1. There were four (4) great dogs on this year’s jaunt around Spring Vally, MN. They are as follows :
A(1) – The yellow lab named after an Alaskan peninsula. This dog enjoyed licking legs, head scratches and general crotch sniffing.
B(2) – The black mutt that accompanied the yellow lab named after an Alaskan peninsula. This dog enjoyed occasionally scolding the yellow lab named after an Alaskan peninsula for gluttonous crotch sniffing.
C(3) – The dog known as Seamus. This dog is the unofficial official team dog of the best unofficial official team in the business – Team Radish. Seamus enjoys ear scritches and the occasional howl.
D(4) – The black lab hanging out in the middle of a gravel turn off. This dog enjoys sitting in a regal position and judging those who are stupid enough to be trying to ride a bike in this god forsaken land.
2. The worst vanilla malt in my life was had the evening before the 2014 edition of the Almanzo 100.
3. Acts of Kindness (In no particular order) :
A – Megan Barr provided a lovely yellow banana at the start line. I owe her at least five (5) bananas for this most generous act.
C – Jeffrey Zaayer and the MORBID Meat-Up for one (1) hotdog and one (1) MORBID sticker (to be applied to the top-tube and the top-tube ONLY)
D – David Bucklin for providing a steady wheel and levity to an altogether grave situation.
E – Trevor Murphy for providing a welcome draft and sexy to an altogether grave situation.
F – David Peterson for providing a lift, introducing me to the Wu-Tang Clan and waiting around while my broken ass made it’s way back to the parked car.
4. No bike computer. It was nice this way.
6. What does it mean when a professional cyclocross team shows up at a free gravel race in the middle of nowhere?
7. The feeling of both tires losing traction. Repeatedly. And having it all under control. I love you, Panaracer.
8. The feeling of not knowing where everyone fit in the cycling spectrum. Please circle the descriptor below which most accurately describes your reason for attendance –
A – Roadie/Cyclocrossist
B – Enduro/Rad Masochist
C – Alternate Terrain Enthusiast
D – 32c Nihilist
9. Swedish Fish once again played a prominent role in my efforts. Trevor Murphy stated (accurately) that red was the best flavor. Then we mulled over the creation of the others and decided it was madness.
10. The climb out of the creek crossing was magnificent. Having missed this last year, it was a treat for the senses and an experience that will stay with me for a long time. I will return to better my time, as is necessitated by my limited definition of growth, but that moment made the ride alone. A glimpse of another reason to ride my bicycle, perhaps.
But for now, I will still be the guy sprinting for 764th place.
Mr. Skogen, as always, I thank you for a wonderful event.
Viva El Manzo!