FoCo Fondo 107 mile Bite the Bullet. To say it was spirited would be an understatement. The pace went hard from the gun and stayed pretty tightly bunched until the sand and gravel got deep. After that the crashes started and the groups shattered. I spend between miles 30 and 60 ish bridging groups before forming a nice pace line of 5 that stayed together until 10 miles from the finish. I felt very strong and pushed the pace right to the finish with gas left in the tank! Next stop Gravel Worlds!
Finished my very first gravel event last Sunday at the FoCo Fondo Bite the Bullet in Fort Collins, CO. I decided to register one week out so listened to as many of the Fascat gravel podcasts I could which along with Lacey’s training plan adjustment helped immensely. I came into the event feeling fresh and ready to take on the 107 miles. I took the advice of not starting too fast to heart and set a goal of finishing in under 7 hours. With no flats or major equipment issues and favorable winds I finished the challenging course in a shocking 5:42 averaging 19.2 mph. Plus got to meet fellow Fascater @tim.cahhal. All in all a fantastic day on the bike!
Great ride buddy, great ride!
No wonder Foco was so fast… there were a bunch of cheetahs out there!
Masters 60+ competition Brakel Netherlands.
Great form, but poor tactics😣
Caught behind an early break in peloton, due to high winds. 16th in pelotonsprint was what was all I could do. A bad race can always be turned into a hard training💪
That is the mindset we like to see Klaas! Every race teaches you something that will make you a better racer in the future. The more races you have under your belt, the easier it will be to nail your tactics. So keep on toeing the start line and looking like a cheetah out there. It won’t be long beore it pays off!
Finished the Hot Hundred Century Ride in Tuscaloosa, AL this weekend. Heat index of over 100 for most of the ride! This was my first century and have been working towards getting prepared since Nov 2020 with Sweet Spot 1-3 and Road Racing Intervals. I’m pretty happy with the ~5.5 hr riding time. FtFP and all the insight from the podcasts were incredibly helpful and got me in a place where I was able to finish strong and with a smile while lots of others were abandoning. Time to start planning fall workouts and setting new goals for next year!
24 Hours of Cumming, an endurance gravel race in Cumming, IA. They provide 4 separate 100k loops originating at race HQ. I participated in the 2-person 400K relay. My two rides comprised a total of 200K, 9,019 ft and 11:09 of ride time.
I rode the first loop which kicked off at 9:00 PM Friday night. Came in at 2 AM, which began a 5 hour recovery window before leg 2. Props to @Lacey_Rivette for some speedy recover nutrition tips! My teammate came in around 7 AM so I was off for my second stint. I’m sure some would love to nerd out on my lack of heart rate for loop 2. (Never hit threshold) I was unable to sleep during the break so I was already on 24 hours awake time. #allthefatigues
The heat/humidity combo really started effecting teams as the day moved on with lots of attrition among teams. I’m convinced the amount of Sweet Spot work (part 2 is my jam) I put in this year was a major factor in finishing!
Ultimately we were battling for P2 when my teammate caught some fresh gravel on a downhill corner and dumped it 20 miles from completion. He (and the bike ) are ok, but enough road rash/sore ribs/concussion concerns that we took the DNF to have him properly checked out.
My favorite stat is probably the elevation. It’s hard to squeeze that much elevation out of this distance when the minimum was around 850 and max of 1150 ft above sea level. No long sustained climbs, but no stretches of flat either. We like to say Iowa is as flat as a waffle.
Great event with a chill vibe, race HQ is the bike friendly bar in Cumming located right along a rail trail bike path. Look them up if this sounds fun to you! Special hat tip to the 5 riders who completed all 400K solo!
This certainly takes the cake for my hardest “day” on the bike. Thanks to the FasCat family for the support, tips, feedback, and plans to prepare.
Not the most pro photo, but rolling in after completing my second loop.
I am a little late to posting… After taking 2 weeks off work, it has been like hurdling myself down a mountain trying to catch back up. Anyways, here is my quick recap of Gravel Worlds:
First off, don’t let anyone tell you that Nebraska is flat! The Pirate Cycling League had heard this too many times and set out to prove that wasn’t the case. Mission accomplished, with the hardest course they have set to date featuring 151 miles and over 11k climbing. The course never stopped swinging with punchy rollers all day long. You never got to go uphill long enough to produce steady power or descend long enough to recover. Several of the pros that I talked to at the end described it as an 8+ hour crit as you were always on the gas!
This year’s Gravel Worlds had representation from 48 states and 8 countries. I spent 8:58.36 moving time with an official finish of 9:09.23 on course for 103rd place overall and 52nd in M<39. I am very happy with my results in a stacked field of very strong men and women from around the world. Thanks to Coach @Isaiah for preparing me for a very big day in the saddle at 599 TSS!
It was also great to meet fellow FasCat athlete Bob Spatta and to spend time riding with and talking to some pros, including Ashton Lambie straight back from his World Record ride in Mexico. Now on to Fistful of Dirt Hundo, September 5th.
Outstanding job @tim.cahhal ! Truly deserves to be called epic. Before I got on the bike Sunday I had 597 TSS for the entire week. Keep inspiring us!
@jamesstevens thanks, buddy!
It wasn’t a race but was able to get out for BikeMS Nation’s Capital this weekend. It was a misty and foggy trip through western Loudoun County VA but a nice break from the oppressive heat we’ve been living with. I had a goal of less than 4 hours and 30 minutes for the 64 mile course with about 3400 feet of climbing (which turned out to actually be about 4500 feet in the end) and pulled it out in 4 hours and 2 minutes. I think I would have hit 4 hours if I didn’t miss two turns on the route. It was a great morning out.
Race recap Fistful of Dirt
This event was to be the end of my gravel season after months of training and several 100 -150 mile events. I felt strong, form was great and I was excited to fight for a top spot. Not everything went as planned.
Saturday, while doing my openers I produced good power but my HR was high and didn’t settle between intervals. I came up with a host of reasons: hot, windy, smokey, middle of the day, too caffeinated, I tried not to think much of it.
And we are off following the pace car towards Buffalo Bill Reservoir. My HR is higher than it should be, excitement, right? Or was yesterday more than a flook? The pace car pulls off and the race is on. The first selection happens right away, things start getting steep and here comes the attack (pictured above) the break is on. We hit the highway rolling strong, I take a pull, roll to the back and the pace line starts to break ahead. I am not falling off the back yet! The two of us in the back break to chase back on, alternating short pull. I was working hard but I knew that my HR was too high, too early. Something is definitely not right, If I was smart I would turn around, but I knew that wasn’t going to happen.
Off the highway and onto the gravel still pushing hard! Around the 32 mile aid the terrain begins to turn from gravel to dirt then, sand, and handling becomes just as important as being a watt monster. By the 72 mile aid our group was three and we had been riding together for quite some time. My HR had been in excess of 170 for 4 hrs with the big climbing still ahead. At this point, I was no longer racing, just trying to hang on. When I say climbing, I mean climbing, grades of 16, 18, 20%! As we approached town we were directed through a field of single/double track before dropping out into a bike park, path, residential, and finally the finish line in sight.
I had hoped to fight for a podium but ultimately ended 9th OA, 4th AG, with a 20% DNF rate on the day.
I reset my all time 5 min (388W for 6 minutes), 10 min 358w, and 2nd all time 20, 60, 90 minute powers and almost all the HR…
I rode straight from the finish to my pickup and headed home. I would have loved to stay and hang out, but I could tell there was something not right with my body. I had a negative COVID test before travelling, I also tested negative when I got home. Some sort of bug decided to hit me out in those hills. Things might not have gone as planned, but I can’t complain. It was a beautiful day, awesome scenery, incredible event, and I will be back to fight for that bolo tie!
End of season, or is it? Perhaps, I will go leg out a local 50 miler next weekend…
Congrats… that race looks SICK
I was thinking the exact same… it will be on my radar for next year!
Thanks, it was a good one.
It was definetly harder than it looked on paper. I plan to go back and give it another whirl next year, perhaps see you there!