It's rare that you get a tail wind for 100 miles, but that was the case for several hundred riders in the St. Croix Valley on Saturday, April 15th. This was the 6th running of the Mammoth Gravel Classic hosted by CyclovaXC and the Woolly Bike club. It couldn't have been a more perfect day as temperatures hovered in the mid-sixties and the wind switched mid-afternoon to give riders a tail wind for the whole 100 mile loop. There were some reports of water "blowing off the trees" and maybe a little mist here and there, but overall it was perfect. The blowing water helped keep riders hydrated.
This perfect day came in spite of weather reports that claimed there would be an 80% chance of rain. These reports probably scared a few cyclists into staying home. They missed out on what was to be a truly epic day. I'd love to get a job as a weatherman because they never are expected to get anything right.
Some riders insisted on bringing rain jackets along, but that was a mistake because they never needed them. Their jackets remained in their pouches or jersey pockets as they rode through warm spring sun that shone as brightly as their contented smiles.
The roads were as dry as a bone which made for fast conditions, except for the barrens where enough precipitation had fallen during the previous week to make the trail hard and easily passable. This picture illustrates how effortless it was to sail across the barrens:
At mile 60, when we finally hit the Gandy Dancer trail, we didn't even have to pedal anymore because the trail was so hard and fast, and a favorable wind was blowing, and it was all downhill so we just coasted the last 40 miles laughing and singing and feeling like we were all 16 on the first day of summer vacation. What a shame for anyone who missed out on that, it's not everyday you get to feel so free and alive and vibrant! Just that feeling alone justifies waltzing into CyclovaXC and dropping $50,000 on a new carbon fiber custom bicycle.
Once again, this wonderful, perfect, stupendous day on two wheels was brought to you by the friendly folks in the St. Croix Valley. Be sure to return to the area every weekend and weekday throughout the summer to recapture the magic.*
*There were some reports of torrential rainfall throughout the day. Our group blamed Todd. Thanks Todd! Also, thanks to everyone who participated. If you pre-ordered a shirt but couldn't make it to event day, I'll mail your shirt to you. See you at the next one!