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Moondog Wily

Howlin' At The Moon!
Joined
Feb 12, 2021
Messages
2,596
Location
Piccolomini Crater, Luna
I successfully completed my first century (and first race) on Saturday! It was a pretty epic day out and encapsulated everything about gravel cycling.

105 miles of sand, dirt, gravel, clay, and some actually really great pavement out of Waynesboro, Georgia. It's about a 40 minute drive south of Augusta, where The Masters Tournament is held, for frame of reference. I loved the format: 40 or so miles of racing split into three segments. It gave a nice challenge (as if 100+ mostly off-road miles isn't a challenge), while still allowing fun and social aspects. The course had a diabolical touch between sand early and then a few 7-9% gradient hills at 90+ miles.

It was foggy and about 60F when we headed out and raced over some sketchy loose sand and dirt roads. Afterwards the fog turned to mist, which then changed into a light rain that turned everything into a tire-grabbing beach sand/mud/clay combo for a while. The sun finally came out and brought the temps to the upper 70's for the last third of the ride which had some picture-perfect racing on hilly, hard-packed red clay roads.

My training over the last 12 weeks paid off. I held up great until the last couple miles on the cruise back into town when I finally started feeling rough, which was fine since the hard work was done!

Didn't grab many pics between the weather and the racing, but the big highlight was cruising through a cotton farm. The clouds were still around, but it was still a stunning sight. One of those things pictures don't come close to capturing.

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Pics also never capture just how dirty a bike can get, but here's my bike at mile 72. You can see the coating of dried clay on the rear wheel and maybe with some zoom you can see the coating on the seat tube down to the bottom bracket. It was everywhere! I was slowly dying inside listening to the gears and brakes rubbing.

We don't need no stinking kickstands...

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I'm a data nerd, so here are the numbers. I love all the info you can get from an electronic drivetrain. I shifted 988 times!

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Wow, your first Century! Ever so many congrats on that!! I did a couple of them decades ago and the mental milestone is huge (well, was for me anyway)!!! And all that in only 988 shifts!!!! Thanks for sharing!!!!!
 

DreamTheaterRules

The guys in my car club call me The Cruiser
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
Messages
12,377
Location
Cincinnati area
Appreciate it mate!
I think I got off lucky. Some of my similarly aged friends got slammed/bed ridden etc. but I feel like it's just a bad flu.
Glad yours was milder too.
Bad flu? Sorry to hear that. I only had a fever one day, mild headache for 4-5 days. We got lucky (Mrs. DTR had it at the same time... not sure how that happened) and got an almost perfect week of weather the week we were quarantined. Low 80s (American) every day. I went to work and grabbed my work laptop on weekend, and worked on my back deck all week. Some days we'd be on the back deck from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Just stayed outside all day. The dogs loved it. But we didn't really get sick. I've certainly had colds that were far worse.

But if you're terming it "bad flu" you need to take care of yourself. My doc said to be "extremely careful" with your lungs and he said get on antibiotics as early as possible for that reason. I know you've heard my covid stories before, so just BE CAREFUL and take care of yourself!
 

dmatthews

Dave's not here
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
11,686
Location
Vancouver, B.C. Canada
Bad flu? Sorry to hear that. I only had a fever one day, mild headache for 4-5 days. We got lucky (Mrs. DTR had it at the same time... not sure how that happened) and got an almost perfect week of weather the week we were quarantined. Low 80s (American) every day. I went to work and grabbed my work laptop on weekend, and worked on my back deck all week. Some days we'd be on the back deck from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Just stayed outside all day. The dogs loved it. But we didn't really get sick. I've certainly had colds that were far worse.

But if you're terming it "bad flu" you need to take care of yourself. My doc said to be "extremely careful" with your lungs and he said get on antibiotics as early as possible for that reason. I know you've heard my covid stories before, so just BE CAREFUL and take care of yourself!
I think my term "bad flu" is/was a poor choice of words, apologies for that. I had headaches/bad throat/cough/sneeze/snotty, and a lack of appetite, but none of that is as horrible as I've experienced in the past.
Thank you for your well wishes mate!
 

garrett

...
Joined
Jul 27, 2012
Messages
6,249
Location
The southern tip of Tampa Bay
Wow! Impressive as heck!
Those clay roads look like they could be dicey too. What a great ride!

That farm road was sweet. A layer of loose sand over hard. That type of surface rides nice, generally. The trouble is when it becomes loose over soft without warning!

The red clay hard pack towards the end was amazing. I hit 30mph bombing down the other side of one of those nasty little hills.
 

dmatthews

Dave's not here
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
11,686
Location
Vancouver, B.C. Canada
That farm road was sweet. A layer of loose sand over hard. That type of surface rides nice, generally. The trouble is when it becomes loose over soft without warning!

The red clay hard pack towards the end was amazing. I hit 30mph bombing down the other side of one of those nasty little hills.
30mph is about as fast as I want to go on my bike. Maybe I'd feel safer on yours, but I get pretty nervous about potholes/rocks and things at that speed!
 

Gerryg

New Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2022
Messages
21
I just upgraded my old Specialized Hard Rock single speed with an 8 speed kit and gave been really enjoying the hills. I was strong before with only one gear, but couldn’t go off-road much.

Lots of great single track trails around my home base, so it’s easy to get out and get some air.
 

DreamTheaterRules

The guys in my car club call me The Cruiser
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
Messages
12,377
Location
Cincinnati area
I'll give you all another reason to mock my bicycle adventures. I haven't had a wreck on a bike since I was 13.

I had a new puppy and decided to take him for a ride. All was good until the neighbors dog started barking. He started squirming so hard I almost dropped him. I went down, went over the handlebars and made sure to land elbow down so he didn't get hurt. He didn't get a scratch. I still have a scar on my elbow almost 50 years later.

However, haven't gone down since. At my age, I hope that continues as I know I won't recover like I used too.
 

tiboy

New Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
805
Location
New Jersey
I'll give you all another reason to mock my bicycle adventures. I haven't had a wreck on a bike since I was 13.

I had a new puppy and decided to take him for a ride. All was good until the neighbors dog started barking. He started squirming so hard I almost dropped him. I went down, went over the handlebars and made sure to land elbow down so he didn't get hurt. He didn't get a scratch. I still have a scar on my elbow almost 50 years later.

However, haven't gone down since. At my age, I hope that continues as I know I won't recover like I used too.
My wife hates it when I go down..…….on the bike. She complains that the chain lube is hard to remove from the sheets.

You do know you just jinxed yourself big time.
 
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