I arrived at my in-laws’ with bloodshot eyes. That morning’s solo ride hadn’t gone well. Enough sweat had dumped down my face to blind, and I had to ditch my sunglasses just to see the road in front of me. The extra air helped, but the wind burned, and the dust bit. Add some heat … More What Are You, Exactly?
I landed on my back at the bottom of the slickrock, a rented mountain bike slapping down across my chest. My friends swung over, swinging between chuckles and concern. Was I OK? And could they take pictures? (I think so. I’d rather you not.) I stared straight up at the clouds, taking inventory of my … More The Great Uncomformity: A crash course in riding the Canyonlands
Like any good American, I’m a warrior-level worrier. Nothing stirs me up for a fight quite like my own misplaced anxieties. And I’ve been worrying for a couple years now—losing my head with a toddler’s precision and vigor—over the UCI and the future of American gravel racing. It got so bad back in January 2020 … More Invitation to a Beheading: What does the UCI’s arrival mean for gravel?
My oldest daughter let me know she wouldn’t be at the start of the Pirate Cycling League’s first Long Voyage 300. (She had cross country practice after school.) But she said she knew what she’d be missing. “That’s a lot of mental illness in one place,” she said. I refused to agree with her, but … More Long Voyage 300: At Least We’re Highly Functional
Gosh dang it, people. The week after Gravel Worlds, all I want to do is ice my knees, take a nap and gain like a dozen pounds in Heath Blizzards. But instead of sauntering into happy hibernation, here we are, tumbling headlong together into gravel racing’s next existential crisis. And unlike the great aerobar dust-up … More #Gravelbeef: Racing Served up Rare and a Little Unfair
Cyclist, we need to talk. Again. About drugs. This time, I’m afraid it’s about cyclocross, Katie Compton and drugs. But before we go there, I need to tell you about my two-day career in World Cup cyclocross journalism. I need to tell you about the time I met cyclocross’s queen bee: 15-time national champion, Katie … More A Drug Called Outrage
Hey, congrats again on being one of the 110-ish riders invited to take part in Gravel Worlds’ first running of the Long Voyage 300. It’s the hardest course in Nebraska’s biggest gravel race. For a few of us (myself included), this’ll be our first adventure well north of the 200-mile marker. So just getting in … More 5 Reasons YOU WILL FINISH the Long Voyage 300 This Year
The drive to the fifth running of the Solstice 100 looked far different from the first. Back in 2017, just a few motley cars made the hop mostly unnoticed from Lincoln to nearby Pleasant Dale. We parked in the shade outside Big V’s Bar and Grill. By 2021, the start line had marched south to … More Solstice 100: Chart Your Course
I sat down in the dust with a kingsnake and hit my low point in June 2019. At least, it’s what passed for a low point then. Heat dazed, I’d just watched a racer flop his right turn on V Avenue some four miles east of Council Grove, Kan. He dashed his head against the … More Unbound Gravel and the Same Old Serpent
My childhood mind popped a serious knuckle the day our science class learned that cold wasn’t really a thing. There was only heat, Mrs. Eberspacher told us, and the relative absence of heat. The vanilla ice cream that gave us headaches when we ate it too fast, she said, was merely “less hot” than the … More The Opposite of Strong
The thing I love about endurance sports is how doing well in them hinges on how well you know yourself. You can’t tick along at a high level as an endurance athlete without knowing what makes you tick. And in gravel racing, where two win and hundreds lose, one of the things thou better knowest … More Know Thy City