I could not be more enthused for 2018. To say I'm stoked is an understatement. I have a huge calendar of gravel events in mind as well as some ultra-distance time trials. I'm going to ride some of those events on a singlespeed, others with gears. Some will be A races, others are for fun and training. The quick list includes the Rock Cobbler, Land Run, Trans Iowa, Almanzo, Dirty Kanza XL, and Gravel Worlds. I'm planning on returning to the 12-Hour World Time Trial Champsionships as well. I also have another TT project in mind, but I'm keeping that under wraps for now.
I've took some time away from structured training after JayP's Gravel Pursuit. But I'm back at it, riding daily with intervals back underway. In late October I went on a 5-day bikepacking trip with Jim Cummins (a co-founder of Dirty Kanza alongside Joel Dyke) and three of his Emporia, Kansas riding buddies around the Flint Hills. I had an amazing time getting to know Jim better and meeting Shawn and Scott O'Mara and Ryan Balkenhol, all solid dudes. We had an absolute blast but it also served as a nice test of my residual fitness from this year. I struggled on the last day after four days of hard riding by all of us. It was good to go deep so late in the year.
I've been playing with new diet options and working to strengthen my mind, body, and stomach. I also have more confidence when it comes to my training. I don't need as many hours on the bike now. Periodic long rides punctuate lots of intervals and strength work instead of dominating my time on the bike. That works out well, especially because I'm in the middle of a busy time in my career.
With each passing year I have greater experience from which to draw. I learn with each race, each day on the bike. I also learn massive amounts from you, the gravel and endurance tribes. I love being a student of this little niche of the world. Here's to even more experimentation and learning in 2018!