Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Routine Leg Works

Time and effort directed in this endeavor. Please check it out. Thanks.


Monday, June 29, 2009

Bayou Salido

Thank you "Hammer", otherwise known as Velo Soiree, that was great
ride. One of the best of the year. Real quick on why Mike is referred
to as the "Hammer". A hammer never wears out, no matter how many nails
you pound, it never wears out. That is how Mike rides, he just keeps
pounding those nails.
So yes a perfect route for those interested in gravel at elevation
with some of the best views the Rockies have to offer. Maybe something
in the fall? We can only hope so, maybe in the form of a gentleman's
race? If it does come together, I highly recommend it. Thanks to the
Beck family for hosting.
We finished at this place. An all time favorite of mine and it did not
disappoint. Hope you had a great weekend.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Soma Double Cross

Very excited to ride from Breck to Salida on Saturday in the first
annual Bayou Salado. There will be two on the inagural. Same two that
started the Father's Day ride three years ago. 100 miles of gravel at
10,000 feet sounds like a piece of heaven to me. We hope to cross with
some GDR riders on the BIG trail. I hope we make to Amica's in Salida
for pizza and beer. That place is one of my favorites and is
motivation enough for me to keep the pedals turning. Enjoy your weekend.

I hope she is ready for Bayou Salado

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Perfect Father's Day- Thank you.

Thanks to all that chose to come spend a couple of hours hanging out for Father's Day with us. I hope each of you had as much fun as I did. The day way perfect, the ride was very enjoyable, and feast and company were greatly appreciated. Check out Mr. Becks photo history at http://velosoiree.blogspot.com/.

KJ gets gredit for the B&W here. Thanks KJ.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Father's Day Ride #3

Please join the 3rd Annual Father's Day Ride. The ride will leave the
homstead at7:45AM. We will ride through BCLP, up Mt. Falcon and down
through Lair of the Bear to a feast sponsored by our better halves.
You may have questions, I do not have an answers. Plan on 3 plus with
water at the top. Bring a quarter.

So please join us, for a MTB ride that is about good people who love
to ride their bikes. Some riders will be fast, some will be faster, I
only promise to be at the back, dreaming of the fine food awaiting us.
Sent from Chad

Monday, June 01, 2009

A DK story and some thank you's! Long.

So this is my account of a gravel grinder in Kansas known as the Dirty Kanza. This race was 205 miles long and traveled through the beautiful rolling hills in this part of the state. We started in Emporia at 6:00AM. The strategy was simple: eat, drink and constantly keep moving, never letting doubt creep into the mind. The first stretch was 61 miles to CP(checkpoint) 1. In a neutral start, I was able to hang with the lead group for about the first 17 miles. This was a huge help as we battled a stiff head wind ranging from 10-20 miles per hour. The most memorable part of this section was the 4 mile climb up to the tower. I hooked up with a very nice gentleman who was on single speed. We worked together for a while and I learned that this was his third attempt and his goal was to simply finish. At this point, I really worked hard to stay focused on getting to CP1. I made it into CP1 with the company of a professor from Iowa, he was finisher at Trans Iowa and experienced rider. We were in about 35th place at this point. We loaded up and started towards checkpoint 2, and the halfway point in the race. We hooked up with a couple of other riders, and we worked together for a while. People hung on as long as they could and then got shed off. This were I met Greg. He would prove to be a great companion for the next 100 plus miles. We rolled into checkpoint 2 together were we took a break and got into our drop bags and got ourselves ready for the second half. It was at this point when I started to learn about the difficulty of this years event. The heat, the wind, and the course were all adding up to be described by the promoter’s as “the hardest ever”.
Leaving checkpoint two in good spirits Greg and I pressed on to this 38 mile section. Although a shorter distance, this section proved to be very difficult. On the way we rode a bit with Joel (co-promoter). It was great to ride with such a nice individual. The heat, rolling hills and lil’ Egypt Road were tough. That coupled with a small navigational error which added a hill and significant time en route to the next point. Finally, we reached a paved section, Greg and I were both out of water and still had six miles to CP#3. We found a house and chose to get some water. We knocked, but no one answered. They had a pump about 10 yards from the house we were able to get some much needed water. Had we not done that, I am sure by the time I got to CP#3 I would have been burnt toast. Making it to the final checkpoint was a bit anticlimactic. Sure we had made it this far, but had we lost our minds along the way?
We got restocked and were screwing around a bit in a hazy fog of fatigue. For the last several hours poor Greg had listened to me babble on about my buddy rolling on the one speed. And then, in a moment were I wondered what my name was, the mission was delivered. Could it be? Was it possible? Yes, Yes, Yes, Mike Beck, “the hammer” rolled in to CP#3. Staff announced that he was 1st place single speed. And then it was done. The mission was set. The three of us would not be detoured from delivering the 1st single speeder to finish line.
I am not sure how Greg or Mike felt about it, but for or me it is beyond words. Simply said, three men would set out to finish their goal.
As we left CP#3, with 65 miles back Emporia, the sun was beginning to set and the air began cool. The reds and oranges that accompany a sunset began to cast their colors onto the rolling hills. Soon shadows began to loom and darkness began to settle on the gravel. The last leg of the race we talked a fair amount but I cannot remember what we spoke about. We were simply united in the mission to keep moving forward. The day had changed. I started with simple goals of just trying to make it to the next CP. Now, somewhere in the darkness of Kansas, the goal changed to simply seeing the next ten feet in front of me were lights provided some guidance. With about 35 miles to go, we could finally see some lights from Emporia. Nobody knew how fast we were going or exactly how many miles we had left only that were on a mission. After 42 different types of gravel, an encounter with a skunk, and too many shot blocks to be counted our tires hit real asphalt. I thought it was too good to be true and that this had to be yet another cruel joke. Then Mike rolled up behind me and said “6 more blocks”. It was then that first tear welled up in my eyes, Mike was going to get first place and Greg and I were going to be able to share in the moment of a true champion crossing the line. Some of you who are reading this may know Mike, some may not, but he has the heart of a true champion. When you think about what he accomplished on his bike on that day. Consider this, Mike road the third leg of the race solo. This section was the hottest at 95 degrees, had the most technical difficulty, and had the most vertical gain. Mike had “shown himself brave” on this particular day (reference to an article by Graeme Fife, Glory through Suffering on the Rapha website, http://www.rapha.cc/glory-through-suffering ). Some of you may know, some of you may hope to find out, but after 19 hours and 26 minutes of moving forward three men would finish their goal, their respective mission and finally set their bikes down for the last time.
This is my history of my adventure known as Dirty Kanza 2009. Thanks for taking a moment to read. Congrats to all those that toed the line, and especially those that finished. I feel truly lucky to be one of them. Out there, a million things could happen, I just happened to be lucky enough to have good breaks and great men to ride with. I hope that you feel the same. Enjoy your ride.

The promoters of this event and the community of riders that participated are some of the most genuine people I have had the pleasure to ride with. The crews from Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas are great people. Thanks for sharing the gravel grinder passion in such a positive manner. Dave, Steve, Skip, Corey, Troy, and Joel are names I can up with now, but there are many more. To me, it is cycling at its fundamental core and I was honored to simply participate.
Wow. Two days later with my brain racing through this experience and this is the word I choose to capture this adventure. Wow, at all the support I got from wife, family and friends. I would like to go on record as having the greatest wife. Thank you Carey! Thank you Mike “the hammer” Beck, the 1st place singlespeeder at DK. The wisdom you shared through our long training rides was true difference maker for this adventure. Also huge thanks and deep appreciation to the skilled rider, Greg Bachman, whom I rode most of the event with. Greg your navigational skills and conversational company were awesome! Thank you.