Sunday, August 12, 2012

Gravel Worlds UPDATE!

Who's ready?! Gravel Worlds is less than a week away! 
Dirt road goodness!


First and foremost, the PCL crew would like to say thanks to all the folks who played a part in organizing and sponsoring the event. The list is by no means complete, but please be sure to check out the links and support those who support us!  Also, huge thanks to the folks who have personally sponsored the PCL.  Your generosity is greatly appreciated. 

Cycle Works, Moose's Tooth, War Axe Bicycles, Screen Ink, Sheclismo, Foundry Cycles

Cue Sheet
It's supposed to look like this, but Google Docs got rid of the columns...

Here is it (link to Google Docs)

Please take a look at this cue sheet and be sure you are familiar with how to read it.  You can download and reformat the sheet cue to your liking.  We will have some extra cue sheets in the current format available (on plain old 8 1/2 x 11 paper) Friday night and Saturday morning.  

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!

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!

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!

The Course
 There's a bridge you gotta portage along the route

The PCL crew finished recon of the course this weekend.  Everything is dialed and ready to go!  The course will be going through Malcolm (mile 36.5), Hickman (mile ~85) and Adams (mile 114).  YOU (not your friend) are REQUIRED to purchase a Nebraska Powerball Lottery ticket in those three towns at the listed retailers.  Each ticket is $2.

The course has a great mix of varying terrain.  Washboard gravel, dusty silt, hardpack dirt, "hero" gravel, and some white rock.  Choose your tires wisely.  Yesterday during our pre-ride Randy had 6 flats while riding his road bike.

Creek crossing out there too!


A week out and things are looking really good!  High temp of 81 with a light wind out of the SSE.  Couldn't be better!

There is always a chance of inclement weather.  Please be aware that we are not modifying the course. This is a tongue in cheek World Championship. You gotta earn it! So some MMR roads may be a bit soft and muddy if we get rain. There could be some sections that are not rideable. You may hafta do some hike a bike. It's not a big deal. Trust me. Several of the gravel grinders this year had significant amounts of hike a bike.

Please use common sense while out on the course. If the weather takes a turn for the worse please seek shelter. We will not be out there to warn you of inclement weather. It is your responsibility to recognize and respond to severe and dangerous weather.

Gonna bail?

If you don't plan on making it to the event and have already sent in a postcard, please shot me an email (coreycycle at and let me know that you will not be in attendance.

If you start the event and decide to not continue to the finish you MUST text the number on the cue sheet.  AGAIN, YOU MUST TEXT THE NUMBER AND LET US KNOW YOU ARE NO LONGER ON THE COURSE AND HAVE A SAFE WAY HOME. Please text a message with your name! 


Friday Night Optional Rider Check-in

Friday August 17, 2012 at Cycle Works (located at 27th and Vine street) from 5 PM until 8 PM the PCL crew will be having an optional rider check-in.  During the check-in we will verify rider information, have riders sign a waiver, hand out cue sheets, and answer any questions pertaining to Gravel Worlds.

Riders will also have an opportunity to purchase items in the store during extended hours. We will also have some refreshments.  You don't wanna miss out!

Secret Checkpoints

There will be three secret checkpoints! These are in addition to the three Nebraska Powerball ticket checkpoints. The three secret checkpoints are located along the course and will not be announced.  Volunteers will be at the checkpoints to give you a token.  Riders are required to stop at these checkpoints and give a high five to our volunteers.  You must have proof (token) of reaching these secret checkpoints after crossing the finish line along with the three Nebraska Powerballs in order to be considered a finisher.  No exceptions!

PCL Swag

The good folks at Screen Ink have hooked us up again with a bunch of one of a kind PCL swag.  Limited Edition individually numbered Gravel Worlds posters will also be available.  If you want one you better show up at Cycle Works Friday night. Prices to be determined.

Bottle Openers

There are a limited number of Gravel Worlds bottle openers that will be available at the final Oasis location (about 10 miles from the finish).  Schmidty will determine who gets one.  You may hafta tell us a story to get one.

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 18th. 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.


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.  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 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...Arrrgh! 

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? 

Shoot me an email.  See ya soon!

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