On a positive note, this loose gravel gave me a reality check/reminder for what's coming up for me next weekend. TransIowa. 330ish miles of gravel riding fun. This is an event that some people call a race, but it certainly doesn't fit the mold of what most people percieve as racing. The average speeds are less than 15mph, you have to walk your bike sometimes, and people actually stop to help each other. Craziness. It's an event where if you don't embrace suffering you probably won't finish. Proper gear, staying fueled, pacing yourself, hydration, and not getting lost are all things that you have to pay attention to in your effort to help minimize the suffering. It's easy to know all these things, but it's hard actually prepare for the time when you have to face these challenges.
Today's 3 hours of loose grueling gravel were a good reminder that the gravel won't always be kind, and the legs won't always feel good. Fifty miles is nothing like 330 miles, but approaching TransIowa with a humbling ride will hopefully keep me more mentally grounded for next weeks ride.