is bad enough without having to ride 50 lost. For those of you that return each year this course starts to become second nature.

My warning of the danger of loose gravel again this year may have been taken more seriously than last year as there were no reported hospital visits, although there were still numerous stories about bikers climbing back out of the ditches or washing out on corners. Great race everyone! This race has truly become a one of the classic suffer fests of cycling.

The race bolted from town with 60 strong optimistic racers in its typical balls to the wall style. The Andre tandem reached the first big climb out of town at an average speed of 28 mph towing what would end up being most of the top 10 finishers. The first climb separated the racers in its typical fashion, with John Olney from Iowa City getting off the front and then a number of small chase groups close behind. John would end-up riding the race solo for a new course record of 2:09 with Jeff Barnes close behind (jeff missed a corner which cost him some time). John ended up taking somewhere around $200 home for the Preem, Course Record & lots of Lottery wins. Total cash given out was over $900!

I asked a first time racer (Nicole Hutchison) where on the course she began to hate Colesburg? Calmly and without hesitation she replied “the first hill.”

Long live the Colesburg 40!

See the XLS file on site for a comparison of the last 4 years of times. The short course was lengthened to 24 miles last year and remained the same this year. The long course has remained nearly unchanged for the last 12 years at 40.9 miles.

First Last Name Course Category 2008
1. John Olney Long Male 2:09:32* (that last 5 miles really sucked, but $ is king)
* New course record
2. Jeff Barnes Long Male 2:13:48 (I was going too fast to see the course markings)
3. Jeff Bradley Long Male 2:19:07
4. Chris Eastburn Long Male 2:19:53
5. Todd Gillihan Long Male 2:20:15
6. James Hopson Long Male 2:22:50 (don’t draft the Andre’s, really, it’s not safe)
7. Lance & Traci Andre Long Tandem 2:23:10 (do as we say, not as we do)
8. Jeff Dalton Long Male 2:23:47
9. John Newell Long Male 2:25:45
10. Joe Frost Long Male 2:26:10 (I hate races over an hour 50, I’m walking)
11. Daniel Galles Long Male 2:28:19
12. Nick Martin Long Male 2:32:59
13. William Huntsberger Long Male 2:33:31
14. Bruce Grell Long Male 2:35:32 (Triple D here I come!)
15. Jeremy Fry Long Male 2:36:59
16. Jeff Spahn Long Male 2:37:51 (I’m taking Amelia on the Tandem next year)
17. Connie Inks Long Female 2:39:19 (first female)
18. Mike Johnson Long Male 2:41:32
19. Daniel Kratochvit Long Male 2:42:39 (I traveled from eastern Europe just to race Colesburg)
20. Landon Beachy Long Male 2:43:18 (secretly I love this race, and wish it were even longer)
21. Darcy Sanford Long Female 2:44:15 (second female)
22. Phillip Curran Long Male 2:45:23(no hospital visits for me this year)
23. Karl Steichen Long Male 2:46:06 (I can ride this course blind folded with a beer in my hand)
24. Juan Ochoa Long Male 2:47:49
25. Sandy Kessler Long Female 2:51:59 (third female)
26. Ron Saul Long Male 2:52:04
27. Jeff Dullard Long Male 2:52:35
28. Dewayne Bonnett Long Male 2:53:04 (3rd X’s a charm, I’m getting the hang of this Colesburg thing)
29. Marge O'Connor-Leigh Long Female 2:53:35
30. Nick Book Long Male 2:53:39
31. Gary Johnson Long Male 2:56:40
32. Jeff Abel Long Male 2:58:48
33. Jamie Jorgensen Long Male 3:01:04
34. Jean Gilpin Long Female 3:04:19 (Triple D here I come, I'm not doing shots on the trail this year)
35. Chris & Monika Martin Long Tandem 3:04:57 (they call it a divorce bike why?)
36. Brian Walsh Long Male 3:07:20 (where’s my ride when I need it)
37. William Allen Long Male 3:09:32
38. Chap Cuthbert Long Male 3:10:30
39. Nicole Hutchison Long Female 3:13:09 (no really! I’m serous, the first hill)
40. Lor Hutchison Long Male 3:13:10
41. Bruce Timmerman Long Male 3:17:32
42. Sandy Kilburg Long Female 3:22:00
43. Greg Aronson Long Male 3:25:25
44. Hana Syslova Long Female 3:31:09 (I traveled from eastern Europe just to race Colesburg too)
45. Frank Flack Long Male 3:32:03 (so this is what the finish line looks like)
46. Paul Meyermann Long Male 3:32:58
47. Matt Klemish Long Male 3:38:32
48. Bob Graf Long Male 4:08:00 (now this is an adventure race)

First Last Name Course Category 2008
1. John Adamson Short Male 1:28:03 (my belt buckle is bigger than yours)
2. Evan Hartig Short Male 1:29:57 (CheqFatTire podium here I come)
3. David Hartig Short Male 1:30:14
4. Parrish & Natalie Marugg Short Tandem 1:34:10 (CheqFatTire podium here WE come)
5. Chris Congdon Short Male 1:37:38
6. Mark & Cassandra Hirsch Short Tandem 1:41:48 (hand sanitizer is great for cleaning open wounds)
7. Lucas Marugg Short Male 1:45:30 (my sister cheated)
8. Gary Bramel Short Male 1:54:26 (where did all these hammer heads come from)
9. Kathleen Porter Short Female 2:01:35
10. Jason Teggotz Short Male 2:16:36
11. Amanda O'Neill Short Female 2:32:08 (the short course was too short, I made my own long course)
12. Anjanette Clark Short Female DNF
(but i still have a smile on my face...)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Colesburg 40 2008 (Race Info)

17th Annual Colesburg 40 Gravel Road Race

Alright, if the Andre tandem team can come up from Florida to put on this little gravel race, the least some of you locals can do is show up! Ya, you heard me right, Mr. Freeze himself is living in sweltering Florida! So, here are the details on the race that no one wants to talk about (do to repressed memories of pain and suffering)…

When: September 1st 2008 (Labor Day Monday), Registration until 9:30, Racingstarts at 10AM.

Where: Colesburg, Iowa (NW Corner of Town at the City park)

How Much:
Preregistered Solo Racer $20 / Tandem Team $30 (by Aug 25 [yes poster says 15th]),
Prior Year Solo Racer $20 (Prereg not required)
Prior Year Tandem Team $30 Total (Prereg not required)
Day of event, $30 Single or $45 Tandem Team.

Awards: Cash (real $$$ bills)- lots of it, lottery style payout, the better you place themore tickets you get. Everyone gets at least one ticket for starting this wrenched event.

Race Director Contact: Lance André at (563) 543-2784 or

General Details:

  • Sag supported with water
  • Well marked course (racer maps at sign-in)
  • Large Tandem Field
  • It's typically hot (bring two water bottles & a camel back)
  • Fat-tire mountain bikes and cycle-cross bikes recommended
  • Controlled 1 mile paced start
Long Course: 40.9 miles of Gravel (some pavement) - Sport/Expert/Prolevel riders - expect long gravel hills & a finishing time typically within5 min. of your Chequamegon 40 finish.
Direct Cash Payout for Record Time.
Large pream on the first main climb*

Short Course: 24 miles of Gravel - Beginner/Sport level riders (finishing times range from 1:20 to 2:15+)

*Prem was first won in 2007 by Team Ergon pro rider Jeff Kerkove, who’s teammate beat Lance at Leadville this year and he finished 27th overall, unfortunately the locals made Jeff pay for that $ as he finished 4th behind the Eppens, Andre’s and Todd Gillihan.

This race has a long history in Iowa bike racing…
4th annual: “I’ve had enough, I’m stopping for a beer, me too… ditto”
8th annual: “no race director” (he was thrown in jail, he’s now married to the gal that caused the whole thing)…
10th annual “Broken collarbone, and a stolen car (the racers stole it)”…
12th annual “Dog to Vet with broken ribs, bike to the repair shop”…
13th annual “9 racers lost (to the sound of deliverance)” we have since improved the course markings…
15th annual – “is it possible to endo a tandem?” Ask the Hirsch brothers…
16th annual (last year)– “bloodiest year yet, multiple emergency room visits” Slow down on those D&# downhill corners!

Click on the flyer to view a larger version... email me for a PDF. You can also visit in a day or two for all the other information like a release form (to fill out ahead of time), detailed driving directions, a course map, etc.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Can someone die virtually?

I think I was close... I forgot my password to my blogsite and am now temporarily retired, so my long standing work email address hasn’t been valid for about 2 weeks. So, for all of you that think I’m blowing you off, not so. Drop me a line at my new personal address.

I’ll post an up date to my TransIowa adventure a couple of weeks back tomorrow or Friday at the latest (promise).

Contact information:

Monday, March 17, 2008

St. Patrick's Day / TransIowa Training

I've neglected my blog for a couple of weeks, sorry to my faithful readers, and to my TransIowa riding buddies (double to them because I’m out of shape)!

Yes, out of shape... this weekends big ride was my last ride on the Triple D route (we still had enough snow to ride the trail system). It took me only 6 hours to ride 72 miles (Dubuque to Dyersville to St. Petersburg to Dyersville and back to Dubuque with a 1 hour lunch in St. Petersburg). While the average speed may sound good... how I felt after the 6 hours is a different story. Chafed and Sore would be putting it mildly!

Average speed was 14.1 mph, not bad for most of it being on snow (if you can call it that), hard crusted and icy in spots. By the time I got near Dyersville Heritage trail was getting slushy as the temp was nearing 38 degrees.
I'll update my blog tomorrow with a couple pictures of a Mississippi River Ride that a couple of us did two weekends ago (I have been riding, just not as much as i should with a 350 mile gravel & mud race next month). The river riding has given me an idea for anther winter event (River Crit)... more on that and "Triple D 2009" to follow?

The annual Dyersville St. Patrick's Day ride is something that any RAGBRAI lover should do! there is no better way to kick off the cycling season than with a party ride with a couple thousand of your best friends... I was fun for me to join up with this group as I’ve finally got too see my regular biking friends back out on two wheels.
Pic1 (near outskirts of Dubuque), pic2 heritage trail outside of dyersville, pic 3 party time at st. petersburg.

Monday, February 25, 2008

TransIowa v4: Training Ride

(photo of Peter Basinger - with the Alaskan Range to go)

Who can think about TransIowa when we have all this snow to ride in?

Thanks to Scooter and Christine, they got me out on the "roads" for the first time in about 3 months... wow, to actually ride on gravel roads!

Still recovering from Arrowhead (my foot) and that nasty flu that's been going around. I'll start some more serious riding in the days to come. Stick around for updates. In the mean time checkout all our buds who are starting the Iditarod Trail Race this week (350 or 1100 miles of Alaska wilderness - you may see me there next year).

Now get out and ride that new SNOW!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Arrowhead Ultra: Video

Great video created by Rick Mangan and DG and a couple of others... I’ll link you to the blog that I found this on: (scroll down just a little).

The only real time you see me in the video is sleeping at the bar (I had just finished about 2 hours earlier and was waiting on my cheese burger & beer).

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Arrowhead: Race Report

This will be a long one… Sorry i dont have any pictures yet, i try to find one on the race site in a couple of days.

Friday: I left DBQ at 10 am to pickup Matt Maxwell (two-time competitor) in Ames. We ate dinner and stayed with my sister in Minneapolis for the night. Great time catching up and discussing all of her recent adventures and her work for Will Steger (one of the Arrowhead Ultra event sponsors). I rode my trainer for an hour to help me get to sleep.

Saturday: We left my sister Elizabeth’s place early so that we’d have time to check on various trailheads on the way to I Falls. Discussed in detail the race from the last two years with Matt on the long drive. We stopped to inspect the trails and they looked good for Matt who would be skiing but were depressing for me. They were chopped up and powdery soft from all the snow machine traffic. We arrived early and got right to socializing with a number of the volunteers and racers who were there for the Saturday gear check in. I was surprised at how well organized the race was… first class organization. Don (the “Gear Nazi”) Clark did a through job at inspecting, counting and weighing the required gear (mine was only 1.5 lbs over the minimum – I had trimmed 5 lbs from my gear setup of earlier, however this doesn’t include the 3 lbs of food and 7 lbs of fluid needed to make it to the halfway checkpoint). My only suggestion would be to increase the required gear list as some racers went with the absolute minimum forgoing items that I would consider required for a survival race as this (good knife for one).

Sunday: Matt and I drove down to the starting area for a 1-hour preride/ski. This section was much better as it had been groomed the night before and the temps were good. After we got back and cleaned up we headed to the race headquarters for more socializing as more arrived for the second day of gear check in and the mandatory prerace meeting.

Monday (race start): I decided that the best bet would be to get out in the first wave of racers to beat the warmer temps that were forecasted for the day. I started about 20 minutes behind the first group of racers and hour before the last. The first 18 miles of out and back trail was in premo condition for all the competitors. I averaged over 15 mph and was feeling great (especially after 8 miles when I was then the first person overall in the race). I would continue to lead the race overall only trading spots with the first placed skier Phillip (who started about 10 min before me) for the first 22 miles. I had been watching Don Gabrielson catching me since the out and back, my plan was to continue to stay ahead of everyone until the gateway store. But, "plans" are not something you can count on in this race as I was learning… by mile 23 the trail was turning against me and my one skinny tire – dropping my speed into the single digits… Dave Pramann, Terry Brannick, Don, Joel, and Josh all passed me with ease on this section of the trail warmed by the sun to a toasty +30d.

At the Gateway store (CP#1), I stopped for a snickers bar and Mountain Dew and I was off (3 minutes)… leaving the store early put me back into about 3rd place overall. Not far down the trail I was again passed by the fat tire bikes… but I knew that this was now a race to finish and didn’t let them determine my pace as I did in the first 6 hours of the race. The miles clicked by oh so slowly (note to self: next year I wont bring my biking computer – it was way too depressing seeing a speed of 7 mph when I was at 90% on my HRM on a perfectly flat section of the coarse). The course didn’t improve at all even into the night. In fact, a little tidbit for those concidering doing this race, this course is NOT flat as I had thought – yes there are what seems like 100’s of miles that pitch up and down no more than a % or 2… however, the last 25 miles into the Melgeorges checkpoint were anything but. At mile 55 I was getting exhausted and enjoyed a long sweeping downhill a bit too much not breaking until it was too late… I got sucked to the left side by numerous snow machine ruts and put the bike into 2+ feet of soft powder at the side of the trail, I cartwheeled for about 50 feet, breaking the 2nd metatarsal on my right foot and giving myself a nice case of sore neck for the drive home. Yes 15 miles to go… broken foot, and bruised ego. The foot while painful was just one of the many issues that I had to deal with at this part of the race (exhaustion being the main one). I stopped to collect myself and access the situation (they say that people get into trouble in situations like these when multiple things go wrong – well that wasn’t going to happen to me…). I decided that I would refill my camel back from my remaining two insulated bottles, I ended up dropping my refilled camel back (without the cap on yet) on the ground, purging my last two quarts of water - if there would have been someone around I would have cussed up a storm, but no one was, so stunned silence was my response instead). I had a couple of options at this point, melt snow using my stove – or keep riding and refill at the checkpoint 2 hours down the trail. I decided that I had been doing a good job eating and drinking, so I decided that I would push ahead to the CP and melt snow if I had too. About an hour later Charlie (another hardy soul on a full skinny bike, 29er x 2.3”) graced me with his ever-optimistic presence and a much-needed drink. We rode together for about 15 minutes when the calm and collected Don Gabrielson rode up to us. The moonless night (new moon) made this last hour of the trail to the half way point DARK too say the lest. I had two multi-LED head lights – barley adequate, I outran my lights and even got on the “scenic trail” at Elephant Lake due to inadequate lighting (I turned on my GPS receiver to try to find the CP, but it had lost all of its waypoints – dead weight). Next year, I’ll bring my homemade light system that I’ve used successfully on numerous long night rides (I had left it to save weight). Charlie and Don had ridden ahead to the CP beating me there by about 10-15 minutes or so. I arrived at the Melgeorges CP in about 8th place at 6:45 PM. At this point in the race I wasn’t sure what to do… my foot was so swollen that I had a hard time getting it out of my shoe, I was slightly dehydrated – probably more so because of the warmer weather than not drinking much the last two hours, my clothing system and me were ready for -30d weather not +30 degree weather. I had “planned” to stop and simply fill my bottles, grab my drop bag and be off in 30 minutes… but instead decided to eat the worlds greatest grilled cheese sandwich and have a bowl of soup. I laid down to try to get some shuteye but this was nearly impossible as the checkpoint was a furry of activity and conversation. A couple of riders in our same “group” decided to head down the trail to a shelter where it would be more quite for some sleep – probably a much better decision. However, I wanted to rehydrate.

Tuesday: It wasn’t until 3 am that I was confident that I was “re-hydrated” and three days worth of celibrex had calmed the pain & swelling in my foot enough that I started preparing to head back out. I left the Melgeorges CP around 4 am to about ¾” of fresh snow that had fallen during the late night. Thankfully 3” less than what was forecasted. About an hour out of Melgeorges I passed the first place runner who hadn’t stayed long at the CP (and bivied at the first shelter), exchanged a short greeting and was off, I passed a number of racers bivied at the shelters but it was early morning and tried to not make much noise as I knew they were well prepared for 0d F night with their -20 bags. At the second shelter past the CP and into the hilly section, Josh was sitting up in his bag after getting woken by another racer. I told him of his good decision to leave the CP for some shut eye and told him I’d see him down the trail in an hour (josh had been averaging about 2 mph faster than me the day before and I knew he’d repeat this performance + some as I was in my just finish mode and was only averaging 5.5 mph. About an hour later Josh caught up… we rode together for about 10 minutes, took a couple of photos and off he went… shortly there after Spencer on his single speed… These guys would be the last racers that I would see on the course until the finish 9 hours later. The cold weather and reduced snow machine traffic on this section of the course were a Godsend for Charlie and me who were I believe 2 of the only 3 in the entire bike group who where not riding Pugsleys! I at least had half a Pugsley. The hills in this last section of the race were almost comical at times. In fact, one was so step (I’m not exaggerating on this on) that when I was pushing my 60 lbs of bike up the hill I had placed my forehead on the bars and my feet were a full foot behind the rear tire! This hill was so step that you could see a spot or two where the snow machines had failed to make it up and had to turn around to get another run at it. After reaching the highest point on the course, I heard my cell phone beep (indicating service). This was the first time in the race that I had cell phone service. I stopped to call home… took at least 15 minutes out here on "Wakem Up Hill" (yes thats the name) to enjoy the scenery, eat, drink and look at the finish only 25 miles away! This last section while flat as a pancake and easy rolling is a real yawner!!! I had to stop to walk just to keep from dieing from boredom (and a sore a$$). I will need to rethink my usual liquid diet for this race next year as the boredom of this last section and the boredom of my food selection nearly got the best of me here (the only thing I think that saved me here was a box of tick tacks). If I had been offered a ride during this last section I might have taken it! As with any multi-day race the finish is well more of a deliverance from bondage than a huge fanfare… I finished around 32 hours from the start – 9 hours hanging at the Melgeorges CP, and 16 miles pushing my bike (sometimes out of necessity, other times out of boredom of riding).

There are so many things that happen on this event there is now way I could post them all here... will supply me with good bar conversation for the next year...

Random thoughts about Arrowhead and the participants (racers & volunteers):
  1. Gateway CP Store, friendliest gas station in the Midwest
  2. Volunteer at Melgeorges CP#2, best grilled cheese cook in the world! Thanks, without that simple GC I may not have continued… yes, the little things are so appreciated!
  3. Bar at Bayview Lodge, best cheese burger in MN and great all-around establishment (I had 3 burgers)
  4. Pierre & Cheryl Ostor, best ran small race I’ve ever participated in – they had to organize an event that spanned 135 miles of remote (and I mean remote) MN boundary waters area, first class check points, rescue services, sleeping accommodations at the finish, transportation, food at both the CP and finish, hand crafted awards… and hundreds of little details that did not go unnoticed. I cannot believe that for the small entry fee that I paid that they accomplished all of this without going broke. I have no complaints! Zero!
  5. Dave Pramann, most focused racer. Dave next year I’m gunning for ya!
  6. Dave Gray & Surly, best event sponsor – second year in a row they donated a pugsley frame to the event.
  7. Phil Finzel, makes skiing Arrowhead look easy… I actually drafted behind him for a couple of miles (I didn’t see no drafting in the rules). He has winter racing down to a science.
  8. Bria Schurke, I saw her the next morning at the finish, and I’m not sure she actually skied the entire race… she looked much too alive to have spent 53+ hours out there! First woman skier, youngest finisher ever, and I believe the 3rd person to ever finish Arrowhead on skis.
  9. John Storkamp, new course record holder for the foot category. But the real story here is that his toenails were falling off because of huge nasty blisters at mile 10!!! This is what arrowhead is about, perseverance thought hardship, while this year it was nearly 50d warmer on average this course will still find ways to break even the toughest athletes (but not John)
  10. Charlie Farrow, The only racer who could turn a 135-mile race into a 165-mile race without getting lost! I mean if Charlie could have kept his bike pointed strait down the trail, he might have won this race. The real award goes to Charlie for his positive attitude he brings with him.
  11. Dave Simmons, the only guy that can make Pugsley look carbon stylish.
  12. Don Gabrielson (the navy dude), best conversationalist at the event and most sincere person I’ve meet in a long time. Thanks for helping us all get to know each other better.
  13. Matthew Maxwell, why would someone who completed this on bike one year decide that this race isn’t difficult enough and want to spend the same amount of time going half the distance on skis… kudos to this years turtle, never give up and never take off those skis (yes he skied the gravel roads – his skis look like someone took an 80 grit belt sander to them with a vengeance).
  14. Everyone who PAID their entry fee and started this race! This event, whether you finish or not challenges the racers more than any normal human will experience in their life. Those of us who were lucky enough to compete in this event know more about our ability (physical, mentally & spiritually) than 99.99% of the human population. If you happen to meet someone who has participated in this event, buy him or her a drink.

Good luck to the racers (pierre & sarah) who will be going on to compete in some of the other winter races still left!

My gear report:

  • Frankenbike: 2/5 stars - well I’d have to say it was better than having two skinny tires, actually given the right snow conditions I might have been in the top 3. The soft snow early on drained me of everything I had… I was running on empty for over 2/3rds of the race due to the snow/rear tire situation (this was a fat tire event).
  • Epic Frame Bag: 4/5 stars - If I had a larger frame this bag would have probably gotten 5/5 stars as the larger frame bag has two pockets. The new grommet design was ideal and kept my insulated bottles easily accessible. Later in the race the frame bag became my trash container. I also kept my cash, spare gloves and chem. warmers in here.
  • Epic Gas Tank: 5/5 stars - BEST GEAR OF THE RACE! If there is one $55 item that you buy for your long rides is MUST be one of these. I was able to eat without stopping (easily). The double zipper design and huge capacity allowed me to store 8 hours of gel and other items. I didn’t even have to remove my gloves to eat, which was good because with the warm weather my hands started smelling like FEET (PS, eating with your smelly feet is not a pleasant experience).
  • Clothes: 3/5 stars - well my single layer system was…well… HOT, I sweated like a pig being roasted over an open pit BBQ. I will have to give it credit that even soaking wet I stayed warm at -10d. I didn’t see any colder temps than that, and I know from early rides that it’s toasty to -35. For next year, I’ll have another suit made with a thinner version of the high tech foam, just incase it’s a warm one like this year.
  • Lake Shoes: 5/5 stars - I bought a pair the correct size a month before the race, and ended up giving them to my wife. If you’re serious about using them in cold temps you have to buy them two metric sizes bigger (which I did a week before the event) to allow for thick socks and circulation room. Never were my feet cold and I didn’t even use warmers in them (with one exception that with my broken foot I was concerned about swelling and circulation on the second part of the coarse, so just to be safe I used warmers on the last half. The ratcheting system on these shoes is the best I have ever used (nothing even comes close). The tread is soft and affords the best traction possible (I modified mine with pliers and nails for improved traction on ice). All I wore for socks was a pair of Smart Wool snow shoe socks (two pairs - one to change in to at the half way CP).
  • Polar insulated bottles: 5/5 stars – they did what they were supposed to do. Kept my liquids thaw’d for 10 hours at a time. No leaks, no issues, good product. I carried 4 of these total.
  • Camel back: 4/5 stars – this was a modified 100 oz camelback, the stock ones just aren’t suited well for this kind of racing. I modified mine to have a Y fitting allowing me to have two insulated hoses. Worked great as one of the hoses froze and I didn’t have to stop to deal with it until the checkpoint. Other modifications that I made were two internal insulated holders for two more polar bottles.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Arrowhead Ultra: Race Summary...

ya ya I know... everyone's looking for a race report.

I started and finished – Both are an incredible accomplishments… 32 hours with 9 hours of just sitting around!

I’m trying to catch up at work and life. I will post my race report before the end of this weekend. It was an incredible race!

i'm so far behind, I havent event un packed my stuff (water bottles havent event been empied - yuk).

I’m also going to go out for a ride this weekend. We got a full foot of snow, warm weather today and forecasted cold weather tomorrow, ideal snow biking conditions.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Arrowhead Ultra: RACE!

Snow, and high temps (-5 to +30 & 3-4")... oh, what fun!
Will start at 8 am. wish me luck.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Arrowhead Ultra: Training Ride

Went out for a 5 hour ride with complete Arrowhead gear setup (bag, tent, pad, extra clothes, repair parts, food, water, stove & gas, GPS, etc.
Bike and Rider = 225 lbs!
Rider only = 159 lbs (shoes and all)... You do the math (remember it's a carbon bike).
Will post picture tomorrow.

Temp = -8dF
Wind = NW @ 41 MPH
Wind-chill = -42 dF

Friday, January 25, 2008

Arrowhead Ultra: My Bike

Frame Bags: I haven’t posted a picture yet of my new frame bag and gas tank by “Epic Designs” out of Alaska. Even with the -6df weather at Triple D and last nights 4 hour ride at -10df the bottles that I keep in the bag with a chem. heater were able to stay thawed. They are also great for keeping things that I need immediate access to without stopping the bike and digging though panniers. The gas tank is my absolute fav! I can operate it with mittens on (it has a dual zipper, that I can loop over the top of my steering damper). If you’re wanting to get serious about winter riding and are tired with having to stop and take off your camel back to get at stuff conceder purchasing a set of these. Eric at Epic custom makes each one, so you’ll need to get him a template and dimensions. If you don’t plan on standing get the expanded pocket on the front, give you more room for storage.
Steering Damper: I’ve been using the Hopey Steering damper for about two weeks now. While I could say its use has not been noticeable, what has been is that I have not racked my knees wrecking the bike on soft rutted trails. It may have been a b.i.t.c.h. to install according to Sam at FFB’s but that’s not my worry (lol). The weight was minimal. I would recommend this to anybody who rides in the nasty stuff and doesn’t want to get wacked by the bars coming around at 90 mph.
Wheels: While the Surly fatgirl front end had been nice for flotation on weak surface trails, it’s a pig when it comes to acceleration or speeds above 10 mph. If you’re not doing long overnight treks carrying loads of gear or plan on only riding well packed trails, stick something 4 lbs lighter. What has worked well in the back is the Echo free ride rim with 2.3-2.5” tires. The double wide Echo rim flattens the profile giving more surface area and better control with slightly higher pressure.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Ouch... Frostbiten racer looses toes... (Not DDD)

News story all over the web and TV today... Guess there was another winter race at the kettles this last weekend... I've already had a couple of co-workers ask me if it was the race I put on. And, I replied... "No" (at least not so far, right Dennis?)

I'm seeing a relation here, Dennis and this guy both had on vapor barrier type socks, starting to wonder about the benefits of this system... is it possible that it works for awhile, but when it fails its catastrophic?

Send, me what you've been using on your feet and hands to avoid the bite. In addition, I may have the cause for Dennis's frostbite (other than being out there for 9+ hours in -6df weather), I have a picture of him downing a double latte in Dyersville before he started the return trip. I've read in some publications that caffeine (I think there’s caffeine in a double latte) can cause the blood vessels to become restricted, and thus not circulate as much warm blood to the extremities...

Race Update - Photo Log (Direct Links)

I've received a number of emails requesting photos, so here are the higher quality (but not originals) that I have uploaded. If you want the real high quality images (about 3 mb per image email directly with the link of of the image that you want).

Set 1 (By Traci Andre):

Set 2 (by Juan Ocho):

Set 3 (by Frank Hasslers Wife - this is one nice photo set - worth the effort, has pictures of the nasty drifted section not seen before):

Race Update - Photo Log (Part5) Photos by: Juan Ochoa-Saldivar"

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Race Update: Results & Recap

Does this bike make me look fat?
(more pictures comming soon)...

I’ll start with the volunteers, we had a fantastic group of local volunteers for this event (I suppose they were worried that someone was going to die attempting this race). Five organizations stepped up big-time to make this event a success (in only 1 month of planning):

  • The Dyersville Area Chamber of Commerce was responsible for organizing the foot category starting area and the biker’s checkpoint.
  • The Dubuque County Conservation Board had two Rangers on Heritage trail for the entire duration of the event checking on racers, their safety and helping with accountability. Enough cannot be said for these two individuals!
  • The Asbury Snow Hawks worked with us to layout two suitable sections of their incredible private trail system to be utilized for this unique winter event. In addition, the snowmobile club volunteered one of their own to sweep the entire course on snowmobile (ensuring nobody was left for dead).
  • Members from our very own local biking clubs (Chain Reaction & Dubuque Bicycle Club) formed the vast number of volunteers that patrolled the course, ran multiple starting lines and the two race finish locations.
  • The Dyersville Police treated the foot category to a shotgun start.
  • A luxury bus ride to Dyersville by AOK Yellow Cab and Limousine service.
  • The Quick-n-Handy in Dyersville hosted the mandatory bike checkpoint.
  • Durango’s own Handle Bar Inn hosted the foot & ski finish line as well as an optional bike check point.
  • The Grand River Center served as race headquarters and post race party central until sometime early the next morning.
Notable mention of the volunteers that donated their entire day to this event in 35 degree below zero weather:
  • Myself (the sadistic race director) - although I did get to spend half the day racing...
  • John Vontalge & Nate Sisler (Dubuque County Conservation Board)
  • Gene Tully (creator of the coveted Triple D sculptures – see the photo book)
  • Bill Stoffel (Race Headquarters, Antique Bike Display & Bike Finish)
  • Martha O’Conner-Leigh (registration and bike start coordinator)
  • Traci Andre & Tim Ingram (Momentum Sports in Platteville) coordinated all the course support and sag drivers (no small feat on a race course that covered 60+ miles of remote Dubuque County countryside)
  • Julie Kronlage (Dyersville Organization, Bike Checkpoint & Foot Start)
  • Traci Andre, Tim Ingram, Karl Steichen, Brian Ehlers, Keith Boever, Martha o’Conner-Leigh & Paul Pettinger (course monitoring, sag, & photographers).
  • Joe Schmitt (snowmobile course sweeper from the Asbury Snow Hawks)
  • Tom Spalla & Willard Brimmeyer (coordinators for the private snowmobile trails used for the bike race & bypass structure for the closed bridge on Heritage Trail).
  • Annie Potter & Patsi Troy (Foot & Ski finish line / I was told that this was one of the more difficult volunteer jobs, if you see these two, buy them a drink for their wonderful efforts).
Now for the weather… Conditions were nearly consistent the entire day, which at least allow racers to make small adjustments to remedy issues. All three races started at noon with the temperature at -6º F (-9º F last rider in temp) and winds straight out of the west at 15 mph, yielding a wind-chill factor close to -30! Not to menation the bikers had to head straight into this for half their ride. At least it was sunny, however, about half finished in the dark. The bitterly cold temperature led to the expected issues with frozen camelbacks (some even with elaborate 1” thick pipe insulators, and my new system with a dual backup hose setup). Nearly all bikers at one time or anther had hydration problems. While the snow was, in remarkably good condition for the skiers and runners (spite not being groomed as planned) it was barely tolerable for the bikers as most without “fat-tires” pushed much more than I think they were expecting.

Quote of the day:
“Sense when did my 29” x 2.3” tires become skinnies”
– Ben Shockey, 2008 Triple D Bike Champion

For all the racers who blog, send me a link of your experience at Triple D and I’ll add it to the results next to your name.

I’ll start the race results with the smallest categories first. The foot and ski categories are one area that could use a lot of growth if we do this event again next year as the entire planned courses were completed by all entrants (We will definatly make the ski distance a little longer, if the snow is similar to this year).

The Ski category was 20+ miles and filled by three experienced skiers; two skiing “skate style” and one conventional.
1. Michael Zeigle, 3:04 (Overall Ski Winner)
2. Jeff Barnes, 3:41 (2nd)
3. Mathew Maxwell, 5:15 (3rd) - Classical
The foot category while small still yielded some impressive results, and honorable mention goes to Jami and Jean who were way too happy for doing nearly a marathon (23.4 miles) in -6º F temperatures. Rumor has it they were being assisted on the trail by a sag volunteer who gave them alcohol at the half waypoint… but this couldn’t be verified, and thus they were not disqualified for accepting outside help.
  1. Nick Martin, 3:00 (Overall Foot Winner) – that’s an 7.5 min. mile on snow in -6º F!
  2. Craig Schutte, 3:48 (2nd Overall)
  3. Lisa Paulos, 3:49 (1st Female)
  4. Annette Hall, 4:21 (2nd Female)
  5. Mike Hodge, 4:21 ( 3rd Male)
  6. Jami Todd, 6:09 (Tie 3rd Female)
  7. Jean Gilpin, 6:09 (Tie 3rd Female)
Now for the event that tested racers on all fronts: physical, mental & mechanical. Thirty four bikes strong, rolled out from in front of Dubuque’s Historic Star Brewery on there way to the most difficult 59-mile bike race that most of us have ever competed in. The course started with a leisurely rollout through Dubuque’s warehouse district. We then linked up with the start of the Heritage Trail… this is where things turned ugly, the pace quickened, and well, you might just have to have one of the racers explain it to you in their own words… but here’s “just the facts” ... after a "quick" 1 mile preview of the he!! to come racers had to climb 800’ of elevation in 1 mile into a 15 mph headwind on a paved city bike trail (this was substituted for 1 mile of pushing on the adjacent snowmobile trails, due to the poor snow conditions on this section. After this climb the racers would not see pavement for another hour+ as the race continued on ROW snowmobile trails and Asbury Snow Hawks private trail system, which rolled over some beautiful Dubuque country side (you did stop to view the scenery didn’t you?). After the last section of private trail the racers were “treated” with couple of miles of Dubuque style roads (i.e., again tested with back to back 400’+ climbs at 10%... until linking up with the Level B from he!!. The Route was marked, however the level B was so Level B that racers second guessed the route and some even backtracked riding back up the Level B and back down again when they had verified they were on the correct route (now that’s love of level b roads - 800' elevation drop on virgin snow). The level b marked the last time the racers would see anything but the Heritage Trail (rails to trails system) as even the 6 front runners (Ben, Paul, David, Josh, Dennis and Terry) couldn’t make the Dyersville checkpoint by the mandatory 4 hours (this was the cutoff to determine if they ride Heritage Trail Back or ride the entire course in reverse back to the start. All racers were given credit for time and miles ridden there were no DNF’s. However, appropriate credit must be given to the only four racers who completed the entire intended course without shorting or sagging:
  1. Ben Shockey, 8:17 – 59+ Miles (Overall Bike Winner)
  2. Joel Cahalan, 9:10 – 59+ Miles (2nd)
  3. Josh Peterson, 9:16 – 59+ Miles (3rd)
  4. Dennis Grelk, 9:35 – 62+ miles (4th & Frozen Saddle Award [appropriate as he’s dealing with painful frostbit on his right foot]) visit:
If you happen to see these four around this year, yeild the right-of-way as you are not worthy, these four are super human!
…. time in, distance, actual placement not correct, nor official, based on an approximate race headquarters logbook… If you have better information from your computers, email it to me and I’ll update the information:
  1. Dave Pramann, 7:15 or 8:47 – 53+ Miles (Full route to Durango CP)
  2. Bruce Grell, 9:00 – 49+ Miles (into Farley & Back)
  3. Maxwell Anderson, 8:07 – 43+ Miles (into Epworth & Back)
  4. Corey Krosner, 8:07 – 43+ Miles (into Epworth & Back)
  5. Mark Vanderwoude, 7:30 – 44+ Miles
  6. Terry Brannick, 7:30 – 44+ Miles
  7. Gary Aronson, 6:54 – 37+ Miles (Graf & Back)
  8. David Allen, 6:47 – 37+ Miles (Graf & Back)
  9. Scott Marx, 6:23 – 37+ Miles (Graf & Back)
  10. Paul Jacobson, 6:10 – 30+ Miles (Dyersville) visit:
  11. Cully Todd, 5:29 – 41+ Miles (Epworth & Back)
  12. Doug Zickuhr, 6:00 – 40+ Miles (near Epworth & Back)
  13. Lance Andre, 4:30 – 26+ Miles (into Farley)
  14. Frank Hassler, 4:40 – 27.6 Miles (Graf To Durango)
  15. Ned Gall, 4:59 – ?
  16. Lonny Mahoney, 4:40 – 28+ Miles
  17. Joe Heilmann, 4:25 – 24+ Miles
  18. Matthew Brakeville, 3:41 – 20+ Miles visit:
  19. Todd Erickson, 3:30 – 18+ Miles
  20. Will Neumeister, 3:35 – 18+ Miles
  21. Tyler Graham, 3:31 – 18+ Miles
  22. Sean Mullins, 3:31 – 18+ Miles
  23. Dustin Quade, 3:29 – 18+ Miles
  24. Adam Blake, 3:30 – 18+ Miles
  25. James Zimmerman, 3:27 – 18+ Miles
  26. Nate Van Der Weide, 3:15 – 18+ Miles
  27. Jerome Full, 3:15 – 18+ Miles
  28. Bruce Nelson, ? – 18+ Miles
  29. Matt Byrne, 2:25 – 16 Miles
  30. Brian Benson, 2:25 – 16 Miles
An incredible feat even to start this race, remember it was -6 to -9 with -30 wind-chill! Most people would think that it’s crazy to spend more than 10 minutes outside in this weather! This group spent HOURS out in it, and a couple of them even enjoyed it… What a race!

Email me your comments on the race, this was the first time I’ve ever been involved in something like this, and while it wasn’t supposed to be something as big as it turned out to be – it was way more work than I had originally planned to put forth for a simple "training ride" – but I couldn’t let the masses down that were wanting to get outside and do something… we may consider it again for next year… Heck you can’t have the coldest day of the year fall on the same event two years in a row can you? I sure hope not, because I and a couple more from this race will be at the Arrowhead Ultra next month (it was -24 for a high temp last year).

Lance Andre
PS, check out the pictures for the event (will be posted later tonight), if you have some please forward and I will include them in the race photo album.

Race Update: Where Done!

I'll give a complete update tomorrow... with lots of great photos. Ffor those that took photos on the route, email them to me please!

  • 35 Bikes started - 4 Finished the entire course all made it back alive, one case of frostbite.
  • 3 Skiers finished
  • 7 Foot category finishers

-6dF for the daytime High -10dF for the low with winds to 17 mph, resulting in a wind-chill of -32dF and lots of frozen water supplies.

Cheers, Lance

Friday, January 18, 2008

Race Update: Maps

I will have printed maps and other materials for all racers... see you Saturday! Cheers. First Map Page (Dubuque / Durango / Asbury):
Second Map Page (Asbury to Graf):
Third Map Page (Graf / Epworth / Farley):

Fouth Map Page (Farley / Dyersville):

Race Update: Trail Report

I rode the trails for about 5 hours last night, and well... there's good news and there's bad news...

First for the good news: The foot racers and skiers are going to have a great time out there. Remember, anybody can change categories... Trail is being groomed today as I write this. When you finish there will be free drinks at the Handle Bar in Durango (finish line for foot/ski category) while you wait for a ride back to the Grand River Center.

The bad news: The 4-5" of snow that we got is dry and powdery and will not improve by tomorrow due to the extremely low temperatures. I had to push on a number of uphill sections, even with my very aggressive Kenda 2.5" tires on wide rims.

More bad news: while I know I’m not going to be the fastest one out there... at 5 hours I had only gone half way to Dyersville and back, I didn’t go past Graf at all... so, in hopes of having someone finish this event, I (may) do the following for the bikers:
  1. 1. The entirely uphill 2 mile section of ATV trails from Hwy52 will be substituted with the paved City Bike Path.
  2. 2. The ATV Trails along Northwest Arterial may be substituted for the gravel shoulder.
  3. 3. If you do not make Dyersville by 4 PM, the route back will be entirely on Heritage Trail (no Snowmobile or ATV trails).

Even more bad news: it’s going to be REALLY COLD! You should already know this, but there are some of you that may have never attempted to Bike in -5dF with 15 MPH wind for 5-8 hours. So, I’ll offer up an option that a couple of racers have already committed to, and this isn’t a bad idea for all. Start the race and ride to a point where you feel that you are halfway to having enough fun at -5f and call the sag coordinator to tell her you all turning around and heading back. It’s important with these temperatures that we keep track of everyone! I’ll be altering the results to include time on trail and distance covered just incase we have to give out awards and nobody finishes the entire route.

And lastly I’ll end with some good news: local artist Gene Tully (and lifelong cyclist) has created the awards for the top finishers in each category. So, in addition to the fun everyone will have, the cash lottery (which you only need to start to be entered in – finishing gets you more entries), we will have awards. Also, local bike collector & racer Bill Stoffel will be bringing by some his 100+ year old bikes for all to admire.

Area maps will be posted soon.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Arrowhead Ultra: Training Ride

I'm not calling this a "Race Update: Trail Report" due to the forecasted 6" of new powder like snow. But if it were a trail report I’d say WOW was the course fast. I was able to ride the entire course in both directions finishing in just over 5 hours. Not a single section required me to dismount and push. Oh, well... what fun would a winter bike race be anyway if you didn't get to push? Looks like the skiers will have fun – Trail will be groomed on Friday!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Race Update: Big Picture Map (weather update)

I'll get more detailed maps created using DOT maps after my ride tonight.
Foot category: Note the final measured course is a little over 21.5 miles. This was shorted so that we can finish the Foot & Ski category at a heated bar and food establishment in Durango.
I’ll present the ski options the morning of registration and let the skiers make a group decision:
  1. Ski from Durango to Graf and back to Durango = 16 Miles (all groomed)
  2. Ski from Dubuque Trailhead to Graf and back to Durango = 20 Miles (all groomed)
  3. Ski from Dubuque Trailhead to Farley and back to Durango = 36 Miles (2 miles not groomed)
  4. Do the original Dyersville to Durango Route (Weather permitting - will recon the night before) The reason for this is that there is CURRENTLY exposed gravel on the section between Dyersville and Farley.

Weather Update: this just in - fresh snow and really cold temps on the way... so dress warm, plan on at least 1-2 miles total of bike pushing, and the cycle-cross bike discussion is a mutt point (fatties rule, on this one)... Good thing I shortened the bike course to ~56 miles!