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Almanzo 100

  • May 08 2013

    Almanzo 100: Packet Pickup and Last Minute Gear


    As many of you already know, we're hosting the Pre-Race Sign-in for the Almanzo 100 this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the shop, 3342 Hennepin Avenue South in Minneapolis. Weather permitting, packet pickup will be held outside behind the shop. Riders for the Almanzo 100 & the Royal 162 must exchange a signed release form in order to receive a packet. Ride over on two wheels if you can. A limited amount of parking is available in our lot, and there's ample on-street parking in the surrounding neighborhood.
    There'll even be a special for Almanzo participants looking to stock up on last-minute supplies. Don't miss it! Speaking of last-minute supplies... here's a list we've put together combining Mr. Skogen's recommendations and a few of our own. See you on the Spring Valley, folks.

    Almanzo 100 Gear Guide from Calhoun Cycle

    A supportive saddle, preferably one you've spent some miles breaking-in before race day

    Remember, as Chris Skogen himself has said, "Anything can happen over the course of 100 miles." We might also add: On gravel. In Minnesota. In May. If you're a fan of CO2 cartridges, bring them along.

    At least one spare tube.

    Don't forget your tire levers.

    You'll need somewhere to put it all, especially if you're carrying more than a jersey pocket's worth of items. New for 2013, Banjo Brothers Frame Packs, available in two sizes (medium and small), are the perfect companion on a gravel ride. If you're hunting a bag that is easy to access while riding, Banjo's Top Tube Bag, Phone Pack, and Bar Top Bag are all excellent, compact ways to go as well.

    A solid pair of shoes.

    At least one of us is bringing along an extra pair of socks. ANYTHING can happen. Keep that in mind.

    Hydration. We carry a number of unique solutions for helping you find places for your favorite water bottles. Minoura's dual-cage mount for saddles is a favorite of Almanzo riders. Not just for Brompton owners, the Two Fish Quick Cage is another great, temporary solution for squeezing in an extra bottle.

    A patch kit: lighter and smaller than packing multiple spares.

    Your multitool of choice. If it doesn't include a chain tool, consider bringing along a separate one just in case.

    Tires that play well with gravel. For every Challenge Almanzo tire sold through race day, we're making a $10 donation towards keeping the Almanzo 100 free for everyone.

    Sunscreen. Hopefully you figured this out on your training rides.

    Carrying a pump — possibly even better flat protection than your tire.

    Calories. Try your at co-op for the good stuff.

    Roomier than a frame pack but still compact enough for a minimalist rider, Carradice's Zipped Roll and slightly larger Junior are both great options for the items you'll need to access when stopping along the way.

    Blinky lights. One red, one white. Bookman has you covered.

    A jersey with plenty of pockets, preferably dark in color.

    p.s. If you cannot make it to Perennial Cycle on Saturday the 11th to pick up your packet, Chris has asked us to remind you that you'll be fine. You will be able to pick it up the night before the race in Spring Valley, or the morning of the race near the start/finish.

    p.p.s. It'll be more fun if you pick it up on Saturday, though.

  • May 25 2011

    The Royal 162

    May 14th was a wet and windy day. It also was the day that Derek and I set out to ride the Royal 162. 162 mile gravel road race (OK, more of a ride for participant type riders like us...) was to be epic and we loved the idea. Driving down to Spring Valley early Saturday morning was wet and cold. I told Derek that I expected that he and I would be the only 2 people to show up. Wrong! There had to be at least 60 of us that took off at 7am. It was 49º at 7 and by nine it was 47º (oops, I guess the temp was going the wrong way for us: ).

    At 38 miles we were in Preston for water and a piece of fried chicken for me.

    We made a quick stop of it and headed out feeling pretty good.
    A mere 20 miles later and a good amount of hard driving rain mixed with pretty tough winds and a great feeling of isolation (it did now seem as though we were the only 2 on the ride) and we were squished physically and mentally.

    At about 58 miles we crossed a paved bike path and while I think we both knew that we weren't going to make the 162, we were trying to look at the ride in pieces and the current piece was to Harmony. Harmony was completely do-able for us even in the conditions...

    15 yards past the bike path we stopped and looked at the cue sheets. We felt there was a bit of confusion about the cue sheets (probably made this up in our muddied brains) and determined that this was our moment to bail out.
    Mind you, bailing out at mile 58 didn't mean we were done. Actually we had little sense of where we were and whether to take the bike path right or left (no, we had no clue of a direction they might be pointing). We turned right thinking that Harmony must be that way. Lucky for us it was Preston we came to (no more isolation) as by now the later starting Almanzo riders were all over the town.

    Lunch at the café and back to Spring Valley on the highway.
    At mile 82 we entered the parking lot. We survived. A little worse for the wear and our egos a bit bruised, but there it is.

    Last year I did a ride report of the Almanzo 100. Check it out Here

    You can check out more about the Almanzo 100 and Royal 162 Here

  • May 24 2010

    Almanzo 100

    The Almanzo 100 is a gravel road century. It was a natural that Derek and I would do a century on gravel at some point. A bit of a stretch for us to do a race that is a gravel road century, but the Almanzo 100 is a well run race (thanks to Chris Skogen's efforts) that starts just south of Rochester Minnesota.

    The ride started at the Spring Valley High School at 9am. I don't know how many riders showed up at the start, but 450 were signed up and I see that 267 finished. It was a mass start which made for a pretty cool roll out. At the beginning of the ride I was a bit full of myself, but by mile 50 that had more than worn away and by mile 70 Derek was dragging me along. I kept hearing in the back of my head "why didn't you get more miles in this spring?". I don't think we would have been much faster had I been more prepared, but the finish would never have been in doubt.

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