Riot Grrravel Returns for Third Year Introducing Women to Gravel Racing

Riot Grrravel returns in 2016 on May 21st with with several distance options to introduce gravel racing/riding to women of all ages and abilities.  What started out in 2014 with 82 riders by Riot Grrravel organizer Ellie Skelton was her way of bringing more women to come to enjoy this increasingly popular style of riding in a non-intimidating fashion.   

Image Credit: Kate Lockhart

"The idea for the Riotgrrravel ride came from attending several biking events where the field was predominantly male. After riding the Filthy 50 in 2013, I started thinking of ways to get women to try riding on gravel. The first Riotgrrravel was 30 miles because I wanted to make a low barrier to entry for women who may have heard about longer gravel races but were intimidated by the long distances. Having two teenage daughters, I wanted to expose them to gravel racing as well. That's really the goal: get more women & teens excited about gravel racing." - Ellie Skelton.

Image Credit: Kate Lockhart

Image Credit: Kate Lockhart
2016's race will have distance declarations of 10, 20 and 33 miles to open up the field to women of all abilities and experiences.  The 33 mile course will have more elevation changes from previous year's courses for those that want to challenge themselves with climbing in addition to distance.  While solo men are discouraged from attending, those men that are riding with and in support of wives, friends and daughters are welcome. 

This year's race will be capped at 250 riders and since registration opened a little over a week ago, the roster has reached the halfway point.  If you have never ridden gravel before or would like to challenge yourself with longer distance and/or some elevation change, Riot Grrravel is the event you need to attend.  Ellie's 17 year old daughter, Cedar is even going to be there to ride this year with a group of her friends.

Image Credit: Kate Lockhart

Ellie hopes to organize some info gravel sessions and possibly an in-town gravel pre-ride (weather dependant) before raceday.  Stay tuned to the Riot Grrravel Facebook page for details.  If you or your company would like to support women's gravel riding/racing, sponsorship and volunteer opportunities are available.  Donations for swag and race prizes are also being accepted.  Please send a message to Ellie on the Riot Grrravel Facebook page if you would like lend your support. 

Image Credit: Kate Lockhart

Riot Grrravel will take place on Saturday, May 21st at Hope Lutheran Church in Hastings.  Roll out is 9:30am sharp for 33 miler, 9:35am for the 20 miles and 9:45am for the 10 mile riders.  This free unsupported women/family friendly event is being held rain or shine so dress accordingly and bring everything you will need to be self supportive.  The ride will be unsupported with the same, "you are responsible for you," philosophy that other free gravel races have." - Ellie Skelton
Registration is now open for Riot Grrravel 2016 and only takes a minute to sign up online.  Ellie would love to hear why you are riding Riot Grrravel in 2016, just visit the Riot Grrravel Facebook page and tell your story.  Updates can also be found on the Riot Grrravel Facebook Event page.

Men aren't prohibited from racing but we ask that they ride with a woman or teen- this is your chance to introduce someone to gravel racing! More girls on bikes! More women on bikes! More families on bikes! - Ellie Skelton

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