First of all I gotta give a shout out to the sponsers!! They are really stepping up and are really making this event special for everyone involved. Another shout out to all the folks showing up to ride!! Your enthusiasm keeps us going and we can't wait to see you.
The Westside Dirty Benjamin will be held at Schimelpfenig Park in Chaska, MN. It starts at an early 8:00 am so we will be there by 6:30 am for registration. Staging will begin at 7:45 am so git your breakfast on and git on over to Schimelpfenig early. There is a shelter at the park and a parking lot. The lot should hold 40 - 50 cars so if you show up later, there may not be much space for parking. Across the street is the VFW. Please do not park there. We don't want to take up their parking lot and please do not park in the parking lot for the Fireman's Park. You can pull along Creek Road for a spot but it is not the most comfortable. Best bet would be to park in the neighborhoods around Cedar and 5th St. You can see that in the map linked above. It is only a block away from the start/finish and the streets are wide.
For registration all we really need from you is a filled out release form. I will be emailing everyone the form so to make things move quicker, bring it all filled out. If you are under 18, have your parent/guardian sign it otherwise it's a no go for ya. Your registration packet will contain cue sheets and a map of the course. To qualify for the Westside Dirty Benjamin, you gotta follow the cue sheets. You wanna do some cheatin, you are only cheatin yourself so stay home, yo. Nuff said-
If you pack a drop bag, we will take it to the checkpoint which is in Watertown, around 50 miles from the start. When you show up, volunteers will have the bags lined up and will help you locate it. Once finished with the bag, please give it back to a volunteer and they will load it into a car to return it to the start finish. It could be a hot day so extra water is very much recommended. Some snacks for energy definitely helps too. Watertown has a great coffee shop if you are gonna be interested in feeding or having a coffee or whatever. You will receive a second set of cue cards at Watertown so git them, git your water, git your food and git going. The Watertown stop will be open until 2:30 pm. At that point the volunteers will be cut loose and remaining bags will be brought back to the start/finish.
Ride on back to Chaska where you will see any family and friends cheering for you as you finish in Schimelpfenig park. The park facilities include a shelter, hoops, archery, horseshoes, a playground, pork sliders, swag table and big fun!! It's one of the longest days of the year so plan on hanging out and have fun.
For those who have not ridden in any 100 mile gravel races before, there are a few things you should know to help prepare yourself for the ordeal.
- Keep going - No matter what you are thinking...keep pedaling. You will be stoked once you have completed the century. Like the Men's Warehouse guy says, "I guarantee it!"
- When riding, keep aware of what is approaching you from the front and rear. If you find a nice line on the left side of the road, be especially careful of oncoming traffic, particularly on the hills. Most aren't expecting a bike to be in their face so try not to be. Be aware that traffic coming from behind you may catch up eventually and need to pass. Keep an ear open and let them go.
- There are dogs about! There is always the potential for loose dogs and other animals but be careful of the chasing kind. A good acceleration can discourage many-a-dog but if that ain't there, a squirt of precious water may work, pepper spray, a switch, yelling or through them that tainted steak you may be carrying around with ya. Please show some respect cause you could make that dogs day.
- Ride your pace - The hills are not too bad at all so the fear is for the most part not there but be aware for the potential for looser gravel. I would rather not hear of any accidents. You heard it here.
- There are bathrooms at the start/finish. Woot!
- The cue sheets contain lists of intersections and mileage. It is best to have an odometer to follow them. If not, many just follow the tracks and a person they are with or can see. Not necessary but do yourself a favor and ride with an odometer.
- The cue sheet directions are the standard arrow pointing the direction you are going with the street names and mileage next to it. Sometimes the arrow points straight through an intersection. This could be done in case the street name changes or just to make you feel good.
- You are responsible for yourself! No Sag wagon
- Wave to folks if you wish and help a fellow rider if you want good karma.
- The race cut off is going to be at 8:00 pm...that being said, we may still be hanging out after that but I hope that 12 hours is enough.
- The catagories are as follows: Open, Fixed, Single, Moustache, Tandem, Masters and Big Rig (Pugsley, Xtra-Cycle, Big Dummy, etc)
- There are grillin facilities at the park too so come prepared or you can always hit the local liq and food stores