“The Burleigh County Cup was held on May 7th in Bismarck, ND. It’s a 75 mile gravel event along with the Sippy Cup, which is a 35 mile event. This was my second year of participating in the Burleigh.
The Gravel Grunts Cycling Squad consisting of Tim Bauer and myself headed there the day before. We had a leisurely trip and set up our tents in the Eagles Park campground near the start line. We attended a dinner that Friday night for registration and had a great meal of pasta. The temperature dropped into the upper 30’s that night. Tim and I realized we should have packed warmer clothes for sleeping. Earlier that day, it was in the 70’s and it didn’t dawn on us that it might get cold. The next morning, we ate breakfast in Tim’s van for heat. We both chuckled at our mistake.
The start time was 9:00am. My goal was to beat my time from the previous year. Last year, I rode it on my Salsa Fargo. This year was going to be on my Surly Straggler. I had the guys at my local bike shop, Paramount Sports (Thanks guys!!), install a different cassette after Ragnarok to get more lower gearing. This was going to be a good test because the following week was the Royal 162. We had a four mile lead out on pavement with a nice climb and it was on to the gravel. The gravel overall was very good with some nice hills. At mile 32, there was a drop bag option.
I replenished my fluids there and continued on. There was a nice minimum road section and the temps went into the mid 50’s. At mile 60 we passed the start line in the campground and did a 15 mile loop. When I arrived in the campground, I made a quick stop for some sunscreen which I forgot to put on earlier that morning.
For the last 15 miles, the wind was starting to pick up. I worked through it, finished, and beat my time by over an hour from last year. I was pleased!! I had a couple of beers and waited for Tim and some other friends to finish.
It was a great day and a great event. I highly recommend it!!”