Singlespeeds and Sunburn in the Lost and Found Race – Kyle Kelley

Singlespeeds and Sunburn in the Lost and Found Race
Words and photos by Kyle Kelley

It’s not too often you get asked to hop in a car and drive 8 hours north, race (I didn’t do much racing though) a 100 mile “Gravel” Race with 7,000 feet of elevation on a Single Speed, then hop back in the car and drive another 8 hours home. So of course I said “Yes!”

While I said yes, I must admit I was kind of worried. I’d agreed to do something I really knew nothing about. I’m not in the best shape at the moment, definitely not in 100 mile Single Speed shape. This is kinda like hiking 16 miles round trip to Half Dome in brand new boots, which I’ve also done. I never said I made the best decisions, but luckily I’m still having fun and the 2015 Lost and Found Gravel Grinder was no exception!


Lost, Found and Sunburnt in the Lost and Found Race - Kyle Kelley

We the Single Speeders were sent off with the pros. I had Ben Berden directly in front of me and Scottie Chapin rolled in late to the line right behind me, so now all my pre-race anxieties were being echoed off two giant pillars of cyclocross and all I wanted was to party. 30 seconds to go, there’s some kind of drone circling ahead, 15 seconds to go, I wanna pull my camera out and take a picture, but before I know it we’re off.

Lost, Found and Sunburnt in the Lost and Found Race - Kyle Kelley

It wasn’t long before the pros were out of site and all my anxieties were gone. I had about 10 minutes of solitude with my two buds before we would be swarmed by the Cat 6 racers that we belonged with. The next 8 hours would be spent surrounded by trees, rambling through lonely alpine meadows, and yo-yoing with friends from flats and lack of gears.

Lost, Found and Sunburnt in the Lost and Found Race - Kyle Kelley

80 miles of beautifully groomed dirt roads with patches of gravel interspersed here and there for show. With 20 miles of scenic paved connecters, and all the food and drink you could ask for, this was riding in luxury.

Lost, Found and Sunburnt in the Lost and Found Race - Kyle Kelley

If you’re looking for a bit of local flavor, I’ve also thrown in a photo of the preferred watering hole in Portola, CA and the best way to recover after a long day in the saddle if you have to be in a car all day. Hot Springs!

I’ll see everyone again next year, hopefully Eric’s sunburn has healed by then!

All proceeds from the Lost and Found go to The Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship(sierratrails.org) and is hosted by the fine people at Yuba Expeditions(yubaexpeditions.com), both are making the Sierras a great place to ride a bike!

Tools of the Trade:
Yashica T4 Zoom
Portra 160

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Follow Kyle on Instagram.

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  • michael p

    Love the write up

  • Tony Clifton

    So. Much. Shirtless.

  • hans

    cool dude!

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  • Tim

    the single speed Stinner in pic 16 is a rebranded Nature Boy, or only AC dropouts were used?

    • AC dropouts on a Stinner Frame. I think it’s Kyle’s personal steed so you might be able to find more details over on Trackosaurusrex or his Instagram.

  • That’s the most Brunt flavored epidermis I’ve been blessed with in awhile.

    • Malcolm T

      Brunt on front. And dat ass. Holla at yo gurl.

  • The intro to this story could have only been more real if you were also breaking in a new B17 while wearing wool underpants and socks. Nice one Kyle!

  • Lisagirl Le Champagne

    in the usa you do all these funny easy going alternative and sometimes very mixed races. fun to see. here in europe most races are strong reglemented, even the amateur ones. also nice to see in the strawberry hill video mtb s and cx s going the same course. after all its all about the experience. this very fact you live out there good. last sentence was a little old fashioned i guess :/) mark

  • arak

    I agree with you Lisagirl!!! we need to organize more activities like that in europe!!!

  • STW

    Are photos #19 and #21 from Wild Willy’s Hot Spring? http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/bishop/restoration/rp_wildwillies.html