Two days before the Cornhusker State Games gravel grinder, I woke on my left side with a start. A fifty-cent piece had somehow wedged itself against the back of my mouth, its grooved edge scratching. My startled consciousness fired off practical questions. How the hell did a coin get back there? And how could I … More The Unracer: Go inside the mind of someone outside the race.
There’s plenty of good gravel news to report. Gravel cycling’s popularity is booming. Events are growing and multiplying. Well-positioned cities—like a Lincoln, a Lawrence, a Little Rock—can now, if they play their cards right, host full seasons of gravel events with triple-digit fields. It’s to the point where even back-roads blogs like this one can … More Tour Divided: When did gravel get so mean?
I’ll go ahead and risk the Jeff Foxworthy comparisons and frame it like this: If you’ve ever thanked the Lord Almighty for the blessing of a putrid, warm, yellow-green mouthful of pickle vinegar … you might be a gravel cyclist. Gravel cycling’s grossest leg cramp remedy is so engrained in my long-ride routine by … More Gravel and the Magic Pickle: Why do cyclists swear by this swill?
To appreciate how much this year’s Solstice 100 meant to me, it helps to understand first how my 2019 Dirty Kanza came to matter so little. Don’t get me wrong. I wanted that DK finish something fierce. But May had unfolded for me in such a way as to make bike racing feel a little … More The Solstice 100: Riding through life’s longest days.
Corey Godfrey has reason to be tired. When we sat down for coffee at Method, the co-director of Gravel Worlds was not-so-fresh off the 350-mile DKXL (where he’s two for two in the event’s two-year history). “Losing a couple days of sleep is getting harder the older I get,” he said. When Corey Godfrey arrived … More Watching the Grassroots Grow: The Corey Godfrey Interview
Every grinder has his goals. (Photo, Tracy Hoffman) My son’s a freshman at Lincoln Southeast. He’s gotten into gravel riding this spring, and is off to a far better start in the sport than I experienced. (He won his first race. Me? I wrecked, overheated and DNFed.) As a result, Marcus sees possibilities that probably … More A Feasibility Study: How realistic are your racing goals, really?
A brutal winter and March floods have done all sorts of damage in Nebraska. The state’s ag industry alone stands to lose an estimated $1 billion. And our river towns, roads and bridges took a serious beating. The floods closed 2,000 miles of Nebraska roads, including this stretch near Fullerton. (Photo, Nebraska State Patrol) The … More Behind the Curve: Why it’s hard to catch up when you’re training from behind
I had to find a way to tell my son: We’re not racing on Saturday. Marcus is 14 and jazzed to start riding gravel this year. He’ll race Dirty Kanza’s 35-mile high school course in June, and he knows enough to want more experience before that wild mess. We circled Angry Cow Adventures’ Panama Enduro … More Proud Panamanian Papa
Forgive me, Mother, for I’m about to break one of the rules upon which you raised me: If you have nothing nice to say, then stuff it, son. Well, I can’t stuff this anymore. Momma said there’d be days like this. The Shirelles, 1961 What’s snagged me like a cocklebur to the chamois was this … More A Calendar Conflict
On what (I pray) is the coldest day of the year, it feels good to look ahead to spring and the gravel racing to come. It may be frigid, but races are around the corner. Now’s the time for health checks. How are our legs weathering the off-season? And what’s the broader state of health … More Gravel’s Upset Belly