The Trans Iowa Experience

This is my big long story about riding the first trans iowa gravel road race that was
run in April of 2005. Dirt Rag rejected it (too long maybe?) so I started a blog and with many photos
found on the internet I am presenting it here.

I first heard about Trans-Iowa on bikeiowa and I was immediately excited
to do it. I love long rides, love gravel, love big challenges and this
presented all three. Plus I get really bored racing the same races
every year and I thought it wise for my state of mind to miss the Ol’
Cap for once! I signed up almost as soon as registration opened and was
very happy that my old friend and roommate Ira Ryan entered as did my
good friend and teammate Jim Cochran. This was in December and the race
was months away. Plenty of time to get our bikes and bodies ready!
Right? Well, there is never enough time. There were visits to
chiropractors by Jim and I as well as lots of stretching as our aging
bodies were not being very cooperative with our training goals or our
crashing. There were phone calls to Ira out in Portland which always
seemed to bring news of another 100+ mile ride by him in any and all
conditions and over huge mountains, too. Jim and I did some pre-race
recon of the gravel around Algona and found it to be very skinny tire
friendly, even as the promoter continued to insist that a mountain bike
with 2 inch tires would be the only intelligent bike choice. As the
race drew nearer and nearer Jim, Ira and I all hammered out our
equipment choices and felt our bodies were as ready as we could make
them and when we loaded into the van to head west we felt that we were
as prepared as we could be and let the race bring what it would to us.

We arrived at the Hawarden Pizza Ranch on Friday night for pre-race
festivities where we feasted upon pizza and pasta in the company of the
other racers.

We picked up our race bags which were loaded with some
very nice things like: Cateye tail lights, Tifosi sunglasses, Gu, Cliff
and Power Bars, a really nice pen from the First State Bank of Hawarden,
a real nickel, a neon yellow pin in the shape of a bike, race numbers
and most importantly, the cue sheets which would tell us where to go for
the first 128 miles into the Algona checkpoint. We ate heartily and met
the infamous “Dr. Doom” who is a former World Champion in the 24
hour solo single speed division. Dr. Doom is a friend of Ira’s from the
Portland bike messenger crowd and is a very nice guy who, like so many
hippies, had no place to stay that night other than his car. We invited
him to stay with us in the church basement that the nice folks at the
Hawarden Chamber of Commerce had arranged for us and he said sure. We
left our support crew (Pat McKay and Doug Eatl) at the Pizza Ranch with
a pitcher of beer and a cell phone and went for the church to get ready
to race in the morning and hopefully get some sleep. The church was
GREAT! We had the whole basement, it was very warm and there were two
bathrooms to choose from. We had kitchen access but only used it to get
the bikes ready because it was tiled. The Pastor came over and said
hello and told where the best breakfast in Hawarden could be had. The
church was right across the street from the high school where the race
would start so we thought things could not be going better.

We organized our clothing choices and food, filled bottles, checked the
bikes over, etc…. Everything was ready to go and we started to crash
around 9:30 pm or so. Jim and Ira went on a mission to let Pat and Doug
know where we were and when they last saw them they were about to enjoy
their 3rd? or 4th? or 5th? “Car Bomb” at one of the local social clubs,
they were not seen again until Algona; we have no idea where they slept
that night.

At 6:00am our alarms started going off and we were all up pretty
quickly. Dr. Doom went about his preparations with the confidence of
someone who has done this many times. Jim and Ira and I were a bit more
harried but we were all ready to go at 7 am and rode across the street
to attend the mandatory pre-race meeting. It was cold! 35 F as I
understand it and the meeting was outside and we were dressed to race.
The meeting started about 10 minutes late but was mercifully short as we
were all shivering.

The race would start at 8 am sharp. We learned that we had to make it to
Algona (128 miles) by 6pm and to a state park (170 miles) by 10pm. Then
we had to be through Cresco (267 miles away) by noon and into Decorah
(the magical 305 mile mark) by 3:00 pm in order to not be DQ’D.

We took this new information with us downtown and had
an awesome Iowa Breakfast of eggs, hash browns, toast and ham for the
awesome Iowa price of $4.95 a piece. The local farmers were quite
amused by our dress and when they heard what we were up to they got very
excited. One asked how we would keep from getting “shredded” out there.
Another told us that 300 miles of gravel in one shot would make us
better Christians because we would know what hell was really like! It was
a great breakfast and they all wished us well as we left.

I had to ride to a K&G to buy some 99 cent gloves because it was so cold and then
we were back at the school just 5 minutes until the start of the race.
People were lining up behind the pace car so we rolled down and talked
with some of the other entrants.

I knew a few, but not many. There were lots of interesting equipment choices to look at.
Not many cross bikes, less than 10 for sure. More single speeds than I was expecting.
29’ers, double suspension, everything was there except for a road bike, it seemed.
51 of us took the start, one woman among us. The lead vehicle led us out for 1.6 miles
and peeled off as we hit the gravel.

Jim and Ira and I were near the front and off we went. The pace was
moderate and steady and the wind was coming strong from the North with a
bit of West to it.

The group was very calm, it seemed and we all settled into what we were
doing. After a spell Jeff Kerkove, race promoter, came up near the
front and said that the race was shattered. I looked back and saw that
he was right; there were very few people visible behind us and very few
people with us. Jim and I looked around and Ira was gone so we decided
to let this group roll on, and we dropped off the back. Ira came up to
us soon after and said that all the experienced guys were way back and
we should probably take it easy so we did. Somewhere in all of this my
super special custom built headlight bracket snapped right off my frame
so I had to go pick up my light and pocket it for a while. Not a big
deal in the morning but I had no idea how I would attach it for the
night.

We rolled along for some more miles until we hit the first B
road, which was quite a sight! There were guys who had tried to ride it
only to discover that the mud would not just stop you, it would stick to
you. There were a few guys riding in the ditches and many that were
stopped trying to clear mud out of their brakes. Jim and I chose the
right side and Ira the left and we dove into the ditches. It was a ball
buster of a section, cranking along in our 39X27’s but by the far end
Jim and I were past everyone and leading the race. I don’t know exactly
what happened to Ira on the other side of the road but he joined us soon
after and we rolled it between 15 and 20mph

to the next B road which was a repeat of the first except we made the first
tracks in the ditches. Our group had swelled a bit and after cleaning the second
B road we continued the pace to the third. This one had really crappy ditches.
Super bumpy, we were swerving all over and our backs were killing us and
then the boys on the mountain bikes came FLYING by right down the center
of the road. I asked Jim if he wanted to try it and he said yeah so we
hopped off the bikes and got up on the road in a tire track and soon we
too were FLYING, right back up to the front. Jeff Kerkove was in the
group now and he had done B road recon on his way out from Waterloo and
he assured us that that was the last of the muddy B’s, which was good to
hear as they were cooking us gently and the thought of eight more
sections over the next 250 miles was not appealing. We lost Ira again
somewhere in this fracas but a quick look back showed that he was coming
back to us, fast, with Brian Hannon in tow. I think Brian had a flat
after the first B and had been chasing solo for some time now. My
memory is a bit muddled as far as mileage into the race and such but I
think somewhere around now our lead group was about 6 guys, 5 on cross
bikes and one (poor guy) on a mountain bike.

So here we are, some distance into the race, averaging a steady 15 mph,
past the last of the crappy B roads according to the promoter and we
have a gap of at least 30 seconds to the next group of 8 to 10 guys.

We hit some pavement through Primghar, I believe and we kept our speed high
until we hit southbound gravel where we kept our speed even higher. We
would not see a large chase group again.

We talked our situation over, wondering if we were going too hard too
soon but we thought that we should take advantage of the slight tail
wind as long as we could because it would surely die at night so we kept
the speed between 15 and 20 with 18 being very comfortable. When Ira
was pulling it was always around 20. We settled into our group and
began the long grind. At some point the mountain bike disappeared, we
later learned that he had flatted. Next Brian Hannon disappeared. It
was kind of eerie because he, as the mountain biker before him, was just
gone, we could not see him anywhere. Were we being stalked by one of
them Iowa Mountain Lions? Well, we figured he had another flat or that
he stopped for water as he had told Jim he was almost out. So we kept
on keeping on until we got to Emmetsburg where we all stopped for a
minute so our companion from Kansas City could fill his camelback at a
house. Jim and Ira and I discussed how we were feeling, I was having
issues with my energy drink and energy bar combo. I felt really bloated
and had no appetite, which was very troubling knowing I had 200 miles to
go! Jim and Ira were both doing okay at this point. As we were stopped
waiting for KC to get back who should come charging into town but Brian
Hannon! He had indeed stopped for water but again had chased back to
us. He said he had not seen any other riders behind us so we guessed
that our gap was good

We rolled out of town and when we hit gravel again Brian and Ira gave it more gas than Jim and I and KC were comfortable with so we let them roll off as we were well ahead of
schedule and were worried that we might not be able to maintain the
pace. We kept going, very close to Algona now. The gravel got a touch
gnarly and Jim lost contact with KC and I but just by 100 yards or so,
so we kept rolling. Jim fell a bit farther back but we were almost to
Algona so there seemed to be no point in slowing up to regroup when we
would all be together in 5 minutes anyway so we kept on. There had been
discussion earlier in the race about any prizing for 1st to Algona and
someone had said it was the first 3 to check in that would get prizes if
they went on to finish so I pushed the pace on the last climb into
Algona and dropped KC to be sure I got the 3rd place.

Didn’t matter as they had no prizes for the halfway but it felt good
to be third in anyway! I rode straight into the Red Bull tent and skidded
to a nice stop. I got my cue sheets and went to the van for refueling.
It was about 4:30 pm, I think.

It was great to see the van and Pat and Doug, too. Beatriz was there as
was her relation (her American sisters husband) Dominic, taking
pictures. Ira was already in, of course, and Jim came in shortly so we
quickly set about preparing for the second leg. There were 2 Pizza Hut
pizzas waiting for us and they were very tasty! I had decided to give
up on Accelerade and Peak Bars so I loaded up this time with my old
friend Powerade and more “natural” foods like oatmeal cream pies, Nutty
Bars, Cheese and Crackers, Scooby Doo fruit snacks, Salted Nut Rolls and
about 10 Gu’s.

trans-iowa-algona-151

Jim and I had both planned to do a complete change of
clothes here after a quick baby wipe shower and that’s what we did. I
felt great! Honest! Ira changed no clothing, just added chamois
butter. Mmm… My light that had broken off early in the race was nicely
reattached to the bottom of my handlebar drop by Pat with zip-ties. It
worked great. The forecast for the evening was for clear skies and full
moon with temps falling to near freezing. Joy. We loaded lots of extra
clothing, wore booties, extra gloves, headwear, lots more layers for the
upper body, etc. Ira had no booties or tights, just knickers. I
twisted his arm and got him to take my expedition weight Smartwool socks
and cut cleat holes in them to use as booties.

He did and I think it is a good thing. I am sure he still would have finished
without them, but I don’t think his ankles or feet would have been too happy
with him. Even with the huge socks he still had a few inches of exposed leg.
We left town at I knownot what time, but we were definitely not there for
an hour.

We took off and resumed our previous pacing.

Very shortly after leaving town we caught a group that contained our old
chum Brian Hannon as well as the legend of off road ultra-endurance events,
Mike Curiak. There were a couple of other guys there too, but I am not sure
who. There were maybe 7 or 8 of us and we understood that there was
only one guy up the road. We kept on rolling it at about the 14 to 17
mile an hour pace. I don’t even remember how it happened but suddenly
the group split and it was just Jim, Ira, Brian and I all the way to
Forest City. This was one of my favorite parts of the race as all four
of us have Iowa City ties and we were all roadies on cross bikes,
apparently beating up on some of the best off road endurance racers in
the world. We had a good deal of north in this section of the race as
Forest City is Northeast of Algona. Here there was not a lot of talk,
just a single pace line cranking out the miles. We had another very
important deadline looming, we had to be through the 170 mile mark by
10:00 pm or we were out so we were very motivated. Ira continued to
push the pace and it seemed that Jim and I were again feeling it more
than Brian. We made it into Forest City and the Cue Sheets had a
mistake. We were supposed to take a left on S Best St but the street
was S L St or something. We were all confused when Brian’s parents
pulled up in a mini-van and told us we were on the right road, it had
been renamed or something so off we went. Brian was in need of some
real food and Jim and I agreed that eating would be wise so we stopped
at the first place we saw, Hardees!

We thought fast food would be a good option because we wanted to get our
food fast and get back to the riding but we didn’t count on two things.
One, it was prom night in Forest City. Two, kids going to prom in
Forest City actually go to Hardees in all their finery. The line was
not long but it took forever just to get to order. I sat on the floor
as the promers gawked at the dirty stinky bikers. We finally got the
food and were going to eat when Ira decided he had to get going. Jim
and I were content to let him as he was kicking our asses but Brian
decided to go with him. We ate, it was delicious! My stomach was still
having issues but it could handle the big roast beef and the hot ham and
cheese. No fries though. I had to go poop here and the experience was
entertaining enough to merit mention. The bathroom had 2 stalls and I
was sad to see that one was occupied because I could tell that my
earlier use of Accelerade, Peak Bars and Gu was about to catch up with
me. I went in and proceeded to “drop a bomb” as they say. The smell
was a bit overpowering even for me, I felt really bad for the poor kid
next to me. It seemed that he wiped frantically and skedaddled when the
bomb dropped, but I could have just been imagining things. Anyway, Jim
and I were ready to leave when it got awfully confusing here as group of
riders came in and they were going every which way. Mike Curiak was in
Hardees. There were guys on the opposite street corner; there were guys
in the parking lot. The kids were racing their cars around out in the
streets and I was having a lot of trouble dealing with the racket after
many hours in the middle of nowhere listening only to the wind. Jim and
I took off and two of the others followed us.

We had only about 20 minutes now to get out of town and get to the park
that would close at 10 because our fast food experience had turned into
such a slow food experience. Not too much trouble though because we
were fueled and warm so we blasted off and made it into the park with
time to spare. Our approach to Forest City had seen the sun set and
with the amount of time we had spent in town this was our first night
riding and it took some adjusting too. We rode into the park where our
Cue sheets informed us we would take a left onto a 1 mile section of
horse trail. A vehicle approached us and they yelled out the window at
us to just ride the road through and skip the trail. I was confused.
We had lost one guy so it was just Jim and I and a guy on a single speed
(!) who seemed to know something about the course around here and I was
just really confused when we saw a guy changing a flat and it was none
other than Brian Hannon. His second flat of the race, what a bummer.
He told us to skip the trail and just ride the road out so we followed
orders, confident that not only was it the right thing to do, but that
he would AGAIN catch us soon enough. Off we went.

As we exited the park there were some guys parked on the road who called
out to us which way to go, how far up Ira was and that we were doing
great. It was not until later that I learned it was our support crew,
Pat and Doug. We rode not far before we found Ira standing in the
middle of the road. He said he was confused about which way to go and
for some reason we were not so we just went and luckily it turned out to
be the right way. Sometime around now we got a lot of information about
how the race was developing. We heard that one rider, Alex, was up the
road. We learned that only 16 people had made it to Algona before the
time limit. We learned that Jeff Kerkove had dnf’d and so had Dr. Doom.
We felt better about how our race was going. We were doing quite well,
we now knew. We continued our 15 mph pace (my computer had us averaging
about 15 at this point, although our stops were not counted in that
average) and Ira again lifted the pace and was gone. That was it; we
would not see him again until Decorah. As we watched Ira’s tail light
disappear into the distance we were caught AGAIN by the amazing Brian
Hannon. He came up on us so fast! He slowed long enough to learn that
Alex was leading with Ira in hot pursuit and off he went. We had the
pleasure of watching his light chase Ira’s light and his chase was
amazing, he just flew across that gap.

Jim and I were very content to be riding in the group near the front of
the race knowing that at this point just finishing would yield a
satisfying result. We settled in yet again to crank out some miles at
our own pace. We got to know Todd the single speeder. He has done lots
of endurance events like the Iditabike and many 24 hour races. He was
really nice. The temperature kept dropping and we kept riding. We had
a few stops to pee and eat. During the daylight hours we had been
peeing off the bike, which is to say on the bike, to keep our average
speed up, but at night it seemed safer to stop. It also made it easier
to eat because all the clothing we were wearing made it difficult to
find the food we were after in the dark. After some time we arrived in
Osage and were happy to find a Kwik Star open. It was 1:30 am, the temp
was 35 F and we were almost to the 200 mile mark. I was a wreck. I was
cold, I could not eat, my throat was raw and I felt like I was going to
puke. I even had the trash can picked out that I would yak in if it
came to that. Jim was doing a bit better but we were both pretty
worked. Todd was doing great. He had some coffee and food and left
long before us, assuring us that we would catch him. Jim and I got some
food and such and proceeded to camp out on some big bags of dog and cat
food. This was definitely the low point of the race for me. I was
cooked. I wanted to call my girlfriend Cody but I was afraid I would
start crying if I talked to her. I wanted to eat but I was afraid I
would puke if I did. I wanted to finish this race but I knew that if I
did not get some food in me I would collapse in a ditch somewhere
between here and Cresco. Not pleasant thoughts! Jim was very
encouraging and I spent some time easing my body into eating again and
it worked! Jim had some hand warming packets and he put some in his
shoes and gave me a couple to put in my jersey. They worked great! We
took some ibuprofen, made ourselves some neck gaiters by cutting up some
of our other clothing and finally rode out, filled with hope. It was
late, it was cold and here came 2 more riders! None other than Mike
Curiak and another single speeder! They rolled up to us and said howdy,
but kept going straight when the route turned. Jim said he had heard
them say they wanted to get some food.

So again Jim and I were out on the gravel of Iowa with a full moon
overhead. We rode, we talked, we rode some more. I had a flat. The
only flat that Jim or Ira or I had. It happened right around the 200
mile mark. I did a pretty quick change and we again ate some food as we
were stopped anyway. At some point around the 200 mile mark we saw that
we were being caught by a rider. No big deal. He caught us and rode
with us for a mile on pavement before taking off, another single
speeder, the same one we had seen earlier. He was cranking a 44X16!
Jim and I were now in spots 6 and 7 on the road, as near as we could
figure, with 200 miles down.

Here are a few random memories. We saw a raccoon shortly after the race
began, running for cover as 51 bikes barreled down the gravel road. We
saw many deer cross the road while en route to Forest City, it was very
pretty. The moon rise was gorgeous. We saw a skunk late at night but
thankfully it just went about its business. The dogs were amazingly
well behaved out there for the entire ride, we did have a few give chase
but they were never menacing. We saw very few bordering on no cars
after dark on gravel. The moonlight was beautiful shining on the rivers
we crossed at night. Having a hand warming packet slip out of your
jersey and right down into your chamois feels an awful lot like you have
just lost control of your bladder and causes great confusion! Jim was
worried about his feet at some point during the night and I told him
that the temp in Osage was 35 so it would be uncomfortable but not
dangerous as long as it stayed above freezing. Then hours later I was
getting a drink and when I squeezed my bottle it crunched, I guessed it
was now below freezing. Sorry Jim! Everyone I talked to at this race,
even the experienced enduro-racers, said this was the longest one shot
race or ride they have ever done. It was for us, too. Ira had done a
few double centuries before this but Jim and I had never.

So Jim and I rode and rode and rode. Talk grew less and less frequent
as we kept turning out the miles. I think we kept the pace close to 15
as before, but we had turned off our headlamps to save batteries and
were just running the headlights, only turning on the headlamps to
navigate. Around 4 am Jim informed me he was getting sleepy and I
responded with something like, “I don’t know what to say to that.” We
kept riding. Then, the sky before us began to lighten and that
definitely lifted our spirits. As the morning dawned we began to see
that there was frost on the grass around us. It was cold. We got into
Cresco in the very early morning, maybe 6:30am or so? We went off the
course to the convenience store marked on the Cue sheets for breakfast
and another break. We were 40 miles from Decorah and had until 3pm to
get there so we figured barring crashes or acts of God we would make it.
Pulling up to the store we saw the single speed bike with the 44X16. We
went in and enjoyed breakfast of micro waved sandwiches on the floor
with the single speed rider. He was yet another great guy with many
interesting stories to share from his ride. He told us that Mike Curiak
had dnf’d in Osage right after we saw them there; he was heading for a
hotel, not a meal! We were surprised as much had been made of this mans
reputation. I guess he had done another endurance race recently and was
not fully recovered or something. Whatever, I have loads of respect
from him after reading of his past results, I had a bad day on the bike
myself once upon a time….

Jim and I got fully refueled and ready to rumble into Decorah and we
took off. The single speeder was not ready so we left him but he caught
us soon enough. This final stretch to the finish was the most trying of
the ride both physically and mentally. If you have ridden around
Decorah then you know the hills. It is just 20 miles from Cresco to
Decorah on Hwy 9 but Kerkove set it up so it was 40 for us. The 40
toughest miles of the race and there they were at the end where they
belong. We set off and saw one of the promoters, Guitar Ted at the edge
of town, we felt like we were back in civilization! I have heard of
getting your “second wind” of course, but I have never before felt it
like I did for this final grind. My legs were on auto pilot, they were
unstoppable. Up and down the hills, they were tired but they could just
keep turning over my small gear. Jim and I were nervous that we might
have to walk a few of the monster climbs we encountered, but we rode
them all. Our average speed took a beating in the final 40, dropping
from almost 15 down to 13.9 but we did not care. At mile 282.2 on the
Cue sheet we made our only navigational error of the trip. I had 2 Cue
sheets stuck together and thought we were supposed to stay on the road
we were on for the next 18 miles when in fact we were supposed to have
turned. The road we were on was really hilly, of course, and we rode
about 2 miles and hit a Hwy with nowhere to go. We realized our error
then, cussed a few times and rode back over those hills to get back on
the route. As we were climbing the last hill we saw a rider go by,
another place slipped away. We did catch the rider and he was the guy
we were riding with way back in the first half of the race with who had
a flat and disappeared right before Brian did! It was great to see him
again and we chatted up who was where and how our rides had been going.
When we told him that another rider was just up the road he took off in
pursuit and Jim and I kept our pace steady. The area was beautiful for
sure. The climbs were tough and the descents even started to get
difficult as our hands and forearms were so cooked they were having
trouble with the brakes. Talk went back to a minimum for this stretch,
my throat was torn up and it hurt like hell. Inside 5 miles to go we
got hit with yet another brute of a climb but I have ridden a bunch
around Decorah with Ralph and I knew that this was it the last
challenge, then just a monster descent into town.

The finish was extremely anti-climactic. Jim and I had decided earlier
to finish together, not sprint it out or anything like that. The finish
was not where it was supposed to be so we were not ready for it. All of
the sudden my old friend The Captain from Decorah was shouting after us
for our numbers and that was it, we were done. Jim confirmed that we
were done not wanting any technicalities to come up at this point and it
was confirmed that we were indeed done.

It was 10:30 am. We had a rough goal of a 10 am finish the morning before so not too shabby! Our
support crew Pat and Doug were right there and Ira, too

who we learned had indeed held on for the win ahead of Brian Hannon. Dr. Doom was there and in fine spirits.

It was glorious to be done.

The numbers from my cyclocomputer matched
Ira’s pretty well so we think they are accurate. The official race
distance which was clocked with a car was 304.8 miles. We agree that it
was actually about 315. With our ride to downtown Hawarden for
breakfast the morning before and our one navigational error Jim and I
came in at a solid 320 miles in 26 and ½ hours. Our average speed while
riding was 13.9 mph and at some point we hit 32.5 mph, probably one of
the downhill’s we hit while off course!

Jim and his family took off for Iowa City as Sebastian was not feeling
well. Ira and I stayed behind with Pat and Dr. Doom to attend the
awards. We went to T-Bocks for food and beverage.

I was shelled and had trouble eating and even drinking but it sure was nice to
be done. Lots of folks came over to congratulate Ira when they heard he
had won, but they did not give him his meal on the house….. Where’s
that famed Iowa hospitality?!? We went and took a power nap at Ward
Budweg’s house and I had a shower. The awards ceremony was nice because
there were so many people there who had raced the time trials and it was
great to see the other finishers, there were only 9 of us and we had all
met at some point or another on the course.

Overall Results
1. Ira Ryan
2. Brian Hannon
3. Alex Dolpp
4. Todd Scott (SS)
5. Patrick Humenny (SS)
6. Brett Davis
7. Jim Cochran*
7 ME!*
8. Joe Partridge (SS)

I felt a tremendous amount of respect for all of them, Ira and Brian most of all
because they not only suffered through it but excelled. It was amazing
watching them hammer away so early in the race and to be able to maintain it
for 300 miles, simply astounding. Everyone who finished took home some nice
prizes but mostly we took home incredible feelings of accomplishment, I
think. Finishing this race is my finest ever achievement on a bicycle
and I hope some of the others think of it the same way. That’s all I
have, we came home and are getting back to our lives now. All of us
have had a couple of days at home to rest and are feeling better. Jeff
Kerkove says he may run this again next year and I say I probably will
not be there! Thanks for reading this sucker, hope to see you all on
RAGBRAI when we can take 3 days to get from the West side of the state
to Algona. That sounds nice.

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    […] is tomorrow.  For those of you unfamiliar with this event, I invite you to read my terribly long explanation.  So long it needed its own webpage!  I have happily sworn off that event, and will be happily […]

  2. 3

    […] places, i can see now that it is an infectious habit. our plans are simple, take bikes, visit brian hannon who lives in ascoli-peceno where he runs a little bike shop, drink lots of good espresso, ride […]

  3. 4

    […] the time and keep track of yearly hauling mileage, and the bell I was awarded for that one time I rode over 300 miles across Iowa on gravel roads keeps an eye on me and alerts anyone who needs alerting to my […]


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