Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Building the Dos Niner...

It's baaaaaaack... My Dos Niner's on its way to being a complete bike again. A new Maverick SC32 and new wheelset, along with assorted new drivetrain bits, and it's gonna' feel like a brand new bike. Heck, the frame itself only has a couple months of riding on it, so it's practically new anyway. I'm looking forward to having this for the 24 Hours of Seven Oaks over in Iowa, which is Labor Day weekend.

I'm excited about the upcoming PCL Good Life Gravel Adventure, because unlike the majority of races in Nebraska this season, it's not a "typical XC race." Since I've only raced in Nebraska twice so far this season, it's nice to see that someone is putting on the type of event I'm actually interested in competing in, as opposed to the same old shit we've been doing for 20 years now.

Rant button "on"

If any of Nebraska's race promoters asked me (which they didn't), here's what I'd tell them: I'M SICK OF 2-HOUR XC RACES. That's why I don't go to them anymore. I want more -- more distance. More endurance. More of a challenge.

Do I think the 2009 season will bring more "endurance" events to the state? I sure hope so! And while I'd like to say I'm optimistic, I've also raced a lot more in Kansas and Missouri in the past two seasons. Why? Because savvy promoters, like the cool cats at the Heartland Racing Series (which is absolutely thriving) put on a ton of 6- and 12-hour races each season, in addition to awesome races like the Dirty Kanza 200 mile gravel grinder. And as long as they're the ones putting on those races, they're the ones that'll be getting my entry fee dollars.

Rant button "off"


Guitar Ted said...

mg: Yeah, right on with yer rant, brother. I decided waaay back that I was done with XC races. (97) and I didn't even know about endurance stuff then. At least nothing around here. Riding for 2 hours or less for the cash layout it took- even then- wasn't balancing out on the fun factor scales.

That Nebraska gravel event is super cool! It's the week before Interbike though. I'll have to do some real sweet talkin' to get my family to release me for both events.

Speaking of, I am working out the details to show up at Seven Oaks. Lets hope I can make that happen and check out your sweet Dos Niner!

CJ said...

Hey MG,

I like the color of that bike a lot more then the green dos niners.

I like your rant too. I would like to see some endurance stuff myself, but I would like to see lots of 4 or 6 hour options for us guys that have never done any endurance stuff. I was really toasted when I threw in the towel in Pender during last years Ponca ride. But 4 hours sounds very managable for me based on the amount of training I am able to pack in with my busy schedule.

Good luck at Seven Oaks if I don't see you on a TNMWR before then.

Peace out

Josh said...

We're glad to have you down in KS! I don't mind traditional XC events, as long as they are local.

Six-hour races are by far my favorite; long enough to hurt, but short enough that you don't really need to sweat the logistics.

I think it's high time a Midwestern Endurance-Gravel series was born!

Trans Iowa
Dirty Kanza
Something in Nebraska
...maybe some other events, perhaps multi-day stage races, a gravel tour of sorts.

Good luck @ Seven Oaks!

Bruce Brown said...

Gee, I was going to invite you to a 40 mile expert race I'm hosting in the IMBCS series on August 10th, but I guess that's too short of a distance for you to get warmed up. ;-)

I wondered what happened to your Dos. Glad to see you're lacing her together for the Boone weekend. Just honk every time you pass me and my Dos out on the trail so I can honk back with some Dos love.

MG said...

Thanks guys. I feel the distinct need to take your comments from the bottom-up this morning, because Bruce, you just threw out an awfully good sounding invite... if it stands. I'd like to try and make it out to your 40 miler, because trust me, it'll take me longer than two hours! So count me in, provided I can get it past the head bean counter in the family. (she rarely says no...)

And Josh, the Good Life Gravel Adventure is planned to be the third jewel in the Gravel Grinder Triple Crown for 2009 (in our grand vision at least) that would include the DK200 and TransIowa. Sort of our Tri-State Magnum. That'd be something to write about in Cyclocross! I'm sorry that the it's not gonna' work out for me to make it to RIM though -- that one is killin' me. I'm really disappointed in myself as much as anyone that we scheduled the Ponca ride over that race. I should have known better... or checked better. That was my bad, but now the date is set and the plans have been made for too many people to back it out now.

CJ, I sure hope to see you before Seven Oaks. It'd be sweet if you were able to give the Ponca 155 another shot. I think you could make it, especially if you tried it with a few gears on your ride... ;-) But I also understand the desire to "do it pure" and go single too. You know I get that bent every now and then myself.

And Guitar Ted, my brother... Thanks for your comments. You definitely got to the "no xc" conclusion before I did, since I won the biggest xc race of my life in 1998, but better late than never, 'eh?

Hey, do you think you're gonna' make it to the Ponca 155 still on Aug. 16? Hope so. But I want to check and make sure. If not, I might crack and go down to RIM and race for 12 hours... You just never know. I got a hankerin' to race my mountain bike, now that the Dos is gettin' built, and I'll have that sweet red El Mariachi backin' it up! Arriba!!!

Thanks again for the comments, my friends.


Jason said...

I love the endurance scene for sure. I like the fact that one does not need podium to feel like the race was a success. More pain and more suffering, BUT more miles, and more smiles in the end.

Gotz to love the Dos!

JT said...

Sound like you have alot of great idea's you should put on such and event.

MG said...

You're probably right Jay. I should stop bitching and start promoting races. But then I'd ride less than I already do, which is to say my three rides a week (including the two on the weekends) would get squeezed even further -- not good. I guess I need to get a job that's more flexible about allowing me to ride, promote and still stay married... That's the $100,000 conundrum for me, if you catch my drift, and those answers don't readily lie in the bicycle industry.

Jason, my friend... Good to hear from you. Thanks for your thoughts. You and I are definitely on the same page on the enduro scene -- low-key, cool people, no need for pomp and circumstance, and just a good long-distance, all-day ride-focused experience. That's what we're all about -- riding bikes and having fun. It's not about whether there's a podium to stand on, that's for sure!!


Bruce Brown said...

Heck yes, the invite stands. I've even got room in the Hacienda if you come the day before. And the head Bean Counter is more than welcome as well.

Check out the details here:

or here:

It is, however, an XC race with longer distance on doubletrack maintained and non-maintained trails. Inspiration was to include an event unlike others in the Iowa Mountain Bike Championship Series that still counts for points in the series. So the "unlike" part is that this trail is not the usual singletrack. It's a multi-use doubletrack trail that is very scenic and will be a wide open pedal to the metal race with lots of climbs and plenty of room for passing. So even though it will be 40 miles for the experts, that 40 will go by quickly.

Guitar Ted said...

MG: The date for the Ponca 155 is the same date as Trek World in Mad-town, which I have to go to for various reasons.

Sucks......I wanted to ride that ride too!

Anyway, I'm workin' on that Boone thing and I hope to be there for sure.

MG said...

Man, thanks Bruce! That looks like fun. I talked to Laura about it last night, and it's looking good for the prospects of us coming out for your race. Her sister lives in Des Moines, so that certainly helps the 'do-ability' factor quite a bit, and I like fast, ripper-style courses too.

Even if we go really fast, I suspect we'll still be out there for the better part of three hours... We're not gonna' average 20 MPH, are we? That'd be crazy!

MG said...

Ouch, that's a bummer G-Ted. Sorry to hear you're not gonna' be able to make the Ponca 155. I was really lookin' forward to you being there, but I totally understand. If I got an invite to Trek World, I'd be there too... but heck, they don't dare riffraff like me to those hoity toity events. That's what rock stars like you are for. To bring the news to da' people... So bring it home brother!! Bring it home. I'll look forward to seein' ya' at Seven Oaks. Heck, I might need you to scrape my weary butt up and place it back on the bike at 2am out there at the 7-Oks, who knows???


JT said...

I guess my thoughts are a more compassionate approach when critiquing races might get you further and that type of voice is more receptive. In Nebraska these races are put on by a 100% volunteer base and when they see you post such stuff it doesn’t put you in the best light and it certainly sours their taste for volunteering. Just my thoughts and they certainly don’t carry much weight because I’m not an event coordinator or race promoter.

I think the better subject matter is to look how evolved and robust Nebraska has become as a cycling culture and if better minds and voices prevail it will move and advance much further.


I know I used the word compassionate.

MG said...

I appreciate your thoughts, Jay, and I hear what you're saying. I think you all got a rare glimpse of me in a bit of frustrated state as I sat and thought about the fact that I'd only raced twice in Nebraska in 2008, and it's likely I won't again race in the state until cyclocross season, because all of the events that are of the type I enjoy are being put on in other places.

Perhaps I'm simply living in the wrong place? I have a choice of whether to participate in races or promote races. I only have time to do one or the other, and currently I choose to participate. I only have a limited amount of time in this body to be able to compete at the level I'm at, and I'm going to make the most of it. But I'm not going to beat Nebraska's volunteer race promoters over the head and tell them they have to put on 6, 12 or 24 hour races just to satisfy my needs. I'll just go somewhere else and find races to participate in.

Has anybody noticed how the number of racers has dwindled at mountain bike races in Nebraska in the past three years? That isn't happening at the races I go to in Missouri and Kansas. In Iowa, they've got a strong scene too. What is it about their races that makes them appealing, while in Nebraska we don't seem to be able to conceive an event that can get 100 people to come out? Perhaps our "scene" isn't as strong as it purports to be? It's certainly not as inclusive, or appealing, as it used to be.

But perhaps this is a discussion that would be better taken offline...

MG said...

BTW, I do like your use of the word 'compassionate'. And I'm not trying to be argumentative. But that said, I feel like I've politely lobbied for longer, more challenging races ever since I returned from Colorado in the fall of 2000, and for a while, it seemed like the trend was going that way... and people liked it. But now, it seems like we're moving back to the same old xc races we used to have. It hasn't been progression, it's been regression. I'm just over that short stuff. That's all I was saying in my original post.

You're absolutely right -- I could have been much more compassionate. I apologize to anyone I offended with my comments there. They were honest and came from the heart, but sometimes honesty comes with an edge, especially when it's coming from me.