Snake Creek Gap #1

Last weekend was the first of two Snake Creek Gap TT races. Being that it is the second weekend of the month, it did not leave much down time for the new year. I didn’t go too crazy at the end of the year, but I tried to keep as active as I could. I knew this race was just around the corner. The first week of the year didn’t work out too good for riding and I didn’t get any miles in before this race. I did have some activity, but no riding out doors.

As the weekend drew closer, the extended forecast kept getting worse. The high temp if the day kept going down and the chance of snow kept increasing. There was even some thoughts about not heading down as it didn’t seem like it would be worth it. Since part of the group already left Thursday, there was no way I was going to back out even if I had to head down by myself. Thankfully that didn’t happen and Friday afternoon we headed south. The chance for bad weather Friday night was pretty high. There was some areas not too far away already getting snow. They also posted that there would be a decision late Friday about if the race will be shortened or cancelled. We were already on the road and I figured they would not cancel it unless it was really bad. Worse case we would have a real good time Friday night and find someplace farther north to ride on Saturday.

The company that was going to do the shuttle was not going to run to the parking lot for the 34/50 mile start. So, the race was shortened for everyone to being just 17 miles. Now that may sound like a pretty short race, but anyone who has done this before knows that this is the hardest 17 miles of the race and seems a lot more than just 17 miles. Then if you add in the snow that was coming and the temps reaching a high of 28 degrees, it could be a very tough “short” race.

I was torn on how to feel about hearing the race was shortened. It was not really what I came down here for, but with the conditions it would make a hard race even harder. I was also a little worried about how strong I would be for the full 50. Also, with it being this early in the year I as really thinking this more like a training race than something that I could actually place well at. So, with all that could go wrong for the weekend a snowy 17 mile ride was not too bad.

The first climb out of the parking lot hurt me more than I thought it would. I am not sure if it was the fact that half way up the hill I could no longer feel my fingers to know if I was pulling the brakes or not, much less holding on to the handle bar. I felt like I kept moving pretty well even with it hurting. I was going faster than some and slower than others. It was cold and the snow made some sections tricky. Once I hit the top and started flowing, the feeling in my hands came back. I felt like I was a lot farther in on mileage than I thought I should be. This made me think that I probably was riding better than previous times there. I did have one issue. The one water bottle I had was banging around and making a lot of noise. I thought my water bottle cage was loose, but it was just that the ice block of a bottle was too much weight and it was bouncing around everywhere. The other bottle that I had was an insulated bottle and after the second drink, it was frozen too much for me to get a drink.

I rolled up to the water spot quicker than I expected. I ended up staying here longer than I normally would have wanted to, but it just kind of happened. I was going to just leave the water bottle there and thought the guy would take it back to the start. Then he said he was just going to throw it away. But, I really like the cap that was on that bottle and then dug in the trash to retrieve the cap. When I took it off, I noticed that there was some water still in there. I dumped out everything I could and put it back on the bike. I took the top off of my other bottle to get a drink. I had a slushy for the rest of the day, but at least I could take the top off and get something to drink.

I kept moving for the next section and doing what I could. I had a few sections that I thought I was going down, but managed to keep myself up right. The extra effort I was putting in to keep traction or to stay upright was starting to add up. I am sure the lack of fluids or food played a big part in this. There were a couple of spots that I had to push and tried to take a drink during some of those sections. I did finally eat a gel at some point, but it was pretty late in the ride. I was very happy with how I was climbing the tricky sections, but it was not necessarily what I would call fast. I did destroy any of my previous times climbing the wall. So, I guess I had that going for me.

I admit that I didn’t ride as much of the last rock section as I normally would have. After so many near misses I was second guessing myself too much. Some of the snow had melted and it was hard to tell what exactly was there. The sun was also to my back and put a shadow on the section of trail I was trying to see. With the race being cut short, my finish time really didn’t matter. The only thing that mattered was that I did finish and I didn’t get hurt too bad to ride the next race.

The radio tower was there sooner than I expected, but I was really happy to know that I was just about done. The down hill from there had a few sections you really had to watch but was not near as bad as the road section. The changing between the pavement and the wet snow spots had me thinking that a high speed crash would be very easy to do. I took it way easier than I probably needed to but oh well. 

I ended up finishing in 2:40 and in 108th place overall out of 232 riders. It should not really bother me but it does. The fastest time was 1:54. I don’t think I am anywhere near that time but still think I should be faster. Granted I went in to this thinking more like a group ride than a race and I also made a few more bad decisions the night before. The time makes no difference for me in the race final, well unless the next race has the same issues and it cut short. If that is the case I will just go harder then. 

Even with knowing all the reasons that I didn’t go faster, it still bothers me. It is also compounded by the fact that in 2012 I did this race in a lot worse condition (myself not the trail) and I was on a rigid SS and it only took me 7 minutes longer. I am either getting slower the more I work out or I just need to sell the new bike and start riding my SS again. I have said several times that my best/fastest races are on a SS. 

Yea, I know I have some issues. That does not mean that it is easy to change how I think. 

Posted in Bikes, Mountain Biking, Racing, racing, Team Adventures | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Times fun when your having flies

 

It is hard to believe that I am actually working on the year in review post already. It does not seem possible that 2016 has come and gone already. Overall it has been a pretty good year. Not everything worked out the way I thought they would, but I am still here and riding better than I had in previous years. With that in mind I really can’t complain. I took the momentum from the end of 2015 and tried to build on that this year. Just like other winters I had a good plan of doing better about staying in shape and before I know it spring is here and I have some catching up to do.

I didn’t get a bunch of riding done in January or most of February. Typically only getting one ride if any each week and several of them I didn’t ride at all. The only savior was the Florida trip. This was my third trip down there. It is always nice when the weather is warmer, but there is normally plenty of wind. It is always fun to get away and ride with some fun guys, so in all it is never a loss no matter how much riding I get in. This year I put in over 360 miles in 5 rides, so it was a good year. That was a good kick off/catch up from my lack of winter training. The only problem with putting a huge week with back to back rides in is that I am normally wore out for a while when I get back and other than “racing” the Death March, I really didn’t get that many rides in.

Early April I went on the People’s Brewing Pisgah trip. That was with out a doubt the funnest trip that I can remember being on. Hard miles, lots of laughs and a few beers. Even with me taking the two scariest/ hardest crashes I have had in a while and thought I broke my hand. I am still not fully healed from one of those crashes and not sure if I ever will. I probably need to go back and get another x-ray or have someone check it out. It should be working better than it does and will a lot less pain.

Pisgah was good for the legs, but once again I failed to back it up with the riding to really get me in shape. Soccer always seem to keep me way too busy to get any real consistent mileage in. I love watching my kids play and would not trade it for anything. Next year since my oldest is driving now, I should not have to make as many trips for practices. This should allow me to get a few more rides in, but this also means I miss seeing my son as much.

The Big Frog was my first big race of the year and my first time racing this event. My lack of training leading up to the race and not managing my nutrition well enough had me paying for it dearly for several hours. I fought cramps way longer than anyone would want. It kind of reminded me of the time I did the Mohican. Even with all of my issues and lack of riding, I really can’t complain about finishing in 7:22. I really had no preconceptions on what kind of time I would get.

Next up on the list was my redemption on the Mohican 100k. The last time I tried that race I cramped for 5+ hours. That means I was out there a LOT longer than that. Actually somewhere over 9 hours. That is a very long time to only ride 60 miles. After the Big Frog I continued on my soccer filled schedule and rode once a week leading up to the Mohican. With the time being only 5 weeks apart I think I was in the middle ground of living off of the good that the Frog did for my legs and getting rested. This race was way better for me. Even with it having more single track than the Big Frog, I finished only 11 minutes slower at 7:33.

After that race soccer schedule let up some and I was feeling good about getting out on the bike more often. For the rest of the summer I was averaging over 100 miles a week and feeling stronger and faster. Group rides were a lot more fun. I had one of my best rides for the Strassenfest ride. This is only a fun ride, but anyone who has done it knows that it is not all fun and games. I kept up with the fast group for way longer than I ever thought I could and only a hand full of riders pulled away. I grabbed the next group and still finished strong averaging over 20 for the 60 mile route.

I was still putting in some good miles each week as fall was approaching. I went in to my only Dino race of the year a little tired, but riding strong. I had a pretty good race considering the lack of dirt I had been riding on and very happy. I had some hope that I could once again become a contender to the front group for the Cat 2 class. I just need to put more work in to it.

After that race I was still getting some good miles in each week. I went to the Pumpkin Metric and had another good ride down there. After that ride I started to incorporate more gravel rides in to the schedule to get ready for the Gravel Grovel. I went on some awesome training rides in the Story area. Those rides are always near the top of my fun list each year. I also attended a fun new race called the Boograss Dash. This was a very fun and laid back event that I really hope will grow for next year.

With the way the year was going and after last years fast time, I had some high hopes for a good Gravel Grovel. Apparently my body did not agree and made sure it was as painful as all the other years. This was a huge disappointment after all the work that was put in this years leading up to this race. I know I should be happy to even ride as good as I did, but it is just not that easy. Maybe 2017 all the pieces will fall in to place. I do love this race.

2016 was really a good cycling year for me. I fell down a few times and didn’t do my homework for a few other races, but I did put some good work in. This year I have reached my all time mileage record for one year. I do not track my indoor miles in this figure as I don’t really think that equates to the same as outside riding. I do have to say thanks to everyone who makes riding a bike even more fun that it already is. I know there are a lot of other people I should be thanking, but most of all I have to thank my wife for allowing me to spend so much time riding a silly bike. Phil @ Adventures Recreation for helping me keep get all my bikes worthy of spending all those hours on them and everything that you do to help me. Ghost Buster for all the hours, miles and good friendship we have shared. My good friends Jeff and Jason on the People’s Brewing Team for hard rides and even harder laughs. I can only wish that you lived closer to me. I also have to thank my new team member in E squared. We may not have rode that much this year, but I can tell that we will put each other in a lot of pain in 2017!! If it doesn’t kill you it will make you stronger.

The numbers for 2016 are as follows: 4,193 miles, just over 280 hours and a little over 245,000 feet of elevation. I really can not complain about any of those numbers. I can only hope that I can do the same for 2017. If all things work out and with less commitment to the soccer season, I just may top that with breaking in to the 5,000 mark. So, here is looking forward to the 2017 cycling year.

Happy New Year!!!

 

Posted in Bikes, Gravel, Mountain Biking, Racing, Road Biking, Team Adventures | 2 Comments

Gravel Grovel 2016 – Hindenburg 2.0

This is basically how my Gravel Grovel went.

So, what was lining up as having the most potential to my best Gravel Grovel to date ended up a little less than optimal. It sounded like it should have been awesome, then it caught fire and crashed to the ground. That maybe a little excessive in the description, but that is completely how I feel. Lets go back a few weeks. I was riding as strong as I ever had and the first two scouting rides I was riding strong. I still was trying to figure out how to be faster on race day, but I was putting in some of my quickest Strava segments to date. I was not really going for segments, but it does make me feel better when my times end up being better than previous trips. Little did I know that in a few weeks I would have been happy to just be able to ride like that.

Somewhere after the second scouting ride my legs became weak at climbing. We did a full loop ride and I didn’t do that bad, but did not climb very fast at all. Even with climbing slow, not eating enough, taking it easy in some sections and wearing down badly toward the end, I still did the ride in just over 5 hours and that included the trip to and from the Story Inn. If I could just get my climbing legs to come back a little, I would be set up for a 4.5 hour ride if the weather cooperates. The did cooperate! It always could have been better, but even with the rain that came in the week before it was one of the driest conditions that I have done and ready to be fast. There were only a few deeper water sections and combs was not what I would call muddy.

The cabin was booked full and friends were in the next cabin over. Everyone trickled in Friday night at different times. It was fun hanging out and catching up. This part is what makes racing so much more than just riding a bike. Friday night had a lot of potential to go bad, but didn’t. I really was not hungry most of the night and never ate what I took for dinner. I did have a couple little things, but not a lot. I was not sure why, but I was just not very hungry. I actually got to bed fairly early compared some some years.

I woke up at 3 am with some terrible stomach cramps and cold sweats. Awesome!! I continued this on and off for the rest of the night. I did not want to get up when everyone started moving. Eventually I did start moving around. There was plenty of time before the race started and I hoped I would start to feel better. Either way my legs felt like I just ran a 5k and I was beat up from all the cramping. I made several trips to the bathroom hoping to remidy some of the issues, but no luck. I made an awesome breakfast, but could only get a few bites down, lots of dissapoints to be had. I was doing everything I could to get ready for a good race, but was not succeeding.

Eventually I made my way over to the start line. I didn’t really warm up like I would have wanted too, but the way the morning was going I figured it really didn’t matter. Soon enough we were given some instructions and off we went. I was surrounded by some good company and doing what I could. The first section was going better than I figured and hung out with several people that I wanted to be around. I was trying to just go the best I could with out digging too deep until I got going. The first big climb, the paved road in the middle of nowhere hurt, but I felt like I had climbed it slower in the past.

The next section had some good parts and bad parts. At times my stomach was cramping badly and I could not ride very hard. Other times I felt like I was not too far off the pace. I did still see some of the people I wanted to ride with not too far away, but some were gone already. I felt like I did well on Combs road and climbed the hill. At the top was several people there to offer me a beer hand up. Originally I was not planning on taking this one as it was pretty early. I was not feeling too good and the climb did a number on me. I just rolled over the top and kept going.

The down hill on Combs almost got me once or twice, but I managed to keep it up right. The Blue Creek road section was not that great for me. I was wearing down and still not feeling very good. I climbed the road climb, but I am positive it was not at record pace. Once I got out of that section and hit the gravel road I was really starting to hurt. I remember taking my time and almost stopping to eat something. I wanted to get it in me before I hit Nebo, but I don’t think it was early enough to really matter.

Most of Nebo is a blur. I normally remember a lot about my race, but just can’t picture most of this section. I know I had the only place I needed to walk in this section. It was one of the steep/technical climbs and the guy in front of me didn’t make it and I had no place to go. I also remember the up and over log was not the same on the back side. I thought I going down, but really glad I didn’t. The rest of this section was uneventful or at least nothing big enough for me to remember. I was still not climbing well, but I was riding fast enough to keep people from catching me.

From here on out I was in another world. I was just turning pedals over and trying to keep moving. I was trying to eat and drink as often as I could, but my stomach was still cramping on and off and I was having trouble keeping down everything I ate. I figured I was finally going to actually have my first puke on the bike. I have had several that have been very close, but I am not one for puking so I always manage to keep it down. Today was not so easy.

Before I started up Baldy I saw my riding buddy Brian coming down the other side. He waved and went on. I was really wishing I was over there and not getting ready to climb this hill. I just kept moving and hoping the top was just around the next corner. Eventually it was, but there were a lot more corners than I wanted. I pulled up to the rest stop to top off my water bottle. This was my planned stop for water. I tried to eat a little more while I was there. I did see several people roll up that I know. They wanted me to jump on their train, but I knew I would not be able to hang on. I took off before they did because I knew they would catch me. Shortly after hitting the bottom and making the left they went by and I never saw them again.

That next big hill is just horrible. I don’t know if it is because it is so close after climbing Baldy or if it really would not matter when you do it, I am sure it will always hurt no matter what. Pedals kept turning and miles kept rolling on. I would see some people then I wouldn’t. I was a little shocked that I was holding off a lot of the people I did see. They would come up on me and the next thing I know I was pulling away or they would stop to re-group. This made me feel a little better, but I still knew I was not moving as fast I would like.

More trail and gravel climbs. One after another followed by some screaming descents that I was no way near strong enough mentally to be going as fast as I was, but I just kept going. I had a few sections that I felt a little better and others that really sucked. When I left trail 20 I just blew past the last rest stop. I was very ready to get back home. After the big climb after the last rest stop is normally a good section to put in some better speeds. This year was not the case. I found myself going pretty slow at times and had to ask myself why? I really didn’t know. I was just kind of day dreaming and would almost stop pedaling. As soon as I woke up, I would get back in to turning pedals over.

Eventually I did making it down the long down hill section and could see where the bridge was to the right. I could not have been happier to be this close. I crossed the bridge as smooth as I could. I kept looking back hoping I didn’t see anyone gaining on me. I knew that I had nothing to hold them off and really didn’t want to get passed this late in the race. When I hit the last creek crossing I was caught a little off guard on how deep the creek was. I guess I should have checked that out in the morning. I had to dismount and work my way around the left side a little to find a good place to get back on. I rode the rest of the way across and up the hill to the finish line.

Even though I was very happy to be finally finished, this was a little different than a lot of big races. Normally the emotions rush in and I am on a race high or sometimes at the verge of breaking down in tears. This was completely uneventful. I rolled across the finish line, not even sure if someone took note. I rolled back toward the cabin completely shelled and in another world. I tried to gather myself well enough to changed and head over to eat. I was late enough that by the time I got over there just about everyone else that I figured I would eat with were already done and some gone. The awards were over and the place was pretty empty. I ate my plate of food and headed back toward the cabin.

There were people hanging out there and I started to feel a little better by then. I at least knew what I was doing. Had a couple beers and hung out for the rest of the night. We had a fire and lot of laughs. It would have only been better if the occasional cramping would have stopped and I could have had a few more beers. Maybe even ate a little more because I know I didn’t have near enough for the day’s activity.

All things considering I really should not be too upset with myself. I finished in a time of 5:20 and I ended up 136th overall out of over 200 riders and 47th in the MTB class. The impressive thing I did, even with all of my issues, I only stopped for 6 minutes during the whole race. Those numbers are really not that bad as to all the other years that I have done this. The biggest disappointment is that I am coming off of a great finish time last year in some really tough conditions. I have worked really hard this year to be in even better condition and it ended up not really making a difference. I was basically an hour longer than my goal time. So, when you look at that number, it does not sound very good.

When the legs fell apart the weeks leading up to the race I figured the 4:30 time would be hard to get, but I figured 5 hours should not be an issue. The ride I did Friday to loosen up the legs felt good and I had a little hope that the legs were going to show up and treat me well. That really didn’t happen. I know I said earlier that barring any major issues I should be able to do 5 hours and I guess I did have a major issue. I had several people tell me they would not have even raced. I guess I still had hope that I would come around. In hindsight if I would have stopped for that beer on the top of Combs I probably would have been happier. I am sure I would have just decided to call it quits and ride with the heckle crew, but I am not one that likes to DNF. I had too many of them in the past when I shouldn’t have and now I go above and beyond to not quit. The one thing that I do know for sure is that when times are hard I seem to be able to ride in complete misery for way longer than I should be able to. I guess I have that going for me if that really makes a difference at the end of the day.

I want to thank everyone who helped me get to the point that I thought I was going to have a great race. All the guys who put in miles and miles on the bike even when I was holding them up. To Brian and his staff at DINO for keeping this race going. All the volunteers that helped out. I may not have used much of the sag stops, but it was really good that you were there for those that needed it. I need to especially thank Brian, Eric, Jeff and Jason. With out them I would have been no better off than any other year. I just really hate to have wasted it on having bad stomach issues. At least the time hanging out together and riding together are not lost. Those are the reasons I have the urge to get on the bike to begin with. With out all of you I would talk myself out of doing so many rides. I can only hope that I will show up even stronger next year. Maybe I will do it SS again….

Click here to see my Strava info

Posted in Bikes, DINO, Dino Series, Gravel, gravel, Gravel Grovel, hills, mtb, Racing, racing, Team Adventures, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Fall is here

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Fall is finally here and that can only mean one thing, the Gravel Grovel is right around the corner. The Gravel Grovel is the race I look the most forward to every year. Yes, the weather is not always that great. It can be cold, muddy or even raining or snow, but that is just part of what makes me enjoy this race. I have always been intrigued by the events that put me in a place that you just can’t get to with out a lot of effort. Anyone who has done longer events know what I am taking about. I have yet to have a year that I was not a shell of a person by the time I made it to the finish line. I have left it all out there on the race course if I wanted to or not. I am sure that when that finish line comes along this year, I will once again be just a shell riding a bike and somehow not just falling over.

The last couple of years as my fitness improves every year I have had a goal of finishing in a sub 5 hour time. Out of all the years this event has been put on, I have only done that twice. I have no idea how I did it the first time, but last year I put in a lot of work to make that happen. The weather was so bad that for most of the race I pretty much figured that it was not going to happen. Somehow when it came down to the last 10 miles I was still in the hunt and when I figured that out it was just enough for the legs to feel a little better and hammer down the road to the finish. I was very happy that I could finish in under 5 hours. With the bad weather conditions I think I could have done a lot better and maybe even hit the 4.5 hour mark. It is really hard to tell since I have found that for some reason I tend to do better when conditions are less favorable. Maybe that shell of a rider can actually ride pretty good.

Just like last year I have made a few trips up to that area to get some pre-gravel training rides in. These are always a blast and I am not sure why I don’t do these kinds of rides more often. I guess any kind of riding with this group of people would be just as fun. I am very glad to have made some good friends riding my bike that are also such fun to be around on and off the bike. It is just too bad that not everyone lives closer together. Good times and a lot of good miles. I have done my share of riding alone and that is not always a bad thing, but riding with the right group of riders can sure make getting out the door a lot easier. There are times that I thought I was not going to ride and with 15 minutes time and a message about riding all my plans can change. I have found myself driving hours just to ride with some people when I thought I was not going to ride at all that day.

As I mentioned earlier (probably several times) last year I finished under that elusive 5 hour mark. It was not easy and I sure did my homework as compared to previous years, but I could not stop thinking about the trail sections. Mainly Nebo ridge over all the other sections. That section of trail was not very easy to ride on my cross bike even with the 40c tires. I have also rode that bike on a lot of other rides and just don’t feel as comfortable when it get more technical. I know for sure that I can’t go over near as big of log on that bike as I can on the MTB. Granted there are not that many logs to go over, but currently Nebo has 3 or 4 and some of those would be over my limit on the CX bike, but no problem at all on the MTB. I got to thinking that I could make some changes to a MTB that would get me riding about as fast as I would on my CX bike. Then I consider that there is a MTB class and also look at some of the top finishers over the last few years and what bikes they are on.

So, I kind of figured out what type of bike I was going to race this year. Now I needed to figure out what bike I was going to race. I had a couple options to think about. I have my Niner that has a 2×9 set up and I have my Spot that is a 1×10. I also had a Niner rigid fork to put on what ever bike I picked. Then as a surprise to me my new carbon Scale came in. The first trip to Story I could not help myself but to ride the new bike. It is super light, but I would not be able to put a rigid fork on it and if the weather was bad at all I would not want to take it. It took me long enough to clean and fix my CX bike from last years race. I didn’t by the Scale for this kind of race and I sure don’t want the first race on it to be a mess.

niner

The Scale rode great, but I could not help the feeling that the gearing would hold me back for the race. We didn’t go race pace, but I found myself running out of gearing on the road sections. The bike came with a 32t on front, but I really didn’t feel like trying to get a 34t or bigger just for this race. Next trip I put a rigid fork on the Niner and tried that out. This bike did a lot better and even with being heavier than the Scale I figured it would be my go to bike for the race. The 24t and 36t in the front gave me plenty of gearing options. Then I got to thinking. Thinking is not always a good thing. I wondered out much difference the steel Niner fork weighed compared to my carbon Pace fork on my SS. After I did some initial digging it looked like the PaceĀ  would be about a pound lighter. Humm….lighter is always good. I started to weigh everything. It turned out that the Niner weighed 25 lbs and that didn’t seem light enough. I went to swap out the rigid fork, but the race for the head set would not work for the aluminum steer tube.

So, after a lot of work, I ended up putting the steel fork back on the Niner, but in the process I did figure out that the Pace was exactly 1 lb lighter than the Niner. The other interesting thing I figured out was my Spot with out a back wheel weighed pretty dang light. Not what I expected for a steel frame, but I knew it was not heavy. This made me wonder just how much it weighed with a back wheel and so I took the Niner fork off of the Niner and put it on the Spot. I then moved the wheels over. With the heavy fork the Spot weighs in at 23 lbs. That is much better. Now I just needed to work out the lack of gearing that was on the 1×10. I put a 34t front chain ring on it and I was ready to go. I took this bike on the next trip to Story. It did an awesome job. Now this is the bike I am going to race. Yea, I know I could put the Pace fork on there and get it another pound lighter, but I really like that fork on my SS and if this is going to be my long term gravel bike, I kind of like everything being steel.

spot

So, my bike is not determined and the days are running out. I can only hope that I put in enough work and planning to allow myself to have a good ride. I think I will be the most prepared to date so that is leaning toward making good things happen. Weather looks like it should be better than last year so I am keeping my fingers crossed. I will know soon enough how it all turns out. The only thing I am sure of is that I will be hanging out with some good friends and putting in a good bike ride. Hope everyone also has a good time and maybe I will see you out there.

 

Posted in Bikes, DINO, Gravel, gravel, Gravel Grovel, hills, Racing, Team Adventures, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Boograss Dash

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Last weekend I participated in the inaugural Boo Grass Dash. I was teamed up with McLovin’s to form the team Eric squared. This event was modeled off of a former Sub 9 and now Dino series event the Death March. This is a back road/gravel race where you have to make it to check points that are cemetery’s. You were given map containing a list of stops before the race. It was up to you on how to would get to each one (or the ones you were going to make). At sign up you drew a card that had a letter on it. Your special challenge was to find a tombstone with a last name that starts with that letter. Sometimes this was a lot harder than you would think.

The weather was a little cooler than it had been, but it was a beautiful day once the sun was out in full force. I knew there would be mostly paved road and some gravel road sections so I rode the cross bike. I was still a little beefier than I needed with the 40’s on there, but they were already on there and I didn’t really have anything else to change to that I liked. I had planned on a 50 mile day with a couple other guys, a lot more vibe of a group ride than an actual race. Even though we were not “racing” the four of us didn’t go that slow and other than a couple cemetery’s that we struggled to find our names, we were moving at a fair pace.

Overall it was just a fun day on the bike. You could not ask for much more. Good times with some good people and great weather, just what anyone would want. Roads were pretty good to ride. There was not too many cars and most of them did a very good job of passing. I was not familiar with this area, but know that a lot of people ride the Bluegrass area. Maybe that is why the drivers did a better job as they are used to seeing bikers. That is better than a bunch of angry drivers because they see a bunch of bikers.

After the race they had chili and cookies for the racers that was very good. It was a very fun and chill event. Tiffany and Kayla did a great job on their first event and I hope they continue to host some races. I’m sure the turn out was not as good as they had hoped, but they are planning on tweaking a few things for next year to try and bring a few more people out. I know there were several people that I thought would be there that didn’t make it. I knew people are busy, but for the amount of riders in the Evansville area I personally was a little disappointed that the crowd was not bigger. I guess maybe the rock scared some of them off. Their loss.

I was pleasantly surprised with my first podium appearance of the year. With the way this year has gone maybe I can not be such a stranger to podiums next year. I want to thank Tiffany and Kayla for taking the initiative to put something like this on. I am sure with a few tweaks more people with show up next year. I know it is not easy to try and work all of this stuff out and worry about trying to make everyone happy, but you did a fantastic job. I also want to thank Scheller’s for helping with the prizes and hosing a sag stop. See you at next years race!

 

Posted in Bikes, Gravel, gravel, Racing, racing, Team Adventures, Uncategorized | 2 Comments