Thursday, February 5, 2015

2015 Strada Grigia - Sweet Love Gravel Grinder

Update 2/12/15:  The weather for Saturday morning will be a little cold (30), but it will be dry.  Gravel conditions are very good with only a few sections of new gravel. The rest of the course is fast undulating gravel fun.  See everyone Saturday morning

What: 2nd Annual Strada Grigia
When: Saturday February 14, 2015, 10:00 am
Where: Oskaloosa, KS (Just North of Lawrence)
Why: Two fun "grey roads" routes to pick from.

Join us on Face Book - Sweetlove Gravel Grinder


The 2015 Strada Grigia starts at 10:00am, Saturday, February 14th, from Sweetlove Farm, 13248 102nd Street, Oskaloosa, Kansas 66066. This is the home of race host Phil Holman-Hebert and his family. Strada Grigia is Italian for “grey roads” and the ride is meant to be a celebration of the grey gravel and typically grey weather of mid-February in Jefferson County, Kansas. 

The full course is designed to take in as many of the challenging uphills as possible in this steeply rolling southeastern quarter of the county. For the fit or adventuresome, the full course can be a solid and enjoyable test. The short course will also present several steep obstacles, and a couple of fast descents, for those not interested in the long ride. Come and enjoy what I think are some of the best gravel roads anywhere. We’ve chosen a 10am start time to encourage those who might like to come from a little farther afield and in the hopes it might allow the morning to “warm up” a bit, in this, the dreariest month of the year.

 Here are the two courses from Garmin maps.

 Long course: http://connect.garmin.com/modern/course/5513688

 Short course: http://connect.garmin.com/modern/course/5513623


Thanks,

Phil

**Remember, you are responsible for yourself and you ride at your own risk.  You are totally on your own.  There are no rider services.  There is no support. If you choose to participate, you agree to taking full responsibility for what happens to you out on the course.Always follow all traffic laws and rules. Always choose safety first and be prepared.**

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Lake Dabinawa - Frozen Death Ride


I just love conditions like this.  Why I still do not know, but I really enjoy riding on frozen roads. 


13 brave riders showed up for today's Lake Dabinawa Gravel Ride.  At the end of the ride we all agreed to change the name to the Frozen Death Ride.
Gerard was on hand sporting his new custom made skull cap.  He would need it later in the day for sure has temps slowly fell from a starting temp of 33 degrees.  It would later drop to around 26 but the 30 + mph winds made it feel more like single digits.
In preparation for CIRREM I brought out my new Bar Mits that my lovely wife Carolynn bought me for Christmas.  It has been so warm that I have yet to use them.  I am glad I had them today especially after my cogs got all frozen and I had to remove my gloves.
Jeff led the way for the first mile on the levee.  The levee which is usually a nice warmup became a real suffer fest due to the softness.  Instead of a nice easy 2 mile warmup we all basically had to endure what felt like a 2 mile climb of a steep mountain road.  Only this road was cold as hell.
Most riders ride in the middle of the levee.  A quick secret.  If you ride right on the grass line it is usually a little harder.  Not always, but I used this as a way several times to bridge back up to the group after taking photos.
No snow in Lawrence but as we rode North the conditions changed to frozen slush.  These conditions were actually good.  It was when we reached roads that were thawing out and had water on them that it got demanding.
Several small groups formed as usual.  I was glad Bret and his group waiting for us.  I give them credit  for waiting but I just think they were lost :-)
Problems started to develop on the way back South.  The roads were a mess and frozen drivetrains became common.  I believe everyone had to stop at one point to try and clean out the frozen gravel.
Sometimes I think it is better to just ride single speed when conditions are like what we had today.  I suffered miserably when I had to remove my gloves and try to dig out my frozen cog.  Today I really could have used a knife.  I always make fun of my son Christopher for caring a knife on rides we go on.  After today I will be caring one also. Sometimes you learn things from your kids.

Frame clearance is very important when you are dealing with frozen gravel and water.  This is one of the reasons that I like to use a 29er with cross wheel set on it.
On my Ritchey P-29er I had a lot of buildup but I had no tire clearance problems.

Check  the remaining photos - 2015 Lake Dabinawa Gravel Grinder Photos. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

2015 Lake Dabinawa Grinder

What: 4th Annual  Lake Dabinawa Grinder
When: Sunday February 1, 2015, 9:00 am
Where: Lawrence, KS (Lawrence visitor center)
Why: Come enjoy a nice 44 mile tour of North Lawrence.



Jeff Arnaud brings us the 4th Annual Lake Dabinawa Grinder. A very popular ride with a route that all ability levels will enjoy.  This ride will tour North of Lawrence and visit Lake Dabinawa . Meet in the Lawrence visitor center parking lot across from Johnny's Tavern. Cross bike or MTB needed.  For those who want additional miles we can ride a lap or two on the Lawrence River Trails once we get back.  For those who want some post ride food head over to Johnny's Tavern.  My favorite is their pizza.  I will need an entire one after rolling those North Lawrence hills.    


Course map (via Garmin Connect) below:

http://connect.garmin.com/course/8701754 

Join us on Face Book - 2015 Lake Dabinawa Grinder

**Remember, you are responsible for yourself and you ride at your own risk.  You are totally on your own.  There are no rider services.  There is no support. If you choose to participate, you agree to taking full responsibility for what happens to you out on the course.Always follow all traffic laws and rules. Always choose safety first and be prepared.**

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The 2015 Mullet Ride Recap


A record turnout for the 12 edition of the Baldwin City History Road Ride aka "The Mullet Ride". Well over a 100 riders.

Check out Kim Morris' photos from our ride - http://kimmorris.com

A huge Thank You goes out to Gerard Arantowicz for hosting another great Mullet Ride.
It was great to see some many old friends.  None other than Dave Pitt showed up to put in some miles for the upcoming 1/2 pint at DK in May. 
Roger Harrison looking good as always.  He wins the award for the brightest gear of the day.

It was good to see another tandem.  This couple has been on several adventures on their tandem.  Very cool and we look forward to having many more on ours.

We got a puncture on the first mile of gravel on our tandem.  Still got in around 130 photos. Check them out below and a short movie of the start.

Pictures from the 2015 Mullet Ride.  If you want a high res photo just let us know.

Movie - The 2015 Mullet Movie

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Man Behind the Mullet


Gerald Arantowicz
 
Born: Ephrata, Pa. “I grew up near Reading, Pennsylvania, from the Monopoly board.”

Family: Arantowicz is a bachelor.

Education: "I have a bachelor’s of science in exercise physiology from Penn State University."

Career: Arantowicz is a director with Mind Matters LLC, a home health agency that provides in-home services for people who have had traumatic head injuries with the goal of maximizing their independence.

Hobbies: Arantowicz is a bicycle enthusiast of more than 30 years. He is on two pool teams, one in Topeka and another in Baldwin City. He also plays Scrabble, tennis and racquet ball. He was formerly a cartoonist for the Signal, and still maintains the website called jewelcartoons.com

Digging deeper: At 10:03 a.m. Saturday, Arantowicz and other off-road bicyclists will leave from Antiques on the Prairie for the 12th-annual Mullet Ride. He first conceived of the ride as an historic bicycle tour. “It follows Quantrill's Trail and the Santa Fe Trail. It connects famous landmarks such as Hickory Point, Dow Cemetery, Signal Oak Lookout, the Black Jack Battlefield, the Brooklyn landmark and the Santa Fe Trail ruts."

The ride is scheduled for mid-January to attract serious bikers. “Races in July are won in January,” he said. “It’s supposed to be nice Saturday, but we like bad weather. We ride in all conditions.”

Re-posted from the Baldwin City Signal

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The 2015 Baldwin City Historic Road Ride

Updated 1/15/15

 Back before "Gravel Grinders" became a household name we still rode gravel, explored the country sides and had a heck of lot of fun.  Gerard's first ride was called the Baldwin City Historic Road Road.  Now we just call it the Mullet ride.

What: Mullet Ride
When: Saturday, January 17, 2015
Where: Baldwin City, Kansas
Why: The Mullet is the reason why gravel grinding is so popular.

The one and only Mullet Ride (aka the Baldwin City Historic Gravel Road Bike Ride) is next weekend. Gerard's Mullet ride is great for both the experienced gravel grinder and any newbies out there.  Several miles have been added to this years course - 28 and 56 mile (2 laps)  routes are available.  How old is the Mullet ride?  Just check out the below map.  That is old school.


Check out past Mullets (Mullet's N Mud, Mullets in pictures, Mullets on film)

Meet up at the Antiques on the Prairie shop (High St & 6th). We will have a 10:00 am departure time for the 28 mile route.

Join us on Face Book - The Mullet Ride

Map for this years Mullet Ride.  Distance is a little over 28 miles.  Two laps for those who are up the Full Mullet Challenge.  It appears the Garmin site is not allowing us to produce a map.  The below map link is to Map My Ride.   If Garmin starts working again then Tim will also post that route.

2015 Mullet Ride Map - Garmin version by ptooi

 2015 Mullet Ride Map link







Monday, December 29, 2014

Gravel News Shorts - 12/29/14



 In case you missed the photos from the Festivus of Nights here they are - 2014 Festivus of Nights Pictures.

Our next planned ride is the annual LMBC New Years Day Ride which takes place this Thursday over in Lawrence, KS.  Check out the details on their Face Book page - LMBC New Years Day Ride.

Make sure you add the original gravel grinder to your ride calendar. The one and only Mullet Ride is on January 17, 2015.  The official name is the Baldwin City History Gravel Grinder but we all know it as The Mullet Ride.