Here is the greatly anticipated, long overdue, Top Ten List of MOST IMPRESSIVE CYCLING EFFORTS of 2010…
Disclaimer 1: Only old and stressed, albeit “impressive” people are allowed on THE LIST ‘cuz itz easy to do extraordinary things on a bike when a guy is young and fancy free. The older you are the better your chances. So if you are a guy under forty years-of-age without sore knees, a wife, or polyps on your colon, or scars on your shoulders or if you are a young fella without any snotty-nosed kids yanking at your pant-legs or getting’ in trouble at school, or if you are without a hyper-active dog that is constantly “on-the-lam” and/or if you are without a high mortgage payment, or an angry boss, or if you are not given impossible tasks to do at work, or if you are not surrounded by incompetent workers or if you are without exorbitantly high student-loans, or diabetic cats (or the like) then you would have really had to do something incredibly special in cycling in 2010 to make this LIST. A youngin’ that rides hard, eats right, don’t drink, and then goes home to sleep at his parent’s house with nary a worry in the world, of course can do great things in racing!!! Guyz that make The List are under the gun in their day-jobs and in their everyday lives…To them training “aint work,” training is a way to escape reality, to feel FREE! And the actual racing part is easy, itz the after racing part when ya gotta go home and take the dog for a long walk, coach a youth soccer team, or take the kid to hockey practice that really tests these guyz endurance. They don’t dread training, they look forward to training. Most of the time, they have to train at all hours of the day, super early in the morning or late night, if they are gonna “get one in.” These guyz do it all, plus they are darn good cyclists as well, and thatz why they made THE LIST!
Disclaimer 2: In order to make The List, not only do you have to be over 40 and stressed, you also have to have done a really impressive thing in a race that The List-Maker has knowledge of or experience with…and since he is too slow and awkward to do the shorter races, chances are that you won’t make The List if you only do WORS or MNSCS races. Of course these short fast events are dominated by the youth and so it is to some extent a moot point. The List rewards longevity in the sport and the fact of the matter is that the longer one stays in the sport the more likely he/she will be drawn into the longer, more obscure events. Veteran riders are drawn to events that provide more race time for the buck and time commitment for obvious reasons.
Disclaimer 3: This year’s List is configured in a different fashion from years past. This year’s List is based on specific Categories whereas in year’s past I placed riders in a hierarchical listing--
Disclaimer 4: If you don't like the List or if you feel like you were left off the List unfairly or unjustly, send the author a case of Bell's Hopslam Ale with a note and he will get back to you. Otherwise, if you are too young, thatz your fault.Most Impressive Overall 2010 Results; Winner- Tim Ek wins WEMS and places high in many gravel road classics. Eki raced more “hard races” in 2010 than anybody else in “my world.” Runner-up-Sara Kylander Johnson, with babe on hip, has an amazing season winning many podium finishes in most of the big time Midwestern races including Ore-to-shore, Iceman Cometh, and Chequamegon.
Most Impressive Snow Race Effort; Winner- Sage Dave Pramann’s effort @ the 350 mile Alaskan Invitational; Runner-up; 40+ Jeff Oatley barely is beat by youthful Pete Basinger @ the same race. Winner did it in 3 dayz, 9 hours and 18 minutes; while 50+ Pramann took 5 dayz and 57 minutes.
Most Impressive Gravel Road Race Effort; Winner- Cornbread of Nebraska crushed a strong field @ Dirty Kanza 200 in the kind of heat that would make the Devil sweat, Runner Up- Tandem Team Eppen impresses @ Almanzo 100
Most Impressive Multi-day Race Effort; Winner- Jeremy Kershaw rides for 88 hours to complete 627 mile Trans-Wisconsin with aged malcontent in tow. Runner-up- Joe Meiser, who would have won the Trans-Wisconsin by at least six hours+ had to pull the plug at Hayward (near the finish) due to fatherly duty…
Most Impressive Effort in a Mountain Bike Race under Three hours; Winner-Family man Scott Cole’s (46) amazing effort at the Chequamegon, where he earned a 22nd finish; Runners-up-Jim Bell (47) from Saint Cloud finishes in 33rd position at the same race and Aaron Swanson of Northern Wisconsin in a top 40 finish…both very impressive!!!
Most Impressive 12 hour mtb race effort; (All involved Levis race)Winner-Jason Buffington @ Levis 100; Runners-up-Trevor Rockwell and Charly Tri. Rockwell and Buffington won at Levis on single-speeds whilst Tri won the geared class. Buffington has at least ten years on Rockwell and Tri and three kids to Tri's one kid, so do the math…Buffington wins, but Tri and Rockwell were impressive indeed!
Most Impressive 24 hour mtb race effort; Winner-Jason Buffington @ 24@9Mile. Buffington took second in the single speed division losing to a top Wisconsin rider and third overall; Runner-up; Danielle Musto @ 24Hrs@Afton. This is an incredibly hard course and she was right there with the winner for the full 24 hours!!! So impressive…but she is young and yet so impressive…
Most Impressive and Generous Race Director; Winner- Chris Skogen for the amazing Almanzo; Runner-up; Kershaw & Buffington Clan hospitality at the Heck of the North.
Overall Most Impressive Win of 2010; Winner- Oatley out-sprinting Basinger and Pramann at the Arrowhead for the win! Runner Up-; Cornbread’s win in Kansas.
Miscellaneous Honorable mentions…
Most impressive non-cycling performance of 2010 (snow-walkers included, runners and triathletes excluded); Winner- Greg Hexum’s 4th place effort at the National Snowshoe championships (he has won it twice before), Runners-up; Tim Roe and Matt Maxwell at the 2010 Arrowhead 135
Most Generous Act of 2010; Winner-Rich Hendricks picks up two wasted finishers of the Trans-Wisconsin at a muddy remote Lake Superior beach @ 2:00 a.m. in the morning amid a rain storm. Runner-Up; Jim Reed’s daughter drives Trans-Wisconsin contingency from Duluth, MN to the border of Wisconsin and Illinois.
Company most in-tune with the needs of the DBD Adventure Society; Winner-Salsa; Runner ups-Man-Diaper Inc. & Bells Brewery of Michigan.
Nicest guyz in the snow and gravel peletons: Winners-Lindsay Gauld, Jim Palmer, Bill Shand, Jim Reed, Ari, the Braun Brothers, Chris Finch, John Kurth, Dave Simons, Jason Novak, Dave Gray, Greg Ames, Pat Long, Jason Giddings, Chuck Linder, Nick Wethington, Troy Kruse, Mike Dietzman, Rich Hendricks, Drew Wilson, Tim Andrews, Todd McFadden, Adam Blake, Ben Shockey, John Hatcher...
Funniest guyz in the Peleton: Winner-Josh Peterson; Runner-up: Lance Andre
Best Man-servant of 2010: Winner-Andy Lockery’s handling of Mr. Gauld at the AH 135; Runner up- Rick Mangen’s daughter’s work at the Heck of the North.
Good Samaritan Award: Prairie Peddler Bike Shop, Prairie du Chien, WI. If you are ever in the area stop by as they are the bestest, most nicest folks ever...really helped me out of a jam during the Trans-Wisconsin
Best Bike Shop: The Ski Hut in Duluth, MN...The Epicenter of Cycling. .
Most Impressive Bike Club: COGGS of the Northland.
Most Secretive Cycling Society: The Slender Fungus
Most Covert and Misunderstood Adventure Society: The D.B.D.A.S.