Unbound clothing and nutrition test: The good, the bad, and the truly terrible
A successful Unbound Gravel requires many things and many people. Just for one individual like myself to finish requires gallons of liquid, buckets of food, a dependable bike with tire reinforcements, and much more. But the most critical thing is not a thing; it’s people.
At Unbound Gravel this year there were two checkpoints where you could meet your crew and take on more supplies and get mechanical help. Outside of these spots (mile 68 and mile 156), you were on your own.
Support crews take on many forms. Some are professional mechanics, like ‘Big Tall’ Wayne Smith, who works for Pete Stetina. Some are friends and family, like 2019 XL third-place Kristen Legan, who crewed for her husband Nick Legan. I was lucky enough to get on board with the crew from BluBird Communications, who in turn had folks from Enve, Wahoo, and Ventum bikes pitching in to help with the multi-day effort.
Support crews form pop-up villages in the checkpoint towns, complete with color-coded signage by neighborhood to help harried racers locate their people quickly.
The night before …
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