While several WSI Cycling team members were getting ready to the west side of the state for the Melting Man, first-year team member Laura Stuchell got an early start on on the weekend of racing and headed east for some gravel road fun. This was the second year for the Waterloo Grit and Gravel 50k road race, staging and starting from the Waterloo State Park near Jackson. It’s a 50k and 100k race on about 90% gravel. The first 12 miles are very hilly with rollers thereafter. It’s very well run (Epic Races) and the number of participants increased from its inception last year.
The weather for the race made it pretty challenging with snow the night before and then rain/snow mix during the race. The road conditions made it tough as it was peanut butter covered by about 1.5″ of snow. I rode my Trek Stache 29+ (aka Moose) and was so glad I did but even with the wider tires was put to the test. Within the first 3 miles another rider clipped my handlebars and down I went. Luckily it was a soft fall as I was not going very fast and I wasn’t run over by any other riders.
It was one of the most technical rides I’d ever done and was happy just to stay upright… it was 30 miles of fishtailing for all riders. I was pleasantly surprised to have won my age group as there are typically some pretty tough riders from the Ann Arbor area there. I’ve ridden it for two years now and plan on doing it again next year. The only downfall of the race is that it’s the day before Melting Mann… (maybe a double up to consider?)
Way to go Laura!