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Midwest gravel race overview/reviews

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Midwest gravel race overview/reviews

Old 09-07-16, 07:42 AM
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Midwest gravel race overview/reviews

Beginner gravel hack here, wife for Father's Day last June gave me 1 long race that I'm allowed to get out of town for and away from kids responsibility etc, one in each month of May, June, July, August. Great present by the way.

So can anyone give a quick review, recommendation, warning, etc about the following Midwest gravel races? And if there is a cool one I'm missing, please add it, thank you.

May: Almanzo 100, Minnesota

June: Dirty Kanza 100 (not 200), but I'm thinking it might be too intense, gravel too rocky for someone newer to the sport; Kansas

Lusten 99er: Mountain bike race, Minnesota, 99 mile with shorter options; looks like more gravel roads than trails

July: can't really find any July rides in the midwest, suggestions?

August:

-24 hours of Cumming, Iowa, 60, 120, 180, 240 options
-Courage Ride: Iowa, supported gravel ride

Thanks.

Benny
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Old 09-07-16, 08:18 AM
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Not a lot of people in flyover country here lol I kid, I kid, I have ties to the midwest so I'm allowed to joke! I have no experience, but have thought about trying one if I happen to be visiting in-laws at the right time. I will say, though, having recently rented a gravel bike (not purposefully, it's what they had in stock) and riding some gravel paths and how many dirt roads they have, I could see myself being more of a gravel rider if I lived where my in-laws are.
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Old 09-07-16, 08:55 AM
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Sorry, I see this is 'road bike racing.' I will re-post elsewhere.
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Old 09-07-16, 09:04 AM
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I think there is enough discipline/race type cross over, but not enough geographic cross over. [MENTION=99188]tetonrider[/MENTION] and [MENTION=290080]Andy STi[/MENTION] seem to be pretty well versed in not quite road races, but not sure if they've done anything out that way.
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Old 09-07-16, 09:07 AM
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I have a buddy who's done Dirty Kanza twice. From what I remember, he said the first time was great. Second time, he got mired in the mud and his RD snapped. So, he didn't finish.

Still, I think he had a lot of fun. I say give it a go.
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Old 09-07-16, 02:06 PM
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I live in Minnesota, and have done Lutsen and Almanzo.

Almanzo is brutal and fun, this year it was 34 F at the start and the wind was a relentless 20mph. You never get a break, you are either climbing or riding mind numbing flats with wind, but if the weather plays nice it is awesome and a great time.

Lutsen is actually pretty easy compared to Almanzo, great weekend trip with the family, the north shore is beautiful and the race is very family friendly, a day in the car and your family can see you 3 times on course. This year it was a full on lightning storm for the 99er and 69er races, some even got hailed on.

Have you looked into RAGBRAI?
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Old 09-08-16, 08:58 AM
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While, I'm from Chicago I never raced gravel events.

For July I would hugely recommend heading to Utah for Crusher in the Tushar, amazing race - check it out. Or, just head up to WI and race TOAD.
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Old 09-08-16, 09:42 AM
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Agree with Sully on both his observations about Almanzo and Lutsen. Both are good events that have an event feel to them, not purely racing (which with this year's wind, and some long stretches with fresh gravel, made the hot dog at mile 68 of Almanzo taste like ambrosia).

I was pretty impressed with the "event" feel to Lutsen. Not the hardest (MTB technical features) race we've ever done, but it was pretty fun (did the 69er). Imagine that, fun.

Take a peek at Barry Roubaix near Grand Rapids, Mich. Another top-notch event that is much more of a "race" than Almanzo.

Oh, Almanzo is free, BTW. Just send in your registration card (the more creative, the better).

Not sure what 2017 holds for our more epic events. Emporia, Ks., is a real possibility
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Old 09-09-16, 08:41 AM
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Thank you guys for the input. Quick question: is a Roubaix like the one cited here (Barry Roubaix), are they more gravel/road type combos? How is Roubaix defined? Thank you again.

Benny
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Old 09-09-16, 09:29 AM
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Benny:
Roubaix is applied to all sorts of events. It generally has some combination of road surfaces. I've seen the term applied to events that are 90/10 gravel to tarmac to 10/90 gravel to tarmac. You'll occasionally see straight up road races (with some cobble or unique surface chucked in) with the Roubaix name attached to it. There's a good bet if it says Roubaix it involves some level of dirt/crappy tarmac.

While we're on the topic of Roubaix, here's another event for you in Wisc. : DAIRY Roubaix
https://www.facebook.com/Dairy-Roubaix-195345600553951/


This one includes mixed surfaces AND hills. LOL
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Old 09-09-16, 11:17 AM
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And with Barry Roubaix being in Michigan, the non paved roads are probably in better shape than the paved roads.
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Old 09-13-16, 04:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Wylde06
And with Barry Roubaix being in Michigan, the non paved roads are probably in better shape than the paved roads.
TRUTH!!! Unless you head to Northern Michigan.... there are some pretty amazing paved roads up that way!

But yes, we have some pretty amazing gravel roads... in much better shape then a lot of paved roads for sure! I've done Barry Roubaix the last 2 years and it's been an amazing ride! Close to 3,000 riders! It's quite the sight to see! (i do the short route and end up way in the back so get to see everyone lined up in front of me).
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Old 09-13-16, 08:34 AM
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I may do the Belgian Waffle Ride in San Diego. Not sure if that's mid enough but its west!
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Old 09-13-16, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Wylde06
And with Barry Roubaix being in Michigan, the non paved roads are probably in better shape than the paved roads.
That is definitely the truth. You can tell right away when you cross a state line into Michigan. No signs needed.
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