top of page
46524011_1842065669226010_7316768270986510336_n_edited.jpg

Gravel Grovel

Nov. 25th. 2023

  • Gravel Grovel has been called "Mother Nature's Cylo-cross Course" through the beautiful and rugged Hoosier National Forest.

  • It's also an un-level, level playing field, for mountain bikes to battle 'cross bikes. A mix of gravel road, singletrack trail, fire road, and pavement mean that any bike could come out on top for the day; it all depends on the rider and the conditions.

  • The race is the original gravel road race in Indiana... and a 24-mile option gives a taste of the adventure at less of a commitment.

  • The 100k course has about 3500' of climbing, a mix of gravel and pavement, with about 12-15 miles of trail / dirt.

  • The 24-mile course, new in 2021 is really more of a mountain bike course; following the south end of Nebo Ridge and returning on Combs Road.

  • Shirt if registered by Nov. 14th.

68971443_2255801714519068_7322347261705322496_n.jpg

Event Schedule

When: Saturday, Nov. 25th. 2023

Where: TBA

  • Friday, November 24

    • NO FRIDAY REGISTRATION.  CHECK-IN FOR LODGING ONLY.

  • Saturday, November 25

    • 7:40 a.m. ~ Sunrise

    • 8:00 a.m. ~ Rider check-in and on-site registration begins

    • 9:50 a.m. ~ Mandatory rider meeting at Start/Finish line.

    • 10:00 a.m. ~ 60-mile race riders line up at Start/Finish line.  Let the fun begin!

    • 10:30 a.m. ~ 24-mile fun riders line up at Start/Finish line.  Let the fun begin!`

    • 2:30 p.m. ~ Dinner begins

    • 3:30 p.m. ~ Awards Ceremony begins

    • 5:30 p.m. ~ Race cutoff. No support or finish times recorded after 5:30.  All participants must be returned to Start/Finish.

    • 5:23 p.m. ~ Sunset

Rules

  • The Gravel Grovel is a non-stop, self-supported, solo competition along the rural roads of southern Indiana.  This is not your typical road race, mountain bike race, or cyclocross race.  It is a combination of all three!  Who will take home the custom Brown County Stone Trophies... will it be a cyclocrosser?, a roadie?, or MTB’er? 

  • Consider this... an un-level, level playing field!

  • THE GOLDEN RULE. The sponsors, organizers, and anyone having anything to do with this event are NOT responsible for your safety.  We can’t say this enough…..  YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU!

  • Each rider is considered to be on a private excursion and remains solely responsible for any accidents in which he or she may be involved.  NO RESPONSIBILITY CAN BE ACCEPTED FOR RIDERS BECOMING LOST OR STRANDED.  Participants must carry with them ALL necessary equipment.  Riders can help other riders with mechanical support.  We are not doing this event to leave someone out in the boonies of Indiana.

  • Riders must wear an ANSI or Snell approved helmet, must obey city, county and state laws and Rules of the Road, and conduct themselves in a manner that will not bring discredit to the event.

  • A cell phone is also a good/great idea. Although you might not have service on all parts of the course, a whistle will be your next best option.

  • The primary ride route must be followed at all times. NO SHORT CUTS OR ALTERNATE ROUTES ARE PERMITTED.  The route will be marked, but don't rely completely on route markings (they have been vandalized in the past). Course maps and cue sheets will be available at registration. Riders may take their own maps or GPS system for navigational assistance.  If you exit the course for food, supplies, or any other reason, you must re-enter in the same spot in which you left. 

  • There is a strict cutoff at 5:30 pm. No support or finish times will be available after 5:30!

  • Participants may not advance on the route by any means other than bicycling or in the case of a mechanical, by foot. Participants who, in the case of emergency, mechanical or other unforeseeable problem, are assisted by motorized transport, will automatically become disqualified from results.  We recommend having at least one person available to help if you have problems and cannot complete the ride.  THE PEOPLE AND SPONSORS ASSOCIATED WITH THIS EVENT MAY NOT BE ABLE TO COME GET YOU OR BE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU!

  • Bike choice is up to you.  Mountain bikes, cyclocross bikes, 29ers, and hybrids have all been used successfully (and road bikes, if you really want to suffer).  The course has been ridden in its entirety on a cross bike with 700×28 tires with the occasional dismount due only to natural barriers.  The entire ride must be done on the same bike and wheels.  Singlespeed/fixie category 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 definitively fit into one of the listed categories of MTB, SS, or tandem. Any other bike, including cyclo-cross, is in the Open division. All MTB category bikes must have flat handlebars and tires 1.8" (45mm) or wider. Any questionable bike will be entered into the Open category at the race officials' discretion.

  • Horses may be on the route, especially trails 20, 21, NEBO and Elkinsville Rd/ “D Trail”. Horses are “flighty” of fast moving objects, and are prone to spook.  Please remember the safety of the humans on the horses and/or bikes is more important than any race. Slow down and ask the horse rider how best to pass. Failure to yield to horses or behave in a disrespectful manner could cause disqualification.

  • YOU ARE COMPLETELY ON YOUR OWN. Use your head. Look and yield for traffic. There will be no course marshals to hold up traffic.  

  • The intent of these rules is to establish an equal and fair opportunity for all riders.

  • MOST IMPORTANTLY, REMEMBER THE GOLDEN RULE…  YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU!!!

121240437_3223555677743662_5898982785180699923_n.jpg

Route 

More Details to come.......

  • The Gravel Grovel  uses a combination of gravel forest roads and backcountry multi-use trails, interspersed with a few paved sections and a few old, unmaintained county roads.

  • The Gravel Grovel offers a 60 mile race as well as a 24 mile MTB-favoring option.  

  • Mileages are approximate.

  • map link 2022

317257873_5455535274545680_2883956523814167117_n.jpg
68907809_2255802771185629_1346086417498898432_n.jpg
46675541_1842061669226410_9041003640952717312_n.jpg
46665345_1842074279225149_2246257278648844288_n.jpg
IMG_3990.jpg
47046075_1842083035890940_6211847303699890176_n.jpg
1235074_470321539733770_1996124254_n.jpg
46665733_1842091559223421_1659217197261651968_n.jpg
IMG_3972_edited.jpg

Gravel Grovel Facts & Questions

Where does the Gravel Grovel begin/end? TBA for 2023 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. Gravel Grovel Map What does my entry fee get me? Gravel Grovel participants get 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 Monday, November 14 in order to guarantee receiving your event t-shirt. Anyone registering after November 14 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 100k 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. You may also register race morning starting at 7:30. ($80 60-mile, $70 24-mile, $40 Junior 24-mile.$60 24-mile Adult )

bottom of page