Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Gravel Worlds - Nebraska Powerball Tickets super important update!

PCL crew members reviewing the 150+ tickets at Yia Yia's

WE WON!.................$9.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Gravel Worlds Powerball tickets!

First off, thanks again to everyone that either participated in or provided support/aid for the event. It couldn't have happened without ya.

Secondly, we're already looking forward to next year and would love to hear suggestions on how we can make things better. So if you got a suggestion either post it here or send me an email.

Finally, I have not gone through the Nebraska Powerball Lottery tickets as of yet. My assistant, Ruka, insists on playing around in the tickets for a couple of weeks first. Whatever. Hopefully this upcoming week some of the PCL crew members will get together and check the tickets. If you don't hear from us go ahead and assume we won nothing or we didn't win enough to be split 100 ways (all that participated will get a cut if we hit the big one). Aarrrgh!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Gravel Worlds results - updated!

Women Open, Women SS and Women Master

Kelly Kostman (Women Open) and Janna Vavra (Women SS and first overall women) both of Lincoln, NE

Kim Carveth (Master Women) of Lincoln, NE

Men Open, SS and Master

Mike Marchand (Men Open and overall winner) of Kearney, NE

Chris Hansen (SS Men) of Lincoln, NE

Jon Vondracek (Master Men) of Lincoln, NE


Gunnar Rush and Wes Gregg (Tandem) of Decorah, IA

Worst pre-race mechanical, latest start and most beers drank while riding

T (Worst pre-race mechanical, latest start and most beers drank whiling riding) of Lincoln, NE

Gravel Worlds! And they're off!

Final headcount has yet to be tallied, but rough estimates are around 80ish

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Gravel Worlds! This Saturday!

Limited Edition Gravel Worlds bottle opener courtesy of Scott Showen!

Well folks, it's almost here! We're kicking off the Inaugural Gravel Worlds this Saturday at 6 AM. Are you ready? Well, if not it's too damn late! Aarrrgh!

Want in? Need out?

If you want in and didn't send in a postcard be sure to show up the morning of the event by 5:15 AM. We'll let ya participate cuz we're nice Midwestern pirates. If you sent a postcard in and don't plan on attending, please shot me an email and let me know asap.

Starting Location Reminder

The start/finish and parking area is located off of Havelock Avenue just east of the Lancaster Event Center. There's a dirt road off the pavement prior to the road turning to gravel. We've got permission to use this area for our event. Please use caution while parking as there are numerous metal stakes littering the lot. You've been warned!

I'll be at the start/finish area early on Saturday morning getting things set up. Look for the lights and event tent!

Waiver and rider check-in

Riders are required to complete a waiver and check-in by penning their initials on the rider list prior to the start. Please note that you will also be marked with a race number on the back of your calf with a Sharpie marker. If you got a problem with that we could brand you instead. Your choice! Also, ridiculously hairy legged folks that cannot be marked (cough...Malcolm, cough) will be marked on their forehead.

You can also sign the waiver at the optional Friday afternoon check-in at the downtown Oso Burrito from 3 to 6 PM.

PCL Merchandise

PCL posters, T-shirts and stickers will be available the morning of the event at the start/finish location (and maybe the Friday afternoon check-in). Bring some cash cuz we don't take checks or plastic. Price of the T-shirts and posters has yet to be determined. That's up to Schmidty.


The weather forecast has been in a constant state of flux over the week, but as of right now it's looking like it'll be a warm one. The temps are forecast for the low 90's. Be sure to put some sunblock on and drink plenty of fluids. Also hit up those Gravel Worlds Oasis locations if you need a break in the shade!

Gravel Worlds Oasis

There are two Oasis locations. There will be signs indicating the location of both oasis locations.

CVO workin' on the signs....thanks buddy!

Look for these near the Oasis locations

The first Oasis is around ten miles after the Malcolm checkpoint at about mile 75. You hafta deviate from the route for a couple hundred yards to reach this Oasis. There will be Coca Cola, Gatorade, water, some snacks (veggies!), and some really cool people. The second Oasis is located about ten miles from the finish on 176th. There will be snacks (homemade cookies!), beverages, cool cats and Limited Edition Gravel Worlds bottle openers (thanks again Scott)! Thanks to our good buddy Chad and our friends at Budweiser there will also be some Beach Bum Blonde Ale to enjoy at the second Oasis. Hey, you can use your new bottle opener! FYI, if you want a bottle opener you better be one of the first 35 riders to reach the second oasis cuz that's all we got! Aarrrgh!

Chad has also graciously scored some Monster Energy drinks for the start and finish. Pregnant, nursing or folks with heart conditions should limit to two per day. The PCL are not responsible for heart palpitations, the jitters or polyuria.

Post Race Par-tay!?!

I'm expecting folks to be finishing from anywhere around 3 PM to midnight. So this makes having an post race party kinda difficult. So I recommend we set a tentative gathering at Yia Yia's in downtown Lincoln (right next to Oso Burrito) at 9 PM on Saturday night. If you finish before 9 PM and wanna strut around in your new Gravel World Champion jersey, come on down to Yia Yia's. There will be other PCL members there to share some stories with. I plan on sticking around at the finish line until everyone is finished. Then I'll head down to Yia Yia's for a beer.


Shot me an email. See you landlubbers soon! Aarrrgh!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Your daily Gravel Worlds post!

Gravel Worlds limited edition decals, T-shirt and screen print poster

The good folks at Screen Ink and Icon Graphics (both Lincoln based!) collaborated with one of the PCL founders, Schmidty, to come up with a new PCL sticker/decal, 10 PCL T-shirts in limited edition color (silver - same color as the poster), and 50 individually numbered Gravel Worlds screen printed posters. These items will be available for purchase at the start of the race. Price is yet to be determined. One thing is for sure, they're badass.

More Gravel Worlds news tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Your daily Gravel Worlds update!

Friday Afternoon Rider Check-in

The optional Friday afternoon check-in will take place from 3 to 6 PM at Oso Burrito in downtown Lincoln (1451 O Street). Riders will sign a waiver and pick up cue sheets at that time. This will save us a lot of time the morning of the event. So if you're in town and can make it down there please do so. Also be sure to enjoy a burrito and a beer!
Cycle Works Gravel Worlds Special

The good folks at Cycle Works are getting behind the Gravel Worlds and offering a 15% discount on select merchandise to anyone participating in the ride. Just mention that you're participating in the Gravel Worlds on Saturday and you'll get 15% off merchandise that you can use for the ride such as: tubes, tools, patch kits, lube, clothing, and nutrition products. Please speak to a Cycle Works staff member to regarding this discount for full details. Cycle Works has two locations in Lincoln. Directions can be found here.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Gravel Worlds! - Cue sheet and other misc. info

I've got more info for you landlubbers to digest! Here is a link to pdf file of the cue sheet (thanks again Rafal!). If you want a Microsoft Word copy, send me an email and I'll get ya a copy.

Also, if you need to drop out during the ride or need assistance (in case of an emergency), please call my cell number (402) 730-0912. Take that number with you during the ride and keep it safe. We don't want to wait around all night for you to finish so please give us a courtesy call if you pull the plug early.

An optional Friday afternoon check-in will be from 3 PM to 6 PM at a yet to be determined location. It will most likely be somewhere in downtown Lincoln. Riders will sign a waiver, pick up cue sheets (if needed) at the check in, and get their questions answered.

The start/finish area will not have lighting and will be rather dark at 5:15 AM. Please be extra careful getting into the parking area as there are numerous metal poles staked into the ground and littering the parking lot. I'm not exactly sure why those metal poles are there, but suspect they help mark parking stalls.

We will have an event tent near the entrance of the parking lot for final housekeeping issues. All riders must sign a waiver and also sign in by initially next to their name on the official list prior to the start. You can only sign in the morning of the event!

Topo info of the route thanks to Chris! 11,400 feet! Yikes!

The weather forecast is looking really amazing for Saturday. As of tonight the forecast is for a high of 86 degrees. We're getting rain tonight which will greatly improve the gravel conditions. It has been very dry here recently!

More info to follow later this week.

We'll be taking off around sunrise on Saturday and it should be a beautiful morning!

Sunday, August 15, 2010



The course

The Gravel Worlds course is ready for viewing! Below is the Bikely.com map. We release the course early so folks can make their own cue sheets/cards if they choose to do so. If you don't want to make a cue sheet/card, we will have a standard cue sheet at the optional Friday afternoon rider check-in (more details to follow later in the week on this optional check-in). The standard cue sheet will also be available on the morning of the ride. The standard cue sheet will be a basic 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. Nothing fancy folks. If you want something better, knock yourself out.

This is a challenging course! You can thank Troy for that! Don't blame me! Rough estimates are around 8,000 to 9,000 feet of climbing. The climbs are short power climbs that seem never ending. The terrain will have all kinds of gravel and dirt road surfaces. Some areas will have large white rock sections that are pinch flat power sucking purgatories. Aarrrgh!

The Cue Sheet

Below is a jpeg of the cue sheet. It is your responsibility to know how to read the cue sheet and have a way to conveniently carry and access it during the ride. You must carry a cue sheet! Don't rely on your buddy or other folks to navigate you. Be familiar with which road you're on and the upcoming turn and mileage. A cyclometer is highly recommended. Note the cue sheet has mileage listed next to each turn. Your mileage should be approximately the mileage listed on the cue sheet when you get to the listed turn if you remain on course.

The cue sheet is broken up into four sections. Note there are only THREE pseudo-checkpoints. At each pseudo-checkpoint no one will be there to check you off. You will need to purchase a Nebraska Powerball Lottery ticket at the convenience store listed on the cue sheet as proof of reaching said checkpoint. Please note that you cannot buy Nebraska Powerball tickets with a credit or debit card. You must have cold hard cash! The Nebraska Powerball Lottery tickets will be collected at the end of the ride. If you don't have three tickets from each specified pseudo-checkpoint, you will be disqualified. I will be verifying date/time and location on the tickets upon each rider finish.

Please note that the pseudo-checkpoint in the town of Valpraiso has two gas stations/convenience stores and only one sells Nebraska Powerball Lottery tickets (Phillips 66).

The course will not be marked. Also this is not a closed course! Traffic will be common and frequent on many sections of the course. Exercise caution!

I'm still working on a way to post the cue sheet via Microsoft Word. If you want a copy via Microsoft Word, send me an email and I'll shot you a copy. Aarrrgh!

Cue Sheet holders

Since the standard cue sheet is plain ole paper, please be aware that it will soak up sweat and eventually be rendered useless. You must have a way to store and carry the cue sheet during the ride in order to protect and conveniently access it. Think of it as a Pirate treasure map. You gotta preserve that map if you want to get to the booty! Aarrrgh!

There are cue sheet holders out there for purchase, but a simple solution is to use a zip lock freezer bag. You can jimmy rig it to your handlebar for easy viewing pleasure.

Please, please, please be attentive to your surroundings while viewing the cue sheet. Don't be a dork and take other people out or blow through an intersection and get yourself killed while gawking at the cue sheet.

If you lose your cue sheet during the ride, wait for someone behind you and link up with them. Don't expect anyone to bring you another one! If you call me and ask me to do that I'll get a good laugh. Aarrrgh!

Gravel Etiquette & Safety

This is common sense stuff, but needs to be mentioned. There are several things folks must do on a gravel ride that will keep themselves and others safe which will ensure a fun and rewarding experience.
  1. Stay to the right and don't ride in the opposite lane especially up climbs/rollers! If I catch or even hear of anyone riding in the opposite lane up a climb, they will be disqualified. No questions asked. Why? If a vehicle comes blasting over the top, you and/or everyone behind you will most likely get hurt and/or killed. Not cool. Stay to the right. Stay to the right. Stay to the right.
  2. Remain attentive to your surroundings! Please keep your head up and be sure to be on the look out for traffic, dogs/animals, loose gravel, wheel sucking ruts or cracks in bridges, soft sand, large white rock, or anything else that can potentially take you or someone else down. Look at your cue sheet when it is safe. If you need to stop to view the cue sheet, stop. There's no time limit on this bad daddy.
  3. Call things out! If you see or go through something sketchy be sure warn your colleagues by calling it out and pointing to it if you can safely do so. Yes, you can say "car up" on a gravel ride. In fact, it's the courteous thing to do. Also when passing, please do so at a safe juncture and kindly and loudly proclaim "on your left". If you plan on slowing or stopping be sure the folks behind you are aware prior to taking action.
  4. Stop if someone needs help! This is all about fun folks. So if you see someone stopped or in need of assistance, please ask if they need help and offer a helping hand if possible. The bike Gods will smile upon you if you do.
  5. Let the dust settle if you get dusted! If you get dusted by a vehicle, and this is highly likely right now do to the lack of moisture recently, slow down and let the dust settle. First off this will prevent a potential collision from another vehicle traveling through the dust cloud who is unable to see you until it's too late. Secondly it's a lot better on your lungs, trust me.
  6. Keep a straight line and call out/signal when changing position! If you find yourself in a group or even with another rider, please keep a straight line and avoid dramatic lines changes. Also signal with your hand or call out when you plan on making changes in your line. The crushing of gravel is louder than you think and you may not hear a rider behind or even beside you on occasions.
  7. Don't be a dick! If I hear of any dickish behavior by any rider, they will not only be disqualified, but will also hafta walk the PCL plank. Aarrrgh!
  8. Obey the traffic laws! Please obey all traffic laws. That includes stopping at stop signs, signaling when turning, obeying speed limits, wearing seat belts, and no texting while riding (we're cool with you blogging while riding though).
  9. Come prepared! First off, be sure to have everything you need to ensure you can deal with a mechanical issue (broken chain, flat tire, etc.). Secondly, plan your food and fluid consumption needs prudently. The pseudo-checkpoints have been warned of your arrival and will have plenty of sustenance available for purchase. So bring some cash along! The minimal things you should have on you during the ride include: helmet, eye protection, front and rear lights (blinky and illumination), a minimum of two water bottles or a hydration pack, snacks, cyclocomputer, tools, tubes, cell phone, cue sheet holder, your wits and climbing legs! Aarrrgh!
Staying on the right. Great job Lincoln Gravel Posse! You get a Gold Star!

The Start/Finish Location

The start/finish will be located at the Lancaster Event Center far east overflow parking lot (just off of Havelock Ave). This is a grass field with a dirt road running down the middle. It doesn't look like much folks, but it's where we're call home for the day! Parking will be available for the entire day free of charge. Since there isn't an indoor plumbed restroom facility at our disposal we will have porta-potty available to use. Please try to get that potty break out of the way prior to arriving at the start. Aarrrgh!

The morning of the ride

Please plan on arriving early on Saturday August 21st. The ride begins at 6 AM sharp. So plan on being at the start/finish by 5:15 at the latest. You will need to check-in and sign a waiver if you haven't already done so at the optional Friday afternoon rider check-in (more details to follow on this check-in). At 5:45 we will hold a rider meeting to review ins and outs. Do not be late or you will miss the boat and not be permitted to start. Aarrrgh!

Oasis Locations and Specifics

Some kindly locals have heard about our little ride and have offered to provide beverages and snacks to riders. These are optional stops for folks who need some extra sustenance. There will be signs on the course indicating the oasis locations. Also, please be sure to place some $ in the tip jar if you make a stop. These folks are spending their own money to help us out.

The first oasis location is about 77 miles into the ride and just off of the corner of 98th and W. Pioneers Blvd which is ten miles after Malcolm and 34 miles prior to Hickman. Big climb start shortly after this oasis. That's a fair warning!

The second oasis location is about 135 miles into the ride and on 176th street. You've only got a little over 12 miles to go after this oasis! Aarrrgh!


If you're the first person to finish in your category and don't act like a dick, you'll receive a Gravel World Championship Jersey (see previous posts and thanks to Jay at the Trek Stores of Omaha!) and a custom made trophy courtesy of our good buddy Scott (see below). Second place and all other finishers will receive a high five and a "good job buddy"! Aarrrgh!

Oh, there are no prizes except the rewarding experience of riding 150 challenging miles of Nebraska gravel goodness.


Can you still sign up?

Sure! Shot me an email with your name, age, hometown, email address, cell number, and category. Or just show up the morning of the ride and sign up. Be sure show up extra early if signing up the morning of. I'll be there around 5 AM. Ugh! I mean...Aarrrgh!

Liability - You are 100% responsible for you!

Finally, I gotta mention the liability issue. If you choose to participate you are agreeing that you are taking on full responsibility for what happens to you out on the course. We are in no way responsible for anything that happens to you during the ride or any part of this adventure. YOU ARE COMPLETELY AND ABSOLUTELY RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU! By choosing to ride with us you, your family (estate), and insurance company agrees not to sue us if you get hurt and/or killed. Yeah, pretty damn morbid, eh?

Also, please have a bail out option. We will have limited availability for pick ups and will only do so in emergency situations. The beauty of this ride is you're never more than 40 miles from Lincoln. Aarrrgh!

Questions, comments or concerns?

If you got any, shot me an email. My addy is in my profile. See everyone soon! Meow!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Gravel Worlds just around the corner!

The Gravel Worlds jerseys have arrived! Only winners of each category will have the honor of slipping this jersey on. Will you win one?!

The Inaugural Gravel World Championship aka The Good Life Gravel Adventure is less than two weeks away. Saturday August 21st at 6 AM the event will begin!

Start/Finish Location:

The start/finish is located at the Lancaster Event Center in Lincoln, Nebraska which is located at 4100 N. 84th Street. We will be staging at the Northeast dirt parking lot. There is plenty of parking available at the event center. Please be sure to review info on how to get there prior to August 21st.

The route and rules:

The course has been finalized! Troy has been working hard to get it dialed. Be sure to check out his teaser pics below. The course will consist of 150 miles of gravel and dirt roads with plenty of rollers. This will be a challenging course!

Small town convenience stores will serve as checkpoints and aid stations. Riders will be required to purchase a Nebraska Powerball Lottery ticket at each small town convenience store as proof of reaching the checkpoint. Nebraska Powerball Lottery tickets cost $1 and there are four checkpoints. The lottery tickets will be turned in at the finish of the event and verified. Riders will follow a set of cue cards to navigate the course.

The course will be released soon! You can make your own cue cards or use our cue sheets that will be provided at the start (most likely 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper in a tri-fold fashion).

This is a self supported event. You are absolutely responsible for you! Come prepared and please have a bail out option! Again, this is a self supported event in which YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU!

Registration Info:

You can still register! If you would like to participate, please send a postcard with your name, age, hometown, category (see list below), email address, and cell phone number to:

Pirate Cycling League
1510 D Street
Lincoln, NE 68502

  • Open men
  • Open women
  • Masters men (50 years of age+)
  • Masters women (50 years of age+)
  • Single speed men (includes fixed geared bicycles)
  • Single speed women (includes fixed geared bicycles)
  • Tandem
  • Unicycle (seriously - will be a shortened version)
If you don't wanna send a postcard, just show up the day of the event!

Note on being cool:

Please remember this event is all about having fun on a bicycle with like minded individuals. If you see someone in need of assistance, please stop and offer a helping hand. Also, be courteous to everyone you encounter on the ride including dogs who are chasing you. So basically, don't be a dick.


This ain't that kinda race. Sorry.


There will be two oasis locations strategically placed along the route to offer additional assistance to riders. There will be plenty of food and beverages at the oasis locations. These are optional stops. More info to come soon.

Post race fun?:

That's still up in the air. Since the route is very challenging, folks will be finishing later in the day. More info to come soon.

Additional info:

As always, we reserve the right to change any and everything whenever we see fit. We're pirates after all.

Questions, comments, concerns? Post here or send me an email.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

worlds by the numbers, part 1...

preliminary stats:
start to checkpoint 1 = 38.1 miles
cp 1 to cp 2 = 29.2 miles
cp 2 to cp 3 = approx. 44.7 miles
cp 3 to the finish = approx. 38.6 miles

climbing...from the start to mile 77 (just past the 1/2 way point) is approx. 4740 ft.

today was hot, humid, & wind blowin' outta the south...oh mama!

2 weeks to go!