Gravel Worlds 2014 Race Report from Sunflower Outdoor and Bike Shop owner, Dan Hughes. Photos courtesy Stephen Lam. www.stephenlamphoto.com
Young Daniel is quite adept at riding a bicycle on the gravels. He’s also a pretty good story teller/writer type (though please don’t tell him I said so because his ego is already pretty huge :) Here, he tells of his experience winning the totally legit Gravel Worlds last weekend.
Get out there. Do dumb things.
Last week, I did the Tour de Tree again. It’s a self invented event. No one pays me to do it. And guess what? All the rules, I made up.
It takes place over 5 days and is 10 Stages - 5 AM, 5 PM. Basically riding to and from work everyday. Santa Cruz to/from Morgan Hill. That sounds easy, but my commute includes Mt Madonna, which has an amazing tree at the top of it. Rule is, when you get to the tree, you do a ‘tour’ of it i.e. ride a loop around it.
The week for me was roughly 66 miles/5,200ft of elevation gain on average a day.
I convinced one other person to do ALL the stages with me, and some other folks joined me here and there for a stage or two (I encouraged people from Morgan Hill side to ride to the tree, do their loop, and head back down to complete a stage. A few did it in the afternoon, and two braved the morning and did a stage up to the tree in the fog.)
For the final stage, both Jon - the other person who did all 10 stages and wearing the Van Dammage kit - portaged a tallboy to the Mother Tree and toasted our victory together. It was an amazing and very tiring experience. Wednesday was the hardest and I took to taking noonday naps on the lawn outside work while everyone was out on lunch ride just to catch up with sleep - getting up at 4:30am every morning does that to you.
I took a lot of photos and some videos for what is a very long week. You can view them all here, included some loops of the Mother Tree and a rather impressive puncture pic —> TOUR DE TREE - AUGUST 2014
Also, here’s an example of a stage. The final PM stage. I did change the afternoon routes from time to time, adding in more climbing generally, but this is the standard afternoon commute.
the kind of road I love. deserted, with tall trees and a fog layer. :)
Women on the Champs, gettin’ ‘er done. So great. Need more. Much more.
When someone asks me ‘what’s your perfect day’ …my answer is a warm winter afternoon on back roads in the country, and I see a tree covered gravel road that I’ve never seen before, and I go down it, because I have nowhere else to be.
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