The Luton Park Time Trial is a fast and furious mountain bike race taking place in Luton Park (as you could have guessed) on some absolutely splendid single track. While this is an unsanctioned USA mountain bike event, there are just as many categories ranging from single speed, fat bike, and all of the normal age categories. There is a standardized 8-mile loop with under 500 feet of climbing meaning that the pace will be full gas. Riders have the option of one, two, or three laps and cost 45 dollars across the board. Some wholehearted race bonuses are that race proceeds support the Pitt Hopkins Research foundation and the hat and t-shirt are very good looking indeed. A well-attended event, the Lutton Park Time Trial takes advantage of an amazing 8-mile single-track loop and is sure not to disappoint. The TT is a highly recommended event by Strambecco.
Interactive route details are listed below.
Presented by the amazing North Wood Trails in scenic Hot Springs Arkansas, November 2021 is sure to bring quite an amazing mountain bike festival. The Gudrun is a premiere mountain biking event and festival in Arkansas and the country showing how far Arkansas has come in recent years with mountain biking development with the state has become a prime bike destination. The event tkes place in Hot Sprigns national park and more specifically in the Northwood Trials system which is comprised of 26 miles of world class moutnain bike trials and voted the best in Arkansas. Running from Friday, November 12, and finishing on Sunday the 14th, there is a vibrant mix of bike races, fun runs, bike expos, food, drinks, music, and fun for kids and the entire family. A wonderful attribute to this festival is the large range of categories in the mountain bike categories so every level and age is supported and welcomed to ride their bikes. There are two main events with the first being the Gudrun Enduro which is a 15-mile enduro race with multiple categories all with prizes. Being even more inclusive there is also a compressed enduro race of 8 miles as well. The other main mountain bike race is called the ‘Attila the Hun XC’ and is of course a cross country race with nearly every category imaginable to cater to every level of rider. The Junior and Category 3 race is 6 miles and the top end category 1 is 19 miles with varying lengths in the middle of those two. 2020 brought nearly 600 sign-ups combined for the Enduro, XC, and fun runs in a Covid Heavy time so 2021 can only be bigger! The stunning North Wood Trails seems to be an extremely positive trend in Mountain biking with Arkansas and the Güdrun – Northwoods MTB Festival being at the heart of this. A premiere event surely on a path to only get bigger and better and something worth traveling to.
Unbound Gravel, formerly know as Dirty Kanza Promotions, was founded in 2006 by Jim Cummins, with the assistance of fellow cycling enthusiast Joel Dyke. At that time, gravel grinding was just beginning to catch the interest of the endurance cycling community. However, Jim had grown up in the Flint Hills of east central Kansas and had been riding gravel for decades. Inspired by some of the early gravel grinder events… and convinced the Flint Hills had the best gravel to be found anywhere in the world, Jim and Joel decided to create Dirty Kanza 200.
Initially, these two gravel aficionados had no idea the extent to which this whole gravel grinding thing would grow, nor did they give it any real thought. That wasn’t what motivated them. They both simply felt their lives had been enriched through cycling. And DK200 was their attempt to give back to the cycling community.
Since then, the popularity of gravel grinding has exploded and is now the fastest growing genre in the cycling industry. The popularity of DK200 has grown too, from 34 participants in 2006, to over 3,400 registered riders in 2019. And while that growth has brought with it a few changes to our format and the way we have to manage certain aspects of the event, one thing has remained constant… DK200 is a grass-roots event, organized and managed by folks who are passionate about cycling, and done so for the primary purpose of providing life-enriching cycling experiences for our event participants.
The Coast to Coast Gravel Grinder is a difficult but absolutely stunning ride across the handle of Michigan. Starting on the east coast and crossing the entire Michigan Peninsula (Mitten), it is the only race in the world that connects two freshwater oceans. Happening in October this massive 210 mile gravel monster treks through orange, fall forests and open ranges on a double track. Such a monster ride that rivals Kanza in many ways. A very nice inclusion two the two hundred mile monster is a shorter, loop version which is a straight gravel century. Still not much of a walk in the park though. If you want to participate in one of the most beautiful and hardest Gravel Grinder in America, the Caast to Coast Gravel Grinder is The event for you.
The Solstice Gravel Grinder is coming on it’s 6th year starting as a grassroots event that’s gaining popularity every year. The ride starts and ends in Beatrice, Nebraska and journey’s through the communities of Holmesville, Barneston, Odell, Steele City, Endicott, Diller, and the South East Nebraska region. Riders experience all kinds of gravel roads from flat to hilly and super hilly. There are three routes to choose from: The “Solstice 100” ; The “Solar Fiddy” (50 miles): and “The Kindler” (31 miles). This is a limited field event and registration opens Dec 21, 2021 to claim your spot.
Keep in mind this is a self supported event, so you you’ll need to bring enough supplies to get your through the day. There are several checkpoints, but only water and limited SAG support. Fear not though, there are ample stop opportunities through the many small towns the ride passes.
The Spotted Horse Gravel Ultra is a true ultra-endurance gravel cycling event taking place in no other place than the heartland of Gravel, Iowa. Riders have ultra course options of either 150 miles or ultra, ultra at 200 miles! This event is unlike many of the streamlined and bells and whistles-filled events. The Spotted Horse ultra does not allow any support on course so rest stops and aid come in the forms of roadside convenience store stops. The route will range from blue skies and easy-going flat gravel to rough, hilly, and possibly horrendous weather. The Spotted Horse Gravel Ultra is long and tough with a heavy dash of minimalism. A race for the purists who love to suffer on gravel!
The third of four races of the Arkansas mountain bike marathon series, the Pedalers Bash is an epic 50-mile loop. With an end of October start date in 2020 due to Coronavirus, this marathon, USA Cycling event is sure to bring some heavy hitters to the table. It seems that there are many US cycling sanctioned events, there are too many categories, such a large number of registered riders can get much smaller due to separation for their respective events. The Pedlars bash is cool because it is a mass start of 250 riders with a general category, single-speed, and junior category. And for the course, the event organizers describe it best as “250 racers will blaze through the Ozark mountains on a 45-mile journey on sweet single track, exploring the trail systems of Slaughter Pen, Bella Vista, Blowing Springs, and the famous Back 40.”This Ozark Marathon ride of lots of single track and 50 miles of distance taking place in the scenic Ozark mountains is something to put on your mountain bike calendar.
Do you want to suffer? If you do then making a trip out to the mid west’s premiere sufferfest is worth putting on the seasons bucket list. The Horribly Hilly Hundreds says its goal in the name by giving three ride options for the event. These rides are 100k, 150k, and 200k routes; this event is no joke whatsoever. And with more than 10,000 feet of climbing, the Horribly Hilly Hundred is one of the hardest one day events in the midwest, period. With a massive rider field having come to the event in the past few years, the average field size for the ride is more than 1,300 riders. To accommodate the mass number of sufferers to ride along Wisconsin’s scenic byways, there has been a lottery system implemented so everybody can have a fair chance at entry. For the people that want to go uphill a lot and test themselves physically and mentally, then the Horribly Hilly HUndreds is something to put on the bucket list.
The Cherry Gran Fondo will be back in 2021. The Cherry Fondo is a hugely popular cycling event in Michigan. Lots of experienced riders make the journey out to Traverse City for a beautiful weekend on the bike and on the stunning lake Michigan. There are four race lengths which are 20, 51, and 86 miles which means that every level or fitness and rider type can be included. The Cherry Gran Fondo is an extremely well attended Fondo in a beautiful part of the country in August. The perfect venue for a waterfront getaway!
A top gravel event in the US and winding its way through beautiful central Wisconsin is the Red Granite Grinder. Unlike most, the event organizers give an excellent description of this endurance masterpiece. “Riders get a chance to explore the grit in the western portion of Marathon County on several gems that can only be accessed through this race. Riders will fully experience Central Wisconsin by riding through areas not usually open to bikes in addition to passing ginseng fields, dairy farm pastures, barns, and farm fields in each the 50, 85 and 140 races. If you’d like to be a part of the event but don’t want to spend hours on your bike, consider the 12 mile recreational ride, or volunteer!Riders will be tested through a variety of hills, with the top male and female climbers being crowned “King / Queen of the Hill” before descending trails at Rib Mountain State Park for this one and only day!” The creme de la creme of the race is the 140 mile version. “Racers are immediately tested on this challenging course. Riders get a taste of what’s in store with climbing 800 feet to the top of Rib Mountain, setting the tone for the day. With lactic acid filled legs, riders must dismount for a mile hike-a-bike before riders white knuckle down, needing every ounce to maintain focus on the unpracticed, yet technical descent. Riders leave the city, where the race travels through the Wausau School Forest with one-of-a-kind bridges. After a spin in the Wausau School Forest, riders take several more miles of dirt via snowmobile trails at Nine Mile County Forest. After a few miles of gravel to Fenwood, riders finally can catch their breath on a rail-to-trail all the way to Edgar. In Edgar, riders enjoy the wooded trails at Scotch Creek Preserve. Riders get some reprieve at a stocked and energized aid station at mile 51 before heading to a redesigned 2020 route north into Lincoln County on several miles of forested gravel. Riders have one last chance to refuel in Red Granite country before tackling the final gut-wrenching climbs. In Maine, riders will fly down Billy Goat Hill only to gut it out on the final hills before heading back to downtown Wausau. Riders can finally relax as they welcome flat, smooth pavement all the way to the finish line in the heart of downtown Wausau.”
The 85 miler is a step down from the 140 but is still absolutely no joke. “Riders start out on the 140 mile route and are immediately tested. Racers are immediately tested on this challenging course. Riders get a taste of what’s in store with climbing 800 feet to the top of Rib Mountain, setting the tone for the day. With lactic acid filled legs, riders must dismount for a mile hike-a-bike before riders white knuckle down, needing every ounce to maintain focus on the unpracticed, yet technical descent. Riders leave the city, where the race travels through the Wausau School Forest with one-of-a-kind bridges. After a spin in the Wausau School Forest, riders take several more miles of dirt via snowmobile trails at Nine Mile County Forest. After a few miles of gravel to Fenwood, riders finally can catch their breath on a rail-to-trail all the way to Edgar. In Edgar, riders enjoy the wooded trails at Scotch Creek Preserve. Riders get some reprieve at a stocked and energized aid station at mile 51 before the 85 mile route splits off the 140 mile route and heads east, where riders will have the wind at their backs. Riders have one last chance to refuel in Red Granite country before tackling the final gut-wrenching climbs. In Maine, riders will fly down Billy Goat Hill only to gut it out on the final hills before heading back to downtown Wausau. Riders can finally relax as they welcome flat, smooth pavement all the way to the finish line in the heart of downtown Wausau.”
And new for 2020, is a 50 mile and there is the family friendly 12 mile version. There are frequent, fully stocked aid stations along the course and there are plenty of pre race and post race activities. The Red Granite Grinder is a top mixed surface event in the USA and an excellent course for testing yourself for Kanza and or beyond.