Monday, August 22, 2016

Gravel Worlds '16: The Family Reunion

Ready to roll on Friday before Gravel Worlds
Gravel Worlds. It used to be called the Good Life Gravel Adventure. My old cohort in Trans Iowa did it in 2008 and highly recommended that I come down for it in 2009. It was put on by a loose knit group of friends who had dubbed themselves the Pirate Cycling League. I got myself signed on for the 2009 version and since I knew a few of the "pirates" I got accommodations in the "D Street Hotel", the home that housed a few of the said pirates and had served as the nerve center of gravel grinding in Lincoln for years. (Amongst other things that D Street served as!)

I tried a single speed, and in August, with all the heat, humidity, and hills, I got fried and after a 100 miles or so, I was toast. 2010 found the event turning into "Gravel Worlds". I went back with another single speed, and the scene repeated itself. The following year I tried my Gen I Fargo, but I was thwarted once again. The heat, humidity, and hills. A deadly combination to me.

So, I didn't go back again for many years. Then last year I tried it again. I took the Raleigh Tamland and once again, the heat, hills, and humidity got me, just as in the years before. This year came around and, oh......what the heck. I signed on for another try.

So, why would I do that? After several failures in conditions that are not conducive to my doing well, why would I sign up again? I'll tell you the main reason why- the family reunion. Family reunion? Yes. The people that show up to this deal and the people that put it on are all very special folks to me. So, I only get to see many of them once a year, and that is why I go to Lincoln, even if the odds are tilted against me for finishing this event.

The view from the room
There was good news though. This year the cold front coming from Canada was to arrive Friday, the day before Gravel Worlds. Despite forecasts of gusting winds, this meant that the temperatures would be far lower, and the humidity would be far lower than any other year I've ridden down there. The hills? Well, they were still there. Just as they ever have been. Not a whole lot you can do about that part.

Tony picked me up Friday and the trip down was fairly uneventful. We checked in to our room, and then it began to rain. We went on down to Cycle Works for the sign in and met all these great folks, and some new ones, that make this event so special to me. We actually stayed so long the staff at Cycle Works began shutting off the lights to get us to move along. It was such a great gathering of riders and folk I know that I miss the rest of the year, I didn't want any of it to stop. But, like all good things, eventually they come to an end.

Afterward, we left with MG in tow to a Mexican restaurant for a belly full of great food and then we took MG back to his place. We headed back to the motel and settled in for a (hopefully) good night of sleep and a 4:00am wake up call. Tony and I were in good spirits and we had a good feeling about the next day.

In fact, I had been so upbeat and positive about my fortunes I was almost shocked at my own behavior. I was not worried in the least about the wind, or what the roads might be like due to Friday's heavy rains. I was not worried about my nutrition, or my bike, or anything else. I was as cool as a cucumber. Weird. This wasn't how I was normally acting before an event, but this time wasn't normal. However; the night had been awesome no matter what happened the next day.

Next: The Mushy Road To Roca

1 comment:

MG said...

Indeed it was an awesome evening... Thanks for taking the time to hang for a bit!