What bike do I bring?
This is a gravel bikepacking event. Our top choice is a gravel bike. Especially in the longer distances, getting low, and grinding out the miles happens more comfortably on a gravel specific bike. Ultimately a bike that can be easily loaded down in the frame and packs is best.
That said – If you want to ride your mountain bike, no problem. No big rocks, drops or ledges (that’s mostly on the other side of the highway) so lockout suspension or a hardtail would be ideal.
Tire size is a big debate in today’s gravel. These courses, on most days, are smooth enough for anything in the 30’s. We personally like 38’s -42’s for the extra absorption and float if the sand comes out. We’ll keep course conditions updated as the race date approaches.
We start in one amazing town and end in another....how does that work?
This event starts and ends in world-class cycling venus. We strongly encourage you to make this a destination event/vacation, something for your entire family or ride group. We can’t even begin to list the road, mountain, and gravel cycling opportunities. Let alone the hiking, climbing, sightseeing, dining, camping, exploring opportunities.
Additionally, we’ve structured this route to have easy access to Interstate 70. There will be a shuttle that can return you in a safe manner to Fruita when the ride is complete. We recommend spending time in both areas if you have never been.
Gravel means something different everywhere. What is the gravel like on this route?
Such a great question – The national definition of the term is anything from not quite asphalt to just short of single-track.
Desert Gravel is this. We ride on 4 types of road – in order of most prevalent to least.
1- 70% ‘dirt’ to ‘actual’ gravel. Desert, hardpack dirt with gravel and very fine crush rock mixed in and, occasional segments of sand. Width ranging from single-lane to wide double lane. These roads range from regularly maintained to seasonally maintained. The texture from very smooth to moderate washboard.
2- 15-20% Hardpack – less packed dirt road. (primarily on the 3 longer courses). Narrower, ‘jeep’ style road (no double track, all are actual road) comes into play higher in the hills with more climbing, and descending, rolling terrain. Some sections of these roads can also be sandy when the weather has been dry for long periods of time. The opposite can be true with extensive rain creating challenging, sticky mud.
3 – 5% Primary county maintained true “gravel” road. Well-maintained, wide, smooth, fine gravel roads. We’ll also put old deteriorated state hwy 50 road into this category. Low or no maintained old asphalt road, plenty of gravel and potholes in sections. In the 175 and 125 mile courses these few sections will be much appreciated for a reprieve from the ever-changing terrain most of the course enjoys.
Minimal. ALL course use this primary road type for the 1st and last 5 miles of each course leaving and coming to Fruita. All but the shortest courses use 1 mile (each direction) of a state highway at about outbound mile 24.
What you won’t find here. There is NO single-track. There are no “rock gardens” (yes, rocks can be anywhere on a rural road) – but there are no segments, or sections covered/littered with medium to large rocks.
I'm comfortable on my bike but have no idea what I need or where to get it.
You are at the right place! Don't fret we will walk you step through step what packs, sleeping bags, sleep systems, hydration systems, nutrition and equipment works for us. Nomadic Adventure Co will also have bikepacking pros talking to you monthly about how they learned and what they are using today. By the time you are done you will have the equipment you need to take a bikepacking adventure of your own and know how to use it all.
There's no way I can carry that much water!
You're right, you can't. We will meet you every day with water resupply. These will be well coordinated stops that happen throughout the route giving you the peace of mind that you can easily make camp that night with adequate water. Please leave this worry up to us!
How many people will be on the trip?
There is a limit of 20 riders. This group will be small and you will have met each other virtually prior to the event. At all times there will be plenty of room to enjoy our "own" space if that is desired. We get it...you will have room to space out.
Do I have to have everything in the Riders Bible
I have some items in the Riders Bible but don't have them all. Does that matter? You bet it does. If the item is on the required checklist you will need it prior to leaving. If you have questions please reach out and let us know how we can help. Long story short...we will be going through the checklist item by item.
"I've always dreamed of doing this" followed quickly by "holy shit that is the Milky Way".
I heard that whisper last summer while taking a group of cyclists camping. They had ridden their bikes everywhere but never camped in a dispersed place. It's different there....it's raw, challenging and rugged.
But most of all it is empowering loading everything you need on your bike for four days and watching civilization fade away. This is what I can't wait to show you!