Sunday, July 25, 2010

Farmhouse Classic!

A small crew of Lincolnites headed down to Missouri for the Farmhouse Classic on Saturday. Several of us in attendance at this year's event had also participated last year. We had a blast last year, so we were able to convince a few others to join us this year.

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?

Rollin' out of Lathrop

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!

Business up front

Party in back

High humidity + dusty roads = dirty legs (Pig Pen style)

Checkpoint refuel at mile 31 - I'm already completely drenched in sweat

Sweet B road with several muddy sections

Not quite sure what this is, but we went around it in the field

Power sucking white rock purgatory

B road two track goodness with Gerald, MG and Doug leadin' the charge

This B road doesn't see much traffic

We had a great crew of guys that stuck together all day

Stopping to change a flat - No attacks here...we're gentlemen

Final push to the finish

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.

Threatening skies

Malcolm at the finish on the fixie - he constantly impresses me with what he can do on that bike - Kudos!

Bruce at the finish sportin' a huge grin after a satisfying day of gravel goodness Missouri style

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.


Bruce said...

Challenging-but fun!-great guys to ride with! Was also great to get to ride with you Malcom! Great job Corey, Scott and Troy (Monsters of the Midwest!)


David Neidinger said...

Fun ride and nice to finally meet the legends of gravel. Great write up as always!

MG said...

That was a lot of fun riding with you guys. Man, it was hot out there! Amazing how worked that white rock can make you, 'eh? Wow!

Malcolm said...

Had a blast with everyone, great riding with you Bruce! Glad I impress on that bike, it's easier to ride than it looks...

You all impress the hell out of me, you're machines. I was actually hurting all day, leg cramps like never before, maybe lack of hydration from the beginning. Had a great time though, thanks for the fun Joe!

sbig said...

That was a fun day of riding. No Contadors in the peloton, just gentlemen. That is one thing I love about gravel riding, its meeting and riding with good folks.