2018 gravel season opens 4/28 with the Encierro Velo

I'm new to Colorado gravel racing

We've been living in Colorado only for about 3 months now and this weekend will be my first cycling event of 2018 in our new home state. I'm looking forward to seeing what the gravel scene is like here, having come from Minnesota where gravel was king.

So this weekend is the 100K Encierro Velo, near Elbert, CO which is only about 45 miles south of Denver. Then in a few weeks, I'll come back down for the 160K Pony Express - looks like it is put on by the same people and packaged together as the Colorado Gravel Championships.

The truth is, just like with spring marathons, spring gravel races are hard to train for. I see these events as early season training for late summer & fall mountain bike races. I think for many others, spring gravel provides a bridge to cycle-cross. For me, this year is all about the Maah Daah Hey 100 and Leadville 100, back to back weekends in August.

Racing for a reason

This season I will, for the first time, be racing for a reason. I am raising money and racing for the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF). 

The Challenged Athletes Foundation raises money to help people with physical challenges pursue an active lifestyle through physical fitness and athletics. CAF’s mission is clear: give those with the desire to live active, competitive lifestyles every opportunity to compete in the sports they love.

I committed to raise $5000 for CAF in exchange for entry into the Leadville 100. The CAF folks have sent me a jersey & shorts from a few years ago so I can wear their colors in my events prior to Leadville.