The first race of 2014 is in the books. A new race number to add to the pile! Adam and I arrived to Dubuque late Saturday night after romping around at the 2014 Team SnowBike Enduro. Adam crushed the enduro and I ate nearly 3 bowls of chili and met so many wonderful people. In other words we were so ready for Triple D. This would be Adam’s sixth or seventh attempt and my first. I had minimal experience since I had completed the Tuscobia 35 miler. I knew that Lance Andre, the race director, was and is crazy. His other race, Colesburg 40, is one of my first gravel races and I will never be able to forget those hills…and b-roads.
Anyways my innocent and seemingly unaffected self lined up at the start and headed out into the Triple D madness. Instantly there was single track(?) more like hobo trails. They were fun. I got hit in the face by a hanging hobo tent, ouch. I passed a bunch of people, then I crashed. They I took off my coat, then gloves, then goggles…just about all my clothes. It was already 30 degrees out and I was not in the mood for sweating.
After we navigated out of the trails we had to traverse some snow-mobile trails, walk across a corn-field, watch nearly ten guys pull Lance and his snow-mobile out of a ditch, and finally reach the Heritage Trail. WHAT A RELIEF. If I had to trudge on for much more I would have been in a worse mood. Demeanor reversed I pushed on riding with Little Z and one other. Little Z was riding fixed! I always, ALWAYS, seem to end up riding with someone who only has one gear. How nice. We rode all the way into Dyersville together. A nice headwind tempered my pace and kept me from overheating. Once in Dyersville I ate pizza, put some pizza in my pocket, put M&M’s in my gastank, and headed out with Adam and Mark. Tailwind, slight downhill, and warmer weather got me pumped up. I was cruising. Mark pulled away. The snow got sloppy. I crashed going in a straight line once. That was enough to slow me down to normal pace, which probably saved my butt later on. Mark broke his chain, I was no help, so I just stood there and lubed mine…sorry bro. I rode into Durango with Little Z, Adam, and our other friend. I was in pretty good spirits. The sloppy snow was getting to my brain, and I made a couple silly choices, i.e slamming on my brakes right in front of Adam. wtf Andrea. Anyways at Durango I ate more pizza and left so I could ride with some more light.
I nearly got lost around the highway/overpassy type thing. Lance was thankfully right around there, and a new friend, Dave. He seemed to know more of the trail, so I followed the crap out of him. All around the highways, byways, and up giant hills of private snow-mobile trails. I did some walking and talking and complaining. Not until we got back onto the hobo single-track trails did I start to focus on the goal. FINISHING. EEKS. so close! Excitement nearly getting the best of me I stopped on top of a hill to decide my fate. Ride or walk. Dave or someone must have seen my light and shouted out “ANDREA, STILL ALIVE??!” I shouted in return “NOT DEAD!!” One of my favorite moments, and enough to put a smile on my face and leave me giggling like a mad-woman for the last 3 or so miles. I pulled into Dubuque after 9 hours on the bike, sat down, and ate a cupcake.