Sometimes I have a misguided overconfidence in my strength and fitness level.
This was one of those times. In late November I tore my ACL while fat biking in the snow and had surgery at the end of December. Then in May, five months later, I decided to race in the Rattlesnake Rally Gravel Grinder.
My surgeon said no single track for 9-12 months so a gravel grinder is ok, right? Never mind that I don’t really like gravel grinding or that I couldn’t climb in and out of my camper without help. Never mind that the weather was typical for a Wyoming spring day – cold and rainy with a chance of mud.
But I didn’t work hard at physical therapy for nothing and I was dying to pedal outside on a real bike.
Needless to say that even the little kids passed me on the 37-mile ride. It was brutal.
As an added bonus, I forgot my chamois. Yep, I forgot my bike shorts for a race. I borrowed my partner’s bibs which are a size men’s large and I wear a women’s small. Oh — and lest I forget, I decided that it would be a good day to test out a new saddle.
Not only was I a sad mofo battling the wind and rain but my nether regions were very sad too. That is why cowgirls drink whiskey.
But I’m glad I did it and I’d do it again. My partner (Studd Pyles) was a true hero, he threw the longer race just to support me. He waited for me after each big hill and lifted my spirits. And there was bacon on the course.
Studd hamming it up.
What race doesn’t go by a pet cemetery?
Mo’ bacon! A huge shout-out to the volunteers that stood in the cold for hours – and kept the bacon hot.
The home stretch of the 2018 Rattlesnake Rally Gravel Grinder – with a headwind.
I’m pretty sure that I was the only rider dumb enough to be on a fat bike. I could have rode my actual gravel bike – my Surly Cross Check – but I reasoned that my fat tires would give me the most stability if conditions were mucky. The last thing I wanted to do was wash out and put a foot down. Stable, yes but like driving a tractor-trailer in a cross wind.
Studd Pyles and Dirt Girl aka Fat Bike Girl aka Sox aka The Baroness, aka The Duchess of Dirt. Hopefully next time we will ride the 60 or 120-mile route. It’s a beautiful area when the weather cooperates!