The Raspu-Who? AKA… Rasputitsa 2015 Prep

Ohhhhhh Lawdy.  I’ve done did it now.  I have signed myself up for some ridiculous shit in the past, but this weekend might be one of the more ridiculous things I have up and decided I am capable of doing.

On Saturday I will take part in the Rasputitsa (aka Russian for Mud Season… loose translation: “quagmire season”), a 40(ish) mile gravel road race in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. 

Now, before we address your raised eyebrows and the obvious question at hand (what in the f@*&$$$$#k made me think this was a good idea?) There is one thing that MUST be addressed:

How in the HELL do you pronounce Rasputitsa?

I have googled this to no avail (disclaimer… I didn’t try very hard).  So, we just make up a different pronunciation every time.  I would love to know the real way though.

  • Ras-Pooh-Tits-uh?
  • Ras-puh-Teets-ah?
  • Rus-puh-tits-uh?

Whatever.  Someone tell me.  And I digress…. anyway, back to it. 

Gravel road race, I thought.  Could be fun, I thought.  What a challenge, I thought!  So I signed up.   And then thought about what gravel road “race” (aka fast-ish bike ride because let’s face it… bike racing ain’t my strong point) in April…. in Vermont… would mean.  It’s always best if I think about the details after I’m committed.  I do my best work this way.

photo from Rasputitsa Facebook

I imagine it will feel like I will be trying to ride my bicycle through some combination of what will likely feel like a slush puddle, quicksand, pot of Elmer’s glue, or all of the above all at once.  Should be amazing.  No, really.

I googled pictures.   I checked their Facebook.  I looked at the Strava route and elevation profile.  I read some recon reports (like the fantastic blog post here).   I checked the weather.  I checked the weather again.   I checked the weather again.   I panicked.   What bike do I use!?  What was I THINKING!?  These people are hard core! 

Yeah… I dunno.  There are some big pointy things on that elevation chart.


This forecast?  Has been different EVERY time I’ve looked at it.  Ay, yi, yi

And then I got my shit together and realized it’s going to be challenging.  It’s going to be sloppy.  It’s going to be a bit of a suffer-fest.  And I am GOOD at that.  Most of all?  It’s going to be freaking FUN.   And it benefits a great cause – the Halo Foundation, which helps provide resources to local community members with cancer.  Cancer sucks.  Bikes don’t. 

So I poured myself a beer, made my packing list, and wrote this while drinking said beer.  CHEERS!  See ya in the mud.  I decided to play it safe and ride my trusty old Giant xtc hardtail mountain bike.  I am no expert, but I know how to mountain bike in the mud.  So here we go!  I hear there will be maple syrup… and donuts… and beer.  What more could a girl ask for??

Don’t judge.


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