Wednesday, November 22, 2017

2018 Registration Process

So, we're planning on running this doozy of a ride/race again in 2018. The date that we've picked out is April 7. One whole week later than last year so you can expect 70 degrees and sunny. If you have any questions about what the event is... just peruse this horrible blogspot website. Lots of info to be gleaned. Otherwise feel free to ask here or send me an email at

Here is how you can throw your name into the hat to get into the historic 11th edition:

From November 24 (Black Friday) until December 30 (postmarked by):

1 ) Please send a STANDARD POSTCARD to:

Ragnarok 105 c/o
Isaac Giesen
5595 Cannondale Court
Red Wing, MN    55066

2) NOTE that I said STANDARD POSTCARD. This does not mean a randomly sized chunk of cardboard, or a slip of paper in an envelope. Go out to countless places and buy a postcard. We will be holding a random lottery style drawing and no one will get preferential treatment (outside of the previous winners or those who have been through all of the editions of the 'Rok. Goofy sized cards stack the deck one way or the other...

3) On the postcard, please LEGIBLY write out the following:

Your Name
Your Email Address
and the statement "I am responsible for myself"

I'll start a post that will list everyone who has gotten into the lottery.

4) Black Friday is the first day that I'll "accept" cards, and you have until December 31 to have your card postmarked and on its way to Red Wing.

5) I'm not actually a total stickler for the rules, but we really do appreciate not getting random little bits of paper with names, oddly shaped chunks of cardboard, etc. It just makes things easier for us.

6) You must send in a card YOURSELF! If I see that the same person has sent in multiple cards for different folks, then those cards are going in the trash. There is a requirement to write out "I am responsible for myself" and it pretty much defeats the purpose of that if you can't even be bothered to send in your own card.

7) We will cap the roster at 150 riders. So there is a chance that the lottery will not be needed. If we have more than 150 cards, the drawing will take place a week or so after the new year. I will keep all those not pulled in the lottery on a waiting list. Last year EVERYONE on the waiting list got in (though some were very late notice so couldn't make it).

8) Previous winners still need to send in a card. You just won't go into the drawing (this goes for Men and Women)

9) I think that is it. Ask questions if you have any.

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Official Thanks Post

So... I finally got the results posted. It only took a week! Life certainly gets busy!

A few things, since I didn't really do a proper spewing of thanks and thoughts after the big day.

1) 2018....

As of right now, I would say that we're 95% going to hold an 11th edition of this beast. Most likely it will be April 7th. Obviously a lot can happen in a year!

My goal will be to come up with a few changes in the cue sheets. Mainly I am a technological caveman and the rise of folks navigating 100% with their GPS is disconcerting to me in some way. If I'm going to print off 150 cue sheets, I want people to have to use them darn it! (Not faulting those that didn't use them this year, I didn't curtail any use of them in such manner, so no harm done... it's all just me being a curmudgeon.)

2) 2017 Thank you list (not in any order)

A) My wife, kids, and mom and dad. Their patience with me leading up to the race, help at checkpoints, and babysitting assistance all make the day happen.

B) The riders! You all are a joy to put through the agony that is the Rok. It is humbling that folks would keep coming back year after year when we provide so little of the outside stuff (such as actual support, swag, food, water, etc).

C) Mississippi National! I don't know if 1 person actually ended up going in and buying food/beer. They were open for golfers and we used up almost 2/3 of their parking lot. And they were asking what more they could do next year to make it better.... That says a lot!

D) Red Wing Brewery! I totally forgot about the night before check-in until a couple of days before. They were happy to host even with essentially no notice. They are small, and we sort of jam up things... but they are happy to have us every year.

E) Jake! Even though life happened and he had to leave for personal reasons, that he would fly from CO just to help out says everything you need to know. We may be trying to start a ride out in the Front Range sometime in the next couple years...

F) Larry! The help on the day of is always much appreciated! The groundwork that he did in the early Rok editions has made them go smoothly even as he has stepped away from the organizing of it.

G) Mark Stevenson and Chris Skogen! Trans-Iowa was what lit the fire in our bellies, and the first Almanzo was what told us that it could be done.

Anyways... this'll probably be the last blog post here for a while unless I get out on some recon rides for next year. Good luck to all that are planning on doing any of the great rides that are around here. If you have questions about gravel routes, suggestions for making the Rok better, etc. Feel free to drop me an email...

Thanks and have a great year!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

2017 Results

Here are the results from last week. Sorry for the delay in posting! It was a fun day and I hope that everyone had a goo
Place Rider # Name Time of Day
1 123 Drew Wilson 1:12
2 147 Ian  Hoogendam 1:14
3 144 Mark Lalonde 1:27
4 181 Nathan Wentz 1:27
5 182 Nicholas Lemke 1:27
6 129 Rick Curtis 1:41
7 170 Todd Foster 1:49
8 101 Brandt Elson 1:50
9 184 Dennis Dresler 1:52
10 141 Joe Meiser 1:55
11 187 Christian Sundquist 1:57
12 198 Ben Hey 2:02
13 193 Charles Wolf 2:02
14 196 Ryan Birkemeier 2:02
15 192 Kyle Sobota 2:06
16 188 Scott Hippen 2:06
17 202 Paul Carroll 2:06
18 159 Dustin Gaffke 2:09
19 161 Steven Deckert 2:09
20 185 Matthew Abel 2:09
21 190 Larry Sauber 2:11
22 120 Matt Riley 2:11
23 163 Steve Soltis 2:23
24 199 Jake Jungers 2:29
25 133 Todd Shanafelt 2:32
26 165 Todd Matchmaker 2:32
27 183 Carrie Seipp 2:34
28 149 Tyler Greenwaldt 2:35
29 142 Ryan Stringfield 2:35
30 143 Sean Mailen 2:37
31 136 Josh Roeser 2:37
32 191 Jeff Shupe 2:41
33 112 Ben Cox 2:41
34 208 Jeff Bushendorf 2:42
35 153 Megan Barr 2:43
36 160 Robert Hest 2:44
37 131 David Weeks 2:44
38 135 Ken Earley 2:45
39 111 Joel Benton 2:45
40 162 Ted Clausen 2:47
41 195 Jeff O'Neill 2:54
42 148 Lee Venteicher 3:02
43 175 Bruce Anderson 3:02
44 205 Joe DeMars 3:06
45 169 Chelsea Strate 3:07
46 172 Luke Brager 3:09
47 173 Jim Garrett 3:09
48 138 Jay Schneider 3:14
49 204 Meredith Rambow 3:14
50 128 Eric Hathaway 3:17
51 126 Mike Watercott 3:17
52 178 Rob Mosimann 3:17
53 124 Maggy Fournier 3:20
54 125 Kent McDaniel 3:20
55 104 Sam Tobias 3:24
56 151 Charles Denis 3:28
57 152 Chris Stuckman 3:31
58 107 Eddie Karow 3:36
59 121 Shawn Cotter 3:36
60 137 Randy Brendal 3:38
61 130 Jonas Nygard 3:38
62 116 Jere Mohr 3:39
63 113 Gary Lindberg 3:39
64 194 Kyle Davis 3:42
65 211 Ken Zylstra 3:43
66 115 Leah Gruhn 3:44
67 134 Dave Knox 3:46
68 186 Tom Ringold 3:46
69 167 Michael Landreville 3:49
70 166 Thomas Erickson 3:49
71 110 Heath Weisbrod 3:51
72 155 Bill Callas 3:51
73 201 Matt Engen 3:54
74 118 Jon Loye 3:54
75 200 Rob Belz 3:55
76 145 Melissa Hunter 3:55
77 158 Andrew Carey 3:57
78 109 Ray Nickels 4:01
79 157 Ben Oney 4:02
80 212 Mark Bushinski 4:06
81 164 Charles Parsons 4:06
82 119 Jon Anderson 4:09
83 156 Bob Cure 4:14
84 105 Andy Wienzierl 4:16
85 180 Robert Tuma 4:16
86 179 Jeff Pettes 4:16
87 206 Ryan Bunkmeyer 4:18
88 209 Daniel Backman 4:20
89 108 John Egbers 4:29
90 177 Lindsay Wentz 4:31
91 171 Cole Rogers 4:39
92 168 Mark Seaburg 4:39
93 139 Jim Ringuette 4:42
94 189 Patrick Sheedy 5:04
95 207 Dan Funke 5:04
96 210 Eric Wiesenberger 5:30
97 102 Kurt Stunek 5:46
98 103 Brain Woods 5:46
99 150 Jermey Thornton 5:49
100 114 Bruce Pletka 5:57
101 122 Matt Webb 6:13
102 203 Max Dingemans 6:50
103 106 Scott Kies 6:51
104 132 Dan Woll 7:17
DNF 140 Frank Thueringer  
DNF 127 Charly Tri  
DNF 117 David Bell  
DNF 154 Derek Van de Velde  
DNF 197 Timothy Hoffard  
DNF 174 Mark Engen  
DNF 146 Matt Denis  
DNF 176 Ted Loosen  

Friday, April 7, 2017

Next Year

While it is far from a done deal, the 11th running of the Rok will most likely be on April 7th next year.

Some initial thoughts in that vein:

1) Most likely will have most of the same details (start, finish, checkpoints)

2) I really want to change the course even just a bit. That may mean the Zumbro Bottoms are lost. Maybe not. Or I might stay super busy at work and home and the course will stay the same.

3) Will probably keep the roster limit at 150. This year I don't think we actually ended up turning away anyone, so it was pretty good.

4) I need to contact Zumbro Falls and Lake City next year and inquire about the porta-potty and little bathroom respectively. They have been open/there in the past, but not consistently.

This weekend while the kids are napping (I hope they nap!) I'll tally up the results and get them posted. Sorry for the delay!

And for no reason at all... a picture of our 4 yo son riding some gravel by our new house (not on course)

Friday, March 31, 2017

Some notes as I get excited for tomorrow

I dug this up from years ago... still holds true...

Many of you have ridden in gravel centuries/events before, and those that haven't have probably put on at least a few miles on the dusty/muddy/icy dirt roads this winter/spring... but some things to have in the back of your head while riding this weekend:

- Please obey all road signs. If the sign says stop. Please do so.
- It's a long race so be smart about bombing down hills and whatnot.... it's a gas, but always ride within yourself.
- When cresting a hill, or going around a blind corner always ride to the right side of the road.
- Gravel is a very inconsistent surface to ride on. For the most part the roads of Goodhue and Wabasha counties are premium surfaces to ride on. Patches of frost heaves, loose gravel, mud will still pop up though, so be prepared! Right now ice is even a possibility, though the temps this week should help in that respect.
- Dogs. In general the dogs we've ran across while riding this spring have been well behaved. Watch out though. Even when they are just trying to be friendly they can cause a crash.
- Be respectful of others. We're using the roads, but they are not closed and they are not solely ours. Don't litter. Smile at folks. Wave. Goodhue and Wabasha counties have been happy to give us permission to run the race so far. Let's not give them reason to change their minds.
- Be prepared. There is roughly 40-45 miles between civilization and in some of the valleys you probably will not get good cell reception/coverage. The organizers of the race also are not responsible for providing you with a way out if you get in trouble.
- You are responsible for you. We won't have piles of tubes, water, gel packs etc. We will not drive all over picking people up who have to drop out for whatever reason.
- Please have a working blinky red rear light and some sort of blinky white front light.

Do you have any questions about cue sheets? Well... here is a great primer...

See you tonight or tomorrow! 

One day to go!

We're almost there! One day until the 10th running of the Ragnarok 105! Is there a better day than April Fools Day to ride this course?

Some quick details for those not on facebook , or in case my phone stopped working.


Night before check in will be at the Red Wing Brewery yet again. I'll be there around 7:30 or so with waivers, cue sheets, and numbers. We'll be there until 9:30 or thereabouts, so if you're staying in town, or just want a few more minutes of sleepy time tomorrow morning please come on down!


We'll try and have everything set-up by 6:15 or a little earlier. I'd love to have everyone checked in and getting close to ready by 7:15 or so to allow for a prompt 7:30 getaway time.

You will have until 11:45 to get to Zumbro Falls and check in with our volunteers, and 4:45 to get to Lake City and do the same. While going into the checkpoint, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE slow down and come in a semi-orderly fashion. Make sure that we get you recorded.

Random Notes:

The Zumbro Endurance Race is actually next weekend, not this, so don't count on any friendly faces in the Bottoms (though I would guess you won't see any grumpy ones either)... they may actually be out doing course prep, so you might still get some waves.

We're using the same course as last year (and the past few years actually), but we can't vouch for any GPS tracks that you may find or use or whatever, so we will require you to carry our cue sheets, which you'll get at each checkpoint. One of these years we will change things up!

The latest weather forecast is actually looking better and better. 60 degrees and sunny? Yes please. That means sunscreen for me. If it means sunscreen for you please remember it as we won't have a ton on us on the course.

We will not have any water or any supplies of the like on course with us. If you need that stuff either bring it along or stop at a convenience store, which are conveniently close to checkpoints.

Now some thanks, in no particular order, and I'm sure with some exclusions...  since this weekend will be crazy and I'm thinking semi-clearly now:

Huge thanks to Mississippi National and the Red Wing Brewery. Their accommodation of our little event (at no cost to us) really makes it possible and keeps my heartburn to a minimum.

Thanks to my wife and family! We've been busy moving, and work has been crazy for me, so I haven't gotten as much time on course as I would like, but they have been patient and very supportive of continuing on what Larry, Jake, and I started 10 years ago. Without that we wouldn't be here.

Thanks to Larry! The work he put in to the race years ago still keeps it going strong now years after he stepped away from the pre-race organizing. Also, the day of help that he provides is invaluable.

Thanks to Jake for flying in from Colorado for this! What I said about Larry goes for Jake!

Thanks to Mark S of Trans-Iowa fame and Chris S, founder of the Almanzo for providing the inspiration/motivation to start this event so long ago.

Thanks to everyone who has ridden, and will be riding the Rok. It's humbling having people drive down and give up a day (or more) of their valuable time to ride.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Details for Saturday

I posted up the most important info on facebook, but here is a more thorough version of it:

The ride is April 1 (this Saturday). We start at 7:30, but please be at Mississippi National and checked in by at least 7:15. If everyone waits until 7:15 it may just be chaos, as with the weather looking pretty decent (knocking on wood) my guess is there will be less no shows (thus more riders) than ever before.

The Ragnarok Volunteer Crew will be at the golf course and set-up by 6:15 or so (maybe even a bit earlier). When you come in please park in the "lower" lot, which will be where our table is set up. I'm assuming that we'll need to use some of the upper lot too, which is fine, I just don't want to use up their whole lot. Please park efficiently!

A quick timeline:

6:15 Check-in opens
7:25 Announcements
7:30 Start
approximately 11:30 Checkpoint 1 closes
approximately 4:30 Checkpoint 2 closes
7:30 Cut-off time to "finish"

We will still try and have night before check-in. With life being crazy I haven't finalized this yet, but will look to today. Expect to be able to sign your waiver, get your number and cues Friday sometime in town if you want a more streamlined Saturday experience.


Always ride within yourself and be aware of your surroundings.

You are responsible for yourself! (both while riding, and if you need to get extracted from the course)

You can certainly give or receive help from other riders though.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

April 1 is coming up!!

Sorry for the bit of radio silence, work has been (and continues to be) crazy busy and we just moved across town this past weekend. So there has been a lot of stuff going on!


We're under a month away to the big day now. Hopefully you've been logging those miles... or eating those donuts to give you the energy to persevere over the nasty roads that the Rok has to offer.

Course Update!:

The course will be the same as in the past few years. As always life gets in the way of making changes. There is a small change to the end of the course that I hope to get into the 2018 running (if there is a 2018 running) that would add in some not even minimum maintenance road. Just a little nugget.

The main roads should be fast and good to go like normal. We got a foot of snow a week and a half ago so things at the moment are sloppy on the MMR sections. The storms, rain, and then incessant wind we've had the last couple days will be helping dry everything up. Minnesota weather is fickle though so who knows what is in store for the weeks leading up to the race.

Checkpoints will be at the same locations as always. Zumbro Falls (a bit under 40 miles in) and Lake City (right around 80ish miles in). There are convenience stores on the route fairly close to the checkpoints (in Zumbro Falls the one actually on the course is after, though there is one before too... in Lake City is just a bit before the checkpoint).

Other notes:

As I always say: You are responsible for yourself! This is a ride on open roads.

You MUST ride within your limits, obey all posted signs, not trespass, stop at stop signs, etc.

Please don't litter! I know that you'll see a few discarded Natty Ice cans along the way, but don't make more of a mess. I (and those who help me out) like to ride on these very same roads, and don't want to give anyone a chance to think "those darn cyclists".

If you have a mechanical, or need to drop out.... HAVE A PLAN! We are not responsible for any sort of taxi service. We are a small rag tag crew that has to be all over the course for other reasons. We ask that you call me to report that you are dropping out, but other than that you need to have a bail out plan. I cannot stress this enough. You need to be ready for any situation, no matter the weather, etc.

Start and Finish:

We'll be at Mississippi National Golf Links again for the start and finish. Try and park in the "lower" section of the lot. Try and just take one space as well. If the weather is nice they will also want to be golfing so I don't want to affect them too much as they don't ask for anything from us in return. Note, I believe that they now have made to order food along with beer, pop, etc. So your post-ride refueling may have gotten easier.

Night before check in:

I need to confirm the location, but we will have some night before check-in somewhere in Red Wing (either Downtown or at the Brewery or something... details are being hammered out).

What am I missing? Feel free to ask in comments or on whatever social media I'm not ignoring at the moment...



Sunday, January 8, 2017

Official Rok Roster - 2017

So, I tried a new way of doing the lottery this year. And with the small number of unlucky people this year (earlier race date? getting bored with it? sick of not just getting in like many other races? who knows) I just pulled up and started pulling numbers (since Excel had the rows numbered... it was easy!). If your number came up, you were put on the waiting list. Sorry! If it makes you feel any better I think we went through about 50 waiters all told last year. So I would be shocked if I didn't end up notifying all of the waiters that they are in by the end of Feb.

Having said that... if you are on the official roster and can't make it. LET ME KNOW by emailing isaac.m.giesen AT gmail DOT com. I can then get you off of the list and move someone in.

I will not be accepting any email requests to be added to the waiting list. So if you aren't on either the Roster or Wait List... you are out of luck. Lots of other great rides though. So don't sell your bike just yet!

Without further ado:


Abel, Matthew
Anderson, Bruce
Anderson, Jon
Backman, Daniel
Bakker, Carl
Barr, Megan
Bell, David
Bell, Pete
Belz, Rob
Benton, Joel
Berhane, Hanah
Berkland, Sam
Birkemeier, Ryan

Brager, Luke
Brendal, Randy
Bushendorf, Jeff
Bushinski, Mark
Callas, Bill
Carey, Andrew

Carroll, Paul
Cary, Neal (O)

Clark, James
Clausen, Ted
Condon, Cody
Cotter, Shawn
Cox, Ben
Cure, Bob
Curtis, Rick
Davis, Kyle
Deckert, Steven
DeMars, Joe
Denis, Charles
Denis, Matt
Dingemans, Max
Donovan, Jack

Dorow, Linda
Dresler, Dennis
Earley, Ken
Egbers, John

El Medkouri, Mohammed
Elson, Brandt
Engen, Mark
Engen, Matt
Erickson, Thomas
Estes, Lynn (???)

Foster, Todd
Fournier, Maggy
Funke, Dan
Gaffke, Dustin
Garrett, Jim
Greenwaldt, Tyler
Gruhn, Leah
Hamlin, Joe
Hathaway, Eric
Haye, Jeff
Hedin, Cory
Hest, Robert
Hey, Ben
Hippen, Scott
Hoffard, Timothy
Hoogendam, Ian
Hunter, Melissa
Johnson, Kirk
Jungers, Jake
Karnopp, Roger
Karow, Eddie
Kern, Jon
Kies, Scott
Knox, Dave
Kueffer, Dan
Kueffer, Fred

Lageson, Andy
Lalonde, Jesse
Lalonde, Mark
Landreville, Michael

Larson, Mara
Lee, Mike
Lemke, Nicholas
Lewis, Tim
Lien, Brent
Lindberg, Gary
Loosen, Ted
Loye, Jon
Mailen, Sean

Matalamaki, John

McDaniel, Kent
Meiser, Joe
Meulebroeck, Scott
Mohr, Jere
Mosimann, Rob
Nederloe, Tryg
Nichols, Joel
Nickles, Ray
Nygård, Jonas
O'Neill, Jeff
Oney, Ben
Parsons, Charles
Perez, Jose
Peterson, David

Pettes, Jeff

Pletka, Bruce
Rambow, Meredith
Rasmussen, Bryce

Riley, Matt
Ringold, Tom
Ringuette, Jim

Roeser, Josh "Pork Chop"
Rogers, Cole
Sauber, Larry
Schad, Charlie
Schlinz, Kyle
Schneider, Jay
Schneider, Joshua
Schulz, Thad
Seaburg, Mark
Seipp, Carrie
Shanafelt, Todd
Sheedy, Patrick
Sheldrake, John

Shouse, Corey
Shupe, Jeff
Sobota, Kyle
Soltis, Steve
St. Pierre, Sam
Strate, Chelsea
Stringfield, Ryan
Stuckman, Chris
Stunek, Kurt
Sundquist, Christian
Thornton, Jeremy
Thueringer, Frank

Tobias, Sam
Tri, Charly
Tuma, Robert

Venteicher, Lee
Vold, Sveta
Watchmaker, Todd
Watercott, Mike
Webb, Matt
Weeks, David
Weinzierl, Andy
Weisbrod, Heath
Wentz, Lindsay
Wentz, Nathan

Wilson, Drew
Wolf, Charles
Woll, Dan
Woods, Brian

Zylstra, Ken

WAIT LIST (with horrible formatting... hooray for blooger!)

empty... closed up.... no more...

Thanks again and get training! OR not! As long as you remember that YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU I'm good with any level of readiness!