Big Announcements and Biiiiig Piles of Horse Dookey


Well my friends, the hour is drawing near. All over the country, brave men and women are preparing their legs and taints for this weekend’s Trans Iowa Gravel Race. With any luck, they’ll emerge victorious and come to mid-Missouri on May 2nd for a nice Cedar Cross recovery ride. Best of luck to you all.. even Don Daly.

But enough about that..let’s talk about what’s going down on May 2nd. I want to make sure everyone has an idea what’s waiting for them on the gravel roads and singletrack trails of Callaway County.


^^As you can see in the photo, the equestrian community hosted its annual “Fuck you Bob Jenkins” parade last weekend. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d rate current trail damage somewhere between 9.5 and Why, just WHY?!?.

On a more positive note, there’s plenty of water in those hoof-holes if anyone needs a refill AND a messed up trail slows the roadies down.

There will be horseshit. There will be hike-a-bike. There will be baked potatoes.

In other news, this year’s National Anthem will be guitar-shredded by Jeff City native Andrew Laffoon, of the band Catastrophe. Andrew emailed us asking for the gig, and we’re  happy to have him on board…especially after noticing the band’s logo:

Isn't it crazy how these things happen?

Isn’t it crazy how these things happen?

Are you kidding me?!? It’s like a Cedar Cross logo and a Metal band logo “got together” and birthed this thing. Holy shit.

Did I mention someone is going home with a brand New Kuat Vagabond bike rack?

Kuat is a wonderful group of people, and they’ve sponsored this race since the beginning. Buying a bike-rack from anyone else is like riding horses on muddy singletrack…the only people who do it are assholes.

Let’s see, what else… Oh yeah, Capitol Plaza Hotel, (which is conveniently located super-close to the Start/finish line), has offered to give CCX riders a discounted room rate of $80 per night. Just mention that you’re involved with the race to get the discount. But do it quick, cuz there’s a car show in town on the same weekend.

^^You can thank Nick Smith for that one.

"It's just chewed up grass.."

“It’s just chewed up grass..”


For those who rode the course in 2013, you probably remember a guy “somewhere” on the course who had a bbq grill, a water hose, and maybe a jar of something homemade. That man would be Nick Smith’s Dad, and he’ll be at it again this year. I’m not going to disclose his location, because it’s none of your damn business and I want you to be surprised when you get there.

Please, Shake his hand and tell him he’s awesome.

After everyone has ridden past his house, Nick’s dad is gonna move his bbq grill to the finish line with hotdogs and whatnot. Nick created a facbook event page called Cedar Cross Finish Line Party. Sign up so he knows how many weiners to buy.

The hotdogs will not be free-range, vegan, or free of antibiotics. Why? Because shutup, that’s why.

So in summary, for $30 you get a 113-ish mile monstercross ride, a chance to win a Kuat rack, gps links, cue sheets, on-course hotdogs and beer, a drop-station (with beer), cash payouts for the women, a kickass after-party, (with a DJ), within walking distance of a hotel, and all the baked potatoes you want.

Oh yeah, and let’s not forget Kate’s cookies and my mom’s cupcakes.

Unlesss you’re a veteran, a DNF from last year, or you weigh over 250 pounds…in which case, you get it all for free.

I really don’t know how to make it any better, but suggestions are welcome. If you need anything, hit me up on the Facebook page or at





One Month Out and Registration is Open


Well my friends, the countdown has begun. Permits are in hand, insurance has been acquired, and I’ve successfully passed the USAC’s absurd 64 question exam allowing me to call myself a “race director”. Try as he may, the man will not keep us down.

Registration is now open. There are some new/renamed categories this year, so pick the one that suits you best. Don Daly didn’t get his own category this year, but Jim Phillips did.


Chuck and Dave riding off into the sunset

Also, the Start/Finish Line will be relocated this year. Most of you probably already know Snick Smith:

Nick is a man with access to high-end carbon fiber bikes who chooses to ride steel framed Surly’s, and you’ve gotta respect that. Nick has been kind enough to grant us access to his newly remodeled RedWheel Bike Shop at 400 West Main street, in Jefferson City. He’s a good dude with a family to feed, so support the local economy by buying something while you’re in the shop.

Chuck boat dock

Kickass photo from a recent training ride with no relevance to this race at all

I’ve gotten several emails asking about the cutoff time. The fact is,  I don’t believe in cutoff times. If it takes you until 8am on Sunday to finish this course, you can expect to see my fat ass waiting for you with beer and potatoes. If the potatoes are cold by then, we’ll go out for pancakes.

The Cedar Cross is about having fun on bikes, then eating baked potatoes and drinking beer with the people who shared the experience. Sure, there’ll be people “racing”, but the overall goal is that everyone has a good time. If you don’t finish…big deal, it’s only $30.

I’ll be out on the course next weekend, clearing leaves and measuring the depth of freshly fallen horseshit. Watch the Facebook page for updates on trail conditions. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

Free registration for a few categories this year


This picture of my bike in front of the sunset really has nothing to do with Cedar Cross, but it looks so badass I had to post it.

With gravel season in full swing, I wanted to let everyone know we’re going to have a few more FREE categories this year.

From now until forever, anyone who has served/is currently serving in any branch of the US Military can race for free. It’s the least we can do, and frankly I can’t believe it took this long think of it.

As in previous years, if you DNF’ed last year you can race for free this year.

And one more thing I’d like to offer this year is free registration to anyone weighing over 250 pounds. I’m no stranger to the buffet myself and I know this type of event is much more strenuous to the plus-sized folks.

Me and the crew will begin trail prep very soon and there will be updates posted, but that’s it for now. Hope to see you on raceday!

2015….The Year of the Alphagina


Lately I’ve been reading about how disproportionate the payouts are between male/female cycling categories. I don’t wanna go into a bunch of detail, but let’s just say I don’t want to be a part of that shit. In fact, I’d like to go the exact opposite direction.

We have so many great women in cycling, and this year I want to use the Cedar Cross to celebrate them.

In 2015 we will have three female categories with cash payouts.

  1. Ladies solo
  2. Ladies Group Thang
  3. The AlphaGina

The solo category is for the woman who wants to ride solo, but doesn’t really give a shit about winning anything. She could probably kick your ass if she wanted to, but would rather ride for enjoyment, athletic challenge and cool photos.

The Group Thang: Lady cyclist Michelle Windmoeller, (pictured below), explained to me that some women prefer to work as a team to achieve a common goal. Hence the Group Thang category. Between 2-5 women can ride together as a team. Finish time is recorded when the last woman in the group crosses the finish line. Tandems are fine with me.

The Alphagina category: Some women don’t want to work together at all. They don’t want to take pictures in front of the Nuke Reactor or share any of their gummi bears. They don’t give a shit about the scenery or the beer stations. All they want is to crush every other man, woman and child on the course and declare themselves the Alpha Female. If this is you, register for the Alphagina category.

The Alphagina will have the highest payout. Dollar amounts will be announced approximately 1 week before raceday when I know if anyone is signing up this year.

In summary, we’re doing payouts this year for all categories of women, and women only. I assume noone has a problem with that, since the whole point of this event is to have fun on bikes.

Registration opens soon.

And if anyone doesn’t already have plans, there’s gonna be a group ride leaving Mokane tomorrow morning at 8am. We’re gonna ride about 50-60 miles at a chill pace. Come on out and join us, it’s gonna be like 60 degrees.

A Bummer of a Post


Shocked and saddened to read of the death of Cedar Cross alum Matt Dierker. He was apparently hit by a drunk driver while riding his bike to the bank on Nov. 14 to deposit a check. Rest in peace, Matt. Deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

Originally posted on Barn Door Cycling:

Matt wasn't afraid to get his new Salsa dirty.  Matt wasn’t afraid to get his new Salsa dirty.

A Bummer of a Post, that’s what I read on the Shawnee Mountain Bike Association’s forum a few days ago and found out about a friend’s death.  I met Matt Dierker in last year’s Dirty South gravel series.  He was really enthusiastic about riding and competing in massive endurance competitions like the Dirty Kanza 200 mile gravel ride.  He was super laid back and very cool to ride with.  I was looking forward to seeing him at the rides again this winter but now I won’t.

Matt was hit by a drunk driver while riding his bike in Carbondale IL.  The Southern Illinois wrote an excellent article about Matt.  He was riding around 3:30 in the afternoon to the bank.  He’ll be sorely missed.

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Cedar Cross 2014 is in the Books



Proof that even the best cyclists pick boogers

Proof that even the best cyclists pick boogers

The 2014 installment of the Cedar Cross has come and gone, my friends. For the ones who were there, no explanation is necessary. For those who weren’ explanation is possible. This year’s race saw clear skies, perfect temps and the Cedar Creek trail in the most rideable conditions I’ve ever witnessed. Big names and local heroes were in attendance, and at least two riders flew to the race in privately owned aircraft. And yes, I’m totally serious.

Things got off to a shaky start when we misplaced our National Anthem guitarist. I hated to start the race late, but sometimes shit happens and you’ve gotta roll with it….so we did. We quickly organized a neutral rollout to the pavilion, where Kayne was waiting with guitar in hand. I can’t speak for everyone, but his rendition of the Star Spangled Banner surpassed my loftiest expectations. The freestyle riffs afterward made panties drop like thunder, and I’m pretty sure one woman got pregnant.


And so cycling history was made when we had not one, but two neutral rollouts lead by my dad’s totally sweet white pickup truck. According to my sexy wife, the race started at 8:36 am. If you recorded a different starting time, shutup.


Me & Luke being dumbasses while Dave works the camera

The day was long and full of conquest. And while the lead pack was definitely not wasting time, I was happily surprised at the party atmosphere that developed in Boydsville, near the 47 mile mark. Beers were crushed and much wind was broken as people simply enjoyed the day.


Speaking of beer, I think it’s important people know Mark Giffin of Team Fohty donated TWO kegs of beer for finishers of this year’s race. If that’s not supporting Missouri gravel, I’ll kiss your ass. So If you see this man, buy HIM a beer!

fohty mark

Team Fohty has been to all 3 Cedar Crosses and they always bring the party. Nobody does it better

One of my favorite Cedar Cross traditions is handing out beers at the Finish line…..after spraying them with beer as they cross the finish line.

We're teammates, so Adam got an extra dose

We’re teammates, so Adam got an extra dose

This year we were lucky enough to have 2 beer sponsors. Team Fohty and Josh’s “Schrock Bikes and Brews.” Schrock Bikes and Brews is a kickass bikeshop/coffebar/cool place to get a beer In Mexico, Missouri. Josh donated a large assortment of delicious bottled beers this year, so if you got a bottle or can of something at the finish line, do me a favor and thank this guy:

Josh is not only an endurance cyclist, he's also an endurance planker

Josh is not only an endurance cyclist, he’s also an endurance planker

That photo was taken at 4am by his wife, after the Schrock Bikes “Gravel, Bikes and Bars” ride. Like his Facebook page so you can  be at the next one. I was there and it was awesome; Jim did a writeup here.

But you’re probably tired of hearing me rattle on about how proud I am of myself, so here are this year’s results. Like I said, we recorded that the race started at 8:36 pm. The listed finish times are the time of day the rider finished…not the elapsed time on course. If you want to know your exact start and finish times and exactly how long you were on the course…you came to the wrong race.

The Don Daly Category

1st. Corey Case –  4:08pm

2nd. Don Daly – 4:48 pm

3rd. Steve Friedman – 6:37 pm

Poor Don…always a bridesmaid, never the bride.

There's always next year, Don!

There’s always next year, Don! And yes, he was the fastest fatbike rider this year.

The finish times listed are exactly as my wife wrote them when riders finished. Try to remember this is a very inexpensive operation we’ve got going here, so names are likely spelled wrong and in some cases all she got was a description of your jersey. I think everyone is getting their money’s worth.

wpid-20140508_090712.jpgIt was great to see such a diverse crowd show up for the short course this year. My buddy Dave and I were near the Sapling route’s 15 mile mark handing out Tulbags and Awesome Straps from Back Country Research, and Taddihogg cycling caps. If you got one and you like it, be sure to send Thad an email saying thanks. The good people of BR can be reached here. And  If you got some swag and didn’t like it, send an email anyway… because only a total asshole would complain about a free handmade cycling cap or Tulbag.

These guys sent me a ton of stuff to give away, so the least we can do is say thanks and maybe buy some of their stuff. These are small, American business that are making some really great gear. Buy some of their stuff; if you dont like it…let me know and I’ll buy it from you and use it myself.







But who took home the Kuat rack, you ask? Funny story: We were waiting for Tony from Springfield to finish, since he was confirmed as the last rider on course…when he called to say he’d had enough and needed a ride to the finish. With that information, it was decided that Chris Pay was our final finisher, and would thus receive the kickass finish line celebration and Kuat rack. The only problem was that he had already finished……so we had no choice but to make cycling history twice in one day… when we made Chris ride to the end of the street, turn around and cross the finish line again. The finish line theatrics were, in my mind, totally amazing. BUT, they were of questionable legality and will therefore not be announced on this website. Let’s just say it was awesome and leave it at that.

Chris Pay...the last Survivor of the 2014 Cedar Cross.

Chris Pay…the last Survivor of the 2014 Cedar Cross.

Also, we raised enough money to have Monster Bicycle Company build a custom titanium seatpost for Ernest. I’d like to thank everyone who put money in the jar, especially the anonymous stranger,(who wasn’t even in the race), who gave my wife a 100 bill and refused to identify herself. There really are a few good people left in the world.

And in the interest of full disclosure, I feel like I should admit that I made a bit of money from the race this year. I’ve always said that any money I made from the race would be re-invested into the race, so the way I see it..I should throw some money toward the folks who have sponsored the race. That’s why I’ll be having my own Titanium Monstercross frame built by Monster Bicycle Company. In a way, I feel kinda dirty by profiting from the race, but at the end of the day I guess I’m just a greedy bastard who wants a new bike. And let me tell you, I’m pretty damn excited about it.

So I guess that’s it for this year. I hope everyone had a kickass race, and I really do look forward to making this happen again next year, provided people still want to do it. There really is no greater feeling than getting a bunch of people together and just having a good time. I guess I’ll see everyone this weekend at the Hairy 100, and then Dirty Kanza and the Pedaler’s Jamboree after that.

Water stops and refueling options

Because we aren’t heartless.

 There are a variety of places to refill water/food along the course.

These distances are approximate.

A water spigot rests in front of a church on Barnes Chapel road near the 27 mile mark. This is right before the first section of singletrack.

Your drop bags, (1-gallon ziplock), will greet you at the end of County road 353, near the 47 mile mark. This will be right before the final section of singletrack.

The Hams Prarie gas station/deli is near the 70 mile mark, and they have the best hard-salami sandwiches in all the land. Not the best gummi bear selection, though.

The final refueling station will likely be the country store in beautiful Mokane, near the 88 mile mark. They’ve got root beer in glass bottles, so be excited.

There are one or two other places you could leave the course and hit a gas station, but I don’t think you’ll need to. As long as you re-enter the course in the same place you left, no big deal. Just don’t cut the course on purpose and call yourself a real finisher. Douchebags do that.

5 Days Til the Horseshit Hits the Fan


“It’s just chewed up grass”

Well my friends, we’ve come to the final countdown. 5 days separate us from Cedar Cross glory. I can only hope you’re as nervous/excited as I am. Holy shit.

This is traditionally the time when something goes wrong and we are forced to adapt. In 2012, rainfall put parts of the Moon Loop under water and we had to reroute the course. In 2013, high winds knocked down a bunch of trees 2 days before the race. Both of those times, we overcame the bullshit and had an awesome race. 2014 will be no different, as we are having to move the start/finish line to an alternate location.

Now before anyone panics, let me assure you the situation is well in hand. When bullshit strikes, you stand on the pedals and put your middle fingers up

shameless self promotion

shameless self promotion

The Start/finish line is being moved a *short* distance to the North Jefferson City Multipurpose Building, at 810 Sandstone Drive. It’s basically across the street, and it puts the Finish line in a PERFECT spot for what we’ve got planned when the last place rider crosses the line. Somebody’s gonna have a pretty awesome night.

I’ll have signs posted, and if anyone gets lost, you can call me personally at 573-953-8088. I don’t forsee any problems, and I’m told this is a much nicer facility.

Beginning tomorrow night, my people and I will be out marking the course, weedeating and blowing leaves off the trail. Garmin links and cue sheets have been posted. Download that shit to your Garmin or print it out. Updates regarding trail conditions and my mom’s cupcakes will be posted to this website and Facebook, so stay tuned.

If you’re still on the fence about signing up, post your thoughts in the comments section so we can pressure you into being with us on raceday.


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