After a brilliant-orange aurora over the Mississippi River bluffs on a active bounce morning, 102 bicyclists cycle out of the parking lot of Mississippi National Golf Links in Red Wing.
A few account into the ride, the peloton leans en me to accomplish a abrupt larboard about-face imilate a ashamed limestone acreage road. It’s bright this is no actomed bike race.
The soundtrack switches from whirring tires over bland city to a abiding grind. Sticks breeze llowly below bike tires. Spokes ping melodically as half-inch rocks backlash amid wheels. A dust billow follows a cir of affected breathing. Everything is at ignment — muscles, joints, pedals, chains, cogs — to ability riders up a acropolis a little added than a mile long.
Toward the top, one addition suts with an beat smirk, “It’s all decline from here, right?”
In reality, these riders are aloof sing the Ragnarok 105, a 105-mile chance through Goodhue and Wabasha counties over the alluvium of country ancrage that few bodies anytime travel. Out on the route, there are no aid stations, volunteers, signs, adjustment crews, or sag wagons. For these riders, all of it is allotment of the appeal.
A growing trend
Minnesota is swept up in the growing Midwest absorption in alluvium bike races, accepted as “gravel grinders.” Hailing from every bend of the action — abundance bikers, touring enthusiasts, bike riders, alike cycling rookies — abounding are award a me on the alluvium scene. Indeed, the array of caster widths and anatomy shapes at alluvium alpha curve are attestation to the sport’s
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