What an awesome weekend!
Dairyland Dare did not disappoint. The course was beautiful and the riders were awesome. Where else do you get to ride with Charlie Farrow and Robbie Ventura at the same time? Overall, similar vibe to the gravel endurance races, just with even more and bigger hills than the Ragnarok. Very fast pace up front with a host of riders from "Vision Quest" coaching including Robbie Ventura. I was forced to let them go after about 100 miles. I didn't feel so bad letting THAT group go! I went into solo-time-trial-endurance mode as from the Almanzo and things began to feel like a sort of recital. My confidence was high and I was riding better than I'd have hoped. Everything came crashing down when I realized I'd missed a 50k loop. Long story short- use your maps and don't trust others (particularly if you are then going to drop them and ride solo for hours before noticing you've effed up). What made this possible was that the entire course was marked with the same color and as such there was no way I could tell that I'd made a mistake... I just followed the markers on and on until I reached a rest stop with no volunteers and realized something was wrong. I'd gotten there an hour before it was supposed to "open". It was a huge let-down, but the beauty of the route and the day did a lot to overcome that as I rode it in (going back was out of the question due to time constraints). I will be back next year.
Took out some of my frustration with a 110 mile trip to the Mississippi yesterday morning. Even nicer weather and an equally good route. We rode through such towns as Douglas, Oronoco, Mazeppa, Belvidere, Frontenac, Lake City etc. and got some great views of the river and bluffs. I was happy that I actually felt stronger on the return leg (and after eating a couple of burritos in Lake City).
I'll add a picture or two later if they become available.
Summer Dirt Bag GPS Files - 87 mile gpx file 35 mile GPS file To make things confusing here is the 85 mile route from previous years. The 87 mile adds a bit near Maple Lake but I'm ...
2 weeks ago