Well, here I am. Registered for the 170K Dirty Boar gravel ride on September 9th, 2017.
At the moment I'm still 10kg over my first target weight and I have never ridden anything further than about 110K.
However, I've always been a big fan of gravel riding, and two years and +20kg ago I read about the Dirty Kanza 200. This seemed like an amazing experience, but it's very very far from where I am, plus it is probably the most extreme gravel ride. To start with that, I probably would have stopped a quarter in crying like a small baby.
Two years later, 20kg lighter (but still too heavy) I saw the movie from Casey Neistat "Do what you can't". Even though it is aimed at creatives and producers of YouTube videos, you can take a lot from it in real life as well, outside of the YouTube bubble.
In my Facebook timeline all of a sudden the "Dirty Boar" ride popped up and on a whim I registered. I'm registrant 99, great number :-)
Ok, after registration I realized I really need to start training. Riding on gravel is not an issue for me (although my bike probably thinks otherwise), but going the distance and biking for 8-10 hours straight, that will become an ordeal without proper preparation. Most of the time I do mountainbiking, short (up to 60-70K) rides with steep short climbs and technical stuff, and parts gravel of course.
After a little search I found a nice "beginner to 200k" training schedule which I will use from today (actually last week). As someone (forgot who) stated, "don't let the schedule lead you, but make the schedule fit to your personal life", I am not going to follow the training scheme at all cost, I'm going to fit it in my personal life, which, with two teenagers isn't always predictable. But I still have plenty of time, provided nothing serious happens along the road. If I follow the schedule by the letter I'd ride 200k at the beginning of July. That leaves quite a bit of slack and opportunity for other things. I've also looked into the intermediate version of the 200K training, but even though I think I would be able to do it, I can't fit it into my own - and family - planning. So, I'll just take a bit longer to get there, but I will.
Anyways, the idea is that I will have lost at least 10kg before Sept 9th, and will be able to ride 150-200K comfortably. I won't be the fastest out there, since even when I reach my planned weight, I'll still be heavier than most of these skinny gravel-riding bastards. But I hope I can make up for the uphills on the straight and downgrades. We'll see, to be honest I don't care much about keeping up with lighter and younger riders at all ;-)
My next post will be about my bike(s), since I'm still not 100% sure what I'm going to ride there, I'll just write about both my machines. Specs, modifications, limitations etc.