Sunday, May 31, 2009

My throat hurts, my feet stink, and I don't love.......

But that was what i did.
My 2009 Dirty Kanza 200 experience was no where near as enjoyable as last year, and judging from what I have heard so far the attrition rate was really high.
I woke up feeling pretty good, but as the day wore on I started feeling a sore throat coming on.
Anyway, We rolled out of Emporia in a mass start with the pace set pretty high. I was feeling pretty good, and was trying to keep Skip in sight, as he was last years 2nd place SS finisher. For that matter all of the Nebraska crowd was looking very strong. My money is on Cornbread at 3:1!
At about the 12 mile mark, where you encounter the first real hill, I felt my rear rim make contact.
I was set up tubeless so I hit it with some CO2 and did the shake and shimmy. I was rewarded with a spraying of Stans from a sidewall slit that was parallel with the bead. No sealage.
Throw a tube in and watch the entire field pass me by. Get back on and charge back through the field. I have to admit that it felt really good to be able to reel positions that quickly. I was able to catch back up to Joel Dyke, the copromoter of the DK 200, at aroud mile 45. I slipped away for a few hundred yards and then decided to walk a (not so) big hill as the camera crew drove by giving me all kinds of crap about my weak skills(thanks Lelan!)
Got to the top of the hill and started rolling down the backside when I hear the PPPSSSSHHTTT of my front tire going flat. Stop, change tire, and watch the field pass me by again. from here on the fun factor went way down. I was out of water before hitting the 60 mile checkpoint at Cottonwood Falls, and while I managed to catch everyone that passed me on my 2nd flat I knew that this was not a sustainable effort.
I managed to jump on the John Mathias/Peter Krause pain train as we were rolling out of Cottonwood Falls. John pulled me for a long way, and it was obvious that he was feeling very good, as was Peter (who, by the way, is capable of sending a text message while riding gnarly gravel). I was able to hang on to John and Peter until about the 80 mile mark, where we picked up BGR Teamate John Waller.
less than 2 miles later I look back to see that John Waller is kicking at his pedal. He snapped the retaining spring in his Crank Bro's pedal so there was no clippage. We decided that we could not keep up with John M. and Peter, and went it alone.
At mile 85 I was feeling absolutely shelled. My chest felt really tight, it hurt to take deep breaths, and my throat was sore. I looked at John and told him I was calling it. I called Alison and said come get me. We kept riding toward the 100 mile point. We came across Dennis Grelk changing a flat. Dennis and I have a lot of experience seeing each other with flats. I whipped out a CO2 cartridge and got him aired up and on the road while Waller chatted with Doug Long.
We made it to the 93 mile point before Alison found us. On our drive back to Council Grove We also found a very lost and out of water Mike Wise so we crammed one more bike into the back of the Recreational Turd Colored Vehicle (RTCV) and John and rode on the tailgate into Council Grove.
All in all, I have to admit that even if there had not been strong west winds for the first 40 miles I still would have pulled the plug.
To give you some perspective last year I averaged 17.8 mph up the first CP, this year I averaged 13.9 mph. There was some serious wind!
Riding 200 miles in the flint hills is not a impossible feat, but when the wind and the temperature conspire against you like they did this year it really is a super human accomplishment just to finish!
Big thanks to Joel and Jim for all their work putting together a really great, well marked course.
I think that everyone appreciated the spray painted arrows in addition to the ribbons.
I am looking forward to seeing who finished. If you see a 09 DK finisher you can rest assured that you are looking at one tough hombre!
I am gonna go mix up another theraflu cocktail and try to get some more sleep.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Dirty Kanza 200 weather musings

Its gonna be pretty warm, however the wind was at the forepoint in my mind since the last 60 miles are southerly. Generally in KS winds are out of the south. I believe that Kanza means"people of the south wind". Last year the wind was under 5 mph all day so that was pretty nice.
Well Joel and Jim obviously did not see this coming.

A south wind transitioning to a north wind sounds pretty good to me. I would love to have a breez at my back as I roll towards Emporia Its gonna be tough to stay cameled-up though with temps hitting 90. Gonna need sunscreen!
See you all there!

Friday, May 22, 2009

The google index

I get chuckle out of Feedjit cuz it lets me see what people have googled for, and inadvertently ended up on my blog regarding content that I have written about. Most of the time its searching "ghetto tubeless" or Redline Flight for sale", but this one was just to much.
Click to enlarge.

Good to see that surf and ski culture is alive and well in Minnesota.
As an side note my dirtbag reign of terror has been in decline for the last few years, much to the relief of my family. Well, I bought a suit that cost 400 bucks, and I am not talking about a dry suit! I am interveiwing in DC for a USAID Foreign Service Officer position in a couple of weeks, so her Al-ness was like, "better clean up and look respectable". Baah!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

My first race

Well my first race that I have promoted went really well. There was a attack early on that involved a cow laying in the road. That was all the distraction that Mark Smelser needed. Mark went off the front towards the cow, well the cow freaked out and this held up the rest of the lead group. That was all the break he needed. Mark held off the chase group by himself for the next 70 MILES! That included 20 miles into the wind. That is a racing tactic!
Had lots of fun, got to meet a bunch of new folks, and had a great time.

John "I will kill you and eat your children" Waller waiting for the start.

Mark was feeling feeling good at the first check point

Joe Fox looking large and in charge of some gravel road.

Al surveying her kingdom.
More later, promise

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Constant Vigilance

That's what is required to guard the gene pool. My recent hiatus from the interwebs is the product of much time spent in the field putting anhydrous ammonia in the ground.

We have been testing a the new JD 2510 series nutrient applicator with multiple rates, at three different timings. As far as nitrogen sources go anhydrous ammonia is probably the most economical source of N and is the least likely to be lost to denitrification or other fates

I built about 150 acid traps to place over the application zone to see how depth of placement affected gaseous emissions.

We have been using shower caps to keep precipitation from washing out the acid traps. Works good! I will present my finding at this years ASA Conference

Oh and got the new sled together. Now I have to wait for QBP to get their act together.

We also bought a new tandem mountain bike frame..........this is gonna hurt.....alot. More later