Picking back up a good six months after my last adventure, you may be wondering if I fell off the Earth or what. Maybe not – but let’s pretend for a moment.
The first half of 2019 was a targeted effort to do gnarly gravel rides and build up to the Farmer’s Daughter Gravel Grinder in May. I was out almost every weekend either riding or doing trail maintenance on my local trails … and sometimes, both. I spent not one but TWO amazing weekend with my girlfriends camping and biking and having a blast just relaxing. I decided to go on the Taste the Catskills ride, a definite stretch but well within my capacity.
Then there’s the let-down period after a series of epic adventures.
I switched back over to mountain biking and spent a few months doing low miles/high smiles rides. I raced my mountain bike for the first time ever and placed first in the Cat 3 Beginner Women (19+) category. I went back to organizing my fall gravel event, which always takes more time and effort than one might think. I was doing trail maintenance.
I was stressed out, constantly running from one thing to the next … it just wasn’t fun anymore and I couldn’t remember the last time I had a day to just wake up and sit on the couch with a mug of coffee and my dogs.
I hit a wall of just being Too Busy. So I wrote all my volunteer obligations that I was taking a break.
Of course, in that break I came up with other things I wanted to do, like host a spring classic gravel grinder. And just ride my bike because I want to. And sleep in because I love it when I can do that.
So here we are, in January 2020, and I’m slowing working volunteer obligations back into my life and figuring out – what do I want to DO this year??
About a week ago I learned I’ve been selected as a 2020 Nuun Hydration brand ambassador and I am super stoked about this! I’ve been a big fan of Nuun since my brush with heat exhaustion on Day 3 of a 4-day bike tour and adding that little electrolyte tablet to my water profoundly revived me. Nuun has been my go-to hydration product for years and I’m proud to be able to represent the brand!
I recently picked up a 2020 Salsa Cutthroat GRX600 (a bike I’ve been eyeing for years but they didn’t make my size until this year) and am in the process of dialing in a gravel/adventure set up as well as a bikepacking set up. I love my other Salsa “groad” (gravel-road) bike but the Cutthroat has taken my gravel game to the next level. I’ve named her Monster Truck for the incredible traction, stability, and confidence the bike inspires.
For 2020, I’m starting to stack my spring gravel calendar with an eye towards pivoting to bikepacking for the the summer and fall.
Here’s my current roster of events:
- March 22 – Frozen Apple Ride, Peekskill, NY <- that’s my new spring classic!
- April 11 – Balekicker, Nassau, NY
- April 25 – Cross Mountain Crusher, Margaretville, NY
- May 9 – Greasy Joe’s Gravel Grinder, West Greenwich, RI
- May 17 – Farmer’s Daughter Gravel Grinder, Chatham, NY
- May 22-25 – Girls Bike Camping Weekend, TBD
- June 7 – Tour de Heifer, Dummerston, VT
- June 11-14 – Girls MTB Camping Weekend, East Burke, VT
Other great events I can’t attend or have my eye on/no 2020 date posted yet:
- April – Muddy Onion Spring Classic Gravel Grinder, Montpelier, VT
- June – Poison Ivy Mousetrap MTB race, Rock Tavern, NY
- July – Chainstretcher MTB race, Peekskill, NY
- September – Ashford Adventure Ride, Ashford, CT
- October – F2G2, Tyringham, MA
- October – Dirty Apple Ride, Goldens Bridge, NY <- that’s my other ride!
- November – Gravel Gobbler, Nassau, NY
- December – Ice Weasels Cometh, Medfield, MA
Bikepacking Trips (some on the To Do Eventually list):
- Cross New Hampshire Adventure Trail (2-3 day tour)
- Taste the Catskills (3-4 day tour)
- Green Mountain Gravel Growler (5 days)
- The Adirondack Trail Ride (10-14 day tour)
- Oregon Timber Trail (25 days)
- Tour Divide (35 day tour)
That’s a lot, now that I look at it.
ANYWAY, I’m looking forward to reclaiming some balance this year. My New Year’s Resolution is to Be Less Busy so we’ll see good I am at keeping myself uncommitted.
See you out there!