A Spring Classic // april 27, 2019
Rasputitsa is Russian for the mud season when roads become difficult to traverse. The Rasputitsa is a psychotic 40 mile, insane, drop to your knees and cry sufferfest with an absurd section so difficult that people won't believe your stories called Cyberia.
ON LOCATION: RASPUTITSA BY VELOCIO
Heidi had to yell to reach above the din of the David Bowie cover band playing in the Burke Mountain Hotel ballroom against a backdrop of bike industry brand tents and would-be Rasputitsa riders. “I can’t believe it keeps getting bigger,” she added.
PRETTY DAMNED FAST
The next mile was downhill in the same snow. I was able to ride sections of it, but ultimately had to walk the majority. Exhausted by the bottom of the hill, I didn’t even stop to answer the nice woman who offered me a dry pair of socks.
fifty shades of grit
Ultimately, Rasputitsa was a race of grit, on every level. Grit, permeating every inch of clothing. Grit, metaphor, driving every rider, from 1st (very much so) to last place. Grit, that quality the event’s organizers would surely be proud to identify with.
TO BE DETERMIND: IS IT A RIDE OR IS IT A RACE?
It is a memorable weekend away from the chaos of New York City with friends and teammates. It is a good excuse to drink some very good Vermont beers. It is a unique cross section of the cycling community coming together in a manner that is completely distinct to traditional USAC racing. It is something special.
to be determined: how the race was won
For me, the rest of the race was pedal as hard as I could until I couldn’t, join up with a group, drop them or get dropped, and climb on the tops and do everything else in the drops. I finally cracked for good on the last long dirt climb before the road into the CX course. I got halfway up, slowly rolled to the side, got off my bike, and leaned over it.
Around this time, mythical woodland creatures start popping out of the woods. I recognize the unicorn mask and the Narnia-esque faun from last year, but I’m amused to see a trio of devils—complete with tridents and horns—heckling and chasing riders up the last few steps to the top. There’s even a guy sporting head-to-toe leopard spots and cat ears.
the rasputitsa spring classic by tim johnson
“Being a road, cx and mtb racer in New England probably prepares you for an event like Rasputitsa without even knowing it. I had the chance to help create a new cyclocross-style finish including barriers, stairs and mud with my wife, Lyne Bessette, and then race at this year’s event…I loved it!”