2018 Minnesota Gravel Events

Rural Minnesota is home to quite a few long standing gravel road races and with the growing popularity of the sport, rides to introduce those new to gravel are beginning to pop up, too.  With varying terrain, minimum maintenance roads, elevation changes, great rural scenery and unpredictable weather in the Spring and Fall, these events are sure to be fun and challenging.  Almost all of them are free, but unsupported requiring the participants to be their own repair and support crew.

This season's calendar will include all types of  gravel races and rides from around the state.  Some of these have registration cutoff dates, have a rider cap, or more information and registration details that are yet to be announced.  Below is a list of all of the gravel events in Minnesota that I'm aware of in chronological order.  I will continue to update and add events to this post as they become available.  If you are a race or event organizer and would like your event listed here and on my 2018 Minnesota Bike Tours, Rides, Races & Events Schedule, please send me an e-mail.

Gravel Training Series-March 24, 2018
Penn Cycle Woodbury
Woodbury, MN

Gravel Q&A-March 22, 2018
Penn Cycle Blaine
Blaine, MN

Gravel Training Series-March 31, 2018
Penn Cycle Woodbury
Woodbury, MN

Ragnaröck 105-April 7, 2018
Red Wing, MN
Postcard registration open November 24-December 30, 2017
105 miles

Gravel Training Series-April 14, 2018
Penn Cycle Eagan
Eagan, MN

Lakeville-Milltown-Lakeville-April 14, 2018
Harry's Cafe
Lakeville, MN
80, 40 miles
Facebook Event Page

Mammoth Gravel Classic-April 14, 2018
Cyclova XC
St. Croix Falls, WI
100, 70, 30 miles
Facebook Event Page
Online Registration

Ride Like A Girl Cycling Gravel Series Ride #1-April 15, 2018
House of Coates
Coates, MN
35, 28, 25, 18 miles

Let's talk dirt! Miesville FiftySix gravel Q&A-April 17, 2018
Seven Spokes Bike Shop
St. Paul, MN

Dickie Scramble-April 21, 2018
J.J. Tailgators
Elgin, MN
99 miles

Gravel Training Series-April 21, 2018
Penn Cycle Eagan
Eagan, MN

Earth Day Gravel Grinder with Team Road Life-April 22, 2018
Imminent Brewing
Northfield, MN
50, 25, 10 miles

Miesville Fifty Six-April 29, 2018
Jack Ruhr Stadium
Miesville, MN
56 miles
Online registration opens February 1, 2018

Gravel Training Series-May 5, 2018
Penn Cycle Eagan
Eagan, MN

Gravel Training Series-May 12, 2018
Penn Cycle Eagan
Eagan, MN

Alexander 380-May 18-19, 2018
Spring Valley, MN
380 miles
Facebook Event Page

Almanzo 100/Royal 162-May 19, 2018
Spring Valley, MN
162, 100 miles
Facebook Page
Facebook Event Page

Le Grand Du Nord-May 26, 2018
Grand Marais, MN
120, 66, 20 miles
Facebook Event Page
Online Registration

Riotgrrravel-May 26, 2018
Hope Lutheran Church
Hastings, MN
33, 20 miles
Online Registration

Extreme North Dakota Terrifically Intense Country Klassic (END-TICK)-June 2, 2018
Solem Lutheran Church
Hawley, MN
200, 100, 50 miles
Facebook Event Page
Online Registration

Westside Dirty Benjamin-June 9, 2018
Chaska, MN
Facebook Event Page

Solidarity Cycling Gravel Series Ride #2-June 10, 2018
Stein Haus
Vermillion, MN
36, 25, 14 miles

MN State Gravel Championship-June 16, 2018
Dennison, MN
90, 45 miles
Online Registration

Believe In Me Bike Ride-June 23, 2018
Mayo High School
Rochester, MN
102, 70, 53, 30, 15, 7 miles
40 mile gravel

Greg's 50/50/50 Gravel Grinder Celebration-June 23, 2018
Warner Lake County Park
Clearwater, MN
50 miles

Summer Dirt Bag-July 4, 2018
Clearwater Sportsman's Park
Clearwater, MN
80, 30 miles

Solidarity Cycling Gravel Series Ride #3-July 15, 2018
Stein Haus
Vermillion, MN
36, 25, 14 miles

Heck Epic-July 21-22, 2018
Two Harbors/Grand Marais, MN
220 miles
Facebook Event Page
Online Registration

Dirty Lemming-July 28, 2018
Watertown, MN
100 miles, 100 km

The North Fork Gravel Ride-August 4, 2018
Redhead Creamery
Brooten, MN
Online Registration

Gritty Goose-August 18, 2018
Bertram Lakes Singletrack Parking Lot
Monticello, MN
100, 70, 50 miles

The Day Across Minnesota (DAMn)-August 18, 2018
Gary, SD to Hager City, WI
240 Miles
Facebook Page
Online Registration (open 12/21/17 through 1/21/18)

Hokah Hilly Hundred-August 19, 2018
Bicycle La Crosse Gravel Eduro Series
Hokah, MN
67 miles
Online Registration

Fiddlin' Fifty Gravel Grinder & Potluck Picnic-August 25, 2018
Chisholm, MN
50 miles

River Valley 100-August 26, 2018
Mankato Brewery
Mankato, MN
100 miles, 100 km, 100 km gravel
Online Registration

La Crosse Area Bicycle Festival-August 31-September 3, 2018
La Crosse, WI
Mini Donut Gravel Enduro-September 1
78 miles
Galactic Gravel Climbers Championship-September 2
65 miles
Gravel Esspresso-September 3
57 miles
Gravel Enduro Series Online Registration

Labor Dirt-September 3, 2018
Nowthen Park
Anoka, MN
30 miles

Manchester Gravel Ride Pub Crawl-September 15, 2018
Bend In The Road
Manchester, MN
60-70 miles

Root River Rampage-September 15-16, 2018
Bicycle La Crosse Gravel Eduro Series
Houston, MN
Houston Hills South-September 15
102, 76, 52 miles
Houston Hills North-September 16
56, 41 miles
Online Registration

Woodtick 100-September 15, 2018
The Woodtick Inn
Deerwood, MN
Facebook Page
Facebook Event Page
Online Registration

Solidarity Cycling Gravel Series Ride #4-September 16, 2018
Stein Haus
Vermillion, MN
36, 25, 14 miles

Hun-Dirt Gravel Grinder-September 22, 2018
Brophy Lake County Park
Alexandria, MN
100, 50, miles
Facebook Event Page
Online Registration

Lost 40 Chippewa Gravel Ride-September 22, 2018
Fish Tales Bar & Grill
Squaw Lake, MN
60 miles

Hero Gravel Classic-September 23, 2018
Gasthaus Bavarian Hunter
Stillwater, MN
57, 36 miles
Online Registration

Heck of the North-September 29, 2018
Alger Grade Parking Lots
Two Harbors, MN
100, 55, 20 miles
Facebook Event Page
Online Registration

Gravel Grovel 5-September 30, 2018-Cancelled
Jack Ruhr Stadium
Miesville, MN
85 miles

The Otter-Worldly Gravel Grind-October 6, 2018
Otter Coffee and Ice Cream
Vergas, MN
70 Miles
Facebook Event Page
Online Registration

Dirt Bag-October 7, 2018
Clearwater Sportsman's Park
Clearwater, MN
87, 64, 35 miles

Extreme North Dakota Country Hills Invoking Plaudits (END-CHIP)-October 13, 2018
Lake Park, MN
160, 100, 50 Kilometers
Online Registration

Green Acres Half Hundo Grav Fundo-October 13, 2018
Green Acres Recreation Area
Lake Elmo, MN
51.6 miles
Race Flyer
Online Registration

The Filthy Fifty-October 14, 2018
Stewartville, MN
52, 24, 12 miles
Registration opens March 20, 2018

Gravel West Bike Ride-October 21, 2018
Gear West
Long Lake, MN
75, 25 miles
100 rider cap

Wired Rooster-Saxon Hall gravel ride-October 21, 2018
Brownsville Post Office
Brownsville, MN
47 miles


Gift Ideas for Cyclists-Part 2

Now that the holidays are almost here, I have put together a list of some more cycling products that are sure to please the cyclist on your list.  Some of these items are new while others have been around for a while.

The Weatherneck System

The Weatherneck System is a 3-in-1 modular balaclava consisting of Mullet Hat and Facemask that has a variety of uses depending on the weather you'll be riding in.  The Mullet Hat covers the ears and neck and can be used alone for those days when only a hat is needed.  It also comes with a secret pocket in the back that is great for stashing cash or a chemical hand warmer and has a pony tail pass through.  The facemask has a unique mesh design that makes it easy to breathe during rigorous activity and helps prevent fogging of glasses or goggles.  Magnets in the facemask adhere to metal on the back of the Mullet Hat to combine the two pieces for use as a balaclava.  One size fits all and the metal/magnet positioning for the facemask helps achieve this.  Available from theweatherneck.com and select bike shops.

Yeti Rambler-18 oz.

The Yeti Rambler 18 oz. is a product that I used a lot last winter to prevent my water from freezing up while riding in below freezing temps.  This vacuum insulated container fits in a standard bottle cage and works much better than plastic water bottles especially when the temps dip below zero Fahrenheit.  It also keeps hot beverages hot for hours if you need a little warm-up out on the trail.  Available from Yeti, Amazon, Cabela's and other outdoor retailers.

Fork Cork

The Fork Cork is a new item from Miles-Wide Industries that is designed to fit in the hole at the bottom of a tapered steerer tube creating a secret storage spot.  With the Fork Cork in place it will create a water tight seal for storing items like money, gps bike theft tracker, a multi-tool, matches/lighter and many other small items.  Installs quickly and stays put.  Available from Miles-Wide Industries and select bike shops.

WSI Sports HEATR Baselayer

My go-to baselayer for the coldest weather Minnesota can dish out is WSI Sports HEATR Baselayer.  This specially engineered fabric actually warms up when skin comes in contact with it.  HEATR Baselayer provides excellent thermal protection and wicks moisture away from the skin to keep you warm and dry.  Pair this baselayer with a windproof breathable outer shell and you're ready for an all day Winter adventure out on the trails.  Shown in the picture above are HEATR Socks, HEATR Glove Liners, Full HEATR Shirt and Full HEATR Pant.  Available online from WSI Sports or at their Eagan showroom.

Hillsound Armadillo LT Gaiter

For the adventure fatbiker that likes to go where others don't, there's the Hillsound Armadillo LT Gaiter.  This gaiter features a waterproof/breathable upper, is contour-fitted and lightweight.  The zipper makes them easy to put on and the adjustable straps at the top and bottom make for a perfect fit with your boot.  Not only will the keep your legs warm, but will prevent snow from getting into your boots for those deeper hike-a-bike sections.  I also like to use them in the late Fall and early Spring when conditions tend to be a little more wet to keep my legs dry.  Available from Hillsound and outdoor retailers.

Gravel Cycling

If you have a gravel cyclist on your list, they will love Nick Legan's new book "Gravel Cycling: The Complete Guide to Gravel Racing and Adventure Bikepacking".  Nick writes about the gear, bike setup and tips to get you riding as well as profiling some of America's best gravel and bikepacking events.  Available from Velo Press and select bike shops.


Gift Ideas for Cyclists-Part 1

Now that the holidays are almost here, I have put together a list of some cycling products that are sure to please the cyclist on your list.  Some of these items are new while others have been around for a while.  I will have more gift ideas coming up in part 2 of this post.

Sticky Fingers Lever Covers

Sticky Fingers brake lever covers from Miles-Wide Industries have been a long time favorite of mine and now they have been redesigned for 2017 to make them even better.  They are made of silicon rubber for long-lasting durability.  I leave them on year 'round for a better grip of the brake levers in all kinds of weather.  In the Fall and Spring there is no more grabbing hold of an ice cold brake lever and when wearing gloves during the Winter my fingers hold tight to the silicone without slipping.  Fits any brake lever as they can be cut to the size you want.  Comes in colors Black, Blue, Clear, Gray, Neon Green, Pink and Red.  Available from Miles-Wide Industries and select local bike shops.

Park Tool PCS-10 Repair Stand
Park Tool's PCS-10 Home Mechanic Repair Stand is a great gift for any cyclist that likes to work on their bikes.  It features a cam-type clamp that allows single action clamping of tubes 7/8" to 3" and has 360-degree rotation.  Height of the repair stand can be quick-release adjusted from 39" to 57" and when your done working it can be folded down to 41" and stored away.   Available from Penn Cycle and other fine bike shops.

Bar Mitts Winter Bot

I came across the Winter Bot this year while talking with the folks from Bar Mitts at Interbike '17 and immediately knew this would be a great product for winter cyclists.  The Winter Bot is made from 5.5 mm Neoprene and comes complete with a plastic water bottle cage, screws, washers and an allen key for installation.  It will hold an average 20 oz. water bottle and has enough room for chemical hand warmers to extend ride time without your water bottle freezing up.  I have used it for a while now and its zipper with an extended pull is easy to open even with gloves on.  Commuters and fatbikers alike will love this product.  Available from Bar Mitts and local bike shops.

Brilliant Reflective Strips

Brilliant Reflective Strips are the perfect gift for anyone that rides after dark.  They are made with 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material tape that is highly reflective which come in stick-on (removable) and iron-on (permanent) packs.  The stick-on strips work great on helmets and bike frames while the iron-on strips are an option for cycling apparel to use bio-motion to be better seen.  Colors available are Red, Blue, Black and Purple.  Available from the Brilliant Reflective Strips website and local bike shops.

True North Basecamp Gift Certificates

True North Basecamp Gift Certificates make a great gift for the mountain biker on your list.  Located  in the heart of Cuyuna, guests can bike right from their cabin or campsite to the world class mountain bike trails of the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area.

The cabins are clean and modern while maintaining a rustic feel.  Amenities included heater/air conditioner, a full and three twin beds, table and chairs, plug in with USB charging ports, wi-fi, picnic table and portable fire pit.  Located just a short walk behind the cabins is the shower house with heated floors, showers, bathroom and changing area.  Campsite amenities include fire ring, picnic table, wi-fi, bike rack, bike wash and nearby vault toilets.  Gift certificates can be purchased from the True North Basecamp website and are personalized.
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