Rouleurs : Chapter I

Rouleurs : Chapter I

Rasputitsa means "mud season" in Russian. More specifically, it refers to that period in early spring when the snow melts and reveals roads and fields caked with mud. That and other debris kindly left behind all winter by neighboring dogs… In short, this was the state of the course and the smell in the air that accompanied Rasputitsa. After the race, I join Matt Surch from the Tekné team based out of Ottawa. Vice-champion for the second consecutive year, I ask him how it went. "I got beat. Ansel Dickey won. He's a climber and I'm not a climber like he is. " Thanks Matt for the concise summary…

As Marius and I were walking up to the US border to gather information, a custom’s officer came out of his booth, his right hand gently resting on his gun. “Can I help you?” the officer asks. “Yes, can you tell us if we’re in the right lane to cross the border with our truck?” I respond in a tone of equal parts confidence and naivety. The officer answered back sharply, “Are you out of your mind? You can’t just walk up to the border like that! How am I to expect anything but the worst of you? How do I know that you’re not a terrorist? You do that on the other side [the Canadian border] and they’ll fuck you up! Those guys don’t mess around, they’re fucking crazy”…

 

With this slightly paranoid, if not downright distrustful greeting from the American customs agent, we were finally in the United States. Five guys packed into a large pickup truck on Highway 91 South, headed for East Burke, Vermont, ready for the Rasputitsa. Ready for the race. Ok so perhaps I was in a slightly naive state of mind on that Friday, April 15, 2016.  But hey, some people are paranoid, others naïve, to each their own bad habits.

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