This year’s results have been compiled and can be found with last year’s results on our Results page.
So far, we have photo albums from four photographers and race reports from two racers on our Photos page. If you have written a report and posted it on your blog or Facebook or wherever, please let us know. We will keep adding links.
I pre-rode a big section of the course last weekend and drove the second half of the rain route yesterday. The Des Moines area had a few inches of rain fall Monday, but despite that, things are looking pretty good. The dirt roads in this area are generally sandy and dry out quickly. There would have to be significant rainfall just before or on race day for me to switch to the rain route.
In general, the majority of the gravel is in good, fast rolling shape. There are however, numerous patches of washboards and new gravel patches that are quite rough. Be prepared to hit these rough spots on descents when you might be going quite fast. Make sure everything fastened to your bike is super secure, or you’ll launch it. Good lighting is an absolute must. Be vary wary of what you cannot see, especially in the shaded sections or at night. Watch your downhill speed on the dirt roads lest you launch yourself Dukes of Hazard style off a bump (It’s less fun than it might sound). If you are using battery lights, make sure that you have more hours of run time than you think you need. Consider mounting a second light just to better illuminate the dirt roads. Continue reading “Course Conditions 9/27/17”→
I drove the entire course over two days this past weekend. It is dry, dusty, and fast. A lot can happen to these roads in a week, and many are showing damage from the tractors and heavy truck traffic during the recent harvest. Remember, you are responsible for you, and you must pay attention and navigate with care. A second headlight for the B roads is not a bad idea, especially for the 200 mile riders.
The C stores have all been alerted to your impending arrival, and are looking forward to meeting you. You must make it to Orient before the store closes at 7pm! That is mile 130 of the 200, and mile 100 of the 150.
I have a few final edits to the course, and then the cue sheets and GPX files will be emailed out to you. The B road creek crossing on 160th street has been re-routed. It did dry up, but it turned into the mud pit of despair with no decent way to cross it. This was otherwise a great road, I am sad to have to leave it out.
Here is a selection of my favorite course photos taken over the last year. The entire route was put together during my wanderings while training for Race Across the West. I have ridden it forward and backwards, in good weather and in bad. I’ve fallen off a few times, walked many miles, broken one derailleur, and trashed a few tires. It has been a grand adventure, and I hope you all enjoy it.
Registration closes 10/14. Race day is 10/29 6:00 a.m.
This event is entirely self supported. Volunteers on the course are only there to monitor your progress, and checkpoints are in the middle of nowhere. Your only opportunities to resupply are at the following locations.
Packet pickup will be Friday, October 28th, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Kyle’s Bikes in Ankeny, just north of Des Moines. If you cannot make it to packet pickup, please email me to make other arrangements.
Don’t wait until the last minute to register! Registration will close October 14th at 5:00 p.m. There will be no registration after that.
Sarah Cooper discusses her new gravel event, The Spotted Horse Gravel Ultra. The inaugural SPGHU will take place October 29. If you’re looking for a 200 or 150 mile gravel race this fall you’ll want to check this one out!
This is a self supported event on Iowa gravel and dirt roads. You can choose from 150 or 200 miles. Don’t expect the 150 to be easier.
If you are considering longer self supported gravel events like Trans Iowa or the Alexander, this is a good place to test your gear and your mettle. If you’ve completed multiple 100 km or 100 mile rides and are looking for your next challenge, you will find it here.