The 2016 Mammoth Gravel Classic is rapidly approaching (Saturday, April 16, 2016), and both locals and folks traveling from far and wide have been out exploring the routes. I'm very pleased to report that the gravel and sand road surfaces are in fantastic condition - with the frost out in most areas.
Stay tuned to www.mammothgravelclassic.com for regular course updates. Also follow the Mammoth Gravel Classic Facebook Page and sign up on the Mammoth Gravel Classic email list for up to the minute updates. For very detailed mile by mile chronicles of each Mammoth Gravel Classic route, including tire recommendations, que sheets, gpx files, etc - check out the COURSES page.
A special thanks to Woolly Bike Club Board Member & Cyclova XC team rider Dallas Wynne for sharing these great photos of the route - and the below commentary on his adventure yesterday! Enjoy - and see you all on April 16!
Four weeks from today Mammoth Gravel Classic riders will be heading deep into the untamed sections of the of Northwestern Wisconsin affectionately know as the Sand Barrens. With the snow all but gone, and the frost out of the roads, the timing seemed right for some early coarse reconnaissance.
Departing North from the overlook in St. Croix Falls I began following River road as it twists and turns along the banks of the beautiful St. Croix River to the town of Wolf Creek. This prologue serves as a great way to wake up the legs before leaving civilization. As I made my first left turn onto the gravel at 247st I was pleased to find the gravel was firm and mostly dry even after seeing several inches of rain this week. Low spots in the road that were holding water soft while most of the surface was in good shape. I made my way West on Evergreen then turned North onto 300 street for my first sand section. The sand was soft but rideable and still packed well form the rain. Again some standing water in low area but much better than expected. Farther North on County Fire Lane before reaching County O which is the major East West cross road at the bottom of the Fish Lake Wildlife area, and the end of the Sand. I normally ride use 700 X 40mm Kenda Happy Medium for this route but today I was experimenting with a 29 X 2.0 and was glad to have the extra width. Either would be a good choice depending weather conditions the week of the event. One thing is for sure riders that choose a narrow 32 or 35mm tire will suffer.