Well, the Grinduro is now two days in the rear view mirror and I still keep having those mini-flash backs of pain and joy depending on where my memory puts me on the course. First, I have to give a bit shout of thanks to the organizers - Giro's Dain Zaffke and Eric Richter for the insight in to the concept, Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship for the amazing trails and organization of the event. The army of volunteers who made it all happen and helped all the riders out on the course. And the Makers of the Meet Your Maker Tour who put on a world class exhibit of their bikes and parts - Soulcraft Bikes, Black Cat Bikes, Caletti Cycles, Rex Cycles, Falconer Cycles, Blue Collar Bikes, Bruce Gordon Cycles, Schnozola Cycles, Inglis/Retrotec, Paragon Machine Works, Paul Components, White Industries and Strawfoot Handmade.
It wasn't a cheap event, but where else are you going to get 2 nights lodging, 3 excellent, filling meals, beer from Sierra Nevada, and music by Ray Barbee and Mike Watt? Yeah, didn't think so. Plus there was excellent food available on-site during times the event wasn't catered. As a first year even, it was knocked out of the park. Next year? Sign me up now.
As far as the ride goes, it was hard. I mean really hard. 62 miles and roughly 8200 feet of climbing. And there was really no time to warm up. Maybe a couple of miles on the road and then the first climb started - 13 miles and 4000' worth of climbing. But where you climb, you get to descend. And these descents were crazy good. I love fire roads and these forest service roads were right up my alley.
The Griduro is a race, but it isn't. It's 62 miles, but not all of those miles are timed in a race format. It's set up in an enduro format with four timed sections - fire road climb section, fire road descent, rolling paved road, and finally a single-track descent. Times were added up to determine a winner. I didn't win. Don't even know my time or where I finished. Doesn't matter because everyone won in the fun department.
I have some thoughts on bikes that I'll post later. For now, here's the few photos I took during the event.
First rest/fuel stop after the timed downhill fire road section. You can see by the high contrast dappled light that picking out lines in the trail was tough.
Approaching the start of the timed road section. (Note to self: the best times are best achieved in a team time trial format, not in a solo time trial).
Lunch is served in Taylorsville!
The climb out of Taylorsville was a leg and lung busting hurt fest - 3300' of climbing in 5 miles.
The final timed section - just under 4 miles of single-track descending on cross bikes.
End of the single-track timed section. Yes, that's a goat. There was a baby goat there too. The goat was in the trail right at the end as I came through and I startled it into running towards folks who had finished. I had a hard time believing my eyes that I was almost running into a goat.
And a Black Mountain Cycles bottle in the wild at the end on a Salsa!
Rolling back to town with friends Mike Cherney and Eric Brunt.
Sunday's Meet Your Maker ride was a poker ride on about 10 miles of the race course. At the 4th stop for a card, one had the chance to pick two if one could hit a beer can with a slingshot. Alex taking aim and scoring a hit.
(What's playing: Bob Dylan Rainy Day Women #12 & 35)