Friday, June 20, 2014

Ready or Not it's time for RiotGRRRaveL!

Gravel road on RiotGRRRaveL route
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 this afternoon. The route is a mixture of gravel types from nice to ride to pretty loose. There are some hilly portions and the ride be challenging. That said, it's a pretty route with lots of great scenery and the beginning of the ride and end of the ride are on great, straight, almost flat, roads.
One of the gravel roads along the RiotGRRRaveL route 
Because of all of the rain we've been getting, one part of the route is underwater so the race crew has worked up a new route and is getting new cue sheets ready for us. I can imaging they are quite busy this evening! My guess is, given what I saw of the route today, that they can pretty easily route us around the underwater portion of the race.

The ride route is 33 miles long. As I mentioned, from what I saw today, it will be a challenging ride but I think it's doable. I would be better off if I could have gotten some more gravel miles in but this past week but I was down with the stomach flu for a couple of days and then the rain kept me off the roads. Oh well. Though I haven't gotten in any real long rides so far this year, my longest thus far was a 27 mile road ride, in past years I have ridden 70 miles in a day (road ride) so I know I'm capable of going far. The hills worry me a bit. And the gravel. And the distance. I guess that's pretty much the whole ride. Oh well. At least now I have my bike adjusted well and I am feeling more comfortable riding on gravel. But, best of all, I know I have a great riding companion in Lisa and I will bet that the energy of riding with about 80 women will carry me along quite well.

All right. Time for go. Best thing I can do for myself right now is get a good night's sleep!
Nice scenery along the RiotGRRRaveL route




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