Monday, March 12, 2012


By Bob

Well boys . . . it’s back on!! Rez Dog heroes Greg Cavanaugh, Andy Stravers and Chuck Van Drunen tore the lid off of the 2012 racing season with a wild romp in the Fat Tire 40 near Fountain Hills, Arizona. But before we turn to that story – and a report on Peter Tempest’s adventure in the “6 Hours of Spa City” in Hot Springs, Arkansas (yeah, you read that right, Arkansas) – we have some local action to cover:

1. THE BEAST WREAKS HAVOC ON FAT TIRES. Apparently Dirk “the Hollebeast” Hollebeek lured his Dawn til Dusk partner Alan Philips out for a ride on the HDT while they were still steaming over Chuck’s slander that he and Andy and Peter and Hadji were the only legitimate contenders for this year’s Gallup Cup at D2D. By all accounts, Dirk and Alan’s ride turned into a hammer fest of epic proportions. As the duo came screaming home about a mile and a half from the trailhead, Alan took a hard left on a sandy corner at race pace plus speed and ended up with a broken collar bone. Some reports attribute the breakneck speed to Alan’s exuberance over some new top secret racing equipment, but all we know is that every time the pace is pushed or pain is dealt it has to be Dirk’s fault and we’re sticking with that. As yet unconfirmed reports seem to suggest that Dirk may have even lined up a D2D replacement for Alan – Rez Dog expatriate Theron Hathaway – by cell phone even before Dirk and his suddenly expendable partner limped back to the trailhead. More slander or hard truth? As always: We report; you decide.

2. MORNING GUY RETURNS. We have some wildly conflicting reports on this one so we’ll try to stick with the facts that are undisputed. We are now all familiar with Chuck’s dual personalities: Night Guy and Morning Guy. Simply put, Night Guy is a little excitable and he has a habit of writing some big checks that Morning Guy has to cover. Here are the undisputed facts: Andy talked Chuck and Greg into racing in last weekend’s Fat Tire 40 in Arizona. At the departure time Andy and Greg had in their minds, Chuck hadn’t shown and wasn’t answering his cell. Andy and Greg took off for Arizona. Chuck called them when they were already on I-40. Andy and Greg returned to Gallup and picked up Chuck and got back on I-40. A solid hour of trash talking ensued.

3. WHAT IS CHUCK REALLY UP TO? Talk about mixed signals. Going into this season, did anyone have a real idea what Chuck was up to? He has been all over the place. On one hand he re-grew his old school Mormon polygamist beard (he likes to call it Amish but we’re not buying that) and he seemed to be spending as much time rebuilding and riding snow mobiles as he did on his bikes. On the other hand, there were persistent reports that he was sneaking out on his road bike (by his own admission the dark side is strong in this one) for long suffer fests with multiple riding partners. On the eve of the Fat Tire 40, Chuck pulled a page out of Bob’s 24ITEF playbook and was feigning sickness and pretending to try to find riders to substitute for him, but then on race day he showed up cleanly shaven with a crew cut reminiscent of his Squash Blossom victory last year.

4. ONE SECOND, A MIRACLE RECOVERY & TEN MILES ON A BROKEN FRAME. Bare with me on this one guys. Race results haven’t been posted on line yet, and all we have to go on is verbal reports from Chuck, Greg and Andy (imagine trying to sort that out). Here is what we have to report from the Fat Tire 40: Andy nipped Chuck by one second in the 6 mile time trial on Saturday that seeds riders for the 40 mile race on Sunday. Greg was within a minute of Andy and Chuck in the TT. Chuck pulled a miracle recovery from his illness and blistered the 40 mile race and posted a time of around 2:40 on the flat, super fast course. Chuck rode with a couple of really strong riders from mile 20 to mile 30 and moved up close to the top 10 overall when he heard a loud crunch coming from the seat tube of his frame which forced him to stand and dance on the pedals for the last 10 miles as guys he had recently passed went by him one by one. Andy, who fought some chain problems, was about 5 minutes back of Chuck. Greg, staving off the cramps, was about 10 minutes back to complete a strong overall Rez Dog showing against Arizonans in the peak of their season.

5. PETER AND TINKER IN SPA CITY. In his obsessive search to find races as far away as possible from his arch nemesis – the dreaded Bread Springs Loop sheep – Peter raced in Hot Springs, Arkansas this weekend. The “6 Hours of Spa City” featured a bunch of pro riders including the legendary Tinker Juarez who took first overall. The Spa City course is flat, narrow, and wooded single track with a lot of stream crossings. This was Peter’s first race now that he is racing 50+ and it pre-sages quite a year ahead. Peter came in 22nd out of around 225 riders and he was first in 50+ (Tinker is 51 but he was racing in the pro category). Peter’s top form combined with Chuck’s showing in Arizona is undoubtedly going to take this year’s pre-race hype for D2D’s Gallup Cup – which has always been over the top – to a nearly unbearable new level.

A CONCLUDING QUESTION: What is the absolute ultimate human threshold for pain? With Dirk, Chuck and Peter all running wild and D2D fast approaching, it looks like we are about to find out.

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