I sat beside the trail while 100, 200, 300 riders streamed by. I was maybe 5 miles into the Dakota Five-0 and eventually watching the stragglers from the 1st wave limping past me. After I stopped retching and my heart rate dropped below 140 I continued to sit. I ripped my number plate off, crossed the trail and contemplated where I could go hide for the rest of the weekend.
Then I turned and rode up the trail for 17 or so more miles of steady climbing. At first I was uncertain, but I slowly regained my ability to eat and drink and then to climb. I knew I had self-selected into the "tour" category of the "race, ride, tour" event (who knows how many minutes I actually lay there before starting again, or how much extra time it took because of multitudes of people I would have to pass), but I still found myself picking off riders in large clumps because it was fun to ride fast. I reached the 22 mile checkpoint and knew it was going to be mostly downhill from there. I love going downhill, love how precise my new mountain bike feels and how soft it feels for a hardtail. I passed more and more people. I passed some people like they weren't moving. I rode with others for a while. I was able to eat and drink normally. The last couple of steep climbs were conquered. I pointed it downhill the rest of the way to the finish and let everything hang out.
I crossed the finish with a huge smile on my face.
More to come about this last weekend including pictures tonight or tomorrow. While some of it was great, not everything quite met my expectations off the course.
Results - Thanks to all who came out to make the 2017 Dirt Bag another good day for the gravel community. The previous days rain made the course a little soft and put...
21 hours ago