The inaugural South Park Dirty Fondo is tomorrow so I'm headed up to Salida today to check out Absolute Bikes, Amica's and get a sense of the town. I'm fortunate enough that I'll be staying with the event director, so I hope to get the inside scoop on how to dodge raindrops and lightning at 10,000 feet (yeah there's a decent chance of rain). I have a couple new things I'm bringing which may get a first test run here.
The packing ritual is getting to be routine and no longer something I stress about too much. I do spend a bit of time the week before the event doing some planning such as looking over the route, planning how long segments will take, where I'll be able to refill water, how much food to bring and what to wear.
I do however have a new pleasant packing ritual - XXC Podcasts. The podcasts almost always consist of XXC front man Jason Mahokey, along with Ben Welnak and Zander Benedict. Often there are guests discussing events they host or have participated in, but there's always plenty of time where the three stooges generally ramble about topics somewhat related to endurance racing (e.g. nutrition and Zander's idea that Pop-tarts or gas station donuts are excellent pre-race fuel) to topics almost completely unrelated (e.g. Amish Cocaine, and sex with armadillos). Personally I get more than a few laughs out of the show, and sometimes I even learn something (gasp!). Highly recommended for your packing day ritual.
While this is a gravel related blog I'll be switching gears to follow singletrack just after DK200. I've been having an inner debate about how to handle this switch on the blog given the gravel in the title. Ben seems to think the gravel grovelers are really mountain bikers on a wider trail. One of Ben's recent projects Mountain Bike Radio has provided another interesting perspective on a variety of events. I'm blaming two of the podcasts from the AZT 300/750 for my recent purchase of a Relevate seat bag. I'm told there will be a website soon, but for now check it out on Facebook - I'm sure MBR will increase those stock offerings you just purchased.
Off to the race.