Ornot and Gravel Grinders go together like Peas and Carrots. I don't really eat peas, nor carrots, so I'm not sure how successful that metaphor is, but the point is - We love 'em. The whole idea of a no-rules ride with mixed terrain and beautiful sites to see, thats our jam. You could race it, Ornot. You could ride a 50lb porteur bike, Ornot. You could start bonking before the halfway point, Ornot. You could have a bunch of fun with a really great group of people... (See what I did there?)
Whether you're putting the watts down, or sitting up to enjoy the views, these longer, agenda-less rides have something for everyone. Hence their growing popularity, and all the online haters. We know riding your bike on mixed terrain is nothing new, hell we have been doing it for decades, but we think it best to embrace this budding culture and invite you to join us for the ride.
We drove up to a little lake called Davis to participate in the third annual Lost and Found Gravel Grinder and Bike Ride. Having ridden a long training ride of about 45 miles a couple weeks ago, and practicing our flat repair skill's we considered ourselves pretty fit for riding and signed up for the "Expert" registration of the full hundo. That's right 100 miles, on dirt, at 6k feet, in the heat. Last time we rode 100 miles on dirt??? never. Ready, set, go.
Like I said, we were prepared for this ride. Like, super prepared. Like, months of training and, like, at least a hundred combined miles on our Strava profiles. So we were out in the front making the big moves, naturally. That was all until we remembered how many miles were left to go... after mile 2.
Unfortunately, our attempts to hold the front group back for an enjoyable century full of banter and beer were struck down shortly after our second-mile-realization (they just wanted to go fast). We quickly moved to the rear and settled into our pace for the day: medium slow-ish.
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Strava said we burned about 3942 calories in 100 miles. I say we burned that before the first rest stop. Gravel Grinding is hard, If you want to make it through the grind, you better come prepared with snacks, and nutrition, packets of salt, shot blocks, etc. Luckily for us, there were some incredible people out on the course to get us through with bacon wrapped pickles, tortilla chips, trail mix and even some whiskey.
|Along the ride, the Ornot team was split between two schools of thought. One - take it chill and be cool, it's just a long ride. And two - I better go fast so this is done quicker. I think we fell somewhere in the middle because if I had my way we would have gone a whole lot slower. Funny enough though, we got caught by the Squid boys after the second rest stop and they informed us we were just minutes from the cutoff time, so a semi-hustle-mode was put on (and continued until the end.)
We were pretty beat by the time we reached the famous Paul Components tent at the bottom of the climb. We enjoyed a couple beers, bacon and snacks, and some sweet thoughts of the finish line. After a quick reprieve, we resumed the ride and headed for the ridiculous 2500 foot climb that the the race organizers so kindly placed at mile 80-something. It was a sludge, but we got over it. It was a simple task from there to the finish line, where we consumed more food than we thought we needed, and then some more, and then passed out on the ground.
So there you have it. A little ride report, some pretty pictures and and a sweet little gravel grinding video. We had a blast at Lost and Found and we will definitely be participating in more of these events, and some of our own gravel rides in the future.
And hey, no flats at all! Not a single one!
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