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Glengravel Ramble 2020

Team Bikeman - Race Reports

Crazy times. All racing thus far this year has been cancelled locally and probably for the best. I was motivated to ride until Iceman Cometh for 2020 was officially cancelled and then the questions in my head started. I’d joined Laurens Ten Dam’s Dirty Kanzalled ride, completed my early morning hundred miles and that day committed to completing any virtual rides/races to support local promoters.

The first was Glengravel Ramble another virtual hundred miler which turned into more of an adventure than I’d planned. Strangely that day my wife was reading an article in the local rag that told about organic farmers moving to Stockbridge, Michigan because of the perfect soils. I looked it up on a map and said “there’s nothing out there, I’m riding there”. I mapped a ride and that was my destination: 104 to be exact and geared up my Kona Major Jake with some wide gravel tires - this route was 80% dirt and gravel.

Early morning departure, no one on the roads and loving the simplicity of everything. The scenery was all new and it was getting hot. Much like many areas of the US it’s been a hot summer but I was prepared, I had a hydration pack, an extra bottle and would refuel along the way - half way point seems logical, right?

It was a really nice morning: blue skies, alone with my thoughts. I hit the turn around point of the loop and just followed the planned route on my Wahoo. Kept riding, “I’m out of water, I should stop soon”. “Jeez it’s hot, these sandy roads reflect the heat”. That’s how it was for an hour...remember “there’s nothing out there”.

Terrible planning on my part. I saw no gas stations, no churches with faucets, no country stores, nothing for an hour. I was cooked. My Wahoo said the high temp for my ride was 100.4F - yeah, it sounds a bit much but it was definitely in the mid-90’s.

When I finally found a gas station the heat was crazy. A chilled Mexican coke, a gallon of cold spring water and an Almond Snickers went a long way. I sat in the shade and enjoyed every minute of it. Two more hours home but they were hard. I’d bonked a little, learned a valuable lesson on better planning but really had a good time. I’d do it again. What’s next?

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