The Miesville Grinder: A Scenic Gravel Ride Close to the Twin Cities

The Miesville Grinder takes place April 13th and is a ride through some of the best scenery that country gravel roads close to the Twin Cities can provide.  The idea for the ride comes from Marsh Jones who told me, "The Miesville Grinder is a concept I've had since I started toying with gravel two years ago".  He realized the area around Miesville, New Trier, Vermillion and Welch was "...one of the few places within 45 miles of the metro that had enough gravel roads that were interesting enough to make a complete ride".  "This is a ride for anyone who wants to drag themselves out to the country for a nice ride, be it a rookie or winner of Trans-Iowa.  It's especially well suited for someone who wants to try the sport, but isn't sure how much gravel they can do, or isn't sure about the distance."  

The route runs from the flat farm fields of south Dakota county on down to the bluffs and coulees along the Cannon River, with a turn-around in Welch Village.  It also goes past Chimney Rock State Natural Area, and the Little Log House Pioneer Village.  This is a very non-technical ride, but there is one short (<1/2mi) section of B road that may encourage less experienced riders to walk for a short part of it."

"The route is published at 56 miles, but there will be several options to shorten the route, including easy 'bailout' points in case of bad weather or tired legs.  You are never more than about 15 miles from the start in any direction!"  

The Miesville Grinder is a free ride with no support and no signs.  You are responsible for you, so bring everything you will need.  A route map and GPX file will be posted to the Miesville Grinder page a week or more ahead of the event. Marsh will explain the route and have cue sheets available for those that didn't print them from the website before the start of the ride.

This low-key ride is a great opportunity for those that love gravel and those that want to try it out and experience some great scenery while riding with others.  The complete route is 56 miles, but there are plenty of route options offering scenic rides of 25, 35 and 47 miles.  After the ride there will be a gathering at King's Place for awesome burgers and beverages.

I'm really looking forward to the Miesville Grinder because these roads are my gravel training grounds and I know them well.  It will be nice to ride them with others, especially those that have never experienced them and discover how special this area is.  I rarely come across other cyclist while riding here, but after the Miesville Grinder, I have a feeling that will change. 

Whether you are an experienced gravel rider or would like to give gravel a try, I encourage you to sign up for the Miesville Grinder and crush some gravel.  Registration has reached cap and is now closed.

*All images in this post are from the Miesville Grinder course.

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