When we were forced to cancel our April event of DNF GRVL, we decided to still ride the route as a race, but alone, with full race setup and high speed over 160 km and more than 3000 meter elevation.
What: Dirty No man's land of Follo Gravel edition
Where: Follo, Norway
Start/finish: Hvervenbukta, Oslo
Distance: 100 miles - 162 km
Elevation gain: 9100 feet - 2700 meters
Date: April 17th 2021
Weather: Sunny, 5-17°C, wind 5-7 m/s.
Starting time: 7.40 AM CEST
Finishing time: 3 PM CEST
Racing speed: aprox. 15.5. mph / 24 kph.
Bike: Cannondale Topstone Carbon Lefty 1
Tires: Maxxis Rambler Gravel 40mm (rear), WTB Venture 47mm (front)
Nutrition: Squeezy Sport Nutrition (Discount: 20% off (if buying more than kr 500) – Orset20 )
Pre race meal: Økoland (Discount: 20% off and free delivery – JOrset2021 )
Race kit: CCN Sports
Helmet: Met Manta
Shoes: Fizik Terra Powerstrap X4
Chain lube: Muc Off
Early birds. Bjørn was setting up the start area before 7 AM. It was not a proper race, but since we couldn't race, we decided to simulate it. It definitely set the mood, and I was eager to push through as fast as possible.
A 100 mile-route, 160 km. I had made a challenge for myself. 3000 meter of elevation and partly really technical trails.
I went off in a good pace, soon finding a good rhythm on those gravel and forest trails.
When it got technical, I still tried to keep the bike rolling. Maybe I shouldn't done so, I hit my wheels into rocks and roots. A little later my rear tire was leaking. Having a puncture wasn't that big of a deal really, but I realized I had forgotten the key for dismounting the wheel, which made inserting a tube impossible. While the tire leaked, it wasn't getting dead flat, so when pumping the tire I could ride on for a bit.
Riding 10k on really low tire pressure wasn't ideal. It was a little sketchy, and wasn't the best for the rims. At least I made slow progress, and when arriving Tusenfryd, Bjørn met me with a foot pump.
With a little more pressure it looked like the sealant in the tubeless tire sealed. I tried it, and yes, it was all working well. Great!
Even though the start was exactly like I wanted with the puncture, I was finally getting into a good flow and the miles flew away.
A short feed stop at Frogn Church, and I headed on to Drøbak.
Riding next to the shore on a sunny day, nothing beats it. What a view.
So the next hours went. I grinded, pushed the pedals hard. Tried to keep a good pace. I knew it was a long day, so keep my focus and didn't go above my limits to early.
I had a short feed at Kroer halfway and Kråkstad after 75 miles, where Edson and Jon Otto also was cheering me on.
With no spectators or riders, all smiles along the course was deeply appreciated.
Over 7 hours after the start I was back where the ride began.
I was way more tired, my legs were sore, I was kinda nauseous, still hungry. But I was smiling from inside out. I was super thrilled. What an awesome ride!
The route was challenging as expected. Even though I was riding basically the whole course, it was so technical at times it would have been faster walking.
Other times I got the speed up, feeling like I was flying over those gravel roads. What an indescribable feeling of freedom!
Nothing beats these days. Adventures, physical challenges, personal mastery, closely connected to the nature.
I wanna do more of this. This is my kind of gravel.
The DNF GRVL.
The 15th of May it is your time to get on the DNF GRVL. You will regret it during the ride, but it is all forgotten when arriving the finish line.
It's a ride you'll remember forever.