Anyone doing Gravel Locos in Hico on the 20th in a couple weeks? I’m signed up for the 150 mile, and really looking forward to it. I’m getting down there Thursday before the race. I’m staying in a cabin with my family about 30 minutes away to also have some family time before the race.
I’m riding my CX bike with 38mm Rene Herse all road tires, but bringing the option to switch to 38mm knobbies the day before if it looks like rain. I’m not planning on bringing a hydration pack, just a third water bottle if it looks like it’s going to be hot.
I registered for the 110 (did that last year) but will likely drop down to the 63. Injuries impacted my training and I think I prefer a fast 63 to a slow 110. My son will be in town doing the 110.
I’ll be running the same tires as last year - Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H on my Open Wi.De. If weather is really bad I may consider switching tires but if roads are limestone gravel they will handle water well.
I’ll probably carry 3 bottles only because I am scarred for life from last year’s race when the aid stations ran out of water. Might carry a pack if I was doing a longer distance.
I’ll never do that ride again after the horrible support. It’s inexcusable for aid stations to run out of water on a very hot day. Hopefully they learned their lesson, but I HIGHLY recommend taking a hydration pack.
Last year temps approached 100 degrees which was way above normal but also known several days in advance - so additional aid stations and support could have been provided on short notice. Heck some guy bought water and was handing it out to people out of the back of his truck at mile 85 which saved me late in the day.
Looking at the long term forecast we can expect low to mid 80’s which is normal but I’ll be watching the forecast. I also believe this year’s routes have convenience stores on them which helps in an bad situation.
I did the 155 last year. I raced the first 100ish hard and then pretty much limped to the finish in that heat. It was so hot that I didn’t want to risk a medical issue, there were a bunch of DNF’s and some folks really suffering. It’s a pretty well run event, but running out of water for the later riders is inexcusable on a day like that. Like mentioned earlier, everyone knew it was going to be hot and that was just bad execution. I don’t expect it will happen again.
I’m currently in for the 100 this year. I’m doing Unbound 2 weeks later and figured pushing the full distance is probably going to do more harm than good that close to unbound.
One week out and weather looking pretty decent (around 80F and 35% chance of rain). I’ll take that over 100F for sure. Only bummer is it’s looking like a north wind, so a good bit of headwind most of the way home. I always prefer the headwind early where you are more likely to be in bigger groups.
Also, they moved the venue from the local park right in town to an RV park 6 miles out of town. I’m not sure what happened there. For me, having the event in town made for a really cool vibe. Not sure if they had a fallout with the city or what’s going on with that. Maybe the RV place will be nice also (or better), we shall see. I hope it’s not just a money grab thing. The RV park has jacked up their rates for the week and is also requiring a 2 night minimum to stay. I was going to spend Friday night there in the van, but couldn’t stomach paying a jacked up rate for 2 nights when I really just wanted a parking spot for a single night. Maybe this event is getting popular and has high demand, but I’d honestly be surprised if that’s the case (most of the folks I know racing next week choose bentonville over gravel locos). I’m not hating on Gravel Locos, it just feels like they are trying to position it as a “destination” event before they gave it a chance to grow into that. $185 entry fee, trying to sell $500 VIP packages to eat and pre-ride with the pros. If you are Leadville, BWR, or Unbound, you have the juice/history to get people lining up for that, but I don’t know if that works for a new-ish race.
Pulling in some big names and making it free in year 1 was smart to get the race on the map, but I’m not sure about their current path. But what do I know, maybe it will be a huge turnout this year and continue growing. More power to them if they can make it happen.
Thanks. I’m still going to stay in the van Friday night, but I’ll opt for a spot at the park in town or find somewhere else if the park is full. I always enjoy waking up at the race venue, but I’m trying to make this a budget trip and I don’t have any interest in coming in on Thursday (and I’m not going to pay 3x their normal daily rate for a single night). If they fill that RV park up at those rates, good for them.
North wind - good: lower humidity probably. Bad: headwind coming in.
I think a reason for the move might be the huge steak cooking contest going on in downtown. I was a little concerned how Hico might accommodate both. It is a unfortunate for family coming along that they can’t simply hang out downtown though.
We have family coming in so we have an AirBnB in Glen Rose for a short drive in.
I did notice in reviewing the courses that they really did not add aid stations. For the shorter routes no problem but anyone doing the 110 or 150 needs to pay attention to hydration and carrying enough to make it through.
Same here. Did the 110 last year but developed some Achilles tendonitis this year that held back my training for a few weeks. Decided I’d rather have a fun, fast 60 than a slow tedious 110 so I stepped down as well.
I’ll also be in Hico this weekend doing the 110 mile. I’m hoping to be near the front of that race but I’ve had some knee issues this spring so we’ll see how that goes.
I’ll be carrying 2x750ml bottles and a 1.5 L hydration pack. I was hoping for an aid station around 75 miles in as I felt I could make it that far without refilling but looks like I’ll stop at the 55 mile station.
I felt the aid stations are not in great places especially for people trying to race the first and last are too close to the start/finish to really be helpful.
The 95 mile aid could really be handy if you’re suffering though.
As far as bike setup I’m going more aggressive. I’m on a Pinarello Grevil running 35mm Pirelli Cinturato gravel M on the front and gravel H on the back.
that’s awesome - I wish I could be fighting to be at or near the pointy end. I’d love to finish the 150 race in under 9. I’ve switched my tires to rene herse 38mm knobbies, but might switch both or the rear back to the file treat on Friday if the rain forecast clears up
It was an unbelievably nice day for bike racing in Texas for late May. 60’s at the start and mid 70’s and mostly overcast. Wind wasn’t terrible. Enough rain last night to knock down the dust and make for a fast track. I wish I had done the 155 today, still had plenty in the legs after finishing the 110. I made a few tactical mistakes, but none of them affected my finishing position. Pretty comfortable on the bike for almost 6 hours. Good confidence booster for Unbound in a couple weeks.
The course is really outstanding (last year was so hot, I didn’t really appreciate it). Mostly fast, but a few chunky sections, water crossings, steep pitches to make things interesting and selective. The venue outside of town kind of sucked compared to having it in town (in my opinion), but the great weather more than made up for it. We stayed at the park in town Friday and just drove over in the morning, so it was all good.
Agree it was a great day and a great routes. Temps were below average for May. With some rain the wildflowers this year really popped and made for a scenic course. The overnight rain made for a few muddy spots in the early part but overall probably made the course faster and definitely less dusty. Aid stations were also much improved over last year with more volunteers and more supplies. I did my best to find small groups to help with the headwind coming in. I did ok finishing 52/334 in the 60 miler (14/88 in my age group). My son @Michael_Bikes had a really good day and took 7th in the 110.
Congrats to you and your son for good days. I probably rode with your son for a bit of the race, I rolled in 10th about 5 minutes behind him. It was good enough to win the 50+ age group (about as good as it gets for me in a field like that).
The 110 field was much stronger than last year, several strong guys I know decided against the 155 this year and I think that was a theme. The winning speed for the 110 was over 3mph faster than last year. Some of that had to be the cooler temps, but definitely a strong field. Deep pro field again for the 155, they stayed together much of the day and the average speed was less than 1mph faster than the 110 field (no pros). I’m guessing the racing was pretty tame and most of them were just putting some training miles in before unbound.
I hope they get the race back into town next year and continue to build this event. Numbers seemed down this year, but it was still a decent turnout. There is so much good about it and it has potential to be a destination event. I saw people of all walks of life and abilities out riding bikes. It was really cool that they did awards/podium for the final riders crossing the line well into the night. At these mass start events, the best stories are always at the back of the pack.