Category Archives: inspiration

5 Year Anniversary…Time Flies

The other day I was riding the chair lift with Mike (me snowboarding and Mike telemarking) and he reminded me that RLW had been making embrocation for five years. I took a moment to process and then we both smiled. RLW, as mentioned in a previous post uses the very best ingredients in our hand crafted batches of embrocation made here in Denver. But we also work hard to contribute to the Denver area cycling culture.

Our passion for cycling shows our greatest support to gravel grinder events and cyclocross races. We have a small team of high quality people, that like ourselves donate time and effort to the sport we love. I am so thankful for all RLW has given me, mainly in the form of great friends and a identity in the Denver area cycling community. As I look to the next five years I do not see fame and fortune but rather time spent with friends and family participating in the sports we love.

To recognize our 5 year anniversary we created a 2 ounce two pack including 1 Flahute and 1 Kermise shipped to your house for $16.00. I think of it as an RLW embrocation education. You can check it out here: RLW: 5 year special


This is a limited run special.

Thanks for checking us out and as always, Enjoy the Ride.



Both inspirational and motivating

Thanks for sharing…AHTBM AHTBM

Tom Ritchey’s 40 Year Ride

Bennett Gravel Ride

The RLW Gravel crew headed east to conquer some gravel south and east of Bennett, CO.  The ride brought us through the Bijou Valley that handed us some 13% gradient climbs.  A stop in Deer Trail for refueling and visit with racers doing the road race then back to Bennett via Strasburg.  The route did include some of the roads used in the AntiEpic.

Check out the route here:

Thanks to Chad and Scott for a great ride.

Trans Iowa Revisited v2

So after my 2006 attempted at Trans Iowa, I was not deterred from giving it another go at version 3.  This was less trans and more loop.  One big friggin’ loop to be exact.  The start/finish for TIv3 was in the hamlet of Decorah.  It took Fixie Dave and myself a couple of days to drive to Decorah with a layover in Marshalltown.  It turned out to be one of the most memorable rides that I have done.  Maybe someday I will head back to Iowa to give Trans Iowa another go, but for now I’ll just live vicariously through others (and/or just do RAGBRAI).

Again, best of luck to all those riding out of Grinnell for v8!

My write-up from TIv3 can be found below.

Trans Iowa – the written word

The brain has been out of sorts lately, which means that the meager write up from TI has been slow. Hopefully the events are close to being in the order they happened and the names resemble those of the people I actually saw on the ride. If not, it’s my story and I am sticking to it.
First I need to thank Mark, Jeff, the volunteers and their family members that made this possible.
The first leg of the journey was the long drive which gave me the opportunity to spend many hours in the van with Mr. Nice. 11 hours to M’town with another 3 hours scouting the roads south of the ‘Loo up towards Decorah. It was blind luck that I picked some gravel to drive on that was on the TI route into Independence. We met up with my Brother Matt and Chris Friday afternoon before pizza and the meeting.
I woke early Saturday morning is a cold sweat and a throbbing head (which I had lingering for over a week). Needless to say I was worried with the outcome. The crew (Pivvay, Snot, Bro, and I) from room 106 stumbled around pulling the last minute items together and trying to cram some food down our throats. We rolled to the start at 3:30 am giving us plenty of time.
After the start I quickly found myself blanketed in darkness, the light was my only guide and the tell-tale signs of flashing red ahead. I wasn’t feeling so hot but kept telling myself to keep the pedals turning over and keep eating/drinking. The sun came up but the spirits were not improving. Rode with some of the Folks from Lincoln (Jeff, Butch, & ?) which help the mental side of things. I was seriously thinking this was not my day. Another rider rolled up and we seemed to just roll along with our own thoughts. The FfL took a break and I rolled on ahead thinking they would soon be catching me. I meet up with Mike Meister at my first break in Postville, we ended up riding the rest of the way to Decorah together.
This next section was the absolute worse for me, I wanted to stop and cry in the ditch more than once. My head was aching, my mind was far from focused and my body didn’t feel like pedaling. I kept telling myself to push on but the head winds sucked all life out of me. We hit Stanley only to find out that no services were there, another moral blow. (My Brother did stop in Stanley at the closed looking old service station which was a completely stocked convenient store.) I had barely enough liquid to get to Independence, I pushed on. I ran out of water a mile or so out of town and thought this is the end or my race. Limped into Independence and pulled right in a store and slammed a Gatorade and bought 2 gallons of water (under the premise that a gallon contained 64 ounces – I was wrong). I ate tons of food before heading to the Fairway for Mike to pick up some Ensure. At this point we had been joined by Steve McQuire.
I was in no mood to continue on to Brandon, but the two others were heading out and I decided I could make it to the checkpoint. I would make a decision there. Remarkably that section to Brandon had a slight tail wind and my energy levels were rising. I drank and ate lots during this stretch since I was starting to feel better. I guess a century in the legs will clear the mind.
We hit Brandon at 3:15 pm and saw Corey Heintz relaxing in the grass. I did a quick refill of the bottles at the store before heading on down the path to La Porte City. The energy was quickly coming back and mentally I was as sharp I could be. We hit La Porte City and were joined by Corey. Another quick stop was made before heading out to the first B-road section. At this point I was feeling slow and methodical in my riding but I had no doubt that the finish was obtainable. Corey and Steve rode a bit faster pace than Mike and I. The four of us road into Traer where we ran into a group of riders, I can’t remember who they were. With some more food in us we headed out in search of Dike, a nice long section of B-road the group split up leaving Mike and I plodding along. Steve waited up as darkness was about to fall. The winds seemed to have faded and shifted pushing us north to Dike. A 14 mile stretch found Snob, B.J. aka Travis, and Corey catching us. At this point in the evening the body felt good but my concentration on riding overrode any attempt at verbal communications. Another fuel up in Dike with Red Bull and bananas, Snob was there with the Folks from Lincoln taking pictures. We headed out first only to take a wrong turn on – we should have gone right but instead took a left, oh well. A short detour back to the route found Snob and crew at the corner we missed. Soon after we ran into Fixie Ken, Cale, and others and they were moving right along. The only thing that seemed to slow that group up was wrong turns and water. We caught back up with them at the first low water crossing, we stripped our shoes and waded across. The water was cold and gave a good jolt of adrenaline to the system. Off to Janesville for the last late night stop.
By the time we got to Janesville, my body was on autopilot, I felt okay on the bike but once off I was a wobbly mess. Most of the usual suspects were in Janesville at this point. A Red Bull and brownie (ahh sugar!) then attempt to get warmed back up and the temps seemed to be hitting the low for the day. I donned my wool shirt and leg warmers before heading back out. A slight type/error on the cue sheets brought us to a grinding halt, Steve called Mark to clarify the correct turn. Fixie Ken and crew were blasting from the dark looking for the correct turn as Snob rolled up. We got the right directions and that was the last I saw of the others until Decorah. Steve, Mike, and I worked our way through dawn calculating the possibility of finishing this thing under the time limit. We arrived at the second water crossing and I just plow right on through soaking my feet and leg warmers. My feet were wet but the sun was coming out and all was going to be okay, I did pop a No-Doze sometime around sunrise as the eyes were beginning to get heavy. We rode to Hawkeye for the last stop before Decorah.
In Hawkeye I dumped everything from crumpled up cue sheets to the homemade energy bars I started with. I reloaded with oatmeal crème pies and Gatorade, it was good to have a change in the diet. The three of us didn’t waste much time getting back on the bikes as we realized that we were going to finish. The last bit of riding for me was tough because my mind wanted Decorah to be around the next corner and the knees were screaming for mercy. The sun beating down felt good but I could feel the skin burning as suntan lotion was applied some 30 hrs previous. It is always an ominous sign when your reading the cue sheet and it says turn on Haugan Hill Road, it was the steepest thing ridden to that point. I hunkered down and tried to power up it, but to no avail I resorted to switch backing the climb. Steve, who was running some super moto tyres, quickly lost traction and walked the hill. Thinking that was the last off the hills we made the fast descent into Decorah. We turned onto some pavement and only one last turn to the cemetery, my mind was thinking no more hills but there was one more. I didn’t even try to power up it, I just started switch backing it until the flat where Mike and Steve waited to cross the finish line together.
My brother was standing there to greet me, which was just awesome. Snob sacrificed himself and gave me the last beer – thanks!!! He also gave me some wipes to cleanse 32h 48m of gravel grime off my face.

Trans Iowa Revisited

Good luck to all of those headed to Grinnell this weekend for Trans Iowa version 8 (the Ocho!)  It is an even year so it will be an adventure! Mark will keep us up to date via Trans Iowa Radio.

Back in 2006, my passion for riding gravel began.  In all actuality it should have ended also.  I am one of the few who can say “I remember TIv2!”  Here is my Trans Iowa post from my blog at the time.  And here is my back story. The official Trans Iowa History has some good reading from TIv2.

Somethings I remember about that event: Leaving Marshalltown in the rain and arriving back in Marshalltown in the rain, stopping in Mallard at a college roommates parents place, sleeping unfittfully at our host housing (creepy place), starting out soaking wet and never drying out, riding into Paulina, regretting leaving Paulina, pushing my bike for miles, riding into Sutherland, pulling the plug, Dave M.’s skull he found in the ditch, beers in Algona, beers in Ames, beers in Marshalltown.

More Trans Iowa to come.

The Most Terrifying Five Minutes of Singletrack on Earth


here’s a little sumpin-sumpin to kickstart your adrenaline heading into the twenty-twelve.

Risk vs Reward: Bunny Hopping

Bunny hop the barrier or run it?  You decide which is faster.

The skill I am working on this week is bunny hopping.  Also, remember as the temperature start to cool that Routine Leg Works Embrocations will warm up those legs.


Ben Berden bringing some inspiration…

the Stoemper frames look awesome as well.


For the love of SSCX

Team RLW has a considerable passion for racing cx on our singlespeeds. Some of the team is very good, some busting tail to get better. Because of this passion I share this awesome article SSCX Mr. McNeely writes a comprehensive article for all levels of interest and participation. I took away some great refreshers.

Several teammates worked with Raven Cycle Werks this past spring to bring about some awesome SSCX frames for
the cross season. The more we ride the more we appreciate these frames.



Back to Basics Cyclocross Series Results

Here are the overall results for the Back to Basics Cyclocross Series (9/14, 9/21, 9/28).   Please see Mike Beck if you have not claimed your prize.  Thanks to everyone who came out and supported the event.

Single Speed:

  1. Bil Pfaffendorf
  2. Carlos Casali
  3. Jesse Swift

Women’s A

  1. Jenny Gilkerson
  2. Sarah Rawley
  3. Christina Begy

Men’s A

  1. Greg Gorrell
  2. Dan Schuetz
  3. Brady Kappius

Men’s B

  1. Travis Stone
  2. Drew Spafke
  3. Emery Legg

Men’s C

  1. Todd Reisinger
  2. Kristopher Nielson
  3. Maxl Freeman

Juniors 13+

  1. Scott Way
  2. Stephen Haas
  3. Josh Kerven