Almanzo 2014

This year I decided to race in the Almanzo 100, it was my first gravel race. I spent a lot of time trying to get ready for both the camping and racing. I've come to realize that you could never feel ready, you just have to go for it!

First off, I got a lot of help through friends and the bike community, especially the seminar that Natalia Mendez, Megan Barr and Loretta Trevino hosted weeks before the race for Riotgrrravel. Of course I knew I needed food, tools, a variety of bike tools and things to carry those things in, but they got into more detail. There were a few that I had to borrow or buy and thanks to our sponsor Sunrise Cyclery, through team Koochella, I was able to purchase with a discount.

I cleaned my bike up and got some help from my friend Graham with a overhaul. I learned a lot on building and maintaining my bike in the last couple of months. It's good to know how to fix any bike problems you may have on your own. Luckily, I didn't have a whole lot of bike troubles, I guess I wasn't riding hard enough. By the time I had issues with my chain, I was ready to call it quits; I rode a good 75 miles that day.

I started out with a group of four and we started out about an hour late, it also didn't help that we rode 10 miles out of the way. So what's the lesson here? Be on time, actually be early and learn how to read your directions. Also an important thing I learned was to have a goal set if you are riding in a group,it's important to be on similar levels. It was my first race, so I didn't know what to expect. I learned that staying hydrated and eating throughout the race even when you weren't hungry, was important. I think I ate too much.

What I wore: bike shorts, a bike jersey, a hip bag, gloves, clip-less shoes, socks, sunglasses and a helmet.

Things I carried: cue cards, a wrench, an extra tube, a small pump, chain lube, chamois butt'r, a bike multi-tool, a seat post bag, top tube bag, frame bag, a hankie, cell phone, $$$, arm warmers, leg warmers, a camel back, a base layer, two water bottles, sunscreen, a variety of food: bananas, home made crackers, beef sticks, jerky, protein bars, shot blocks, gel, shots, electrolyte tablets and my SLR camera (which was silly, because I wasn't really able to use it). I'm sure I'm missing things on my list, since I'm just writing off the top of my head.

I had plenty of water and food and maybe things that I didn't really need. Luckily, besides the wind, it was a beautiful day, I got to bike through tons of cows and horses and beautiful scenery. I am glad that I got to experience gravel racing with friends. Thanks Robbie, June and Jamie, I had a fabulous weekend! Since I have learned so much through Almanzo, I can't wait to finish the next gravel race.

I would like to add a few things to this post, when I have a bit a update to come.

 Camped out at Forestville Mystery Cave State Park
 clean bikes

Laminated cue cards; I learned this from Loretta.
 Hot Robbie calendar shoot

 We rode a lot of fun and not so fun hills

 Ben after finishing the race
June and her dirty Surly

 My dirty bike after the race

 Sunday morning recovery

 Shit Goose

 David Smith, bird watcher

June's crazy tan line and beautiful tatts


TRiO SSS U of M said...

:) Great pics Francie, and nice work!

Kent Sinclair said...

Great pics! My team camped just up the hill from your crew!!!

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