Catching The Gravel Bug At The Gravel Metric

It’s just about that time of year. What time, you ask? Time for North Central Cyclery's annual Gravel Metric event.

The first GM ride took place in 2010. After being captivated by there promo video, I decided I needed to check it out. I emailed that first Gravel Metric video to my friend Andrew and then gave him a call. After talking with him, all he wanted to know was when we where leaving. I tuned up the La Cruz, picked up my friend, and headed to DeKalb, Illinois.

Thinking back to that ride, a few things really stick out.

First, is the heat. It was unusually warm that spring, and the weather went into full summer mode that weekend. The temperature rose above 100 that day.

Second, is the feeling of the cool water at the creek crossing. I remember specifically standing in the water for a few extra minutes before riding on. I needed to stay cool and hydrated because of the third thing.

Gravel! I had recently cut my teeth on gravel racing at the Ragnarok 105, about six weeks earlier down in Red Wing, Minnesota.

But my day on the bike out with the NCC Crew is really what sealed my gravel road infatuation. Everything about that ride got me hooked: the riders, scenery, attitudes, and the unforeseen challenge of finishing.

Near the end of the ride, my friend Andrew and I took a wrong turn, and ended up circling the city, and adding ten miles to our ride. Unfortunately, due to the extreme sun and heat, those ten miles felt like an additional 60 miles! But it only ended up making the beer taste that much better at the end!

This year the course won't be marked (obviously that didn't help me back then), a few extra challenging sections have been added, and the rest stops have been removed. So I will need to bring my A-game when I head down there this weekend. Game time is 9AM this Sunday, May 26th.

And this year, I get the privilege of bringing my little brother with me, and introducing him to his first Gravel Metric. If the gravel bug is giving you the itch, I highly recommend this ride. See you there!



This post filed under topics: E-Fred Explore Gravel Ultra Racing

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Eric Fredrickson

Eric Fredrickson

I've been working in shops since before I could drive a car. I feel blessed to be able to fulfill one of my passions here with Salsa. Give me a pair of 29r wheels, one gear, and some dirt and I will be happy. I like to keep it simple. I'm also a sucker for some gears and pavement on the back roads of Wisconsin where I live. When I am not biking, I enjoy spending my time with my BEAUTIFUL wife and daughter. Family-Bikes-Music, my passions are and always will be in that order.


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