Colorado’s Next Big Gravel Race, the ‘Rad Dirt Fest in Maybe Colorado’s Next Big Boom Town–Trinidad?Submitted by Bill Plock on April 5th, 2021
The time capsule of Trinidad and the surrounding Spanish Peaks makes for the perfect back drop for what might become Colorado’s newest bucket list gravel bike and trail run event—Life Time’s ‘Rad Dirt Fest.
The city of Trinidad, nestled at the base of Colorado’s newest state park, Fishers Peak, located on the North side of Raton Pass, will host this event in early October. Trinidad, one of Colorado’s oldest and most preserved cities still flourishes with about 10,000 people but it feels like it hasn’t changed much since its heyday in the early 1900’s.
But it has changed–tons. As in tons and tons of coal that used to roll through here after being mined near the roads the ‘Rad Dirt Fest follows. Thousands of miners and their families lived in the Spanish Peaks area northwest of town leaving hundreds of miles of smooth gravel roads to play on a hundred years later. Read more
oday Adventure Fit announces the revival of Gold Rush Bike Rally, a gravel bike hootenanny in historic gold mining country west of Boulder, Colorado. The event combines the best elements of a gravel bike adventure, block party, and small town festival and is the sister event to the popular Old Man Winter Bike Rally. Similar to the Old Man Winter Rally, the Gold Rush Bike Rally is all about getting friends together for an adventure on Boulder County’s world-class gravel bike terrain and celebrating at the after party. As a fundraiser for the Town of Gold Hill and the Gold Hill School, the Gold Rush Bike Rally will allow the gravel bike community to give back to Boulder County’s top cycling destination.
The race is staged in front of the Gold Hill General Store in Gold Hill, one of Colorado’s oldest and quaintest towns, with dirt roads and a population just over 200 people. Despite its small size, Gold Hill is famous for its amazing gravel riding including the Switzerland Trail, which was a narrow railroad line that transported mining equipment throughout the Front Range of Colorado at the turn of the century, as well as Lickskillet Rd – the steepest road in the state with grades as steep as 22%. Read more
In its first year, Dead Man Gravel is the newest race to join the gravel racing circuit. Scheduled to for July 31, 2021 in Nederland, Colorado, this unique event strives to be both inclusive – as organizers believe everyone should feel welcomed, regardless of experience, race, gender or sexual identity/orientation – and challenging – as very few other races have as much climbing, technical sections, and sustained elevation.
To strike a balance between challenging and inclusive, Dead Man Gravel will feature three courses: the 66 mile Tungsten loop, the 41 mile Gold loop, and the 25 mile Silver loop, providing three distinct experiences for riders of all levels.
Northern Colorado contains some of the purest, rock and roll, mixed terrain experiences you can get in the world, that’s why we call it Gravel Graceland. Professional athletes Whitney and Zack Allison want to show you their favorite go-to routes and hidden gems in Gravel Graceland. The specific goal of this adventure is to be inclusive and an exposure focused-adventure to this region’s mixed terrain riding. Each days route will contain at least 80% dirt to pavement. The routes are challenging, fun, and exploratory, and will range between 39 and 48 miles each day with varying elevation.
Three stellar options in Fort Collins, CO: MAY 14-16TH, SEPTEMBER 3-5TH, AND OCTOBER 15-17, 2021. Read more
Ride for Racial Justice and SBT GRVL today announce a new, trailblazing partnership and athlete program that will bring greater diversity, equity and representation to one of the world’s most premiere gravel races. Launching today, the joint program offers 25 secured spots for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) cyclists at the starting line of the 2021 SBT GRVL race taking place in Steamboat Springs, Colo. BIPOC cyclists of all disciplines are invited to apply to the SBT GRVL X RFRJ BIPOC Athlete Program, which will also offer financial assistance through a fund to each of the 25 athletes to help cover costs related to transportation, lodging, coaching services, mentorship and gear to compete in the race. Read more
Biking over Rollins Pass was Epic, but far from historical. For thousands of years people have been traversing Rollins Pass. Native American hunting parties even built rock walls in the scree near the top to funnel game long before the first horse drawn wagons paid a toll to cross the Continental Divide in the 1870’s. In 1904 trains began to make the arduous trip passing through tunnels, twisting like a corkscrew and making their way to the top at 11,600 feet. The road grade had to be kept less than 4% to make it possible, but the biggest challenges came in the Winter when massive snow drifts would make it impassable.
On our bike ride we learned all about those drifts, but back in the day, particularly on the West side of the pass, huge snowsheds, miles long, were built in attempt to keep the tracks clear. In fact, near the top, above tree line, a small village named Corona (ironically) sprouted from the harsh landscape and housed stranded train crews and service personnel to provide brief respite from the bitter conditions. Read more
“Gravel” refers to essentially any non-paved road: jeep trails, utilitarian public or private country roads for farming, ranching, or oil/gas companies, and even roads that have been decommissioned. Surfaces can be gravel, mud, packed dirt, sand, and pebbles. Gravel bikes are ready for anything: washboards, singletrack, bikepacking, and pannier-loaded errand runs.
One of the biggest differences between road, mountain bike and gravel riding are that conditions can vary more on gravel rides. Due to weather, the different types of gravel roads, and the limitations of skinnier tires when compared with mountain bikes, gravel riders must be ready for any adventure. Several gravel events have required the participants to carry their bikes for miles due to mud and difficult terrain. This is all part of the “unknown” adventure that appeals to many gravel riders! Read more
Team Evergreen Cycling and Desert Gravel are teaming up to present the inaugural Co2uT gravel race, scheduled for October 10th, 2020. This unique “Desert Gravel” event starts and ends in Fruita, CO, and travels around and across the Colorado-Utah borderlands.Taking advantage of all the vast and stunning Grand Valley, the Co2uT gravel race offers five different course options, named after the dinosaurs that once roamed the area. Courses range from the 30-mile “Fruitaden” up to the 185-mile ‘Allosaurus’ / a.k.a. “The BIG Monster”. “The dinosaurs ranged in size and ferocity — just like our courses,” said Morgan Murri, Race Director and founder of Desert Gravel. “We wanted to offer a distance and route for everyone with affordable race fees to match. No matter which route you choose, you pay $1 per mile.” Read more
This is an excellent article by Neal Rogers of Cycling Tips. At the recent Endurance Exchange, the future of “Gravel” was a hot topic and it was suggested that 2020 will be an interesting year…this offers some great insight as to why……
The gravel phenomenon that’s taken root in American cycling shows no signs of slowing down in 2020. New events are selling out in a manner of minutes. Bike brands are marketing gravel-specific wares ahead of other disciplines. Former WorldTour pros are finding a new home in a friendlier, dust-covered peloton. Gravel triathlons are popping up across the United States. There’s even a gravel-racing commercial slated for the upcoming Super Bowl. Read more