BlackHeart ambassador Cody Chouinard recently headed to Northern California to participate in one of the best known gravel events in the cycling world. He rode is BlackHeart Titanium allroad bike paired with WTB Nano 40 tires on HUNT gravel alloy wheels for the event. Here is a summary of his day.
Upon arriving in Quincy it was clear that some people decided to stay home because of the weather. For those that decided too brave the elements that meant plenty of space for camping, short lines, and what felt like a more intimate Grinduro experience. I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I rolled out of my tent the next morning. To my relief, I was greeted with warm sunlight and just a slight layer of dew on the grass. Clouds loomed off in the distance but at least we wouldn't be starting in the rain.
The first 14 miles is all uphill. If you plan on riding Grinduro next year just pace yourself and know that it only gets worse. Fortunately at the top you're greeted with some hot bacon and stiff pickle backs. As if it was planned, this also happened to be when the rain and hail started. We would now have to descend fire roads for stages 2 and 3 soaking wet. My spirits weren't totally depleted so I zipped up my jackets and chased my friends down the hill.
The second half of this year's course sent me through a rollercoaster of emotions. It started out with a chill quintessential sunny Californian fire road climb. Then it quickly turned to steep 24% pitches that had you grinding your teeth and begging your legs to keep going. I may or may not have had to walk a couple times. Next, we cut a single track trail that went along the ridge line to the top of the mountain.
This was also around the same time when large fluffy snow flakes started to accumulate on my sleeves. With the worst of it behind me I slowly made my way to the next aid station.
59 miles, 9,795 ft, 6:23. The ride was fun and all but nothing was better than getting back to camp, grabbing a beer, and catching up with friends.
- Cody Chouinard