Course Update: I have re-routed the course to avoid a bridge that we discovered was out during recon a week or so ago. The mileage will be 111.87 miles. There will be an option to hit a convenience store at Mile 43 where you could leave the main course, and take a little over two mile detour to a convenience store. So, out and back to the course again you're looking at almost 5 bonus miles to make a pit stop. That would bring your total to approximately 117 miles for the day, barring any off course mistakes, etc...
Otherwise you'll have to pack water and food to make it to Mile 87 where there will be a convenience store just a few paces off the route. That will be a store that is pretty obvious as you are riding along, so there shouldn't be any issues finding it. But, those are the only suggested resupply options. Remember- There Will Be NO AID STATIONS- NO OUTSIDE SUPPORT ALLOWED- YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU!
We'll have more details on the event coming soon....
Okay, so I had a couple of topics I wanted to cover which I will discuss using knowledge I have gained doing single speed riding in gravel events. First up is crank length. I am pretty convinced that you should use the longest crank set you can get and is reasonable for your size/height. I am a bit over 6' tall and with pretty long legs, I have found 180mm length cranks to be the bomb for a steady cadence up and over the rollers. Shorter cranks seem to put me into a situation where I loose momentum and end up working harder because the part of the arc I am making power in during my pedaling is shorter than it is with a longer crank. Dead spots in the pedaling arc can cause you to lose momentum. That's my theory. Your mileage may vary.
|180mm Race Face cranks, 38 X 17 gear.|
So, you may have to experiment, but in talking with other gravel single speed freaks, I seem to be on the lower end of the gear inch chart. Many are running mid to high 60's for gear inches. So, play around with the combinations to see what works best for you. I would hesitate to recommend anything "higher" than this since you're going to build up a lot of fatigue running the non-stop climbs on this course. A "big" gear will wear you out faster. Plus, March is a windy month in Iowa, and added into this is the very real possibility that the roads will be softer or that there will be precipitation which could increase rolling resistance dramatically.
Finally, if you have the choice, use the biggest diameter gear and chain ring combination that you can. So, instead of using a, let's say, 32 X 12, I'd opt for the larger 38 X 18. Bigger cog/chain ring combinations are more efficient, but you will have to see if your particular bike is compatible with bigger chain rings.
A very nice and very complimentary post concerning the C.O.G. 100 was published by Craig Groseth. Read it HERE.
Stay tuned for more on the C.O.G. 100 in the coming weeks.