1200 Miles & a Cup O' Dirt & a little Mississippi Mud!

Take the year long challenge of completing a dozen or half a dozen dirty centuries and join the fun in December! Everybody who completes this challenge will be rewarded with a custom hand-made stoneware mug as well as be in a drawing for other prizes. Read the FAQ for details, and welcome to the fun!

I've increased the fun to give some more folks a shot at the cup - a bit 'watered down' - We'll have the 1200 Mile Cup O' Dirt and a 600 Mile Cup O' Mississippi Mud and new in 2008 is the 1/2 Liter O' Dirt - earned by completing 12 metric centuries in the year! A special award will be presented to anyone completing either a dirty century or metric century in each month of the year.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Cup Chasers Finish A COLD Arrowhead 135!

Congratulations to multiple Cup earner, Dennis Grelk, for his 3rd place finish in a VERY cold Arrowhead 135 Ultra Marathon Bike Race! We're looking forward to his report when his fingers thaw!

And Ames ultra-cyclist, Nick Wethington finished an incredible 18th! His brief report is below. Congratulations to Nick and Dennis for finishing this grueling event - as well as Iowan Lance Andre for his efforts in the Arrowhead - made even more difficult by his moving to Florida for some "cold weather" training! While he finished, enduring the -34 degree temps, he was disqualified for 'ride' (??) We'll look forward to an explenation from him on that one... anyway - congrats to them all!!

Now for Nick's report:


I finished the Arrowhead 135, making that my first of hopefully many
centuries this year. That puts me at one metric and one full for the
year. The Arrowhead was great, and even though it took me forever I'm
so excited to go next year I want to start getting my gear ready
right now. Camped out one night when it was below -30 degrees F, and
that put cold in perspective for me. It was about 35 degrees
yesterday, and I rode home from work with no gloves or hat, feeling
like it was a balmy day in summer.

Anyway, I hope to get another metric and full this month after a
little bit of recovery time, so I'll keep you posted. Thanks!

~Nick Wethington

and from Tim Reikena:


Got in another metric yesterday along with 20+ riders. Not sure how many riders went the full 62 miles, but there were quite a few. The ride was the "Chucky's Challenge - Groundhog Ride" and started/finished in Jamesport, MO.

The weather was perfect with temperatures past 65 degrees. A little windy, but not bad. The figure-8 route was hilly, flat, and then really hilly. Most of the roads were dusty-dry, but one hill was so steep, the angle of the sun never got to it. Soft and muddy. Rumor was that only one Expert rider rode up it.

A unique aspect of this ride was that it took us deep into Amish country. Many homes were passed that didn't have electricity running to the house. Everyone waved and were friendly. Horses and buggies everywhere. The group I was riding with actually had to pass a horse drawn wagon at mile 10. Everyone was cool with it and made sure the horses didn't get spooked.

The most intriguing part of the ride were the "Amish" dogs. I've ridden
thousands of road/gravel miles here in North Missouri and I know how dogs can be. At times, they can be aggressive and cause accidents. Most riders I know have been bit at least once.

Any dog (and there were many) on an Amish farm showed interest in us, but was friendly. They never once barked in a threatening manner, or looked at our spinning feet like they were trying to judge when to take a bite. It made the ride even more enjoyable.

Riding with a group must have helped me sustain a better effort because my average was 11.5 MPH - faster than the other metrics I've done this year.

Thanks again,

Tim Riekena

Monday, February 02, 2009

Gosh, Lots Goin' On!!!

Okay, so I'll try for the half liter, but I need to crack one metric century first. I enjoyed the ride very much but changed my route as I mentioned due to wind and pending darkness. By the time I hit mile 46, I was back in Decorah and unwilling to do two more hours in the dark alone. I hope to organize the next attempt better... and apply some things I learned. My road bike is really old, and my good bike is my mountain bike. I think I'd like a cross bike for stuff like this. Here's a photo at mile ten and thanks for inspiring me to ride distances I'd probably not do otherwise!

Robert Campbell (future Cup sipper-fromer)

From Shockey:

hey dave,

took advantage of sunday's warm temps to get in another metric. headed straight west into the wind and passed just north of ridgeway then just south of cresco. turned back eventually and paused at vernon springs for a quick snack then flew with the tailwind just south of ridgeway and back to town. highlight of the trip: scaring up a herd of buffalo and watching them run. just over 62 miles when i was done. gravels were just starting to get sloppy from the thaw as i was getting done so timing was good.


and from our friends in Cedar Falls...

Dave - my man
Here we go for another 12
Paul Meyermann, Robert Fry, Kathleen Porter and I went out for our first
100K of the year. The roads were most clear, dry and smooth. Looking
forward to many more miles of dirt this year. Your Cup of Dirt is a
very nice inspiration/carrot for us and we certainly appreciate the work
you do to make this happen.

An invitation from Mr. Fuller:

That's Gravel Road Ride 2 BRR.

The weather is supposed to be fan-FREAKING-tastic on Saturday. We've
been discussing this, so I'm going to start the organization now to
avoid some of the keystone cop-esque changes we normally have when
trying to organize one of these rides.

Any route that I've mapped out has Perry at about 30 miles from my
house in Johnston. Winds are supposed to be out of the south most of
the day. I'm thinking of leaving around 6:30 - 6:45 (AM) to head up to
Perry via gravel roads. Ride BRR. Have a beverage (or two, or three,
or...) and then figure out the route home. I'm open to riding back, or
getting a ride. If you don't want to ride BRR, you'll still get in
60ish miles of gravel for the day. I'll offer my place in Johnston up
as a meeting point. I'm about a mile and a half from gravel that will
take us either over to Dallas Center, or north towards Woodward.

Anyone else? Feel free to pass this along to anyone else you know that
might be interested.

And from Dave:

Good luck on your chase Mr. Campbell, welcome to the insanity!
Way to go Shockey! 4 in a month. You'll break Grelks record!
and Johnny and the CF Crew - Rock out! You guys make me smile!

Makes me kinda wanna ride!
Peace - Dave

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Mr. Mizzu get's one more than two*

(*that was kinda cute, huh?)


I was able to get in a 64 miler yesterday. My plan was to go 100 miles and end up in
Kirksville, MO where my daughter (who just graduated from Truman University), has an
apartment. We needed to move some stuff back home. Still need to.

Anyway, I got to the 50 mile mark and realized the sun would set long before I got there. I had made a big loop southwest of Chillicothe, MO before heading NE toward Kirksville (much of it into the wind)and was only averaging 10 MPH. I don't mind riding in the dark, but without any lights, I thought it would be a bad idea. I called my wife and told her to pick me up in Brookfield. It was a great metric, but a DNF century.

Bottom line is that I started way too late in the morning to have gotten in a century during the daylight hours. Unless I get faster, I better allow 10 hours (at least) of sun to make a daylight century.

This Saturday, a group of us are riding in the 2nd annual "Chucky's Challenge-
Groundhog Ride" being held in Jamesport, MO. There will be a 40 mile and a 62 mile
option - all on gravel/dirt roads in the area. It's a show and go which I think starts around 10AM. Jamesport is a small north central Missouri town 40ish miles from Iowa.

The area is known for the Amish that populate the scenic countryside. Very, very hilly with some flat, flat bottom ground thown in.

Thanks again,

Tim Riekena
Chillicothe, MO

ed. Anyone wanna head down for the MO Century???

Mr. Bikeiowa.com in for a full Cup O' Hurt!

Don't ever let anyone tell ya that a 40 degree day in Jan is a good day for a gravel ride.

Sat Jan 31st - 2 3/4 Booneville loops and a 20 miles out and back loop north of Ankeny and I turned triple digits shortly after dark.

7am - Met Fuller and Will at Tom Andserson's house, then met Squirrel and Blackford as we hit gravel toward Boonville.
course was frozen and fast. Rode loop to Rassy's to do another loop with 10am crowd (West, Matt M, Kurt, Lou, Chad V, Courtney)
rode 2nd loop not near as fast... things were thawing out. before heading back into WDM, West, Courtney and myself turned around and rode back to Boonville in revserse.
It was very sloppy and I was starting to bonk. We made it to Boonville where Countney and I needed food. West kept going. After food we rode back toward DM. Courtney and I split off and I rode back to Tom's house to pick up my car (mile 80).

I decided to drive north of Ankeny with the hopes of higher ground might no be so soupy. that was a farst! The last 20 miles were has at only 8-10 mph...
Like ridin' through sand...

Either way check me off for a full hundy in Jan 09.

Thanks for using BikeIowa!!
Scott Sumpter