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Showing posts from June, 2014

RiotGRRRaveL Wrap up

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A few weeks ago I was blogging about how scared I was riding on gravel and how I didn't think I would be able to finish the gravel race - RiotGRRRaveL - that I signed up to ride. I went through Gravel Fears ... and Gravel Tears but then managed to get my bike adjusted better so that I was more comfortable. A day before the RiotGRRRaveL ride, I was still pretty nervous about riding the 30 some miles but planned to go ahead and give it a go. My goals for the ride were pretty basic:
finish the rideaverage 10 mphhave fun Well, guess what? I finished the RiotGRRRaveL gravel bike race on Saturday and accomplished my goals and then some!

Here's my RiotGRRRaveL Race Rundown:

First off, I finished the race! That is an accomplishment in itself because a couple of weeks ago I was about to give up on riding gravel. My longest gravel ride ever was only 16 miles long and my longest ride of the year so far was a road ride of 27 miles. I know 30 gravel miles is nothing to a lot of riders but it …

Ready or Not it's time for RiotGRRRaveL!

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Well, tomorrow is the day of the RiotGRRRaveL race. I'm not quite as ready as I'd like to be but I can't do anything about that now. Come morning, I'll be packing up my bike and my family and I will be heading to Northfield to pick up my ride partner, Lisa. We plan to leave Lisa's around 7:00 then drive over to Hastings (about a 40 minute drive) to Emily's Bakery to pick up our bib numbers, meet some of the other riders and get a pastry!

After that, we head to the ride start location, a church at the edge of town, unload our bikes and get all nervous, I mean, get ready to go.

At 9:30 the race begins - and off we will go! There are about 100 riders signed up, 80 of them are women (the race was created, in part, to get more women riding/racing gravel). At times, I get pretty nervous about the race but I'm just telling myself I'm going on a big bike ride with a lot of fun people and that helps.

My husband, Owen, my son, Ryan, and I drove the race route th…

at last...I'm Feeling Pretty Good on Gravel

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Well, it's time for an update so you don't all think I'm still crying while riding a gravel road somewhere like in my last post. Things are going much better with my gravel riding now. Here's why.

Last Saturday I took my Vaya to Milltown Cycles where I purchased it about a year ago. I called ahead to make sure either Todd or Curtis would have time to help me get my bike fitting better. Todd said he'd be around all day. So, late in the day Owen and I stopped on by and I explained what's been going on. I told Todd:

I'm really heavy in my hands and feet but not sitting much in the saddle at allI feel very unstable when riding gravel like the bike is almost skipping all over the road if I hit a rock, certainly unstable on loose gravelI have trouble with wrist pain when I'm ridingwhen I try to shift my weight back in the saddle, I'm way off the back of my saddle and my knee hurts to boot  We decided to put my Vaya in the trainer so Todd could see me pedal…

....and Gravel Tears

I set off on a ride this morning with Owen with two goals:

get more gravel miles inpay attention to my position on my bike to see if I'm putting adequate weight on my seat to help keep me stable on gravel You see, based on feedback I'm getting from my Gravel Fears post, two things that should help me feel more comfortable riding gravel are 1) time in the saddle riding on gravel (hey, that's sort of poetic) and 2) my position on my bike. In short, if I have all of my weight on my hands instead of on my butt I'm not going to be very stable on the bike. My goal was to figure out how to get my weight shifted aft.

Anyway, we set out for our ride and hit our gravel (fairly loose stuff and a hill right away) and I realized pretty quickly that I put almost all of my weight on my hands and toes but hardly any weight on my sits bones of my butt. Basically, I'm really not sitting in my saddle. Doh!

I was glad for the revelation. Seems like all I need to do is stop carrying ten…

Gravel Fears

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I got out to ride some gravel today (about 4 miles) and managed to scare myself - again. I thought that gravel riding would be fun because I wouldn't have to deal with narrow or nonexistent shoulders and car traffic like I do when I ride my road bike. Instead I'm finding that I'm stressed as I navigate loose gravel and deep gravel and feel like I'm going to fall over. Even on relatively smooth areas I'll find myself hitting some chunks of gravel and feel like I might just wipe out. I never worry about falling over when I ride my road bike or my fatbike. I fear getting hit by cars on my road bike, sometimes wonder if I might tip over while attempting to ride a mountain bike trail, but I really haven't felt this insecure about my riding ability before.

It's a weird feeling, this fear of falling off my bike, this fear of riding gravel. I don't like it.

It's not that my I really dislike riding gravel or that every moment of my gravel rides is bad or sca…