2014 Gravel Metric

2014-05-25 11.51.21The Gravel Metric took place this weekend in DeKalb, IL. If you are unfamiliar with the event, it’s a ride that takes place largely on the gravel roads around DeKalb that is roughly 100 kilometers in length, this year’s length being just over 110 kilometers or 68.5 miles. It is organized and put on by the great folks at Axletree and North Central Cyclery.

I drove up to DeKalb the day before the Gravel Metric to take advantage of the Moots demo that was scheduled as one of their titanium bikes is probably in my future.
2014-05-24 18.32.31 2014-05-24 18.32.48I’ve been looking at the Moots Frosti for a bit as an eventual replacement for my Salsa ti Mukluk. The Moots truck had the new Frosthammer which is basically a Frosti that is capable of clearing five-inch tires or running 29+ tires. It felt very agile, especially for a five-inch fat bike.
2014-05-24 19.12.37After getting my fix of Moots awesomeness, I was offered some pizza and a cold beer. I hung out for a bit and watched some people ride a Penny-Farthing and some people try to ride a Penny-Farthing. Smiles were had!
2014-05-24 18.20.33The next morning after getting ready I joined the other 360 riders at the staging area before setting off behind a police escort out-of-town.
2014-05-25 08.49.00The pace was very lax as we rode out-of-town but things quickly got crazy as we turned onto the first gravel road with the speed jumping to over 25 mph. That doesn’t seem too crazy until you factor in riding on gravel that moves under your tires and the leaders were pulling even faster.

I decided after a few miles that I didn’t belong in the first or second group and settled into a groove riding with different groups averaging between 17 mph and 22 mph depending on who was pulling. At one point I was part of a pace line of more than 30 riders that was traveling at 20 mph, pretty neat!

The ride is titled as a gravel metric and we spent the majority of the ride on gravel but it also included awesome dirt roads, double track, and pavement.
2014-05-25 11.59.26-1 2014-05-25 12.31.33 2014-05-25 10.47.23We crossed different obstacles including railroad tracks and a shallow creek crossing.
2014-05-25 12.07.19 2014-05-25 12.10.08About three and a half hours in, right around the 60 mile mark, I started to lose some steam and had to slow down. It was a little tough to fall off a bit so close to the end, but I had to listen to my body. I rolled back into North Central Cyclery with a time of 4 hours and 11 minutes.

The Axletree and North Central Cyclery folks know how to organize and run great cycling events! Everything from the simple and fast registration, great event products, organizing the police escort out-of-town, to the food and drinks organized for after the ride. It was all great! I had a bast overall and plan on going back next year with a goal of breaking the 4 hour mark with even more smiles along the way!

Garmin Data

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Today On A Bike

2014-02-22 14.05.28 2014-02-22 14.27.46I set out on a solo 50 mile ride today in preparation for the Barry-Roubaix. It was a little cold and a little longer than my legs wanted. I wanted to benchmark my fitness, revealing how much work I still have to do to prepare for the 62 mile gravel race. I also wanted to try out some changes I made to the my Crux in preparation for gravel events this spring including Surly Knard 41c 120TPI tires and a Revelate Designs Tangle Frame Bag. The bike did well today, although the cable disc brakes lack in comparison to the hydraulics that were recalled by Sram. I look forward to getting the redesigned models when Sram releases them, hopefully they will last longer than five months this time…

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2013 Miller Chill Cyclocross Race

20131215_123533_IMG_0187This past weekend I joined the Bloomington Cycle & Fitness Racing Team at the final race of the Heart Of Illinois Cyclocross series. I take great pride in my local town having a mountain bike race, a criterium, a triathlon, and also a cyclocross race. Miller Chill is our local cyclocross race, and this years event was full of snow and fun!

The course was surprisingly ride-able considering the six plus inches of snow that the previous days weather provided. The course was a perfect balance of technical aspects, turns, power sections, and unique sections capitalizing on the terrain. I rode in the open race and placed sixth overall, second in my category. More importantly, I smiled a lot!

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2013 PSI-clocross Cyclocross Race

IMG_1527This past weekend I joined the Bloomington Cycle & Fitness Racing Team at the eighth race of the 2013 Chicago Cross Cup series. The sun was shinning but the weather was still colder than the previous weeks race.

The course was 2.2 miles of hard. Hard. The race had a great mix of elements including off camber turns, singletrack, “Heckle Hill”, long straights, and technical turns. This was my first week racing in the cat 3 race after a mid-week cat up. I had a great time, and thought the racing was a little more business as usual with less chaos, but also a lot harder competition. I ended the day in 37th out of 58. I’ve got work to do :)

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