Monday, May 19, 2014

Almanzo 100 Recap

Saturday I rode 100 miles on my bicycle for the first time ever and did it in style -- all on hilly gravel roads in beautiful SE MN in the Almanzo 100, one of the grandaddys of the booming gravel grinding movement.

It was great fun and went really well as I finished in 8.5 hours, a solid hour or more ahead of my expected finish time. 

There were over 1000 riders and the course winds it's way through beautiful and varied terrain including farmland, forest, some steep hills and even a water crossing.

The night before the ride I met up with friends Dan, Craig and Mark in Rochester where we went out for dinner and beers. Dan and Mark would be riding alongside me while Craig would be photographing the event for the fourth or fifth year. All those guys had ridden the course multiple times over the past several years and were valuable resources to me as I tried to figure out what clothes to wear and how much food and water to pack. This is technically an unsupported ride meaning each cyclist is responsible for all their own food and water.

Craig Lindner took some amazing photos. Go here to see the full set and below is a sample...

Start: Downtown Spring Valley, MN

Prepping the machines (me, Dan, Mark)

Ready to roll (Mark, me, Dan)

Me in the yellow cranking uphill

Downhill is easier

 Beautiful country

The water crossing

Local traffic

More local cool is this!

100 meters to go... where's the beer?

Buddy Dan at the finish and shaking the hand of race organizer Chris Skogen who 
does the same with each finisher.

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