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Andrea's story: Undone at UnPAved

BaseCamper Andrea shared her story with Sarah at UnPAved 2022.

I ventured out to ride in the 2021 unPAved of the Susquehanna River Valley in central Pennsylvania. Finally had a chance to meet, chat with, and ride with fellow BaseCamper Sarahh at the social pre-ride.

Event day: Temps were in the low 60s F, not bad for October! The 20% chance of rain was a big miss! Drizzle turned to steady rain for much of the day. However, even the rain, fog and mud couldn’t diminish (mostly) enjoying 126 miles and over 10,500 feet of climbing along beautiful gravel roads in Bald Eagle and Poe Paddy State Parks.

The day was filled with riding with old and new friends, sounds of friendly banter, spinning wheels, crunching gravel, and flying mud spatter.

It wasn’t until the “Difference “segment, 26+ mile section full of mud, leaf-covered chunky, sharp rocks, and massive puddles, that a bit of unraveling occurred.

Finished well after sundown - still drenched, caked in mud and smiling. The reward - demolished a Whoopie Pie finisher reward.

Since this was my first year trying a few races, I really enjoyed the segment approach which let you go hard in the segments and then relax a bit to enjoy the scenery and camaraderie between segments. It also was fun chatting with fellow cyclists at the awesome rest areas as we tried to warm up by the fire pits and clean off the mud from critical components.

Top notch volunteers, support staff, and organizers. A special shout-out to [fellow BaseCamper] Beth, who shared solid advice on lights before the event. Good thing I didn’t try to use my road light! Can wait to do it again!


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