Rasputitsa: For Bikers Who Love to Suffer
When roads in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom freeze and thaw with spring run off, the result is an unnerving surface, a mucky path as though the Green Mountains themselves were shifting into sand and moving underfoot. It’s an entirely other season, the muddy shoulder that comes before spring, marked with grey skies and cold temperatures and it is severe making it a perfect backdrop for a bike or so thought the co-founders of the Rasputitsa when they kicked off their event four years ago.
In short order, the race named for the season - Rasputitsa is a Russian word that speaks specifically to difficult roads – has claimed a spot in the schedule of every rider keen to faceoff against wheel-eating mud, rolling climbs and the type of dark weather that scarcely makes magazine covers or ad campaigns. Where mountains like the Rockies and the Alps sharply cut their way into active culture, this swath of the Greens seeps into the active life with the steadfast persistence of flannel fabric and root vegetables.
“Everything we've done in the past three years, we've never treated the Rasputitsa like an event, a race, or a company. It's way more intimate than that.” says Heidi Myers one of the founders and organizers of the Rasputitsa. “It really started like ‘Hey, let's get some friends together, ride bikes, and drink beer.’ There’s no lofty marketing budget, no deep prize purse, no pretentious culture. If you like riding your bike despite weather, conditions, and even passable roads, the Rasputitsa is for you. And supporting the growth of cycling with the profit we make, well that's just securing our future.”
Julbo USA is proud to sponsor the Rasputitsa. Mountain Performance Eyewear means eyewear for the whole mountain from summit peak to the craggy valleys that host the Rasputitsa. For more information see the event website at www.rasputitsagravel.com.