High Desert Gravel Grind Recap

We’ve been so busy that we neglected to recap the High Desert Gravel Grind so here’s a belated post about it.


Brad and Travis got up at 430am to head over to Tumalo for the HDGG.  The day actually started with Travis driving halfway towards Brads house and running into him coming his way on his bike.  We got a kick out of our 5am communications.  It was funny.  Nevertheless, we loaded the bike and gear and headed out.

The trip over was uneventful other than there was snow, yet again as we crested santiam summit.  The duo debated their kit choice to no end.  Brad was fairly confident he would just wear his cold weather bibs, sans knee warmers + arm warmers while Travis was left thinking he’d just freeze until it got warm.  A beet scramble was eaten 3 hrs out from race time…it wasn’t too bad but was a bold move from the typical oatmeal and honey with eggs that Travis typically eats before long days in the saddle.  Nothing like mixing the diet up before a 6 hour race!

They arrived on time, checked in and started race prep.  Number pinning, bathroom, kit donning, bike setup, bathroom again.  Spin, brrrrr, bathroom and then to the start.  They made an effort to get to the front at the start this time and it paid off with us standing amongst the other fast dudes 2nd or 3rd wave from front.

Bonk at the front


Neutral rollout was faster than anticipated and the race was on.  I won’t bore you with the entire race but some highlights.


  • Kesselman got unlucky and took a big gash on his tire and flatted.


  • Crash at the dam, less than 5 miles into the race.  Travis got caught up on it as he was on the right side heading into the dam section.


Dirt Naps
  • Brad was unscathed and ended up on the crazy double-track with the lead group.  While Travis was stuck working his way through people, with the leaders out of site.


  • First climb was long but Brad hung in while Travis went back and forth with a group that formed around him. 3rd group on road?


  • In typical fashion, Travis’ power meter was giving funky readings but he was pretty sure he was NOT doing 340NP for the first hour.  In fact the first few hours were so hard that he considered taking the short route at mile 40.


  • Short route actually ended up being more like mile 32, and neither Brad or Travis took it.  Brad remained at the front with the thinning group.


  • Another few climbs and a super chunky descent had Brad worried about his tire selection but he remained fairly close to the front of the race.
Epic Scenery on Chunky Gravel Descent
  • Travis is caught on descent by Wade Goff and holds his wheel up hwy 242 ascent but Wade chooses to bypass the aid station and Travis never sees him again.


  • The loop out and back to Black Butte is a horrible time.  The sand saps all the strength from the legs.


  • Brad settles in with two others and is racing for 3rd in the final hour while Travis consolidates his position against people arriving at aid stations when he leaves.


  • Rough descent ejects both of Travis’ bottles but he’s not caught.


  • Brad tips off his competitors of the early finish (IE, not at mile 90 like we all thought) but then gets out sprinted for 3rd.  He finishes 4th in men 18-39, about 18 minutes off the leader, Matt Lieto who finished in 4:52.


  • Travis caught a few masters in the last hour to the finish, and crossed the line 5th in men 18-39, 48min back from Lieto.  “It was hard”.


All in all, it was a great day for the Bonk Collective.  18 min back from the leader and mere seconds from a podium spot is a great day for Brad and neither of them suffered mechanicals on their journey over 90 of the roughest miles they’ve ever endured.  This was a seriously epic ride that will surely become a fixture in the early northwest gravel race calendar.  In 2017 the race contained a lot of roads, while this year 90% of the race was over gravel!


Congrats to the team for a great day of racing.

Solo riding to finish

All pics courtesy of Adam Lapeirre / Oregon Gravel Grind  See them all here!

Strava Upload


Bonk Collective: Team Weekend

We’re off to ride bikes, while building relationships together and having fun!  2018 team weekend is NOW!

Where are we going?  Black Butte, OR – outside of Sisters, OR where it is typically dry.  Unfortunately, its snowing, lol.  Such is spring time in Oregon.  This weekend we’ll focus on gravel rides through the pine trees of the Willamette national forest east of the cascades.  A home base in Black Butte gives the team quick and easy access to the plethora of gravel roads in the area.


The weekend would not be nearly as rad without help from our sponsors.  A huge thanks goes out to these people for allowing us to be a part of your extended families.  Together we share the vision that getting outdoors and experiencing a slice of adventure together can build stronger people, families and communities.



Provided in part by Floral Designs by Barb & Outlier Promotions.  The 4bdr 2.5 bath home is a perfect family getaway off the 15th tee in Black Butte.  It sleeps 12 in beds!  The team size is such this year that our riders could bring their spouses and kids to the weekend.  Truly this is a family affair!

Aside from the obvious there are two things we really love about the property – 1. Closer than Bend and Sunriver (easier on kids, more time on vacation, less time driving).  2. Supremely quiet and private.  Its a true getaway.

If you’re interested in a cycling week/end here then check out the listing and hit us up for more info.  We know many rides in the area and would love to help you have a sweet bikeation!



Helping to make the mantra:  Coffee – Bikes – Beer Cider  happen!



Dapper and Wise Roasters

About a decade ago, on a trip to Costa Rica, we had the opportunity to experience coffee from the farm itself.  We drank it black and it was amazing.  It was how coffee should be.  Since then we’ve been snobs a bit.  Luckily for us we ran across Dapper and Wise roasters.  Premium single origin and blend coffee that gives us that same experience we had in Costa Rica so long ago.

Our goal at Dapper & Wise is to source and roast the best coffees we can find, to keep inventing new ways to treat our employees and coffee producers better, to be funny slightly more often than we are serious, to consistently offer the tastiest coffees and beverages in our cafes, to be at minimum very nice to everyone who walks in our doors, to teach our friends and customers about coffee in a friendly and un-pretentious way, and to have fun while we are doing all of those things. It’s a long goal with a lot of commas and dependent clauses, but we think it’s worth it.  –Dapper and Wise Coffee Roasters

We think its worth it too and we’re honored to enjoy this coffee all year long with our team and other cyclists at the events we attend.  If you’re interested in supporting the team by enjoying some fine coffee, then head on over to our store and check it out.  All proceeds go to support the Bonk Collective in achieving their goals this year.


Xylem Cider Works

Sometimes we feel like Portland, and particularly the east side, gets all the good stuff when it comes to breweries but Xylem Cider Works is a new exception to this norm.  Based in Sherwood, OR, this new cider brewery is making up some of the best cider in Oregon.  Its “Cider for the people” and we’re excited to be people!

You might be thinking – wait, this throws the mantra all off, so why cider?  Make no mistake, we still enjoy beer but if beer is like a level 8, then cider is a 9 or a 10.  The reality is that some of our riders can’t drink beer for the gluten and while a nice craft Imperial IPA tastes amazing, it tends to dry our bodies out while making us feel a bit bloated.  Cider is handled better by our bodies and sets us up for a better ride the next day.  Its just as complex and refreshing after a long day in the saddle too!



Skratch Labs providing the hydration for our saddle time.  On Saturday we’ll “go long” with a recon ride of the High Desert Gravel Grinder course.  (We’re two weeks out from the race!) Hydration to keep the smiles coming and the cramps away.  Worth noting is that Skratch Labs is not JUST hydration anymore.  They have chewys, bars and a delicious chocolate recovery drink mix too!

To keep our energy levels high and our taste buds in heaven we will look towards our team nutritionist for some great meals, likely to draw on inspiration from the Feed Zone book for family size portions.  More on this later.


Other Support

Meridian Insurance a division of JMI Insurance Group  When we looked for insurance for the team van it actually got a bit confusing and complicated.  Is it a commercial vehicle or personal?  Van or RV? Can we have several drivers or not?  Luckily for us we already had a relationship with fellow cycling enthusiast Jeff Walsh of JMI Insurance Group.  He helped us get the right insurance for the van and offered support to the team for 2018.  Thanks Jeff, we’re excited to get you out on a bike one of these days and show you some of the best gravel experiences you can have in Oregon!

Impact Sign Co  If you haven’t seen it yet, we’ve got some VAN GRAPHICS, compliments of Impact Sign Co!  Its a work in progress but we’re stoked at how the team van is starting to take shape.  Our goal is to make it functional for all the events the team is going to do this year.  Race, ride, camp, CX.  We’re also stoked to provide the advertising advantage of vehicle graphics to our sponsors all year long.  Did you know it is one of the best ways to spend your ad money?  Stay tuned for a post relating to this!