2013 Windy 500 Update

Fetish 3.13First off – I am personally guaranteeing that we’ll have much warmer weather than this morning’s ride for the 2013 Windy 500.  If not, I am offering 200% refunds to all participants.

There have been a number of significant flavor enhancements to this year’s event:

  • This is the bike I plan to ride.  I’ll probably add a rack with an insulated bag too (to keep cans of PBR cold).  No need for speed, or style, or front derailleurs for that matter.  I may smoke a pipe and wear a tweed jacket for the whole ride too.
  • We’ll once again have the infamous Jeremy driving sag.  A Suburban and an enclosed trailer.  You can bring as much crap as you need!
  • We’ll take the speeds down to “reasonable”.  I swear.  I really mean it this time.  Years past, the speeds have been known to creep up.  So, we’ll need to find something else to get Lampe pissed off about this year.
  • This year, we’ll actually launch on Thursday evening.  We’ll roll about 35 or so miles to Palmyra and stay overnight there, enjoying delicious beer and wine and beer Thursday evening.  And beer.
  • Friday morning, we’ll have breakfast in Palmyra and roll out for 50 miles with another group. Then back to HQ for a delicious lunch (and beer) before heading back out for another half-century.  Back to HQ for a delicious chef-prepared meal and wine.  And beer.
  • Saturday morning we roll out with the other group, back to HQ for lunch then we part ways and head South to Illinois.
  • Illinois to Indiana on Sunday.
  • Indiana straight back (via the Lakefront) to Brookfield on Monday.
  • We’ll be riding through 3 states this year, and rolling over 500 odometer digits  by Monday evening.

This is an awesome time, something that once people experience gets locked into their calendars for infinity.  And there’s beer.

Anyone is welcome.  (Anyone that can ride 4 successive Centuries.)

And they should probably like beer.



“Windy 500” ride report

Q: “Where are you guys from?

A: “Milwaukee”

Q: “Where you headed?”

A: (depended on what day it was)

  • “Shawano”
  • “Iron Mountain, Michigan”
  • “Shawano”
  • “Milwaukee”

Q: “What are you doing this for?”

A: “For fun”

…long pause…

“I can think of a lot more fun things to do than this…”

And so it went for 4 days with just about every non-cyclist we talked to (which was everyone we talked to).

Gary, Mark (“Flat Stanley”), Chris and I left my house on Friday morning and proceeded to ride 545 miles in 4 days.

161 on day 1:


126 on day 2:


119 on day 3:


139 on day 4:


We lucked out by getting the hottest stretch of weather of the year.  Temps on the road reached 104 degrees, and the dew points reached into the 80s.  Along the way, we racked up:

one broken spoke

three ripped tires requiring

  1. a patch
  2. a boot
  3. a Shot Block wrapper repair

seven blown tubes

twelve used CO2 cartridges

We consumed approximately 12 gallons of water and slightly less beer

We burned approximately 100,000 calories or 28.5 pounds.

Many of the people “Up Nort”” were intrigued by our choice of transportation and our lack of camouflage clothing, but they were all hospitable.

The first day was a beat-down.  I believe 161 miles in 1 day was a personal best for all 4 of us.  The weather was very warm but not hot, and thankfully the whole weekend was mostly overcast.  For any group of 4 guys trading pulls, 19.6 average moving speed for that many miles will take its toll.  We were all tired at the end of day 1, but Gary was clearly the most spent.  Day 2 brought the heat, and the second 100+ mile day and we managed to bring the speed down a bit.  Google Bike Maps is great for coming up with routes… assuming you’re riding a cyclocross bike.  By Day 2, it had us using gravel roads and even a sand road – complete with angry swarms of horseflies.  We had to improvise using the sun for navigation on un-mapped country (paved) roads and eventually wised up and went old-school with a paper map for back-up.

Day 3 proved to be too much for Gary.  He had soldiered on, but his body never recovered from the effort of day 1.  I would have pulled the plug, but Gary kept riding until we all made the decision to get him a ride to the next stop.  The heat was brutal and we were in the middle of nowhere at times – it became a true safety issue at that point.  He truly gets the “HTFU” award for the week.

Day 4 started with us huddled around the Weather Channel at the hotel for an early departure.  A severe heat advisory had been issued, along with a severe storm warning – fantastic.  We rolled for an hour before the sky got so black we had to put lights on.  Minutes before the rain started coming down in sideways sheets, we found refuge in a corner store in the middle of the country.  We waited about 30 minutes while the storm ripped branches from trees that littered the road for the next 30 miles before taking off in a light rain.  Thankfully the overcast stayed for most of the day because when the sun did pop out it became brutally hot on the roads.

The ride ended at about 7:20pm back at my house on Monday night, 545 miles after it started.  Everyone agreed that it would be strange to NOT get up and ride the next day, but it would have been tough for any of us to find a comfortable spot on any saddle for another 100+ mile day.

I’ve already started planning the 2012 ride and it will be even more awesome – stay tuned!

I’m bringin’ splatter paint back!

Annual eppstein uhen architects ride yesterday – http://www.eua.com/bdbt/– 102 miles of bicycling bliss.  Wish I could say the same for my bike and for the other riders in the lead group with me.  There was only 1 small group of 20 mph riders this year, and no 22 mph group.  In years past, there were 3 separate fast groups that went off before the general population took off at 18, 16 and  .  Our group had: me, all around nice guy and 3 time Ironman competitor David Staab and racer and ToAD organizer Billy Ochowicz along with about 9 or so other riders.  When I saw one of the riders lining up on his TT bike with a sleeveless uni-tard (heavy emphasis on the TARD) and his Ironman tattoo and number still on his bike, I figured it would be an interesting day… especially since he was carrying about 30-40 extra pounds of what looked to be bacon and cheeseburgers around his mid-section.  Clearly, he’s never read “The Rules”.

We got off to a nice easy start and headed west into the hills of Lake Country.  It was chilly and overcast at first, but as the day wore on, the temps climbed and the sun eventually came out for good.  Perfect weather for a long ride.  I started on the back, making sure we didn’t drop anyone.  After the first rest stop, I was feeling pretty good, so I decided to go to the front and help Billy and Dave with the pulls.  It became a familiar place for the rest if the ride, with most riders getting more and more gassed after the halfway point. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel since I hadn’t done 100 since the Bone Ride http://www.pelotonstar.com/2010/05/bone-ride-2010.html back in May.  Fortunately, I felt stronger with every mile.  The hardest part was stopping at all 5 rest stops.  It makes for a much longer day than just plowing through and hitting one or two to re-hydrate.  At 75 miles I felt like I had just started and we had to regroup after each of the hill climbs.

I made it through 100 of the 102 miles before a nasty tear in my tire finally blew.  My good friend George Washington slipped in and fixed it so I could finish off the last 2 miles.  Kind of anti-climactic.

At one point early on, I noticed that the white line on the side of the road looked pretty fresh.  I crested a hill and saw the line painting crew right in front of us.  That’s when I realized I had just ridden through a fresh coat of road paint.  Today’s project – removing paint from my bike and kit…

I’m thinkin’ of just leaving it and bringing the whole splatter look back from the 80’s, since my bike and kit are perfectly matched now…