So this last weekend was a blast. The Gravel Conspiracy Northwood's Adventure run by the lying Josh Stamper was fantastic. It was a 3 day stage "race" of about 290 miles, all boarding the Boundry Waters Canoe Area. I say race in only the loosest of terms as it was more a ride than anything else. My only goals were to ride lots, have fun, enjoy my time with other riders, and see a moose that Josh pretty much said there were so many we could take one home with us. I was a little worried about the length as after taking an audit of my ride time this summer, I probably averaged 4 hours a week (busy). The week before the event I had gotten out for 14 hours. I like to call it reverse tapering.
Day 2's start was a loose affair for the 125 miles in front of us. We all started when we felt, some earlier, some later, all around 8:30. The core group I rode with for the day was J-No, Josh "Rainbow Rider" Peterson, and Ted "Got the munchies" Loosen. We fought wind, cold, rain, and gravel throughout the day. At the 100 mile mark our ATV trail turned into an abandoned old forest trail that was slow going and an eventual dead end. Using GPS's we realized we were off course (there was a mistake in the directions that could have ended poorly for many people out there). Bushwacking through some serious terrain for an hour had us heading back to a real trail. We would scoop up other groups of lost souls and eventually find our way to Ely. Eventually everyone would be fine, but our gear didn't get to us until 10pm. We had ourselves an adventure and lived to tell about it.
Day 3 was again a loose start. Quickly our group got back to our original 4 plus a sleeveless Eddie Karow. This would prove to be the best day yet. 115 miles of gorgeous views, fantastic weather, pristine lakes, and quiet unique roads. We had a lot of fun that day and it was a great way to cap the weekend.
I want to thank Josh for the event and the supporters, (Salsa Cycles, Cyclova XC, 3 Stars Cycles, and A Train Bikes). That weekend was a blast!!
|The paved run out from town.|
|Breakfast on Bearskin lake. No complaints.|
|Day 2 group I rolled out with which would change before the finish.|
Rolling around mile 35ish on day 2.
|It was a little chilly, rainy, and a nice little headwind at this point.|
|On ATV trails, hoping to get lost.|
|Our little trail would bring us by one neat area after another.|
|Day 3, this is the ATV trail we should have been on yesterday.|
|Our day 3 crew Eddie, Rainbow Rider, J-No, Ted "Hey guys wait up" Loosen|
|This is 1 of 2 businesses we saw in 290 miles. We had to stop just because, then a mad tether ball game broke out.|
|The only moose I would see all week end. Damn you Josh Stamper!!|
|The Sunday crew along with Josh Stamper and a Fargo. Is there nothing a Fargo can't do?|