The following is a true story, only the names have been changed, to protect the guilty.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Ragnarok Gravel

The first big climb, right out of the starting gate

We had lots of pit stops waiting for electronic navigation 

Troy,"riding" the large climb up the 1st min. maint. road

These are the signs we like to see

Almost done pit stop

Steve, Brett

Who's this bad mo-fo ?
Often the best way to train for a particular race is to go directly to the course and familiarize yourself with it. This is what Brett's ride was all about on Sunday. He put together a 70 mile route that used parts of the Ragnarok from a couple different years. I think there were nine of us to start, with Steve and I showing up late and having to catch up to the group that left about fifteen minutes before us. Fortunately, Brett gave us the cue sheets before he left us in the parking lot so we were able to find our way.We caught up to the pack in about 50 minutes, we really didn't need the sheets, as their tracks in the loose gavel were easy to follow. What I noticed immediately was how hard the ride seemed to be for a moderate cruising pace . I have been riding a fair amount but the gravel was killing me. It seemed kind of soft and a lot of the route had been freshly graded. The first chunk of minimum maintenance road was the most difficult. If you've done the race before it's the one that has the long loose, large sized gravel climb. The top usually has a bunch of snow to struggle through, and a good vantage point from the top in all directions, except the one you just came from. At the race in a couple weeks, the guys that ride the road bikes with skinny tires will suffer the most. The other side of the climb is a wicked decent, riddled with unavoidable gravel the size of ping pong balls or larger. Enough with course info. As the day wore on the weather got better, to start it was kind of cloudy and cold, but by the end I was sporting a short sleeve jersey and dark sun glasses which I purchased at our Kwik-Trip luncheon. I had a great time, I'm sure all the other riders did as well. Thank You Brett, for putting it together and the invite.          As for me, April 14 is gunna hurt.

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