Thursday, December 11, 2008

Just incase you need something to look at.

These are not to recent, as you can see there is no snow.

Friday, October 31, 2008

I think we're "full"

Hi all...

1) Maybe I'm just naive, but I'm a bit shocked at how fast 50 slots have filled up. Thanks! We must have done something right last year.

2) If you showed up last year, with the weather as it was, to race and don't see you name on the list (haven't gotten a confirmation email from me either) don't fret. We are opening up additional slots for you. We will know who you are. Let's say.... have a card in the mail by Dec. 31st and your spot will still be there. Yes we'll be over 50, but they are our rules, so we can break them.

3) If you want to be put on a waiting list, let me know (via postcard). Invariably there will be quite a few people dropping out as spring rolls around so all isn't lost.

Again, a big thanks to those who have entered. This is still only the second year for this race so we're still getting comfortable with the logistics. In future years we may open the race up to more folks, but for now it is what it is. Thanks again and have a happy halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Official '09 Rules Post

Ok... here are the formalities. I think we are all in accordance with the rules, but here they are (only one of which will probably be brought up again... and again... and again...)

1. Sponsors, organizers and any hangers on are not responsible for your safety. Each rider is considered to be on their own little private excursion. If you wipe out on loose gravel it is not our fault. You are responsible for you.

2. Outside support is only allowed at our Zumbro Falls checkpoint. There will be convenience stores available in Zumbro Falls and also at roughly mile 80.

3. You will receive the first 1/2 of the tulip notes upon registering the morning of the event. The second 1/2 of the tulip notes will be given to you upon reaching the checkpoint. There will be a time cut-off for the checkpoint, and believe me, it will be very attainable by all who can keep moving forward. The time will be determined at a later date.

4. You must attempt to follow the course at all times. If you need to go off course for help or food or something you must re-enter the course where you left it. I doubt anyone will be super familiar with the roads that we're going over, but please... no shortcuts.

5. Use your head. Yield to traffic. Pay attention to the road surface (which will possibly vary from concrete like hard gravel roads to snow covered sloppy muddy mess) and ride accordingly.

6. At all times you are making progress on the course you must wear an approved helmet.

7. Obey all state, county, city, village, township, borough, etc. laws, along with the Rules of the Road.

8. We are not responsible if you get lost or stranded. Have a way of contacting the outside world should something go not to plan.

9. Must have a blinking red rear light and a front headlight (can be one tiny white LED... it's amazing how much that helps you be seen even in the daylight).

I think that's it. Next post may be accompanied by pictures from a recon ride....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Ok all,

Sorry to do this, but I think most of you will be happy with this change...

Due to Easter falling on the 12th of April (three freaking weeks after last year), in the interests of keeping everyone's family happy... the new date will be April 18th (still on a Saturday).

This is still a full two weeks before Trans Iowa for those who are into that. The change has also happened soon enough so I hope people haven't booked rooms etc. Again, sorry to have to do this, we are generally actually pretty well organized, just forgot to check the major holidays.

On other news I just received 11 more postcards today. You should be receiving emails shortly confirming your entrance if you are in today's batch. Yikes.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Official '09 Race Roster

Ok... no real message other than a list of the people goofy enough to sign up for this wacky race...

Susannah K. - Open F
Margaret M. - Open F
Rebecca S. - Open F
Nicole W. - Open F

Justin B. - Open M
Pete B. - Open M
Bryan B. - Open M
Michael B. - Open M
Grant B. - Open M
Brent B. - Open M
Dan D. - Open M
Brian D. - Open M
Brandt E. - Open M - Defending Champ
Hurl E. - Open M
Charlie F. - Open M
Jeremy F. - Open M
Paul H. - Open M
Dan H. - Open M
Scott H. - Open M
Ross H. - Open M
Kevin J. - Open M
Shawn J. - Open M
Eddie K. - Open M
Scott K. - Open M
Marty L. - Open M
Troy L. - Open M
Porter M. - Open M
Chad M. - Open M
Ray N. - Open M
Jason N. - Open M
Neil O'C - Open M
Jim P. - Open M
Jay P. - Open M
David P. - Open M
Jason P. - Open M
Stephen R. - Open M
Death R. - Open M
JJ R. - Open M
Andrew R. - Open M
Pete R. - Open M
Larry S. - Open M
Lonie S. - Open M
Ron S. - Open M
Joshua S. - Open M
Bob S. - Open M
Jesse S. - Open M
Pete S. - Open M
Ryan T. - Open M

Nick O. - SS M
Heath W. - SS M
T.C. W. - SS M
Jeff Z. - SS M

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Registratiön is öfficially ÖPEN for Ragnarök '09

Well kids, it's that time of year again to pick up/dust off/make your postcards. The Ragnarok 105 is back in business for another year. I'd say it will be bigger and better than last year, but honestly, I don't think it can be (ok, in theory the weather could be worse).

Some details:

When: April 18th, 2009. (edit... was April 11th, but that is Easter weekend)
Where: Starts and ends at Colville Park in Red Wing, MN.
What: The Ragnarok 105 is a mainly unsupported "race" that traverses the countryside east, west, and south of Red Wing in Goodhue and Wabasha counties. The length of the course is approximately 105 miles, and it will be almost a totally different course this year. There will be ONE location where you will be allowed to receive outside assistance from a support crew if you want. At least one other town to refuel (no outside crew support there though).

Quick rules:

1. Must wear a helmet while on the course.
2. Must have front and rear lights (nothing fancy, just something blinking).
3. Must follow the rules of the road. If there is a stop sign, stop (officially I'm saying this...), if the speed limit is 55 mph, please don't exceed the speed limit.
4. You will get 1/2 of the course on tulip notes at the start. The other 1/2 will be given to you at the Zumbro Falls checkpoint.
5. There will be time cutoffs. More details later.

I'll be more detailed with the official rules as we go along (not too long into the future, just lazy tonight).

But, for now... here is what you really will want to know.

A) We are capping the field at 50 riders.
B) First come, first in... no lottery.
C) IF you are crazy enough to want to be in for the race, all you have to do is mail a postcard or card of some sort though the Postal Service to:

Isaac Giesen
134 Kingswood Drive #210
Red Wing, MN 55066

With the following information:

Your name
Your gender
Class (open or singlespeed)

When I receive the postcard I will fire off a confirmation email.

I think that's it. Any questions? Post em up here or email me at .

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fall ride is probably off (at least officially)

Sorry to all that were hoping to get in an official unofficial fall 'rok. The schedules are starting to look tighter and tighter and a pre-planned ride (at least for us) this fall isn't going to happen. If you wanted to get in a ride we can definitely point you in the right directions. I will try and post up the PDF files someplace (I suck at the internets) so if you wanted to retrace your steps of last spring you will be able to.

Check back in a few days and we'll kick off the '09 Ragnarok discussions! Yessir!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Fall running of the 'Rok

Just throwing this out there... a few of us (or at least Larry and I) will be riding the course sometime in September. When we have more details I'll post here. If you wanted to try the race in April but were injured, scared, etc. maybe this is the time? If you were unable to finish... maybe this will be better conditions to try? Want to see how fast you could finish without freezing slush and massive headwinds? This is your chance! We wouldn't really have it be a group ride so much as everyone would start at the same time and you'd know that at least someone else is out there suffering with you. No checkpoints etc. Of course, that means no support by any organizers. The notes are right, so you'd be fending for yourselves (unless you travel at our pace then be safe in knowing you won't get lost).

Remember... version 2 might just be even better!!! (will have at least one more minimum maintenance quagmire at least)

Hope your summers are going great...

- Isaac

Monday, April 14, 2008

Official Results

# Rider Class Overall Class Z-Falls Goodhue Finish MPH
30 Brandt Elson M-O 1 1 11:31 AM 1:36 PM 3:40 PM 13.32
20 David Pramann M-O 2 2 11:31 AM 1:28 PM 3:41 PM 13.29
14 Joel Cahalan M-SS 3 1 11:31 AM 1:33 PM 4:04 PM 12.69
44 Larry Sauber M-O 4 3 11:48 AM 1:57 PM 4:17 PM 12.37
38 Brian Dukek M-SS 5 2 11:52 AM 2:15 PM 4:38 PM 11.89
33 Heath Weisbrod M-SS 6 3 11:31 AM 2:14 PM 4:52 PM 11.59
5 Grant Braasch M-O 7 4 11:55 AM 2:25 PM 5:00 PM 11.42
49 Dan Dittmer M-O 8 5 11:51 AM 2:25 PM 5:00 PM 11.42
50 Josh Peterson M-O 9 6 11:53 AM 2:45 PM 5:00 PM 11.42
3 Hurl Everson M-O 10 7 11:50 AM 2:31 PM 5:01 PM 11.40
43 Lonny Mahoney M-O 11 8 12:10 PM 2:37 PM 5:11 PM 11.20
32 Mark Muraski M-O 12 9 11:55 AM 2:37 PM 5:12 PM 11.18
17 Paul Haberman M-O 13 10 12:11 PM 2:39 PM 5:25 PM 10.94
40 Eddie Karow M-O 14 11 12:11 PM 2:39 PM 5:25 PM 10.94
37 Porter Million M-O 15 12 1:15 PM 3:51 PM 7:08 PM 9.30
45 Troy Lawrence M-O 16 13 12:25 PM 3:51 PM 7:08 PM 9.30
12 Scott Kinderman M-O 17 14 12:25 PM 3:51 PM 7:08 PM 9.30
27 Craig Braun M-SS

11:46 AM

23 Matt Lawrence M-O

11:46 AM

47 Pete Bell M-O

12:05 PM

34 Justin Pitts M-O

12:06 PM

10 Dave Meyer M-O

12:22 PM

2 Chris Skogen M-SS

12:25 PM

26 Pete Stock M-O

12:30 PM

48 Matt Muraski M-O

12:35 PM

8 Jeff Zipfel M-SS

1:10 PM

7 Z. Herringer M-O

1:34 PM

29 Susannah King F-O

1:34 PM

42 Shawn Jeppeson M-O

1:39 PM

15 Lonie Sauber M-O

1:39 PM

4 Calvin Bean M-O

1:47 PM

19 Rich Omdahl M-O

1:47 PM

51 Bryan Beck M-O

25 Jeff Zadra M-O

24 Andrew Petersen M-SS

39 JJ Robb M-SS

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Ragnarök 2008 is in the freaking books!

Congrats to all who attempted this beast today. Weather today? about 28-30 at the start. Got all the way to maybe 36 or so. The wind never wavered from being stiff and from the North North West.

First finisher arrived at 3:41. Last three finishers arrived at 7:09. Awesome job by all who tried (except maybe Dave M. who needs to go to an orienteering clinic or two, eh... I guess you get a good job to Dave), the conditions definately made this ride/race a different animal.

Overall Champ - Brandt Elson
Men's SS Champ - Joel Cahalan

Big Attaboy to Porter, Troy and Scott. You were never more than about 30 minutes from missing cutoffs, but you kept that pace going the WHOLE day and finished strong! Way to be. Made me wish I could have been out there on the roads.

Tentative date (without consulting anything more than my computer calendar) for the second edition: 4/11/09.

Official results and some pictures to show up tomorrow probably sometime.

Before I forget. Thanks to our sponsors for providing some swag and support: The Route Bike Shops, Cars R Coffins, Surly, SPH Cycling Ltd. and Josh from Generation Outdoors.

Friday, April 11, 2008

T-minus about 12 freaking hours

Well, the weather isn't exactly ideal, and has caused many a racer to throw in the towel but we've still got potentially 45 crazies still in with a chance (I predict 30 or so starters max).

Very last post pre-race:

Weather - so far no appreciable (if any) snow has fallen on the course. It rained HARD last night and has been drizzly today. An inch or two of snow is in the forecast. Be prepared for a full day of sub 35-40 degrees and WET! Hypothermia is nothing to scoff at and we (the organizers) are not responsible for rescuing you if you get in trouble. You and only You (or maybe you and some friends who are riding together) are responsible for yourself.

Registration is in Colvill Park, in Red Wing, starting at 6:30. There are not any bathroom facilities open in the park, so if nature is going to call plan to drive to a convenience store or stop at one or McDonald's on the way into town. Sorry, but the race is free and renting a biffy is not in the budget. Also, it will probably be cold and wet sitting around before the race starts, so while I would prefer that everyone doesn't converge on the registration table at once, later might actually be better.

And finally.... to all racers - GOOD LUCK, HAVE FUN, BE SAFE!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Some final notes

Just a few days away. The weather looks crappy, but not COMPLETELY horrible. PLEASE please please be prepared for wet, windy, COLD weather. Some final notes:

  • A front and a rear light is required to be on at all times on the course.
  • A Helmet must be worn at all times progressing down the course.
  • You really should have a computer to help with navigation.
  • A fully charged cell phone is also a very good idea. You will need some way of contacting the outside world. We will not look for you if you don't make it to checkpoints.
  • Rain jackets/pants/whatever you need to traverse 100+ miles while in possibly drizzly, possibly windy, probably cold (think 35-40 degrees) weather.
PLEASE note that Colvill Park currently does not have any open bathrooms. As you head into town please take advantage of the many convenience stores or fast food joints to make that pit stop.

Here is a google link of key points - start and checkpoints

Some directions to Colville park (note that you'll want to go through town if you want to go to the bathroom):

Coming into Red Wing from the north on US Hwy 61

Once in or near Red Wing take Highway 61 through town towards the south.
Outside of town about 1.5 miles, you will want to exit the highway to the right (there is a sign for a city park).

(This is the first and only exit south of town on the 4 lane stretch. If you get to where the road goes back to 2 lanes, you just missed your turn. If you miss it, take the very next right hand turn into the correctional facility [MN 252], drive through the lot and keep going on that street. This will bring you back to the missed exit)

Take a right on the frontage road and another immediate right onto Nyphara lane.
At the bottom of the hill, take another right under the bridges.
Once in the park, keep to the right and look for the group of cyclists.

Coming into Red wing from the west or south on State Hwy 58

As you come into Red Wing, after the first stop light, the road will become two lanes at the bottom of a big hill.
Continue on this road as it heads towards downtown on Hwy 58/Bush street. Then you get to 7th Street, you will take a right onto 7th street

(There is a liquor store on the right and a Kwik Trip on your left.)

Take 7th street for about 1.5 miles.
When you can see Hwy 61 on your left, take a left onto Nymphara lane.
Take another left at the bottom of the hill under the bridges
Once in the park, keep to the right and look for the group of cyclists.

Coming into Red Wing from the south on US Hwy 61

As you approach Red Wing, Highway 61 will turn into 4 lanes.
Immediately after it becomes 4 lanes, take the exit on the left.
Take a right on the frontage road and another immediate right onto Nyphara lane.
At the bottom of the hill, take another right under the bridges.
Once in the park, keep to the right and look for the group of cyclists.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

T-minus less than one week

Well, Jake and I finally got out to ride the whole course yesterday. Conditions were about perfect (I should have had on sunscreen though!) and we can all only hope that they are close to as good next Saturday. Initial forecast for Saturday is slightly crummy with a chance of crappy. Hopefully the unreliable long range forecasts are unreliable. Regardless the course should be mostly firm for 95% of the way. Two sections of road are going to be pure slop at best (unless there is a deep freeze).

Some other tidbits before I forget:

- max descending speed - 39.8 mph (coasting... I'm a SSer)
- total dogs that ran out and chased us - about 10
- total dogs that actually seemed to care - .5
- number of weird looks from convenience store clerks - 1.75

One other surprise: There seemed to be decent cell coverage for most of the course actually. This is important if you have troubles or need to drop out etc. We (the organizers) will not be responsible for providing assistance in the event of something happening. You are responsible for getting yourself out of any trouble you might get into. Please have a plan if you need to drop out.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Conditions on course range from


Just thought you all might like to know. At least as it sits now almost the whole course is fairly firm. As you can see from the above picture, a few sections will probably not be too dry in a few weeks.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Updated and Official Race Roster

Not many dropouts yet.... please let me know if you aren't going to make it (comment works)

Female Open
Brokaw, Sara
Sauber, Rebecca
Waxmonsky, Nicole

Female Singlespeed/Fixed
Henry, Kate
King, Susannah

Male Open
Bean, Calvin
Beck, Bryan
Bell, Craig
Bell, Pete
Boecker, Sascha
Braasch, Grant
Cahalan, Joel
Dittmer, Dan
Elson, Brandt
Gustafson, Chris
Haberman, Paul
Herringer, Zachary
Jeppeson, Shawn
Karow, Eddie
Kinderman, Scott
Larson, Doug
Lawrence, Matt
Lawrence, Troy
Mahoney, Lonny
Meyer, Dave
Million, Porter
Muraski, Mark
Muraski, Matt
Omdahl, Rich
Peterson, Josh
Pitts, Justin
Pramann, David
Sauber, Larry
Sauber, Lonie
Stock, Pete
Tri, Charly
Zadra, Jeff
Zeigle, Paul

Male Singlespeed/Fixed Gear
Braun, Craig A
Dukek, Brian
Everson, Hurl
Petersen, Andrew
Pierre, Andrew
Robb, JJ
Skogen, Chris
Weisbrod, Heath
Zipfel, Jeff

If you don't see your name listed let me know. I may have missed it. I'd prefer to not let more people in until more people officially drop out, but if you make a good case and make me cry I'll probably let you in (as long as you realize that only a small percentage of people will actually think that this race is fun while the race is going on).

Friday, February 29, 2008

The Nitty Gritty Details

Registration - Colville Park 6:30 am - 7:15 am the day of the race

Race Start - 7:30 am

Zumbro Falls Checkpoint (Time cut-off) - 2:00 pm

Goodhue Checkpoint (no Time cut-off... suggested cut-off) - 4:30 pm

Finish (Colville Park, Red Wing) - 7:30 pm

You'll get the second set of race notes/directions at the Zumbro Falls checkpoint. If you don't get there by 2:00 you won't get the notes.

Hope you've been able to get out and train....

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Road Conditions

Not much to say, just wanted to inform that at least for the moment the roads are in pretty good condition to ride. A bit slick in spots (ice) but generally firm grippy conditions. Cross bike would be ideal this weekend.... will continue to update the conditions as winter's icy grip might begin to yield to spring.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Bike Set-up

Hopefully everyones' training is going swell. Some of you might be interested in the set-up that I would use if I were doing this race (note: many of you probably have much more experience with these types of things, plus EVERYONE is different so there are quite a few grains of salt). Mainly I wanted to get something else at the top of the page so people know we're still here. Here goes:

For most of my longer gravel road excursions I use my mountain bike, which happens to be a steel 29er built by Walt at Waltworks a few years back. It started out life with a suspension fork and derailleurs, but then I lost brain cells and decided to simplify. Rigid fork and an ENO hub solved that problem. Gearing for the roads around here is a solid 34-16.

I like the hand/wrist position offered by the Mary bars. For longer rides/races I'll even slap on some barends to the inner portion of the bars for an added hand position. With some creative bar-taping that gives three unique hand positions, which for me is a good thing.

Tires for me tend to gravitate to semi-slick mountain tires ahead of cross tires. My favorite set-up is a Kenda Karma 1.9 in front, and a Bontrager Jones XR 1.8 (Front version) in the rear pumped up to maybe 55-60 psi.

Nice blinky red tail light and a couple little blinky white lights in the front are a standard gravel road accessory (front and rear lights - can be tiny and blinky - are required for the 'Rök). For incredibly long and hot rides I will throw a couple of Two Fish water bottle cages onto my fork legs to up my water bottle carrying capacity to 4 bottles (I don't like having tons of weight on my back).

I hope to get out on some of the roads on Saturday with the studs on. Maybe I'll post some pictures.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Tulip Notes 101

The course will be given to you in two halves. You'll get tulip notes at raceday sign-in for the first half of the race. Once you get to the Zumbro Falls checkpoint you'll receive the instructions for the second half of the race. Approximate size of the notes will be 4.25" x 5.5" (maybe a bit smaller).

Each instruction will include an instruction number, an overall mileage, a tulip diagram and an information cell. The overall mileage will count up from the start or any place where you are instructed to reset your mileage, such as a checkpoint.

The tulip diagram is a graphical representation of the location for the instruction. Normally this is an intersection of two or more roads, or a feature of a road. The tulip always has two features, the dot and the arrow. No matter how the tulip is oriented, you always will travel from the dot to the arrow for that instruction. Normally the tulips are drawn so you are traveling from the bottom of the tulip, but this doesn't have to be the case.

Here is a sample note:

The first tulip of instruction 1 ("Begin") shows that the mileage is zero, so you would want to zero your odometer at that instruction.

The 2nd shows that you will approach a T intersection (in this case it's County road 1) and take a right. This intersection is aproximately 1.0 miles from the last zero.

The third instruction shows that the road turns left, with another road branching off on the right. When a road is in brackets, ex. [350th street], it is indicating the intersecting or connecting road, but NOT the road you take. So in our example above, we stay on County 1 which bends to the left and 350th street intersects from the right.

Instruction 4 is similar. Since 210th street is in brackets [], it indicates the intersecting road is 210th street, but the tulip shows we keep going straight.
!! When in doubt, always follow the tulip and ignore the street or road names provided.

Instruction 5 shows a more complex intersection that we approach from the bottom right and end up taking a hard left a the delta.

Instuction 6 shows that the road we are on bends right, but we take 250th Street that intersects from the left.

When information is in quotes and a small dash is shown on the tulip, as shown in instruction 7, it indicates the text that is on a sign. That sign will be where the dash is shown at the intersection.

Instruction 8 simply shows that we take a right at a Y intersection and that intersection is at approximately 5.6 miles from the last odometer zero.

Tulip 9 shows the location of a checkpoint.

In summary, the text is normally there to provide or clarify the instruction, but the primary thing you should focus on is the tulip.
Always travel from dot to arrow, no matter how the tulip is oriented on the page.

Check out another stoopid race

Looks like registration has opened up for another stupid gravel road race. Chris puts on a mean race. If you like miles and miles of loose gravel, into the wind; This is your race (is that the proper use of a semi-colon? probably not).

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Some Recon

We were out today in the "warm" weather doing a bit of recon on the second half of the course. What did we find?

1) I'm out of shape.
2) If there is an early Spring the odds are good that the roads will be in pristine riding condition. Most of the roads were pretty firm today so for the most part a cross tire would have been enough.
3) This race will be a challenge. Doable, but don't expect that it will be like a road century.
4) 90% of the dogs on the route are either nice and friendly or so old that they can't begin to chase you.

Some info that might actually be useful to some of you: The race notes will be roughly 4.25" wide x 5.5" tall.

Here is a picture of Jake dominating the crap out of a car. That happened to have been in the ditch for a long time.

Friday, January 4, 2008


Thanks to all for freaking me out with the amounts of cards I was receiving. Happy New Year!

After some checking on Sunday I'll post up the conditions and final race card details.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A Little Info for the Geographically Curious

Hi all

Since the cutoff was a couple days ago to get something in the mail. I'm going to assume that people are sick of seeing registration information. So... here is some information for anyone who wants to know at least a tiny bit about the course...


This link should show you the exact location of the two mid-course checkpoints. This is an unsupported race, but if you need someone to drop off supplies and provide moral support, these are the two official points to get help.

Most of you (at least the racers) are from the Twin Cities metro area (or approximate area) so the hotel information may not be of that much interest to you. The Days Inn is literally a 10 second sprint on a bike from the starting area. Since I'm from Red Wing, I've never stayed in any of the hotel options so I can't vouch. We don't (currently) have any group options or anything with any hotel chain (surprise, surprise) but all are pretty easy bike rides to the start. If you interested in staying in Red Wing, let me know. If enough interest is shown maybe we can approach a place and get shot down for a group rate.

The starting (and finishing) area is also detailed on the map. It's Colville Park. We'll verify that bathrooms will be available at the park. The facilities should be open, but Red Wing is a small town.

Tomorrow I'll probably throw up a sample race tulip and instructions.