Saturday, November 29, 2014



Last night registration opened to the 2015 edition of CIRREM and I nearly missed it.
I had totally forgotten.
The 2014 edition sold out in 25 minutes and I feared the worst. But somehow, an hour and half after online registration opened, I managed to get in.
I had to have been one of the last if not the last rider to get in.

I took place in the 2014 CIRREM gravel road race that took place just south of DSM in Cumming, IA.
Roughly 120 started at the Cumming Tap less than 80 finished.
It was brutal. 
It had been a cold winter in Iowa. The week leading up to the race saw sleet & snow.
Really the gravel was in good shape all things considered.
Unfortunately it was just warm enough Saturday to melt the top layer of gravel. But cold enough to re-freeze on the bike.
Many a rider ripped their rear derailleur or hangers off.
I was lucky. Nothing broke on my ride.
The freezing gravel took its toll though.
In the first 20 miles my front derailleur stopped working. For a little bit I could shift down with a kick of heel to the front derailleur. But it wasn't long before I couldn't get back up to the big ring.
2x9 became 1x9.
By 45 miles i was down to a just few gears out back.
The crud was building up between the cogs & freezing.

#bkb4life *photo credit... I don't remember... oops.

With 25 left to go I was down to one usable gear (and one brake).
Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on how you look at it) that one gear was my easiest.
I had to focus on my spin... but I was way too tired for that.
The gear was too low & the gravel too peanut buttery.
I was having to pedal down hills and with no momentum to carry me into the next climb I was left resorting to walking.
Then the leg cramps started.
Oh joy.
I was getting close to being done.
If someone would have come along & offered a ride; I probably would have taken it.
At that point I had been out on the route for longer than I was expecting.
Much longer.
Leading up to race day I had talked a big game in my head.
I looked at the names & times of the past finishers figured I would be mid pack or better
Not so. Overconfidence can be your biggest enemy.
Of the 76 finishers I came in 67th with a finishing time of  61/2 hours.
Not what I was expecting.
I was cooked. I needed a shower, a nap, a beer & something to eat.
But I was positive that I would do it again.
Looks like February 28th I get my chance.
Wish me luck!


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