Each time I've done the D2R2 ride, I said I probably wouldn't do it again. But I keep coming back. D2R2 is perhaps the king of sufferfests here in the northeast. It is harder than 6-gaps of Vermont. It has more climbing and takes longer to finish. About 80 miles of the course is on gravel roads, two-tracks, or even bits of rutted out ATV trail. Hit this with skinny tires and you have the stuff epics are made of.
I am equipping similarly to last year. I'm using my winter beater bike (Specialized Allez) with 28mm Specialized Armadillo road tires. The only thing I'm changing is gearing. Last year I used standard road triple, a 30/25 minimum ratio. I utterly died by the time I got to Patten Hill. This year, despite climbing a little stronger, I'll use a 28/26 minimum ratio. I'm hoping the gravel is a little less loose this year too. Last year had many sections loose as marbles. There were some serious crashes as a result. My setup is heavy at 23 lbs. I'll be sport'n a full Camelbak too, and with clothes my total riding weight will tip north of 200 lbs I'm sure. Great strength training, or more likely another one of those rides of dubious training value.
I don't have any goals for this ride. It is a timed RUSA event, but I have never bothered with getting my passport card signed at each checkpoint in the past. I believe record numbers have signed up this year. I will also be starting on time at 6am. Plan to hook up with Solobreak, Dave Penney, and several IBC teammates. I'll spend a week recovering from this ride just in time for my next hillclimb event.