TEMPERING THE GRAVEL GOON

TODD BROWN


FOR THE LAST FOUR WEEKS I'VE BEEN TRYING TO CONNECT A 100K GRAVEL COURSE AROUND DEEZ PARTS.  Finally got 'er done today... and it was a roughie.

I started too late, getting scorched by the midday heat... but, the course is so rad it didn't discourage me.

Here's why:

Starting from the sandy shores of the Pacific, I rode the 62ish miles and all but 5 or so were either on paved bike trail, gravel road or sweet single track. 

The route includes water crossings, beautiful old oak trees, tall grass and wild flowers... plus a large bobcat, a gazillion rabbits, and 2 red tail hawks.

There's 5000' of vertical gained, and it's mostly packed in the middle 30 miles.  These are not gentle climbs, these are make you want to walk climbs.  

Why have I been on this quest?

Did you read that part above?  JK... I dunno, it's just in my nature to figure out fun courses.  Plus, Jeff is coming to visit and he's been bugging me to ride gravel for 10 years... gotta show off our stuff.

I learned a few more things along the way.

  • Carry lube.  On these long gravel rides if there's water crossings, it's a good idea to carry a small tube of lube.
  • Low pressure, mo' betta.  I rode 35lbs in the rear and 32lbs up front.  
  • One of those dorky boxes on the top tube would be handy for carrying extra food... I had 7 waffles jammed in my left pocket.

Questions you may have, should you choose to join us on an official Gravel Goon:

Do I need a gravel bike?  No, an MTB would be great.

Can I ride a road bike?  Doable with exceptional bike skills and a bombproof back.

Will you wait for me?  Probably not.

Will you have aid stations?  When it's official, fo' sho'.

What should you eat?

https://pedalindustries.com/collections/big-ride-supplies

Delicious Honey Stinger waffles... I like to break off half, the package is perfect for storing the second half and eating 30 minutes later.

Tasty GQ6... I like 2 scoops in my big bottle.

Salt Stick chews... I keep them in a TicTac box.  The roll out one at a time and into my mouth to suck on while I ride.

Buy two of those, get the third free with promo code:  GETBACK.

https://pedalindustries.com/collections/big-ride-supplies

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The other thing I learned/practiced was how to use a GoPro.  For my bday I got myself one... inspired by my friend Jose who takes such amazing pictures.  I asked what he used and he clued me in.  

I ran into 4 friends on the ride - Justin, Robot, Mark and Chris (pictured)... it's not as good as riding together, but it's darn nice to see the fellas.

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165.8 lbs 
Stretch and Roll
7.5 hours sleep
https://www.strava.com/activities/3353469209




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