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Getting started for long distance gravel events

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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.

Getting started for long distance gravel events

Old 12-06-12, 08:06 AM
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Getting started for long distance gravel events

Kierstin Kloeckner is planning for her first gravel road race. She gets advice from three gravel fanatics and shares their sage wisdom in the post linked below. I am definitely interested in doing one of these races in 2013.

https://bfw.org/2012/12/06/crushing-g...vel-road-race/
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Old 12-06-12, 11:10 AM
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If this is what floats your boat then you should also think about the Paris-Roubaix cyclo sportive event.
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Old 12-07-12, 08:02 PM
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This is not a thing yet here in PNW. If it becomes one I'd be pretty interested in giving it a shot.
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Old 12-07-12, 09:22 PM
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there's a lot of good gravel to be ridden in the NW (or most places if you look long enough)- why wait for a group to ride it once a year?

get out and grind it out. lots of good gravel in washington state, but the high altitude stuff is snowed out, you could ride over the Olympic peninsula and find plenty of snow free gravel in winter to ride on. heck, even closer to Seattle theres a lot of all-season gravel to link up on the eastside.
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Old 12-07-12, 09:22 PM
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[QUOTE=Barrettscv;15021184 I am definitely interested in doing one of these races in 2013.[/QUOTE]


Might I suggest the Almanzo 100 or the Heck of the North, both are free events (participants are drawn in a postcard lottery). I rode both this year and had a blast. The Heck was a bit more grueling with long stretches where there is pretty much no other human being for miles. Very cool.
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Old 12-08-12, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by SnowJob
Might I suggest the Almanzo 100 or the Heck of the North, both are free events (participants are drawn in a postcard lottery). I rode both this year and had a blast. The Heck was a bit more grueling with long stretches where there is pretty much no other human being for miles. Very cool.
We just rode 64 miles of the Almonzo 100 route out of Spring Valley last weekend.

Had a fantastic time, but let me tell you something.

Anyone that says there are no hills in Minnesota really out to try that route before using that line of thinking.

The route is really tough with 1000s of feet of climbing.

We didn't have humans in sight on the route, but we did see dozens of wild turkeys, eagles, hawks, owls, and deer.

Highly recommended.
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Old 12-08-12, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by marqueemoon
This is not a thing yet here in PNW. If it becomes one I'd be pretty interested in giving it a shot.
Check out the summer 200k route from the Seattle Randos. Robert put together a hella sweet route which was mostly gravel.
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Old 12-08-12, 06:47 PM
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Thanks for the article, this is something I've wondered about. In my very limited research of such events it seems registration is typically very limited and it might be hard to get into a given event.

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Old 12-08-12, 07:42 PM
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that's why people riding to ride long distances on gravel should just go do it- don't wait for entry in a limited field "race", simply go ride the terrain.

pardon my opinion but gravel grinder events are the new costume cyclocross just waiting to implode.
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Old 12-08-12, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Bekologist
that's why people riding to ride long distances on gravel should just go do it- don't wait for entry in a limited field "race", simply go ride the terrain.

pardon my opinion but gravel grinder events are the new costume cyclocross just waiting to implode.
This is not an all or nothing situation. Most riders I know ride gravel roads individually or as a group AND they also partake in limited entry gravel races.

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess that you are the kind of guy who takes things a little too seriously to have any fun doing them.
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Old 12-09-12, 06:14 AM
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I'm actually considered one of the funniest guys in every room.

All it's going to take is a crewe riding in dresses and these gravel grinders will begin to assume a carnival, RAGBRAI crossdress'd flavor.

'limited entry gravel events' could also become the elitist alleycats of the midwest fred and carbon coalition.

There's THAT much interest in gravel racing ride numbers have to be capped at ridiculously low numbers? is this because they are secretly unsanctioned road races sailing under the radar?

Hey, if it floats ones boat that's great.

I am a proponent that riders need not wait for a contrived event like a 'race' to go punish yourself on endurance gravel rides. The blissful solitude of the long distance rider really comes into its' own on a sufferfest of your own devising.

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Old 12-09-12, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Bekologist
I'm actually considered one of the funniest guys in every room.

All it's going to take is a crewe riding in dresses and these gravel grinders will begin to assume a carnival, RAGBRAI crossdress'd flavor.

'limited entry gravel events'
could also become the elitist alleycats of the midwest fred and carbon coalition.

There's THAT much interest in gravel racing ride numbers have to be capped at ridiculously low numbers? is this because they are secretly unsanctioned road races sailing under the radar?

Hey, if it floats ones boat that's great.

I am a proponent that riders need not wait for a contrived event like a 'race' to go punish yourself on endurance gravel rides. The blissful solitude of the long distance rider really comes into its' own on a sufferfest of your own devising
.
It's always interesting to hear a snob complain about other snobs.
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Old 12-09-12, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv
It's always interesting to hear a snob complain about other snobs.
I'm making a prediction based on the contrivances of the 'races'. Hardly complaints, but sorry you took it as such.

have you heard, there's a lot of people racing bikes in costumes on the weekends in the fall? they call it 'cyclocross'. I predict a trickleover effect.

My concerns about the dubious sanction of these races being akin to alleycats is appropos as well.

oh, i get it! you think bicyclists talking about carbons and freds, (My league, BTW..I'm quite 'Fredly') documented rider archytypes - in a discussion about 'limited field' unsanctioned gravel road 'races' so rarified they are exclusionary - makes them the snob if they point out the C&F omnipresence in these lofty events.

Got it!

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Old 12-09-12, 02:55 PM
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I "got it" on your first post.
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Old 12-09-12, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv
I "got it" on your first post.
cool! When i said there's a lot of good gravel to be ridden most places if you look long enough, why wait for a group to ride it once a year?get out and grind it out?

This is very good advice, and will lead to more enjoyment of gravel riding versus pining over glorified gravel alleycats for the C&F crowd.

have you been riding cyclocross races in a skirt, Barrettsv? not that i've got anything against it, it's funny.

I think gravel riding is great and have long encouraged cyclists pursue the wilder side riding wider tires on dropbar bikes. There was a lot of good rough riding advice in the linked article.

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Old 12-09-12, 06:55 PM
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What the he11 are you talking about?
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Old 12-09-12, 07:01 PM
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Who's drunk? Sheesh, touchy crowd.

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Old 12-10-12, 12:42 AM
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Originally Posted by CliftonGK1
Check out the summer 200k route from the Seattle Randos. Robert put together a hella sweet route which was mostly gravel.
I didn't really feel like I had enough butt-on-bike time to do a 200K comfortably last summer. I was bummed to miss it but I feel like skipping it was the right decision. But yeah, that seems like a good starting point for exploring.

Next hipster/dentist big thing or not I think it would be fun to race for a healthy distance over this kind of terrain.
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Old 12-10-12, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by marqueemoon
I didn't really feel like I had enough butt-on-bike time to do a 200K comfortably last summer. I was bummed to miss it but I feel like skipping it was the right decision. But yeah, that seems like a good starting point for exploring.
I haven't done any rando events since my fateful 400k a couple years ago, and haven't ridden anything longer than 110km. Maybe that will change for next summer, maybe not. If all I do in the future is 100km Permanents, I'll be OK with that, too.

A fun, easy gravel route if you're looking for something close to town; there's the Duvall-to-Rattlesnake Lake route along the Snoqualmie Valley Trail. Well maintained, packed gravel, only a few chewed up sections with hardpack dirt and some potholes, a bit of pavement connector, and a nice long shallow climb to finish things out up to the lake. It's about 50 miles r/t if you start at the police station trailhead in Duvall.
We should hit that up some weekend. Bring the lights and get an early start in the pre-dawn hours.
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Old 12-11-12, 01:05 PM
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I am definitely interested in doing one of these races in 2013.
Have fun.

Hope they close the road, I'd Hate to meet a Fast moving Logging truck, trying to get in those extra loads,
per day, on roads, Gravel, in the Forest, around here, the logging roads are 1 lane.
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