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What is 'Mixed Terrain' in your region?

Old 07-16-14, 08:08 AM
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What is 'Mixed Terrain' in your region?

And the question is really how does your region handle 'gravel grinder' or 'mixed terrain' Audax rides.

In Australia besides the normal road riding we have a Dirt Series whereby completing Dirt events of 35km, 70km and 100 in the same Audax year will qualify you for an award. The rides are done wholly offroad (or as close to) and a minumum speed of 10kmh instead of the usual 15kmh is allowed. Generally the courses are designed to be less technical as the distance increases, you can't have the 100km as technical as the 35 as the extra distance becomes the challenge for riders. Locally our DS rides have been popular this year, owed in part to our keeping the rides near facilities, on signed and known offroad routes and working hard on the 'fun' aspect. We've kept away from the previous attempts, courses with names such as 'There Will Be Blood' that for some reason drew few riders.

That's the Dirt Series, ratified by Audax Australia only and covered under the rules for Brevet Dirt:
"Brevet Dirt (BD) calendar events shorter than 200 kilometres where the route is primarily on unsealed surfaces, controlled similarly to BRM rides and registered with Audax Australia only."

A newer sort of ride is the 'gravel grinder' or 'mixed terrain' rides. There's an interesting read here and link to Wikipedia. Often these have been run as multi-length rides, you can opt for the shorter ride done wholly offroad that is covered under Brevet Dirt rules and ride speeds or do the longer which is a mixture of sealed and gravel, covered only under the normal road rules (Brevet Randonneur Mondiaux) and the usual 15kmh minimum speed for the whole length. There are no specific rules with our region for mixed rides, even the definition is a bit loose but the road rules are applied simply as the route is "primarily on sealed roads". Obviously the longer mixed are tougher and haven't been all that successful. I've noticed that the mixed rides are focussed on the distance and the unsealed sections are promoted as challenging, no allowance is made for these slower and often steeper sections and in a few ride reports the riders failed to make the qualifying time. Locally we're looking at trying some gravel grinder courses but success will be hard. Will anyone turn up for a start?

So how are 'mixed terrain' run in your neck of the woods and what rules or guidelines are used? What worked for you?
just4tehhalibut is offline  
Old 07-16-14, 08:30 AM
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the U.S. doesn't have separate rules. I am the owner of a 200k permanent that is about 1/3 gravel. It's a free route permanent, so that fraction can vary considerably. It would be nice to have a little more time to ride it, although a lot of the extra time is because of all the climbing. I rode it last month, and we took a route that included 15 miles on what's called a jeep trail, which is probably not a good idea on a timed ride. The preferred route has fairly decent roads. I wrote a thread about it in the gravel section here

Route is here, some of the gravel sections have street view

I have ridden it twice within the time limit, and I'm not a particularly fast climber. RUSA permanents actually allow a little less time for a 200k than ACP, this ride only has 13:20 time limit. We rode it in just over 13 hours. I expect better climbers could do it significantly faster, although I doubt there will be any 10 hour finishes unless the person is particularly fast

Last edited by unterhausen; 07-16-14 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 07-16-14, 05:27 PM
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We have several mixed terrain brevets in San Francisco Bay Area, ranging from a 200K with 50% off-road to a 600K with about 35 miles of dirt roads. A lot of climbing is involved as well, 200K has 12,500 ft of climbing (and descending), almost entirely on dirt. 600K has about 30,000 ft of climbing. Because these are regular ACP brevets, no additional time is allowed due to mixed terrain. Most people finish these events close to the time limit.
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