Garmin Gravel Worlds 2022

TL;dr version: Made a last-minute change from 75 miles to the 50k course. Got sixth overall (first in age group!) out of 350’ish finishers. Then drove 3 hours to pick up some puppies and 3 hours back to Lincoln. Then 500 miles home the next day [with 3 puppies, that was not a quick drive.] Obligatory Strava link.

I signed up for Garmin Gravel Worlds in Lincoln, NE originally intending to do the 75-mile course. It looked like a great “A” race with the challenging five thousand plus feet of climbing and I was cautiously excited to tackle this one. And maybe a bit nervous. Ok, actually, a lot bit nervous. But still excited.

The plan was that while I was on the course, Mrs. AdultOnset was going to drive up to Yankton, SD to pick up some puppies — one for us and two for friends. Alas, we had some events that forced a change in plans and Mrs. AdultOnset could no longer come along. Since I was now the one driving up to get puppies I opted to take the shorter 50K course to ensure time for driving (and not being too tired).

In hindsight, that change worked out great!

Pre Race with Coach Jenn (how about my Gravel Racing ‘stache?)

As I was leaving the house, Mrs. AO asked me what my goal for the day would be. I kinda laughed and said, “um, I want to break 2 hours” then laughed knowing that would be quite a stretch. (foreshadowing).

8 AM at race start, Coach Jenn and I rolled out towards the front of the pack and put down a solid pace as soon as we hit the gravel. We passed a lot of people early on and made great time. Then I got passed by a guy that I felt had no business passing me (lol!) and I mentally shifted gears and took it up another notch to get back in front of him and then just kept on dieseling down the road. I felt good, the legs felt strong, and I just went with it.

After 31 miles, I had a fantastic sprint to the finish with the two guys I rode with for the last ten miles and managed to just edge them out at the finish line. I was delightfully surprised to find I finished in 6th place! Jenn came in a few minutes later in 10th place and first overall for the women! We were both very happy with how that all went down.

Top 10 results for Gravel Worlds 50K

The course was a fun one. Lots of country gravel roads out north of Lincoln. Not quite as fast as the FoCo Fondo; these roads had more silt or a little layer of sand on them which I felt made me work a bit harder. There were also a couple sections of two-track that added some variety and more than a few roads with lots of loose gravel and not really a clear groove to run down. That kept it challenging.

At the finish with my new friends

As far as equipment goes, I ran the same rear tire as I did at FoCo (a 700×36 WTB Vulpine) but changed the front to my usual standby, the 700×37 WTB Riddler. In hindsight, I think I would have been happier with a Riddler in back too. The loose stuff caused me to spin the rear tire too often when I would come out of the saddle. Hard to say though, as those Vulpines are really fast on the hard pack stuff.

The weather was [strangely] incredible. Mid 60’s at the start and low 70’s at the finish. Overcast and low humidity. Not at all what I was expecting for a race in Nebraska in August! Made for a really comfortable race.

Oh, and about that two-hour goal: I had about 8 miles left when I realized I legitimately had a shot at achieving it. I was bogging myself down with the math wondering if I could really do it when we hit a 2 mile stretch of hard packed and (mostly) flat road. I hit the drops and went into TT mode and pulled 25+ mph speeds through there for those 2 miles and then I knew I was going to make it. I was pretty stoked! When the guys I was riding with wanted to sprint to the finish that was just icing on the cake 🙂 Made with just over a 3-minute margin.

Random fun numbers for the geeks:
Normalized Power: 261 Watts
Max Power: 845 Watts
Intensity Factor: .83 (my goal was .80 – .85. I’m pleasantly stunned I was that close)
Avg Speed: 16.2 mph
Max Speed: 30.2
Avg Heart Rate: 140
Max Heart Rate: 164

Obligatory picture of puppies. Coach Jenn was a great sport riding along to pick them up and wrangling them with me all the way home the next day!

Meet Frankie, our new puppy. Old Blue Eye.

2 replies on “Garmin Gravel Worlds 2022”

Sounds like things went well, and you had fun. Plus you won three puppies ! Awesome. Very proud of you, maybe some day Jeremy and I will join you.


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