Many of you have ridden in gravel centuries/events before, and those that haven't have probably put on at least a few miles on the dusty/muddy/icy dirt roads this winter/spring... but some things to have in the back of your head while riding this weekend:
- Please obey all road signs. If the sign says stop. Please do so.
- It's a long race so be smart about bombing down hills and whatnot.... it's a gas, but always ride within yourself.
- When cresting a hill, or going around a blind corner always ride to the right side of the road.
- Gravel is a very inconsistent surface to ride on. For the most part the roads of Goodhue and Wabasha counties are premium surfaces to ride on. Patches of frost heaves, loose gravel, mud will still pop up though, so be prepared! Right now ice is even a possibility, though the temps this week should help in that respect.
- Dogs. In general the dogs we've ran across while riding this spring have been well behaved. Watch out though. Even when they are just trying to be friendly they can cause a crash.
- Be respectful of others. We're using the roads, but they are not closed and they are not solely ours. Don't litter. Smile at folks. Wave. Goodhue and Wabasha counties have been happy to give us permission to run the race so far. Let's not give them reason to change their minds.
- Be prepared. There is roughly 40-45 miles between civilization and in some of the valleys you probably will not get good cell reception/coverage. The organizers of the race also are not responsible for providing you with a way out if you get in trouble.
- You are responsible for you. We won't have piles of tubes, water, gel packs etc. We will not drive all over picking people up who have to drop out for whatever reason.
- Please have a working blinky red rear light and some sort of blinky white front light.
The main gravel roads are all shaping up VERY nicely. Awesome to just cruise on. The minimum maintenance roads on the other hand could be in... ummm.... interesting shape. We'll try and give an update later in the week as to the current shape of the roads, but as of now I would recommend bringing at least one or two spare pairs of socks (or some way to keep your tootsies dry).