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Allie's story: Spring gravel grinders

BaseCamp athlete Allie Burger shared her experiences at the three gravel races in the spring of 2024.

I am having fun at spring events and riding as BaseCamp strong as possible after some training adversity this spring. I kicked off my events with the Trans-Sylvania Productions Gravel Series event Bald Eagle Gravel Grinder, where I unfortunately DNFed after 20 miles because I was fighting an infection - which then kept me off the bike for 2 weeks. I put in a good effort at that one - but needed to listen to my body and check myself before I wrecked myself…and on the plus side, ended up enjoying some beautiful spring forest scenery and an entertaining ride in the SAG wagon with others. I'd never used SAG before - so that was a new experience.

After my 2 weeks off the bike, I resumed riding as much as possible, with the demands of my job and parenting. Had some strong solo and confidence-inspiring rides where I revisited my "why" next to a creek…then headed into the 2nd PA Gravel Series event Parker Dam Gravel Grinder after a very stressful week at work. It was a chilly, wet, slippery, and muddy ride with more climbing that in the past. Also beautiful scenery, with waterfalls cascading - and that buoyed my spirits. However, I mentally struggled to even finish the event, especially as rain started and my hands were numbed. When I rolled in and had podiumed (my first time ever at a cycling event) - I shed some tears - as it did not feel like a podium-worthy ride in terms of performance. But there was a major "win" in terms of tenacity and enduring tough conditions.

At Parker Dam, I rode some miles near some strong women from a performance team based out of Ohio…they encouraged me as I descended a slippery hill…and then I rode some miles near them again at an event this past weekend in Ohio so we officially met!! That was really cool. The event was the Red Eagle Gravel Grinder - and was a total recharge as the route circled our family's farm founded in 1865 (on Sullivan Rd, named for one of my ancestors!). It was a good opportunity to feel stronger and learn more about pacing myself…and rolling hills are very fun.

Pictures from all events. Grateful for good friends and our crew of BaseCampers doing events together. Onward to more events on upcoming weekends!


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