Monday, February 4, 2013

Chucky's Recap

Okay I am finally getting around to writing up a post about our ride Saturday, let me just say we had a challenging route with the weather conditions.  My original plan was to get out and mark the course but with the 1.5" of rain and then the 1-2" of snow on top of it I decided I wasn't taking a chance on getting vehicles stuck out there.  After riding the course I am very glad I didn't take my 2 wheel drive vehicle out on those roads!

We had 12 show up for the ride:  Barbie Miller, Larry Thomas, Barry Meitler, Don Daly, Mike Jacobs, Stoney Cranmer, Tim Riekena, Mark Jenkins, Stan Saunders, Brent Kline, Dan Venner, and Mitch Bernskoetter.  Of course Doug Long was a rider also as he had completed the course a week or so early since he was in Louisville, KY at the 2013 Cyclocross World Championships.

Jan Pyrtle was our SAG and I am so grateful he was willing to help out, his services were needed several times through out the day.  Thanks again Jan, I really appreciate you helping out!!!

The weather originally called for mid 40's for the high but ended up being backed down to mid 30's, I had hoped this would keep most of the course solid but as it turned out it did not.  We started off riding North and Northwest to Gilman City, we fought our way into a cross/headwind, from there we were on our way to Coffey and our trek heading West was all but straight into the wind.  It wasn't the worst wind but of course it wears on you.  The roads were a mix of snow, snow/ice, and bare gravel roads for the early part of the route.  As the temps increased we went from the same conditions to slush/ice, slush, and mud.

After Coffey we took the scenic route to Jameson, the dirt (I mean mud) road heading into Jameson was brutal and totally locked up my front wheel.  I knew the road had the potential to be a mess but didn't realize it was going to be that bad.  Below is a pic after the ride of my muddy, icy fork and it was actually cleaner here than at many points.

From Jameson we went along the route to Gallatin and this is where some of the leg burners came into play,  there was quite a bit of elevation gain here and a couple hills that would really get your attention...actually they kinda hurt.  After climbing hill after hill we finally made our way to blacktop and had a nice downhill but you guessed it, then we got to climb our way back up to Gallatin. 

From Gallatin we took paved roads for a couple miles and then back to gravel for the last leg of the course.  This climbing was more subtle along this section until the last big climb just before the gravel turned into paved road again, this hill was brutal (especially being at roughly mile 60).  Then nice paved road the rest of the way into Jamesport, it was still 2-3 miles and I know my legs were feeling the days efforts.

As most of these rides do the riders split into groups, I spent the day riding with Mike Jacobs and Stoney "Tough As Nails" Cranmer.  Stoney and I used to chase each other around the track in high school so it's pretty cool that we can chase each other around on bikes as adults (when I say we are chasing each other I mean I am chasing him!).

Thanks to all the riders that came out to participate in our annual ride and congratulations to the 5 that finished the course.  It was a tough day out there and a tough course, especially under those conditions.  My bike was so heavy afterwards as I'm sure everyones bike was.  I picked up a post ride treat at one of the local bakeries, it really hit the spot when I got home!

I hope that everyone that was there this year and many more will join us again next year for Chucky's Challenge!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Final Pre Chucky Post

Okay the weather for tomorrow in Jamesport is calling for high near 40 with WNW winds at 5-10 mph.  Expect snow and ice covered roads for most of the route with some melting as the day goes on, this could make things pretty sloppy.  Due to the extra moisture earlier this week I chose not to mark the course, we will have maps of the course provided.  Depending on how many show up some may choose to share a map which if you are riding as a pair that will work fine (it's just hard to tell how many people will show up).

We hope to see you tomorrow in downtown Jamesport for our annual Chucky's Challenge, we roll out from the 4 way stop at 10:00 a.m.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


We did get some weather the last couple days around here, I believe we got about 1.5 inches of rain and then topped it off with 1-2 inches of snow today.  Suppose to be colder temps the next couple days and then low 40's for the high on Saturday.  It could be pretty sloppy out there on the route, don't forget your gloves like this guy did (I guess it might be playing craps).
Just remember when you are riding that you don't want to ride over here (in the left ditch) or over here so much (in the right ditch) but right here (in the road).
I found the original cast for Tommy in Tommy Boy, here he is in the "Fat Guy In A Little Coat" scene.  This actor didn't work out as he kept getting emotional when his line was "Does this suit make me look fat?" and his fellow actor replied "No your face does".

Remember we roll out this Saturday at 10:00 a.m. from the 4 way stop in downtown Jamesport, MO for our annual Chucky's Challenge gravel grinder....SINNER!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Less Than A Week

Well we are drawing closer to our annual gravel grinder, Chucky's Challenge, as we are less than a week away.  Things are really coming together on our end, the route is prepped and maps are getting finished up, and the route will be flagged later this week.  We all hope that you can make the trip to Jamesport, MO on Saturday Feb 2, 2013 for our 10:00 a.m. start and our epic adventure on bikes through some amazing Amish country.  Don't feel like you have 63 miles in your legs?  Don't let that stop you, go as far as you want and either just turn around and head back or navigate your own adventure back with the map.  There are some very good post ride food options in Jamesport, the Country Cupboard (located at 1011 Old Hwy 6) or Gingerich Dutch Pantry 120 W Broadway (NW corner of the 4 way stop in downtown Jamesport).

Doug has always been the leader of this ride but as many of you know Doug will be in Louisville for the Cyclocross World Championships so I have been heading up this ride this year.  Doug has always took the lead group out at faster speeds and others have ridden their own pace.  I won't be riding "Dougs" pace as I am working on building my base now but whoever wants to take out at higher speeds is more than welcome.  You will be supplied maps and the course will be marked so go out and enjoy your ride.  We do recommend that you have someone of equal riding fitness/ability to ride with in case you have an issue.  If any of the GHTA faithful come up on a rider in need of help we will do what we can to assist that rider to get them back underway.

We hope to see you all this Saturday Feb 2, 2013.  Ride starts at 10:00 a.m. at the 4 way stop in downtown Jamesport, MO.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Be Prepared

I just wanted to post a quick note to remind everyone that all riders will be self sufficient on this ride, a few of the years we have had a SAG vehicle but I am not planning on that this year and all riders need to be prepared to make the entire ride on their own.  If you don't feel you can do the entire route don't let that stop you from coming out and riding your bike, you can always ride for as far as you want and then turn around and head back.  As always weather conditions will determine the speed that most riders can maintain and February can be quite chilly so dress accordingly and carry enough supplies.  With freezing temps I recommend carrying your water bottles in your jersey under a jacket to help keep them from freezing, a camelbak can be worn under a jacket if need be.  It's usually not the bladder that freezes up but the hose.  The route will leave from Jamesport and there is a small grocery store across from where we will be meeting up, we will travel through 4 small towns along the route and the first town has a small gas station that we will roll by.  The second and third towns do not have a station but there is at least civilization if you are in need, the last town has a Casey's General  Store and we will be rolling right past it and then on toward Jamesport for the finish.  There is some pretty amazing food in Jamesport for your post ride needs.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Woodchuck Curency

First let me start by saying that the picture at the top of the post has always embraced an Amish scene and deservedly so since this ride is taken through some amazing Amish country.  However this year the picture is more what you might imagine from a Southern take on things, let me assure you that this is not a jab at the Amish way of life as I have a lot of respect for that culture and their work ethic.  Some have even said that I grew up Amish...well only one person did that and his name is Jan Prytle (Hi Jan, I hear it's your Birthday on Tuesday...Happy Birthday a bit early!!!).  The picture is of a sign that is actually on the course this year.  Find the sign and tell me the location and you will receive 10 Woodchuck bucks that are redeemable towards next years entry!  What is the value of a Woodchuck buck?  The same as a Schrute Buck, 1/100 of a cent (any office fans out there?).