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WE RIDE, With a Change of Plans: MAMMOTH GRAVEL CLASSIC - Good News, Bad News...


Mother Nature forced her hand on us for a 2nd year in a row, but the MGCIII (Mammoth Gravel Classic) weekend will still happen!  Check the deets and pics from the original courses below.
Upon waking up this morning, there was an overwhelming sense of deja vu - had I been here before?  Yes, it's true - there is no arguing with mother nature.  Over the past 36 hours, she has dumped 14" - 20 " of snow on the Mammoth Gravel Classic courses, and there is no arguing with Mother Nature - only embracing of her.  The forecast theme for today and Friday is not condusive to melting massive amounts of snow - and we refuse to send our riders out into life threatening conditions, in a remote wilderness area.  If you're curious as to what it looks like out on the normal 100 or 70 mile courses, check out the photos at the bottom of this post.

With that said, most of the originally planned events for the weekend are STILL ON!!!  There will be dozens - hundreds of gravel lovers in St. Croix Falls, there will be the Friday evening Adventure & Tech Social Presentations, there are amazing & delicious food specials to be enjoyed, there will be a group ride leaving Cyclova XC on Saturday, there will be swag, and there will be Salted Nut Rolls & bacon to be enjoyed on the road side.  

To be part of the conversation and get up to the minute updates, check out the Event Facebook Page.

Following is the updated weekend schedule:

Friday, 18 April:
6PM:  Join dozens of your closest gravel loving friends at Cyclova XC in St. Croix Falls, for the final season installment of our Adventure & Tech Social Series!  We're thrilled to welcome one of the "Godfather's of Gravel" (Joshua Stamper) and GPS tech expert Ben Mullin to do presentations at Cyclova XC - Cyclova XC Adventure & Tech Social Night style!  CLICK HERE  for the full scoop on this event!  DID I MENTION THERE WILL BE SWEET SWAG - FROM REVELATE & SALSA?!?  DID I MENTION THERE WILL BE SNACKS AND REFRESHING BEVERAGES?
Dinner:  Join us in celebrating the soon to open Bistro On St. Croix - a gourmet restaurant in the St. Croix Valley which will open in the coming weeks.  Their parent restaurant, Tangled Up In Blue (across the river in Taylors Falls) has put together a very special menu, perfect for hungry cyclists at amazing prices.  After the presentations, at Cyclova, join us for a special dinner prepared by Chef Jeff Halverson.  CLICK HERE for the special event menu, the kitchen will be open until 9:30PM.  

Saturday, 19 April:
10AM:  A group ride on a sweet mostly paved loop will roll out from Cyclova XC in downtown St. Croix Falls!  Be prompt!  Cafe Wren will be the destination.  Riders will have the option of either doing an out and back "short" 40 mile total ride, or do a loop totaling 54 miles (including a Salted Nut Roll & bacon stop at the County Park in quaint Atlas, WI).  This is a beautiful paved route on almost exclusively quiet town roads - with a short section of beautiful gravel at mile 23 (known as the "Rustic Road" section of the normal 70 mile course).  Regrettably, there will be minimal rugged gravel on this course, as those roads aren't plowed.
CLICK HERE for the Map & GPX files for the loop.  
A que sheet will be posted HERE shortly.
4:30PM:  Door prize drawing for a wide variety of fabulous swag for Mammoth Gravel Classic participants.  Free swag from Clement & Salsa at a free event!  You must be present to win!
Dinner:  Fabulous dinner options abound, including the above mentioned special at Tangled Up In Blue, the always amazing world class Indian Food at The Vegetarian, the Dalles House Bar, or many other options in the greater St. Croix Falls area.  

Lodging:  There are many great lodging options in the greater St. Croix Falls area.  CLICK HERE for a great list of options.  


For those that want to know, below is what the originally scheduled event courses look like today...

The first turn of the 100 & 70 mile course was covered with deep rutted snow this morning...
The deep rutted snow continued indefinitely when going north along River Road.
When looking through the trees, I couldn't help but look in awe at the mighty St. Croix, gracefully carrying massive amounts of snow melt water from the north woods, southward.
County Rd O, at about mile 26 of the normal 70 mile course, transitions from pavement to gravel - er, snow to slush pack...
The Fish Lake Wildlife Preserve was noisy, with angry waterfowl - including Swans, Geese, Cranes, and a variety of Ducks.  They crave a melt more than we do!
Here lies the real reason we can't ride our normal courses on Saturday...  Dozens of miles of "roads" and firelanes that are never plowed.  Above is Johnson Rd, at the mile 25 of the 70 mile course.  The snow here ranged from 12" to 36" deep drifts.  
3' tall snowbanks almost fully obscure the yellow tipped course marking lathe on the right side of the road.  The road surface is wet/glazed icy slush pack.  

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