AM: Barry Roubaix 36-Mile Gravel Race. HR 167.
A mix of roads and gravel with some rough and sandy two track mixed in. Conditions were dry but very windy (around 19 MPH I think, which is rough on a bike). About 2000 feet of elevation gain and pretty much non-stop hills.
369 out of 1342 and 22 out of 59 in 32-34 age group. I've never been big on age groups, but they are meaningful to cyclists. I am not sure if this is the number of competitors or what. But they do podiums for age groups and categories.
In many ways bike races are better than running races. Later start times (at least for the Michigan Gravel Series) are one of the most noteable.
I was hoping to come in under 2 hours, but there was a lot of wind and didn't ride with groups too much. My chain came off 3 times, and only after did I realize that the clutch was disenaged, so the proper tension was not on the derailleur. The gravel composition was fairly rocky and sandy (as opposed to dirt and small rocks w have here). One road was rutted/rugged two track, which also featured 3-4 inches of sand. I managed to stay on the bike. I gave the race a good effort, but also had a good time, especially after I linked up with the KLM (the bike shop) guys.
I will do more of these. Unfortunately, I won't be able to make the few that are throughout the summer. I will definitely do the September race I planned to do last year. Some time in the future (perhaps next spring) I would like to couple gravel races ultra training (for a flat race).