Raleigh Bicycles

Posted by Chris Skogen On February - 29 - 2012

Here at Almanzo we're big fans of the motto, 'run what ya brung' and in no way would we ever encourage anything else. That said though, if you're in the market for a new rig (especially one that crushes the rock) be sure and check these guys out. We've been riding the RXC since late last Fall and absolutely love it. Quick, stiff and responsive, this thing handles like a dream. Whether it's steel, aluminum or carbon that gets you out of bed, Raleigh has something that will to fit your needs. Maybe it's the RXC or the Roper? Maybe your a high style kind of person and it's the International or the Militis? Don't believe us? Go and test ride one today and see for yourself.

Sample Post 2

Posted by Chris Skogen On June - 30 - 2011

A second sample post to see how everything will look and to see how far the body of text will move over toward the photo. I think it's working rather well, I'm just not certain as to the final layout.

Sample Post

Posted by Chris Skogen On June - 30 - 2011

A sample post to see how everything will look


Posted by Author On Month - Day - Year



Posted by Author On Month - Day - Year


...and there was more.

Posted by Chris Skogen On 10:59 PM
As my head begins to clear I am starting to remember bits and pieces of what actually took place on Saturday. I know for a fact that I was blown away by the scene at the corner of 100th and 10th. I was snapping photographs and talking with my wife and the pleasant lady who owned the beautiful farm about how wonderful a day it was and how beautiful the scene was. I remember my wife saying, "this really makes me want to ride more". I remember thinking, "wow, this gravel is pristine, I wish I was riding it right now." Then the first group came through. They were zipping around the corner and powering into the next straight-away. The tire tracks in the dry, dusty road increased with every passing rider as did my desire to be right in there with the pack, trudging away toward century-ville. I tried to snap a photo of everyone as they passed through this magical spot before heading further down the course.

At this point my wife decided to head back into Rochester so I got back in the car and headed into St. Charles. As I got close to the bike shop in St. Charles(S.C.) I saw the lead pack cruise across 5th St. and head toward the only left turn in S.C. With this group so far ahead I skipped my photo stop for this section and followed the leaders through downtown. Riding two abreast, I waited until there was no oncoming traffic to pass these fleeting beasts as they made their way up and out of this events first village. I was amazed to see them so early. I couldn't believe that they had made it this far, this quickly. I decided I had better get moving if I wanted to beat them to Chatfield.

I abandoned my hopes for capturing pictures of the entire field and decided to concentrate my efforts on staying in front of this wicked fast group. I headed west on Cty 35 and skipped the left turn to follow the course. Instead I made a b-line for the lazy town of Chatfield. Here I stopped by a church just off of 1st Ave and sorted out the cue sheets for the second and final section of the days race. I remember sitting in the car, listening to something non-specific pour out of my iPod with the suns heat beating down on my left arm. I had separated the final cue sheets into 3 piles and was assembling the packets in the best confined factory motion I could manage. I made 60 without thinking too much about the number and set them aside to go in search of the leaders pack. Two turns later I found them about two blocks off course and looking for the right way. I turned back toward the route thinking that one of them must have seen my car and that they would follow. A block later the thought occurred to me that they had most likely not seen me and that they weren't even looking in my direction. I put the car in reverse and head backwards to where I had just seen them. They were pretty much behind me at this point and one of them yelled to me, "we need to be up a street don't we?" I replied, "Yeah, it's just up here" I hurried toward the unmarked street near the dead end on 1st and snapped a couple of quick photos and they zoomed by. I gave them a few minutes and headed out of Chatfield after them. On a dusty section of super-wide gravel just south and west of Chatfield I slowed to make sure the dust wouldn't cause too much trouble as I passed this crazy paced leaders group. I didn't know it then, but I would not see another rider, outside of a checkpoint or the finish line, for the rest of the day.

When I arrived in Spring Valley I was met, as was everyone else, by a hoard of bustling shoppers making their way around the city looking for a great deal on the next best antique. There were yard sales everywhere and I was beginning to freak out. I hadn't planned for this. I hadn't planned for this much traffic. I wasn't expecting a billion people milling about inside and outside of Kwik Trip. I met Nate (the guy in the green shirt handing out cue sheets) and we decided to make our home near a big pole building just west of the convenience store for the afternoon. We unpacked everything we had, loaded the coolers full of ice and then looked back to the east to see if anyone was coming and then WHAM! There they were, the lead pack again. I just about shit my pants when I realized that I was barely making it to these towns ahead of these guys. How could that be? I was driving a car and these guys were showing up at nearly the same time I was. "Jesus these guys are fast", I thought to myself. A quick change of water bottles and they were off, just like that. I helped Nate rearrange our location and put up a couple of arrows and headed back into Rochester.

With the sun beating through the drivers side window and the cars moving along at a brisk 51mph, I was beginning to panic again thinking that I wasn't going to make it back to the finish line in time. As the road opened up to a four lane I stepped on the gas a motored ahead to ensure my early arrival back at Bicycle Sports. I pulled into the parking lot and unloaded the goods from Surly, Banjo Brothers, CRC, Summit and Bicycle Sports and breathed a heavy sigh of relief as I had made it back before the first group. Not much after I had the prize table all set up did I realize, through the helpful prodding by Terry Brannicks lady, that there was no destination finish line. I scrambled for some chalk and ended up finding a brick to scribble out a faint finish line. Luckily for us it was just in time as the lead pack of four was about to come around the corner.

There they were, coming around the last bend and picking up speed. Faster and faster they all sprinted toward the finish line. Ringing the bell with one hand and holding the clipboard with the other I completely forgot that my camera was around my neck, just waiting there to be used for such a spectacular finish. Here these guys were pouring out everything they had left and I was just standing there cheering like I was a kid waiting for candy at a parade. I missed the best photograph of the day, the amazing four man sprint finish. I did however get to witness first hand the power and determination of some very well ridden men. These guys, Terry Brannick, Charlie Farrow, Joseph Meiser and David Pramann are truly top notch athletes. They earned every ounce of accomplishment on Saturday the 17th of May. They and 51 other brave souls gave everything they had to pack in 100 miles of gravel on Saturday and to all of you, my hat is off. Just getting the bike out and pedaling part of this course deserves a big round of applause.

Everyone who came out to give this ride/race a try is a champion in their own right. One-hundred miles is nothing to scoff at, heck, simply committing to an event like this is a pretty significant accomplishment by itself. I would like to thank each and every one of you for giving your time and your travel money to attend last Saturday, it just wouldn't be possible without you.

Chris Skogen

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