*Disclaimer – if you are looking for a very serious course report from a very serious cyclist who can actually ride at a reasonable speed – look away. LOOK AWAY. You ended up in the wrong damn place. If you can handle a semi-witty recap from a solid middle back of the packer, read on friend.*
Last weekend I returned to a race that I SWORE I would never do again. Speedy cyclist husband and I loaded up the toaster and headed North to Vermont to once again take on the Rasputitsa Gravel Road Race.
Last Fall threw me a few curveballs and I had missed the initial sign up (*tears up – hides raw onion causing tears*), and was not initially planning on heading up for this snowy, hilly shit show again. BUT, there were so few women registered that they opened up some spots on facebook. For FREE. So, I jumped on it and was in. This just proves that I truly will buy anything if you slap a clearance sticker on it. The race benefited a couple of great causes, the JamFund (supporting the development of local ‘cross racers) and Little Bellas (mentoring girls on mountain bikes – sort of the Girls on the Run of the mtb world). I happily donated what I would have paid in entry to Little Bellas. Pay it forward, people!
|Donating my entry fee to Little Bellas|
|Speedy Husband’s bike. You crazy? I rode that shit on my mountain bike|
- The weather! Dry, sunny, high of 60. PERFECT weather to spend hours outside on your bike. There was mud of course – but lots of sun as well.
- Getting to meet some of the cool chicks from Team Betty Designs in real life! I couldn’t keep up with them on the bike but getting to meet face to face (we are all geographically spread out and communicate mainly through social media) was freakin’ awesome. Until next time!! #squadgoals
- The climbing. It felt like it never ended. Seriously. If you want to challenge your climbing legs get up here. It’s a BEAST. My granny gear and I hung out together all day. And I’m pretty sure my running time would be very close to my biking time #noshame
- Cyberia. After climbing for what feels like approximately 11 days straight you will reach cyberia. And then climb for another day until you reach the top. This is hands down my favorite part of the course. Mostly because I knew I would finally get to descend some. And also because they handed out maple syrup shots in tiny little shot glasses made of ice. SHOT GLASSES MADE OF ICE! FULL OF MAPLE SYRUP! I mean really. And there were some left when I got there. Does it get any better?
Photo borrowed from Rasputitsa Instagram
- The volunteers. Cheerful, supportive, out there spending their day helping a bunch of crazy bike riders have the best experience possible. THANK YOU! You made the day wonderful.
|First aid station manned by Little Bellas
- Finishing. Seriously – for a trail runner moonlighting as a cyclist getting across the finish line is a big deal. Well, for me at least. I was well within the time cutoff, so I totally won at life. And no, I’m not posting my garmin file. I’m slow. Let’s leave it at that.
Gifted with a sip of beer at the finish line – YAY BIKES! AND BEER!
- The food! Thank you to the Burke Publick House for welcoming a bunch of dirty, smelly bikers with a fantastic post-race spread with tons of vegetarian options. Carrot ginger soup. Poutine with mushroom gravy. YES! And great beers, with plenty of local Vermont options. Beer snobs rejoice. I sure did. (14th Star Brewing Tribute DIPA from St. Albans VT if you’re wondering what’s in my glass plastic cup – it was fantastic)
And there ya have it. Another year of Rasputitsa down for this household. It couldn’t have been more different from last year. I suffered like hell – but I could feel my feet. And for that, I thank you mother nature.