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

Saturday, January 14, 2012


If you haven't checked out XXC Magazine, you should because you would find it quite interesting.  How do I know?  Well, the fact that you are reading about a 150 mile gravel grinder tells me so.  There will be a new podcast coming out soon too....I'm on it discussing the AE150, so be sure to check that out. 

If you wear clothes, you should check out the stuff he's peddling HERE.  Why?  Because he comes up with tshirts like this:

Friday, January 13, 2012

Spinning the High Plains

The AE150 Headquarters received a message today informing us that we are not the new kids on the block.  Apparently, 2012 will mark the 5th anniversary for the Dirty Century

The Dirty Century is more of a tour type ride, including food and a sag vehicle.
It's cool to see there are others out there hitting the dirt.

Tonight I received this email from Eric, who is organizing it:

"Greetings Dirt Road Warriors,
Details for the 5 th Annual Dirty Century are coming together. I will be accepting applications for wanna-be sufferers next Friday at the Bikes and Beers party at . Here are the ride details so far:
Date and Time - June 24 th at 7:00 AM
Location - Starts and ends at Evans Park in Elizaeth , Colorado
Route - 110 miles!!!! Not your Grandma's Dirty Century
Amenities - Not Much. Only one town to stop in, but we will have a sag wagon and lunch stop in Fondis
If you have any questions please contact me at:"


Check out Ryan Fonkert's blog for a little AntiEpic chatter. 
He has some great stuff on there.

Thanks for sharing Ryan!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Governor Approved

***Breaking News***

Even Governor Hickenlooper thinks the AntiEpic should happen - from today's address:

"Hickenlooper noted the success of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge last year, but said there needed to be a race "for the rest of us." He called for a "Pedal the Plains" race in the eastern swath of Colorado. 'We think a bike tour across the Eastern Plains will not only be great for the sport of cycling, it will also give folks an opportunity to see where our food comes from,' the governor said."

I wonder if llamas qualify as food?


This Sunday, Jan 15th I'm heading out for a 4-5 hour ride leaving from Greenland Open Space at 7:30am.
If you are interested, just show up.  If you are not there, I/we will leave without you.  It's a social ride, if you consider social minimal waiting up and stopping.

There will be no refueling spots and I wouldn't recommend a cross bike.  The gravel will probably have some snow, ice, and mud. 

The goal is just to ride some parts of the route.
Hopefully I will see someone out there.

Again, I want to make it clear that this isn't a wait for people ride.  We won't hammer, but we aren't going slow.  If you're dropped, it's not because I'm a's because you don't like us enough to keep up!  ha, so there.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

AntiEpic Gets All Official and Stuff

I've been getting some questions about what "AntiEpic" means.
Well...I guess it would be open to many interpretations.

To anyone who may think it's referring to Anti-Epic Endurance , it's definitely not.
It's more of a response to overhyped, high priced, not-so-epic "epics", and an entirely overused term in 2011.  Think Leadville 100 or Ironman whatever.  This picture does a good job of explaining someone that would probably overuse "epic":

2011 was the year of the "epic".  I know that the term "Anti-Epic" won't catch on anytime soon, which I could really care less.  However, I know that, while the term anti-epic isn't officially being thrown around, I know that the concept is catching on.  There are new underground running and cycling races and series everyday across the country.  No fees, no waivers, no governing bodies and insurance - no bullshit just determination.  Just take a look at the Colorado Endurance Series and you'll see several new races this year.

Today, our event has been promoted.  We've had some good interest and are now listed on Colorado Endurance Series' list of races.  Cool stuff.  I'm anxious to see how it goes.

The rules of the AntiEpic have been updated to fall under some common ground of the Southwest Endurance Series and, more specific .  Therefore, please check them out HERE.  I will also update the main information post, so you have a good reference point.

It sounds like a 4-5 hour ride is forming for Sunday morning on part of the course.  If you are around the area and are interested Check back tomorrow or Thursday and I'll post accordingly.   As of right now, it may be me and Shane over at Gravel Quest who I "met" (I'm not really sure what to call meeting someone anymore - facebook, email, twitter, google+, call....everything before actually talking face-to-face).

Just got another email....another one in!  We may even have an appearance from some Midwesterners .

So, if you are interested in doing it, please either go HERE or shoot me an email at  Also, I will occasionally update information or tidbits via Twitter.  So, if you're into that, follow me at @BWelnak .

Monday, January 9, 2012


We've been getting a lot of questions about the AntiEpic.  Date, location, time, bikes, registration (there is none! it's self supported....I will explain further, but want to keep making it clear because everyone is so used to signing up 12 months in advance for $150).  This is not an end all post, just more information as soon as it's coming along.

It's shaping up to be the Gravel Grinder to hit up on the Front Range!  Grassroots Gravel Grinding.  This is a group of like minded people getting out for a good hard ride.

Date:  Saturday, April 7, 6:30 am  

Where:  Greenland Open Space parking lot start and finish.  It is located just off  I-25, 25 miles north of Colorado Springs at Exit 167.  Here is a link to the open space website:
The open hours posted are 1 hour before sunrise and 1 hour after sunset.  However, I just got off the phone with the Douglas County park ranger and they verified that it is ok to park there during closed hours if you are not using the trail. 

This is NOT normal Colorado riding.  If you are thinking that it's climbing and descending mountains, you'd be way off.  It's more of eastern Colorado plains meets great views of mountain peaks.  It is very rural. 

I think that it will be a good location. 
It is not far for many riders:
    -  about 350 miles from central Kansas
    -  25 miles from Colorado Springs
    -  35 miles from Denver
    -  about 400 miles from Albuquerque, NM
    -  about 100 miles from Ft. Collins

Course:  150 miles, with only 4-5 miles at most of pavement.  The course is a lot of pretty well packed gravel.  Obviously, conditions will dictate the firmness of the gravel.  It'll be a thin mountain bike tire or fat cross tire that will do the trick.  If you are a monstercross type guy or girl, you'll be fine.  There is one stretch that is about 4-5 miles that I've termed a "B" road (see picture below).  It's basically a ranch access road that is more of a dirt doubletrack than road.  It can be muddy and will eliminate any ability for roadies to run a regular cross tire.

Here is a link to the proposed route:

There are very little food/water refill points.  The first is in Elbert, which is VERY small, and only about 20 miles in.  Probably doubtful that it's open at 7:30am on a Saturday.  The other is at the half way point.  This one is a decent gas station, so you should be good.   There are some houses along the route you could probably ask too.  Bring a lot of food and water.
You will probably not have much cell phone coverage, so prepare accordingly. 
Bring lights, I'm pretty sure you're going to need them.  I would recommend front and rear - there isn't much traffic, but there is some and I'd like everyone to be seen and get back.  Plus, you can then use both lights as distress signals when the vultures start circling and the search and rescue comes looking.

Rules:  We are following the rules of the Colorado Endurance Series HERE.  I have directly stolen this from other self-supported events.  Again, this is self-supported and we are only organizing where the start and finish and route go.  I am not your mom, this is not sanctioned by the ridiculousness at USA Cycling (meaning that you will not get an REI gift certificate for finishing on the podium), and you are on your own. 
  • Ride your bike, self-supported, under only your own power, along the entire route.
  • No pre-arranged support, no outside assistance of any kind. This means you should be prepared take care of yourself and not burden any other person. This includes but is not limited to navigation, mechanical assistance, and medical support. No caching of food, water, or anything else. Any food, water, etc, acquired on route must be from public sources, ie stores, restaurants, spigots, etc.
  • Prepare & behave in such a way as though you were riding the route entirely yourself.
  • Don’t break the law.
  • Understand that you are on your own, 100% with no outside assistance at all. These events take place on open routes with other users including motor traffic, hunters, etc, and will lead you through very long stretches of open wilderness where food, water, and medical assistance can be very hard to come by.
  • I and the "Board of Directors" am not responsible in anyway for you breaking any laws, not making it back in the same day, getting speeding tickets, or anything else that happens.
(I've also stolen this ...)  There are no fees, no prizes, but all attempts will be made to record your finish time in comparison to others (please cooperate here!). In addition your mileage will need to be kept and reported by you as a way to make sure you followed the route as much as resonably possible. The goal is to finish this challenge and you set your own pace. A start time and route is provided here and it is up to the participant to understand the route and also have full responsibility for their navigation and well being. This is not a group ride, although some people might do this ride with friends or even other riders they meet at the start, along the route, or at the casino the night before.

Right now I have no idea how many people will show up.  It could be 5 or 30. 
If you are interested, please send me an email to

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Spent all morning driving around rural Colorado scouting this mean ride out.
120+ miles later, some things are clear:

1.  It will hurt
2.  You will cry
3.  Nobody will care

After discussion with the AntiEpic Board of Directors, it seems that the date may be March 31 or April 7th.  We'll get it dialed in and let you know.

Meanwhile, here are a couple pictures to whet your appetite.  You just never know what you'll see when you're out there.  One thing you will see for certain is your soul....being crushed.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

1st Try...

Recon in the morning...
Is 150miles enough?

This will be a self supported race on all gravel.  Right now, I'm thinking that 150 miles will be enough to be a good challenge.  The exact date is yet to be determined.  Looking at early March 2012.

Self supported means that there will be not be drop bags, cheering sections, water stations, tshirts, goodie bags, AE150 stickers to put on your bumper, or "I am a AntiEpicMan" announcement as you crawl across the finish line. 

If you think an endurance ride is 3 hours, you're in the wrong place.  It's going to be windy and the gravel will be soul sucking.  The prize?  A nice hot shower and maybe a growler of beer if you are fast enough!

Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 5, 2012