Here are some things you can expect from the course and you should make a mental note of:
*Road conditions are dry right now. I expect them to be about the same next Saturday.
*There are all types of gravel on this course. Some is nicely packed, some small and loose, some medium sized and loose, and there is one half mile section that has giant baseball sized gravel, seriously! I think that section is called rock, not gravel.
*There are some occasional loose pockets of gravel in sections where a complete washout must have been filled. Be careful with these, especially when going downhill.
*It is 70.4 miles to the first checkpoint. There are about 6 miles of paved roads prior to the first checkpoint.
*It is 69.2 miles back to the start after the first checkpoint. About 18 of these miles are paved, but they will be scenic, remote, and challenging enough that you won't feel like you are missing the gravel.
*Be careful during the first 15 miles after the checkpoint. This section is wild. It's filled with "aggressive gravel", along with screaming downhills and agonizing uphills. I can't say enough about being cautious as you ride this section. It's also one of the more beautiful sections of the course.
It is my hope that all who start are challenging themselves with the goal of finishing. But if you know you can't, and some of you already know this, please be prepared with a pit crew/person to come get you. You are responsible for yourself. I will not be coming to get you if you need a ride, and there is no sag support. So please come prepared. This is rural Illinois and an Uber driver is not going to be close by!
Lastly, there have been a few emails and postcards asking about shirts. Only one person actually pre-ordered a shirt by the designated deadline. But there will be extras available for a $10 donation. I will not reserve these for anyone, it will be a first come first serve situation.
The GG7 is less than a week away. I'm getting excited. Hopefully you are too!