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VO Pave Madness - Reading, VT

Team Bikeman - Race Reports

This was not a race, but so unique and fun I thought it worthy of a report. This was a new event described as a "rocky, muddy, climby MTB adventure". There were around 50 of us brave (crazy?) folks lined up for the mass start on a fresh summer day. We were off and led by one of the SAG wagons (modified 4x4 Range Rovers) up and up a gravel road that almost immediately splintered the pack. Not even two miles in and we hit the first Pave section. Pave sections are back country class IV "roads" that your stock wrangler would fail miserably at attempting. It's gnarly, tough, and steep. The day was spent going from Pave section to Pave section.

The loop was only 23 miles but it was almost always tough and rugged. Very rugged. Even though there was no singletrack, I can't recall a more technical MTB race or ride that I have done before. At least we'd get a small break between Pave sections. One of these breaks was a 30 minute gravel road climb. In the bright summer sun of course . Another break was when we had to carry our bikes across a stream that some beavers decided to turn into a pond - waist deep if you didn't hug the edge. And somehow out in the middle of nowhere was a water/food stop - in a ghost town (No, I didn't see any ghosts - I think being as I was too tired)

My favorite section was a "trail" that was basically a semi wide but shallow stream that was in a gully. The trail kept going from a patch of land on one side, to in the stream, to a patch of land on the other side and for the most part, was ride-able. The last two miles were a nice way to finish the day, back to a normal gravel road and a drop of almost 1,000 feet. At the finish were the necessities - a hose to clean yourself and the bike, and a food truck with tasty eats. From the sound of it, this event will happen again, and if you're up for an adventure, you should check it out.

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