This addition to my chase might as well add some ice to the cup o dirt.
For the February Metric Century, I participated in the CIRREM race put on by some kind bicycle folks in Des Moines. The race was tough...Conditions on the gravel changed drastically throughout the day. I decided to head out from my parent's house in West Des Moines and take the trails out to Cumming where the race started for a little warm-up. It's a bicycle race, why wouldn't we just RIDE our bicycles there, eh?
Most of the trail was covered in ice and snow - I figured this was good prep for the conditions we would see on the race course. These large amounts of snow and small patches of ice paled in comparison to the conditions out on the race course gravel, however. The first 20 or so miles of the race were pure sheets of ice. Left and right riders, were going down, including yours truly - twice! After bruising my hip and a good deal of knee pain, I settled into what would be a long day on the bike. The race was well supported with plenty of cookies and PBR at the half-way. I enjoyed both. From there, the temperature rose and the gravel turned very sloppy. Sections of wet clay stopped all shifting and added pounds on the bike. I was glad to be gaining mud everywhere instead of ice-skating.
Total ride distance for the race was about 64 miles...with my added "Warm-up" ride to the race, I put in around 80. My race time was about 5 hours.
Upon arriving home, I was told by my mother that I had to change outside...no mud in the house. I gladly obliged - a small price to pay for a fun day in the saddle on ice, gravel, clay, mud and plenty of dirt to fill many cups.
- A.J. Turner
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