Podcast: Conversations with Sam Ames of SoCal’s Rock Cobbler / El Gravelero & Tim Farrar of Canada’s Paris to Ancaster

podcast sam ames rock cobbler paris to ancaster
An average day at Rock Cobbler

Our partner in podcasting, The Gravel Ride Podcast, had conversations with Sam Ames of SoCal’s Rock Cobbler / El Gravelero / Tim Farrar of Canada’s Paris to Ancaster.

JOM’s 2017 Paris to Ancaster Video

You can also find The Gravel Ride on iTunes and Spotify.

Automatic Transcription (please excuse all errors)

Sam Ames — Rockcobbler + El Gravelero

Sam, welcome to the show.

Well, thanks for having me.

Yeah, I’m excited to talk to Sam. I always like to start off by learning a little bit more about you and what your background is as a cyclist and then how you came to event promotion.

Yeah, happy to share. , I got into road cycling during the summer of 1985, early 85. Uh, actually I picked it back 1984. , I had seen a, uh, bike race on TV, which at the time was Paris Roubaix. Uh, and in those days we were getting to the John Tesh tour to files coverages and those sorts of things. So I just kinda got inspired sitting there watching very rubric and people sort of, you know, riding through the mud and, and you know, gnarly conditions. And so I’d worked all summer pulling a great boxes onto a truck. It’s called there being a swamper here in the central valley as I was making a whopping $5 an hour. And I felt rich. So I immediately went to the bike shop and, uh, bought my first motor, a road bike for $235, and, uh, started riding in sneakers and just, uh, loved the sport.

So stayed after it and stayed on it. , did a little bit of racing in Europe when I was younger, uh, raised at the cat one level for a while, , and then really gravitated towards, , rotting into dirt more. So cyclocross became a big love for me and I had some good success, , on the cross, serve it as, as an elite for a little while, uh, way back in the day and then pick the sport back up after a hiatus, , with jobs and kids and their parents and life and a little bit of masters and using in and around southern California and other parts of California and really loved cross. So that sort of was the precursor to what everybody knows as gravel now. And, uh, that was something that I kind of felt like I’ve been doing forever and ever. , so yeah, there’s the sports just been, uh, a huge, huge part of my life.

And from there we, we really got into, uh, I had a business partner for a few years, uh, well for many years. We started in 2010 and we started sandbar and promotions. , and I dabbled in a few races here in Kern County, in Bakersfield for a while, but then we started the promotion company and really wanted to, to share some of the venues that we had. We’ve pretty good with the course and pretty good area to do some cyclocross races and mountain bike races. So we did that for quite a while. And, , I think some of the emphasis was shifting that the stars are lining up differently and we really, , what having some of the successes Bakersville kind of in a funny location geographically, we’re part of southern California, but we’re really not and it’s just sort of stuck in the middle. So it was difficult for us to get decent attendance. And, uh, so we kind of started slowly putting a few events on the show and, uh, and then we, uh, when we got into the cobbler and all the stuff we’re doing now, so there’s a, there’s the brief history.

And when did the cobbler, the first Rockcobbler event come to be?

So the rock cobbler was created out of say, or, you know, what was your inspiration or what were you seeing? And it was, it was two falls and it was actually quite specific. We had gone, I had been riding, you know, rode bikes in the dirt and all screwed and glued to a few already bikes, you know, that I eventually broke several of those. And those were kind of the hot cycle cross bike back in that early 90, late eighties. , I was, you know, doing a ton of what I would call gravel or adventure riding. And so I never really thought much of it. I was really maybe one of only a handful of people that was doing that besides traditional mountain biking. And, uh, so we , went one year down to event that we had heard about, which was the Belgian waffle ride and a, of course mark, everybody has Michael Marks now.

And I did not know Michael. I knew of him and he had actually come to bigger scope for one of our cross races. So we went to, I think it was either the second or third VWR and wasn’t a ton of people compared to what they’re doing now. It started at spy headquarters. It was maybe 150 people. And when I heard more about it and kind of knew what the course was and there was going to be dirt sections on a road bike, I was like, oh, this is, this is going to be gray. So we have an awesome cha on. Often times we’d defended Michael and shared some, some fun stories with him and kind of hit it off. So the next year we came back and we kept talking about VWR and talking about all local trails and stuff we wanted to do. And so we just started pitching around names and this was in maybe November and a buddy of mine, we were, I know exactly where we’re geographically, he’s like, what about rock toddler?

We, I’ll stop and look at each other and that’s the name that’s going to stick. So this will be our seventh year. , so we started with uh, the , the cobbler in 2012, I guess 2013. So, , yeah, it’s just something that we, we kind of wanted to put our own spin on and , that’s how I, that’s kind of literally how it was born. So I went back and toasted beers and they were like, nobody’s going to come to this. We’ll have, you know, 15 people and sharing them. After we got a phone call from Neil Shirley and he said, hey, I heard about your ride. I think I’d really like to come, you know, doing some stuff that road bike action and that, that was really a failure on the hat for us from day one. He, he was a big fan and he hadn’t even been here. And I could just tell by talking to him that I thought we really would enjoy the route and what we did. And uh, and he did. And the, you know, the successes, it’s sort of grown very organically and, and very naturally since then.

And what was your intent with the original route? How far is it, what’s the elevation gain and how has it evolved over the last seven years?

So the terrain that we have, if you, if you really kind of define, gravel, I think, Dirty Kansa, some of the Midwest events and things that have been going on, you know, longer than astro or at least an equal amount of time. There’s really kind of true traditional, gravel starts on gravel, finishes on gravel, whether it’s got a lot of elevation and it’s flat, I think it doesn’t necessarily matter. So the cobbler very similar to, to BWR and it’s concept is not really a gravel ride or I mean you, we, we kind of say it’s sort of a mixed bag of multi-surface. , so we, we looked at it and we said, well, we don’t really have the, the, you know, the, the true ingredients or the gravel race. So we’re going to take the best of what we call our, our backyard special, the or out.

We’d have some private property that we were very fortunate to get early on orchards and vineyards and in various components. So we looked at the distances and we sort of settled on anywhere from 80 to a hundred. , and then the elevation would, we’d just kind of evolve, you know, we tried to find, you know, stupid trail that people didn’t necessarily want to do that were too steep. And of course that led into our every year legendary, you know, Hika bikes that people can’t believe, I’m gonna make them hike, uh, offend. Uh, so we’re kinda known for that. So that was sort of the distance and then maybe five to 7,000 feet of climbing in total. So we try to really do a little bit of everything, single track, double track, gravel, road, asphalt, , you know, any, anything that we can find. And then we changed the route every year.

There, there were a few staple features, , a couple of canyons and goalies that we always try to use, , certain sections just because of how the route has to go. , generally stay the same. And then from there we just try to find new stuff and then add that into the mix. And, and obviously we’re well known for keeping the, the Shenanigan meter high as well. So yeah, that’s kind of our m o we, we, we, the little team of guys that I worked with on and we say, you know, we’re not changing every year and doing stuff that other people aren’t doing. We got to really look at it. So we just, we try to be different and they’re very, , they’re very Bakersfield where,

yeah, that’s awesome. I think, you know, it’s interesting, there’s, there’s something to be said for going back to the same course every year as an athlete. But for me it’s super exciting. The prospect of going to an event that I know is well put together who spices up the course. So we have different things to think about every year.

Yeah, that’s, you know, that was really a big element for me. And sometimes I think a lot, you know, male, female, doesn’t matter. Friends and cyclists and people that are very, , very passionate, very energetic, very excited that to want to share, you know, we, we’d love, we’re get so happy to bring people to Bakersfield or even for local people to kind of have that like, oh gosh, I wonder what they’re going to do next. And I wonder if we’re going to ride through his house again. Hey, I wonder if we’re going to ride through a church. I wonder if we’re going to do that trail. I mean, that for us really is the reward gets turned into a tiny little business and, and we’re grateful for the support. But that’s really the fun element for us is how can we keep tweaking it? And you know, after, after a couple of beers, everybody starts getting excited and they’re like, hey, let’s, let’s hang bags taken off of sticks.

And I’m like, no, no, somebody’s already done that. Let’s, uh, let’s put a water slide and nobody’s done a water slide. We just, we just have so much fun trying to prove with respect to events that really don’t change. And the first one that comes to mind, which is actually my favorite gravel event, is the, uh, texture crusher. So a Burke swindlehurst came to getting concerns with Neil and he’s come to a couple of cobblers and, and I really hit it off with him as well. And, you know, he’s got a route that’s very traditional every year and he sells it out and in like lightning speed. And I’ve been three times and every time I go, I just love it, you know, so maybe it’s enough time as tab. It’s got enough features for me that I really love how it all sort of comes together. So, you know, I think people dig the changes and that’s sort of our emo. But the big part is, you know, we, we are all cyclists and we caught out. We have a mom culture that’s, you know, quality events by writers, for writers. That’s part of my San Blind, uh, you know, slogan. And, uh, and that’s really true. Put on a great event, keeping me and have fun with it.

So as with the diversity of terrain that you put people through, what kind of advice are you giving people? As far as the type of equipment and tires they should be riding?

So because it does have elements that can be a little bit more dramatic, we’ve had a lot of people with great success on a mountain bike and by and large most people are bringing a gravel or cross style bike with 38 up to 42 millimeter tires. I mean we’ve, we’ve had a few people attempt and actually succeed with doing the a cop, a lot of road bike. , very difficult with some of the rocky sections and things that we have. So you know, I think like other events that are similar to ours that you, that have the multi-surface elements, you get a pretty wide variety. But if we were to align all the machines that, you know on the morning of rock harbor, we recommend to them, you know, minimum of 34 millimeter definitely, you know, file tread are more aggressive and uh, and that’s sort of, you know what, we’re after, you know, 34 by 36 I’m daring for, for somebody that needs a maybe a little bit lower, you can go lower.

It’s always safer. So we’re still kind of recommending that sort of gravel bike adventure setup. And usually, when we’re testing the course and we’re trying to find the features, you know, you’ve got that varying degree of ability. But somebody will do on a mountain bike, I might be crazy enough to try out a road bike, but then there’s somebody else who’s going to be walking down, you know, a trail or whatnot. So we try to have fun without being too nutso. , but then you have another nature and you can’t do anything about her. So sometimes things can get a little treacherous. So now, long story short, gravel, gravel bike was a slightly bigger tire and wheel veering we think is a great setup.

It going back to shenanigans, I’m not exactly sure how riders are going to understand how to plan for riding through a house on their gravel bike.

Yeah. Yeah. So the short story of that evolution was obviously what I previously discussed. We wanted to try to find, you know, you need crazy stuff. , so the riser, the house thing had come to me many years ago before we even did it the first time and I couldn’t figure it out. Number one, whose house we were gonna use. Although we did use my house last year and it, it’s sort of [inaudible], it’s hard to have to turn people around and go down the street. He came in and whatnot. But we, we made it go. So the first year we did it, two years ago, I have a buddy who actually worked with and he lives not too far away just around the corner and you have a, a dirt field entrance to his backyard. Just luckily enough. And then a good street ran out in the front.

So we got the talk and I think we’re getting ready to remodel. And his wife is just, she’s such a game where she’s kind of one of the guys and so we were drinking wine and sitting around and he says, I check you out. Let’s do it. And we didn’t really expect that response. So we worked pretty hard on how are we going to get across this road. It’s recently busy. , and sort of hide the house. We didn’t want anybody to see it or they got there and it, it really couldn’t have gone better. Like they dropped in off this little trail with a bunch of tall grass that they couldn’t see and it was like right into the fence and people were just, you know, his whole family and friends are over there. People were just going nuts. And some of the early, some of the video’s still floating around.

You can, you can see the look on people’s places. I mean, they’re riding through a gate, they’re going around a cooler and going through a sliding glass door and you know, out the front. I mean, it was just, it was just so ridiculous, , that it was just so good. So we accomplished the first year of riding through a house with a cobbler. And last year, you know, we all sort of look at each other and said, well, nobody’s going to envision that. We’re going to do this twice. Like we didn’t breathe a word about it. People would ask, they can, I don’t know what we’re going to do that again. And I said, no, there’s no way we’re going to do a house fly if we can’t do it. While, while the meantime, we were secretly plotting of whose house are we going to do and how are we going to do it?

So we ended up putting it all together and doing the best we could to make the route sort of script work. And it worked out just fine. And, uh, you know, it really did cost me a trip to the beach and a trip to the beauty salon. For my wife. She was like, I am out of here. She wasn’t quite the game or that my buddy Randy’s wife is and about writing through it, write it in that chesty and fantastic. We had red carpets, , that a local rental place had used. We’d had a lot of rain and they’d had supplied into a wedding. So he called me because he saw my need or the event was coming up and said, hey, I got all this red carpet that were thrown in the trash because it’s ruined. And I said, I will take every bit we can.

So we cut up the red carpet and I think it’s still the, the, the photo on my Facebook page with a caption that says, you know, why stop now? So we rolled out the red carpet and that went over as a big hit and rolled everybody down my front lawn. So you know where we go from there on, you know, a other thing I do, it’s tough to call. We, we won’t beach balls at ’em. We’ve, uh, had dark girl, Langley done some fun stuff and we do have a pretty good list of shenanigans so we’ll, we’ll certainly come up with something. So 2020.

Yeah, I have to say I have seen some of those videos and some of the images from riding through the house and it is just, it’s, it’s so funny to watch some of the expressions and everybody’s having such a good time. I’ll definitely put a link to some of those that I can find in the show notes for this event because I do think, you know, these shenanigans as you were saying earlier, such that they go viral and it makes people enthusiastic too. You know, I’m in northern California, maybe a four hour, five hour drive down to Baker’s field, but it’s like it’s on my list of things to do because I want to go see what kind of shenanigans you’re going to throw out next.

Yeah, no, the fun part is bigger. So at that time of year, you know, we always do bigger self help stuff. I founded my entire life and I have lived here my entire life. People asked if I’m from Bakersfield, I’m like, I wasn’t born here. I was actually born overseas and I, my parents were both in the military, but my mom was on Bakersfield. And so yeah, I’ve lived here my entire life. So instead of [inaudible] things get quite green and usually the, the dirt is he wrote there and we just had amazing weather every year. Last year was the first year we had rains. And in some ways I’m really glad we did because it, it wreaked a little bit of havoc was , some course marking. I learned a couple of valuable lessons. We had a few people go the wrong way, but the funny part is not all, but almost all of those writers turned around and went back.

So they had already done this gnarly hike, a bike, and it was money. They ended up going back and finishing, you know, the whole course. And, and that’s to kind of talk about shenanigans or people smiling and having fun. The rider base of what cobbler brains or a BWR brains. And, and we, we don’t call the cobbler race. I mean it’s definitely much more of an organized ride and you know, people can make it as competitive as they want, but having fun is just paramount. And for us, we’ve, you know, want to call it gravel on surface or adventure rides or whatever. That’s really the name of the game. We, we get a large audience of people that, some of them I’ve known for some time in the cycling community that things very competitive and still are. But there’s just a, I think there’s really a desire for, for people that want to just go and have a great experience, you know, they want to have good party, they want to have a hard ride, they want to feel challenged. But you know, sending a number on and trying to be everybody. A ritual for use is really not that, not the name of the game for us. So we just, we really, really want to treat him like a customer.

I think that leans into everything that’s great. A great bow, gravel, that kind of intention. Like there’s plenty of opportunity to go fast and push yourself and try to be the first one across the line. But it’s also about enjoying the day, making new friends, having a true adventure. , two rock cobbler was in February, so we missed it this year. But you’ve got a second event that is going through a name change. So can you tell us about how Grapes of Wrath has evolved to El Gravel Arrow

he’ll grab aware of. So yes, we had, uh, one of our good supporters and riding buddies, , and family friends, uh, his family operated in those at a table grade company and kind of just out in Kern county, but just outside of Baker. So for a long time, like 80 or 85 years. And unfortunately they, they ended up kind of closing up shop and some family wanted to do something else, so it sort of went away. But we had an event called Grapes arap and it was another route that was probably more BWR. Like it didn’t ha it doesn’t have all the cobbler elements pretty straightforward on, on the gravel road. You know, there’s no single track, there’s not a lot of, you know, technical dirt descending was very, very straightforward, but it was an amazing route. Uh, so unfortunately when there great business, , folded, we lost the venue, we had a kind of a big dirt field in the vineyards and had these really big reservoirs.

We’d go swim in the reservoir. So it’s just kind of like a camping weekend of some deer riding and some road riding and a ton of eating and drinking and campers and cause it was awesome and it was slowly starting to gain some traction. This last year, , Ryan steers came. We’ve had several other writers of note that are known that just like, man, here’s a little nother little kid in gym that these guys as they’re doing, so it’s spaced out enough that it works. So we needed to retool the event with a new venue, which we have fortunate enough to go back to some private property that we use for the cobbler, which is real Bravo ranch here towards the mouth of the canyon that goes up to Lake Isabella. So we’ll be positioning the venue and the food and our festivities and things that Real Bravo and we’ve retooled the route.

And in that process we came up with grab Alara, which is actually a trademark name that belongs to another cycling buddy. We just happen to love the name. I said, man, if there was anything that ever worked for, you know, the free spirit of adventure riding, it’s these guys that called themselves the gravel Leros. And uh, so my buddy Alex, yeah, let’s, you know, let’s, , you can use it like near the name and we wrote out on a cocktail Napkin and, and here we are. So it’s a shorter route. We’ve taken some of the climbing out, but we really think it’s just another great combination of a little bit of everything. And this year we will have the opportunity to do quite a bit of dirt descending. So there’s a very long road. It’s actually almost a 34 mile climb. If you go from the bottom and it just runs this entire ridge of some of the southern Sierras and it’s called furniturea.

So we’re going to do the course clockwise instead of counterclockwise so it will still get all the farmland and oil fields and some of the funding preachers there. And then we’ve got a pretty gnarly three mile section of climbing, , averages 16% in 1500 feet in less than, less than like a mile and a half, two miles I think. So it’s pretty, pretty nasty. But then you get this really cool sort of mentally challenging, physically challenging focus, challenging descent on a pretty chopping, uh, sections of ranch area. And then now we’ll drop people right back into the end of the ranch where the venue is. So I think it’s just going to work wonderfully. We’ve got a ton of traction already. People are excited and I’m so we’re, we’re very, very much looking forward to bringing that one into the fold and, and evolving it.

That’s awesome. Well, I’m excited to see more about that later in the year in October. And I wanted to thank you, Sam, for joining us on the show today and thank you, especially for putting on such great events. , it’s really important to the gravel community that we have events that are professionally produced and are stable and kick up these amazing experiences so that people want to keep coming back and keep talking about why having an adventure style bike or a gravel bike is so important and such a great opportunity. So thanks for making the time, Sam. I can’t wait to hear about the events later in the year.

Well, thank you for having me. And, uh, we, you are welcome to out at our house anytime. So don’t, don’t be a stranger. Come, come down and play with us and we can experience it all firsthand.

Cheers.

Tim Farrar — Paris to Ancaster

Tim, welcome to the show.

Well, it’s great to be here.

I’m excited to learn about Paris to Ancaster. I’ve read a little bit about it. I’ve seen some pictures and for anybody listening, go online and check out pictures from this event because it seems like you have everything from tarmac to double track to fire roads, to county roads to a single track, a heap of mud. It looks like a hell of a lot of fun. And then to learn that 2020 is going to be the 27th edition of this race. I was pretty staggered and excited to have you on board. So Tim let, let’s start off with just learning a little bit about your background as a cyclist and what got you to the point 27 years ago to organize this crazy event.

Well, my cycling background goes even deeper than they started cursing cast or I started a bike racing as a road racer when I was 13, 14. And got progressively more involved. A actually hit category one status on the road when I was uh, in my twenties. But more recently, I’ve just been, uh, a masters, masters Roadie and even more recently just a bike rider rode for a ride. So that’s where I, uh, but when I came into organizing, I was a recently, uh, recently I graduated college student with a couple of buddies and that’s where Paris and gastro started.

So it wasn’t commonplace obviously for people that are putting on gravel events that the pure term as we think about it today wasn’t even invented at that point. What made you decide to put an off road event that wasn’t a mountain bike event at that time?

Well, at the time we had a, uh, same two buddies, uh, and the, I in college had a business doing, uh, photo timing and results for bicycle road races, you know, like, uh, stage races and stuff. And that grew out of our first event, which was a criteria in which grew to a road race, which could, was stage race. And we had some pretty, uh, big international years in the early or the mid eighties, late eighties. And, uh, we were looking for an event to basically get our season started. In nearly early spring. We had lots of work between May and October, but we didn’t have much in the spring. So we, uh, basically put on a Perry Roo Bay tribute event as a closet mountain bike race.

And I believe you shared with me that you had 266 participants that year. What were they writing? What were they into interested in doing?

Well, the, the kind of interesting thing I think about race is that the, uh, they were the people, men, women, the one we’re on cross bikes right away. And that was partially deliberate because I was pretty well tuned into the local, uh, road racing scene. So anybody that, uh, thought they needed a mountain bike, we sort of told them it was really more of a cyclocross race. And, uh, as it turned out, the guys, the men and women that won the first year were, you know, oh, actually one of them is from, uh, uh, northern California, Mark Halati. Uh, your listeners might know him in the, uh, group from the group ride community in north, in North San Francisco area. That’s where he lives now. But he had a career as a division three pro, um, around the time that he won the race. And the first woman, the one was Krissy Retton who, uh, went on to represent Canada at the Olympics.

I think it was Sydney, I’m not sure which year off offhand. So the, the thing about our sanctioning body at the time was they had all these mountain bike races starting up in the, uh, early and mid nineties. And there were all kinds of crazy things, you know, like, uh, you know, bike stage races that had a hill climb, a, uh, a descent competition across country and trials stage. So they had no idea how to officiate all of this, uh, all this of, but they did have a category for a, a mountain bike citizen race. And according to the rules of mountain biking at the time, it only had to be like 60% on, uh, unpaved surfaces. So that’s what we called it. But we told everybody it was a cyclocross race. And, uh, most of the, you know, a good portion of the distance was on, you know, Polish dirt roads. So it was fast, like a road race and that’s how it took off.

And has that course changed over the years?

Well, quite, uh, quite a bit. Uh, but we do have one guy who’s written every edition, so he’s probably a better authority on it. Uh, but two of the, two of the largest sections of our race are on rail trails and they have been for the entirety of the event. But one of those rail trails in the first years was, you know, they just taken the rails up. It hadn’t been regraded or you know, uh, a chip, uh, filing, you know, the, to pack it down. It was, you know, rough rail bed with the railway ties still in place. So it was more of a hike and bike section in some, uh, some areas. But, uh, other than that, there’s been a few, um, a few roads that were gravel that have now been paved. And, uh, we’ve recruited more and more private landowners to let us daily on their property for, uh, a couple of hours on a Sunday morning in April.

Nice. So if I’m an athlete, considering it for 20, 20, walk me through the length of the event, the amount of climbing and what type of terrain I should be looking at.

Well, the [inaudible] of the race is basically, it’s a two hour winning time from their back. It could be, you know, anything from, uh, well a couple of seconds to a couple of hours covering all the, uh, uh, all the age groups. But we started off in waves and the basic principle is the fastest guys go first. So people have qualified well from previous years, get into the elite wave, invited pros and stuff, get into the elite wave, and then the other wave is fill up, um, as after registration opens. So we think it’s pretty egalitarian in that mean two hours. So if you’re in the neighborhood of two hours, two and a half hours of your regular ride, the ride is within reach. Uh, as for the, uh, the elevation, there’s really not a ton of climbing, but the climbing that there is this kind of rolling hills, uh, you start off on one or Riverside rail trail for 10 kilometers, that’s, you know, virtually flat. Then there’s some punchy little, a little climbs, but nothing, uh, sustain into the seven or eight minute range. You know, they’re, uh, they’re short. But at the finish line, you finish at the top of the gravel road that’s got, well, it, they seemed like 25% pitches. They may, they may not be too, might as well be a lots of people walk, let’s put it that way. The final pitch,

and it’s, so over the years, how have you seen the equipment evolve from, you know, the winners to the participants? What are people riding? You said, you mentioned the sort of started with a, a cyclocross sort of skew and imagine that’s where the bikes were at that time, but over the years, what have you seen show up at the start line?

Well, we’ve seen almost everything show up and, uh, but the, the bulk of the top 100, even since year one has been cyclocross oriented. And I don’t differentiate in recent years between cyclocross oriented and gravel oriented cause it’s, but, and you know, but right from the very first year the men’s and women’s women’s winters were on cyclocross bikes ever steel with canteens. But you know, the pilots were good. Um, but in the meantime, we’ve also had, uh, mountain bikers with, you know, 26 year olds size wheels, uh, paired right down to one inch slicks on and, uh, they would be well in the mix. And one a few years, uh, we had a guy who went two years in a row, uh, first on a cyclocross bike with candies. And then next year on the, one of the, uh, newer, uh, 20 niners years. Never seen that before. And then, uh, recently it’s been guy gravel bikes and cyclocross bikes. But we also had a year where a guy won on road bike. And, um, of course he later that season he was world junior time trial champion.

So you had a little bit of an engine and some good luck. Well, it certainly, it looks like you’ve created a interesting event. Uh, again, like looking at the pictures online and some of the videos people have shot over the years. It just looks like it. It’s a great way to start your season in that part of the country and kind of push your limits across a bunch of different types of terrain. It looks like the event has grown quite substantially. Is there a rider cap next year?

Yes there is, but it’s a, uh, uh, it by distance cap. So we do have a limit in the 70, uh, nominally 70 kilometer race and nominally 40 kilometer race. But the, we also have a 20 kilometer family ride, which we’re nowhere near approaching a limit on. So, uh, yeah, there is a, uh, there is a limit, but the, uh, um, registration opens in November. Typically when we get all our stuff together, um, and, uh, it doesn’t sell out right away, that’s for sure.

Okay. And where can people find out more information about the event and if they wanted to register, where should they go?

Well, a, our website does lead you to a, uh, uh, address. It’s a pair of thank after.com. Um, a lot of the questions that website will know likely most likely be somewhat out of date. That’s why if this is been broadcast in real time, uh, but generally where the last weekend in April and a lot of the FAQ is, or no answered there. But uh, we’d certainly like to talk to anybody about the race it’s been, you know,

yeah. Well, well yeah, hats off for, for completing 26 additions of the race so far and it continues to go on and on and on. So I’m excited. I appreciate it. On behalf of the community, always appreciate talking to event organizers because it’s a lot of hard work. I know you’ve got a, a big volunteer base team that puts a lot of effort in every year and it’s not inconsequential. Keeping the website up and doing all the logistics and making sure everybody’s safe and having fun. So Tim, on behalf of the community, thanks for putting on the event. For everybody out there. Definitely do a Google search for some videos and images. There’s lots that I found out there. It looks like a hell of a lot of fun if you can find yourself in that part of the country. Um, during the spring season, said, Tim, thanks for joining us.

Hey, that was cool.

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