The sport of gravel grinding involves cycling over the grit and dirt of often unpaved backroads. Some like to ride casually, but those with a competitive edge can participate in races organized by various enthusiasts and organizations throughout the country.
The Funk 50, put on by Funk Bottoms Gravel, took place on October 6, with a 60-mile ride through Ohio based on rules from the Pirate Cycling League, offering the winning prize of a “hobo stove.”
Next up, Omaha’s rock road North O! Jackrabbit Hundy: an annual 100-mile gravel road ride along Nebraska’s rolling hills, which features “free primitive camping less than a mile from the start”.
Another gravel grinding must-do, Nashville’s Crush and Run, also unfolds on October 13, offering two options: the 50-mile or 100-mile course. Riders have 9 hours to finish whichever distance they choose. Maximum 100 riders. No GPS.
Gravel grinding is very no-nonsense — a little bit hillbilly and totally hardcore. You need a lot of stamina and incredible balance to keep riding the jolts mile after mile.
Intrigued? Check out this events calendar and you may be able to get in on some gravel grinding action near you.