Gorge Gravel Grinder kicks off the Oregon Gravel Grinder Series. Although only one day, the Gorge Gravel Grinder Big Grind route covers 93 miles and 6,100 feet of elevation through the stunning Cascade Mountain Range that typically has warm temps and sun for spring riding. The course winds through The Dalles, where hundreds of miles of gravel farm roads are in excellent condition and offer amazing scenery; Cascade Mountain peaks, rolling wheat fields, and buildings from the late 1800s. This ride is a great way to start the biking season with many fast, rolling hills. Riders looking for less intense challenges can register for The Small Grind and The Medium Grind, which span 52 and 67 miles, respectively. Approximately 60% of each course is gravel. The Big Grind is the most challenging ride of the day, covering 93 miles. Aid stations are well-stocked and located along the course, every 20 miles. Mt. View Cycles is also on course for mechanical support. Special Blend Gravel (SBG) is also in the same Oregon town that ends it a 4-day multi-day event with the Gorge Gravel Grinder.
For the first time in gravel cycling, the Gorge Gravel Grinder introduces Gravel Pace Groups (GPG) on race day. The Gorge Gravel Grinding Pace Groups have been created to help take the nerves out of gravel riding and racing by offering an inviting, inclusive, beginner-friendly, supportive riding environment while promoting the camaraderie that makes the gravel community so spectacular.
Six pace groups will be available for all rider levels, with four groups for the 56-mile Small Grinder and two for the 67-mile Medium Grinder. Each group will be headed by an experienced Ride Leader, organizing and keeping the pace. At the same time, hand-picked Ambassadors will be within the pack, cheering riders on and celebrating with every accomplishment. Ride Leaders and Ambassadors will offer guidance and course knowledge and be able to support the pace group throughout the course.
Registration for any course option includes a custom t-shirt, lunch, pint glass, chip timing, and mechanical support. There are five categories, and Award Medals are given to the top 3 for each category in each distance: Small, Medium, and Big. Special awards are presented for the overall best time for Men and Women. Find specific packet pick-up instructions on the dedicated website and lodging details. There are special rider rates at the host hotel, Cousins Country Inn. Or you can reserve a dedicated camping spot at Dufur City Park with course registration. Dufur and The Dalles in Oregon has a quaint downtown with several restaurant options currently open for all meals; The Balch Hotel, We 3 Coffee & Deli, and Petite Provence Boulangerie & Patisserie.
Gorge is part of the Oregon Gravel Grinder Series produced by Breakaway Promotions which operates several other top single and multi-day gravel events. The full event line-up includes Gorge; Cascade, Oregon Trail; and Ochoco. There are discounts when riders register for three or four at a time. For all multi-day riders, this is your chance to experience some of the best gravel rides Cascade Mountain Range and the national parks of Oregon have to offer in the spring and summer.