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.
DMG will also stagger registration to make the race more accessible and diverse as possible. So, from March 16th through the 22nd, registration is reserved for only those who identify as female and/or BIPOC. General registration will open on March 23rd to everyone.
DMG is doing this because they believe in creating space for people who have generally been excluded in the past. To learn more, registration info can be found here- https://www.deadmangravel.com/registration/.
DMG is also partnering with Ride for Racial Justice and Shark Tooth Cycling, two non-profits doing incredible work in bringing new, and typically disadvantaged, athletes into the sport by helping to increase awareness and reduce barriers to entry.
Here is more information on the race itself:
There is no denying that gravel racing is exploding all across the country. And nowhere is that more evident than on the dirt roads and mountains surrounding Boulder, Colorado.
Dead Man Gravel is adding to that excitement by bringing a true gravel challenge to western Boulder County. Based in Nederland, Colorado, Dead Man Gravel is poised to be one of the highest and most challenging gravel races in the country.
Gravel is a safer, more communal, and a less lycra-clad scene than road riding, and that appeals to a broader range of people as a more approachable way to get into cycling and group riding. This more relaxed environment is what drew the founder of Dead Man Gravel to the sport from a professional trail running background, and what they seek to expand on.
The inaugural Dead Man Gravel will take place Saturday, July 31, 2021, with a start/finish in downtown Nederland, Colorado. Registration for Women and BIPOC riders opens March 16, 2021; open registration begins on March 23, 2021.
The event will have three course distances to appeal to every type of rider. For true Type 2 fun, there is the Tungsten Course at 66 miles; then there is the speedier, more road friendly 41 mile Gold Course; and the beginner friendly Silver Course that is a great intro to gravel racing with about 50/50 tarmac to gravel. All courses start in the eclectic mountain town of Nederland. Sitting above 8000’ at the base of the Indian Peaks it is the perfect launching point for any endurance adventure.
Dead Man Gravel believes that more people should be brought into the sport, not excluded. That includes womxn, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ and differently abled athletes. To help achieve this, Dead Man Gravel is partnering with organizations including Ride for Racial Justice and Sharktooth Cycling. These two nonprofits are doing incredible work in bringing new, and typically disadvantaged, athletes into the sport by helping to increase awareness and reduce barriers to entry. RagTag Outdoors was also brought on to help shape the inclusivity, diversity and environmental stewardship initiatives. Dead Man Gravel’s diverse board of advisors is also working to creatively decrease barriers and increase access to all riders.
Some of the ways they are working on this is by providing early and discounted registration for womxn and BIPOC athletes. Providing equal prize money and representation on the starting line among other things. Dead Man Gravel is also partnering with Ride for Racial Justice to give several athletes of color a spot on the starting line, personalized coaching and some basic gear. Dead Man Gravel will also be hosting women led/women only clinics aimed at reducing barriers around things like riding in remote areas, on trail bike maintenance and gravel specific skills.
“I’m so excited to be able to share all that Nederland and the Peak to Peak area has to offer, especially when it comes to having fun riding bikes on our amazing network of gravel roads,” said Gavin Coombs, founder of Dead Man Gravel. “This is going to be a fantastic event that hopefully helps continue to move the needle for increasing diversity and inclusivity in cycling, and giving people another much needed summer gravel race event outside of Boulder.” A former professional runner, Coombs is also the founder of Peak to Peak Endurance, an event management company that is putting on Dead Man Gravel as well as hosting retreat weekends and endurance coaching.
Coming out of the gate in partnership with Dead Man Gravel is Cutaway USA, a premium cycling clothing company based out of Charlottesville, Virginia. Inspired by their location in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Cutaway clothing is known for design, color, innovation, craftsmanship, and attention to detail. Cutaway USA is an outdoor industry leader in cycling kit design for cyclists, triathletes, and runners.
“We’re excited to work with Dead Man Gravel as they represent two things we hold dear at Cutaway USA: a desire to explore, and to share that exploration with as many people as possible,” said Cutaway founder Phillip Robb. “We look forward to partnering with one of the new challenging gravel races that showcases the best that their hometown has to offer. Rooted in east coast exploration and gravel riding, Cutaway is excited to see the continued growth of gravel across the US and especially excited to partner with such a unique event in Colorado.”
Additional sponsors and partners for Dead Man Gravel in year one include: Carbo Rocket and Spring Energy at the Gold Level and Eldora Mountain Resort at a Silver Level sponsorship; Megan Hottman Law Office, Kim Hullet Real Estate Broker Associate at Porch Light Realty and Knotted Root Brewing at a Bronze Level; Pure Power Botanicals, Weller CBD and Panaracer Tires at a Community Level; Look Cycles as our official pedal supplier; Elevation Outdoors is our official Media Partner.