Things are getting ttlly srs – MOOTS, POTTIES, ETC.

The Gravel Metric is coming up quick.

Some announcements:

MOOTS, the legendary and wonderful maker of bikes and times, has taken over the lead sponsor role of the Gravel Metric this year. Our beloved Salsa Cycles has shifted their avuncular love and attention to the TEN THOUSAND this summer, and MOOTS wanted to come ride the GM, so we are making our relationship Facebook official as of today.

Mr.Moots_Moots Logo

It’s an honor to partner with them. They’ll be here on Saturday, the 24th, with a truck full of titanium goodness to show off, so come and check it out.

Otherwise, we’re just getting some last details wrapped up. We’re maintaining the same route as last year, with some minor changes in course marking – we’re going from two markings to about seven course markings. Our goal is to get everyone through the grass maze in Shabbona without any keystone cops action.

We know things are getting close, because we just got off the phone with BIG JOHN.


In other news, the GM Training Rides have been a blast. We’ve been seeing 40+ riders at each ride, despite pretty ugly weather conditions. We’re planning snow for this year’s Metric, so it’s good prep. The next ride is Saturday, May 3rd at 8am, departing from NCC. Be there.


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The Gravel Metric Training Ride Series

Last year we experimented with a series of training rides leading up to the Gravel Metric and we believe they were a success, so we’re going to do that again.

Photo courtesy of Riding Against the Grain

The idea is to get new riders out on the gravel so they’re prepared for the challenge when it arrives. These are ride-at-your-own-pace events loosely hosted by Axletree. They are still self-supported events, but you’ll find riders throughout the group that are there to help if needed.

March 22nd – 8am – 25mi
April 12th- 8am – 40mi
May 3rd – 8am – 55mi

Click the links for cue sheets/maps.
If you have any questions, please let us know.

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Mark your calendarios.

Sunday, May 25th. 9am.







Mark it.



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GM Photos by Joseph Harnish

Check out the full gallery here.




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Thank You, We’re Sorry, and You’re Welcome.

We wanted to thank everyone again for coming out and riding the Metric this year.3d9b1b5ec70211e2a73822000aaa08a0_7

Year after year, we find ourselves humbled and amazed by the attendance. Every year we’re reminded that the type of people who want to ride 62+ miles of gravel are our kind of people. Thank you for being good people.

We want to thank our sponsors – Salsa Cycles, Clement Cycling, GORE Bike Wear and Skratch Labs - for their physical and metaphysical support this year. Having friends from those companies come and experience the event with us is what makes them great partners. Thank you to Donn from Clement for bringing Ben Berden and Caroline Mani to ride this year – Ben was the first rider back (he won) and Caroline won the award for nicest rider on the course, entertaining riders and fixing their bikes along the way.

We wanted to thank everyone for bringing sufficient water and food. We were so so so so glad people took that warning seriously. Luckily the weather was fairly cool this year so you didn’t need 10 bottles like in 2012.

I (Tobie) thank my cohorts and collaborators, without whom this event never would take place: Chris Jensen, Chad Ament, Josh Arends (and John Arends, and Jack Arends), Erica Chianese, Dean Frieders, and all of their respective and lovely teams: Robots <3, Half Acre Cycling, Axletree, The NCC Crew and the City of DeKalb (that’s Dean’s team). Thank you to all of our fantastic volunteers, including but not limited to Anna Anderson, Amy Dykema, Kevin Clark, Lily Povlich, Jessi, Dan Eiten, Eleanor Blick, Pip Potter, Aaron Nevdal, and many more.

This year we changed it up and the changes were mostly well received. We achieved our goal of making the event more simple, basic, and more adventurous. We thank our map man, Chad Ament, for his hours of route planning. Finding interesting terrain in northern Illinois is no simple task, but somehow he managed to milk every foot of incline, find every rutted stretch of unroad, and avoid all but 4 miles of pavement over 68mi. Very impressive, mon frer.


One unfortunate mishap that sent the riders into confusion was the fact that one of two marked turns on the course in the State Park (an actual turn, as opposed to a veer, a jog, or an intersection “no cue=go straight”), was robbed of it’s marking between Saturday night and Sunday morning. This was unfortunate. The cue sheet indicated the length to stay on the path and relied on that marking to keep riders exactly on course. We apologize for that; we believe it was either the two kids hunting frogs (Did you see them?) or gophers (very territorial). Although it may have felt like a maze in there, once you made that turn and stayed on the path, without straying from the path, you would have eventually seen our other sign that survived the gophers and made your way out of the park. Regardless, it was an adventure. You’re welcome. 

The self-navigation really threw some people for a loop. A big loop. Like a 30mi loop, off course. All the streets were marked with street signs or signs that we made, but that doesn’t mean they were easy to see. Our hand made signs are visible from space, but some of the green street signs were hard to see if the intersection was wooded. Locust.73058ebec64e11e2890322000a9e48f1_7

We realize this type of racing isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so if you’re not 100% satisfied with your 2013 Gravel Metric, we’re offering a 100% refund of your registration.

We’re already making plans for 2014. It’ll be 120° outside, so start your desert training today.

Don’t be strangers, now. We’ve got the NIGHT BISON on Sept 1st – see you there!

Photos courtesy of Eric Sucharski and Eric Fredrickson. 

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Post Post

Post Post Post Photo by Kevin Clark

Post Post Post Photo by Kevin Clark

We had an incredible event on Sunday.

There are a ton of people to thank and to congratulate, but thanks to an expired cherry danish, that will all have to wait another day.
There have been some great posts on the Facebook page if you want to hear about the event in the time being.

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Parking Notes.

GM PARKING 2013Parking Notes:

  1. We’ll be exiting the Staging Lot to the south this year.
  2. The Registration tables will be outside this year. Bring your signed waiver to expedite the process.
  3. Cue Bandannas and GM T-shirts will be for sale outside as well. Bring cash and buy some, please.
  4. North Central Cyclery will be open for last minute needs and wants.
  5. O’Leary’s Pub is at the corner of 3rd and 38 (top left of this image).
  6. Please respect the red zones. Get here early.


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