Sunday, December 29, 2013

Drinking from the fountain of pain !

Andy and Chuck race Dawn to Dusk, Fountain Hills, AZ

After Chuck successfully hoodwinked Andy into signing up for a duo team, the lads headed down to the land of the cactus for a 10 hour race.

After the usual borrowing of Peter's race equipment for Andy, the show was on for these two. Packet pick up the night before was an omen of things to come. " that will be $6 please" said the lady at the gate. It was 8 PM. "but we're just going to get our race numbers" - Chuck.
$6 later we drove through the gate.
The race organizer guy warned them of the parking issues the next morning.

Chuck devours the donkey schlong!

Despite the greater Phoenix area being home to over a million people, you can't get anything good to eat at 9 PM. Senor Taco was it. This meal had to count for dinner that night and breakfast the next morning.
Andy knocked back a burrito and ordered one for the next day. Chuck, after browsing the menu like a sale on a bike website, ordered one burrito ('the burro') for dinner and breakfast combined.

The folks at the gate tried to stop them from driving in at 5 AM. $6 later, they drove in and made it to the camping parking area about a mile from the race start. They poached a picnic table and claimed it like a defiant WW2 victory.
"if they just try to stop us using this table then I'm showing them my arse" - Chuck.

The boys hammered hard, ticking off the laps in quick fashion.This is what they are good at. Having done it many times before.

Despite stiff competition from the big city shaved leg crowd, the guys finished a respectable 5th. They made it look easy even though it wasn't.

We packed it all up and went in search of Thai food! Overall a good weekend was had by all.


Saturday, December 28, 2013


By Bob

            Three weeks ago, a pack of ten Rez Dogs – Peter Tempest, Tim Pikaart, Don Tamminga, Dirk Hollebeek, Chuck Van Drunen, Bob Rosebrough, Alan Philips, Nate Haveman, David Nordstrom and Scott Nydam drove to Moab to take on the epic White Rim trail.  A report: 

1.    NATE’S FIRST KOM.  Mid-week before the pack left for Moab, an email from Strava was delivered to Scottie’s inbox saying, “Uh oh! Nate Haveman just stole your KOM!”  Nate of course is Dirk’s new darkside protégé who has been feverishly upgrading his bike, inflicting pain in group rides and scouting KOMs since coming under Dirk’s evil spell during the Darkside Classic this fall.  Scottie forwarded the Strava email (which referred to a segment called ‘training opener climb’) to Chuck and Bob with an email that simply said, “Uh Oh!”  To which Bob said, “What the hell!?!?! Why do I think this must have been what it felt like at the beginning of the dark ages?” and Chuck joined in, “Pay back on the white rim?....oh what a bitch for haveman.”  As you might suspect, when Chuck is involved, there is much more to this story.  From the swirl of wildly conflicting stories, we have patched together this full and exclusive account:  Nate spent two solid weeks scouting out vulnerable KOMs before settling on a climb going south on 2nd street and enlisted Chuck (Yes!!!! They guy who was later saying Nate deserved payback!!!!) to give him a lead out as part of an all-out, premeditated assault on Scottie’s KOM.  Nate, with Chuck’s complicity, pulled it off and then Chuck, feigning innocence, played double agent and spurred Scottie on to seek revenge.  Oh, what a tangled web we weave!! 

2.    DIRK ON STRAVA?  Can you imagine it?!?!  Just north of Monticello on the way up, Bob asked Dirk, “When are you going to get on Strava?” Bob handed Dirk his phone and Dirk began reviewing Strava results and segments from the past 28 days from Gallup riders.  For the next forty miles, Dirk’s breath changed.  He started breathing in short gasps, his mouth was dry and his pupils constricted.  Then Dirk started twitching in his seat and appeared disoriented as he went through cycles of hyper alertness followed by times when he suddenly nodded off and then jerked back to consciousness.  Finally as the lights of Moab started coming into view, Dirk gathered himself enough to speak these labored words, “I - create - all - the - drama - I - can - handle - on - my - own - without - Strava.  I - don’t - think - I - can - handle - any - more.”  Okay, Dirk, we are going to give you a free pass here.  You may be right on this one. 

3.    HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE WHITE RIM.  The next day was an 80+ ride on the White Rim from the visitor’s center on Island in the Sky, down the Schaeffer Trail, around the rim and up and out at Horsethief.  The highlights:

·      Chuck aka “Morning Guy” slumping at the breakfast table at 5am with heavy eyes and drooping extremities (looking just like Dirk during depressive part of the Strava-induced-cycle from night before.)
·      Descending the Schaeffer Trail with a mountain goat cutting switchbacks and blasting straight downhill ahead of us.
·      A glorious sunrise at Musselman Arch 10 miles into the ride.
·      Cruising around the basins on the first half of the route and stopping briefly at each to gawk at the unearthly landscape below the rim.
·      Grinding up Murphy Hogback (the first of the three big climbs on the 2nd half of the route) and stopping for lunch where Peter passed around some of Bijou’s balls.
·      The exhilaration of seeing the support jeep driven in by Scottie, with his sons in tow, at the perfect spot (mile 60+/-).
·      A buck naked Chuck surprising Bob as he labored up the Potato Bottom climb and then disappearing into a portal and reappearing fully clothed.
·      The sheer, unadulterated agony of the sandy stretch between Potato bottom and Horsethief into a headwind and the final, epic climb up and out at Horsethief. 

A CONCLUDING QUESTION:  Is it possible for 10 mountain bikers from Gallup in 4 separate vehicles to all go through Monticello on the same trip without someone getting a ticket?  Not possible.  Never has happened.  Never will.  This year the Monticello police gave Bob an early $119 birthday present. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


By Bob

The last weekend in October is now firmly established as a spirit renewing time for Rez Dogs.  For three years now we have reserved this weekend to ride a wildly remote spot on the Colorado Plateau and revel in a sea of slickrock.  A report on this year’s adventure: 

1.     MTBR TO SORT IT OUT.   Slickrock veterans Paul Berry, Brian Leddy, Andy Stravers, Chuck Van Drunen, Greg Cavanaugh, Kevin Zwiers and Bob Rosebrough and newbies Dirk Hollebeek, Ryan Dashner and Jack Hawley drove to Chinle on Saturday.  Around mid-afternoon we drove into a housing complex near the Chinle hospital and found Chinle kids and parents swarming a cool little homemade bike park.  Brian made contact with the Chinle guys several weeks earlier and they offered to show us their favorite trail – another slickrock gem.  Leaving Chinle on dirt roads, the front wheel of Chuck’s trail bike came off Bob’s bike rack and was dragging as near hysteria ensued.  Bob drove on obliviously while Chuck and his crew, who were following behind Bob, tried everything they could to get his attention.  Thankfully only psychic damage ensued and the matter was resolved when all parties concerned decided that Greg (who has experience in these sorts of things) should start an MTBR thread to get some calm, level headed advice on who should be assessed blame for the whole affair.  Stay tuned.  We’ll follow this as a developing story and see where it goes. 

2. DOLPINS PLAYING IN THE OCEAN.  The Chinle route was a classic.  It starts on slickrock only 50 feet from a major dirt road and weaves above a series of canyons.  Each of the slickrock fingers between the canyons feature swells with a smooth rolling surface.  At one point, Kevin and Dirk were hopping over the swells at high speed like dolphins playing in the ocean.   The route is spiced up by several half-pipe canyon drop-ins and views of some wild sandstone spires on the plain below.   The Chinle guys were great hosts.  When we got back to the trucks we broke out Rez Dog stickers and beverages to thank our hosts and an animated circle formed in the middle of a rez road as the sun started going down.

3. MORE THAN ADEQUATE, ACTUALLY.  This year we decided to forgo our usual stop at the Chinle Burger King – which was the location of stimulating conversation last year.  Ryan was able to talk our way into the Junction Café after closing for some adequately sized – more than adequate, actually – portions of meat (Navajo burgers, sheepherder burritos and meat loaf).   The triple highlights of the night were: 1. a spirited argument between Kevin and Chuck (joined by everyone else but Kevin) about whether Prince Fielder (first baseman for the Detroit Tigers) would beat Chuck in a race to first base, 2.  a comprehensive discussion of what a rider has to do in order to “drop himself”, and 3.  lying on our backs in the bottom of Canyon de Chelly and looking up at a moonless sky filled with stars and falling stars (Greg stopped counted after spotting eight falling stars).   There was an unconfirmed report of a quadruple lunar eclipse, but we remain skeptical that something that outrageous could have actually occurred.  Paul, for one, seemed certain that it never happened.      

4.  PAUL AND ANDY IN TOP FORM.   On Sunday, we returned to our remote slickrock playground, but this year, at Chuck’s suggestion, we enjoyed the day with a more causal out and back exploratory ride from the south rather than our usual point to point epic.  And what we encountered was better riding.  Riding the fingers between canyons is a smoother and more flowing ride that the beeline point to point route and we got to ride bowls and discovered arches and side canyons that we would have never seen otherwise.  Paul and Andy, in particular, displayed exceptional riding form around the bowls and on narrow ridges – perhaps form carried over from the Moab trip they took to boycott Dirk’s Darkside Classic (where they got the nicknames Colonel and Captain Curmudgeon).    

5.  CHAD’S ON HIS WAY!  On every slickrock adventure, you can count on Chuck to spice it up with his color commentary:
·        “You know, one difference that I’ve noticed this year without Peter along is that we haven’t run into herds of sheep.”  Heads nod all around. 
·        Two and a half hours into the ride Chuck is sitting on the rim looking south.  This is the point each year where Chuck gestures toward a paved road in the far distance and says, “Hey, there’s Dirk on his road bike.  He’s on his way.”  This year, with Dirk sitting by his side, Chuck points and says, “Hey, there’s Chad on his road bike.  He’s on his way.”  A member of the peanut gallery adds, “Yeah, and there’s Pikaart on his wheel saying ‘You’re looking great Chad.  You got this. Keep pulling.’” 
·        Chuck is sitting on a ledge to the left of Paul, Andy and Greg with a 800 foot drop-off at their feet eating lunch as they drink beer.  He says, “This is may be the exact spot that is the farthest away from any place in the US where you can buy a beer.” 

A CONCLUDING QUESTION:  We are almost afraid to ask this one, but it has to be asked.  What in the world did Melanie’s aunt Heather do to Chuck in Canada this summer?  Let’s set the stage on this one.  Chuck and family went up to Canada for Brian and Melanie’s wedding this summer.   Chuck was a quivering mess when he got back.  He was babbling about a 6’3” Viking woman who terrorized him non-stop, but after a couple of months it seemed like he had gotten over it.  But no!  At the Navajo burger stand Sunday after the ride, the topic of pursuit races came up and you absolutely would not have believed your eyes and ears at Chuck’s reaction when he was told that Aunt Heather was talking about coming down to take him on in the pursuit races.  Chuck’s voice got high pitched and squeaky and he started talking defensively about how he kicked ass on the pro women at the Road Apple.  Yeah, that’s right, Chuck – the guy who was casual about closing in on Damian, Levi and McCalla at Squash Blossom – was almost stuttering and shaking as he talked about how Aunt Heather didn’t stand a chance because he beat the female pros in Farmington!  We may need to lay off Chuck on this one guys. There must have been some really bad s*** that went down in Canada.  We may not want an answer to this question.   

Friday, September 27, 2013


By Bob

We just had an amazing – even historic – weekend in Gallup during which Levi Leipheimer raced the High Desert Screamer, joined us for a charity dinner and helped break in the new Brickyard Bike Park . . . and we have some catching up to do. A report:

DIRK’S DARKSIDE CLASSIC. Over a month ago (We’ll talk about the reason for the delay in this blog report later), Dirk did an absolutely masterful job of putting on a grassroots darkside race up to McGaffey and back. He recruited the riders, selected the course and came up with a cool team competition format that added spice to the race. Here are some memories:

Scott attacking just before the turnoff to McGaffey and precipitating a wild series of counterattacks,

Chuck letting Scott and Dirk go with the false hope that he and Kevin (whose training for the 24 Hour Championships is now paying big dividends) would be able to close the gap,

The Fab Five’s (Lloyd, Tim, Chad, Brian & Alan) wild finish that was taken by Tim after Chad attacked at Tim’s suggestion and blew up (Welcome to the darkside Chad!) and Lloyd sailed past the finish turnoff without turning.

Jenn dropping Bob – who was shamelessly trying to draft her – and then adding insult to injury by later trash talking him (Note to Jenn: Be careful about trashing talking thin-skinned-blog-reporters who like to dish it out, but can’t take it).

Nate being so jazzed that all he could talk about was getting a road bike. (Nate he has since completely sold his soul to the darkside. More on this developing story to come in future blogs.)

EPIC BATTLE ON THE HDT. Wow!!! What a race!!! Levi, who was in town to help us raise money to pursue designation as an IMBA Ride Center (and spend time with his old training buddy, Scott), came up short by a bike length against Damien Calvert in an epic battle (Damien pulled away and got a 20 second gap as Michael McCalla blocked Levi. Levi finally got around McCalla and dug deep to get back on Damien’s wheel with a mile to go, but could never get around him. Chuck dominated Cat 1 – even on a bad day. Peter took first in Cat 1 50+. Scottie (riding a Pugsly) and Jenn flatted out. Levi’s quote: “I see why you call it the Screamer. That course is fast!!!!!”

THE LEVI EFFECT. After the race, almost every age group medalist attended the awards ceremony to get a photo with Levi and then . . . Saturday night a crowd of 140 filled the Stronghold Church for a $100 dollar a plate dinner at which Levi and Scott took the stage to share a conversation about cycling with Gallup dignitaries and cyclists. The night ended when Chuck (who had just gone down in flames trying to get Levi to renounce the darkside with a loaded question from the floor) led a throng of Gallup cyclists onto the stage to give Levi a Rez Dog jersey as a thank you.

“GALLUP MAGIC.” Several days before the Grand Opening of the Brickyard Bike Park, Nat Lopes (our exceptional bike park designer) sent out an email that talked about an obstacle being overcome and added, “. . . . but once again the Gallup magic is in full effect”. Nat is right on. Over the last few months the Bike Park has overcome some obstacles and come together magically - far exceeding any reasonable expectations (both in terms of design and the interest it has generated in Gallup’s kids – and adults). At the Grand Opening, the ribbon cutting ceremony was shortened by a downpour – and nobody left. Everyone stayed until the thunderstorm passed, shook themselves off like a mangy rez dogs, and watched the magic: a throng of kids careening around the pump track; Gallup teenagers sailing over the freeride courses and collegians, Levi, Alan, Dirk and Chad competing on the time trail course. Tell me where else on the planet you would see a contrast like Tour de France veteran, Levi - as giddy as a teenager – getting ready to take another lap on the free ride course while less than 50 feet away, one of Greg’s toddlers is on a pedal-less bike cruising the tiny kids circle proudly exclaiming, “Watch this!”?

(PARENTAL GUIDANCE SUGGESTED): So what took the blog so long to report on Dirk’s Darkside Classic? We’ll answer that by sharing a verbatim transcript of a conversation overheard between this blog reporter and an unnamed Rez Dog that took place two or three days after the Darkside race:
Unnamed Rez Dog: “Have you ever seen Dirk so jazzed up?”
Blog Reporter: “No. He’s definitely stoked.”
Unnamed Rez Dog: “What do you think he’s happiest about? The race being so cool or beating Chuck?”
Blog Reporter: “All of the above.”
Unnamed Rez Dog: “Do you think that he’s still sporting wood?.”
Blog Reporter: “No doubt! I think I’ll wait to write it up until he’s done pitching a tent - even if it takes a month or two.”

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Rez Dog Mountain Bikers go...well...MOUNTAIN BIKING!

The last true fat tire Rez dogs diss the roadies and go for an epic undercover weekend of trails, rocks and dirt.

It could be said it was a sad day when the realization hit….could it be true? Did they really want to spend a nice weekend in town riding their road bikes? But reality has it’s own demons to slay, and at least for these two riders, reality would be sucking the marrow out of the weekend, instead of chasing the other dog with the bone.
The two enlightened rez dogs found the strength they needed (actually they just needed to pack the car and leave) to overcome the pull of the darkside.

‘There is light found in tires of the fat kind’... and as any true mountain biker knows deep within his or her soul, all fat tires lead to Moab.

It was old school mountain biking at its finest. The itinerary was open but the agenda was set. Ride the classics, search for new singletrack, and soak up as much incredible scenery as possible. Friday evening camp was set and the first trail to succumb to fat tire hunger was the quintessential mother of all mountain bike rides, Slickrock.

After refueling in town and a nights rest under the open Utah desert skies a dawning Saturday brought renewed vigor for the next test of endurance and focus - Porcupine Rim - which can be done without a shuttle mind you. Simply ride it as a loop. Milt’s Burgers and shakes provided not only the calories needed but also the perfect shade for a mid-day siesta. But once the sun began to make it’s way back toward its resting place on the western horizon the fat tire warriors were back in the saddle, en route to ride a brand spankin’ new trail - Captain Ahab. Not only did Ahab quench the thirst for insane technical bike handling but it also offered serene vistas and impressive 1,000 ft. sandstone canyon wall formations. The chance to ride such magnificent trail for the first time without meeting any other bikers, hikers, ATVers, or motor vehicles of any kind warmed their spirits and nourished their souls.

At the risk of slipping into monotony the rez dogs risked another evening of gorging on delicious fare, cold beers under a waxing moon, and slumber in the warm sands and smells of juniper and sage. The final morning (Sunday) was met with resolve to ride yet more new singletrack (but first a generous application of Chamois Butt'r and half a dozen ibuprofen) and led them to the trailhead of the Moab Brands Trails - which has something for everyone (even a roadie!). The Brands trails are best summarized as “dreamy flowy singletrack”. The downhills are twisty, tight and fast and they are earned well with short and steep quad burning climbs. The trails demand focus and attention and reward accordingly with peripheral busting panoramas. Sunday's ride time was short, and it was time to pack up the gear and go home. One last pit stop in town for some breakfast sandwiches and cold coke classic and they were back on the road home. 36 hours ago they had left, and 75+ miles of fat tire pedal strokes later all was right in the world. Souls intact, with smiles on their faces, the mountain bike mecca retreating in the rearview mirror - til next year - or maybe... next month.

What, might you ask was missing on such an epic adventure? Simply put, proof. They had left behind the digital camera, GPS, and ignored the opportunity to upload to STRAVA. The leg hair remained unshaved and evil was altogether absent. There were no battles to the top of a climb, no drama, no mechanicals, and no support crew. No sprints no KOM points no peloton. No one crashed no one bonked no one won or lost or got lost in the crowd. Just simply trail riding bliss! Sound like a trip devoid of excitement? For some, yes, but the alternative?
(We won’t go there!!)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


By Bob

         A couple of weeks ago, Peter – along with Bob as a sidekick – drove to Sun Valley, Idaho for the USA Cycling Marathon National Championships.  A report - that includes a little catching up: 
1.    THE RETURN OF SUPERMAN.   In early June, the Superman Canyon Triathlon returned after a multi year hiatus.  The Superman Tri combines an outrageous run course that descends through the White Cliffs, an 8 mile loop on Gallup’s first mountain biking trail and a set of 10 bouldering and top rope problems at the Barnyard bouldering area.  Andy Stravers decisively won the run and bike legs of the Tri among soloists but got narrowly edged out for the solo title by Nate Bia who had apparently been living full time at the Barnyard for the preceding month and had all the climbing problems wired.  Ben Fredrickson came blasting into town to take third and the always solid Alan Philips was fifth in the Male Solo category.  Chuck Van Drunen (who teamed with Nate Haveman and Tim Bruinus) put in the fastest bike time on a powder dry course as part of the first place Male Team.  Lloyd “Sandbagger (yes, were still nursing a grudge a full year later)” Ellis, Jen Witt and Ben Landry took first in Coed Team and Holly Herr, Jessica Mickelsen and Naomi Brunius took first in Female Team.  Dirk Hollebeast and Ruth Lynch & Andy and Autumn Newell tied for 2nd in the Co-ed Team category.  Here is some of the gang after the run: 

2.    LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION.  A couple of days before 24HIEF, Bob, Chuck and Greg Cavanaugh took a film crew from the New Mexico Tourism Department to do some filming at the red rocks in the forest.  Here is the film crew getting an aerial shot of Chuck descend into the bowl with a remote control helicopter and also a shot of Chuck down in the bowl:

3.    SAMURI CHUCK RIDES INTO BATTLE ON THE GREAT PLAINS.  Here – completely unedited – is Chuck’s email as he drove up to Brian and Melanie’s wedding in Canada:

I am in North Dakota. Did a darkside yesterday in black hills.  Short but very pretty in the rolling grass hills.  Took kids on cave tour of wind cave.  In the afternoon we hit this cool waterslide park in rapid city.  This morning we went thru spearfish, sd.  And to my dismay neither bike shop in town was a salsa dealer … trek & specialized … total bs.  You name a bike after a town and they don’t carry your brand?  Currently in route to Fargo.  When there I will see if there is darkside group ride …. where like a roaming samurai I will battle with regional heroes in hopes of vanquishing their souls to the halls of despair and shame … and perhaps then they will consider mountain biking. 
       More on our attempts to find out how Chuck’s grand adventure turned out later.

4.    CHUCK’S PRERACE ADVICE TO PETER.  While in Sun Valley, Bob was thinking about Chuck’s unconventional pre-race D2D routine – that has yielded dominant performances for the last three years.  He sent Chuck a text pretending that Peter was copying Chuck’s prerace D2D routine: 
Peter started watching Braveheart  late last night.  Then he was in and out of the hot tub.  About 3am he started redoing his front fork.  Now, he is glassy eyed and swilling Red Bull.  I don’t know what to do.
      Chucks reply:
Sounds like he is primed to kick some ass.  Peter is top of the food chain.  Tell him to act like it and be a bit of  dick … just like he is in surgery. 

5.    THE BIG SHOW.   Peter took 13th out of 35 in 50+ class at Sun Valley on a course the consisted of two 24 mile laps with an epic 10+ mile climb and a heinous, narrow, exposed descent on each lap.  It’s hard to convey how elite the competition is at the marathon nationals.  It’s just off the charts.  Tinker Juarez who won the 24 Hour Nationals on our home course at 24HIEF didn’t even enter the Pro category.  He sandbagged and rode with Peter in 50+!!  Cameron Brenneman who rode on the first place 4 man team at 24HIEF was 19th as Sun Valley.  Nina Baum who was 1rst at 24HIEF was 8th at Sun Valley.  Bob who put in 5 laps at 24HIEF for 100 miles was DNF at Sun Valley.  Although Peter has had better results in past Marathon Nationals, take my word for it:  13th was a great result!!
Here is Peter the day before the race at the start/finish:
The Pro Poduim:

Tinker (center in white) waiting to go on the 50+ podium:

Bob with Todd Wells of Durango (first place pro in red and sitting on his bike) and Stephen Ettinger of Bozeman, Montana (second pro in BMC kit) in the background awaiting the awards:

A ski resort dog checking out a mangy rez dog (the one without a collar): 

A CONCLUDING QUESTION.   So what ever happened on Chuck’s darkside group ride in ND?  In spite of persistent efforts, we have been completely unable to get the scoop on how this played out.  Every time we try, Chuck goes into an eye glazed trance and starts mumbling about how some 6’3”, 250 pound Viking woman in Canada forced him into personal servitude for 5 days -all the while telling him she could beat him on a bike.  This is one question for which we may never get a straight answer.   

Thursday, June 20, 2013

It doesn’t rain…………It pours!

24 hours in the Enchanted Forest and Nationals.

By Paul B.

3 Rez Dog teams and a single speed soloist showed up to compete in this year’s

race. We had the 4 person open team of: Chuck, Andy, Kevin and Paul. There was

the duo team of Peter and Bob. Then Alan showed up with a  five person coed

team including various medical type folks.   Hard man Paul DeWitt went solo.

The duo team

Peter’s plan was to start with two laps in a row before handing over to Bob for

single laps each after that. Unfortunately, Peter’s constant trash talking of Chuck’s

tire malfunctions in the last few weeks came back to haunt him with a karmic


It took 4, yes 4, tubes for him to limp back to the finish and hand it over to Bob

after the first lap. They hammered on strong and steady for the rest of the

afternoon until Bob’s epic night lap in the mud, but more on that later…

4 men and a strategy

The Bobcat started the 4 man team off with a blistering first lap, handing off to

Paul then Chuck and then Kevin.

The strategy, conceived about a year ago in the ‘swirling whirlpool of philosophy’,

was to have a day team and a night team. The day team was to hammer hard in

the afternoon then rest up all night only to resume the racing in the morning.

The night team was to ride a day lap in the early afternoon then take the rest of

the day off and come back strong for the night laps with 10,000 Chinese lumens!

Well, all of that started off fine until the weather decided otherwise, but more on

that later….

Alan’s 5 person team

These guys had the right idea. Their pit/camp site had a couch set up providing

rider comfort and race viewing pleasure. They rotated through the riders until

Alan’s epic night lap in the mud, but more on that later…

Hot, Dry, Dusty, Cold, Wet, Mud

Climate change

It can be dry around here between the end of spring and the start of the monsoon

rains which are usually around July/August. It hadn’t rained in months and the

course was dry and dusty but fast. A warm wind was blowing as usual and only a

20% chance of rain was in the forecast. We are all still worried about forest fires.

Well, all of that was about to change. A small afternoon shower brought welcome

relief to the teams and the temps dropped nicely. We thought we were done with

that when the sun came back out. Night fell and Chuck, Bob, and Alan went out

for their night laps.

The breeze picked up and the clouds moved in, no one expected that 3 hours

of steady rain was about to follow. At first it was nice, it settled the dust and

cooled things off. But it didn’t stop there. The dust turned into sticky mud the

consistency of wet, slimy peanut butter.

Paul got ready for Chuck to come in and was told that the race was put on hold

for a while. Chuck came steaming into the finish area with just his bike shorts on

and no shirt. His bike was covered in mud and must have weighed 50 pounds. He

looked like he had just slain a dragon or something.

“Dude, I almost got hit by lightning, it was like 50 feet away”.

I wonder if the 10,000 Chinese lumens attracted the lightning bolt?

We took the bike up to the cabin for a wash and used up all the water that the

clouds had just provided. An impromptu strip down and donning of an overcoat

followed, then a plate of nachos simply had to be consumed with great vigor.

Perhaps another dragon slaying was about to happen?

Bob made it in after a 2:45 slog fest in the mud. Alan powered his way through

the mud lap passing around 60 riders (including Bob) who were wallowing in the

mud – proving that Rez dogs are tough old geezers.

Race suspended

At first they said 2am, that was moved to 4am. The loud speaker then announced

that the race would resume at 6:30am. We tried to get some sleep while we

waited it out.

Race resumed

The Bobcat emerged from his lair bright eyed and bushy tailed, excited about the

early morning lap! He started off so fast that his race number couldn’t keep up

with him.

Peter and Bob geared up for their first lap(again).

The morning air was fresh and cool. Everyone blasted off in yet another mass

start. The course was shortened to remove the muddy clay part of the trail that

was the subject of the previous night’s tragedy.

There was time for only 3 laps before the finish time of 11am.

Andy, Kevin and Chuck went out for their respective laps and the 4 person team

finished the race with 12 laps total and 5th place in the category.

Bob and Peter finished with 11 solid laps which would have been good for

4th, but Peter’s night lap didn’t count in the official standings because he was

using his back up bike and forgot to switch out his race number.  More karmic


Eight hard laps

Paul De Witt rode more than any Rez Dog by putting in 8 hard laps in the solo

single speed category.


Monday, May 27, 2013


By Bob
            After being either cancelled or shortened due to snow three of the last four years, D2D moved from its traditional early April slot to mid-May and was rewarded with a full day of epic racing.  But before we turn to D2D, we have a little catching up to do.  A report: 
1.     CHUCK FINDS A SECRET IN COMPARTMENT 42.  Early this year in Sedona, a certain Rez Dog who shall remain nameless (perhaps the one with an English accent mate) bought a sexual enhancement supplement called “Horny Old Goat” from a cheap gas station vending machine and planted it in compartment 42 of Chuck Van Drunen’s Gallup-flea-market-camelback (where it apparently blended right in).  At Fountain Hills, Chuck had been lugging it around for over a month without a clue.  This caused us to speculate that the mysterious one minute penalty Chuck was slapped with at Fountains Hills was due to racing officials getting an anonymous tip about his performance enhancing drug.   Well . . . shortly after our Fountain Hills blog report, Chuck found the planted supplement and has ridden penalty free ever since. 

2.    PETER STORMS MESA VERDE.   In case you haven’t noticed, Peter Tempest is riding strong this year.  We know.  Peter rides strong every year.  But this year is starting out pretty special.  After a strong showing in Santa Fe at the La Tierra Torture, Peter rode 12 Hours of Mesa Verde solo and won the 50+ category going away with 7 laps (112 miles) in 11.05.05 – 1hour and 35 minutes ahead of the second place finisher.  

3.    FLASH FORWARD.   Before we get to the epic racing from D2D this past weekend, let’s flash forward with a teaser and set the scene after the finish.  Here it is:  Chuck is staggering around on cramped legs raving incoherently about some mysterious, un-identified man/woman who refused to yield on lap 4 thereby sending Chuck sprawling into the sagebrush and causing not one, but two flats (Paul to Chuck:  “I’ve seen condoms that are thicker than your race tires.”).  Andy Stravers is curled up in a fetal position convulsing randomly and Hadji Corona and Peter are both in catatonic states – incapable of responding in any way other than grunts and groans.  (Editor’s note and disclaimer:  Bob was out of town this year for D2D and he is therefore relying – as always - on wildly conflicting reports.)

4.    THE MAIN EVENT.  The main event at D2D is always the Gallup Duo Male category a/k/a the Gallup Cup.  During the last two weather shortened years, Chuck and Andy have owned this race, but they have also suffered the indignity of having weather related asterisks planted squarely next to each of their victories.  How would they do with a full 12 hour race against Peter in top form and paired with the always super- strong Hadji?  And what would leave our duo heroes in such a complete state of utter exhaustion at the end of the day?  Well . . . it’s time we find out.  There was a stunning surprise right from the start this year.  Morning Guy was actually at the start of the race for the first time in nine years.   That’s right, Chuck actually showed up for the start (moved back to 8am with the extra daylight) for the first time in the history of D2D.   Of course, he still made Andy ride the first lap, but give him credit.  Chuck aka Morning Guy was actually there – for the first and only time in the nine year history of the race.  

5.    A BATTLE FOR THE AGES.  It is hard to imagine a closer, harder fought battle than what played out this year.  Let’s let the numbers tell the story:  After seven laps the biggest time spread between Andy/Chuck and Peter/Hadji on any one lap was only 3:10.  On four of the seven laps the time spread was 1:30 or less.  After seven laps, Peter/Hadji had won four of the laps and Andy/Chuck had won three.  The race was in doubt all day long up until the last minutes of the day.  To heighten the drama our two local duo teams were also neck and neck with a three man super-team from Durango and a killer master’s duo team from Albuquerque. 

6.    A LAP FOR THE HISTORY BOOKS.  When the history of Rez Dog Racing is written, years from now, there is a lap from this year’s race that is certain to be included.  Chuck blistered his first lap in a time of 55:44 for the fastest lap of the day (Chuck also had the fastest lap in 2012).  And, get this.  The fastest lap of the day is not the lap that we will still be talking about years from now.   What we will long remember is Chuck’s last lap – the 12th of the day (Yes. You heard me right. 12!).  And here’s how it played out:  Chuck finishes his tenth lap and grabs a beer.  Andy goes out for lap # 11.  Chuck is ready to call it a day even though Peter and Hadji are still within striking distance and the Albuquerque duo is neck and neck with them. In the Rez Dog tent, here’s what was heard next:   
Nate to Chuck:  Dude!  You are so ready for 12.
Paul:  Get our shit on mate, you’re going out!
Greg:  After all the years you’ve made Andy start and finish and you’re gonna sit on your butt now???

Like a skipping record or a repeating sound track, this chorus played over and over and over and over again as Chuck hoped against hope that the cut off time would arrive and spare him from the inevitable.  He declares that he is not going out with less than 1:05 on the clock and hopes the hoard will pipe down, but they don’t.  With 1:05:20 still on the clock the Albuquerque Master Duo rider comes through and his partner blazes off.  1:05 arrives and then 3 seconds later with 1:04:57 left of the clock Andy comes screaming in and Chuck, who for 3 seconds thought his day was finally done, realizes he has no choice but to suck it up for one last brutal lap.  And brutal it is.  With an abundance of advice and encouragement – but no water – Chuck sets out after the Albuquerque rider and reels him in on the hills of Third Mesa and then gradually starts putting time on him.  With only a couple of miles to go, the inevitable happens and Chuck cramps up on a short climb.  Rather than spending two minutes he doesn’t have to stretch out his cramps, Chuck gets out of the saddle and stands  on the pedals the rest of the way in to finish 12 laps in 11:55:00 to win the Gallup Cup and 1st place overall in Male Duo.  The Albuquerque masters duo finishes two minutes back and Peter and Hadji just miss the cutoff time and finish with 11 laps in 11:05:00.  Absolutely, historically epic!!!

A CONCLUDING QUESTION.  Did any other Rez Dog’s ride D2D this year?  Boy did they ever!  There were a slew of Rez Dog soloists – ten in all – led by Dirk “the Hollebeast” Hollebeek who came in second in the Master Male category, behind former overall winner Brian Lugers.  Dirk put in 8 laps in 9:49:29 and brought back some serious trail credibility to our consummate roadie.  Paul DeWitt put in 7 single speed laps in 11:11:15.  In Master Male, Brian Culligan put in 6 laps (10:06:00), Blaine Silversmith put in 5 laps (9:11:00) and Alan Philips put in 3 laps (5:41:15).  In Solo Male, Greg Cavanaugh, Charles Chiang and Jonathan Chiang put in 6 laps each (8:29:00; 10:00:00 & 10:03:00 respectively).  Luke Pikaart, riding without the benefit of a junior category, put in 4 laps in 9:38:00.  That is 74 Rez Dog laps or 888 miles.  
Supported by some serious Pit Moms (Pit Bulls?): Nate Haveman, Tim Pikaart and Paul Barry, who proceeded to feed and encourage riders all day and provide such thorough bike cleaning/support that another non-local racer asked Pikaart to fix his tire thinking he was neutral support, and Tim obliged!  
This was one impressive day for the Rez Dogs...not bad for one day on the bike mates.