Lost & Found 100 mile gravel race - I won my age group, women’s 50 years (and up)!
This is the longest gravel bike that I’ve ever done! Perfect conditions & feeling in good shape had me upgrade from 60mi to 100mi the night before! I was super efficient at stops and just kept going. I thought I might not make time cutoffs, but wound up winning with the 3 women 50 and over who made the entire 100 miles. Drew from our crew won the entire 35 mile race!!The EBGC Crew (East Bay Gravel Bikers) for the race, Drew, Trevor, Michael, Jana, Hunter, Tracey. We camped for 2 nights and ate dinner at nearby Frank Lloyd Wright building together. Sunet hitting the peak after dinner. From the campground - Off to the races! For fun we rented a Ford Bronco for the weekend. I'm the only in the squad doing the 100 mile option, so I'm leaving an hour early. Giddy at the start! 😻 Last year, here, was my first bike race ever -- but this year I'm doing the 100 mile monster. Gravel & dirt country roads for days. Elevation (~6000' average) is always a bit challenging for me, and I didn't sleep much the night before. But I got two good nights sleep before that so I'm ready to go get 'em. Farms, barns, and even abandoned buildings watch us cruise by.
OK, I’ve just left the critical rest stop with a time cutoff that was going to be close. I left it 20 minutes before cutoff. I’ve now done the math of the climbs and miles ahead. I should easily make the final rest stop & cutoff – and should finish the entire race. I’m delighted!An utterly delightful 45 minutes of deep back-road double-lane roads winding up and down through hills & trees.
5th of 6th rest stop. Due to many issues(*), this is the first real food I’ve had all race, 77 miles in. I’ve started to cry and have told multiple volunteers I love them. I do 2-3 shooters of peanut butter pretzels, full coke, pickle, and just-off-the-griddle bacon.
(* Shimano truck got stuck for 1 rest stop. The rest got mostly “looted” by the large number of riders in the 3 different races by time I got there. Very glad I packed a lot of food with me in my pockets).Final descent back to tarmac -- and then a 9-mile dash back to the finish. I'll have done 70 of 100 miles on dirt & gravel! At the finish! Longest off-road bike ride of my life! I'm blown away to find out I finish first in my age group, age 50 and up! Woohoo! 9-1/2 hours, start to finish - 8-1/2 hours moving. Minimal quick stops at every rest stop esp. for fluids. 4 chain derailments & 1 fast bike mechanic clean & re-lube. OMG! Your girl's on the podium! 🎉 I can't remember ever winning anything! 😻 2nd place rider Carin joins me seconds later from the crowd.
“Ladies & Gentlemen, Your 100 mile ladies 51 to 60 (and older) champion, TRACEY!”2nd place Carin ran up from the crowd for our podium together! With the event director getting medal & winner's jersey! ❤️
Our EBGC Drew was the fastest person of the entire 35 mile riders!! 🎉Jana got 2nd in her age group for the 35 milers! Drew got 1st overall! 🎉 Winner's medal, jersey and very cool coffee mug. Race plate and my typical handlebar rolled & taped "cheat sheet" showing me the climbs and rest stops. (I tend to not ride or race with a computer (!) and just use my watch and rely on race turn signage or following herds ;-)
Heading home – but not before a little drop dead gorgeous dirt road exploring with the topless Brazonco.California Sierras at the peak of record-breaking rains causing superblooms. 🌻