Sunday, April 18, 2010

Almonte Roubaix Recon


A solid group of about 15 Tall Tree riders and friends met at the arena in Almonte this morning to recon next Sunday's route. We pulled in to the parking lot to the sight of another group getting ready to roll, comprised mainly of Cyclery folks. Ian, the route master, was also there, and asked both groups to test a new section off Darling Rd, looping back to Tatlock, approximately 6k long with a couple good climbs. We were keen to comply; what might the section bring?

The dirt throughout the route was in excellent shape today, having soaked up the recent rain. Buff would be appropriate. The wooded sections are in very good condition, with just a couple puddles in the final sector, Concession 6D. Only one flat was sustained over the route.

The potential new section was outstanding, possibly the finest dirt road sector in the while route, featuring rolling turns and beautiful surroundings. A couple good climbs figure, on around 15%. The sector would add about 11k to the route, for a total of about 97k. Our group would be happy for it to be included, as we think it is a high quality sector that would definitely enhance the route. Yes, 10 or so kilometers on top of a hard ride can be crushing. If the sector is added, I hope Bob makes the distance clear to everyone so there are no surprised. I think bringing the route up to just under 100k is perfectly appropriate for the spirit of the event; people simply need to know what they are in for and how to meter their efforts. The new sector would fall between about kilometer 57 and 68, from the arena. I hope it makes it in.

Hope to see you all there on Sunday.


West Quebec Wheelers said...

What would be your bike/tire recommendations?

Matt Surch said...

As of our ride on Sunday, tire choice is pretty broad. Neil rode 23s without incident. I rode 30s without incident, but on the trail sections I'd say I definitely had an edge. The dirt roads were for the most part smooth with pebbles sprinkled over them. The one fresh gravel construction zone was rough, and pointy, but its short, and might be gone by Sunday. Most of us like to ride larger tires all the time, so that's our bias, but I'd say 25s or 28s are both good options. If it does indeed rain, clearance will be a major concern, so tires will likely be chosen on that basis. If you intend on running tires that run super close to your frame and fork, you might consider downsizing if it rains. If its raining the whole time, the mud will clear away, but if it rains then stops it will pack up. Like all offroad disciplines, choosing tires is part of the challenge, and the fun.

Matt Surch said...

...and bike choice depends on tire clearance and conditions. Road bikes were good last weekend, but the cross bikes might have an edge if its muddy....