As usual, I suck and didn't bring a camera or take any pictures.
BALLS was as expected. Friday, FISH FRY night in Mt. Horeb, dinner meant I needed to be in Barneveld by 7. Didn't quite make it, but the road construction on the way down did allow me extra time to listen to coverage of the royal wedding. I parked at Scott's and hammered out to Mt. Horeb for Spotted Cows, mini tacos and a burger.
Saturday dawned very bright and early and I felt mostly like crap. It would be 7 trips to the toilet and approximately 7 hrs AND 75 miles later before I started feeling ok. Not many 100 mile rides where I remember feeling stronger towards the end (the same would happen Sunday too). Great to see all the riders out there! Tons of people I haven't seen for 7 or 8 months and some new ones too. Lots of fancy, fancy bikes this year- shows how the gravel thing is taking off... seems even last year people were generally on something cheap/simple/commuter-like and now more and more are on almost gravel specific rigs. I rode the Trek 720 with a cooler strapped to the back, I did not get the memo about the fancy bikes (in all seriousness, I was expecting pouring rain and drivetrain ruining sand everywhere).
I strapped a small cooler to my rack with bungee cords. It worked out so well that I plan to actually bolt it into the same position permanently on that bike. It's nice to know you've got a couple beers, some cold food and a soda or two at the ready. I did learn that glass bottles are a bad idea if you are going to fall.
Don and I hammered pretty hard out to Dodgeville and I used that extra time to pick up a cap gun from Walgreens. The possibilities associated with carrying a cap gun on bike trails are endless.
Rode with many different people throughout the day, but by the end it was almost the exact same crew as last year who hammered out the last few miles into Brodhead together. Almost the same stop at the last turn too- the E&J went down as well as ever.
ALE ASYLUM (thanks to them btw) was everywhere at the finish. I believe we had ten full cases to go around. Ambergeddon is about as good as it gets if you ask me. Consumed about 2 lbs of hot beef, pasta salad, chips, cookies etc. and sat by the fire until a little after 11. Great time.
Sunday am I woke up to Kevin joking with Nate about sneaking into my room and firing the cap gun, but fell back asleep quickly and they never tried it. Next time I woke up everyone was gone riding already. Hurredly put my gear on and put some effort into catching back up. We all got into a loose group by about mile 20 and would continue on as such to the finish. Again I felt like I got stronger as the day wore on- this time the wind also felt stronger as the day went on. We waged a sort of battle. I got a bit tired of the not-exactly-aero cooler and bike setup. Then I got close enough to the finish that it started to pull and finished feeling strong. More Ambergeddon.
Again I would highly recommend this ride to anyone. There is someone to ride with at almost any pace and everyone has a great time. The cabins in Brodhead are perfect and free Ale Asylum is great. Hope to see you next year.
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