Sunday, August 14, 2011

Gravel Worlds UPDATE!



The course

The Gravel Worlds course is ready for viewing! 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 evening rider check-in at Cycle Works (6pm-9pm) 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! For those who participated in the 2010 Gravel Worlds you will note this is 99% the same. We have added a little extra to get the total mileage up to 153 and change. 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. Arrrgh!

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).

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!

Secret Checkpoint

It's a secret. Got it? Note on the cue sheet it's located somewhere on SW 2nd Street. You gotta find it and prove you made it there when you cross the finish line.

Course Markings?

Pfffft...yeah, right. 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 when crossing intersections!

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! Arrrgh!

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. Arrrgh!

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! Arrrgh!
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. Arrrgh!

This is the start location

The morning of the ride

Please plan on arriving early on Saturday August 20th. 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 evening rider check-in at Cycle Works. 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. Arrrgh!

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 140 miles into the ride and on 176th street. You've only got a little over 12 miles to go after this oasis! Arrrgh!


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 and a custom made trophy courtesy of our good friends at TMCO. Second place and all other finishers will receive a high five and a "atta boy/girl"! Arrrgh!

Oh, there are no prizes except the rewarding experience of riding 153 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...Arrrgh!

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!

1 comment:

Ben Bolin said...

Share the Word document via Drop Box Public Folder share. ;-)