January 06, 2014

January 6th - Today I Dreamed

You're driving down some road, somewhere, when you spot asphalt in your periphery, twisting away. Maybe, better yet, it's up a hill to places you know not, an escape...just grab an exit, jump, on your bike and you're off! Mostly you keep driving, but they gnaw don't they, those unmet miracles...

For 2014 I've got a few in the back of my mind. They're mostly events actually, but they still hold that allure...is this the year? In semi-chronlogical order, a few of my plans

Grasshopper Adventure Series - February 1st - I stumbled on this series maybe 4 or 5 years ago, but it took me another year or two to actually do one. I jumped in on the Old Cazadero route, 55'ish miles of mixed terrain bliss and a frisky river crossing...and I'll be back this year astride my still-in-the-build-process Stevens Super Prestige Disc Cross bike 'cause its awesome! The past two years I've not had any fitness, and so suffered for it...but this year maybe things will be different and I'll not have to walk the final climb! Sign up and join in the fun.

 RAGBRAI - July 20 - 26th - More akin to a series of parties linked by a daily bike ride from what I've heard, RAGBRAI (Technically the Registers Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) is as much a right of passage for a cyclist as Mt Everest is for mountaineers. Now, I've only been to 18, 490 feet on the side of a volcano in Mexico:
Rick Rodriguez Photo
and I've only ever survived a five day stage race (hey, it was at altitude!), but I'm pretty jazzed to give this one a whirl in 2014! They do a lottery for the week long, 450'ish mile ride - and you can sign up a group with just as much chance to get in as an individual - so I'm looking for a few interested to come with.
Yep, we're thinking motor-home, excessive liquids, and probably 3rd degree sunburns! Interested? Drop me a line - sterlingspeed@gmail.com and we'll sort it out! Here is last years route:
6-Days of Fun in Iowa - Wanna Come?

3-Peaks Cyclocross Race - September 28th - Billed as the hardest cyclocross race in the World, this British classic is on my list. Doing it in 2014 is a stretch, given the boldness of the schedule, but what the heck! Might as well try to pull it off! Here's the 411: 61Kms (38 miles), 5000 feet of climbing, 28Kms on surfaced road, 33Kms unsurfaced, 6-8Kms un-rideable (read: hike-a-bike!) - and most of it is ILLEGAL to pre-ride! Sounds about right, eh? Here is the loop:

Kerste Periode - December 18th - January 5th (or so...)
Ok, this is the real highlight of my 2014 plans...Kerste Period is the perfect culmination to a great year: 
11 races in 14 days! What more could a bike nerd want! Here was the 2013 Kerste Schedule:

Kerstperiod – Christmas CX Cross – 18 day period – 10 races

12-15 – Vlamse Industrieprijs Bosdin – Kalmhout, Belgium
12-18 – Cyclocross Van Het Wassland – Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
12-21 – bpost GP Rouwmoer – Essen, Belgium
12-22 – UCI World Cup Namur – Belgium
12-26 – UCI World Cup Zolder – Belgium
12-27 – bpost Azencross – Loenhout, Belgium
12-28 – Versluys Cross – Bredene, Belgium
12-29 – Super Prestige Diegem – Belgium
1-1 – GP Sven Nys – Baal, Belgium

So, in confidence, my plan is to spend a bit of time at the Chain Stay Cycling House in Belgium, but I''m hoping to pull a few favors from some racing friends in Belgium. If all goes well, I'll have race support and a tent area to warm up in to boot! There are a host of race categories and lots of stiff competition - and I heard that the 2015 Worlds are being held in Switzerland again, so that's pretty tempting as well....honestly, the rest of the trips can drop off...but Belgium, Belgium will happen! Ok, now to get some sleep and dream about it...here's the GP Sven Nys to help you dream!

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