Joe Fox of Cycle City is behind this gravel grinder. The Fox family farm which is just outside of the small rural town of Lathrop, Missouri serves as the start and finish. It's perfect. Roll out of the driveway and you're on gravel.
Joe puts on a great event with a challenging mix of terrain including plenty of white rock, B roads and of course wicked gravel. Plus, there's some amazing BBQ afterward. This year's event was a bit shorter than last year at 85 miles, but by the end I was cooked. The heat and ridiculous humidity really took a toll.
Thus far in 2010 I've competed in a gravel grinder in Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri. What's up South Dakota, Colorado and Wyoming?
The gravel in Missouri is rather coarse with plenty of large rocks to avoid - you gotta constantly be on your toes to avoid pinch flats
Followin' the cue cards - actually, I just followed folks in front of me and never really looked at my cue sheet...yeah, I'm lazy
The man behind the Farmhouse Classic on his brand new Indy Fab cross bike - Thanks again Joe!
High humidity + dusty roads = dirty legs (Pig Pen style)
Gerald Hart wound it up in the final quarter mile and got a gap on the rest of us to take the victory. He rode great all day and also did most of the navigating. Congrats and thanks! Doug Long (who also rode like a stud all day) and I followed Gerald in to take the Masters and SS category top honors. Yeah, I was on a single speed. Geared bike is out of commission right now with a bad crank and a couple other problems.
Soon after we finished a storm rolled in with plenty of wind and precipitation. Most folks had finished, but fellow Lincolnites Malcolm and Bruce were still out there. We assumed they were getting dumped on and we considered heading out in the Mint Julep (my Honda Element) to track 'em down, but eventually they rolled in. The storm missed them completely. Whew.
Malcolm at the finish on the fixie - he constantly impresses me with what he can do on that bike - Kudos!
Thanks again to Joe and his family for hosting a bunch of nutty gravel junkies for the day. That was a fine day of cycling fun with plenty of great conversation and food afterward. The pulled pork sandwiches and all the fixings didn't disappoint. Thanks to all the competitors as well. It was great meeting several new "gravel friends" (yes, I know...cheesy) and I look forward to seeing you all at future events.