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Tryon Gravel Gallop - Cycle

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Tryon, North Carolina
United States
Southeast Gravel
75F / 24C
Total Time = 3h 29m 16s
Overall Rank = 96/130
Age Group = F50+
Age Group Rank = 4/10
Pre-race routine:

We drove to WNC on Thursday after work, On Friday, I went for a hike, double checked all the bike things, including laying out all of my gear/nutrition to make sure that nothing was inadvertently left behind. Got my bottles of Skatch ready and put them in the fridge. Put a note with my gear to remember to get them!

Set the alarm for 5:45. Got up and walked the dog. Then had breakfast -- a bagel with peanut butter, a banana, and coffee. We left for Tryon a bit before 7:10 and arrived at 7:45. There was plenty of parking. Went to packet pickup and was back to the car within five minutes. I got my race number and fixed it to the front of my bike and observed the gravel bikes around me. There was a nice, relaxed vibe with music and an announcer.

The venue was great with open fields, picnic tables, screened in porches, and a babbling brook. OK, not technically a brook but the North Pacolet River was right there. The weather was simply gorgeous -- mid-60s at the start and not quite 80 and the end with the tiniest breeze!
  • 00m
  • 47 kms
  • 0.00 km/hr

At 8:45 the long course riders lined up for their pre race meeting and at 9:00 theyrolled out. I listened to the start of their meeting but then they said there would be a meeting for my group as well so I go the check out of their way. After the long course folks left, I lined up for my meeting and then at 9:10 the medium course were off.

This was a good course with a nice mix of gravel and tarmac. In fact, the course was so nice that I texted Robin P afterward and told her to bookmark the 16-mile loop to try as she gets into gravel!

The first 16 miles was a loop to the east fo the start. It was about 50% gravel with maybe 800 feet of elevation gain. In this section, we went through horse country and it was quite scenic.

Then 31 mile lollipop including Pearson Falls, a very pretty gravel section, followed by a ride through the town of Saluda. The first feed zone was just before the end of the Pearson Falls gravel. I stopped there and got more water and made up my third bottle of Skratch using the baggie of white powder that I had with me.

After going through Saluda, we continue on pavement along Mountain Page and Pace Mountain to Heatherly Heights. This included my not favorite, a mile or so of section of chunky gravel on the South Carolina section of Heatherly Heights Road. After that, we had a nice downhill on pavement followed by South Lake Summit Road, another scenic gravel section.

The second feed zone was toward end of South Lake Summit. I stopped and got a gel because earlier I had dropped a bunch of Shot Bloks when moving them to my right jersey pocket. One of the volunteers said, "It's all downhill from here!" Another volunteer corrected her and said, "Well, mostly down hill." The first responded, "Downhill from Saluda." So now I am thinking that the climby bits are done. So off I go, having finished with the gravel for a bit. Rolling along 176 at a nice pace and then there is an arrow and I follow it and there is a steep gravel hill -- Pace Mountain's gravel section. The climb topped out at 10% but overall wasn't too bad with an average grade of something like 3.5%. The main issue is that there were a few sections of deep gravel. After that, though, it really was all downhill! Through Saluda, the downhill direction of Pearson Falls and then the last few miles on 176 to the finish area at Harmon Field.

Start: Clear sky, 66°F, Feels like 66°F, Humidity 93%, Wind 2mph from NNW
End: Clear sky, 79°F, Feels like 79°F, Humidity 66%, Wind 1mph from N

Cervelo Aspero with GRX 810 48/31 crank and 11-speed 11-34 cassette
Panaracer GravelKing SK 700x38
Reserve 32mm DT370 XDR wheel set

Nutrition Actual
3 x 1.5 Skratch (2 bottles on bike plus a bag with more)
3 x servings shot bloks (1 with caffeine)
1 honey stinger gel (dropped on serving os Shot Blok on course)
What would you do differently?:

Need to work on gravel descents
Post race
Warm down:

Post ride food and beer (both from a local brewery and non-alcoholic beer from Athletic Brewing).

Event comments:

I would recommend this event. It was pretty with a nice mix of gravel and tarmac (short double track section excepted).

Profile Album

Last updated: 2021-09-07 12:00 AM
00:00:00 | 47 kms | 0.00 km/hr
Age Group: 0/10
Overall: 0/130
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering:
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Drinks:
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2021-09-09 2:57 PM

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Raleigh, NC area
Subject: Tryon Gravel Gallop

2021-09-10 3:48 PM
in reply to: #5277963

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Subject: RE: Tryon Gravel Gallop

Congratulations! It sounds like a really nice event, so glad you enjoyed it and placed so well!  I chuckled a bit reading about the white powder in a baggie. Usually when i read that it is a totally different situation  

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