Questions about the road conditions for our rides at the Rensselaerville Cycling Festival? You came to the right place. We have all the answers here.
Our routes all include some super-smooth freshly paved tarmac, but they also all veer slightly off the beaten path. Don't fret - our gravel roads will be a blast and it is nothing you and your road bike with standard road tires can't handle.
We'll have spare tubes and tires from Vittoria in neutral support cars on course and at all our aid stations, but it's a good idea to carry a tube or two yourself so you don't end up waiting for help on the side of the road while the good times roll on by. It'll also be wise to check your tire pressure with Mad Dog Bicycles at the start area before you head out to make sure your steed is topped up and ready for the adventure.
Below are the details on the 3 sections of gravel out on course.
We had hoped that a short gravel section (less than a mile) on Bryan Road in Rensselaerville in the closing miles of each route would be paved before the Festival. But it won't be, so Festival Ride and Fondo participants will encounter this bit of wooded gravel road, which includes a short, steep rise. Make sure you shift to an easier gear before you hit this little hill and you should be able to handle it.
The Town of Rensselaerville will be grading Bryan Road just before the Festival to make it as smooth and painless as possible for all participants.
ALL HAIL THE SHALE
Medio and Gran Fondo riders
The entry onto Shale Pit Road is a short and steep kicker, but then this gravel section turns into a rolling and predominantly uphill blast. This is a portion of the "Gravel Grovel" Ride With GPS Segment, so you can test out your gravel-road handling skills here if you're feeling competitive.
This 3-mile gravel section is somewhat challenging on the downhill portions of the rollers, but it won't be too bad if you take your time and ride carefully. The town of Conesville will be redoing the longest downhill stretch near the end of this section to make it as safe as possible.
PAIN IN THE ASHLAND
Gran Fondo riders only
Participants in the Gran Fondo are in for a treat when they hit mile 35 and begin the "Pain in the Ashland" Ride With GPS Segment. This challenging 2-mile switchback climb on a seasonally-maintained gravel road in the Ashland Pinnacle State Forest averages 5% and reaches gradients of 17.5%.
The challenge will be worth it at the top when you reach a clearing are afforded sweeping, majestic views of the Catskill Mountains. Take caution on the first 200 meters of the descent before you hit asphalt again.