2015 Almanzo Stories

Image Credit: Gal Alon

The 2015 Almanzo Gravel Races took place May 15-16 in the small town of Spring Valley, Mn.  What was started by Chris Skogen with a small group of friends back in 2007 has grown over the years into something truly special.  The gravel community has embraced the Almanzo 100 as the "Granddaddy" of gravel races.  This year was the first without Chris Skogen at the helm as he handed over the reigns for Almanzo to Spring Valley Tourism.  With the assistance of Penn Cycle & Fitness, one of the largest free gravel races in the country continued with the traditions that founder Chris Skogen set forth for this yearly event.

I have compiled a list of racer accounts from blogs as well as links to photo galleries, a couple of videos, some audio and local press.  If I have missed some content, please bring it to my attention by sending me an email and I will add it to this post.

Almanzo 100

I won the 2015 Almanzo 100
Drew Wilson - "Ride on Purpose"

This has been a blog post that has kept me from writing blog posts for a while.  The title says it all, but it wasn't easy to say or accept. Those who follow my blog know what that means to me.  It's hard to say it because of the luck I needed luck to make it happen.  I've come to terms with it now.  Perhaps two years in a row of inopportune flats in the same race meant I was "owed".  Maybe it's more likely that if you just keep trying long enough eventually something works out.  Maybe it makes no difference whatsoever.  At this point it's simpler than that stuff.  I simply rode my best race and the results were the results.  The luck aspect of it is nothing to me anymore but that doesn't mean I don't desperately want to back it up next spring.  Read the full story

Fulton, Almanzo, Many Thanks! and Thank God it's taper time!
April Morgan

This past Saturday was my first Almanzo 100 experience and it was just about as awesome as predicted with over 1000 racers!! I'm pretty sure when Chris designed this course way back when, it was with a big shit grin on his face, as I'm certain he found just about every single hill in southeast Minnesota. Nearly 8,000 feet of gravel torture...I swear I can still taste the suffering.  Read the full story

Take Two

The race started shortly after 9 and we hit the pavement for a brief distance before making the turn for gravel. The rain had settled the dust on the course, but also created mud on the top layer, which resulted in plenty of muddy faces and butts for everyone that day. After hanging with a large pack for a few miles, Loretta and I made a move to start to get ahead of people. It was a little risky at times, due to the loose gravel we were plowing through, but we did finally get ahead and settled in to a quick pace.  Read the full story

Mullin's 2015 Almanzo 100 Report
Cyclova XC

I wasn't positive I was going to ride Almanzo this year even after it was resurrected from the dead. But in the end Starr was able to get the day off so we made our plans and were off to the Maple Springs campground Friday afternoon.  Read the full story

Crushing Gravel part 10: What does www.weatherpessimist.com say about Almanzo conditions?
Two Wheels From Home

I swear I haven't learned my lesson. I still look at weather.com a week before events, then again 5 days, 3 days and 1 day prior. Why do I do this to myself? Who knows. Maybe somewhere deep inside, I feel the need to freak myself out a bit. Of course weather.com was calling for up to 80% chance of rain/thunderstorms and high wind. Did I believe them? You bet. Although I'd like to consider myself an eternal optimist, I'll be honest, I'm not. This is how events go down for me. I plan and check everything within my power...then check again.  Read the full story

Failmanzo : 8 Thoughts, Observations, Recollections
The Minneapolis Musette

Royal 162

Royal Ride
Blowing & Drifting

Saturday’s Royal 162 gravel race was exactly the race I needed to have. In the weeks leading up to the event – my longest-ever, at least in terms of distance – I felt that I hadn’t done nearly enough riding to prepare but that I needed to do well to rebuild my sense of confidence in my ridingRead the full story

Alexander 380

Alexander Race Report, Part I  
Tour Divide

This race report is a hard thing to write (and not just because the Alexander chewed me up, spit me out and then somehow managed to wind itself right into my soul!) Reconstructing the race is difficult, because my affinity for endurance events stems partly from my capacity to retreat deep into my own mind. (I would have made a “good” POW – terrible but true. Sometimes I think this “special skill” ought to be used for some good – some good outside my own good, that is!) But either way, I do have some crazy stories, plus a word or two (or three!) for the beauty and sheer magnitude that is the Alexander.  Read the full story  

Alexander, part II  
Tour Divide
I think there are a few things I skipped over at the end of part I. Riding out of PDC was interesting, and not just because of the fireworks in my stomach. We crossed the Mississippi again (back into Iowa), and there was some sort of party going on in a restaurant suspended above the river. It was a strange clash - my ruggedness and their civility. Shrill laughs and clinking glasses echoed in the dark night - a few garish party lights lacing the dark.  Read the full story

The Alexander 380  

I stood in my kitchen the morning after the Alexander with my wrist in a brace, one arm in a sling, and more sore than I have been in a long time, struggling to remember the basics of making coffee. Scrapes and bruises, swollen legs, a huge knot in my hair that stuck out from the side of my head that I couldn’t get out…I’m sure I looked as dismal as I felt. I hadn’t intended to end up in such a miserable state, but apparently it’s just not a good gravel race unless I arrive home exhausted, starving, and a little battered. Viva la gravel!  Read the full story

Alexander 380 Champion Mark Skarpohl (Audio)
Over the Top Cycling
Over the Top Cycling

Alexander 380 Gravel Race with Balvindar Singh (Audio)
Over the Top Cycling

The Alexander 380 with Sarah Cooper (Audio)
Over the Top Cycling


Almanzo 2015
Penn Cycle/Chris Chavie

Almanzo 100 2015
Brandon Sullivan

Almanzo 100 2015
Kim Mensinger

Almanzo 100
Todd Bauer (TMB Images)

Almanzo 2015
ME Photography

Rode the Almanzo 100 this past weekend. As always, it was a fantastic event. Even with the significant changes of this year…
Fuzzy Images

2015 Almanzo 100
Spring Valley Tribune

Bike Jerks

2015 Alexander 380 by #chubbybike
Balvindar Singh

Fallout: Ursula post-Alexander 380 by Emir (@scrvyknvs)
Balvindar Singh


When the bikers got to gravel!
Valerie Pherson 


Everything comes together for successful Wilderfest weekend
Bluff Country Newspaper Group/David Phillips

Miles and miles of gravel: Riding southern Minnesota's Almanzo 100
StarTribune/Patrick Stephenson

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...