Monday, April 23, 2012

Tempest Get Last Laugh

It seemed too good to be true. The Dr. with a large grin happily offered to shuttle Andy and Chuck (2011&2012 Gallup Cup Champions)from Milk Ranch and take them to the secret "Grasshopper Express" trail, whereupon they would ride to Grasshopper and then on Nutria and then on to Box S Land.

From Lost Lake lookout Dr.Mutton then ambled aimlessly thru rock gardens till he found the spot where the trail began. "I gotta go home now guys...but just go down to the saddle take a left and enjoy grasshopper"

In an instant he was gone. Andy and I proceeded about 100 yards before the trail disintegrated into a mash of scrub oak unclimbable grades and complete bushwack carnage. A maze of random deer trails & ravines about as complex as the cable routing on greg's bikes proceeding to foul up our already hike a bike pace.

An hour later we mananged to find a two track with led to 16 others that had no rhyme or reason and seemed to go in circles amidst the bermuda triangle of hogback ridges that defiantly tried to conceal Danoff rd. from our searching tires.

"He's laughing right know that Andy?...He's laughing his ass off."

Andy says nothing...and simply rides off in a random direction while I squint at my crappy GPS.

Somehow we find each other again.

The GPS does it's job...but not without 4 or 5 leg grinding climbs and another hour...we find Danoff.

"Grasshopper Express???....More like Grasshopper Business Route with a traffic jam."

"He got us good." "He screwed us so hard"

"There is no way anyone in their right mind could call that a trail"

"Dude were 2 hours late."

"How could anyone send a living being down that trail in good conscience?"

"We should send Greg down here....? (first smile in 2 hours).

"Peter got the last laugh...dude.."

"Yep...he's jamming out to some steve miller band in his truck..smiling...big smile dude..."

Thursday, April 19, 2012


After a blog post blitz to tie up the server a group of Rez Dogs secretly met to address their greatest fear: Now that Chuck Van Drunen & Andy Stravers (2011 Gallup Cup Champions) are also the 2012 Gallup Cup Champions... should the blog site be permanently shut down in order to save the rest of the team from enduring another 12 months of their mind-blowing obnoxious (albeit brilliant) posts?

Peter: I've already had to burn over a 100 pre-printed "Gallup Cup" shirts & hats in my fire pit, I don't know if my soul can handle another year of blog posts...I say we pull the plug on it.

Dirk: It's just not right. No one should be allowed to talk that much crap and actually back it up. I say we keep the blog alive and just give those two a good ole fashioned fist pounding and then we'll blog about that.

Paul: Yeah mate! Those two will be cheesing each other's knobs for the next few days so we better hurry, cause if they find out about it they'll get on their bikes and then no one will be able to catch them.

Bob: Gentleman, Gentleman, I think I may have a solution. I've found a 1928 state statute concerning ranchers' branding each other's buttocks. I think we may be able to leverage the law here to get a gag order put on them concerning the blog.

Peter: That could be stuck in court for weeks...the blog will be lit up like Chuck's Crossmax's by then.

Chad: Yeah...yeah man... we gotta hurry....they're gonna...they're gonna.... make me drink outta that cup again...i just know it (starts to cry).

Alan: Well, I made a call into Scottie, he's gonna set The Director up with Johan Bruneel.

Dirk: How will sportief director Greg (may he live forever) meeting with Bruneel help us?

Alan: Well if Bruneel could get through a tour de france with Contador & Armstrong on the same team I figure he can help the director figure out what to do with the blog...?

Bob: Well done Alan.

Peter: This seems reasonable.

Paul: So all our hope is on The Wanker...i mean The Director???

Chad,Dirk,Alan: So be it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Adoption Exchange Classic 2012

This is an annual Omnium road race put on by the Albuquerque Sport Systems team as part of their USACycling licensure. It is a two day, three event race that allows riders to do one, two or all three events that are scored just like a cross country race with the highest placings receiving the lowest points with the goal being the lowest possible score. The Adoption Exchange Classic also supports with the profits an adoption agency called, you guessed it, the Adoption Exchange. Don't ask me about the name.

The first event, on Saturday morning, was the Road Race that takes place in the East Mountains of Albuquerque and centers on a climb that the locals call "Heartbreak Hill". I wasn't too worried because this was in Albuquerque--how hard could it be? Have they suffered up Narbona in a headwind? Have they hit Fat Bastard after a stop at Chu-chu's? Had they ever tried to climb anything while Chuck was alternatively throttling the pace and telling gut busting stories? But then I started to receive emails from the director with messages like "A few things to keep in mind the next time you tackle our own Heartbreak Hill @ the Adoption Exchange Classic:

a) Fear Of Pain Is Worse Than Pain Itself.
b) Embrace the experience and dial in a sustainable pace, and you'll find that it never feels as bad as you expect it to.
c) Go with Friends. You'll climb better in a group. Exercise physiologists call the phenomenon social facilitation--an athlete's ability to produce better efforts when observed by others (Don’t be insecure)."

These messages had the reverse effect as I started to get really excited for this climb. If the race director felt he had to psych people up who had already paid to climb this thing, "Heartbreak Hill" was going to decimate the field. I especially loved the last line about not being insecure...yeah, we're named after feral mutts. I'm pretty sure your exercise physiologists and their social facilitation haven't seen a lot of guys like the guys in this crew. Either way, we don't care too much.

I drive out to the course on Saturday morning and line up for the Cat 5 start. There was nothing but carbon, shaved legs and matching kits around. It was crazy. How did all these guys know what I was riding and wearing? The gun goes off and away we go onto a course that amounted to a lazy rectangle of right turns. The first part of the course was a rolling rural country road with some cross breeze. Early on, maybe a mile or two in, a strong man goes like a gun shot. No one reacts and he dangles off the front perhaps ten to fifteen seconds up the road. We never see him again. Some of the guys start moving forward and pushing the pace but they don't seem all that experienced based on their jerky movements and anxiousness. Some others, who looked more dangerous by their careful and relaxed pedaling, look like they are waiting for something and let the chase up front continue. We pedal this way until the next turn approaches and by now the peloton has shifted from the earnestness to a more focused determination of a few. I find myself at the front with two others, three abreast, as we make the turn and in the distance I see what looks to be a road of some kind but it is both too high and too close to our road...or could it be?

A few blips of hills and now I see the full effect of Heartbreak Hill. About as steep as the first sharp climb of Bread Springs Loop, Heartbreak Hill is approximately four times longer. It is not long but a nasty, punchy climb. Or as one guy put it, "Five minutes of pain". Without intending to, the other two leaders and I form a breakaway on the beginning of the climb with another rider shooting across to make it four. We push on, trying to both inflict pain on others, while avoiding too much ourselves. Two thirds up, the three are winning the pain game and begin to ride away from me as I struggle to hold their pace. They crest together and I follow fifteen or twenty seconds back. I try to catch on and spend myself in pursuit but the three grow smaller and smaller with each turn. I glance behind and see two pursuers and I decide to cut my losses and cast on with them. The two are from the same team, Sport Systems, and are screaming through this section taking massive pulls. I latch on and relax, catch my breath, take a turn, relax, and we catch the weakest of the first group. Now a group of four, we continue to work through the miles, make another turn and catch another member of the break that crashed after he and the last escapee touched wheels. In another mile we catch the third rider and start to really pile on the pressure dropping one and then the second Sport Systems rider.

Back to a group of three we work easily, catching other Categories of riders and shooting past. It's a riot! We make the final turn and continue to work but not as hard, starting to jockey a bit while we size each other up. With about a mile and a half to go I take what I want to be my last pull and look to lock in third wheel for the sprint when I realize our break has been bridged by five riders (including my Sports System friends). Whoops! Now eight strong, the game has changed and we all look to get behind a wheel for the sprint which comes to soon. I take third for the field sprint and finish fourth for the day.
Sunday morning

The day starts on the West side with a morning TT of over 12 miles along the I-40 frontage road. Undulating with a false flat the route ends with an abrupt mile descent down the very top of "9 mile hill" and demands riders to turn and repeat it all the way back to the start. Due to my position yesterday, I am placed near the back of the field for my start time and stand out due to my lack of an aero helmet and tt specific bike. My start time arrives, the countdown commences and I am off! I don't particularly like tts and this one was no exception but I decided to gauge my efforts and leave the bulk of my strength for the return trip. Four miles in, the guy who started behind me thirty seconds back comes rocketing by. Just before the turnaround the next guy comes by. Maybe this plan isn't so good...but then, on the climb up from the turnaround I start to gain ground and then pass the guy back. I shout encouragement and he does the same (shout? perhaps pant is a better description). I continue to the top of the climb and start to put more into every pedal stroke gaining ground on the guy who started in front of me. With two miles to go, I pass my "rabbit" just as another rider passes me. Oh well. Such is life. I finish sixth with a decent time.
Sunday afternoon

The crit for the Adoption Exchange was held at the Sandia motorspeedway on a closed course with banked turns, s-curves, straightaways and lots of wind. We started off and stayed together for the first lap and then the three strongest riders just took off. I was boxed in and watched helplessly as these guys had one, two, now three bike lengths and they were gone. We chased and formed the second group but never caught on and finished a half lap back. I took second in the "field sprint" and fifth for the race.

This is a great race and was the fantastic spring racing tune-up I hoped it to be. It also happens to suit the Rez Dog style of riding and racing by allowing the terrain to sort out the field.


P.S. Somebody remind me why we don't have one of these in Gallup?



By Bob

Yes . . . in what has become an annual beat down by Gallup’s cruel spring weather, Rez Dogs turned in some amazing performances and not only survived, but thrived amidst the chaos. A report:

1. PRE-RACE GALLUP CUP FRENZY REACHES NEW HEIGHTS. A solid two month build up reached new heights when:
Chuck Van Drunen first orchestrated Hadji Corona’s entry as Peter Tempest’s teammate and then did a complete 180 and lobbied to get Hadji, and all other duos with former Gallupians, disqualified from the Gallup Cup competition,
Chuck began writing inflammatory blog posts that even his partner, Andy Stravers, was complaining about until he found out who the real author was,
Dirk Hollebeek was tossing aside partners like the were dirty shirts until he finally ended up with his original partner,
Allan Phillips pulled off an epic hoax by convincing everyone that former European pro, Scottie Nydam, was going to ride duo with him, and
Informed sources reported that, in fact, Chuck is a polygamist (remember the beard in the shower photo?) from Colorado City, Arizona who is on the run and hiding in Gallup from the FBI and therefore not a true Gallup resident himself.

2.NIGHT GUY – MORNING GUY – EPISODE #37. How many times can Chuck pull off his Night Guy/ Morning Guy routine before he crashes and burns? His pre-race D2D ritual this year involved a repeat viewing of Braveheart, large quantities of whiskey, multiple hot tub sessions and no – none, zero, nada – sleep the night before. While Andy was out on the first lap, Chuck was fixing a flat, guzzling Red Bull and generally looking and acting like a basket case. In other words, he was primed to rip off another phenomenally fast race.

3.REZ DOG PALACE. Rez Dog Directeur Sportif, Greg Cavanaugh, outdid himself at D2D. Think back with me to last summer’s 24HIEF in which we had we had the very worst campsite (downwind from the portable potties) on our very own course. This year Greg orchestrated not one but two walled Tomac tent canopies with a large Rez Dog banner next to the start/finish line that were filled with food, drink and the smiling face of Andy Newell.

4.SOLO AND TEAM WARRIORS. Paul DeWitt, riding single speed, turned in the best solo effort by putting in two laps in 2:28.23 before the blizzard hit with full force. Also riding solo were Blaine Silversmith, Brian Culligan, Brian Hroch, Jonathan Chiang and Charles Chiang. In the team category, Nate Haveman, Doug Evilsizor and Jason Arsenault put in three strong laps and Jason probably rode the gutsiest lap of the entire race when he came back riding with a bike completely caked in mud that weighed over 60 pounds.

5.THE MAIN EVENT: GALLUP CUP. This year, race director Lindsay Mapes gave the Gallup Cup racers (Gallup male duos) a category all to themselves . . . and it was comprised of five strong teams including the two fastest duos in the race. Simply put, the Gallup Cup was the main event – and it did not disappoint. Chuck and Andy put four minutes on the dream team of Peter and Hadji over three laps to claim first. Chuck rode a blistering second lap of 59:31 which was the fastest full lap of the entire race and Andy rode two super strong laps. In short, they rode like two guys who had been talking trash for months and had something they had to prove. Chad Meekhof (partnering with Greg for 3rd) rode one of the fastest full laps of the day at 1:02:56 and Dirk “Hollebeast” Hollebeek (partnering with Allan for 4th) put in stalwart back to back first and second laps of 50:30 and 1:04.39. Newcomers Jeremy Boucher and Jeremy Devey were a welcome addition to the mix and rode respectably for 5th (they were faster than 7 teams in the open duo class).

6.LIVING THE DREAM. Hadgi, Peter, Chuck and Andy – in that order – each got to live the dream in this year’s D2D. Each one of them rode a big chunk of the race completely off the front with a few hundred other racers chasing.

A CONCLUDING QUESTION: Will Chuck and Andy (who last year won a 10 hour version of D2D and this year won a 3+ hour version) ever win a full 12 hour D2D race? We asked this question to several racers and we like this answer from Dirk the best: “Time will tell. They definitely have an asterisk – like Barry Bonds. Maybe we should say they won the Dawn til Brunch race.” Oh, man . . . here we go. It’s already on for next year.

Brian Leddy Destroys Field @ Towne Crit

Brian Leddy in his full blazing baby blue suit put the hurt on local riders competing in the first ever Gallup Towne Crit. Sporting a contrasting hot red women's cruiser ride, he blistered the course, lap after lap, passing the likes of strong contenders like Frankenstein and his Bride and the super Chopper Cycle.

"My legs felt good...and I hit all the stoplights right, sometimes it just all comes together and you're able to deliver a good old fashioned whooping!"

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


The current legal situation has effectively gridlocked the Gallup Cup eligibility status for Peter Tempest & Hadji Corona. No contract has been agreed upon yet as the impending race deadline looms closer. The contract drawn up by the Rosebrough Law Firm was obviously biased and even degrading against the current Gallup Cup Champions, Chuck Van Drunen & Andy Stravers. Suspicions were confirmed when Peter Tempest sheepishly admitted to having retained Rosebrough "as legal counsel" in an apparent effort to maximize contract leverage. Meanwhile the illustrious Gallup Cup Champions were simply assuming a neutral and objective 3rd party, such as Rosebrough, would draw up a fair contract. Little did they know that Rosebrough was already in the Tempest jersey pocket at this point.

To make matters worse Peter's mutt tactics have spread to other Rez Dog members with the addition of two more half-breed teams. Dirk Hollebeast has mated with Theron Halfway, while Allan Excalibur philips is in heat with Scott NyDaMan. To make matters more complex, Theron and Scott, like Hadji, were both Gallup residents at one point in time.

This highly charged turn of events is clearly leading to a class action legal battle. Andy Stravers and Chuck Van Drunen (Current supreme owners of the Gallup Cup) have decided that legal costs in a class action suit would be prohibitive and they will simply let nature run it's course. This will ultimately bring D2D director Lindsay Mapes to make a final decision on which unholy unions are fit to be legally recognized in their quest for equal rights to the Gallup Cup.