Frequently Asked Questions

Where does the Gravel Grovel begin/end?

The Gravel Grovel begins and ends at the Midwest Trail Ride Horseman's Camp located at 1264 Hunter's Creed Rd., Norman, Indiana .  Midwest Trail Ride is easily accessible from SR 446 and Hunter's Creek Rd. Ample parking is available throughout the venue.

Gravel Grovel Google Earth Map


What does my entry fee get me?

Gravel Grovel participants get access to free, primitive, on-site tent camping at the Midwest Trail Ride Horseman's Camp, changing rooms and hot showers (weather permitting) for after the ride, SAG support with food, water and some mechanical assistance, entry into the random sponsor raffle, FREE long-sleeve event t-shirt*, commemorative items and more!  Participants will also enjoy a warm, catered meal after the ride!  Choose from lots of fixings on the hot taco bar.  We'll have water and hot chocolate available, and Upland Brewing Company will be serving beer.

* You must register by Friday, November 15 in order to guarantee receiving your event t-shirt.  Anyone registering after November 15 will receive a shirt on a first come, first serve basis while supplies last.  You must be present in order to receive your free t-shirt .

What will the start be like?

A mandatory rider meeting will take place at the Start/Finish line for 60 mile racers beginning at 9:50 a.m.  Following the rider meeting, participants will line up for a mass start beginning at 10:00 a.m. for the 60-mile racers and 10:30 a.m. for the 20-mile fun ride.  Participants will encounter a short stretch of pavement that will help with crowding and traffic as the ride begins.  Please exercise patience and courtesy.  If you need to pass someone, please ask if you may pass, and pass cautiously and carefully, only when given the OK.  Remember to announce whether you plan to pass on the right or the left and allow plenty of space when passing.  Groups will quickly spread out and people will naturally sort themselves out as the ride progresses.  Remember that the fun and safety of the ride is more important then your desire to finish the ride as quickly as possible.  


Will there be SAG support?  What should I carry with me?

The Gravel Grovel is considered a solo riding excursion and participants should plan to carry with them any/all items they may need for the day. While there will be SAG stops with food, water and some mechanical support, each rider should be well prepared to deal with the physical and mechanical problems that may  arise between stops.  Each rider will be STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to always have the following items before leaving the Start or any of the SAG stops:  

- Course maps 

- At least 70 ounces of water

- Two inner tubes

- Hand pump or at least two CO2 cartridges and an inflation device

- Tire levers

- Patch kit (glueless patch kits are easier to use in the woods)

- Chain tool (and the knowledge to use it)

- Full set of metric Allen wrenches (1.5, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm)

- Standard and Phillips screwdrivers

- Torx T25 wrench if you have disc brake rotors

- Compass (and the knowledge to use it)

- Rag

- Chain lube

Spare chain links

- Spare derailleur hanger for your make and model of bike

- Food or energy supplements

- Small first aid kit

- Emergency light source (LED lamps are tiny, lightweight and long lasting)

- Identification (Drivers license, state ID, etc.)


     Other items that are darn good to have:

- Pocket knife or "Leatherman" tool

- Duct Tape (carefully wrap 2-3 feet around an ink pen or Allen wrench)

- Several strong nylon zip ties

- SRAM power links for quicker chain fixes

- An old spoke cut in half and bent on each end to hold your chain together while fixing it

- A safety whistle to blow if you get in trouble.  Cell reception is iffy at best along parts of the route.  A safety whistle is your best backup in case of an emergency. 

What will the course be like and how will the routes be marked?
The course consists mainly of gravel forest road, a few paved sections as well as some unmaintained county roads interspersed along the way. The course will be well marked with orange surveyor's tape, orange marking paint and/or black and yellow Gravel Grovel directional signs.  Turns, intersections and confusing areas will be well marked.  Please keep in mind that there may be long sections of road or trail that will have few or no markings.  Each rider will be given a map and detailed cue sheet.  Riders are expected to study the map and cue sheets to familiarize themselves with the course.  We will make every effort to staff the SAG stops with volunteers who are familiar with the maps and the course.  We cannot help it if the locals decide to take down markings.  CARRY YOUR MAP AND QUEUE SHEET!


What type of bike can be used?

The Gravel Grovel can be ridden on a mountain bike, cross bike or road bike (for those really wanting to suffer).  All riders must complete the course on the same bike. Single speed/fixed gear riders must start and finish on the same gear.  You CAN run a flip-flop hub, but both gears (freewheel & cog) must have the same number of teeth.

Your bike must difinitively fit into one of the listed categories to enter as MTB, singlespeed, tandem. Any other bike, including cyclo-cross, is in the Open division. Any questionable bike will be automatically entered into the open category.  This is at the discretion of event directors.

When will the winners be announced? 

Winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony and Dinner.  Brown County Stone engraved awards given to the top finishers in each race category.  Official race results will be posted online within 24 hours after the event.  All 60-mile racers will automatically be entered for a chance to win prizes from event sponsors.  Must be present to win.  Lots of other great prizes will be randomly given away to all event participants!

Where is the best place to stay while I'm in town for the event?

If you like camping (in November), the best place to stay is at the official on-site camping at the Midwest Trail Ride Horseman's Camp.  Onsite camping is available both Friday and Saturday night.  Click here for additional information.

If you aren't planning to stay on-site , the Story Inn is a popular bicycle-friendly choice and the official SAG stop for the 60-mile racers. There are numerous other lodging options in and near Bloomington or Bedford, IN.

Where can I get a map of the area?

A National Geographic map of the Hoosier National Forest (map #770) can be purchased online.  Maps can also be purchases at Midwest Trail Ride, Indy Cycle Specialist in Indianapolis, Rusted Moon Outfitters in Broad Ripple and JL Waters in Bloomington. 

Online registration is closed. You can sign up in person, race morning, starting at 7:45 am.

 Entry confirmation list