In it’s second year as the Driftless 100 (formerly the Volga City Gravel Race) more than 300 riders from around Iowa and the Midwest enjoyed all the beauty offered in the unique geographic area of the NE Iowa Driftless Region. Cyclists chose either the 100- 60- or 30-mile version, each route averaging nearly 1000-feet of climbing every ten miles. www.driftlessgravel.com
Podcaster Dave Mable, of Des Moines, takes you along as he climbs the hills and winds along river valley’s in episode no. 74 of the Bike Talk with Dave Podcast.
He also talked with 100-mile champions Sarah Widder and Michael Lambert. ??“It was my very first gravel race,” said Widder, a Wisconsin rider who comes from triathlon and is also an ultra-endurance road cyclist racing RAW (Race Across the West) this summer. She seemed to enjoy her first experience on gravel. “There were a bajillion (technical for a lot) climbs, but there was one at mile 80, we were climbing up champaign gravel, sun, beautiful trees and then big dark clouds right in front of us, it was a pretty epic scene.” Widder finished in 7:02. ??
Only five minutes later, Torey Lasaster of Des Moines jumped onto the second step of the podium. “The hills were pretty good,” she said after the race. “Garmin tells you there are 24 categorized climbs (Garmin forgot some - ed), I definitely had to use my granny gear for most of them, but never had to get off and walk.”
??Michael Lambert, also of Wisconsin, kept a better than 17 mph pace to win the men’s race in 5:46, only two minutes ahead of Derrick Hensheid. “We had a pretty strong group of guys early on,” he said of his sub-six-hour finish. “It whittled down pretty quickly because of the climbs, but there was a lot of cohesion in that group.” While driving the front of the race, Lambert still took time to savor the landscape. “The landscapes in this part of the country are just incredible,” he said. “It’s an incredible feeling, being on the front of a race like this. While I’m dying a thousand deaths, I’m also remembering to enjoy it when I can, and just be thankful.”
Catch the entire interview, also including volunteer Cory Rood (recent winner of the Iowa Wind and Rock) and Race Director Mat Fassbinder on the Bike Talk with Dave Podcast, stream here or subscribe on your favorite podcast platform. ??
Thanks to Chain and Spoke Coffee for supporting the Bike Talk with Dave Podcast. Chain and Spoke, a coffee and bike shop, is open in Des Moines at 28th and Ingersoll, and beans can be ordered from anywhere in the U.S. at www.chainandspoke.com
Join Bike Talk with Dave at the core4 race on August 19 in Iowa City. A mixed surface event featuring pavement, gravel, flowing single track and some of Iowa’s infamous B-roads. 100-, 50- and 25-mile options are available. www.core4.bike
Bike Talk with Dave is also supported by listeners at www.buymeacoffee.com/dmable122Q. Follow the weekly show by subscribing on your favorite podcast platform as well as instagram and facebook. Every episode can be streamed right on your computer or mobile device by going to www.biketalk.bike
Future episodes include Cory Rood, winner of Iowa Wind and Rock, Dave Wiens, Director of IMBA, Andrew Onnermaa and Brennon Pack of the Ozark Rando and Molly Cameron, bike shop owner, media director as well as a trans-cyclist discussing some of the societal challenges facing the LGBTQ community.