Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational is this weekend! Here's some scoop on this gravel grinder for those who are curious.
Big Name-Not A Big Deal! This is a "no rider left behind" type ride. It is free- no entry fee. If you show up, don't plan on "racing", or dropping the group, 'cause that won't be cool. This is a fun ride for enjoyment, and challenge. Oh yeah..... and about the "challenge" part........
Get Yer Climbing Gear On! This will be a tough day in the saddle. Take a look at the image here. (click to enlarge) It is a typical climb that you will see a lot of all day long. The image here is about 85 miles into the 118 mile distance. We were walking climbs by the time we got to 50 miles in! Only two guys in our little group cleaned everything. And.....it wasn't very hot or humid. Bring lots of water, food to eat, and patience, because it likely will be hotter and more humid than last year.
A Note On Self Support: This is a self supported ride. You get in, you get yourself out. Bring what you need to survive a 40 mile stint without services. Bring some money! We'll have access to convenience stores at approximately Mile 27, Mile 42, Mile 64.5, and Mile 95.5. (Note, the availability of stuff at the Mile 42 opportunity is very limited) You'll be doing a big loop, and you will be furthest away from your vehicles at approximately 58 miles into it. Just so you know. This ride took about 13 hours to complete last year with over 9 hours saddle time. Start time is slated at 6:30am!
Make sure you have spare tubes, a pump or inflation device, a spare link of chain or two, and a chain tool. A cell phone is an excellent idea, although you'll be in a lot of "no reception zones" on this ride. When I say, "no reception", I mean zero, nada, nuttin'. You want to make a call, you'll need to find a land line out in those valleys! On top of the hills, yeah....maybe!
Bring a camera! This route has some stunning views.
Weather: It looks like a perfect summer day is forecast, so bring some sunscreen! Sunny, high of 87 degrees, and a wind from the SSW at 10-15 gusting to 22mph.
The Campground: It's totally primitive. No lights, toilets, (pit toilet nearby), or nuthin'! That said, West Union is about three miles to the west of the campground and has convenience stores, a motel, and fast food. We'll be camping out after the ride, and I'll be up on Friday evening to camp beforehand. The rule of thumb will be early to bed Friday night, stay up late Saturday night!
Attendance: I don't expect too many riders. Maybe a half a dozen. Maybe ten. Possibly three or four. Doesn't matter if I am the only one. The deal is come if you want, and this is what to expect. I'll have about a half dozen route maps. If you want to know more, or tell me you are or are not coming, e mail me. I'd appreciate that!
Tomorrow, expect a recon report with up to date info on the course and camping.