Tuesday, May 29, 2012

2012 Almanzo 100

2012 marks the 4th time I have done the Almanzo 100.  Chris puts on an A+ event and each has been memorable.  2009 was the last year it staged out of Rochester and was known for the killer winds out of the north.  I did it on my Cross Check fixed (42x16) and it was one of the hardest things I had done.  2010 was perfect weather wise and I did it with my father, me on my Pugsley and he on a mtn bike.  2011 was the year of the cold and rain.  My Cross Check again served me and I added 9 gears.  2012 turned out to be memorable as well.  Here is the story...

I originally planned to do the event with my 10 year old on a tandem.  I soon realized that this would be way too long for the boy (and dangerous).  A month out I talked to my Dad (referred to as Dewey for the rest of this post) who was up for doing it again.  I had recently acquired a new Fatback, and he wanted to do it on my Pugsley.  A plan was made, bikes adjusted/tuned up and I continued my usual 3 days/week training schedule.

--Brief History--
Dewey and I have been riding/racing together for the last 25-27 years.  I took a 10 year break around 1995, but was drawn back in 2005.  20 years ago was my last season of sanctioned racing (then USCF).  Dewey was no stranger to racing, having been a Cat 2 Master's racer who placed 5th in the Master's National time trial when he was my age now (40K in the low 50 minute range).  Back to the story...

We showed up in Spring Valley with plenty to time to get ready.  As mentioned we did this together in 2010, so we knew what to expect.  We planned on a long day in the saddle and started near the back.  Many familiar faces were there, and we were able to chat with Dave "The Legend" Pramann at the start.  Dewey, Dave and I all raced for the Gopher Wheelmen back in 1988 (Dirk Rettig, winner of the 2012 Almanzo 100, was also a teammate in 1988).

The first 40 miles were uneventful and took about 3 hours.  A stop in Preston to refill the tank (previously stashed cooler) and we started off again.  A few miles out we ran into the Legend heading the opposite direction.  He was not feeling well, but turned and continued with us in a fatbike paceline.  At mile 43 we turned onto Jay Road and started climbing.  All momentum was lost.  The wind and heat continued to take the toll.  There was a 13 mile stretch that took us 2 hours.  Dewey was having foot problems, but occasional stops and Tylenol/Ibu allowed him to push on.  The miles kept ticking off.
A stop in Forrestville to refill the camelbak and we set in for the last 35 miles.  The clouds came out and provided some relief.  Oriole road  at mile 90 was the last major climb.  By this time it had cooled off some, but we were both running low on water.  We finished about 7pm and shook hands with Chris at the finish. 

A few pics...these were emailed to me so I apologize for not giving credit to the photographer.  Leave a comment if they are your photos and I will be happy to credit you.

That was then...(2010 Almanzo)

This is now...(2012 Almanzo)

60 year old Dewey (2012)

Near 40 year old J-No (2012)

10 year old A-No (2012) training for future Almanzo

Thanks to Chris for once again putting on a stellar event.  Everything was top notch.  I hope to one day have 3 generations of Novaks' riding in the Almanzo.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Long time No Blog--a confession

Forgive me father, for I have sinned.  It's been two and a half months since my last post.  Since then I have been riding my usual 3 days a week with a few long rides.  I rode down to Clear Lake, IA, I did a couple of 4+hr gravel rides.  I did a mtn bike race.  4.5 laps of the Sandwich 50 race and had a blast.  I could see a time when a mtn bike may make it's way into the stable.

Speaking of stable, there have been some changes.  The tri bike and wheels are gone (I feel more manly now that they have left).  The 1x1 has found a home with my 10 year old.  My Pugsley has found temporary refuge with my father.  To fill the void I have been spending time with a purple Fatback, a bike that has seen the Sandwich 50 and more recently the Almanzo 100 (report to follow in a few days, I promise).

It is the end of May and my road bike has yet to leave the garage.  I hope to be renewing that relationship soon.

Summer is here and at our house that means weekends in Clear Lake, IA.  A new ship has been commissioned specifically for this purpose.  The former one was purchased when we were a family of 3.  Now that our family size has doubled, a new craft was needed.  The old was traded in, and this was the result.

Andrew and I had a chance to take it out this past weekend while recovering from the Almanzo.  More later.