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.