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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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