The following is a true story, only the names have been changed, to protect the guilty.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Westside Dirty Benjamin 2012

Third times' a charm. I've been signed up for this race three times, this year was the first one I could make. From the race reports I heard about this race I wasn't sure what to expect. I was told, it was flat and not very scenic. My expeience was much different, and a positive one. From the start I was really into this race, it was raining, and right away we were on a two-track in the woods of the Minnesota River bottoms. While trying to pass some other riders on the left side of the double track, I got tangled in an overhanging tree branch and was on my ass before I could say "shit". I think I was breathing harder from laughing at the situation than pedaling. 
Mark flatted before the start, and four more times throughout the day

Once we got onto the gravel it was game on, I got into a strong group that was nipping at the heels of the lead group when Mark and I flatted at the same time. Mark and I usually do these rides/races together since we train together are are roughly at the same fitness level. It's good to have your friends around when things don't go as planned. It's even better to ride with Gravel Royalty when Chris Skogen rolls up and takes a break with you while changing a flat, and then shoots the breeze for the next ten miles until you flat again.
Mark and Mr Skogen
The second flat was not as comfortable. The mosquitoes were so bad I had at least forty of them biting me at the same time. I'm not exaggerating, the swarm was so bad I contemplated throwing my bike in the ditch and running for a main road to hitch-hike anywhere but there. I thought about taking a pic, but it was hell and I could not. I also had to deal with the valve stem that just broke off the new tube when I removed the CO2 inflator. I only brought one tube of my own, and borrowed one from Mark, I was f@#ked now, fortunately "The Mayor" came along and set me up with a tube and more CO2 cartridges.     
Break time at the checkpoint
The rest of the ride went without any more incidents other than riding my legs into oblivion on my own for 65 miles. I couldn't find a group to ride with and was really happy when I finally caught up to "The Mayor" with about twenty five miles to go. Together we managed to catch, and pass a few other guys, chatting the entire time and forgetting how bad we were hurting. The lack of hills were a real lifesaver, and the lush, green, rolling cornfields were plenty scenic. My only regret was missing the first two WDB races.
Thanks to all that helped me out. Extra special thanks to the race director and all the volunteers for putting on such a great event.     


  1. The Mayor was elevated...Right back at ya Josh. Thks man...

  2. Not to bad of a time for a green horn like me 6:58 riding time..