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Tell me about your gravel grinding rides

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Tell me about your gravel grinding rides

Old 04-26-17, 07:41 PM
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Tell me about your gravel grinding rides

I hope this is the right place to post this as I saw a section for cyclo cross but not for gravel grinding rides/races. I am excited about getting my Tamland 1 back from the LBS. That is to happen next Friday. I did do some research and see there is a Whiskey Rebellion ride close to Philly PA. I have ridden some really long distance rides like 200k 300k 400k 600k and 2 1200k rando rides along with some other rides. I have no clue how this relates to gravel grinding rides/races except maybe for some will power. To say I have the fever to ride some gravel grinder rides would be an understatement. Being hit by a drunk by his mirrors back in Jan. sure didn't help much for my love riding on the roads like I use to. This was my second time. I really don't know what I am in for until I get my bike back and do some riding on it. Just curious as to some of the rides/races others have done and maybe some mistakes or success stories you have. What ride would you do again? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I also thought my Tamland 1 was to have 3 water bottle bosses on it but couldn't find it.

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Old 04-26-17, 07:59 PM
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I'm not experienced, but one of the things I love about gravel riding is the comparative lack of vehicular traffic and the overall sense of adventure. I would say if you are doing rides of that length you should fit right in on gravel rides/races. Definitely involves more bike handling skills, especially when it rains or has rained recently. I don't worry about my time, I just focus on trying to keep the bike upright and and finishing. I have done 5 organized events in my region ranging from 32-50 miles, but I'm eager to push forward into longer distances and more challenging events.

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Old 04-26-17, 09:13 PM
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I guess I should have asked to list some of the best gravel grinding organized rides/races you have done. Which one would you do again, which one was the hardest and I know weather conditions plays a part in that? I did read about the 100 miler in Stillwater OK this year where they handed out some kind of sticks to clear/clean your drive train. I pretty much know I am not going to jump into the Kanza 200 right away. On my other rides once I get the fever I do read up on all the ride reports of the rides that I can find info on. I am curious since it's all new to me if the rides are on gravel roads how do the organized ride provide support for their rides? Do they have rest stops along the course every so many miles and I guess some are more supportive than others.

Congrats on your rides Primitive Don there is no better feeling of pushing through new frontiers and doing something that you thought wasn't possible.

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Old 04-26-17, 10:10 PM
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I havent done anything with the word "race" in it for 25 years. But I sure love exploring a new dirt road through the countryside or mountains.
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Old 04-27-17, 03:25 AM
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Chino Grinder in AZ is the only gravel race I've entered and the year I raced it was cancelled due to severely inclement weather (emergency vehicles could not access half the route let alone riding it). If weather was good I'd highly recommend it. 106 miles, roughly split in half gravel/pavement, long climb to turn around and then long descent with rolling gravel for the first and last 25 miles.
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Old 04-27-17, 06:47 AM
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Race the Wabash (33 mile), Otterbein, Indiana - mostly gravel, good climbs, need good brakes for wicked descents on gravel
Harvest 50, Zionsville, Indiana - mostly gravel, all flat
Gravel Grovel (20 mile), Norman, Indiana - big hills, beautiful scenery, need good brakes
Melting Mann (32 mile), Vandalia, Michigan, peanut butter mud almost the entire time, that was definitely the toughest due to the soft mud and climbs
Barry Roubaix (36 mile), Hastings, Michigan, cold rain and sandy mud, 2,200 feet of climbing, not as tough as Melting Mann due to difference in soil, more sandy

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Old 04-27-17, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Primitive Don
Race the Wabash (33 mile), Otterbein, Indiana - mostly gravel, good climbs, need good brakes for wicked descents on gravel
Harvest 50, Zionsville, Indiana - mostly gravel, all flat
Gravel Grovel (20 mile), Norman, Indiana - big hills, beautiful scenery, need good brakes
Melting Mann (32 mile), Vandalia, Michigan, peanut butter mud almost the entire time, that was definitely the toughest due to the sort mud and climbs
Barry Roubaix (36 mile), Hastings, Michigan, cold rain and sandy mud, 2,200 feet of climbing, not as tough as Melting Mann due to difference in soil, more sandy

Thanks for those rides info Primitive Don now I have some out of State rides to look forward to going to.

Thanks John_mct for the Chino Grinder AZ info looks like a ride I would enjoy.

Zman

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Old 04-27-17, 08:01 AM
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There's this big race with an entry fee that grows to almost $200 by the time I know if I will even be ready for that distance. I should just ride it myself the week before or after.
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Old 04-27-17, 09:02 AM
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I don't think the 2016 Tamlands had three bottle cages, but there are ways around that.

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Old 04-27-17, 07:14 PM
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You had my hopes up about a gravel ride near Philly but it looks like the Whiskey Ride is closer to Pittsburgh (doh). I like the camaraderie of gravel rides. People are really friendly as well. Check out the gravel fondo in PA in November:

https://gravelfondo.tumblr.com
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Old 04-27-17, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by 09box
You had my hopes up about a gravel ride near Philly but it looks like the Whiskey Ride is closer to Pittsburgh (doh). I like the camaraderie of gravel rides. People are really friendly as well. Check out the gravel fondo in PA in November:

Gravel Fondo
Yeah you're not gonna find lots of East Coast gravel rides or races near Mid-Atlantic cities because, well, there's not much gravel. Remember this is a genre born out of Midwest Boredom more than anything IMO...
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Old 04-28-17, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by john_mct
Remember this is a genre born out of Midwest Boredom more than anything IMO...
... and necessity.
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Old 04-28-17, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by 09box
You had my hopes up about a gravel ride near Philly but it looks like the Whiskey Ride is closer to Pittsburgh (doh). I like the camaraderie of gravel rides. People are really friendly as well. Check out the gravel fondo in PA in November:

Gravel Fondo
Now you know why I get lost on rides. I really didn't do the mapquest thingy and was thinking the Whiskey Rebellion had to be close to Philly;. Like you said (doh)

I see the link for that fondo for 2016 are they still having it for 2017 as I couldn't find a link.


Zman

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Old 05-09-17, 01:11 AM
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I met Primitive Don last year doing miserable Race the Wabash event 3 hours in the cold/rain. This year I only lasted nearly 8 miles before first real climb did me in with broken derailleur hanger. I also did first local even on take of mini kanza called IllinKanza doing 45 miles with creek crossing. This was my first dealing with chunky gravel along the route. It also made want built a gravel specific bike for this event this coming Oct.
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