Wednesday, April 18, 2018

2018 Rasputitsa Recon - 4 Days Out

Tuesday afternoon I went out and drove most of the 2018 Rasputitsa race course. Given what the roads looked like Sunday when we were out marking the course coupled with what our road at elevation in Kirby looked like, I was anxious to see the state of affairs. To my partial surprise, once I got down off of the mountain that we live on it was significantly drier and the snow that we'd had off and on since Saturday stopped.

By the time I dropped onto the course on the back side of Cyberia, the roads were pretty darn good. Not quite as dry as Saturday but the temperature was above freezing where as it was below on Saturday. The roads were damp but not muddy.

As I climbed I started to transition into some snow on the roads but no where near as much as last Sunday, when we had picked up a few inches overnight. Back down to Newark St on Schoolhouse Rd the snow again disappeared yielding damp gravel but no mud. In fact, there was no mud really anywhere out on course. There was more snow for a few miles at elevation in the most Northern end of the course but that was to be expected and no ruts or ice.

All in all, the course was looking pretty good yesterday and should only improve in the next couple of days as the continual light precipitation we've had all week begins to taper off and the temperature stabilizes some. Saturday we should even see some sun, which will be a very welcome treat.

In terms of equipment, there is no right answer. Certain selections will be better in certain places than others. Yes, you could get around the course with a road bike an 25c tires if you were very careful on Carter Rd through the crushed rock. It would be a challenge and unless you are a world class cyclist, you likely wouldn't be fastest. As always, the bike that hits right in the middle of the scale and does the most the best is probably going to be a gravel or CX bike with 33-40c file or micro tread tires and gravel gearing vs. stock CX gearing. However, the right person on a fast MTB setup could also be right there as we have seen more and more often in the past. The MTB gearing may even favor the longer, sloggy climbs.

Here is the photo dump from the trip around the course yesterday in order starting from the back side of Cyberia and ending on White School Rd.

Enjoy and we will see you on Saturday AM if not at the School of Rock pre-ride or at registration!

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