The Rift Gravel Race
Last Post 07/28/2021 10:25 AM by Orange Crush. 40 Replies.
Author Messages
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3641

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08/31/2020 03:18 PM
So looks like me & my buddies are heading to Iceland in July (assuming COVID lets us)

We had planned to do it this year, but missed the registration date....everyone else got in off the waitlist for next year, but somehow my applicaiton got lost in the shuffle. I contacted them and they told me they woudl get me in, no worries.

I fully believe it when I see it.

I hope we get to make the trip....the race looks absolutely spectacular!

https://www.therift.bike/
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:3659

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08/31/2020 04:00 PM
It used to be on the list but I've come to realize that most of what world has to offer in terms of gravel riding I can find here in British Columbia. The amount of diversity of landscapes never ceases to amaze.

Fernie (Rockies) and Gold Bridge (Coast Ranges) next year? Plus maybe a trip to Kamloops area grasslands.

For this year, the last gasp if I can get back in shape will be joining of an endurance MTB race on my gravel bike end of September. It "should" only be about 10-20% technical, on the remaining 80-90% the gravel bike "should be" superior. In ranch land country.
Dale

Posts:1492

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08/31/2020 06:19 PM
NO WAY! CK, a couple of my buddies have done that. Super stoked for you!
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3641

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08/31/2020 09:15 PM
Update - registration is official.

My buddy from Marin Bikes did it last year and it looked absolutely spectacular. Refilling bottles directly from the rivers, bacon and Red Bull at rest stops and unbelievable scenery.

Most of the climbing is in the first 70km (~7k total elevation)...whole route is around an active volcano and you have to give them your cell so they can send you an emergency alert in case of volcanic activity!!!

Just hope we get to go. Fingers crossed!!
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:3659

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08/31/2020 09:34 PM
Yes those volcanoes are liable to be perpetually active being located on rift zone.

I believe you can actually scuba dive to underground ones. I better stay away. After we did the lava boat tour on big island the very same boat we were on got hit by that lava bomb a week later and a woman suffered burns on her leg.

It’ll be interesting to see where we’re at next year. I’m solidly banking local although thinking about how to visit my mom for her 80th in December. Our Zucchero concert (Italian blues) just got moved a second time from March to October 2021 and no idea if the Stones will ever make up that missed tour.
longslowdistance

Posts:2466

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08/31/2020 09:45 PM
Maybe next year. But this year would be, frankly, dumb.
Would be cool, a sort of bucket list thing.
longslowdistance

Posts:2466

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08/31/2020 09:53 PM
PS OC good on ya for planning around elderly parents. Lost one this year during the lockdown and could not attend any of it. I regret, strongly regret, and nothing will ever correct this. Fortunately had family in the neighborhood so my parent did not die alone. And we had a grand reunion for this person last fall and that was special and will do rather nicely.
Now the two remaining (being married) are knocking on the door to eternity. It would be nice if these newly minted great grandparents could hold their new grandbabies. So hoping that we can have a reunion beyond zoom before the inevitable, please get vaccines right and delivered in time, but who knows.
When my time comes, that would work for me.
Orange Crush

Posts:3659

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08/31/2020 10:13 PM
Oh they’re alive and kicking around on their e bikes like spring chickens LSD. It just seems like for a big one like that I should make an attempt to be there. Sorry to hear about your experience. These are difficult times.
79pmooney

Posts:2778

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09/01/2020 12:35 AM
My mom passed last Friday, last year. I got to fly back to Boston in time for her last hours. Whole family was there. Dad passed 10 years ago. I missed that but went home to see him two months before. So for me this COVID isn't bad timing.

CK, Iceland! I have a fascination about so much of that island. A stop on the traditional northern route to our continent (I've sailed the return, Newfoundland to Ireland.) Iceland has local Orcas; a little like Puget Sound, but Iceland's Orcas are a very different tribe. Different diet completely. Different language. Members of that tribe were captured and take to the aquarium in San Diego where they shared a tank with Puget Sound Orcas. Researchers couldn't understand why they didn't mix! They couldn't even find a common food to feed them. (Scandinavian sharing a prison with bushmen, only 1000 years ago.)
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3641

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09/01/2020 11:05 AM
Maybe next year. But this year would be, frankly, dumb.
Would be cool, a sort of bucket list thing.


I'm under no delusions that the race is going to happen, actually.....at best, it is a 50/50 chance.

It was as much a protection play as anything else....I can defer to the next year if I have to, but if I didn't have a slot and the race is cancelled, then the chances of getting a slot in 2022 would be pretty slim, I think.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3641

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07/06/2021 07:19 PM
Did my final "big" training ride for The Rift yesterday...drove out to western Illinois, where gravel roads and hills are plentiful, and rode 115 miles w/ 8600 ft of climbing. Pretty close to the distance / elevation for The Rift (125 miles / 7500 ft).

Was a brutally hot day...I normally don't drink a whole lot on the bike. I can go two+ hours on a single small bottle in normal conditions, but not yesterday. I was downing one large bottle every hour.

The wind and the heat took their toll and I was pretty spent by the end.....but it was also done on pretty tired legs. I had ridden 350 miles the previous week, including 125 miles on Friday and two 40 mile rides over the weekend. So Friday-Monday I rode 320 miles.....which is a crapton!!

Plan now is to reduce volume and maintain intensity for this week and next.....we fly out two weeks form tomorrow!!
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:3659

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07/06/2021 08:08 PM
Time to crank the Immigrant song. Have fun out there and make us proud.

I am riding next three days in Similkameen Valley. Road and gravel. 3x120kms. Was supposed to do my three times canceled big ride w 230kms and 5000+ m elevation. Canned last year due to high rain. Postponed this year due to Covid travel restrictions. And now it’s a double fire evacuation zone. Next year I guess. BC is one major fire zone now after the heat dome we had the other week. I rode 140 kms in that too, haha. That was wild.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3641

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07/19/2021 12:50 PM
Bike is freshly cleaned and lubed....took the chain / casette off, did the sonic cleaning on them, cleaned the chainring w/ degreaser and scraped a bunch of gunk off the jockey wheels.



Cervelo Aspero w/ Ultegra mechincal
Added a Wolf Tooth adapter to accommodate the 11-40T cassette
Red Quarq crank w/ 1x 40T (so I'll have a 1:1 bailout gear)
DT Swiss 240 hubs laced to carbon rims
Goodyear Connector Ultimate tires 700x40, tubeless.
USE Suspension seatpost (now ~25 years old)

Did have a brief moment of panic as I did not notice until Friday how worn my old tires were. And sure enough, the rear had a slow leak on my ride Saturday. Thanks to the wonders of Amazon, I had new tires by Sunday. Luckily I was able to get them mounted and inflated with no issues. So brand new rubber is installed for the ride.

Flying out tomorrow night, so I'm gonna pack everything up tonight!
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:3659

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07/19/2021 01:33 PM
All that cleaning work that gets undone in first half hour of a descent gravel ride lol.

Have fun.

I’m headed Friday for three days w grizzlies in Gold Bridge. I’m bringing two ride mates as bait. Even the town itself doesn’t have any cell reception yet, remote .
Basic cleaning on my ride. Noisy bike is good to warn bears lol. My lowest gear is 30x36 so well below unit ratio. Beefy WTBs .
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3641

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07/19/2021 01:41 PM
All that cleaning work that gets undone in first half hour of a descent gravel ride lol.


Yup...and with two pre-rides planned and the amount of rain in the forecast, it won't last long.

But the drivetrain really needed a solid cleaning. Been so dry on the trail here that there was a ton of sand and grit accumulated.

Just did a light lube on the chain w/ my normal lube but will be using a wet lube once we land in Iceland.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:3659

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07/19/2021 02:27 PM
Rain in forecast for the Rift? That is always a bit of a downer but it comes with area.

Very hot dry and dusty here too (and lots of forest fires although not where I'm going). Conversely my folks in NL are in region with major flooding and deaths; although they are on higher ground and OK. Crazy times.

Just to get to Gold Bridge will be an adventure. An HC climb in 4x4 on mountain gravel road. And that 4 hrs from a major metropolis. This is beauty of BC. Wild is never far away.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3641

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07/19/2021 02:42 PM
Rain in forecast for the Rift? That is always a bit of a downer but it comes with area.


the forecast is remarkably consistent for the whole week...high 40's for a low, mid-50's for a high, 50-80% chance of rain every day.

race day is 80% chance of rain, high 55*, low 48*. (luckily the low happens at 3:40 AM when the sun comes up....
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:3659

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07/19/2021 02:51 PM
I had to look at an actual weather forecast to translate this into SI numbers. Cool temps - perfect for riding. Minimal difference between day and night temps. Chance of rain every day but amounts look small enough that I would not bother with rain protection. Typical forecast we have here in spring and fall along coast. Maybe also a bit like Newfoundland, coldest summer I've ever spent LOL.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3641

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07/19/2021 03:01 PM
Yeah, I get the sense that it is very much a PNW type or precipitation vs a steady rain.

I'll have my Goretex ShakeDry jacket in my Burrito Bag in case I need it....and may end up using my Castelli Perfetto jersey for race day. Seems like it would be the perfect jersey for those conditions.

I am basically bringing every piece of kit I have with me, anyway....LOL!
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:3659

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07/19/2021 03:08 PM
Wise choice. The thing with those types of forecasts is they can be wildly off in either direction. It could be a soaker or it could be sunny.

The reason for this incidentally is lack of solid control data to west (i.e.. no weather stations on the ocean) to feed into forecasts.
Dale

Posts:1492

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07/19/2021 08:53 PM
Awesome CK, got get it!
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3641

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07/22/2021 06:20 PM
I can’t say enough awesome things about Iceland….way too much to detail in a post here.

Since arriving Wednesday, we have done several hikes (most short) seen amazing waterfalls and hot springs, black sand beaches, glaciers and more.

Got the bikes together this afternoon and went for a short shakeout ride…..the gravel here is gonna be tough!!!

If anyone wants, you can see lots of pics and more details on my IG account…@ velobouf
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:3659

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07/22/2021 06:45 PM
Just post a pic of the handlebar bag on your bike already.

Pics on the Strava look great. Enjoy the race. Try not to race and just look at wheels in front of you. Look around and enjoy the scenery. Gravel enjoyment is proportional to time spent on course.
Orange Crush

Posts:3659

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07/22/2021 07:07 PM
Ps. Welcome to the real rough gravel. I suspect it’s much like BC “gravel”. Riding on bedrock.

Pps anyone wanting to check out my gravel adventures: https://www.instagram.com/tales_brave_ulysses/

Bonus points if you get the IG handle reference.
longslowdistance

Posts:2466

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07/23/2021 10:44 AM
Holy crap this will be epic!
Almost too bad it's a race. A course like this will just beg you to stop, drink in the scenery, and take some photos.
Good luck. Maybe scuff up those new tires a bit so they won't slither around on wet rocks and gravel.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3641

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07/23/2021 05:11 PM
We have all agreed that we are staying together (4 of us) and we aren’t “racing”. I told my buddies “look, I can d*ck sizes any day here at home…I wanna enjoy riding out there with you guys and take it all in.”

We plan to keep a solid pace, but no need to have out tongues in our spokes the whole time…..and if great pic opportunities come up, we’ll stop.

Weather was sub-optimal today….wind, rain and mid-50’s, but it was still an awesome ride and we all ended with smiles on our faces. Good prep for tomorrow.

Can’t wait!!
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:3659

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07/23/2021 06:31 PM
In a parallel universe we’ve arrived in Gold Bridge after crossing Hurley Pass into remote lands. Will be riding tomorrow as well out to historical Relay Creek Cabin. Bikes were covered in deep dust after 70k on gravel roads. Spectacular views. Photos will appear on the Insta and Strava.

Have fun CK. Good plan.

https://isurvivedthehurley.com/
longslowdistance

Posts:2466

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07/23/2021 08:56 PM
Geology nerd question. Iceland rocks should be volcanic and one would think very grippy. Is that true?
Orange Crush

Posts:3659

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07/23/2021 09:33 PM
LSD. Iceland is basaltic lava type associated with mid ocean spreading ridges. Arising deep from earth mantle.

West coast volcanoes are more pyroclastic with source being subduction of tectonic plates.

Don’t know if these differ in terms of traction but as geohahards they’re massively different.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3641

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07/24/2021 06:44 PM
What a truly epic event……I can’t say enough great things about Iceland in general and The Rift specifically.

Incredibly tough challenge….the gravel is every bit as challenging as Unbound in many areas (but not as sharp), the views are stunning and the whole event should be a must-do.

I’ll try and post a longer review / recap later this week…… but you can see some pics on my IG account.

I took a pretty good header at high speed on a descent around mile 40….I hit some soft sand in the right side and it tossed me off the road and I landed on my head / shoulder. I had double vision when I got up but my buddies were up ahead and they had no idea I went down……so I gently worked my down the descent closing one eye at a time. Caught up with one of my buddies who went on to tell the other 2. Pushed my bike up the next climb and my vision was starting to straighten out. We set out to get me to the next aid station where I was gonna DNF, but within about 20 minutes I was fine. Likely a mild concussion, but I had no other symptoms so we soldiered on.

The whole 2nd half of the race was into a stiff headwind with more than a fair amount of cold rain. The weather today was definitely the worst since we have been in Iceland and it made a tough race that much tougher.

And my god,the unrelenting stutter bumps on the second half of the course!!! Brutal.

If anyone wants a epic adventure, The Rift and a trip to Iceland is the way to go. Simply fantastic
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
longslowdistance

Posts:2466

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07/24/2021 08:26 PM
Thanks!
Orange Crush

Posts:3659

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07/24/2021 10:16 PM
Photos look great on the Strava. Looks excellent. Yes be careful when terrain goes from hard pack to loose sand, we had some nice twisters but the WTBs kept me on course.

We suffered like dogs on a much shorter course with a massive amount of gravel climbing loose sand harsh rocks landslides and ultimately suffered defeat 2 km from target in a massive amount of deadfall and bear scat abound. The lake dip in end was sooo good. Photos on the Strava and Instagram. Tomorrow hopefully a more tourist gravel day although we start a an 8k climb haha.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3641

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07/25/2021 06:00 AM
Looked at my data last night…when I went down, I was going 30.5 mph. I’m amazed I didn’t suffer more injuries. A few tears on my GoreTex ShakeDry sleeve / shoulder and some scrapes on my lower leg, but that is about it.

Well, that and a minor concussion / double vision
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Dale

Posts:1492

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07/25/2021 09:55 AM
Dayum! Landing on your head with the issue we have is not to be trifled with. Glad you're OK.

Sounds like an amazing place.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3641

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07/25/2021 11:09 AM
Oh schitt…I didn’t even think about that yesterday, Dale!
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
79pmooney

Posts:2778

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07/25/2021 11:41 AM
CK, keep a close eye on yourself. I know someone from a family where 2/3s had Marfan syndrome. Those with the syndrome typically have long, lanky, ungainly bodies like Abraham Lincoln who almost certainly was one. They have weak connective tissue in the aorta. Aorta swells and eventually bursts. Two of the four afflicted. My friend and his brother got replacements; along with a blood thinner routine for life. His brother hit hit head on a low ceiling. Ancient house in England. He's 6'-6". He was misdiagnosed/not taken seriously for weeks. I don't remember the details (35 years ago) but it eventually killed him.

You should have been a good patient, stayed put, lying down and staying quiet until the race ambulance came by. Just like I should have when I crashed on the Oregon Trail Gravel Grinder. Now, if they sent the ambulance after me, they might have needed a Chinook helicopter to rescue it! Either that or send in the Army Corp of Engineers in advance.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3641

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07/25/2021 06:33 PM
Now, if they sent the ambulance after me, they might have needed a Chinook helicopter to rescue it!


Funny you mention that, Ben…..just before I went down, a Rescue vehicle came through just as we got to one of the really steep climbs that you have to push up. These rescue vehicles are unreal…massive tires and HUGE clearance so they can get out anywhere.

They passed my buddy right in the middle of this climb, easily 20+% maybe more….and got their left wheels stuck in a runoff. Thought for sure they were gonna have to back down….nope, they just threw into 4L and powered up. Really cool to see.

Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:3659

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07/25/2021 07:58 PM
They got a lot of those kind of trucks were I am now. Major 4x4 country. Also lots of dirt bikes. Then major Mtb scene. We’re the only fools tearing up the gravel roads.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3641

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07/28/2021 08:51 AM
Pretty cool shot of me and one of my buddies hitting a river crossing.....you can see my torn knee warmer from my earlier crash.

This was the halfway point in the race....on the other side of the stream was the "dry bag stop" where you could pick up dry clothes if you had packed them. I changed my socks and base layer here and it made a big difference.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/therifticeland/51333989332/in/album-72157719593129896/
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:3659

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07/28/2021 09:51 AM
Nice form CK. You lads look all layered up so changing for warmth would have been good.

We had about a dozen water crossings Saturday. Most went of without a hitch but one which my buddies took diagonally I took straight and suddenly from wheel went deep. Put both feet down and avoided tumbling in. Wet feet were welcome in the heat. But our bikes didn’t like us very much that day, wetting then drying chains, add a whole bunch of road dust and things got pretty noisy after 7 hours.

Also saw that grizzly the owner of Airbnb had warned us about. A three year old. These are the tricky ones as they are being pushed out by parents need to find their own territory and have to figure out how to fend for themselves.
Orange Crush

Posts:3659

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07/28/2021 10:25 AM
BTW I’ve screenshot the handlebar bar bag if we ever need to get back to this topic.

Thanks for the evidence hahaha. Nicely hidden behind race number but it’s there.


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