Sunday, July 21, 2013

3GR Report: Gravel Mutt Debuts

Michael was a 1st timer on the ride.
Okay, the bike was dialed in and the big question was would I be ready? This- whatever it is-  that I have that is dragging me down was hitting me hard on Friday. The legs felt like cement and later on they were in an achy state of pain. I strayed from drinking anything but water all day, and I hit the hay earlier than usual, just to insure I would be in the best condition I could be in. All things considered.

A decent breakfast was consumed and I set out for the start feeling "okay". No real big aches or pains and I felt alright pedaling. I got a text from Jeremy saying he would be there, so I knew at least one rider would be showing up. As I sped along downtown Waterloo's streets, I became aware of another kitted out rider approaching. Odd.....usually seeing another cyclist in the downtown area means a person in civies on a ratted out rig or a mart bike. But this individual was obviously on a nice rig. Then I suddenly realized it was Michael, one of my, (sometimes), coworkers at the shop.  We exchanged greetings and off we went to get to the start.

We weren't there long before being joined by recent Tour Divide finisher, Mike Johnson. Then a few minutes later, Jeremy rolled up, out of breath, since he was pinning it to make the start time. Great googly-moogly! A foursome!

Jeremy out front
The day was cooler, with less humidity than we had experienced in the previous days, but it wasn't what I would call "cool" weather either. It was really about perfect. The roads were dusty, and we hit many patches of fresh gravel. The early pace set by Jeremy was blazingly fast for a 3GR. I figured he was in a hurry to get back home for some reason or another. Mike stated at this point that his "go" button had been disabled! Well, 2700+ miles in three weeks will do that to you!

Eventually Jeremy came back to us and as he engaged Mike in conversation about Mike's Tour Divide experience, the pace eased a bit back to "normal" 3GR speeds, which eased my mind a bit. I wasn't too worried about the bike, but I was concerned about myself and how I would respond to a big push like that out of the gate. So far, so good on all accounts.

The bike was doing well, as I said. It had a big ring that I figured would be too big, (48T), and a middle ring I figured would be too small, (34T), so I was concerned about how this would play out on the ride. I pretty much stuck it in the big ring the entire ride, besides one steep hill where I tested out all three selections. The ride of the bike is smoother, by a little bit, than the Black Mountain Cycles bike, but I can tell the bottom bracket is higher and there is something about the way the rear triangle works that makes you pin your weight on the front wheel more, which sometimes resulted in a push on the looser sections. Overall it is good. Just a wee bit "off" in a few areas. More riding time will set in more impressions to be shared later.

A rare one of me, by Jeremy.
Okay, enough about the bike. I was going along pretty well once past Denver as we took the left toward Ivanhoe Road. I seemed to be getting settled in, and was actually feeling okay on the bike. The legs were holding up, and even Jeremy noted that as we were riding.

Eventually we reached a point where it made sense for Mike to peel off and head back to his home in Cedar Falls. He was obviously still feeling the effects of TD on his system, as I caught glimpses of him yawning on his bike a few times during our ride. I imagine it takes a while to recover from something like TD.

Eastward and then south on Burton Avenue and back into the city. I was still going well and thought maybe this was a sign I was recovering from the sickness. Jeremy peeled off at a street where it made sense to him to head home and Michael and I finished out the ride. 40-ish miles and done in 2 and a half hours. Not bad! As I sat at home,I suddenly felt very tired. Well, maybe I wasn't recovered after all!

I ended up getting cleaned up and then taking a nap for a bit. Pretty zapped the rest of the day too. Maybe the "Power Of The Mutt" got me through, or I was just lucky enough to ride exactly as long as I could have before falling apart. I don't know, but the bike- that was a success.

1 comment:

GravelDoc said...

Glad the "Mutt" is working out for you; it's a cool looking bike! About the sickness; do you think it might be time to go see the doctor? Just say'n. ;)