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Valley scenery wins over Quick and Dirty riders
May 27, 2016 Frank Marquez   

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Frank Marquez/Gering Citizen Cyclists follow the private farm road south of Dome Rock during the inaugural Robidoux Quick and Dirty, a 75-mile gravel bicycle race on Sunday. Race winner Joshua Krabbe, in yellow and black jersey, sits in the middle of the first group here. It was his third gravel race in nine days.

Riders described the inaugural Robidoux Quick and Dirty bicycle gravel race, which started promptly at 8 a.m. on a gust-ridden Sunday, as “surprisingly beautiful.”

Along the 75-mile endurance trek, which started and ended at Five Rocks Amphitheater in Gering, riders encountered stunning scenery which wound through the Wildcat Hills, Carter Canyon (some riders dodged livestock on the highway), then along the bluffs south of Dome Rock, before heading west toward Morrill. Riders returned along the Old Oregon Trail highway, between the two bluffs – a sort of a gateway-welcome back to town. From there it was a sprint to the finish, with a right turn into the shady reprieve of Westlawn Cemetery, then a left turn onto the private road leading to the Five Rocks parking lot.

In the event’s shorter ride, a 23-miler, riders made a right turn at Mile 21 at the corner of County Road 20 on the private road heading east to Five Rocks.

Chief organizer Matt Hutt said of 82 registered riders, 75 showed up at the starting line, with 62 crossing the finish in the 75-mile course. “The riders battled a stiff northeast wind for the initial two hours,” Hutt said, “but after the winds died down, good weather lasted the day.”

Hutt added, “We got great feedback from riders; many who were surprised by the hilly, wooded Wildcat Hills. The Scotts Bluff County Road crew did an amazing job of preparing the course, especially after the heavy rains the previous week.”

Hutt said the race was a fun time for sponsors: The West Nebraska Bicycling Club and the Scotts Bluff County Tourism Board. “We’re already preparing for next year,” he said.

Top female finisher Jill Cederholm, 45, from St. Paul, Minnesota, who completed the course in 4:24:08, flew in late Saturday night with a borrowed bike. She then ran away with the women’s win.
“It’s my first time here. It’s really beautiful,” she said. “It’s a good course.”

Cederholm works for her cycling sponsor, Kuhl Clothing, based out of Salt Lake City, Utah. She referred to the type of racing she does as “epic, off-road, and long-distance endurance.” Planning to compete in about six to 10 more events this year, Cederholm said she’s been gravel racing for two years, using a neutral bike, when she decided to do something different – this race. In her college days at Wisconsin, she swam distance freestyle. She also competed in several bicycle races and triathlons for about seven years – an athletic career which has served her well. “(The race) looked interesting and cool,” she said. “And Matt (Hutt) was very receptive and accommodating.”

Top male finisher Joshua Krabbe, 30, of Fort Collins, Colorado – one of four racers on the First City Mortgage Group Team, which includes two women – crossed the finish line about five minutes ahead of Cederholm in 4:13:18. The Robidoux Quick and Dirty was the electrical engineer’s third race in nine days. Krabbe rode in The One Speed (a rider goes the whole race in one gear) in his hometown, a 62-miler, which he finished in about three hours and change.

He rode in the second race, the Rattle Snake Rally, in Casper, Wyoming, the day prior to the Robidoux competition. The Rattle Snake race offered two distances (60 and 120 miles). Krabbe chose the latter. He finished third in about seven and half hours, behind some “really tough dudes.” This was the first time he’d been to Gering.

“It’s beautiful. I never had a reason to come here. We enjoyed it, the scenery. We’ll definitely be back,” said Krabbe, referring to teammate a 38-year-old James Harmon. Both racers related that there are more young guys competing in road races these days. “I race on and off, but as I have gotten older, I’ve become less dedicated,” Krabbe said. “Gravel racing has a less serious attitude; it’s more of a friendly atmosphere.”

Hutt said, the youngest rider, “14-year-old Adam Sauer stayed with it all 75 miles, was paced by his grandfather Phil Darley.
Together they crossed the finish line 9 hours, 39 minutes later, a gutsy ride indeed.”

An elder statesman and anti-competitor, Joe Dinges, 54, made the Quick and Dirty his first gravel race. He was five minutes late to the start, and like Cedarholm had to borrow some equipment. A fellow rider graciously loaned him shoes, pedals, and a helmet. Originally from Kansas, now a resident of Torrington, Wyoming, he has worked on the railroad for the past 17 years. The reason he tried the race? “Insanity,” he said, smiling. “I enjoyed it. I had never ridden in a gravel road race. I’ve done dual races – biking and running, but this was nice, being able to compete in something in my backyard, something like this. This is a great event for coming here; It was nice to have something to drive to in the morning, and drive home afterward.”

This year, making significant life changes, Dinges will start training to drive trucks, “a new adventure,” he said. “I’ll bike wherever there’s opportunity. I didn’t finish in the top 10 here. I was 11th overall, but I really enjoyed the process; I never feel more alive than when I’m pushing myself on my bicycle. Right now, there’s nothing wrong in the world; it’s all perfect.”

Robidoux Quick and Dirty overall places

Joshua Krabbe, 26-30, 4:13:18; Steve Heiss, 46-50, 4:14:06; Jonathan Heidemann, 46-50, 4:15:22; Todd Tvrdik, 41-45, 4:15:32; Darrin Johnson, 46-50, 4:16:03; Josh Shear, 41-45, 4:24:08; Jill Cederholm, 41-45, 4:24:08; James Harmon, 36-40, 4:29:31; Jeff McCool, 36-40, 4:32:49; Dan DePaemelaere, 46-50, 4:50:41; Joe Dinges, 51-55, 4:51:38; Leah Kleager, 31-35, 4:51:38; Mike Suing, 36-40, 4:52:04; Marc Pfister, 41-45, 5:06:41; Eric Brodis, 41-45, 5:06:42; Doug Hanna, 51-55, 5:08:59; Kimberly Nuffer, 46-50, 5:09:22; John Black, 56-60, 5:12:48; Scott Morson, 56-60, 5:18:45; Lee Waldman, 66-70, 5:19:00; Lane Bergen, 19-25, 5:24:50; Jonathan Anthony, 31-35, 5:29:28; David Grote, 31-35, 5:30:25; Ed Opp, 41-45, 5:33:13; Robert Sack, 66-70, 5:33:55; Matthew Copeland, 19-25, 5:34:45; Teddy Gutshall, 46-50, 5:37:04; Bentley Cooper, 41-45, 5:44:05; John Jamison, 51-55, 5:44:05; Daniel Houser, 41-45, 5:59:06; Brian Milnick, 46-50, 6:03:01; Katie Whidden, 26-30, 6:06:42; Amanda Harper, 26-30, 6:10:17; Tyler Banks, 31-35, 6:18:28; Paul Wess, 46-50, 6:18:28; John Wiebe, 19-25, 6:18:28; Paul Brasby, 46-50, 6:45:57; John Kinne, 46-50, 6:49:35; Rod Carter, 66-70, 6:56:53; Tony Farro, 61-65, 7:05:01; Brian McDivitt, 56-60, 7:05:01; Greg Giffin, 41-45, 7:06:35; Justin Brester, 19-25, 7:12:57; Travis Lucas, 31-35, 7:14:29; Kirk Haines, 41-45, 7:19:00; Frank Solano, 61-65, 7:26:40; Austin Freeburg, 31-35, 7:27:11; Travis Todd, 51-55, 7:31:07; Daryl Payne, 66-70, 7:44:30; Darcy Tiglas, 51-55, 8:03:58; Cindy Milnick, 46-50, 8:03:59; Lisa Todd, 46-50, 8:04:19; Eric Duncan, 46-50, 8:23:40; Ian Duncan, 19-25, 8:23:40; Allison Furby, 36-40, 8:25:32; Phil Darley, 46-50, 9:35:13; Adam Darley, 18-U, 9:35:16

Ty Acton/Special to Gering Citizen A rare sight for some of the riders, a Longhorn gallops across the Robidoux Quick and Dirty route on the Ewing Ranch in Carter Canyon on Sunday during the inaugural 75-mile gravel race.

Frank Marquez/Gering Citizen Doug Hanna rides through scenic farmland southwest of Gering. The 50-something cyclist finished in the top 20 with a time of 5:08:59.
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