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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Ride/race report: Grinduro!

Old 10-13-17, 03:22 PM
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Ride/race report: Grinduro!

Love these forums. Not a big poster, but long-time lurker/learner. Thought I'd share my experience last weekend at Grinduro.

Grinduro is a California gravel ride/race in an area known as the Lost Sierras (specifically, in Quincy, CA). The ride is mostly gravel, with some paved sections, and timing is based on 4 segments instead of a start-to-finish format. So, you can ride casually between the timed sections and just enjoy the people, the scenery, the aid stations, lunch stop, etc. It's a party vibe, and the group of riders (around 800ish) are out to ride hard and have fun.

The route is pretty challenging. It's a total of 62 miles and 8,200 feet of climbing. The timed sections are: 1-mile climb, 6-mile fire road descent, 6-mile paved time trial (rolling), and a 5-mile single track descent. The route profile is like this: 2 mile opening paved start, 13 mile climb of about 4,500 feet up a mountain, loooooonnnggg descent, about 10 miles of rolling pavement, a 5 mile climb of about 3,000 feet, and then a single track descent (maybe about 10 miles).

What about the rider? Me, I'm a recreational rider, not a racer. I ride road, gravel, and some single track mountain bike stuff (but spend most of my time on skinnier tires and drop bars). Training was mostly on my gravel bike (Niner RLT9 aluminum, Ultegra disc, Maxxis Rambler 40mm tubeless) on the roads around Oakland and the San Francisco East Bay.

Stage 1, the climb, was about 1/3 of the way up that first big UP on the steepest section; the stage was about a mile long and it was TOUGH. I was feeling good when I got to the timing gates and (stupidly) rolled right through and kept going...the trail was immediately steeper and I had to stop and catch my breath about 1/2 way up...I was THAT GUY who stopped on the timed section. LOL

After you hit the summit the course generally points downhill and flattish until you reach the lunch stop at about mile 42. In that section is the downhill fire road...steep, fast, loose, and generally butt-puckering as you went FLYING down loose dirt at ludicrous speed. The people on mountain bikes were blowing past everyone on gravel bikes (including me). It was fun, but I was definitely happy when things flattened out.

The road time trial was fun, but I was a stupid and pushed too hard in an attempt to set a good time. When the section ended and the lunch spot was in sight, my legs were spent (oops).

Lunch was great. Too great. I didn't want to leave, but with only 18 miles left...how hard could it be? ****. Another 3,000 or so feet of climbing on a much shorter and steeper section and then back down again.

Ooof. The last climb was #&*@!*ing!!!!!! BRUTAL. The pack of riders I was in were suffering (along with me). Speed up, slow down, take a break, and repeat. We would pass each other, repeatedly, like yo-yos. Made some new friends as we collectively ground our way to the top.

All of a sudden, the top was there. YES!!!!!!!! Took a quick break and then dropped into a single track section. It was a blast! rolling through berms, with some ups, downs, cool turns, etc. LOVED IT.

Then you come to the beginning of the timed single track, and it gets serious. I knew I was gonna be slow, so I hooked up with a few other riders who said they were slow pokes and we warned all the guys on mountain bikes to go ahead of us. For me, this was the toughest part of the ride. It's 6 miles of steep, really narrow, big dropoffs on one side and steep hillside up on the other...oh, and it was really loose-dusty. There were fun parts and then downright scary bits where you were barely in control and sliding towards the edge. I won’t lie: I hit the dirt about 5 times. I almost hugged the guy at the timing gates at the end. DONE!

And that's it. You have a nice swimming hole right after the single track (and an aid station with cocktails, beer, wine), followed by a slow 2-mile roll back to the fairgrounds where it all started. AMAZING! Incredible event with a great route and format, really cool collection of cyclists, and fantastic support and celebration.

There are lots of pics of the event if you go to the Grinduro Facebook page (I would provide a link, but I'm not over the 10 post limit yet).
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Old 10-13-17, 03:40 PM
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That sounds so awesome. I can't help but be jealous of you people that live in places that have cool stuff like this.

https://www.facebook.com/grinduro/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/sbts/a...57687090689920
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Old 10-13-17, 07:55 PM
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Thats cool- ive seen the advertisement for Scotland's Grinduro, but didnt know its out in CA too.
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Old 10-16-17, 09:48 AM
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If you have the time and love gravel riding, I think it's roadtrip worthy.
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Old 11-05-17, 10:49 AM
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jp911 I see lots of riders with arm warmers on and light weight jackets. What were the temps? On the video the one downhill section of single track with lots of rocks around and very narrow looked pretty scary to me. A ride I want to do sometime though.

Zman
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Old 11-06-17, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Zurichman2
jp911 I see lots of riders with arm warmers on and light weight jackets. What were the temps? On the video the one downhill section of single track with lots of rocks around and very narrow looked pretty scary to me. A ride I want to do sometime though.

Zman
It was cold in the morning, around 38 degrees, but warmed up to about 65 by mid-day (typical fall mountain morning). The start felt uncomfortably cold, but the climbing begins after about 2 miles, so it didn't take long to warm up.

The downhill singletrack was fairly sketchy, but more because the trail was dry, loose, pretty steep at some points, and really tough to pass/be passed on. For me, it was the most challenging part of the ride.
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