Friday, February 21, 2014

Gravel News Shorts - 02/21/2014

CIRREM is upon us.  This 100K gravel adventure up in SW Iowa is taking place tomorrow morning.  The region got a couple of inches of snow yesterday.  Temps in the high 30's to low 40's today will cause some melting.  Tomorrow could be interesting with frozen in the morning and melting in the afternoon.  Could it be a repeat of 2010?   

A good group of locals will be taking part. Local Cirrem Racers:
  • Donald Daly
  • Mark Easter
  • Chris Locke
  • Doug Long
  • Barry Meitler
  • John Porter
  • George Williamson
Locally we have Mad Mike's Gravel Grinder out of Topeka, KS.  Mike has long and short course options. 

Check out Mike's page on FB for complete info:  Mad Mike's Gravel Grinder

March ride calendar will be posted soon.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The "Strada Grigio" Report

The 1st Annual Sweetlove Gravel Grinder or "Strada Grigio" was a great success.  Despite snow covered landscapes and some bitter cold temperatures for riding 25 hardy gravel grinder souls showed up at the Sweetlove Farms in Oskaloosa, KS for a little adventure.  Host Phil Holman-Hebert has some plans on making this event into big race.  The surrounding roads make for an ideal location and offer some of the most challenging climbs around.

We depart Sweetlove Farms and join the course.  We had two options today.  Short course of 31 miles and a Long course of 59 miles. There was also an option for a Medium course of 45 miles which was very popular.  All fun and challenging.
 The start was set at 10:00 a.m. to allow a little extra time to warm up.  Mother nature appears to have no clock because it was darn cold at the start.
The roads were in great condition.  Many thought that there would be mud but conditions were ideal for riding.  Some sections were even dusty.
It was great to see Dan Hughes out again.  Dan is a 4 time winner of the Dirty Kanza 200.  I know why after today.  It was hard for many just to load up their bikes this morning and venture out for our ride.  Dan shows up by actually riding from his Lawrence home.  After the ride I offered to drive him home.  He declined saying he needed the miles.  My money is on Dan to become a 5 time winner.
Just ignore the "Bridge Out" sign.  Phil informed us that part of the route went over a bridge that was closed.  As a Gravel Grinder you learn to ignore signs :-)
Phil rocking the short course.  Gerard follows closely using his past track skills to hide from the wind.  Later in the ride Gerard would suffer a flat tire. One of several on the day.  Maybe time to go tubeless?
As usual with hilly and windy rides several  small groups formed on the day.  Scott, Jeff and Rod led the way.
Finally someone took a picture of Guru.  Thank you Scott!.  It was good to ride with Lyle Riedy.  Always fun to talk about past events and just life in general.
By the end of the ride many had tired legs and felt like this poor critter.

Picture album (coming later today)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Sweetlove Gravel Grinder

What: Sweetlove Gravel Grinder
When:Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 10:00 am
Where:Oskaloosa, KS
Why: A fun new ride with friends and great training for your upcoming adventure. 

On Saturday, February 15, the first ever Sweetlove Gravel Grinder, hosted by Phil Holman-Hebert, begins from Sweetlove Farm, two and 1/2 miles west of Oskaloosa, Kansas. The route tours through the rolling hills of central Jefferson County, home to many miles of magnificent gravel roads. With snow on the ground and several very steep sections both up and down, this route has proven extremely challenging during recent reconnaissance. The predicted cold temperatures should add to the difficulty. Be prepared for icy conditions if this cold weather continues. The constantly rolling terrain of this course includes 6 significant uphills and 3 long downhills, about 2 miles of pavement, and almost no flat roads. This is an unsupported ride. Carry what you need and be self-sufficient.

For those of you need a little more to satisfy your sadistic tendencies, or who just want to get some extra miles in your legs, this longer route adds a loop of some of the most picturesque roads in the county, including the leg-burning Chester Hill on 27th Street that was featured in the Lake Dabinawa Ride a few weeks ago. It also gives you the short, extremely sharp approach to the 27th and Republic intersection from the other side as you head west on your way back up north to rejoin the short loop. There will be some decent stretches of almost flat road in this loop, mixed in with lots of windy, rolling roads too. It also features a couple of mildly technical, off-camber, and right turning decents that can be pretty fast on a good day

Perpendicular parking in the grassy (snowy?!) margins on either side of the long driveway should provide plenty of space for setting up. We do have a bathroom on site.  A heated, but unprivate space will be available for changing.

Join us on FaceBook: Sweetlove Gravel Grinder on 2/15/14

Sweetlove Gravel Grinder Long Route: Distance:58.57 miles 

Create Maps or search from 80 million at MapMyRide

Sweetlove Gravel Grinder Short Route: Distance 32 miles


SweetloveFarm is located at 13248 102nd Street, Oskaloosa, Kansas, 66046

For information about Phil, his family, and the farm, visit us at

Call Phil at 785-863-2432 with any questions.

Ride will start casually at 10:00am.

I’m sure you’ll let me know if I’m missing anything important.



 **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.**