Neil T. is back for more…
“I can’t tell a whole lot about this metric for fear of dismemberment. Ok, so maybe it will not be that severe, but I have to be cautious with what I share. I had the great privilege of being able to ride and recon the second loop of the Gravel Ride for Maisie’s Pride on President’s Day. We weren’t planning on doing over 62 miles, but you never know what you’re in for when you ride with Uncle Dudley. Last year at the Gravel Ride for Maisie’s Pride I met Ryan Dudley the promoter of the event. He is a great guy and if you hang out with him for even a few minutes you become friends. After riding last year I have rode with him some and continued to build a friendship. He invited me out to check things out under the precondition that I don’t share to much about the ride (course layout, just how brutally painful the course is).
When we started out we were going at a decent pace, but we really hadn’t hit some of the gnarly Eskridge, KS climbs and there are a ton of them out there. In the 62+ miles we rode we both read around 4500 feet of elevation. IT WAS FANTASTIC!! As we were going Ryan has a couple course options for the 2nd loop of Maisie’s picked out. We kind of explored parts of both of them. I can tell you the scenery is gorgeous. For being all brown lacking color it was still something I stopped and stared at for a while. I can’t wait to see it full of color in the Spring.
One thing Maisie’s is known for is its tough road conditions. Let me tell you we had them. You better not run narrow tires out here. I was running 38’s and they handled well out there. At one point we hit a little mud on a nasty MMR. I had the joy of practicing my hike-a-bike skillz for a short while.
We also ran into some thick wheel sucking gravel that had me all over the place at times. The grind through that was tough. At one point we hit a little loose section that cause Ryan to think he was going to die. He lived!!! I don’t know if I will be as excited about that when I ride the full 100 miles in a couple months. Even though most roads were dry there was a few times I was sinking because the gravel was just so thick. I pray it thins out and isn’t replaced by race day. But if it is thick, it just ups the challenge.
We took the pace slow as the day went on, exploring roads, checking which route might be the best (read painful and torture inducing). But I’ll tell you I’m so ready for the challenge of riding the full 100 miles this spring. Maisie’s is great. If you were able to get into DK and you ride this a month before the DK you will undoubtedly be ready for DK.
I really want to encourage riders who haven’t ridden this race to check it out. If you missed getting into Land Run or DK this year you have no excuse for missing out on a quality race. Maisie’s is quality. I believe this is the 6th year for the race and Ryan does it right. The guy takes care of you. They have great support out there for the riders and the course is by far the most challenging century I’ve ever tried.
Metric # 1 in the books. A month earlier than last years first metric. I plan on keeping them coming. I also look forward to everyone else’s write-ups. So encouraging to see others getting out and crushing it.”