Our favorite gravel event, the Ruta Del Jefe, is returning in 2022 with registration opening up November 21-24th. This event takes place in Southern Arizona, in and out of Patagonia’s surrounding mountains and dirt roads. It’s an amazing weekend and hopefully you can make it to the 2022 event! That said, there’s a lot to digest about how you can enter, where the RDJ is being held, who is a part of the event, and what the event’s intent is, so for those unfamiliar with the Ruta del Jefe, read the full press-release from Sarah Swallow below and check out our event Reportage in the Related Archives. Holler in the comments with any questions and we hope to see you there!
Ruta del Jefe is a weekend of adventure, education, advocacy, and community in the Sky Islands region of southern Arizona on March 4-6, 2022.
With a limit of one hundred participants, an educational format, five route options, and a fundraising goal of $30,000, RDJ fosters a fun, intimate, and welcoming environment for connection, inspiration, and personal challenge. Registration opens the week of November 21, 2021. Learn more about Ruta del Jefe by visiting www.rutadeljefe.com.
The event seeks to create lifelong advocates for the region by hosting talks by local Indigenous, conservation, and humanitarian aid organizations to give participants a greater context for the land they will be traveling within.
In addition, RDJ hosts an optional participant-led fundraiser that benefits the following organizations; Indivisible Tohono, No More Deaths, Cuenca Los Ojos, the Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch, Save the Scenic Santa Ritas, and the Arizona Trail Association. The fundraiser encourages participants to take an active role in learning about and advocating for the Sky Islands region leading up to, during, and after the event among their family, friends, and social networks.
Participants have the option to choose between the following self-supported rides: a 135-mile adventure ride which largely follows the Sky Islands Odyssey East Loop, a 70-mile adventure ride, a 55-mile gravel ride, a 28-mile gravel ride, and a 12k run/ride.
RDJ takes place at the Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch (AWRR) in Elgin, Arizona. The AWRR protects 8,000-acres of semi-arid grasslands from human impact as much as possible and measures what happens to a place and its plant and animal populations over time. As the venue for RDJ, the AWRR provides permitted access to an intimate and beautiful location for participants to camp and ride the surrounding dirt roads.
Festivities such as a bird and bikes ranch tour, live music, scavenger hunt, happy hour, yoga, and delicious vegan meals by Ruchikala bring people together throughout the three-day weekend.
In 2022, RDJ will require proof of vaccination to attend the event.
In 2020, registration spots for RDJ sold out in under 10 minutes. Therefore, to make registration more equitable, RDJ will open registration for the following groups at the following times on a first-come, first-serve basis.
-November 21, 2021 – People who identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, person of color). 25 person limit.
-November 22, 2021 – People who identify as LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, non-binary). 25 person limit.
-November 23, 2021 – Subscribers to the Sarah Swallow Dispatch. 25 person limit.
-November 24, 2021 – General registration. 25 person limit.
If you identify as BIPOC and/or LGBTQ+, you can sign-up to receive a priority registration passcode by filling out this short form.
Understanding that systematic racism and other injustices have created more significant barriers to participation in outdoor recreation events among Black, Indigenous, and people of color, RDJ seeks to increase access and reduce barriers for up to ten participants who identify as BIPOC.
Recipients will be given free registration to Ruta del Jefe (including meals and camping) and will not be required to fundraise or pay the donation portion of the event fee.
You can apply for a Ruta del Jefe scholarship by filling out this form. Applications are due by November 17, 2021 at 11:00 p.m. MST.
Ruta del Jefe is presented by Sarah Swallow and Specialized Bicycles with support from Rapha, Ride with GPS, Ombraz, and Campfire Cycling.
Learn more about these event partners’ role in creating a financially accessible and charitable event by reading RDJ’s transparency statement.