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Final Preparations & Checklist for the Mammoth Gravel Classic

The adventure for the 100 & 70 mile courses begins on the pavement, along the famed River Road!


The 100 mile course will travel extensively on very remote firelanes.  Riders will be tens of miles from cell phone reception and in remote back country!

In the 100 mile course, firelanes seem to stretch on and on, endlessly...



The 70 mile course features on and off again gravel segments, with beautiful pavement mixed in.  A definite highlight of the 70 mile course will be descending back into the St. Croix River Valley via Big Rock Creek Farm!
 
Cafe Wren is a recommended stop for riders in the 35 and 70 mile rides!  Stop here, you won't regret it!

For all of you Mammoth Gravel Classic riders - welcome to St. Croix Falls, welcome to Cyclova XC, and a grand adventure awaits you!  For the full scoop on everything, CLICK HERE

The Mammoth Gravel Classic is an "unsupported gravel ride".  With this said, it's key to be as prepared as possible and to be self sufficient.  Remember, there will not be a sag vehicle - take care of yourself.  Remember, there will not be any water stops - bring with what you need, and take advantage of the places to fill your bottles & buy food, they're far and few between...
General bike thoughts:
  • This isn't a time to try out some new experimental high end equipment - rather run what is tried and trued for you, a bike setup that you're familiar with!  
  • The 100 mile and 70 mile courses are very serious business.  These courses will beat down the heartiest of cyclists, and aren't something to take lightly.  Absolutely error on the wide side of things for tires - you will encounter very soft & wet sand in the Sand BarrensIt will be a very long day if you are on a standard Cyclo Cross bike.  I recommed either a 29" mountain bike with normal MTB tires on it - or if you're feeling lucky, use a Gravel or Cross bike with 700 x 40 tires, such as the Clement MSO.
  • The 35 mile route is suitable for most any bicycle.  Any tire ranging from a mountain bike tire to road bike tire will work fine.  Enjoy the ride!

BAGS:  Revelate Gas Tank Bag:  This bag is an essential for carrying key stuff like food, cell phone/camera, wallet, etc.  It mounts right behind your handlebar stem along the top of your top tube.  This is a great seller at Cyclova XC and I have several in stock at the store.  BG2660 $59.99
Revelate Tangle Bag:  Also a definite essential for carrying a large water bladder (no water bottle filling stations out on our course), as well as extra clothing, tools, tubes, water purification tablets.  The only possible realistic alternative for this would be a trunk bag on a pannier rack, a back pack etc.  The big advantage of the Tangle Bag is that it's contained within the main triangle of your frame and still leaves room to access both of your bottle cages.  BG2650 Small, BG2651 Med, BG2652 Large:  All sizes priced at $89.99

WATER "VESSELS" & PURIFICATION:  
Hydrapak Shape Shift Reversible Hydration Pack Reservoir:  In my opinion the best reservoir on the market.  A good thing to put in your Tangle Bag, if you don't like it on your back.  Reversable so it's easy to clean, with a nice hose/valve system.  Available in the following sizes:  32oz #WB7300 $32  --  70oz #WB7301  $35  --  100oz #WB7302  $38

NAVIGATION: 
Que sheet holder:  Note that printed que sheets will be available at registration.  You can put a printed que sheet inside of a zip lock bag and then clip it on to your bars.  This little clip will do the job, or you can rig something up:  HB1003  $7 

A GPS Device:  A mapping capable GPS device will make it very easy for you to stay on course - as none of us really have any idea what we're getting in to.  The Edge Series of Garmin devices is likely the way to go here.  If you're interested in talking about this, get in touch with me - I can get you this stuff generally for the same price that Garmin publishes on their website.  As a side note I don't know if a smart phone will work for navigation, as there likely will not be a cell tower in the vicinity for most of the ride...

GOT A LIGHT?:  Yes, this is a long ride and day light is dwindling.  I would recommend bringing with a light and even matches...

TOOL / MECHANICAL KIT:Following is what I would recommend putting in your Tangle Bag for bike tools/supplies - enabling you to be self sufficient in most any situation:
  • 2 inner tubes on your bike at all times
  • A REAL pump, such as the fabulous Park Tool Frame Pump that we stock at Cyclova XC.  You can air up your tires hundreds of times in less than 2 minutes each with this great pump!  Note that this pump comes in different sizes for different size frames.  $35
  • A real patch kit, including glue (not a glueless patch kit), such as the Park Tool Vulcanizing Patch Kit
  • Tire levers
  • A great multi-tool, such as the Crank Bros Multi-17 tool.  This includes all sizes of Alan Wrenches, screw drivers, chain tool, spoke wrenches, 15mm open wrench (pedals, hub cones, etc)  TL8117 $30
  • A derailleur cable would be a good idea if you can install it
  • A tire boot, which Park Tool makes, but you can also just cut up an old tire you have laying around to a piece about 1 inch wide by 3-4 inches long - in case you slash up your tire.
  • A SRAM Chain quick link would be a good thing to have with in your tire repair kit - in case of chain troubles.  Note these are specific to 8, 9, or 10 speed drive trains.

NUTRITION:This is a tough area to give advice, as everyone's nutritional needs are generally different.  Following is what I will be bringing:
  • An electrolyte replacement drink such as NUUN or Camelback Elixor
  • Gels or energy chews for fueling while riding
  • Some tasty and satisfying energy bars, such as Clif, Stinger Waffles, Pro Bar, or what ever tickles your fancy
  • Some real food for lunch on the road, which I will prepare for myself each day - a sandwich or something.
  • I SERIOUSLY plan on bringing with a bunch of Beef Jerky - as this is the wonder fuel for me.  Some Salted Nut Rolls would also be a good idea while on the topic of Gas Station food.
  • A recovery drink that works for you.  I'll be bringing with some Endurox

CLOTHING:  October weather is very unpredictable.  We could have frosty mornings and sweaty afternoons.  Following is clothing that I would deem appropriate to pack with:
  • Chamois Butter or DZ's Nuts!
  • Cycling shorts
  • Knee / leg warmers
  • Agood long sleeve base layer tops (Smartwool, Craft, Ibex, etc)
  • A cycling jersey
  • A wind proof front / rain cycling jacket
  • A think skull hat to wear under your helmet
  • Good xc ski gloves such as Toko or Yoko, which are in good supply at Cyclova XC
  • Winter ski hats / beanie for before/after riding
  • A wide variety of clothing for before and after riding - be prepared for chilly temps!

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