The Almanzo is a 100 mile bike race that winds its way along the the beautiful gravel farm roads south of Rochester. While I've know about the race for about 3-4 years, I finally got my act together to put in enough training miles to do the race this past weekend. The race is incredibly unique by being totally free, organized by the incredible hard work of Chris Skogen. the Its amazing to look back at how much the race has grown. In 2007, the first year of the race, 13 people started, and only 3 finished. The following year, roughly 50 people did the race. This year it was over 1500 people who started the race.
When planning on doing a 100 miles of gravel roads, I figured I'd spend some of my time out riding totally on my own, but with so many riders on the course there was always someone in sight. Of course as I pushed through the last few miles of the race, I wondered why I was doing this craziness, but now a few days after the race I can't wait to get out and ride the course and explore the roads again. This year I focused a little more on the ride versus taking photos, and mostly kept my camera packed after about mile 40, and just enjoyed the perfect weather.