Monday, June 4, 2012

Brad Yearwood's First Full Century

Brad Yearwood had this wonderful report about his first full century of the year. From experience, I can tell you that a dollar bill works well as a boot, though a Jackson works about 20 times as well. Har, har. Anyway...
Here for my second first full century of the year.  I had hoped to do one sooner, however...

I made it a good one though.  I just completed my first Almanzo 100 last weekend.  For those that may not know, it is a self-supported gravel century (with optional 162 mile race) held every May in Spring Valley, MN.  The race director, Chris Skogen, has put together an excellent race and it is one of the best organized events I have ever participated in. 

On to the report...   I've been to Minnesota several times yet somehow was surprised at the amount of climbing on this course.  Most reports put it around 6500' or so of total climbing.  I had done several hill repeats and prepared myself as best I could coming from a considerably flatter state.  For the most part I felt pretty major bonks or anything.  Around mile 80 is where my chance of a much-improved finish time from my last gravel century went out the window.

On the minimum maintenance road portion of the course, I flatted.  Not just flatted, a sharp rock had sliced my tube and tire...well.  My race number had come off earlier in the day, so I fished it out of my bag and stuffed it as a makeshift boot into the tire.  It seemed to work.  About 3 miles later, when I was feeling confident in my 'MacGuyver-like' ability to save the day, my rear tube punctured again.  Race bib...not thick enough for a tire boot; and now, the tire slash is a little over an inch long.  Another aspect of this being a well-organized race is that they provide nice laminated cue sheets.  I thought this, being easily twice as thick as the race bib, might work.  I folded the number carefully in between the tire and (patched) tube.  Luckily, this got me all the way to the finish. 

I would also like to add that at my second mechanical stop, one of the riders had stopped to help me and stayed with me all the way to the finish should I have another potentially race-ending mechanical.  His name was Cole -- Cole Rogers, according to the race results. 

If any of you know him, tell him I owe him a drink.


p.s.  I'm probably switching tires for next year...

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