Thursday and Friday I got out for similar length rides, about 2.5 hours each, Thursday was the road bike around Briggs Lake and Friday was a shake down ride on the Evergreen.
I had put in a new bottom bracket, installed aerobars (laugh if you must), and put on some new tires (Challenge Strada Bianca 700x 33). It was perfect and ready for the Saturday push to Grand Rapids.
I was given a suggested route (to Grand Rapids) from a friend with a cabin in the area. It was pavement to Aitkin but essentially gravel the rest of the way. Hence the choice in bikes. I'm amazed at how well the Strada Bianca tires worked on both pavement and gravel...love them! I made great time to Aitkin, a bit over 100 miles over 20 mph average. I stopped and refueled and pushed on for the second leg. About 5 miles out the road turned to gravel and stayed that way. It was pretty decent gravel so I was still moving a long. I think I saw two cars on the gravel! There were several rolling hills in this section. Funny how small hills can seem big over a hundred miles in.
It was getting hot and my thirst was insatiable. I assumed there wasn't any refueling point until Grand Rapids but was hopeful Swatara would have something...nope, basically a ghost town. Eventually the gravel road stopped and I entered Forest Service roads. It was a windy maze but I was able to navigate it just fine. The gravel was loose, chunky, and hilly. I definitely slowed down here, the deer flies took advantage of that!
After, what seemed liked forever, I was dumped out onto pavement! Another 10 or so miles and I was at the hotel. Great route, thanks Bryon. Jen and I showed up at the same time...timing!
186 miles, 19.7 average, and 9.5 hours. I wasn't tearing up the dance floor at the wedding but was up till almost midnight!
Reminder: Trail Work tomorrow (Monday) at the North Loop/Jail Trail at 5:30...race prep time!