Looks like the automation to make this post appear yesterday morning failed. Sorry! You get two today. This one's from Chad Terrell, one of the many new cup chasers this year. Sounds like an exciting winter.
It took me three tries to get my second metric in. On Feb. 8 I drove down to Cumming to ride a previous years CIRREM course. The conditions went from icy to sloppy as the sun melted the snow. At mile 10 I fell on the ice and slowed down after that. At mile 30 my rear derailleur hanger protested the sloppy conditions by self destructing. After that I started walking to the highway which was 3 miles away. AFTER walking up a long hill that I had previously bombed down an accommodating man in a tractor offered me a ride to the highway. I placed my bike in the tractor’s bucket and climbed up into the cab. The man was in his forties and told me that he used to go on RAGBRAI. He dropped me off at the highway and I stuck out my thumb at the trucks that went by since I was still 20 miles from my car. Two rides later I was back in Cumming.
My factory derailleur hanger was a soft piece of cast aluminum so I replaced it with a stronger CNC’ed one to prevent nuisance failures just in time for CIRREM, which was my second attempt at my second metric. The conditions were even worse than on my previous attempt. I didn’t fall but I saw several others that were not so lucky. At mile 48 my new hanger proved to be stronger than my rear derailleur. My derailleur snapped in half and was sucked into my spokes. Thankfully, I was going slow enough to stop before any serious damage was done to my rear wheel. I called Bob at the Tap and he sent a driver out to pick me up (thanks guys).
So with two mechanicals in Feb. I decided to wait for dry conditions for my next attempt. On March 28 I rode the CIRREM course again and finally finished my second gravel metric. I hit 41 mph coming down one of the hills but decided that it would be nice if my next gravel metric had less than 2600’ of climbing. Later, Chad Terrell.