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  1. #1
    rio is offline
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Good job! Denali Gravel Grinder Results

    The 2012 Denali Classic Gravel Grinder presented the riders with three out and back ride options. The longest was to the beginning of the asphalt on the Paxon end, the next longest was to the Maclaren Pass road sign and the shortest distance was to turn around at the Susitna River Bridge.
    The day started out with the promise of a partly sunny day, however, the sunshine soon changed to grey skies with drizzle which turned into serious rain! The rain in turn changed a fairly fast road surface to a tacky tire sucking and strength robbing effort. Iím sure that this caused all but a few riders to alter their goals for the day.
    David Ayers and Jim and Ana Jager elected to ride the shorter distance. David Ayers rode to the bridge and back in 4:06. The Jager father and daughter team returned 7:26 after they started; Iím sure they went beyond the Susitna River Bridge and then turned around.
    Jordy and Kurt also turned around at the Susitna River Bridge, Jordy completed his ride in 6:10 Kurt in 7 hours.

    Brian Walsh, George Pollack, Zack Huff and Willy Omalley elected to do the ride to the Maclaren Pass road sign. George and Willy choose to return to the start in a follow car. Brian and Zack turned around short of the Maclaren Pass summit. Brian and Zack turned around at mile 62 which is the Maclaren Lodge. Zack completed his 124 mile ride in 12 hours; Brian rode the same distance in 14:21.
    Tim, Paul and Ken elected to ride the longest distance of 185 miles. Ken made it to the pavement break 9 hours after he departed from the start. At that turn around Ken elected to return in his follow car. Paul elected to change his goal from the pavement break to the turnaround at the Maclaren Pass road sign Paul rode hi CX bike back in 10:33. Tim elected to turn around at the lodge and completed his ride in 9:55.
    The Denali Gravel Grinder showed its dark side on this ride the riders endured persistent rain, water filled pot holes, sections of road with slurrpy gooey mud that wanted to suck the tires off your rims and threaten to fling you in the ditch. This ride when its dry is difficult, when its wet it will require each bike rider to go into their inner self and dig deep and find a way to preserver above what nature throws at them. All riders persevered and showed a great deal of wisdom in knowing their limits, making adjustments and doing their best. It was an incredible ride , accomplished by outstanding riders.
    Thank you for your support.
    Last edited by rio; 05-30-2012 at 07:58 PM.

  2. #2
    let's ride...
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Fabulously Hellacious.


    Thanks for putting on an awesome ride. And by 'Awesome', I of course mean fantstically horrendous! I don't think I've ever experienced such pain and misery on two wheels before--not even when I was plowed into by a Miata some years ago. But with all the pain and suffering, I found a sense of real pride and joy that one can only experience when they get to the very edge of their capabilities and endure. The cold and the rain played forced us all to 'dig deep', an expression I have heard for years but only now truly understand. I'll be back for vengeance next year, and to the top of McLaren Pass I will be--of course, the weather will be far more cooperative then.

    Not only is the Gravel Grinder a great event, but the Denali Hwy is an exceptional treat. Brushkana is a wonderful campground and I'm glad that I stayed the whole weekend, rain or not. And though we were ultimately a small crew of riders, it was great to share a ride with other like minded folks who were willing to make the drive and brave whatever conditions came our way. I hope to see more friends and comrades out there next year.

    zach Hellbilly huff

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