For the sixth time, the Gosh Darn Gravel Gathering popped up in the hills and hollows of Hickman County, Tennessee. Each route was jam-packed with a variety of gravel and a multitude of creek crossings. Riders take their pick of the 19, 42, 63, and 100-mile routes. The goal is not to win, but to simply have a gosh darn good time.
Back in 1999, a rider named Jon Anderson got the idea to start a group ride in his old stomping grounds around St. Francisville, Louisiana, West Feliciana Parish and Wilkinson County, Mississippi. Jon had been riding these roads since the early 80’s, as a form of escapism and reflection. Like most cyclists I know and ride with, Jon enjoyed a bit of pain at the hands of the dirt gods.
It wasn’t until the early 2000’s that the Rouge Roubaix shifted from being a group ride to a sanctioned event. Racers from all over the Southeast came out for promises of punchy, steep climbs, lots of gravel, scenic roads and yes, pain. It boasts 100 ish miles, with 30-40 miles of undulating gravel and dirt roads. This year, the Rouge is being run by Will Jones, the current organizer and I gotta say, he really delivered a hell of an event!
As part of an ongoing story detailing the design of a new disc road bike, Ben from Argonaut Cycles flew out two members from the Rapha / River City Bicycles Team to race with as well as Brian Vernor and myself to document the event, the culture surrounding it, the performance of the bicycles and let’s be honest, to experience one of the oldest and most intriguing gravel races in the United States.
See more narrated photos in the Gallery and don’t miss those last two photos!
Photos by Fredrik Posse
It’s not everyday that PiNP does a Reader’s Rides post. In fact, it’s been months! When I received this email from Fredrik however, I had to share. The world of the fat tire road bike has expanded rapidly with the growing popularity of ‘gravel grinder’ rides. While I’ll say that cross bikes are the best all-rounders, some people want to tune their ride with a slightly different characteristics.
That’s what Fredrik achieved with his his new ride. Check out more below!