• 8h 12m
  • 99.00 miles
  • 12.07 Mi/hr

Michigan Gravel Coast Loop

Steve, Mike P and I did the 100 mile option for the Michigan gravel race. It started at Stearns Beach in Ludington, on the shores of Lake Michigan, and headed east for a big loop through the Manistee National Forest.

Weather was good --- overcast with low winds which you really didn't feel except in the first and last 15 miles. In the woods, there was no wind, just some light drizzle. The roads are packed sand and for the most part, were in great shape. There were some hike-a-bike sections where the sand was loose and deep, and some big puddles on some of the fire roads.

We stopped at a general store in the town of Dublin to get water and some food --- lots of riders were doing that. In retrospect, we should have just figured out a way to get supplies to the checkpoint, as I missed a podium spot by 3 minutes. But it's all good, I really enjoyed this ride and needed a positive experience after all the drama in Colorado.

Pouring down rain. I felt bad for the gravel riders who were doing the 200 mile option. The DNF rate was 42%, with lots of destroyed drivetrains and damage from the sand.

We actually considered turning around and going home but decided to wait until Sunday morning to see what the weather held before making that decision.
Violent t-storms last night, the kind that wake you up with loud claps of thunder. There's some rain in the forecast for Michigan but hopefully it doesn't amount to much.
Rainy day with an afternoon thunderstorm. I decided to just do some restorative yoga and not worry about getting in a trainer ride, hopefully that will help this head cold heal more quickly.

In the morning we will head up to Ludington, Michigan, for the 100 mile Michigan Coast gravel race. After Ride the Rockies, I was feeling like maybe I wanted to take a pass on this but now am getting excited about the event. I haven't spent much time in Michigan and am looking forward to some cooler temps and forest roads.
  • 15m

Resistance bands

Gorgeous day! Did yoga on the deck for the first time this year since it was a) not raining and b) not 90 degrees.

Lunch at mom's and then dinner with some friends. It was really a nice day.

  • 2h 43m
  • 37.45 miles
  • 13.79 Mi/hr

Road ride with Steve. Felt like of blah, my head cold/sinus issue that started in Colorado seems to be gaining momentum. We were 2 miles from the bike trail (and thus close to the end of the ride) and the road was closed due to some construction on a culvert. Options were to either turn around and ride on a very unsafe, busy road, turn around and go back another way, adding about 8 miles to the ride, or hiking through an alfalfa field to skirt around the construction. We went with the latter.

My sore throat that started last week turned into a head cold --- seems like there's something going around. My friend Mary has been fighting this for over a week. She even lost her sense of taste and smell and went twice to get tested for COVID. Negative, just a bad cold.

It cooled off a little and was actually 49 degrees this morning! There's been some rain and our flowers have never looked better. Everything is in bloom right now. A couple of years ago I planted a little lavender plant in the front garden area and it's covered in flowers. Smells so good when you go outside!

  • 15m

Medicine Ball

We got home around 4 pm on Sunday after driving 11 hours on Saturday and 7 or 8 hours today. The stretch of Colorado between the foothills of the Rockies and the Kansas border has to be one of the longest, most desolate pieces of 2-lane highway in the U.S.

Ride the Rockies was good but very difficult. I rode 4 out of the 5 days -- the 5th, and toughest day, I woke up feeling really ill (possible food poisoning) and opted to call for the sag shuttle. This turned into a bit of a fiasco, as there were about 30 people on this shuttle, and we were not allowed to bring our bikes. Bikes were loaded onto a separate bus and taken to God-knows-where. It was close to the end of the day, when things were being torn down, that I cornered a volunteer who somewhat knew what was going on and was directed to an area where bikes were being unloaded. The disorganization and lack of communication about this was enough to make me decide I would not do this ride again.

Lots of other issues too -- aid stations were not set up where advertised, leaving people stranded in isolated area for hours at a time. The route was beautiful but we were on dangerous roads with narrow or no shoulders and shared these roads with semi trucks and heavy traffic. Caterers who did not show up, forcing people to scramble to find food along the way.

I give the organizers kudos for trying to pull this together --- there were 2,000 riders so it was a huge endeavor --- but feel that they should have waited another year to let all the COVID-19 related issues settle down.

abake's Training Log

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