Part of the crew pre-rode the FlannelGrinder course on March 31st. We made some slight changes to the rollout from the park to Yankee Jims Road which added a little over one mile to the total and a few more feet of climbing. See the updated route here:
After our wet and wild winter this year we were worried that our precious course may become impassable. We were hearing a range of “it’s a little washed out but totally fine” to “it’s not rideable and totally beat to ****”. Here are our thoughts on the situation.
There are a lot more potholes in the upper section of the descent. One section of the road was once washed out and looks to have been filled with rocks (pictured). There is one good line through it so we need to all be careful and give each other space through this. Remember THIS IS NOT A RACE. There are no prizes to those that bomb the descents the fastest and put themselves and others at risk. Be safe, courteous, and enjoy the view. Not often you get to see views like this.
The climb seems totally fine and there are a couple of waterfalls on the way up that are totally worth stopping at for photos. Enjoy this climb because it is absolutely beautiful! Look for a little snack stop once the road turns to pavement at the top. Refuel and share some stories!
Again, be courteous to each other on the descent and call out big rocks or holes in the road. There are a few surprises on this descent where IF you are going too fast you can end up in a giant hole. If you ride in a reasonable manner you will be able to see the big issues with enough time and ride around everything. There is a ride-able route around all obstacles on course. Just ride within your limits and be aware that there could be a road hazard around every bend.
Bring tubes and a pump! We had several pinch flats on this descent on both of our pre-rides. The rocks are very sharp and there are a lot of them. Tom’s truck will be following until Ponderosa and he will pick back up when you crest the summit on the other side of the river.
The climb out of Ponderosa is brutal. The road is steep and there are some washouts but again everything is rideable with the right gearing (we recommend a 32 tooth in the back). Once you get back onto the pavement you’ve got a few punchy climbs left and you’re back at the park!
Can’t wait to see you all out there on the 9th. Show me your flannel!
- Chris Stastny