COURSE UPDATE: 100 Mile Mammoth Gravel Classic - !!!Great Shape!!!


The 3rd Annual Mammoth Gravel Classic (known as MGCIII, for those on the inside) is rapidly approaching, and we've been getting a ton of inquiries at Cyclova XC on the condition of the courses.  

We've been keeping an eye on them for the past month or so (guess what, there's been a ton of snow on the course until recently), but with the beautiful warm temps lately, I thought I'd go check out the 100 mile course (click here for a detailed mile by mile course chronicle) on my Trek CrossRip yesterday (Tuesday).  I have great news to share with everyone:  The course is 95% in perfect/fast condition, with only a couple miles of fire lanes that still are partially snow covered.  

With the heat, sunshine, and wind - I suspect that most of this has melted today!  With all of this said, the plan is to proceed, full steam ahead with our normal courses - which I expect to be in fabulous condition on event day.  

Expect a steady flow of info on the event here at CyclovaXC.com, and on the event Facebook Page in the days leading up to the event.  We look forward to seeing you next weekend (April 18-20), for a weekend packed full of gravel, cycling, and fun!

Below are a bunch of photos that I took of the 100 mile course that I took yesterday on my ride.  Enjoy! 

My scouting ride of the 100 mile Mammoth Gravel Classic course started with a lovely cruise along the river - Lions Park is shown above.

River Road is in beautiful shape, with huge "icebergs" floating down the river and snow only in the ditches!

Some of the early gravel on 247th (near mile 14), which both the 100 and 70 mile courses use, was the softest of the entire course - but still easily passable.  No fear, this is drying up fast.

I enjoyed a sunny hillside and had a nice lunch picnic (with food from the recommended stop of the Holiday Gas Station in Grantsburg), on Maple Ave, near mile 55.  In the distance, you can see one of the best gravel sections approaching!
Nearly all of the gravel on the MN side of the river was remarkably dry and firm - and a real treat to ride!  Did I mention I enjoyed sunshine, 60 degrees, and a tailwind?!?

The snow melts from our course and fills the streams, then passes on to the mighty St. Croix!  You'll see a lot of moving water on the MGCIII 100 course!
Apparently, the gravel has dried out so much that it's now time to get out and grade the course for us gravel riders.  Don't worry, they usually roll the gravel after they grade it in this area - yes, I'm serious - see the pic in the 100 mile course chronicle!
As you progress south along the river on the Minnesota side, you'll find yourself in stunningly beautiful farmland.  I was struck by the beauty, colors, and contrast...  Gravel, greening grass, snow, blue sky, and clouds - wow!

Gravel Riding Tip:  In softer areas of the course, riding the dampest part of the road is the fastest (which is why the course was so firm and fast in last Fall's redux of the MGCII).
Reed Road, near mile # 84 is the toughest terrain, and can be a challenging surface to ride.  Yesterday, I encountered the above washout that was a "wheel eating" 12" deep in the road.  Of course, always use caution at any and all water crossings!


3 comments:

  1. hmm, I don't see any pic's from the "sandy" sector...

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  2. More pics coming today. I was just out and "marked" the first 45 miles of the 100 mile course last night, and the 19 mile section of sandy fire lanes are firmer than it usually is - due to the moisture content. There are a couple of sections of the sandy fire lanes with short stretches of snow, which will likely be almost entirely gone by Saturday.

    Remember, we recommend all riders riding the 100 mile event ride tires at least 40mm wide. Specifically, we recommend the Clement MSO 700 x 40 - our favorite tire for the Mammoth Gravel Classic.

    Also, be certain that you have a definite plan for navigation on this course. While it is lightly marked, you'll want to only use the markings as confirmation for your navigation system. Que sheets will be posted shortly. This is an "adventure ride"! :-)

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  3. Here is more on the 100 mile course, including pics of the toughest / sandy firelane section of the course: http://www.cyclova.com/2014/04/100-mile-course-course-report-part-ii.html

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