• 5h 35m
  • 53.40 miles
  • 9.56 Mi/hr

Mississippi Gravel - Rockcrusher

We made it to our hotel in Louisville, MS -- a 20 minute drive to Ackerman where the race was held. There are no hotels in Ackerman and only a few in Louisville. It's a beautiful area but not much there. Settled on Wendy's for dinner since, again, there were few options. Carb loaded with chili and a baked potato.

Race morning and the temp was 23 degrees, clear with light wind. Ugh..I cobbled together some warm riding clothes.

Fast field, I was dropped like a hot potato quickly and rode by myself for the first 20 miles. This doesn't normally bother me but riding through the dark TomBigBee Forest, with my GPS occasionally glitching, I felt a little nervous. The hills started immediately. I think I ended up with 4,000 feet by the end of the day.

At mile 25 I happened across a guy named Jed who was from Hattiesburg, MS and having chain issues. The mud was getting deeper and you had to pick your line carefully. The chain on my bike slipped off too and didn't want to go back on. Jed helped me out and showed me how to engage the clutch on the rear derailleur (had no idea how to do that) and said it was an old mountain biking trick for when conditions were slick and sandy.

Mile 27 was the worst -- a stretch of deep rutted mud. There were several riders there with either broken derailleurs or broken chains, waiting for sag. I will say that my Niner gravel bike is not as fast (for me anyway) as some of the other bikes but it has massive fork clearance and I floated through this section without having to stop.

After this, it seemed like there was always at least one rider close by.
Finished up and found STeve. He had a good day but we both agreed this was the hardest 50 mile ride we've ever done. Had shrimp and grits from the food truck and it tasted amazing.

Leaving Tallahassee today to drive to Ackerman,MS, where the gravel race will be held on Saturday.
Just hung out at the hotel today, felt bad for friends and family back in Illinois who are dealing with the terrible winter weather. The pet sitter said that she got stuck twice in her neighborhood. Sounds like drifting snow is the issue. She did manage to make it out to our place and just put down extra food for the cats.
  • 5h 25m
  • 64.00 miles
  • 11.82 Mi/hr

Dirty Pecan 60 Mile route

There's a gravel race called the Dirty Pecan that is held every year in Monticello around March 5. Had heard the course is gorgeous. We'll be in Illinois at that time, but decided to download the route and see the course. I'm so glad we did this --- this was one of the most beautiful areas I've ever ridden, maybe even better than some of our Colorado rides, and that is saying a lot. Blue skies, colorful red clay roads, tree canopy with Spanish moss and plantations.

  • 1h 00m
  • 12.00 miles
  • 12.00 Mi/hr

zipped around the green trails at Santos and then up the paved trail for a few miles.

It's a shiny new month!!! We did a short little ride at Santos on the green mtb trails, then back to the hotel in Ocala to pack up and head for Tallahassee. On the way, we stopped at Silver Springs and did the tourist thing with a glass bottom boat tour of the spring. Very impressive! I'm an aquarium geek, so it was so cool to see the fish and turtles swimming around in the crystal clear water.

Tomorrow we'll ride a short version of the "Dirty Pecan" in Monticello.

  • 5h 17m
  • 58.50 miles
  • 11.07 Mi/hr

Gravel riding around Ocala National Forest

We left the condo on Sunday (have a renter coming in, so had to vacate the premises) and now have a week to kill before our gravel race on Saturday. Decided to spend a couple of days in Ocala and do some gravel riding. It's really nice here, the terrain is pretty rolling. We did a big ride and encountered a fair amount of unridable, deep sand that had to be walked, but otherwise was a great ride.

  • 2h 17m
  • 33.00 miles
  • 14.45 Mi/hr

Biked the paved trail through Santos Forest

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