DEATH MARCH REVIVAL
Randy Kerr (2)
The Death March Revival made for a humbling day.
My “gravel” bike is an outdated 2014 fully rigid Niner SS with Bontrager alloy rims. I was chancing it, using old 1.9 Bontrager Team issue tire, which is now unavailable. I’ve used 34 x19 gearing, exclusively, for more than a decade now.
Very pleasant temperatures for August turned into rainy and heavy fog. This made the day cool, but visibility became increasingly poorer. Eventually, I had to ditch the glasses that continued to fog. The heavy rainfalls made some of the forest service roads like a shallow creek. Things got really gritty, especially in the eyes. The fog made it easier to surprise lots of turkey, bear (2) and boar(2) on two separate occasions with piglets (2-3). There were numerous areas of soil along the roadside that had been disturbed, making it noticeable where pigs had been rooting. One time, the pack decided to dash across the road, instead of to the right and off into the woods. I wasn’t sure about this, so I stalled for a moment thinking I might have to change directions.
The day was mostly in solitude except for sighting a few cyclists around the Mulberry Gap area. 3 water bottles at the start were just enough to make it for a refill at Mulberry Gap. I’ve adapted to Hammer gels as needed for nutrition, ensuring a nibble from a Lara bar every ½ hour. After several hours or when there’s an opportunity, a fully loaded peanut butter and honey sandwich is inhaled. I loved every minute of this opportunity. What an awesome route, too!!