Adventure; Get Closer to Nature
What is adventure? Is it better to describe adventure as a thing, or is adventure better explained by telling a story? Adventure is defined as an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity. For me, riding a bicycle is an adventure. Here is a little more from my Dirty Kanza 200 (DK200) adventure.
If I said “200 miles of Kansas gravel ahead”; would this scare you, make you think “oh great”, or do you see it as an opportunity for adventure? Well, I thought all three when I decided to sign up for the DK200. Most of us live in urban/suburban jungles. We drive four wheel drive vehicles, but most never see an off road adventure, let alone a gravel road. Have you ever taken the time to get off the beaten path and on to a country gravel road… oh the things you can see, hear and smell. Now slow it down to about 10-13 mph riding on your favorite gravel grinding bicycle. It’s almost like heightening your senses another notch.
Riding on gravel in the elements is an adventure, to say the least. Sometimes you have to dress for winter weather that may warm up to a fine spring day in the afternoon. Another day spring and summer showers can change road conditions leaving you to wonder, “Will I be able to ride home,” or “Will the gravel turn into a mud bog?” Have you ever seen a lovely field of cows grazing on green grass, then ugh! What’s that smell? You just can’t ride fast enough to get away from the wind wafting the aroma. It is always an adventure because you are not insulated from the elements or nature.
In the 2013 race the wind was howling, gusting up to 40 mph. I had completed about 24 miles and was riding with a group across the top of a ridge on a narrow rocky one lane gravel road. Did I mention rocky, “Bang,” then the sound of air whistling from my rear tire. One of the elements, a rock, had punctured my tire in the sidewall, the worst spot. Oh well. I quickly removed the rear wheel and changed the flat, aired up the tire and rolled away again. I was so glad to have that out of the way and begin to enjoy the elements again. “Bang!” Oh what the… Another flat at mile 30, now this is getting annoying. Oh well, it’s all part of the adventure! Stay tuned for the next installment where I’ll get into how I trained for riding 200 miles in one day.
Specialized Crux Disc – My Ultimate Gravel Grinding Machine