BURKE MOUNTAIN, Vermont (April 23, 2018)
The Rasputitsa Spring Classic in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont is described as “a psychotic 45-mile, insane, drop to your knees and cry sufferfest.” Nobody enters this bike race without a sobering reckoning with one’s constitution.
So when Lindsay Warner of Hinesburg, Vermont, made the finish line on a TerraTrike recumbent three-wheeler, she turned a few heads and ticked off a few firsts.
According to race organizers, Warner was the first recumbent trike to enter the Rasputitsa Spring Classic. This very likely made a TerraTrike the first recumbent trike to finish any gravel grinder race in the U.S.
“Gravel grinders are what this trike was designed for,” said Jeff Yonker, marketing director at TerraTrike. “They are a great place for trikers to test their mettle and our hats are off to Lindsay for pushing through this punishing course…and with a broken hand!”
Usually a member of the Barker Mountain Bikes race team based in Maine, Warner rode the TerraTrike this year as a cross-training exercise due to her broken hand. Hundreds of participants didn’t make the finish line this year, so the fact that Warner made it in less than the 6-hour cut-off time is even more notable. She placed 21st in the 30-39 age bracket riding a diamond frame bike at last year’s Rasputitsa.
“I was surprised at how well the trike climbed,” wrote Warner via email. “With the exception of the three snow-covered Class IV roads/mountain bike sections, I rode every hill and never had to get off to walk. It was awesome!”
Started in 2013, Rasputitsa means ‘mud season’ in Russian and has attracted a cult following of riders to the hinterlands of Vermont from 16 states and four provinces of Canada.
“I think the coolest thing was that I was actually able to ride some of the snowy sections better than people on two wheels,” said Warner. “Usually when you start to lose traction on a two-wheeler, you tip over…and then it’s game over. Because I didn’t have any balance issues, I could move forward just as long as I could keep turning the pedals over without completely spinning out.”
Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, TerraTrike has been making adventure-ready recumbent trikes for more than 20 years. The Rambler All Terrain is one of their newest models specifically designed for adventure cycling and bikepacking.
Photos: Lindsay Warner, Chelsea Bradway-AllThingSparkley-Instagram, Rasputitsa Gravel Road Race