Winter is closing in fast up in the Minnesota tundra, but there was one last nice day this weekend! I was able to scope out the course for the 52 mile stage of the Minnesota State Gravel Championships in Northfield, MN.
It was an absolutely beautiful course with many “calendar shots” of farm land and country side. The beauty of the surroundings was only outdone by the beauty of the gravel roads! Nearly the entire course was hardpacked, smooth gravel except for a few short paved sections. There was very little “washboard” gravel and when there was, it could usually be avoided by choosing a new line. The course rolls through the countryside and has a few notable back-to-back rollers at the halfway point, certainly a place to attack for those racing the event.
The most stunning and fun part of the course was Lake Ave. We almost missed the turn onto Lake Ave. because at first glance it looked like a driveway! It’s a one lane road a mile or so long going right through the middle of a corn field. It was rutted, it was rocky, and it was amazing!
If you can brave the weather, I’d strongly recommend this course as it is beautiful and the roads are in great condition.