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The Royal 162

May 14th was a wet and windy day. It also was the day that Derek and I set out to ride the Royal 162. 162 mile gravel road race (OK, more of a ride for participant type riders like us...) was to be epic and we loved the idea. Driving down to Spring Valley early Saturday morning was wet and cold. I told Derek that I expected that he and I would be the only 2 people to show up. Wrong! There had to be at least 60 of us that took off at 7am. It was 49º at 7 and by nine it was 47º (oops, I guess the temp was going the wrong way for us: ).

At 38 miles we were in Preston for water and a piece of fried chicken for me.

We made a quick stop of it and headed out feeling pretty good.
A mere 20 miles later and a good amount of hard driving rain mixed with pretty tough winds and a great feeling of isolation (it did now seem as though we were the only 2 on the ride) and we were squished physically and mentally.

At about 58 miles we crossed a paved bike path and while I think we both knew that we weren't going to make the 162, we were trying to look at the ride in pieces and the current piece was to Harmony. Harmony was completely do-able for us even in the conditions...

15 yards past the bike path we stopped and looked at the cue sheets. We felt there was a bit of confusion about the cue sheets (probably made this up in our muddied brains) and determined that this was our moment to bail out.
Mind you, bailing out at mile 58 didn't mean we were done. Actually we had little sense of where we were and whether to take the bike path right or left (no, we had no clue of a direction they might be pointing). We turned right thinking that Harmony must be that way. Lucky for us it was Preston we came to (no more isolation) as by now the later starting Almanzo riders were all over the town.

Lunch at the café and back to Spring Valley on the highway.
At mile 82 we entered the parking lot. We survived. A little worse for the wear and our egos a bit bruised, but there it is.

Last year I did a ride report of the Almanzo 100. Check it out Here

You can check out more about the Almanzo 100 and Royal 162 Here

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