The stage is set, I and my crew here at Cyclova XC have been hard at work for weeks - to ensure a great experience for the hundreds of gravel loving adventure bicyclists who will be joining us for the Mammoth Gravel Classic!
For days, I had been planning on heading out onto the ride routes on Tuesday - to do the final inspection, ensure no trees were down, and take some photos to share. When I woke on Tuesday morning to inches of fresh snow on the ground, it was deja-vu - I was brought right back to the Mammoth Gravel Classics of 2013 and 2014 - where we had 12 plus inches of snow fall 48 hours prior to the roll out. Thankfully, Tuesday's snow was very short lived and warm temps are in the forecast for this Saturday!
|This was the scene out on the 70 and 100 mile courses on Tuesday morning. Thankfully the snow was short lived!|
|The snow on Tuesday and rain later in the week will firm up the soft sand in the infamous Sand Barrens - from mile 16.8 to 24.3. This is a good thing, but it still won't be easy!|
The Tuesday snow and precipitation later in the week will prove to be very helpful for riders on the 100 and 70 mile courses, as the moisture firms up the soft sand from mile 16.8 to mile 24.3. Please do heed my specific tire recommendations on the COURSES PAGE OF MAMMOTHGRAVELCLASSIC.COM and note the literal mile by mile chronicle of each route, dozens of photos, and every type of GPS file/que sheets/etc. Every single rider should spend time reading up on the route that they will be riding here!
As is common this time of year - especially on the 100 mile course in the Crex Meadows Wildlife Area, you'll find northwest Wisconsin a-buzz with life after a long Winter. Expect to see hundreds of Canadian Geese, Trumpeter Swans, Sandhill Cranes, and many species of ducks. Also in Crex Meadows, you'll likely see a lot of fresh greenery - especially in the areas freshly burned by the DNR (as is seen in the below picture). In short, you'll enjoy Spring blossoming all around you on each of the Mammoth Gravel Classic routes!
|The more "normal" gravel from mile 23.4 and on of the 100 mile course is generally smooth and freshly graded. The freshly done burn by the DNR in Crex Meadows as seen above may result in greenery popping by this Saturday!|
As is very clearly specified on each of the course info pages, do remember that the Mammoth Gravel Classic is an unsupported gravel ride. You are responsible for you in every way - navigation, hydration, nutrition, and mechanical - this is the point of an gravel adventure ride! Do note however, that there are several opportunities on each of the courses to replenish your food & fluid supplies.
|The beautiful "Rustic Road" gravel section of the 70 mile course (at about mile 45 of the 70 mile course) is in beautiful shape!|
Aside from enjoying the beautiful course - be sure to stop by and say hello to our friends at Cafe Wren in Luck, WI and enjoy a tasty beverage, snack, or lunch (each of the routes goes right by). Also be sure to hang out in St. Croix Falls and show our local lodging, food, &drink establishments that bicycles mean business in St. Croix Falls.
A few other special requests to keep in mind as you prepare to come to St. Croix Falls:
- Please park on a side street or one of hundreds of free parking spots 1 block to the east (up the hill) from Cyclova XC. Don't park on Main Street and block parking for the full day for the many other small businesses in St. Croix Falls.
- Please bring a $5 bill to buy your State trail day pass at rider check in - which will be at Cyclova XC. The cash line will be super fast this year, and the charge will be $5 even. Every rider will also be required to sign a waiver.
We look forward to riding with you on Saturday!