Belgian Waffle Ride (BWR) Kansas

For the first time, Monuments of Cycling brings its iconic Belgian Waffle Ride format to Lawrence Kansas, an eclectic Mid-west town with a vibrant cycling culture and community.  Billed as “The Hell of the East”, BWR Kansas takes place on Halloween and provides professional and amateur cyclists the opportunity to ride the most coveted roads and off-road sections spanning the northeast region of Kansas.

Monuments of Cycling is a purveyor of classic one day bicycle races in the United States.  They are best known for creating challenging races in the spirit of the great European one-day Spring Classics, all with a Belgique theme.  Their namesake event Belgian Waffle Ride – San Diego started 10 years ago and the producer is rapidly expanding into a BWR series format with events in Utah and North Carolina, in addition to Kansas and the original BWR San Diego.  What makes these events so unique is that they are classic, long bicycle races that feature various off-road sectors emulating the pave or cobblestones of Europe; making the varied terrain a challenge for riders’ technical skills, equipment, endurance, luck and versatility.

The inaugural BWR Kansas route has not been officially announced, however there will be 3 approximate route options:  The Waffle – 111 Miles & 8,000ft elevation gain; The Wafer – 71 Miles & 3100ft elevation gain; The Wanna – 35 Miles & 1200ft elevation gain.    There are also E-Bike and Tandem Category options.  BWR Kansas, like the other BWR events in San Diego (California), BWR Asheville (North Carolina), and BWR Cedar City (Utah) will have a deep field of professional riders including World Tour rider, Peter Stetina, as well as an expansive list of hungry amateur riders.

Lawrence, Kansas is a city happy to be what it is:  a city doing things in its own way, with free thinkers not trying to be anyone else. Lawrence has continually defined itself as an open, energetic and welcoming community. The arts and foodie scene can be enjoyed through Lawrence’s many art galleries and restaurants. You’ll find live music almost every day of the week in Lawrence’s live music venues. The walkable downtown district, known to the locals as “Mass Street” is the top destination in Kansas and offers unique shoppingcoffee shops, and entertainment.

 

Luton Park Time Trial

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.

Trailforks.com



Güdrun – Northwoods MTB Festival

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.

 

Ice Age Trail 50

The Ice Age Trail 50 is one of the oldest continuously-running ultras in the country. A course like no other, you’ll run in dense deciduous forests, under tall pines, over rocky ridges and across open prairies – and see lakes, kettles, kames, erratics and other natural features left when the glaciers finally retreated from Wisconsin more than 10,000 years ago.

Also offering a 50k and a half marathon course options.

Unbound Gravel (Dirty Kanza)

Unbound Gravel is arguably the granddaddy of Gravel events and a true bucket list event for gravel aficionado’s.  Formerly known 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 and these two gravel junkies had no idea the extent gravel riding and events 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.  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.

Fast forward and gravel grinding has exploded into the fastest growing genre in the cycling industry.  Unbound gravel is now owned by Life Time Fitness, producer of premier gravel, mountain and trail running events including the Leadville Race Series.  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 the format and 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.

BARRY-ROUBAIX

Barry-Roubaix is known as the World’s Largest Gravel Race and regularly recognized as one of the best gravel events/races world over.  It is a classic road/off-road cycling race featuring a variety of terrain and surfaces testing cyclists of all skill levels.  The name Barry-Roubaix references Paris-Roubaix, the one day cycling classic in France.  The event is typically held the third Saturday in March, but this year in October due to the Covid pandemic.

The routes will test all rider types against rolling gravel roads (80%), pavement, a mile of rough two-track, rocks, sand, and mud as you traverse the scenic roads of Barry County.  There are four race lengths to chose:  (1) The 18-mile Lauf “Chiller” has 1000 ft of elevation gain; (2) The 36-mile Smith Optics “Thriller” with 2200 ft of elevation gain; (3) The 62-mile SRAM “Killer” with 3800 ft of elevation gain; (4) and finally the the 100-mile Panaracer “Psycho Killer” with 6800 ft of elevation gain.

Their are wide variety of race categories to choose and the event welcomes Gravel, Cyclocross, Mountain, Road, Single-Speed, Fixed gear, Fatbikes & Tandem bikes as riders prefer.

Coast to Coast Gravel Grinder

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.

Solstice Gravel Grinder

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.

 

Spotted Horse Gravel Ultra

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!

Pedaler’s Bash

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.