OMG… Unbound is the most un @Jonathan, of the un @jonathan events…lol. However after vowing to never do Leadville, Jonathan took it on and excelled and seemingly had a good time doing it! He then crushed Cape Epic. I have to think all of Keegan’s and Finsty’s exploits on the gravel have maybe helped light a spark here. Excited for the year long build up. I’m heading to Unbound this year and it Jonathan’s words it may very well be a “one and done” event for me…
I’ve gotta work out how I can do this with balancing professional and family commitments (working on those logistics now), but my enthusiasm is building!
I’ve also been entertaining the idea of doing IM Cozumel at the end of the year (the full, not the half). That’d be a big year and a huge challenge to balance all of that training with life, but the two long events could complement each other well…
Just realized I’d have to get a bike for this as I don’t have a gravel bike anymore. Which means… that enduro bike I was planning on getting next year would have to wait
I think I’d go with something like the Diverge STR. Comfy is fast on a day that long, and in terms of weight, it’s only ~90sec slower than a comparable spec Crux at Unbound, according to some simulations I ran with BBS.
Counterpoint - get a suspension seatpost, which is pretty much all the STR is, IMO. Doesn’t have to be a bulky / heavy one either. I used the below USE post for literally decades on various bikes…simple, lightweight and comfortable.
Unfortunately, the bushing finally gave up the ghost last year, so I now have an Ergon leaf spring post on the way to me as we speak.
I’m heading out for my 4th unbound this year. So far I’m 2 for 3. And hope to get the 5x (1,000 mile) chalice. I’ve probably averaged about 8 hours a week of training. I’ve done various TR plans and a coach one year. Definitely a doable race on 6-8 hours with some occasional long rides. I’ve never gone longer in training than 120 miles. (Check out my calendar/profile from 2019 until now). If you can do 10 hours even better, but you don’t have to have 12+ hour weeks. This year my longest ride was a century two weekends ago. I’ve found nutrition, heat acclimation, and general body strength (I address with 2x a week yoga) as the critical factors if you have a good base of training. And you will think the “rough stuff” is a piece of cake @Jonathan compared to your mountain biking trails. They will likely go “north” next year and the roads are definitely worse that direction.