March 17, 2020 - Oklahoma red dirt and rain wreaks havoc on equipment.
The Mid South (formerly Landrun 100) has become one of the biggest gravel races in the country and for good reason. The roads and the party are both epic. This year was my second take at the race.
The day started with a 30 minute lightning delay and field left in a cold rain that lasted for about the first hour or so. The dirt roads we thick with mud and finding any traction was difficult. Descents were also difficult because the thick clay would mess with your steering and push the bike around. Given the conditions I was planning about ten hours on the bike. The goal of this race was pretty simple, ride with my friend Brad and have fun. Brad's derailleur ripped off at about 32 miles into the day and he had to call the jeep club for support. I told Brad, "OK, see you in Stillwater" (famous last words) I carried on until about mile 42 when my derailleur failed in the middle of a muddy climb. I pulled over and attempted to remove my failed derailleur and set my bike up single speed so I could at least make it to the 50 mile check point. I think about 10 other derailleurs failed while I was fixing my bike. After fighting with my chain and the mud for way too long I finally got the single speed set up. I limped my bike along on my way to the 50 mile check point when my chain failed a couple miles later. After the chain failure it was time to call for the jeep.
On the bright side, I felt great. My custom distance mix was working really well for me and I was having a great time right up until the failure.