- What the heck is going on?
- I am taking a long vacation.
- What the heck are you doing?
- The DKXL on Friday, then the Tour Divide next Friday, the 8th.
- How can we follow you?
- DKXL- http://trackleaders.com/dkxl18
- Tour Divide- http://trackleaders.com/tourdivide18
- Are you going to share any other details?
Sure, yes, since now I actually have details. The last few months have been a whirlwind. I work three jobs and crush it, or they crush me, it works out. Most of May I spent my time trying to figure out how to get to Canada for the Tour Divide, meanwhile forgetting that I should make plans to get to Dirty Kanza.
It all worked out.
The DKXL will leave on Friday the 1st at 4pm. I have 35 hours to complete 350 miles. My plan is to finish anywhere from 30-32 hours. The Salsa Cycles Warbird is my bike for this ride. The mindset I will be maintaining for this event can only be accomplished on my Warbird. That’s what the Bird is for. Pretty darn simple. Ride bike. Continue riding bike. Don’t stop until that finish line.
The Tour Divide will leave Friday the 8th at 8am. I have a ride as of three days ago, and a place to stay until I jet-set for the rest of the month since yesterday. Good planning me. My goal is 28 days. I want to Tour the Divide. TOUR. SEE THINGS. My version of touring might be a little more intense than others, but I am trying to enjoy the heck out of this ride. The plan is to finish. I am terrified.
When I get back I am going to buy an RV, a Toyota Dolphin (or something similar) and live in it. I already told my Mom so you know it’s a good idea. I will be a full time student working on my Physical Therapy Assistant degree. I am also very stoked to start learning more about bike fits and the mechanics of bodies. (secret extra school plan to take over the world) I’m not leaving the bike industry, just fitting myself in a little better. I’ve been working at World of Bikes for 6 years, and I am lucky to work for a shop that values my hard work. Here is my quick list of what I plan to do at the shop while in school-
- Organize The Gravel Scouts to be bigger and better. An actual team.
- Lead Monday Night Gravel to maintain my sanity.
- Work 10-15 hours in the shop.
- Help lead clinics for women/kids.
- Make sure that World of Bikes continues to be one of the more progressive businesses in Iowa City, building our community.
- BUILD THAT FAMILY.
The last, but never final question I want to address. It was a question posed a few days ago, a technicality about self-supported events. I hold strong opinions about gravel and what self-supported is. I hardly ever share them, because sharing would mean explaining and that is going to take a while and I am probably going to offend you, so I will wait until after Tour Divide to do that. prepare your self.
Here is a quick example of what I believe in. First I googled some favorite words. I jotted down the first definition that popped up. Super serious research is happening.
- a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action.
- bear all or part of the weight of; hold up.
- a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.
That’s the order of operations in my head when it comes to gravel. It’s really simple. SO EASY. Get over yourself. Ask your questions, if you don’t think you have questions you do. Since when did you get to stop learning and just have all the answers. Try harder.
I’m not going to elaborate.
The community I am a part of is my support. I am incredibly grateful to have found a place in the cycling world. Bring your self along and find your spot. Take care of what YOU care about. It will carry you much farther than any bicycle.
We are The United States of Gravel.
Andrea From Iowa