Sunday, April 15, 2012

Rok ON!

Driving up in the early morning dark to the start of the Ragnarok 105 I was not sure what I had gotten my self into,, this would become a reoccurring theme. Friday had brought off and on showers all day long and during the overnight hours I was woken up by some steady downpours.
Pulling into the venue it had some middle earth kind of feel to it with the low hanging clouds and the deep deep green that has already taken over the valley.. I stumbled to the reg table and dropped off a pile of Euro style Chamois Butr' samples so all could have a happy bum. I got my number 26 and started getting ready for the day. I went back and forth with the idea of fenders or no fenders,, settled on no fenders.. Slathered down my legs with Embro and was ready for what ever came next.

chasing back on finally getting some help
We were given the what and wheres and the typical ,,,don't pee in peoples yards and that the roads are not closed so be careful,,,yada yada yada... Then it was go time.. I did as I was told to do and sat in,,I stayed towards the front of the chase group as one rider had gone off the front..  10 or so of us riding well in formation working together with about 30 or so minutes gone... Then it happened,, the guy off the front turned around realizing that he had missed a turn. We all turned around to have to climb and descend back to a paved road some 5 miles back. At this point we went from first to DFL,,, this thing had just started their are hours and miles still to go. Back on the right track helping chase back to the back ends of race,, now passing people left and right.  So my unhitching point came when we hit the first minimum maintenance road. The road was not that tough a lot like riding up the quarry road back here at home,, my issue was the group is all on Cross Bikes with big cassettes and I am pushing a standard road bike with a 11-23 ..... Cresting the hill I watched the group pull away"Crap".. Here is where I entered a dark place I never want to see again.. Heading into a south wind 15 miles into a 105 mile race and I am chasing to save the day.. I met up with a few others that had been popped off the back and we worked together for the most part pulling in one group after another.

We rode into the first check point as the lead group was just pulling out... I grabbed my que sheet and checked my number and sprinted to get on with the lead group.. Things for the most part settled down a bit here as the 6 of us worked together along some scenic river beds and twisty climbs. I was able to get some food in and start drinking,, things were looking up. Being about 10 miles out of checkpoint two coming out of a valley and coming off a long pull three got away being able to shift and climb to the pavement. I was hanging in no-mans-land and could Brandon the eventual winner looking over his shoulder wondering if I could bridge..  I could not bring it back and knowing that Charlie and Joe were not to far behind I sat up to have someone to work with.. Charlie and were making good time when we blew a turn and had to double back.. This sucked because now the nice lead we had was gone and we had to fight to keep in the top 10.

Made it to check point 3 Lake City my self Charlie and two others,, at this point it is only 20 some miles left and two-three more tough climbs. I was cramping pretty bad on the next min maintenance  road I even had to get off and stretch and use what was very little water in my bottles to clear out some mud that was gathering between my fork and front wheel..  Some super fans were at the crest of the climb handing out mini cokes took one and started to chase down Charlie and the other two..
Contact was made and coke went down and all over me but it was good. By this point it was me and the two that were picked up going into Lake City with Charlie falling behind.  Another blown turn,, but this time we did not go as far and corrected it fast.. Bombing descents and holding for dear life we made it back on to Charlie and prepared for the final climb.  Philippe one of the two found some legs and charged and I dropped the other two just happy to see the finish line.. I crossed in 7th place 6hours 40some minutes with 10 extra miles of riding 115 total.

Very happy with what I was able to do on the bike, again no excuses but being on 28mm wheels and normal road gearing made for a tougher day than I think it would have been on a different rig.. I wanted the challenge and like to think that I conquered the ROK.  8500+feet of climbing 6 hours in the saddle 6000kals burned,, I can't stop eatting.. Got lots of bike work to do in the garage and some recovery riding with this guy,,,, Party On!!


  1. Nice work yesterday Devin! Sorry the Coke spilled all over the place...

  2. Chris that Coke powered me the rest of the way,,, Kick ass.

  3. Well done! Tough ride on that gearing.

    I ride 39/53 up front with 11-34 rear for Ragnarok and the Royal, 11-28 for other gravel races.

    You riding Royal?

  4. Way to stick it out! Tough gearing for sure, but it's all about the challenge, right? Impressive pull through, and you earned your finish!