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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 05-20-12, 08:38 AM   #1
SnowJob
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Almonzo Gravel Road Series.

Hola. Anyone attempting to ride any of these races?

I've just sent my postcard in to the Heck of the North. 100 miles of unsupported riding on gravel and dirt back-roads up in Northern MN. As the website says, there is no chance of resupply on the route, so plan well!
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Old 05-20-12, 08:59 AM   #2
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Gravel endurance events are growing in popularity.

Here is my list of events;

the Dirty Kanza 200 http://www.dirtykanza200.com/
Almanzo 100 http://almanzo100.blogspot.com/
Arrowhead 135 http://www.arrowheadultra.com/index.php
Cirrem http://www.cirrem.com/
Farmhouse Classic http://farmhouseclassic.blogspot.com/
Gravel Grinders http://gravelgrinders.blogspot.com/
Heck of the North http://heckofthenorth.blogspot.com/
Kansas Cyclist (this link list a dozen or more events) http://heckofthenorth.blogspot.com/
Kansas Gravel Road Rides (this link list ten or more events) http://www.kansascyclist.com/events/GravelRides.html
Pirate Cycling League
Ragnarok 105
Ride To Paradise
The Gravel Conspiracy
Tour Divide
Trans Iowa
Trans Iowa History
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Old 05-20-12, 07:02 PM   #3
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We have a mixed pavement / dirt brevet in September here in VT.

http://nerandonneurs.org/nersite/?p=330


I'm hoping to get another event on the calendar for 2013, with more dirt
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Old 05-21-12, 07:39 PM   #4
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I just attempted the Almanzo on Saturday. The fresh rock destroyed my tires and took me out of the race almost as soon as it began. I'm pretty bummed that I didn't get the opportunity to finish this year, but it's still an awesome event, and it's free!
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Old 05-21-12, 09:14 PM   #5
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I just attempted the Almanzo on Saturday. The fresh rock destroyed my tires and took me out of the race almost as soon as it began. I'm pretty bummed that I didn't get the opportunity to finish this year, but it's still an awesome event, and it's free!
Try the Heck of the North or one of the other AGRS races. They are all free!
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Old 05-21-12, 11:25 PM   #6
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The Gravel Metric this weekend is free, as well.
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There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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Old 03-18-16, 11:15 AM   #7
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This is an old thread, but I'm into recycling....

https://vimeo.com/47963412

https://vimeo.com/47963412
I was excited about the ride when I sent the post card, now I having a hard time waiting!
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Old 03-18-16, 08:18 PM   #8
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very cool. Does anyone know of a gravel ride in Western PA?
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Old 03-19-16, 08:05 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by dwmckee View Post
very cool. Does anyone know of a gravel ride in Western PA?
Not in PA, but not far either: Hilly Billy Roubaix Home

Plus, there are many many miles of state forest gravel roads in Rothrock and Bald Eagle SF's in central PA. Unterhausen (who haunts this forum) has a nice RUSA permanent route (200K) through that area.
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Old 05-12-16, 07:15 AM   #10
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Almanzo 100 (& Royal 162 & Alexander 380) THIS WEEKEND! So excited and a little nervous - 'cause overthinking things is my thing, I guess.

I'm racing the drop-bar Pugsley; I feel ready for this, but I've never ridden this bike more than 65 miles. In addition to overthinking my bike set-up, I'm overthinking my food (why? I've done tons of unsupported centuries) ... And then the clothes, it's forecast to be around 35F at the start of the race and get up to the low-50s, plus winds are gonna be 15 to 20 mph with gusts near 30 mph.

Looks like this will be a character building ride! I'll post photos and stories and results here early next week, if you're interested.
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Old 05-12-16, 05:42 PM   #11
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I am becoming more and more intrigued with the gravel/fire road races (and bikes!) I read about here. Look forward to your post-race report.
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Old 05-15-16, 11:47 AM   #12
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Holy butt-kicking Batman! Cold start to the race, temps around 35F at roll-out. And the wind was constantly 15 to 20 mph with gusts near 30 mph. We had tailwinds early and the pace was fast, I was doing 20 mph on a fatbike! But I knew that was gonna have a price, we turned south and the crosswinds slowed us down, and the headwind kept speeds well under 10 mph. The fatbike as GREAT on the soft fresh gravel descents, getting well over 30 mph and maxing out at 35 mph. And I was still passing people on the climbs. I'm waiting on the official times, but I tracked around 7 hours 20 minutes - last year I was a little faster on a typical gravel grinder. Very unofficially, I was told by riders and volunteers that I was the fastest fatbike. There isn't a catigory for fatbikes in the Almanzo, so no way to know, and I kinda doubt I was the fastest... but I liked hearing it, and it kept me grinding into the wind on the last few miles.

Here's my rig at the start of the race:


Here's a couple pictures of the riders at the start of the ride. 900 riders registered for the Almanzo 100 (not counting the Royal or Alexander riders).


Here's my war rig after Fury Road, honestly it's the cleanest I've had a bike after a gravel grinder.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_20160514_164824769_HDR.jpg (107.5 KB, 111 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20160514_085823883.jpg (106.0 KB, 114 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20160514_085815871_HDR.jpg (104.4 KB, 113 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20160514_084236614_HDR.jpg (99.6 KB, 115 views)

Last edited by Hypno Toad; 05-16-16 at 10:56 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-16-16, 03:07 PM   #13
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Results were just posted and I find them interesting... I place 136th of roughly 900 riders registered and 504 finishers. Official time of 7:35:37 on a fatbike! Last year I was 174th at 7:06:51 on a typical gravel bike. So slower ride but better result ... looks like the wind was the biggest competitor we were all fighting to beat.

BTW - check out third place - results
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Old 05-17-16, 07:01 AM   #14
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So I went through the pictures and captured race numbers for fatbikes, I didn't find a faster fatbike on the results. Now I starting to think I was the fastest fatbike. Feel free to help out, the link to photos is below and I posted the results link above. Here's your Hypno Toad:



Photo credit - Todd Bauer TMB Images

Reference fatbike riders IDed:
Race #557 finished 136th (ME!)
Race #1006 finished 146th (He and I rode in a echelon with a group of ~20 riders for a few miles - we talked at the finish line too)
Race #188 finished 178th (also rode in the echelon)
Race #136 finished 214th
No# riding with #1558 & #1530 - neither are listed on results, DNF or riding the Alexander 162

I am going to review the roll-out video and another photo series for other fatbike numbers. I will post updates as I find them. I honestly do not want to claim "fastest fatbiker" if I'm not. But if I can't find proof of a faster fatbiker, I'm gonna claim it!
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Old 05-17-16, 07:21 AM   #15
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Update: with the roll-out video on Facebook, IDed 10 fatbikes (less than I expected) but couldn't make out race numbers, the video is cell phone quality.

Here's the other photo series I know about: Almanzo 100 2016

Edit, adding notes below instead of creating another post.

Looking through the images linked above:
Race #1050 finished 409th
Race #102 finished 443rd
Race #137 not listed, DNF?
Race #742 not listed, DNF?
Plus three more riders I could not ID race numbers.

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Old 05-17-16, 08:34 AM   #16
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Sounds like a sweet ride, from the few pics I looked at those roads look like pretty nice riding. I know there are a few gravel races around here as there are heaps of gravel roads but they often get fresh gravel which makes 'em hard to ride on a straight up roadie but I manage. Kudos to doing a century on a fatbike!
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Old 05-17-16, 08:52 AM   #17
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Sounds like a sweet ride, from the few pics I looked at those roads look like pretty nice riding. I know there are a few gravel races around here as there are heaps of gravel roads but they often get fresh gravel which makes 'em hard to ride on a straight up roadie but I manage. Kudos to doing a century on a fatbike!
Thanks!

The Almanzo offers a nice smorgasbord of gravel/road conditions. Some nice, fast, packed gravel; some loose, deep gravel (memorably on a fast descent, very stressful); some minimal maintenance roads, and some black top.

I did 2015 on a typical gravel bike, but with 28mm T-Servs. I HATED every descent and all the soft gravel had me swearing up a storm. I hatched the plan to built up the Pugsley right after the 2015 Almanzo, and kinda went hard-over. But I really enjoyed this set up for this race, and I plan to bring it back for the 2017 Almanzo.
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Old 05-19-16, 08:03 AM   #18
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Here's a nice post about the Almanzo 100: 2016 Almanzo 100 Race Report | Gravel Cyclist: The Gravel Cycling Experience

I enjoy reading about what's happening up the road, 'cause I'm a long ways back from these riders.

And the winner, rode all day out front, solo, in those winds. DAMN! What a beast!
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Old 05-19-16, 11:47 AM   #19
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That's an impressive ride and good posting.

I had a really poor ride on a cross bike with 40c tires earlier this year so I'm currently in the process of making a drop bar hardtail 29er with 2.4 tires. Your experience is very interesting and leads me to believe I'll come out pretty well in the end too.
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Old 05-19-16, 12:07 PM   #20
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Thanks!

The Almanzo offers a nice smorgasbord of gravel/road conditions. Some nice, fast, packed gravel; some loose, deep gravel (memorably on a fast descent, very stressful); some minimal maintenance roads, and some black top.

I did 2015 on a typical gravel bike, but with 28mm T-Servs. I HATED every descent and all the soft gravel had me swearing up a storm. I hatched the plan to built up the Pugsley right after the 2015 Almanzo, and kinda went hard-over. But I really enjoyed this set up for this race, and I plan to bring it back for the 2017 Almanzo.
Good thread and I enjoyed reading about your set up for this ride. I've been wanting to build up a bike to explore the gravel roads around where I live. I think it's time for a drop bar MTB conversion on a vintage specialized team stump jumper that I own; my tire size will probably top out at 26 x 2.1 though. What size tire are you running?
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Old 05-19-16, 12:37 PM   #21
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Good thread and I enjoyed reading about your set up for this ride. I've been wanting to build up a bike to explore the gravel roads around where I live. I think it's time for a drop bar MTB conversion on a vintage specialized team stump jumper that I own; my tire size will probably top out at 26 x 2.1 though. What size tire are you running?
I have the 26x4" Panaracer Fat B Nimble. I believe a 2 to 2.5" tires would be good. I don't currently have a standard MTB, otherwise, I that'd been my first choice to build as a gravel grinder.
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Old 05-19-16, 12:44 PM   #22
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I have the 26x4" Panaracer Fat B Nimble. I believe a 2 to 2.5" tires would be good. I don't currently have a standard MTB, otherwise, I that'd been my first choice to build as a gravel grinder.
High end vintage mtbs are generally pretty cheap to buy. Good to know that you think a 2 inch tire is a good choice; that would have been my guess but nothing beats real world experience.
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Old 05-19-16, 12:47 PM   #23
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High end vintage mtbs are generally pretty cheap to buy. Good to know that you think a 2 inch tire is a good choice; that would have been my guess but nothing beats real world experience.
Funny enough, I own a late 80s Rock Hopper; however, my brother-out-law has it. He has instructions that when he gets a new bike, that Specialized comes back to me!

Edit, afterthought:
and the Rock Hopper has old Scott AT4 bars - I'd love to try them on a gravel century:


(not my bike or photo)
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Old 05-26-16, 08:39 AM   #24
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Here's another nice post about the Almanzo 100, and another one from a rider WAY up the road from this toad: 2016 Almanzo 100 Race Report by Eric Thompson | Gravel Cyclist: The Gravel Cycling Experience
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