Here's the recap from Saturday's Intro to Stupid gravel ride, plus some info on upcoming gravel rides.
"Death by a thousands bumps." When the terrain has a bunch of hills that aren't all that tall or steep, they seem easy to punch up at the beginning. By the end, your legs are dead and you wonder why. The rolling landscape in the Irish Hills and Sharon Hollow area makes for some of the best gravel riding within an hours drive of Toledo. The many short hills are the best interval workout money can buy. The beautiful landscape takes your mind off the pain.
Nine riders showed for a fast and fun 70 miles from Manchester, MI. The bulk of the group was fast and experienced, and I kept up as long as I could. Average speeds were in the 15 to 17 MPH range, with rolling speeds of 19 to 21. The route was split into two 35 mile loops from Carr Park on the West edge of town. Other than a little washboard on Bethel Church Road, road conditions were awesome. Most of the gravel roads were packed and smooth. A few of the roads had some chunky gravel, but nothing to complain about. We hit some of the funnest roads in the area: Noggles, Taylor, Sylvan, Whelan, Bethel Church, Trolz. There are so many it's hard to keep track sometimes.
There are some cool gravel events coming up:
Edgar and I have been planning a gravel route from his cottage on 9/14. More details on that in another post.
Justin has offered up the Cannondale Topstone Carbon fleet to demo on 9/21. We ride from Hell, MI at 8am. There are 8 bikes available on a first come, first serve basis: small, medium, large, and extra large in both the AXS and Ultegra builds. I demoed the Ultegra build for the Chelsea gravel ride and it was fast and comfortable from the factory. The compliance from the seat-stay pivot and seat post make it a great bike for long rides. I didn't notice any unecessary flex when pedaling hard and it handled sketchy descents like a champ. Shoot Justin P. Reynolds a message on Facebook to reserve a bike.
On 9/22, Monroe Cycling Club's Lake Erie Fall Ride has a 60 mile gravel route. There is a lunch stop at Luna Pier and a beer tent afterwards. I'll be leading a no drop group starting at 8am.
9/28 takes us to Morenci, MI for one of the easier gravel century routes in the area. It's a relatively flat course that begins to head downhill around mile 55. Bonus if the wind is out of the west. There are stops every 20 miles. If you are looking to do your first gravel century, this would be a great ride for you.
More to come in October as well. I will post more info the week of each event.