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Friday, February 24, 2017

Odin's Revenge - Team DSG

"I realized between CP 1 and CP 2, this was the best ride I've ever had.  Not the fastest or anything like that.  I just realized I couldn't wait to see what was around the next corner or over the next hill because it just kept getting better and better after Effenbeck.  Government Pocket was good for the soul."  Scott Ideen, comment on the Odin's Revenge FaceBook page, June 30, 2012.

That sums it up.  The course always delivered.  Team DSG always delivered.  Top shelf.  The best.

Had I known then that 2016 was to be the final Odin's Revenge, would I have done anything differently?  I don't know.  I just hope that those who created and nurtured this event know how much their service to the cycling community is appreciated by all those privileged to participate.  And I hope that those who were never at Odin's Revenge may somehow come to understand the impact of such a race on those that experienced it and, by extension, on the gravel scene itself.

Here's the official race report from Odin's Revenge of the inaugural race, posted on the website, followed by a longer narrative posted on FaceBook on July 1, 2012.  These reports show the love Team DSG poured into this event, from the very beginning.

From the website:

"The dust is still settling on the Inaugural 2012 Odin’s Revenge gravel race.  The terrain and weather in Western Nebraska proved treacherous for those who took the challenge this year.  Of the 28 riders who were brave enough to take the starting line, only six were still on their bikes by the end of the day.

The morning began with a cool fog and the distant rumble of thunderstorms to the South.  Within a few hours, the morning gave way to high humidity and triple-digit temperatures.  The stifling heat began to take its toll as rider after rider dropped from the roster.  Although, only six individuals finished the race, many individual tests of strength showed that this field had strength of character in spades.  It’s the shared suffering and respect for each other’s efforts that take a group of cyclists and makes them a community.  Gravel Racers; Thanks for allowing Odin’s Revenge to become a part of that community.

A full account of the events is in the works, but for now this will have to suffice."

From the Odin's Revenge FaceBook page in 2012: 

"Odin's Revenge was dreamed up by a small group of gravel/dirt cyclers out here in west central Nebraska in early 2012, the actual race that is, a couple of us had been scheming in the back of our minds for way longer & Chad Quigley seemed to have the perfect spot to pull it off & DAMN did he deliver! We formed Team DSG in early 2012 as well with a core group & some honorary outside members who all pitched in to help with the race or ride it & it could'nt have been done without everyones help, to those members, THANK YOU.

And so it came down to yesterday when the premier Odin's Revenge riders lined up to take a crack at this event, 25 riders from as far away as Brooklyn, NY were there for the start, some seasoned gravel veterans, some rookies but all with something in common, the love of riding for hours on backroads & in yesterday's case, getting their asses handed to them! The course along with the weather made this possible & when the seasoned veterans arrived proclaiming it the toughest ride of their life with the most beautiful scenery, well, that there made us realize our dream had been fulfilled.

Thank you Chad for being on board with one of my longtime dreams of holding an event like this & to all the work you & Merrie put into laying out the course, IT DELIVERED! Also to the rest of the Team DSG members for all the work of getting sponsorship, promoting & actually getting it done from the pre-race meeting to manning checkpoints & an emergency rescue of a rider in distress, Bob, Kyle, Nate & Neil. Thanks Paul Siebert for being the official Odin's Revenge musician bringing your own special flair to a unique venue.

Thanks to our outstanding sponsors for DELIVERING some outstanding swag, Waltworks Cycles, Rawland Cycles, Titus Cycles, On One Cycles, Banjo Brothers, Revelate Designs, Climb On, Salus, Q7 Cycling, Twin Six, Mike Dion Productiions, Backcountry Research, Dirt Rag & the more local sponsors, Good Life Cycles, The Bike Shed, Gothenburg KOA & Gothenburg Comfort Suites.

Lastly, THANK YOU RIDERS! It was for YOU that we put this evil little plan together in hopes you'd want to ride in a very unique, remote part of Nebraska & when word gets out of this perhaps a few more of those folks hauling ass through our state on I-80 with bikes in tow in a hurry to get to the mountains may slow down, pull off & want to ride a bike closer to home, there's a lot of unique riding out your backdoor folks, just get out there & try it! We only had 25 riders but the quality of you riders that were willing to take a chance on our humble little race more than made up for the quan
tity! THANK YOU ALL! Now get your ass out there & ride a bike & we'll see ya next year!"

Team DSG set the standard for creating, hosting, and nurturing a gravel road race.  They were the inspiration behind my Thanksgiving post in 2015 entitled Thankful for Volunteers, reproduced below.

Thankful for Volunteers

I am thankful for volunteers, those people who give their time, energy and talents to serve others.  They pour part of themselves into making this broken world a better place for someone else.  Seeing that service sparks hope.

Gravel bike races are not tackling any of the big problems of the world.  It's a smaller environment, where folks challenge themselves, create memories and build relationships.  But they have made a  positive, lasting impact on me.  This post goes out to the volunteers of gravel races, and their supportive families and friends, for making such experiences possible.

As representatives of gravel race volunteers everywhere, here are the people behind creating and working Odin's Revenge.  Thank you and thanks to all the volunteers of other events.

Here's a few more pictures showing Team DSG at work.

Thank you, Team DSG.  Thank you.

Omnivores Matt Bergen and Garrett Olson at an Odin's Revenge start/finish party zone.
(photo by Odin's Revenge)

Chad Quigley, the Revenge behind Odin's, preaching to the pilgrims at a pre-race gathering at Walker's Steakhouse.
(photo by Odin's Revenge)

Kyle Vincent getting folks registered at a pre-race gathering at Walker's Steakhouse.
For this snapshot in time, Scott "JackRabbit" Redd was not at the Claw Machine in the background.
(photo by Odin's Revenge)

Nate Bell brings his time, talents and treasure, including his very own Kinkaider Beer, to Odin's Revenge.
(photo by Odin's Revenge)

Paul Seibert entertains the gathering gravel clan at the pre-race gathering at Walker's Steakhouse.
Paul even took his show on the road, with music at checkpoints.
(photo by Odin's Revenge)

Merrie Quigley and Della Brock Hengen welcoming riders into a check point.

Merrie Quigley's renowned "Protein Balls."
1 cup oatmeal, 1/2 cup ground flaxseed, 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 1/3 cup honey, 1 tsp vanilla.
Mix.  Form.  Refrigerate.  Enjoy.

Gordon Peterson, Mr. Culligan Man, volunteering his time and giving out his cold water.
(photo by Odin's Revenge)

Check Point volunteers with cold water, treats and cheer!

Motorcycle course marshall George Evans on patrol, with cold water ever at the ready!
(photo by Odin's Revenge)

Paul Seibert living it up at a really remote Check Point.
(photo by Scott Redd)
Matt Bergen, Garret Olson and Bob Wieck, in the zone.
(photo by Odin's Revenge)

Chad Quigley, about finished, near the finish line.

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