The roster for the veterans is posted and I made the list again this year. Now begins five and a half months of worry, preparation, worry, planning, worry and training. This year they have promised less outside support available from pass through towns. In the past you could at least rely on the check points as re-fueling locations. This year the check points will not be in towns. 300 plus miles of graveled/muddy Iowa back-roads and you have no idea where your next meal our bottle of water will come from or even where you are. Now that is adventurous. Maybe a little insane as well.
The “big picture” plan for this winter is to focus more on core and upper body conditioning. Focusing more for me means actually working out the core and upper body. A better core should translate to better hill climbing and comfort on the bike. Most gravel roads are pretty hilly and the promoters have a knack for finding the hilliest. Conditioning the upper body will help when I will have to carry the bike over any mud roads that are as sticky as peanut butter like last years. I can’t imagine they will be that bad but if they were bad last year they could be again this year.