This past weekend, we finally raced bikes in Michigan. And it was good.
The Michigan Gravel Race Series kicked off this past Saturday with the Waterloo Grit & Gravel, and we were pretty excited about for a number of reasons. First, Al is a huge fan of the ampersand, and that useful little symbol is well used in the name of the race. Second, Q+M sponsored the race, so we were #PUMPED to be supporting such a cool event right here in Southeast Michigan.
Epic Races laid out a challenging course through the biggest, windiest hills Southeast, MI has to offer (they’re not really that big, but hey). The course support was on point with volunteer marshals and police at every intersection along with roving sag support from Velo Fix and Fraser bikes. That came in handy when Scotty got his third flat by which point he was out of tubes and Al was out of stories about the perfect taco. It was more of a muddy chat than a race for those two.
Sean came all the way down from Traverse City, so at least the Northern Michigan rider wasn’t too bothered by the below-freezing temperatures. The mud-covered-ice-ruts on Cassidy lake rd. however were a whole different story. This now notorious section of glorified two-track is challenging even in the best weather where on Saturday roughly four miles of ice, mud, sand, ruts, swamp, and in this case bodies had to be handled twice in the 100k race with the second pass coming with 10k to go. Along with Sager rd. & Mur de Huy, Cassidy is becoming a must-make section of international racing.
One interesting factoid; much of the team has moved to one-by setups this season and Waterloo was a solid proving ground. Danny, Sean, Al, and Scotty are all running a single ring up front. We’ll go DEEP into that over the next few weeks.
Meanwhile, Jay Ellis was in the sunny climes of Santa Rosa, California for the Super Sweetwater gravel race. The 70-mile course features over 9,000 feet of climbing, a river crossing, and at least for this edition, plenty of rain. The massive climbs, rain, river crossing and making sure he had good photo posture took their toll on our guy, but he soldiered home.
It’s a BIG week for 3T / Q+M; it’s Al’s 29th birthday again, plus the first Nachori.de of 2018. We’ve also got Danny, Scotty, and Al headed to the second race in the Michigan Gravel Race Series this Sunday, Melting Mann. The fifth edition of the race is looking to have the best weather in its history, with temperatures around 50 and plenty of sun. Sign up, and we’ll see you in the beautiful metropolis of Vandalia this Sunday.