Guru’s Gravel Grinder

Wow! I realized when I logged in that I haven’t made a post since the DK200. Maybe that says something about how tattered I felt after that epic rumble across Kansas gravel. It’s only fitting, I suppose, that my next entry is about, well, gravel.

First, a quick catch up on things since DK: work, family, bike–but only after a month completely off the bike. It’s pretty simple. When I finally swung a leg back over the top tube, I was focused on winding down all the long miles I rode leading up to the event and building shorter, more intense fitness for CX. The program I put together for myself seems to be working…I feel much faster on the bike and my 20-min effort times/distances are improving. I also added running into my training mix, and while I would never consider myself a runner, I actually find running 3-5 miles to be an enjoyable change from cycling.

Cool-MO-D Ready to rollAs a final hoorah before CX season kicks into gear, I thought I would join Chris Locke and the gang for some back-country MO road riding…that’d be gravel, of course! The ride this weekend was sponsored by chamois Butt’r and promised a tough 50-mile ride with plenty of hills north of Smithville Lake. Twenty-five to thirty riders showed up, with most wearing a team kit: Bicycle Shack, In-A-Tub, Monster/CRRT, Cow Town, Boulevard, and Renaissance. From the get-go, this was less a grinder, and more like a race. But, as I heard someone say, “it’s always a race when there’s more than 2 riders.” The pace wasn’t constantly fast but there were times when I wondered what prize was waiting at the line. But, at the end, 8 of us simply rolled in together, chatted for a while, and then headed off in our own directions. Sometimes not racing is better than the real thing.

Big shout out to Chris, Curt Shelman and Paceline Products for pulling together a great ride! Hopefully I’ll find time to squeeze in a few grinders during CX season…

On the way home, Brian and I stopped by Brodie’s Backyard BBQ for lunch. A solid 3 forks to this Smithville eatery. We both had the NC pulled-pork sandwich, which is layered with pork, an onion ring, and  coleslaw. The sandwich was impressive: tender meat, a great mix of flavors, and just the right portion size. I was blown away by the HOT BBQ sauce. It had a perfect mix of tangy, sweet and fire. I’ve marked this one as a definite revisit. If you’re ever in Smithville, look it up

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