Bandit Cross Race #3
This one's going to be special, the first of the winter Bandit Cross races and the first to move away from the modern cyclocross format and back to the old school out and back adventure style. I've been talking with various riding buddies about throwing a race on this, one of my favorite rides in the city, for at least the last year.
Typically you need to wait until late summer for both sides of the river to be good and rideable due to spring floods, but plans for a fall race were scuttled with the fall floods we experienced this year.
Well now that sand is frozen (or should be) and thus should be passable with skinny tires. It may end up being a course you need mtn tires for, it could be Pug conditions, who the hell knows? But that's part of the adventure.
I am also hoping to do a full Pug version later this winter.
We will meetup at 2pm at the Light Rail station on Hiawatha and 38th. We will then take the light rail (bring fare) out to the American Boulevard station in Bloomington and will start the race on the Low Road. We will race to the Cedar Ave Bridge, cross the bridge on the ped bridge under the highway, take a left onto the trail on the opposite side of the river and end the race at Lucky's pub in Mendota Heights. The winner is the first one to touch the wall of the bar.
Bring lights, tools, food, water and warm clothes. You are responsible for yourself and should be prepared to handle any situations that may arise. You will definitely be riding back to the city in the dark and will possibly be on trail after the sun has set.
Treasure, Matty, and myself spent Saturday drinking beer and riding Low Road to Sibley. We took the fat bikes out there since we were doing it expedition style (comfort, beer, lots of stops) and making a day of it.
We took the light rail to the American Boulevard stop - don't forget to bring fare for the race
We ran into some dudes on cross bikes who had ridden both sides and declared it good on 32c's. There is just a thin layer of crust over frozen sand. It rode pretty quick. I don't have pictures of it but the other side of the river is more rutted out. It too though is completely passable by cross bikes. I'm thinking a 38c tire is going to be just about perfect come race day provided we don't get more snow.
The ice flows in the river made awesome background noise as they crashed into each other
Underneath the cedar bridge. that elevated platform on the left is what we'll use during the race to cross to the other side. You just go under the bridge, hang a left, go up the ramp, ride across what you see here, and go straight off the down ramp onto the trail. From their it's a straight shot to the corrugated metal tunnel, past Sibley, then up the hill and to Lucky's in Mendota Heights.
Can't wait till Saturday. Expect the winners to finish the course in about 40 minutes or so. It's not going to be a long race, but you need to come prepared for the ride and any emergencies. You will also need a lock to lock up at the bar and lights to be safe on trail and on the way back home after the bar. I'd also recommend some spare clothes to change into for the way home since your race gear will likely get wet.
It's winter, but that won't stop us from living our lives to the fullest. Get out there and get shit done!