This weekend, June 19th – 23rd, is the Oregon Trail Gravel Grinder. It’s a point-to-point stage race along the Oregon Trail. For five days and 400 miles, racers and riders will venture into the Cascade Range, get covered in dust, sweat, and then arrive at camp each night, where they can recover and prepare for the next day. If you’re going, we’d love to hear from you, especially if you plan on riding the course and taking photos along the way. Drop a line in the comments and email us.
Y’all tired of Kanza stories yet? Nope? Well good! ENVE was there and they pulled together a great recap video!
A String of Conversations along the Dirty Kanza XL
In the last week of May, Lael Wilcox rode 650 miles from PEARL iZUMi headquarters in Louisville, Colorado to Emporia, Kansas with Dylan Morton. She rested for 2 days before starting the DKXL, a 339 mile self-supported gravel race through the Kansas Flint Hills. This is the second year of the race.
With Lael and Rue’s exceptional DKXL piece up on the site today, I thought the DK200 winner’s bike would make for a nice addition to today’s coverage. Colin Strickland is a friend from when I lived in Texas. He used to crush the road and ‘cross races and now with his new team, Meteor x Giordana with Kevin Girkins, he’s had great success at the Belgian Waffle Ride and the DK200. Allied has an exceptional bike check up on their blog, so if you’re interested in reading about Colin’s setup, the new Allied Able, you should head on over to check it out.
The Dirty Reiver returned this year and Bombtrack was there, documenting the madness. What a crazy looking race! Were you there? How was it?
We’ve got mountains of photos to work through from last weekend’s gravel races with Rugile Kaladyte delivering Dirty Kanza photos and John cranking on Lost & Found. Stay tuned!
We’ll be there for another grueling year of Lost Sierra back roads and the nonstop party that is the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship’s hardest race! See ya there?
With Dirty Kanza, Lost & Found, as well as other gravel events approaching this weekend, it’s always entertaining to see how racers outfit their bikes for long, hard rides. When it comes to 100+ miles of dirt roads, your wrists and quite frankly, ass will take a beating. With brands like Redshift offering suspension stems, brands like Cirrus Cycles look to offer a coil sprung seat post option for giving your tush some more compliance with their Kinekt line. Cirrus makes both carbon (pictured for $329) and aluminum suspension posts (for $249), in various weight classes to offer a more compliant ride for 27.2 drop bar bikes.
Check out more information at Cirrus Cycles.
Ted King knows Kanza is coming and the best way to prepare for DK is to take on all the gravel races beforehand for training purposes. In the latest video, he takes on the Belgian Waffle Ride.
Shimano’s new GRX drivetrain dropped today, designed specifically for gravel riding and gravel bikes, toating improved ergonomics and gear ranges with both 1x and 2x options. See more information at Shimano. While we’re at it, Shimano sheds some light on what they think is ideal gravel gearing at their blog. What do you think?
The RPM90 team takes to a strip of Tuscan Strade Bianche in this video while supplying beautiful video clips. For more information about RPM90 gravel and road biking trips, check it out at RPM90.
Whoa whoa whoa. What? Last year we saw a plastic shelled prototype of Niner’s full suspension all road, the MCR 9 RDO, and this year at Sea Otter, the brand teased an updated prototype, to the shock and awe of trail shredders and roadies alike.
Niner calls the MCR 9 RDO their Magic Carpet Ride, alluding to the cushy feel that full suspension offers all-day gravel racers. Their theory is the suspension allows riders to run their tires at higher pressures, avoiding snakebite tire tears, rim damage, and less rolling resistance, all with 50mm x 27.5 clearance. Their CVA design – constant varying arc – boasts modified leverage ratios for less travel and total lockout maximizes energy on pavement climbs. The frame is made from Niner’s RDO carbon layup, with one piece forged linkages, has a removable front derailleur mounts and has full sleeve internal routing.
While this bike might not be for everyone, it is cool to see. If you’re feeling this design, let Niner know in the comments and be on the lookout for the MCR 9 RDO late 2019.
Looking for a reason to head to the Green Mountain state this summer? Check out Ted King’s new event, Rooted Vermont. Check out the press release for the event below!
Podia takes to the beaten paths of Beskid Niski for their latest Gravelventure.
This dream build will be what the newly formed Easton Overland team will be riding at next weekend’s Land Run and future events to come. Not too shabby!
After spending New Years in Tucson, I had to come back for more before the season kicks up and I find myself on the road throughout the spring and summer months. It did not disappoint. From the Super Stoke Weekend, to the Ruta Del Jefe, and much, much, more. I got my fill of the Sonoran desert, those mighty Saguaros, and all the delicious food. Expect more coverage to come in the next few weeks!
Photo by Stephen Lam
Laura King, an accomplished cyclist, and Ted King’s partner wrote a great piece at her Exposure blog that delves into gender parity in the gravel scene. You can check it out at her Inner Voice blog.
Over the past few years, there’s been an awakening of sorts within my scope of reporting and documenting cycling: when I travel to cover an event, or set out to ride in even a familiar landscape, I like to know the geopolitical, geographical, and geological history of the land in which I’ll be pedaling across, over and through. As much as this awareness contributes to a better understanding of the land we all recreate on, it’s also a way to pay respects to the prior inhabitants of these fragile landscapes.
This interest in the background and history of a place was a large motivation for me to take part in the Ruta del Jefe: a race through the San Rafael Valley, and Santa Rita Mountains, coordinated by Sarah Swallow. Last weekend, the race went down, and up for that matter, all around the San Rafael Valley, but the weekend had much more on the agenda than just riding bikes: it was a lesson for us all in how to sustainably use the land and how we could offer up our recreation as a resource.