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?
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
As much as I wanted it to be, the Mid South just wasn’t part of my race plans this year. This top gravel event seems forever stuck on my radar—and off my race calendar. The distance from home and its cold and muddy spot on the calendar have kept me away. (How would that 400-mile … More Incredibly Distanced Oklahoma
When I learned I was among the 100 riders invited to the Pirate Cycling League’s first 300-mile event, The Long Voyage, I was jabbed with a twist cone of excitement and dread. And right away, I thought of the Barkley Marathons. That infamous off-trail race in Tennessee selects just 40 runners each year, and shares … More We Regret to Congratulate You.
Better husbands than me have been guilty of the wandering eye. Beth caught mine years ago and promptly jabbed it with her thumb. “Ow, Jeez!” I staggered backwards, pressed a palm to my face and took a knee. “Don’t even think about it,” she said. “I was only looking.” I blinked hard and tried not … More Surviving Gravel’s Sirens
You’ve already been told to wear your damn mask. You’ve been begged to wash your hands often and for 20 seconds a crack. Been implored to avoid crowds and keep six feet from folks outside your household. By now, you’re either doing all this stuff, or you’ve steeled yourself so far into asshole mode that … More A Friendly Gravel Public Health Announcement
People are poking some predictable fun at DK’s new name. You’ll recall Lifetime parted ways with the event’s cofounder in June and committed to renaming the race. The original title’s racist connotations had grown intolerable, and the folks in Emporia and at Lifetime hunkered down for several months to do their work. They went public … More Same Great Gravel Taste! America’s biggest gravel race gets a rebrand.
There’s a toll bridge in Plattsmouth, Neb., that may as well be a carnival ride. You and a few of your eager pals bomb down Livingston Road toward the river to get there, hepped up on Gu packs sweet as cotton candy. You squeeze the brakes at the tollbooth, where a quarter grants you access … More A Carnival of Earth
A professional mentor of mine said every article he ever wrote started with the same sentence: I just learned the damnedest thing. The late Brian Doyle never published that sentence. I don’t figure he even bothered to write it out most times he started a story. But for him, just thinking it, just stepping his … More Solstice 2020: The Damnedest Thing