“I don’t have a ton to say about the next two metrics for me (#5 and #6). Both were at events where I followed cue cards and generally had no idea where I was in the world. My sense of direction is poor when not actively following a map.
The first was at LML, where my goal was to push hard and see how quickly I could finish. I’m happy to report that I was the first female (but in a VERY small field) and finished in about the top third overall.
The second was the Gent’s Race in Slater, IA. The concept of the Gent’s Race is that you start and finish as a team. Your team of five is awarded the slowest time of any one of your members and you’re expected to stick together and help each other out. We had a strong start, but we had a teammate or two struggling after the halfway point so our pace dropped. I had legs left and asked my teammates how I could help them? Food? Water? Distraction? Singing? Drafting? (I’m really short. I’ve been told that drafting off of me is nearly pointless for the tall.) They said I couldn’t really help so I was free to go mess around.
I decided that doing random sprints and intervals was a great way to turn the end of the ride into an intense training session! I’d let a group pass us, let a decent gap open up, and then sprint as hard as I could to catch up. Some of the guys would look shocked when I’d pull up out of nowhere and start talking for a bit before dropping back to my teammates. I’d ride alongside a group of folks in a paceline, using them to set my speed. Since I wasn’t on their team, I wasn’t allowed to draft them so it was much more work for me! I made sure to say hi to Dave Mable during the ride, one of the amazing instigators of this site.
All in all both “races” were good gravel events! I got to talk to a lot of folks and experience the awesome gravel culture here in the midwest.”