Three gravel events that locals have participated in quite a bit: Crusher in the Tushar, Rebecca’s Private Idaho, and Jay P’s Gravel Pursuit are all similar in that they feature substantial climbs and extended downhill sections. Here is how I would characterize the prominent feature of the descents.
Rebecca’s: angular rocks embedded in the road surface
Jay P’s: large ruts, often perpendicular to the direction of travel
Tire failure is fairly common in all of these events. Intuitively, I would say that tire issues should be most common at Rebecca’s, intermediate at the Crusher, and least common at the Jay P’s. The number of flat tires that I saw at Rebecca’s this year seems to support that hypothesis. However, based on an unscientific sample of the Rexburg crew, I think we have had more tire problems/tire problems per mile at Jay P’s than at either of the other two.
Kellen offered an explanation that seems very plausible to me: bunnyhopping. He and I are both pretty sure there is more bunnyhopping at Jay P’s given that nature of the obstacles. Presumably, the hard landings are causing more pinch flats for people running inner tubes and bead burps on tubeless tires than the rocks and washboard encountered elsewhere.
We are curious to hear your feedback. Do you believe that tire trouble is actually a bigger problem at Jay P’s? What do you think about the bunnyhopping explanation? Does someone have another explanation?