Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Quick Update

Those of you on the roster should have received an email containing cue sheets, route files, and other miscellaneous details.  If you haven't received this email, please let me know.

For those of you still on the fence, the forecast is looking good and fun times will be had.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

2012 Roster

The 2012 roster has been posted in the sidebar and will continue to be updated as more people join up.  If I missed your name, let me know in the comments below and I'll add you to the roster.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Start Time, Other Details

Nom nom nom...

First off, this year the Moonshine will start at 6pm.  I was hoping to start at 7pm in order to have the entire ride run at night, but the only town on the route with a proper convenience store (Casey's in this case) is 50 miles in and the they're only open until 11pm.  Last year we cut it close, rolling in within 20 minutes of closing.  Since this is the only real place to get food or drink on the route (Sutliff doesn't count) I wanted to make sure everyone would get a chance to hit it before they closed.  That means we'll be running the first hour or so at dusk/sunset, which will get us through most of the B roads under daylight.  Honestly, that's not a bad thing.  Most of them have seen recent maintenance but all it takes is one good rain, a loaded 4x4 and a case of Busch light to turn a dirt highway back to a rutted sketchfest.  Ambient light helps with that.

Speaking of sketch, there is a bridge late in the ride that will eat a wheel like it's been laced with double butted french fries (see pic above).  Oh, by the way... It sits right at the bottom of a fast descent.  Last year we laid plywood down one side of of the bridge to give riders a safe surface to cross on, provided they lined it up right.  This year there will be even more plywood covering even more of the bridge.  To give you a proper heads up, the location of the bridge will be marked on the cue sheets.

About the cue sheets, I'll be posting them within the next week along with GPS/TCX files for you folks with the magic GPS boxes.  More on that later.

Finally, for post ride festivities I have been given permission to borrow a projector from work so we'll be showing various bike videos and movies on the side of my garage.  One film that has been confirmed is 300 Miles of Gravel, which is a documentary covering the 2011 running of Trans Iowa.  I have some other films in mind, but we'll probably take requests that night.

Monday, August 27, 2012



We've got a month left til the ride.  'Bout time for some updates, eh?

 Start/Finish location
The ride will start and finish at Davis park in Mount Vernon, IA, at the end of Webster Street. From there, it's a (very) short ride to my house where we will do our post ride stuff.  If you bring food and drink, you can drop it off at my house before the start. 

We will likely be finishing up sometime in the time frame of 11pm and 1am and the night isn't ending there.  Therefore, you'll probably want to know about where to shack up for the night if you're coming from out of town.  For those of you that want to pitch a tent in my backyard, you're more than welcome to.  I just need to know ahead of time so we don't overbook.  I should have room for half a dozen to a dozen tents, depending on size.  One thing you should be aware of, I live two blocks from a busy set of railroad tracks (2-4 trains per hour, all night long).  Keep that in mind if you're going that route.

If you're looking to get a hotel room, there are two hotel/motels in town.  The Mount Vernon Inn and the Sleep Inn and Suites.  Both are about a mile from the start/finish.  There's also a couple B&B's in town if you're interested in going that route.

Finally, there are a few campgrounds within a 15 minute drive.  Palisades-Kepler State Park, Lake MacBride and the Coralville Reservoir area.  I don't know how late in the season these are all open though.

Course updates
Two weekends ago we rode a good chunk of the course and came across a closed bridge (see pic above).  The railing is damaged on this bridge, but other than that I have no idea what they plan do do on it or when they plan on doing it.  Worst case scenario, we'll have a shallow water crossing.  If the water is too high, we'll route around it.  Shouldn't be too much of an issue.  Otherwise, everything is kosher.

Other stuff
For post ride festivities, I'm working on arranging a special treat.  I'm not going to go into too much detail at the moment since I'm still ironing things out, but right now it looks like we'll have some extra post ride entertainment to go with the potluck and bonfire.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

2012 Moonshine Metric Date Announced

We had so much fun last year, let's do this again!

Q: So what is it?
A: A metric century on gravel run entirely at night.  Admission:  FREE.

Q: Really?  When?
A: September 29th, 2012 (full moon, sucka!)  Exact start time is TBD, but it'll be either 6 or 7pm depending on how late the one gas station on the route is open.

Q: So what's the course like then?
A:  65 miles of premium Iowa gravel with about 10% of that in the form of some sweet ass B roads.  There's some pavement in there as well, but we keep that at a minimum.

Q: Dude, that sounds awesome!  Gimme some more details!
A: You betcha.  This is a ride of gentlemanly nature and no timings, placings, stats or touchdowns will be recorded.  This is intended to be a no drop ride, but if you can't hold at least a 10MPH average then you may find yourself off the back (I don't want to be out on the road still at 2am).  Don't worry though, cue sheets will be provided and bailout points will be marked.  Basically you just have to keep up with me and I'm all slow and junk, so if you can do at least 11-12MPH on a moderately hilly gravel metric then you should be fine.

Q: So that's all cool and all, but what do we do when we're done?  I'm going to be all wired up, yaknow.
A: We got you covered there as well.  After the ride you can plan on hanging out for the post ride potluck and bonfire.  Bring your beverage of choice and if you so desire, a plate to share.  Last year we hung around the fire until 3am. 

Q: Sweet! Are there any other things I should know?
A: Yep.  This ride is self supported and YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR DAMN SELF.  Don't be stupid.  If you end up being stupid anyway (happens to me all the time) no one will bail you out.  Keep that in mind at all times and you should be shiny.

Q: Right on!  How do I sign up?
A: Fire off an email to craig@projectbackroads.com and you're in.  All I need to know is your name, but if you want to tell me more about yourself then feel free.  I'll be posting the roster on this site, so if you're one of those shy/private/paranoid types then I'll allow for a pseudonym of my choosing to post in place of your real name.  I still need your real name for my personal keeping-track-of-stuffedness though, but I'll keep it to myself.  Pinky swear.

Q: Alright, I'm in.  Will you be providing regular updates?
A: Of course.  Just keep checking this site for any new developments.