Inspiration 100 & Chequamegon 40

I've been slow to update my blog. Truth be told, I had a bit of a lull after the Maah Daah Hey 100 - that race took some time to recover from. Not just physically, but mentally. I just didn't feel like getting back on my bike again for awhile.

But those days have passed. And a few weeks ago we rode the Inspiration 100 out near Alexandria, MN. It was another beautiful day if a little windy. I rode pretty easy and finished the 104 miles somewhere around 7 1/2 hours I think. As usual the first half was quicker than the second. I had some groups to ride with early and ended up riding the last 60 or so miles totally alone.

There is definitely a common thread tying these gravel races together - lonely & unending gravel roads.

I wish I would have been counting the number of lakes that we passed - it seemed more rare to be riding across a field than along a lakeshore.

Lake, big lake.

And of course there was Mary of the Woods (or something like that). Up close she looked like "folk art" - like she was carved in some dude's garage on the weekends. I'm sure there is a great story behind her, but I don't know it. Anyways, if you find yourself out in the country west of Alexandria, MN you should go look for her - why wouldn't ya?

And as for the Chequamegon - well it was a bit of a breakthough weekend for both of us. I never could understand why Brent and I weren't faster in this race in the past. It just didn't make sense that we saw 3 hours as our benchmark. We had each been under 3 hours before - a few times, but still our goals always seemed anchored around it. This year we both were looking to blow that out of the water and to set a new standard - and we did. The course was about 2 miles shorter than usual, but we still blew it out. Even cleaning Fire Tower hill seems different now - taken almost for granted.

I don't have as any pics of the Cheq, but there are plenty out there to be found.

So our official dirty race total for the year is now at 899 miles. We had to drop the Skull & Bones from our schedule because of it's classification as a "ride" instead of a race. Looks like our next two events are the Filthy 50 & DirtBag (80-ish miles).

Stay tuned. Banquet information and post-millennium coverage is yet to come.