Thursday, December 6, 2012

Trans Iowa and Gravel Grinders

If you are reading this or follow this site at all, you're probably quite familiar with Trans Iowa. If not, you should check out the Trans Iowa website if you'd like to see what a 300+ mile race on gravel roads entails.

The newest "The Guitar Ted Show" over at Mountain Bike Radio is a great episode. You should only listen to yesterday's show if you want to hear about the history, work behind the scenes, and great experiences and perspectives from not only Guitar Ted, but Trans Iowa veterans, Matt Gersib and Steve Fuller. They also discuss "Who is a Gravel Grinder?"

It's a great listen!

Want to hear about Trans Iowa and gravel talk, check out the SHOW PAGE now!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

AntiEpic in Snow

Photo Courtesy of Les Handy. He's crazy on a bike and the inspiration for the name of the race!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Exploring dates for the 2013 version. I'm thinking May 4th may work. Plenty of time to rest for other events and late enough to allow for some decent weather and minimize the chance of snow.

Also, will be exploring the possibility of a bigger route option.

Thoughts are welcome.

Friday, August 10, 2012


time goes by so's been 4 months since the AE
time to get things rolling again for another edition...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

AntiEpic Race Results, Pictures, and Thoughts

Thanks to all of you for making this what it was - a great time and a good challenge with some crazy, like-minded, cool ass people.

Ok, first....

The Results.

This list does not include the people that opted for less than 150 miles. Although going 100 miles or more is pretty damn good, it wasn't technically the recommended 150. Good job to Adam and Chad - those are the two that I know of that did it. We started with 30-35 people I think (didn't get a total accurate count).

Sorry to any of you that I forgot first or last names. I had a lot going on and met a ton of new people in the course of a day.

We officially started at 6:45ish. For the times, I just noted the time that you came in approximately. We didn't want to sit out at the intersection any longer because it seemed to be windier over there and we didn't want to deal with it any longer. Plus, the party was back at the lot, so we hung out with some people there afterward. Please note that the time that you came in is only approximate, based on what I could gather best. I have the order correct, so it really doesn't matter too much anyway. Also, if you're really that worried, you may want to head over to the disaster of a discussion among the roadies over at . Seems that they don't like the timing chips... anyhow....
  1. Jonathan Davis, 3:50 pm
  2. Trapper Steinle, 5:21 pm
  3. LeRoy Popowski, 5:25 pm
  4. Pat Coady, 5:44 pm
  5. Kevin Thomas, 6:10 pm
  6. Eric Schraufnagel, 6:30 pm
  7. Trent Hovenga, 6:30 pm
  8. Brian Sells, 6:31 pm
  9. Shane DeMars, 6:40 pm
  10. Aaron Weinsheimer, 7:25 pm
  11. Dan Miller - Lionberg, 7:40 pm (fixed gear)
  12. Raphael Cletero, 7:40 pm (fixed gear)
  13. Chris Hall, 7:40 pm (singlespeed I believe)
  14. Bill Ruth, 8:30 pm
  15. Mike Beck, 8:35 pm (singlespeed)
  16. KT DeSantis, 8:40 pm
  17. Marc Kriewaldt, 8:40 pm
  18. Brian Behn, 9:15 pm
  19. Pete Schuster, 9:30 ish pm
  20. Dan Hickstein, 9:52 pm (singlespeed)
I don't have the list of 100milers or dnf's.


The day started with a beautiful sunrise and moonset with fantastic views of a snow-capped Pikes Peak...oh, and temperatures hovering in the upper 20's. While we had been experiencing temperatures in the 60's and 70's, Mother Nature decided to turn the air conditioning on and keep the thermostat stuck in the mid 50's for the majority of the day. As riders filled the parking lot and quickly kitted up in the cold, there was a good sense of prerace nerves and uncertainty of what the day would bring.

Many of the racers had never ridden 150+ miles in one continuous push. Some of the riders that showed up are experienced endurance athletes, having competed in 24 hour races, the Dirty Kanza 200 gravel race, Vapor Trail, and multiday races like the Colorado Trail Race. Other riders treated this as a great opportunity to prepare for the 2012 Dirty Kanza in June. We even had a group of 8 travel all the way from Salida!

I led them out on a 2ish mile rollout out of the parking lot to the official start. I always like races with rollouts, so I wanted a chance for all of us to roll down the road before everyone went tearing down the road. Once we got to the starting spot, I stopped the group to remind them about the gate at the "B" road (it can be tricky because it doesn't look like a legal road). It must have been a good time to stop, because a bunch of guys to the stop to make it a nature break.

As soon as I said go, it was a blur. The leaders were off and tearing down the gravel road. I hung back to take some pictures and talk to some of the guys that weren't going down the road at 25 mph. It was nice to ride and talk and not race. There are some good perspectives from cool people out there. Everyone has a different background and come together with a common goal.

It seemed that most people rode in groups for the first part of the ride. Some groups would stop to strip off layers as the sun quickly warmed the treeless landscape and others would then join them. Then, hills would pull people apart and others would join. I bounced around the groups to talk to people and after the first couple hours, I turned west as the route turned easy to finish off a 5+ hour loop for myself so I could get back to the parking lot, eat, and get out on course to offer up cookies, licorice, and coca cola and take pictures.

I managed to get out on the last 30-40 miles of the course to catch the top people as they headed for the end. There was a good mix of emotions out on course - some were totally suffering, while others were suffering with smiles on their faces. Fun does indead hurt.
For a better perspective from actual racers, check out these stories:
Shane gives a really good report:
Noah rehashes his DNF experience:
Shane and I talk about his thoughts on Mountain Bike Race Minute:

Listen to internet radio with Mountain Bike Race Minute on Blog Talk Radio

Jason and I also discussed the AntiEpic in the first episode of the XXC Magazine Podcast.


Thanks to everyone for coming out and plan on AntiEpic II on April 6th, 2013. Same place, same time. Stay tuned to the next XXC Magazine issue for a story about the AntiEpic Gravel Grinder.

    Monday, April 9, 2012

    sneak peak

    I have placings and finishing times for 20 people.
    If you want a little primer, Shane did a writeup from his perspective here:

    Sunday, April 8, 2012


    Thanks to everyone that came out to the first AntiEpic Gravel Grinder.
    Before I get to posting more, I'd like to see if anyone is interested in joining me to have a short discussion about your race on here:

    If you are, let's get it scheduled very soon. Email me:

    Friday, April 6, 2012

    Final Post

    About 10.5 hours left until go time....the final post before the ride starts....

    If you are questioning anything, you should be!
    6:30 we roll out of Greenland Open Space.

    First off, I really want to thank everyone for all of their interest so far. I hope that your day goes well and I look forward to seeing you all out there. I look forward to hearing what you have to say when you are done too, so we can do this again next year.

    Now...on to being a little cocky...ha...
    Weather? There will be sun, there may be clouds, there may be wind or there may not be. Check out your trusted weather forecast and come prepared.

    I've received a lot of emails and questions about things - weather, course conditions, tires, water, wind, time, course. I've happily answered them, but I'm a little nervous about doing this because it's supposed to be a self supported event. The beauty of it is that everyone is allowed to figure out how they want to do it. No big boss man laying down a bunch of rules.
    Some goods for tomorrow. I would appreciate any donations - a $1 or 2 would be cool just to cover what you see here. Everybody won't get a cookie, but I'm sure that you'll all get at least one of something.

    In case you're a little nervous and wondering about yourself.....
    here's some motivation.

    Thanks to Shane for this one:

    Monday, April 2, 2012

    Another Map Update

    I will not be providing a 100 mile version map. There is some talk over on the registration site about it though:

    Thanks to Shane, here is another link to use to download the map for Saturday. is good for mapping rides, apparently doesn't play well with the Garmin Edge 800.

    Shane added the route to Garmin Connect to help some of you load this monster to your device.

    AntiEpic course in Garmin Connect:

    Saturday, March 31, 2012

    Final Map

    Hello riders,

    Here's the final map:
    (You'll note that the map says that the estimated time is 9:37 - this is no way possible - it's based on going 30mph on the flats...good luck.)

    You can just download, but I would recommend also making yourself some cue sheets.

    We'll meet at the Greenland Open Space, do a neutral rollout for a couple miles and then go from there.
    The end will be at the corner of Greenland Road and Mesa View Road.

    You'll note that the course does not go into Deer Trail, so if you can carry all of your food and water for the entire route, you can save yourself some good time by skipping the town of Deer Trail. There is no other refueling point, so probably not a good idea to skip the two well stocked gas stations in town.

    It's going to take a long time. You may want to bring lights just in case.

    if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at

    Here is the roster that is posted up on the Colorado Endurance Series site:
    • John Hutchinson
    • Ryan Fonkert
    • Bob Stellick
    • Anthony Newsom (100miles)
    • Kristi Olson (100 miles)
    • Ken Boyer
    • Steven Pamlneyi
    • Jeff VanDerLinden
    • Shane DeMars
    • Michael Beck
    • Greg Bachman
    • Adam Perkins
    • Mark Walker
    • Aaron Weinsheimer
    • Chad Gorby
    • Noah Schabacker
    • Brian Behn
    • Eric Schraufnagel
    • Jason Haubelt
    • Chris Skogen
    • KT DeSantis
    • Bill Ruth
    • Scott Hendricks
    • Jeff Hammond
    • Bryan Krause
    • Pete Schuster
    • Cameron Chambers
    • Jayson Middlemiss
    • LeLan Dains
    • Kevin Thomas
    • Trapper Steinle
    • Nick Klinkers
    • Jim Fluharty-Cooper
    • Dave Nordstrom
    We'll see who shows up on Saturday! See you then!

    Tuesday, March 20, 2012

    working on it

    hey gang. I'm working on the final post. please hang with me.
    for now, this is the original and still pretty close:

    there are only a couple small turns and roads that need to be updated.
    i will then release the final one and post the cues here.

    the rest is then up to you.
    there may or may not be course angels with cookies - yet to be confirmed.

    just a reminder that there is more info here:

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

    Sunday Recon

    Sorry...this post is already a couple days late...
    Sunday I headed out with Shane to do a little recon of the northern half of the race.
    It's a good thing that we did because there were some roads that are shown on the map, with names, that don't exist.

    We did scout out the two gas stations in Deer Trail and can confirm that they are well stocked. There is also a restaurant in town - the Historic Brown Derby Restaurant & Saloon. They do have "restaurant" crossed out on one of the sign, BUT they did have a small sign out front that advertised sloppy joes and coleslaw for $6.95. We didn't ride around the rest of town to check if someone took advantage of the Brown Derby demoting their status to just a saloon.

    I'm working on the final map and cues, so hang with me over the next week or so. It'll give you a couple weeks to study the map, make your cues, figure out your way.

    If you haven't checked the registration page lately, you should! It's a long list!! Go HERE for the list.

    Shane and I knocked out 102 miles of gravel in about 6.5 hours of ride time. The weather was nice - not as warm as we had hoped, but nice, calm, and good for doing a 100-miler. It was good to finally meet Shane after meeting online (sounds kind of creepy) a couple months ago with the start of all this gravel grinder stuff. He's a good rider and has his sites set on the Dirty Kanza 200 in June. He has his own little challenge up on the Colorado Endurance Series calendar that you should check out - the Rampart Rumble Gravel Grovel . If you want to keep up with his pursuit of the Kanza or any updates on his race or other gravel stuff, follow .

    We saw a couple notable thing, but didn't get pictures of them: 2 herds of pronghorn and 1 pheasant hunter who held up his prize as we passed him and his dog working away in the field.
    Here are some pictures I did get, so I'll share those:

    My gravel rig, well, need skinnier tires...including all 200+ ounces of fluid (man, the seat looks really tilted in this pic - it's not)

    Keep out of what..I'm not sure.

    Doesn't matter how pretty you are - nobody's safe.

    The nice common home in the quaint country town of Deer Trail. They are living the simple country life - don't even need an address sign.

    Endless views!

    Thursday, March 1, 2012

    Just over a month left!

    So, if you haven't happen to check out the latest list, it looks like 29 people have committed.
    April 7th is coming fast, so make sure you are pedaling a lot.

    Here's the list so far.

    I will do a repost of the map soon and then do a post that will be your cue sheet.
    I've gotten requests for a gps track, but I'm going to steer clear of doing that. Why? Because this is meant to be a little more work than just going out and following a line on the gps.

    It is meant for you to find your way around. Have a cue sheet, write notes, study up, and do whatever else you need to do. Hell, leave a trail of bread crumbs if you want. It's not like you are riding from Canada to Mexico, so it shouldn't be too crazy. It's only 150 miles on gravel.

    The full map is on the Information Post, so go back in the blog and you'll find the main page of info.
    Any questions, leave a comment or send me an email at

    Saturday, February 4, 2012

    Snow, snow, snow.

    I just figured that you haven't heard enough about the snow yet....

    There is some cool stuff going on in the world of gravel.
    Shane over at Gravel Quest got a new event going called the R2G2 (Rampart Rumble Gravel Grovel) in September.  More details and "registration" can be found over HERE.

    Watch Shane's site for more updates on another potential gravel grinder later this year.  He's a motivated guy that loves gravel.

    Want to throw in a quick plug.  For anyone that doesn't know, I'm one of the owners of Twenty2 Cycles
    I'm mentioning it because I want to let you know that you can follow updates of Twenty2 happenings on our News page.  Between the news page where I will write more substantial items, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ , there will be plenty of pictures and information.  So...if you have any questions on anything (including wheel building, custom bead blasting on your existing ti frame, anodized titanium, or anything else....) please let me know (ben@twenty2cycles).  Ok, I'll stop giving my little pitch.  It just means a lot to me to get the support of all of you.  I know that, if you are reading this, chances are you're good people.  Nobody that goes out and does 150 miles is a bad egg.

    As far as the AntiEpic goes, people keep signing their names to the list .  No course changes or anything like that.  Date, time, and course are all on.  I will get cues and final information out there sometime in March.

    Enjoy the snow!  
    Have a good weekend!

    Sunday, January 29, 2012

    Wow. Western Nebraska Beat Down.

    I just saw this one and am going to steal it right from Shane over at Gravel Quest:

    Odin's Revenge:

    " Well, you're right - Nebraska isn't on the front range, but at under 5 hours western Nebraska is still a hell of a lot closer than most of the Midwest grinder round up.

    Odin's Revenge appears to be taking form for late June. According to the on Guitar Ted's blog post the event should be about 180 miles leaving from Gothenburg, NE.  It's new, details are not final, there's no website and there may be limited space, but it could be a good event if it really comes together."

    Sounds like an alternative to DK200...or in addition to...whatever floats your boat.

    *** Update***

    The Odin's Revenge SITE has been updated today.
    From the site:

    "If you LOVE gravel, send us a Valentine's card!

    . . . post card, that is.

    Registration for Odin's Revenge will begin on February 14th.

    Details and Registration

    Event Dates: June 29th-30th
    Entry Fee: No Charge
    Field Limit: 75
    Start/Finish Town: Gothenburg, Nebraska

    Registration: Registrations will be accepted starting February 14th and will continue until the field is full. 75 entries will be accepted with a limited number being placed on the alternate list.

    Your registration needs to be on a postcard sent to;

    Odin’s Revenge
    c/o Chad Quigley
    713 12th Street
    Gothenburg NE 69138

    The following information must be included on the card;

    Category of Entry
    Email address

    Entries without a valid email address will not be allowed. Entries received before the 14th will not be accepted.

    Prizes and Race Categories

    Prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers in each class. Additionally, special prizes will be given at the conclusion of the event at the discretion of the Sponsors and Directors. Details on the prizes and awards will be available as the date of the event nears.

    Three Classes of Competitors:
    Open Men
    Open Women
    Open Singlespeed / Fixed Gear
    Relay - two riders will each ride one leg of the course."

    Gold Belt Century

    Follower to this site, Ryan Fonkert, tipped me off to the Gold Belt Century.
    Ryan commented on a post:

    "I took part in this one last year; a great ride. It, too, is more of a social affair; not really a race, per se. Still, if you're just looking to get in some great gravel miles with great folks, check it out. I had a blast. There were only 5 of us last year, and I was the only one from the Springs area. I was really surprised by that, as it's a great ride right here in our backyard."

    While I haven't actually met Ryan other that out in electronic land, he seems like he probably wouldn't lie.  So, if you are looking for a good ride on June 10, look into the Gold Belt.

    *Side note: I will definitely not be there because we have a son due in June.... Have fun people!

    GG Tips

    Guitar Ted posted some gravel tips for the upcoming Trans Iowa V.8 that are helpful. While they are not specific to the AntiEpic or any other Colorado gravel grinder, they can be informative and, at a minimum, can get the juices flowing for April.

    Take a look at his tips HERE.

    Tuesday, January 24, 2012

    Not really AE related

    not sure what is happening to this post...tried it two times, but it was all funky.
    I captured this yesterday afternoon.  It's not from the course, but it's a similar view.
    Have a good Tuesday!

    Sunday, January 22, 2012

    No recon this weekend.

    I didn't get out on the course for any recon, sorry.  No new news on wind, gravel conditions, or the loneliness of the open gravel road.

    Noah, you didn't miss out on anything.

    I still did get in about 4 hours of ride time and hit a little close-to-home gravel.
    This guy was hanging out - he's a good example of the spectators you'll come across during the AE150.
     Have a good week folks and get out and get your training'll need it!

    Thursday, January 19, 2012

    Saturday the 21st

    4-5 hours of gravel recon this Saturday morning.
    Not too early this time - I'm thinking around 8.  Any takers?

    Monday, January 16, 2012

    Recon Ride - Sunday 1/15/12

    Check it out on Strava first.  The segment on Hwy 86 is not part of the course - we only used it as a connector to reach the last segment of the race.  The rest of the route we did was on course.  Maymyride does a poor job of estimating elevation gain.  It'll probably be 7000-8000 total feet of climbing.  It's not easy - there are a lot of small rolling climbs that are exposed to the wind. 

    Co Rd 98 (the "b" road) east of Co Rd 77 was tough.  Cement like mud clogged up our drivetrains and wouldn't let go.  It was a slick sandy clay that mixed with small chunks of grass to form a hard mass in any moving parts.  Here are a couple pictures of what that section was like:

    I am getting questions about what bike to ride.  I do not recommend a cyclocross bike.  The amount of washboard area, fast loose downhill corners, and 150miles will leave you rattled, scraped up, and curled in a ball while crying.  Plus, if it is remotely wet, you'll be walking the entire road with a cyclocross bike.

    A monstercross type setup may be a good option.  Most of what we rode today was hardpacked with some softer sandy type dirt.  I am riding my hardtail 29er with something like the Bontrager XR1s .
    The control, comfort, and durability will be necessary over the 12 hours.

    Here are a few more pictures from the day:
    Morning views of Pikes Peak from the start

    Packer fans along the course.  I wonder if they took this flag down after yesterday...

    Common views

    Old school/church


    Start of the "B" road (Co Rd 98)

    Your cheering section

    Ken trying to make friends with spectators

    A lot of rolling climbs