Monday, August 22, 2011

PCL's Gravel Worlds: The Krull House Secret Checkpoint

At some point during this year's TransIowa, I started thinking through the idea of doing War Axe secret checkpoints at gravel races. The idea was simple. Once you get deep into a long race, a surprise oasis looks like a utopia, even if you're stopping for thirty seconds for a Coke and a smile before pressing on.

In bouncing the idea off of people, I tossed the idea by Corey, who said that Gravel Worlds could really use a checkpoint late in the game. It really could only be semi-secret, but could we modify the two thoughts and make it work. Of course we could. Throw in the Krull House as a location (separate post to follow) and it was Game On! for Gravel Worlds.

Is this the way to the Renaissance Fair?

Having ridden through my fair share of checkpoints, I, as usual, had opinions about how things needed to go. Easy to find and Memorable, that was the goal. With the Krull House taking care of the memories, Mrs Snob helped me with a few banners that worked well with the posts I had seen in my Krull House recon and we had visibility covered. Despite the fact that this was a CP and not an Oasis, I grabbed a variety of beverages before driving out to the house and a checkpoint was born.

First Across the Line

My intent was to pass out Scratch Offs, throw updates into the world of social media and hang out, throwing in a few War Axe touches as a bit of tasteful PR. Jeff Bonsall came early to help me out and there were almost always five or six people chilling throughout the day. Even though a dying phone kept the updates to a minimum, everything else went down smooth and easy.

Riding is easy, dealing with this cap is not.

Currently, Jeff and I are working on an algorithm that I have tentatively named the "Mullet Theory." In short, the racers in an endurance event can be categorized as, "business in the front, party in the back." The first people in grab what they need and are gone. As you move toward the back of the race, things get loose, people linger and the mindset is a bit different. Neither are wrong, of course. It is just a different approach.

Dale, doing his best to cause problems with the Mullet Theory of Endurance Racing

Of course, every theory has its statistical anomaly. Dale hit the checkpoint in sixth. Was very mellow and friendly with everyone, casually got what he needed, then strolled back to his bike and continued to crush people. I guess it's a working theory...

Ahhh, thanks Scott, that's more like it!


mw said...

thanks for being there! what a great place for a checkpoint. lancaster co. has fascinating history, you just have to find it.

EB said...

I struggled with that cap for too long...At around mile 90 I attacked purely because I knew your C.P. was upcoming.

Amazing day on the bike,so freaking fun!

MG said...

That was a lot of fun. Thanks for being out there, Skip, and thanks to Matt B for letting us use his place for the checkpoint. It was rad!

gravy said...

Dale is all about the Mullet.

That's not a theory, that's a fact.