We went, we saw, kicked ass!
Overall we had a great time with the race. The weather was perfect too. The morning started at a chilly, foggy 49 degrees, then cleared to a sunny beautiful day to ride. The field of racers was not the 100 they hoped for but still a great turn out for a first year's race.
The race organizers were dialed in and always very supportive. The riders ticket we were required to carry on us at all times ( like Pony Express mail) was cool and creative. They punched the ticket at our sag stops and recorded our time.
I was impressed at the route. We encountered mud (about 5 miles), rocky roads, rail bed gravel, bridges with wheel suckers, a farmer's field, and the usual gravel roads. In other words an awesome route with lots of climbing. The check points were well thought out in my opinion. It allowed us to rest and refuel at the right times.
The beginning of the race was cool and foggy, so much so dew formed on out eyelashes, clothing and helmets. The first of the gravel was tough since it rained the entire day on Friday and made the gravel plush and the road soft, it felt like riding in sand. As the day warmed up the gravel dried out too, thank god!
I struggled a bit until mile 30 when I got severe cramps. I thought I was done so soon, but rested for a bit and got to the first check point ( 45 miles) where I drank pickle juice, coke and bananas. I felt better but still not great.
The second segment was tougher, more hills and a virtual ascent to the second check point at 88 miles. As we left the 2nd SAG stop the route was on the Nebraska state line! The headwind seemed to follow us every direction. The weather was amazingly perfect for a ride like this.
Dustin and I took a break at mile 70, at this point in the DK I was done, physically and mentally, this stop however this stop I was resting to hydrate and enjoy the view We met a farm cat I named Skittles. Skittles and I rested ate beef jerky while Dustin moved on. I think it was the longer stop or it might have been the food or whatever it was I felt great. I caught up with Dustin and felt like a new rider.
The second checkpoint it warmed up a bit but nothing like DK. We rested then moved on out for another 33 miles. They said it was "all down hill from here on out". Nope, it wasn't, more mud, lot's of hills, rail beds that had the sharpest rocks and more bridge crossings.
With .4 miles to go Dustin got a flat and walked it in while I rolled along to finish with him. My time was 11:15 or so. In other words I rode 10 miles longer in shorter time than DK, I felt great too afterwards. I am pleased with the results and think Team Velo + had a great time.
I recorded a ride time of 9+hrs, 120.7 miles, 6800 ft of climbing.
The team that rode was: Joshua, Nicholas, David W., Julie, Dustin and Vincent.
Nicholas got 1 st place in the Single Speed division
Julie got 2nd in Women's open ( her first gravel race!)
Many many thanks to the SAG team who supported us throughout the ride:
David Dye, Paul Ebner, Laura Deffer, Maria Rodriguez, Kurt McKinsey, Israel and Tomas Rodriguez and Lulu the SAG dog.
Pictures coming soon.
Great job everyone and we look forward to the coming CX season then Gravelicious!
If you are interested and racing with us, let us know!