We relish opportunities to travel to remote places, ride bikes and hang out with friends. North of Truckee the land opens up, the air gets thin and the dirt is just right for bike shredding. We participated in this event last year and it completely wrecked us. So obviously we signed up again for more punishment.
Lost and Found is a bike race on dirt and it is very hard. It's billed as 100 miles, but this year due to snow and some reroutes it was "only" 92 miles. 92 miles on "gravel" roads. "Gravel" is in quotes because most of the forest roads were full of large loose rocks, ruts and soft loamy dirt. This was essentially a marathon mtb race from the 90s.
Since we knew this would be a big day we made plans to get out for some big rides the month before but schedules, sickness, and work didn't allow for any of that, so we embraced the phrase “off the couch.” Off the couch is a dangerous motto for this event, but hey, it’ll probably workout.
Surround yourself with people in far better shape than you. Take for example our friend Jake Perkins, mid 20’s, ex-pro skier and heaps of natural talent. He chose to ride his road bike with a -17 stem, 32mm gravel king tires and finished in the top 20 of the pro men’s field; that’s fast, we’ll camp with him.
Bonus info: The other Jake brought pizza dough and kale to cook in a cast iron skillet over the fire. Pro-level, you betcha.
Round up a spirit animal to hold down the fort. It’s important to have the support of the surrounding wildlife when you decide to venture into the middle of nowhere hoping to eventually find the finish line. This vicious little man is 16 years old and will bite your ear off if you look at him funny. We love you Nubis!
Rule number three: Good looking bikes make you go on average 14% faster. This extra percentage will prove absolutely crucial in our quest to finish the race.
Bring a spare tube (or two) for your tubeless tires. 60 miles in and a sidewall slash can only be solved with the help of a trusty tube. Plus this fine gentleman will get a flat just looking at his bike in the garage.
Smile, smile, smile. Never let on how badly you are suffering as evident by our buddy Joey who spent the last hour pulling into a headwind. We thought he was just really strong but turns out he had no clue where or what he was doing.
Well we finished. And for some that meant 3+ hours of hanging out in our knicks sporting the most impressive tan lines of dirt around. Worn like a badge of honor it was an homage to the dusty trails that had enveloped our bodies. Nothing left to do but bring on the comfy chairs and victory beverages. We’ll see you next year Lost and Found and we promise to be in slightly better shape, Ornot!