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Dec 14, 2021

This week we sit down with Carly Fratianne, musician and gravel racer. Carly turned a period of professional unrest due to Covid into a passion for gravel cycling. We look at how her miles and miles of riding led to artistic inspiration and to completing UNBOUND 200. 

Episode Sponsor: Competitive Cyclist use code 'TheGravelRide'

Carly's music: Lui and Wyd 

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Automated episode transcription (please excuse the typos):

Carly Fratianne

[00:00:00] Craig Dalton: Hello and welcome to the gravel rod podcast. I'm your host Craig Dalton. For those long time, listeners, you may have noticed a little different intro music today. 

[00:00:19] That's because on today's show, we're interviewing Carly 

[00:00:23] That intro music was courtesy ever band. W Y D she also just recently released a music under the artists name, Louis. 

[00:00:32] So why is Carly on the podcast today? Pretty valid question. If you ask me,

[00:00:39] As you can imagine the pandemic has not been kind to musicians and people who earn their living, playing out in live stadiums, et cetera. Carly is one of those musicians who turn that kind of available time into something different. She became a gravel racer and actually completed. Unbound in 2021. I thought it was an interesting conversation. As you know, I love the fact that gravel is such a inviting community. 

[00:01:08] And to hear Carly's story and her journey to gravel cycling, I just think is really interesting. And I thought it was a unique opportunity. At the end of the year to expose us all to a little new music. So i hope you enjoy this rather unique episode of the gravel ride podcast.

[00:01:26] Before we jump into this week show, I need to thank this week. Sponsor competitive cyclist. Competitive cyclist is the online specialty retailer of gravel and mountain bikes components apparel and accessories Be trained, cycling standout brands like pock castelli pearl izumi in five 10 it's unrivaled in-house bike assembly operation they bring the personalized attention of a local bike shop along with the selection and convenience only possible while shopping online.

[00:01:55] As I've mentioned before, the real difference that competitive cyclists are the gearheads they're equal parts, customer service, cycling fanatics gear heads are former pro athletes, Olympians and seasoned athletes. With years of experience, all available by phone, email, or chat for product recommendations and hard won advice. I had a great experience with my personal gear head maggie but as i mentioned on the last episode is on the competitive site and i think i spent 45 minutes just cruising around looking at all the great gravel goodies over there.

[00:02:32] I ended up way, overfilling my cart and had to edit it back down for my budget. But I got a few important, nice to haves and some critical maintenance items that I haven't been able to find in stock. Anywhere else says stoked to actually have brake pads. It turns out they're a very important component of breaking. 

[00:02:52] Anyway, I encourage you to go check out competitive gravel ride. And two promo code, the gravel ride, and you'll get 15% off your first full price order. Plus free shipping on orders of $50 or more. Some exclusions apply. I mentioned the other day that I placed the order in the morning and saw it actually got a shipping notification that afternoon. So there's still time to get those holiday orders in. 

[00:03:18] Go right now and get 15% off. Plus free slash the gravel ride. And remember that promo code is the gravel ride. Would that business out of the way, let's jump right into my interview with Carly. 

[00:03:34] Carly welcome to the show. Hey, thanks for having me. I'm excited to have this conversation because it's going to be twofold. I get to talk to you about being an artist and a gravel cyclist, which is a unique position on the pod.

[00:03:48] Carly Fratianne: It's a pretty interesting D person dish world too. 

[00:03:53] Craig Dalton: Yeah, absolutely. Let's start by talking about, just a little bit about your background, both as an athlete and a musician, and then maybe we can talk about how the pandemic kind of brought them two together, for sure. 

[00:04:05] Carly Fratianne: As an athlete.

[00:04:06] I'd say I was fair to Midland in as a cross country runner in middle school and high school, but that was about the extent of my organized activities. There were some like childhood soccer, but nothing to clinical. And then I was always skateboarding and riding my bike around after school, in the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio which was where I got my first taste of freedom.

[00:04:34] And that's definitely. Carried with me for the remaining years of trying to just pursue that musically and I guess athletically, but I like to think of it more as adventuring. 

[00:04:49] Craig Dalton: That's so funny how, like that. Baseline of endurance athletics, like running track or cross-country in high school or swimming.

[00:04:58] So many people I talked to they do that and then they might not do anything for many years. And then they pick up the bike and all of a sudden they're like, oh wow, I already have this fundamental engine that makes me halfway decent as a beginner in this. 

[00:05:10] Carly Fratianne: Yeah, totally. It definitely makes it like more immediately fun, I think, too, which like, you don't have to do so much the legwork, no pun intended, but to get yourself into a position where you can really like go out and do some serious efforts and then once you build on that, Kinda just like how cool are your routes?

[00:05:32] Just like how much of this can you do before you get bored? 

[00:05:36] Craig Dalton: Yeah, exactly. So it sounds like you laid the groundwork for adventure and at least an appreciation for the outdoors, but presumably given your vocation now, you were also pretty actively pursuing. 

[00:05:49] Carly Fratianne: Definitely. Yeah, that was, I think that was probably my first real love.

[00:05:53] I've been doing that since I was a kid as well. And that is what's driven me to explore, in a less. Less on the bike, but just in general, I think like the pursuit of, a new inspiration and new muse and just a different, like geographical place has always inspired and informed the art.

[00:06:17] And I think thusly, like having cycling as like a. Like another means of propulsion is they're just so intrinsically woven 

[00:06:26] Craig Dalton: together. And in the years prior to the pandemic, was that one, your kind of effort towards music and your kind of commitment and the number of hours was really spiking up.

[00:06:37] Carly Fratianne: Yeah, for sure. I, so I was in w Y D and Southern were to time. Projects for me. And then I also, had I worked at a job as a screen printer and in Columbus, or I was, waiting tables. And we were gigging out, but I between the two bands, it was at least two or three weekends out of the month.

[00:07:00] And just traveling as much as we could and Recording all the time. And that was a pretty serious time commitment there. And. It was no longer such a heavy presence from, due to the COVID lockdowns and stuff. It was, there was just like a lot of empty space there. 

[00:07:20] Craig Dalton: Yeah. It must've been it's so shocking to have all those live venues, which in addition to playing, I'm sure you were an active participant in listening and going out to live events and knowing others in the industry, including my cousin, like just that dramatic.

[00:07:35] Removal of that entire part of your life. I can only imagine how jarring it must've been. 

[00:07:42] Carly Fratianne: It was crazy. If I'm honest, I don't even like really remember a lot of that time period. I would just like, so just like devastated and it's almost like I'm only now realizing like what like at serious, like depressive time that was personally.

[00:08:01] But yeah, like the venues, in Columbus, they're all owned by people that we know, like they're like close friends and it's a very like tight knit scene there. Being worried about him, maybe they're not going to come back online or who's going to be able to make it through this.

[00:08:15] Are we ever going to be able to do this again? It was a lot of big questions and really just nothing to do, but wait, see how it pans out. 

[00:08:25] Craig Dalton: Yeah. And I remember certainly personally in the early days you were thinking, oh, weightings going to look like two weeks or a month. 

[00:08:32] Carly Fratianne: Yeah. I remember getting so we had shows lined up, obviously like before the thing I was actually in Texas when the initial lockdown happened and I came back up to Columbus and we still had.

[00:08:46] Between the two bands, at least a half a dozen shows that were scheduled to happen and within the next like month or two and yeah. A domino effect where everybody was trying to figure out if like what we needed to do to postpone things or like how to, work with the logistics.

[00:09:02] And it would, he'd get emails from promoters. Yeah, I think. We'll schedule it again for next month or something, or we're going to postpone our tour date here for a month or two. And we'll see about whatever September, I don't even remember what the actual dates were, but then it was just like, everything just went to a screeching hole and it was like, okay, we're looking at 2024.

[00:09:26] Okay this is happening now. 

[00:09:29] Craig Dalton: Devastating. So when you're, as you're going through that moment, obviously, they've, they're like this big sense of loss and transition. Was the bike something you immediately, you sought out for solace or did you have to go through a process and then discover the bike again?

[00:09:44] Carly Fratianne: You know what I is, it's actually funny. So I had just kinda started getting into doing some like more long distance stuff. In the, probably the year before, like the year leading up to it, I was riding, but it was mostly road riding. Cause I just didn't really know that gravel existed yet. I knew it existed, but I didn't know that there was like a community in Columbus or, in the world.

[00:10:10] That was accessible to me. And I met some people in Columbus. One of them, I started work at a bike shop in Columbus called Velo science. And the owner, Jeff Clark. He was one of my first gravel buddies. And he introduced me to a bunch of people and there's actually the Ohio gravel grinders is a little community that yeah.

[00:10:33] Craig Dalton: Yeah, for the frequent for frequent listeners. I've had Ray George on the podcast before and love, love all the effort that Ray and everybody involved in that community has put into Ohio and putting, just putting such great information out there for wannabe. Yeah, gravel, cyclists. It's 

[00:10:49] Carly Fratianne: yeah, it's awesome.

[00:10:50] That was how I started getting into it. I would just go, on ride with GPS and see what they had on their page. And there's always something that looked like fun and there's like you said, they're so like, informed and like the routes themselves are all uploaded with like awesome like notes and there's a huge dog here or bring a shit ton of water because there is none.

[00:11:13] Craig Dalton: Yeah. I feel like there's one ride that there's a signature animal, like a donkey or something that you come 

[00:11:18] Carly Fratianne: yeah. Donkey March Yeti. I, yeah, I was just seeing some friends when I visited him the other day, the thing is hilarious. I only, I knew he existed. But I never seen him. And I was on a ride one day.

[00:11:32] I was training for Unbound with my friend, Melissa, and we were riding down this road out it's out in Homer is the little town. Okay. And we were just going down and I saw just like a F we okay to rewind for a split. Second, we had been chased by more dogs on this ride then like you would believe was humanly possible.

[00:11:54] It was like five or six of them. And we were just, we were like pissed and stressed out. It was like, it was traumatic in a funny way that, you know, we as cyclists to understand. But. So we're coming down the road and she's a little bit in front of me. And I just see this flash of brown movement come from behind this like really thin tree line.

[00:12:17] And I didn't see that there was like a wire fence or anything. I was just like, oh my God, Mel look out like screaming at her. Move cause she didn't see it. And I stopped the bike cause I realized it's not a dog and I didn't even know what it was. And this donkey just reached his head over the fence and uttered the loudest most hilarious, two minutes of sound. I have ever heard in my life. I wish I had recorded it. It was so funny and I just stood there and Mel just stood there and we were just like, what is this creature? Then obviously figured out that it was the infamous donkey machete. We felt really bad that we didn't have any extra food for him.

[00:12:55] So 

[00:12:56] Craig Dalton: I feel like that's a Ohio badge of honor to visit that donkey. 

[00:13:01] Carly Fratianne: Gotta do it. Yeah, you got, it's really funny. Such a thing now that when we met him the first time, the. Came out with a huge carrot and was just like, oh yeah, I figured you guys didn't have any food for him. So I got to give him this.

[00:13:17] Otherwise he'll just stand there and do that all day. He's just so used to the cyclists coming through she's we don't even really feed him anymore. Each just gets enough food. 

[00:13:27] Craig Dalton: That's so funny. I'm sure Ray, who I'm sure you interact with would love to hear. Like the work that he and the community have done felt inviting, felt informative.

[00:13:38] We talk about that so much on this podcast. Just the idea of the importance of locals, building community around gravel cycling, because it is intimidating, like even here and wherever you are, when you go out into the wilderness, like it's a little bit confusing, can be a little bit scary. It can be a lot intimidate.

[00:13:56] When you're first getting into it. So having someone who's out there just putting information out there, and it sounds like their ride with GPS files are filled with, notes of where to get water and where the donkey is and all kinds of good stuff. It's such a powerful effort that locals can do wherever they are to put good vibes out there in the gravel.

[00:14:15] Oh, my 

[00:14:16] Carly Fratianne: God. Absolutely. And to, yeah to tap on your point about him being like intimidating in the wilderness and stuff. Like I was pretty, I'm a pretty small bodied female in. I think that I'm like, I was not brought up socialized to just go off into the wilderness like that and throw caution to the wind.

[00:14:37] But, and I don't think that a lot of young girls are, or, young people in general these days and to. I have even just a little bit of guidance too, just to show you what you're capable of and help you get your foot in the door has built like an immense amount of confidence for me.

[00:14:55] And I'm sure for plenty of other people and just knowing that you can go out there and like most of the people you meet are actually going to be pretty nice. And like you don't have to be afraid of coyotes usually. And there's just like a lot of. I don't want to say irrational fear, but like a lot of unchecked fear that kind of, if you can just get over it a little bit, you can get over it a lot, a bit.

[00:15:21] And having the guidance of a community is like pretty crucial to getting over 

[00:15:25] Craig Dalton: that first step. Absolutely. Yeah. I think once you get that right bike, that right. Gravel bike that's capable, even if your notion is that I'm going to start on the right. Then you start seeing little dirt paths and maybe you take a quarter mile on the dirt and you start to realize, yeah, not only am I capable of doing this, not only is my bike capable of doing it, but I'd like to do it more and it's better than the time I'm spending on the road and safer, et cetera.

[00:15:50] Yeah. 

[00:15:50] Carly Fratianne: It's safer. More interesting stuff. I always joke with my friends that I have to meet a new cow every day. It's like a hilarious little mantra of mine just to continue to explore, even if, you're landlocked in an area, just keep looking for more different stuff. 

[00:16:09] Craig Dalton: Yeah. So in those early days of the pandemic, as you started to discover gravel riding a little bit more, it sounds like you're available time to explore also expanded because you weren't able to gig the way you were and maybe your other employment wasn't as as fruitful.

[00:16:25] Carly Fratianne: Yeah. Yeah. It was a lot of long days. I did I did my first century ride. I don't even remember when that was. It was probably right about when I got back from Texas, I had been working at rogue fitness as a like assembly line worker. I was just like building squat racks for like the CrossFit scene.

[00:16:51] I was, that was very hard work. And I like took a day. And I wrote a century ride with one of my friends Alex, who was the basis in Southern. And I had never done a ride that long before. And I was just like, oh my God, I can just go and spend the whole freaking day on the bike if I want to this is amazing.

[00:17:10] And so I just started going out or like long days, at least a couple of times a week. I loved it. I just love I would listen to music sometimes, but I really just loved the solitude. And I hardly even rode with anyone. Like when I was first getting into it, I'm into like the longer rides.

[00:17:29] And then I guess it was when I started riding with with Jeff that I got really super hooked on the gravel and just that sort of became the primary focus is just to find new roads and just get off of the, get off of the beaten path. So to speak, 

[00:17:47] Craig Dalton: not that there were likely any events, but were you doing any events at that time or was it all solo riding or with friends?

[00:17:54] Carly Fratianne: It was all similar writing and occasionally with friends they canceled all their races. I think I was signed up to do my first advantage. It wasn't a race it's called the tossers just stands for a tour this side of river valley. And it's it's 200 miles, but it's like in two days, so you get taken out and back a hundred miles.

[00:18:17] And that was canceled. I was like training for that. When I was. Coming back from Texas. So that was going to be my first event and they canceled that. And then everything else just tumbled off 

[00:18:31] Craig Dalton: during this period of time where you're getting all those miles in. What was going on with your kind of musical career?

[00:18:37] Was it, were you working on stuff at the time? Does writing help you come up with lyrics or ideas? 

[00:18:44] Carly Fratianne: Yeah, yeah, it's a lot of songs were written on a bike this past year. It's an amazing place to process. You get out there and you just have, the wheels spinning and you just start thinking about stuff.

[00:18:57] And I tend to think really rhythmically when I'm writing lyrics. Okay. And something about being on the bike is just it's a really like good like rhythmic activity. So it I don't know why, but it just stimulates your brain a little bit. And so I was, yeah, I guess to, to answer your question, I was writing and recording like a little bit In had a little demo studio set up in the house that I was living at the time with my partner in the band, w I D a, we were trying to track stuff, but it was slow going, I wrote a lot that year, but I didn't really, I wasn't really, for any specific.

[00:19:42] Purpose, like I haven't even really recorded a lot of that music and it was just a really like strange black hole of time, wherein it didn't really feel important to be making art that was like for a purpose. I guess that's just like the nature of like human crazies, but Yeah, it was mostly just for expression.

[00:20:07] And I guess that like break period was informative to I think on I don't want to say better physical level, but there was something in my like, spirit that just deeply needed to just turn everything off for a while. 

[00:20:24] Craig Dalton: Interesting. I want to come back to the gravel cycling side of things, but before we do the culmination and then this year in 2021, you've actually launched a solo project.

[00:20:35] Is that correct? 

[00:20:37] Carly Fratianne: Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:20:39] Craig Dalton: Oh, yeah. Is that just personal curiosity? Is are there complexities, obviously you're continuing to work with WIDS as a band or their complexities and kind of managing those interpersonal relationships or was it pretty clear oh, this personal thing is, feels so different than it's a different expression of my art.

[00:20:57] Carly Fratianne: It's you know what? It's a little bit easier than I thought it was going to be. Actually, I was worried about that too, but. Keeping communication open is always key. But I think also like it, this material that I was working on for when I started working on the Louis project was definitely very different or at least if it felt that way to me.

[00:21:22] And I think I, if you asked anyone that was involved in the project, they would either project, they would probably agree. So I don't think there was a ton of I don't know there wasn't really much friction, but it is you bring up a good point that there were some conversations that had to be had. So yeah, 

[00:21:38] Craig Dalton: that for the listener, you won't know this, but in the intro, I've played a little bit of the w Y D track that was shared with me.

[00:21:46] And I'll just drop in right now, your need for now track under the artist's name of Louie and let the listener take a look at it. And. Awesome.

[00:21:58] Yeah. 

[00:24:33] Cool. So that was great. I, it's funny. I was playing it last night for my seven year old son and he yelled in from the other room. 

[00:24:39] He's I really

[00:24:40] Like. that song.

[00:24:41] He's very he's very musical, so it's super cute. And he periodically yells things like that to me. So for the seven year old crowd, I guess you nailed it. That 

[00:24:51] Carly Fratianne: is awesome. And got started from young. 

[00:24:55] Craig Dalton: Exactly. Exactly. I'm sure it's going to be a cool journey and hopefully, you'll be able to get back to both gigging as a solo artist and back with the band.

[00:25:03] Cause it sounds like that's where you really come alive on stage. 

[00:25:07] Carly Fratianne: For sure. Yeah. I, it's been a lot of solo, small shows this year, so far which has actually been really nice. I do miss being up there and being loud. W I D is had the opportunity to play a handful of like bigger, full capacity shows.

[00:25:24] And Madison is strange drug. I tell you what it'd be ended up there. It's the kind of energy that I feel really privileged to have gotten to experience even just in the years that I've been doing it. But yeah, there is a good intimacy with the solo thing. That's been enough to hold me over, 

[00:25:44] Craig Dalton: yeah. Yeah. I I think a drug is probably an apt comparison because I imagine that it just feels electric to be on stage and in front of people and to feel the energy and the enthusiasm. Yeah. 

[00:25:57] Carly Fratianne: Yeah. It's it's absolutely on paralleled. When you're, especially in a hometown show and you're in a room full of people that are like really stoked on what you're doing.

[00:26:08] You can just feel the energy. It's like a force of nature and it just comes right back at you. And it's it takes days for you to be able to shake it off even really 

[00:26:19] Craig Dalton: yeah. Now for the most awkward segue in podcasting history, talking about community and feeling that energy, I did want to come back to you did Unbound, which is crazy to think about, obviously you've been active your whole life and it's not like you're a new athlete, but to go from, Hey, I like this gravel riding thing to knocking out on.

[00:26:41] It's quite a journey. So why don't you talk about like maybe how you got exposed to Unbound and what made you think it was a good idea to go for 

[00:26:48] Carly Fratianne: it? Oh my God. Okay. This is I truly couldn't have recreated this. If I had to re-engineer my life it was just very happenstance. I knew of Unbound.

[00:27:01] Just cause I had watched, YouTube videos of, cause I, once you get into it, you're like, oh my God this is crazy. Like these people do this stuff. This is just nuts. So I had watched a couple of videos about it and I was just like, man, like that is some wild shit. I don't even know how you can do that.

[00:27:18] And. I was, I had just joined there's a cycling team called lady NAR shredders in Columbus. And obviously they were no amendments. We were just organizing smaller group rides or, going out and a couple of people at a time to just hang out and get to know each other. And I.

[00:27:37] Meegan Gerkey who is, I don't know if she's still the, one of the administrators, but she was she was doing the recruiting and she sorta took me under her wing and helped show me a bunch of stuff, just about like how to do bike riding in a real, like more scientific way.

[00:27:55] And then Melissa wick who had also just joined that year. And we were, the three of us were like the ones that were into the gravel the most. So we got together and did a gravel ride. It was cold. I feel like it was probably, I want to say December, maybe November, December of that, of the year before.

[00:28:15] We had just all met and we're just riding or riding along, talking about stuff. And Meagan heads, she was set to do it in 2021 or 2020. Oh yeah, 2020. And then when it got deferred, she was going to do it the next year because they announced that they were going to have it. And Melissa had also signed up and they were talking about it and I was like, oh my God.

[00:28:41] You guys just do that. You guys are going to do that race. Like you gotta be kidding me. And then they're both just you should do it too. And I was just like, okay whatever. So it was funny. The lottery opened like that. It was like that week. I think it was like a couple of. Later. And I like set an alarm on my phone and everything.

[00:29:05] I like typed out my little submission and I sent it in and didn't really think I was just like, alright that's in there. And all known like a couple of months, I just keep riding my bike and whatever. And then I went down to Texas in, I think February late February. And it was just doing a bunch of training down here.

[00:29:27] Cause it's nice out and it's boom, not snowing. I was able to keep getting some like longer endurance rides in without getting frostbite. And I got, I was like headed out to go camp in hill country and I got an email on my phone and it just said you're in. And I looked at it and I was like, oh shit.

[00:29:48] Okay. All right. So immediately I called Melissa and me. I'm just like, okay, you guys we gotta get serious. Like we gotta go do this thing. And they're just like, oh yeah, whatever. So I went I spent another month in Texas and then I went back to Columbus and the three of us just started training like crazy.

[00:30:07] And. Yeah, we were doing some really absurd rides, just trying to get as much gravel and as much distance as possible. And I think the training for that race was like some of the most fun I've ever had in my life. Just like the amount of like insane experiences that were had on bikes between the three of us is just I didn't, I wouldn't have thought it was possible to like, have that much fun and be doing a freaking bike ride.

[00:30:39] Yeah. Then we did the race and we all finished and we were just like okay. That was crazy. And that what we do, 

[00:30:46] Craig Dalton: how would, how did that feel lining up at the starting line with such an energy and large field at Unbound? It must've been crazy compared to what you'd been experiencing previously.

[00:30:58] Carly Fratianne: Oh yeah. So my, I did my first race. It was a 50 mile race in Ohio, and then I did the gravel Locos race in Texas. So those were the only two organize events I'd ever done. And they were both like, super-duper small. Like the one in Ohio is I think I was the only person in my age, like in my wave for that And then the Heico race was like super small.

[00:31:23] It was the first year they'd done it. Awesome. And then gravel Locos is awesome. But that too is just I don't even, they were like a hundred people or something there, and this was like nuts. Like you see like videos, people post of like the start lines at these events, but like you, when you have that, when you're in the middle of it, and this is just Unreal.

[00:31:45] And to just to think if you've never done the event before, you're literally just sitting there, like you have no idea what to expect. All the training in the world could go out of the window in a second. Like it's just such an intense place. 

[00:31:59] Craig Dalton: The interesting thing is like you think about gravel riding.

[00:32:01] And for many of us, it's like a small group or solo affair. And when you're riding on a 12 foot wide gravel road, You've got a lot of room to pick lines, right? Your, you can go wherever you want. And then all of a sudden you join one of these events with a thousand people in it or more, you don't get to pick your lines.

[00:32:18] Like you're 12 abreast on a 12 foot road, and you'd never know what's going to come up. I imagine in those first few miles, at least, right? Oh my God. 

[00:32:27] Carly Fratianne: Yeah, there were, oh God, there were so many sketchy areas in the first 50 miles of that. I saw quite a few wrecks or near wrecks. And it, you're just like on top of each other and nothing employer is like just such an interesting mix of.

[00:32:51] Perfectly graded, flat roads. And then just like the gnarliest, like it's just like a washed out Creek, but like no same motorist would drive a car on it, but it's like the same problem. And you're just like, how can this be? And when you're proud on top of each other, like you said, there's, you can't see any lines, let alone a good one.

[00:33:11] So you're just. Holding the bars and like praying, you're just like bunny hopping from rock to rock. Just like hoping you don't get a 

[00:33:20] Craig Dalton: flat. Yeah. Yeah. You imagine the PR pros and fast people at the front of the race trying to get out ahead of it. But when I'm doing these events and imagine like you there's no getting out ahead of anybody, like there's always going to be someone ahead of you and behind you.

[00:33:33] Carly Fratianne: Oh, yeah, you're definitely just in the pack until the pack explodes and it can start, they can take a while to get get spaced out. It's it is it's super wild too. Cause you know, you ride the first half of that race and you're just like sardines and then, by mile one, 20 or. What you're like riding past people that are taking a nap, it's just such a different experience in the second half.

[00:34:00] Craig Dalton: Did you spend a lot of time thinking about that second half and how to make sure you were fueled up and fit enough for it? Cause I imagine, the first half of the. Obviously like many of us can get to a hundred mile fitness, but beyond a hundred miles, it's both a different story from a fitness perspective, but also from a nutrition and hydration perspective, any corner you've cut is going to be a problem.

[00:34:22] Carly Fratianne: Oh my God. Absolutely. That was, that was one thing that I really actually did have to train for. Specifically was like being able to like, take enough nutrition on the bike. Because you it's true, like you, your body it stops being able to like process things after awhile when you're working that hard.

[00:34:41] And the heat is a huge factor that I think doesn't always get taking it in deep and as it shifts really quickly, and once you have started to dehydrate, you can. Really eat any more than what had guessed, which basically renders you in a state of almost bonking for like until you figure it out.

[00:35:07] And I don't even, I had a couple of like really like weird, bad nutrition choices. But I think I was able to kind of phone it in a little bit as far as like being able to keep the food down. So the the actual training from a fitness standpoint was basically just a get as much gravel as you can.

[00:35:31] And because. By the end of a hundred miles or whatever, you're like your whole body starts to just a it's it's like your legs are tired. Sure. But like also, like you're carrying your water on your back and you're just like riding up and down rocks. And everything is just like shaking around, like constantly.

[00:35:51] And I had to just prepare for that by I guess just like doing rides with like fully loaded, even when I didn't need that water on my back. I would take the camera back with me. And then nutrition, I. I experimented with a lot of stuff, because I knew that I was going to need something that was not going to be like invasive to the gut.

[00:36:12] And what Mel and I landed on was we made some of those recipes out of that scratch labs the portables book. Oh my God. It was amazing. Yeah. We just basically made like a bunch of different kinds of rice cakes and just wrap them in foil which it worked really well. And it was like super cheap.

[00:36:31] I will say if I had to do that again, I would have probably brought more gels actually, because I was trying to stay off of them because they typically upset my stomach as probably most people tell you as well. I think between the dehydration, it was just like, it's got to be super hard to process solid food towards the end.

[00:36:53] Craig Dalton: Yeah. I think to your point earlier, it's you need to have variety. Like when you're training rides, it's pretty easy to at least for me, like I can eat the exact same nutritional plans. For a five-hour ride every single week, like no issue whatsoever. But when you're talking about, anything beyond six hours and 12 hours, like you, you're just going to want to have different things.

[00:37:15] And some of the things we talked about this before on the podcast, just this idea that, you're going to have horrible moments in these events sometimes. And that could be a mechanical moment. That could be like a gut moment or even a mental moment. And the important thing everybody's going to go through that from the professional riders to the last place person on the event, you just have to know that it will pass.

[00:37:38] And the only thing you need to be concerned about is continually moving for. 

[00:37:43] Carly Fratianne: Yeah exactly. And like the, yeah, I think the one 20 mile mark is like really where it starts to like, get real. That's when you just see people like, coming apart on the side of the road and you're just thinking wow, okay, what do I have to do to make sure that doesn't happen to me?

[00:37:58] And as long as you're able to like, eat and drink, you'll probably be fine, but there's definitely a moment where. You just don't want anything like you just can't like, you just can't. And think of a single thing on earth. That sounds good. And your w your drink mix just makes you want to puke. Like I bought a huge bag of the strawberry lemonade scratch because it was my favorite flavor.

[00:38:24] I was like, okay, this is great. I will have to buy a new bag of this for forever. I'm telling you by the end of this. I was like, man, I need to just get rid of this whole bag. Like I'll never be able to drink this shit again. It is. So just like sickly, reminiscent of a horrible feeling in my 

[00:38:40] Craig Dalton: body PTSD by hydration, 

[00:38:45] Carly Fratianne: literally.

[00:38:45] Yeah. It was such a even still I still have the bag every once in a while. I'll throw some in my bottles. I share every time I'm just like, oh, okay. It's still just reminds me of that. 

[00:38:57] Craig Dalton: Okay. So as hopefully we look forward to a future where your, know, your musical endeavors can become a bigger time in your life and we can get back to going to live music venues.

[00:39:08] Are you going to continue gravel cycling? Do you have ambitions for 2022 to continue doing. 

[00:39:14] Carly Fratianne: Yeah, I'm I'm not sure which I know I will probably, I will try and do Unbound again. I would like to beat the sun. That's a small goal, but as far as events go I'm less compelled to events this year.

[00:39:28] And I will probably be spending a bulk of my time doing some bike packing. Right now, I'm in Texas, which is one of my favorite places to ride. There are lots of race routes and stuff that you can find that are, pre there maybe an hour out of town, but they're pretty accessible and it's all like ranch road.

[00:39:46] So you can get, I you can go a day without seeing the. Really and it's, it's beautiful and it's temperate. So I'm going to spend some time down here and then I'm going to head out to Arizona and a little bit to do some bike packing on some of the the trails out there. I would, I will probably make an attempt at the monument.

[00:40:09] I don't know that I'll do it all in one go. But if the weather holds out over the next couple of weeks, I'll probably see which one looks the most enticing and go for it. 

[00:40:21] Craig Dalton: Awesome. That sounds amazing. We're happy to have you. I'm happy to have had this discussion. I love, I just love, it's just a great story.

[00:40:28] The inclusiveness of gravel and how everybody's welcome. And whether it's doing events or bike packing, or riding with friends, like we want all comers to the sport. 

[00:40:38] Carly Fratianne: Yeah. It's a, it's an awesome sport. It's like probably the most inclusive sport I can think of as far as any, fitness level can find something, any person of any age can find something you can just like.

[00:40:57] Kind of make it into whatever you want. And I think that's the beauty of it is that, there, there are a few, there are a few barriers to entry. The only one really is do you have a bike? And is your spirit adventurous? 

[00:41:11] Craig Dalton: Yeah. Awesome. I think that's a good place to end. Thanks Carly so much for the time.

[00:41:16] Carly Fratianne: Thanks so much for having me, Greg. 

[00:41:18] Craig Dalton: That's going to do it for this week's edition of the gravel ride podcast. I hope you enjoyed this show. Happy to have your feedback. Obviously I'm not a master editor. So weaving some of that music in was a bit of a challenge for me, but it was a great conversation. I really enjoyed getting to know Carly and her journey into this gravel cycling community that we all love so much. 

[00:41:42] Big, thanks to competitive cyclists for sponsoring this week's edition of the gravel ride podcast. Remember it's promo code the gravel for 15% off. If you're looking to connect with me, I encourage you to come and join us in the ridership forum. It's 

[00:42:05] And if you're able to support the podcast financially, simply visit buy me a coffee. Dot com slash the gravel ride. Continuing with the theme of this show, I'm going to drop in one of Carly's other songs, a full track for you to listen. It's the same one that we opened up with, but I'll let it play into its conclusion. 

[00:42:26] As a peaceful way for you ending this podcast. Until next time. Here's to finding some dirt under your wheels