Precisely because it has been almost entirely dry for the two weeks preceding, the Barry-Roubaix will be a sloshy, soggy mudfest. 

Yesterday, as the mercury inched past 80 degrees again, someone quipped by me that we have skipped spring altogether. In reality, Michigan has politely declined winter, too. The Barry-Roubaix’s illustrious history has been highlighted by low temperatures, including a less than balmy 19 last year. Even with the early start, there appears to be no need to worry about anything under 40 or so at Gun Lake this Saturday, though any Michigander will submit the assumed familiarity with our state that anything can happen at any time. Snow? Why not. Don’t rule it out.

If the forecast holds up, the roads will be wet and sloshy. Friday is 60% chance of rain and thunderstorms, with a similar forecast for race day. The wet comes at that precarious and uncomfortable early temperature of around 45, rising to 67. Riding soaking wet at 45 is miserable, and overheating with wet clothes at 67 is exhausting. A nice, waterproof vest or jacket that can be tucked into a pocket may prove invaluable.

Even with a lot of rain in the forecast, the roads should actually absorb it pretty quickly. The dry conditions of the past ten days means the water will run off, though a heavy down pour may back the sides of the gravel roads a bit loose and rutted. Ride the high side of the road to avoid the soft run off.