Grinduro: Racing and Drawing
Edit: I know these photos of the sketchbook aren't the best at the moment, but I wanted to get this ride report up while the experience was still fresh.
Edit 2: After writing this post (and admittedly venting a little), I dropped my bike off with Jon at City + County to get the mechanical issues taken care of. He pointed out that my rear brake needed bleeding and the rotor was rubbing the whole time, costing me something like 50-100 watts. No wonder I felt so beat up after the race! Also that my rim tape was unnecessarily thick for running those tires with tubes, and could have been contributing to my tire issues. It may have been a hell of a day on the bike, but off the bike it was a great party full of friends, stories, and support.
Drawing during Grinduro this past weekend was something I had been thinking about since last year, but it (probably unsurprisingly) significantly changes the experience of the ride. For example, something that I should have been more considerate of was the cutoff times at the controls, a lesson learned from beginning randonnuering this past year. While I limited my time at the aid stations, next year I need to consider myself on a solo mission, grab some food and take it further down the course. While I made all the cutoffs (with the exception of the final singletrack stage due to a mechanical issue), I need to consciously timebox my activities. Mentally this was a little difficult because I really just wanted to ride and hang out with my friends, but the more I didn't want to draw the more I was determined to make it happen. Early on, I decided to try and get a drawing done at each of the major parts of the ride. Of course, I would not stop during the timed segments, and I am happy that I was pretty consistently in the middle of the field (30 and under male) despite not regularly training this past few months besides a lot of distance rides.
The captions below each image form a sort of loose ride report. Despite my difficulties during the race doing something as offbeat as drawing, I got a lot of amazing reactions from people that made it totally worth the effort. A few people pulled me aside at various parts of the day to ask to see the drawings, or to show their friends what they had seen me doing trailside. Jim from Giro was pretty stoked on the whole concept when I was showing him some previous work in this book, and that definitely encouraged me to keep going when the last thing I wanted to do at some points during the ride was to stop and take this book out. To everyone I ride with from the Bay Area that told me how much they like seeing this on instagram, thank you. Seriously. These drawings are not the best by any means, and it has largely been an effort of putting myself out there and trying something I may not being entirely comfortable with, but I feel that the authenticity and vulnerability of the experience has been resonating with some of you. It is much like cycling in a way: a lot of the work is just showing up, but you have to love the work itself even when each experience can vary so much between elation and despair. Cycling is life is art. Bonne route, my friends.