Yesterday was the 5th riding of the Grumpy Grind. It was the least grumpy the event has ever been, mostly due to what had to have been the most perfect weather one could ask for. Over 100 riders participated, the most that have ever attended the event. My "official unofficial" results have 85 finishers, but I'm guessing that number still might change as people contact me and let me know that I errorred in some of my results (and please do contact me, I like to try and make it as accurate as possible).
Bryce Mead led the field, and was the first men's finisher. And Kae Takeshita wasn't far behind as the first women's finisher. There were a couple of speedy single speeders rounding out the top 10 finishers (always impressive). The finishers filed in pretty steadily, with nobody finishing very late into the day like they had in previous years.
I had the privilege of being able to participate in the ride as well being that my veteran volunteers had the everything taken care of and gave me the go ahead. After starting the race, I get the privilege of riding through the different groups of riders as I worked my way through the field. Gravel riders are truly a special community. They are much more social and supportive than the "racing" crowd of cyclists. I love looking at the variety of bikes that are ridden; from single speeds to carbon frames, to steel frames with baskets on the front, everyone seems to find their own happy niche, and nobody judges or seems to mind what flavor of bike you choose.
This great attitude carried over into the finish as well. Riders came into the finish area tired, but with a peaceful and positive energy from the days event. Maybe it was the happiness they had from knowing they didn't get lost while following cues for 80 miles, or maybe it was the joy they knew they would soon be experiencing from some post ride chow. But I heard no complaints, which is a good things when you put on an event.
On a final note, thank you to all who chose to attend this year event. My volunteers were terrific, the riders I met were friendly, and the weather was phenomenal. I can't promise there will be a GG6, but if not, there will likely be something in the works (a date or distance might change, I'll just leave it at that). The results page has been posted. Please contact me if I messed up on the results, I'll be happy to make the change. There were a few photographers out on the course. If I hear about these images being posted somewhere, I'll let you know (or you can let me know). Next weekend I aim to tackle TransIowa. The weather for that looks to be truly grumpy. I might do a posting on that if you feel like checking back. See you all next year... or somewhere down the road.