Heard of this Melting Mann gravel road race happening on March 9th, 2014? We have. We signed up. We wondered what we’d gotten ourselves into. And so it was that Special Pedal Operational Recon Team (SPORT) found ourselves at Swiss Valley ski area in the middle of a rain squall on a sixty degree November Sunday.
We found mud. We found hills. We found a couple of nice looking swine farms. We found an incredibly strong headwind at times. We found a gang (or rafter) of turkeys. We had a really great time and somehow managed to do all of this within a brief period of unrain on this very damp day.
How does it compare to the mothership (Barry Roubaix)? Faster, would be my guess. The presumptive uphill finish looks like a crusher, but the course on the whole is a dandy — some big climbs typically followed by a bit of recovery. What kind of bike? We saw folks on mountain and fat bikes, but I’d say a cross bike would be the ticket for a fast ride.
In the event that you’re looking for something more… involved than sitting around in your underpants on March 9th, Melting Mann looks pretty darn good. Only 500 entries this first year, so don’t sit around thinking that you should maybe get to this maybe next month if not the month after. Who knows what the weather will bring, but course conditions are part of the fun.