Monday, June 13, 2011

A Day That Even the Allusive Sun Showed Up

We could not have asked for a better day! Jason and I would like to say thanks to all the racers that showed up, thanks to all the sponsors whose generosity really made the day and thanks for the sunburn and good times!

Registration went well in the morning with only a few menial issues that were taken care of within three shakes of a dog's tail. Staging was done and with a birthday shout out to Jason and a cheer for the volunteers, about 140 riders were off.

As folks were crushing the gravel, we got the checkpoint set up and then it was off to mark the trails and a few turns in the roads. The post checkpoint trail had a few downed trees which made for fun for some. I was thinking of dragging a few more into the path but there was a plague of mosquitos in the woods so I had to keep moving in order to survive. It was then out to the Luce Line and on to a road that got started, but never finished. Said road was at the end of a bike path and through some knee high+ grass. To call it a road is a generous statement but hey, it is on Google Maps. As the arrows were getting painted, I biked through a muddy section that was 6 inches deep in the path I first chose. I figured that would be an interesting crossing seeing as the pit came after a small hump. In order to warn the riders that something was coming up, I sprayed a BRAP on the path as a heads up. I got some feedback from some that they figured out the warning as they when over the little bump and into the mud.

I made it back to Schimelpfenig park and met up with Matt and Molly from Kings. They showed up with pork sliders, buns, plates, napkins, apples, granola, snickers, coke and their little guy Charlie. I can't thank them enough for their generosity. That food was soooo good and it is just a taste of what they got going down there so get there, thank them in person and tell them Dirty Benjamin sent you.

Not long after we got everything set up, the first arrivals came in. There were three approaching and all survived the sketchy finish line with Jim Bell powering across the finish line inches in front of Paul Krumrich. The photo finish was consulted and the Almanzo Open Men winner did it again.

From Winners

To Jim went the Hed Ardennes wheelset. What can I say? We are so fortunate to have support from such a quality company! Their quality product is only surpassed by the quality people who work there. Thanks so much!

A minute later, the chase group arrived and I got to thinking that the St. Cloud guys came to conquer. A few minutes later a group arrived containing the Evertone Hurl and the top master, Charlie Farrow.

From Winners

Me thinks this guy is super human. He is a great guy and strong like bull. He rode away with an awesome Adam Turman poster donated by the fine folks at Hiawatha Cyclery. They are very supportive of the gravel scene and though they crushed the Dirty Benjamin gravel last year, they unfortunately couldn't make it this time around. We are getting on their calendar early so we will see them next year.

A minute later, Hollywood rolled in with K-wood taking the top woman trophy and tires donated by my favorite bike shop in Northeast Minneapolis, Behind Bars. Heck, I like them so much, they got me smiling on their webpage. I look forward to seeing her rocking those this fall for cyclocross!

From Winners

A minute later, Jeff Greenwood came in taking the first Single Speed. Dude has some goat legs 'cause I asked him what gear he was running and he said something like 48x17...Holy Frijoles that is no joke on the gravel. He definitely earned it!

From Winners

A bit later, the tandem team of Tim Bekke and Mary Gonzalez came in. They logged maybe three miles on a tandem before taking it out for a century on the gravel roads of Carver County. They earned the gift certificates to Hollywood Cycles. You feeling that your bike is not right, get over there and get fitted. You heard it here.

From Winners

We have to give big shouts out to those that donated to the Dirty Benjamin. We are so lucky to be able to put these products out as prizes for the finishers. After riding a century on gravel, to eat, drink and pick out a prize feels damn good! If you like what you got, feel free to contact them and thank them. I'm sure they would love to hear from you. Thanks to:

Planet Bike for the fenders and lights.
Banjo Brothers for the seat bags, canvas messenger bags and shop aprons. Thanks also for coming out and crushing Carver gravel despite chafing. So good.
Twin Six for the t-shirts, jerseys, and water bottles. Always there, always responsive and always a pleasure!
Behind Bars for the tires mentioned above and the socks. I am a sock fan since they get years of use. Great shop in Nordeast so stop on in.
Riot Minneapolis for the shirts and belts. So comfortable, so stylin...I fricken love those belts!
Bike Jerks for the shirts. classy and free. Just about the most active local blog we got for doing it non-traditional style on two wheels.

Jason and I would like to thank all the sponsors, all the riders and all the volunteers. You made our day! Oh and big ups to Almanzo for braking a rib in the woods after the check point and finishing the day. He gets the Jens Voigt award for most tenacity. Give us that golden smile

From Winners


Congrats to all who showed up!! Results and photo finish below. If I missed you, let me know where you came in. I missed a few numbers...

1        Jim Bell              5:55:00              Top Open
2        Paul Krumrich              5:55:00             
3        Jesse Rients              5:55:00             
4        David Ziemer              5:56:00             
5        Brian Koeneman              5:56:00             
6        Ben Doom              5:56:00             
7        Ted Loosen              5:56:00             
8        Doug Nixon              6:03:00             
9        Dan Glisczinski              6:03:00             
10      Hurl von Evertone              6:03:00             
11      Charlie Farrow              6:03:00              Top Master
12      Jay Henderson              6:04:00             
13      Kristi Henderson              6:04:00              Top Open Woman
14      Jeff Greenwood              6:05:00              Top SS
15      Al Iverson              6:08:00             
16      Ron Scherer              6:08:00             
17      Adam Staufenberg              6:10:00             
18      Scott Robertson              6:12:00             
19      Jason Buffington              6:15:00             
20      Chucker One-Nine              6:27:00             
21      Dan Jansen              6:27:00              SS
22      Josh Kruck              6:28:00             
23      Paul Inkala              6:32:00              SS
24      Steve Laural              6:32:00              SS
25      Matt Leizinger              6:33:00             
26      Andrew Barlage              6:33:00             
27      Kevin Jargo              6:35:00             
28      Thomas Manderfeld              6:35:00             
29      Aaron Peterson              6:45:00              SS
30      Pete Schow              6:46:00             
31      Rich Hendricks              6:47:00             
32      Patti Schmidt-Iverson              6:47:00             
33      Kurtis Wilson              6:47:00             
34      Chris Sur              6:47:00             
35      Boyd Hansen              6:54:00             
36      Evan Tweed              6:55:00             
37      Jeremiah Carter              6:57:00              SS
38      Todd Sample              6:59:00             
39      Jon Friedell              7:00:00             
40      Ben Lagerquist              7:01:00             
41      Amy Kippley              7:06:00             
42      Matt Gilhousen              7:11:00             
43      Jay Dodig              7:11:00             
44      Scott Erickson              7:11:00             
45      Liam Gilson              7:11:00              SS
46      Jonathan Sandberg              7:12:00             
47      Ross Hargrove              7:16:00             
48      Patrick Tsai              7:17:00             
49      Brent Kvittem              7:17:00             
50      Dan Eaton              7:18:00             
51      Ted Clausen              7:20:00              SS
52      Dave Bucklin              7:20:00             
53      Tim Bergeson              7:24:00             
54      Mary Gonzalez              7:23:00              Top Tandem
55      Tim Bekke              7:23:00              Top Tandem
56      Gary Werning              7:24:00             
57      John Pike              7:24:00             
58      Jacob Huot              7:26:00             
59      Steve Porvaznik              7:26:00             
60      John Hatcher              7:26:00             
61      Eric Leugers              7:26:00             
62      J Pitts              7:27:00             
63      Dave Tyler              7:27:00             
64      Kelly Mac              7:28:00              Top SS Woman
65      Rob Ogren              7:29:00             
66      Joel Nichols              7:30:00             
67      Roy Vosberg              7:32:00              SS
68      Al Stauffer              7:36:00             
69      Jeff Frane              7:38:00             
70      Allen Sanborn              7:39:00             
71      Brian Imholte              7:42:00             
72      Dave Simmons              7:42:00             
73      Tom Hudson              7:42:00             
74      Josh Lavelle              7:42:00             
75      Jim Smith              7:44:00              SS
76      Dog Melcher              7:44:00             
77      Chris Larkin              7:44:00             
78      Dan Beix              7:45:00             
79      Steven Schoo              7:47:00             
80      Fitz Fitzgerald              7:47:00             
81      John Swanson              7:48:00             
82      Mark Sundlin              7:48:00             
83      Paul Carroll              7:57:00             
84      Jack "The Pirate" Donovan              8:03:00             
85      Phil Velo              8:04:00             
86      Jose Pascual              8:09:00             
87      Kevin Lyons              8:12:00             
88      Greg Knoll              8:12:00             
89      Dustin Allebach              8:23:00             
90      Robert Stoltz              8:30:00             
91      Christine Carragee              8:30:00             
92      Steven Bergman              8:30:00             
93      Jared Bowman              8:30:00             
94      Randy Anderson              8:30:00             
95      Banana Shack Benishek              8:30:00             
96      Chris Berger              8:33:00             
97      Tom Miller              8:33:00             
98      Antonia Welsch              8:34:00             
99      Tim Bauer              8:34:00             
100      Bruce Pletka              8:36:00             
101    Todd Stewart              8:36:00             
102    Dan Wandzel              8:37:00             
103    Dana Hendrickson              8:41:00             
104    Tiffany Rittler-Foley              8:42:00             
105    James Foley              8:42:00             
106    Porter Million              8:45:00             
107    Todd Larson              8:45:00             
108    Peter Lenz              8:56:00             
109    Derek Carlson              8:58:00             
110    Luke Breen              8:58:00             
111    Shaun Meehan              8:58:00             
112    Clay Austin              8:59:00             
113    Collin Grant              8:59:00             
114    Eric Platt              9:00:00             
115    Jay Broomwagon Drury              9:01:00             
116    David Bruning              9:10:00             
117    Nate Liesse              9:10:00             
118    Gunner Rush              9:17:00             
119    Adam Cole              9:18:00             
120    Andrea Bergman              9:25:00             
121    Dan Steeves              9:29:00              SS
122    Benjamin Ortega              9:41:00             
123    Luke Francl              9:45:00             
124    Eric Sudheimer              10:02:00             
125    Chris Skogen              10:03:00             
126    Andrew Lindberg              10:18:00             
127    Brad Lindberg              10:18:00             
128    Dan Price              11:24:00             
129    Donald Clark              11:42:00             

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Some Rules

Please read and follow the rules outlined below. We look forward to a thrilling, challenging, social, fun and safe event.

1) Obey traffic laws. This is an open course so show respect.
2) Helmet required (and I am not talking about your german buddy)
3) No littering!! Woodsy the Owl will swoop down and feed on any litterbugs.
4) 12 hour cut off - After 12 hours we will be busy grillin, chillin and fillin up with good vibes
5) You are on your own. This means no outside help. Fellow Dirty Benjamins are more than welcome to lend a   hand but come prepared. This is a self-supported event, yo.
6) You leave the course, you must re-enter at the same spot or be DQ'ed. Self explanatory, show respect to your fellow gravel fiends and don't cheat. Besides, you are only cheating yourself of a good time. Word.
7)No electric or gas powered two wheelers. We are down with the BRRAAAAPPPP but let's keep it human powered. (I just wanted to drop a BRRAAAPPPP in here)
8) Give a smile and a "How do" to the volunteers. They are invaluable to the race

As for the cue cards, they will be similar to those used in the Almanzo and Heck of the North. Jeremy Kershaw does a fine description of them on the Heck of the North blog.

Monday, June 6, 2011


Saturday, June 11, 2011
Westside Dirty Benjamin
Schimelpfenig Park
Chaska, MN
6:15 am - 7:45 am - Registration
7:46 am - 8:00 am - Staging
8:01 am - 8:00 pm - 100+ miles
10:00 am - 2:30 pm - Checkpoint is open
2:00 pm - Sliders till they gone

First of all I gotta give a shout out to the sponsers!! They are really stepping up and are making this event special for everyone involved. Another shout out to all the folks showing up to ride!!


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 is to carpool but if that doesn't work out an option 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 as a finisher of 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 near Winsted, around 50 miles from the start. When you show up, volunteers will have the bags grouped by 10's 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 and there is a water pump there but pack extra water just in case. 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 but that is gonna be around mile 70 or so. The checkpoint 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, lake with beach 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. Rubber side down. 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, Single/Fixed, Tandem, Masters

There are grillin facilities at the park too so come prepared or you can always hit the local liq and food stores.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Where we at

It's been a few hectic weeks here at Dirty Benjamin HQ. The course is pretty much finalized and the numbers are getting printed up. We had to make a few changes from last year because of flooding issues so unfortunately the initial trail riding is out. We'll make up for that though, just sayin...

There will be a bag drop and the mid-point will be located near the Winsted. There will be more details including the 8:00 am start at Schimelpfenig Park on June 11, in Chaska posted shortly. Until then, remember those delicious sliders provided by Kings last year? Well, they be back and they be delicious! Here is some more icing on the cake from:

Twin Six

Planet Bike

Banjo Brothers