Gravel Metric Update

So we’re doing some pretty exciting things this year.

For the first time ever, the Metric is moving.  Not far, but it’s moving.  For every year since its inception, the Metric was hosted out of a parking lot in beautiful DeKalb, Illinois.  While we love DeKalb, we’ve always wondered what it would be like to have a more rustic start, closer to gravel, that avoided the several-mile stretch on busy state highways.  This year, we’re going forward with that.

The ride will start and end on a farm just a couple miles outside of Waterman, Illinois.  We’ll provide maps and an exact address as we get closer, but for your trip planning purposes, plan on being about 5 minutes (by car) outside of Waterman.  And here’s the deal…

We’re starting and ending in a beautiful, mature oak grove, about 1/4 mile back from the road, with a winding creek running through it.  It’s scenic and natural, and the start and finish will both be on a grass lane that runs back to the woods.  This ride will begin and end on a b-road.  We’ll have some nice tents, tables and chairs, and of course catered food and beer.  We’ll have merchandise.  We’ll have portapotties.  But there are some things we won’t have…

We won’t have running water.  We won’t have buildings.  We won’t have the restrictions of starting and ending in a City.

We are planning on having tubes and small parts available, thanks to the loving support of Comrade Cycles and Heritage Cycles.  We’re even working on having some demo bikes at the event–that’s TBD.  We’re planning on having some water available too…but with an unknown number of riders, we can’t plan on having water for everyone, so plan on bringing your own.  (And for that matter, if you are attending, please register on the Facebook page so we can get a head count for estimated food/beer needs).

Here’s the deal.  Cyclists are like a big family.  I’ve trusted other cyclists in a lot of ways that I don’t trust the world at large.  So the farm that we’re starting and finishing at?  It’s my brother’s house.  We’re going to be parking cars in his yard, and hosting the event in his woods.  We will have volunteers to help point parking cars in the right direction, and to help get you pointed at the woods and such.  But I’m putting this out early and I’ll be repeating it often–we’re being invited onto private property by a very gracious property owner.  Please treat the property with respect.  Please do not engage in nudity in the yard.  (Nudity in the woods is up to you).  Please do not leave trash or debris in the yard.  Please do not drive in areas that you’re not pointed towards.  Please act incredibly respectful to the property owners (if you see them).  Please do not go into any of the buildings on the farm.  Anyone going into a building will be kindly asked to pack up their bikes and leave–no warnings, no questions, no exceptions.  This is a working farm with equipment and supplies that are both expensive and dangerous.

The area we’ll be starting/finishing from and eating in is a woods–it will be mowed, but it will not be a perfectly manicured lawn.  You may wish to consider that as you evaluate post-ride apparel.

At the end of the event, we’ll ask for help with cleanup and teardown.  Please remember that it’s all unpaid volunteers putting the event on, and that we do the event to be awesome, and to raise money for advocacy.  So please pitch in a hand and help with teardown.  Please also come prepared to pay for your food/beer, and if you’re so inclined to be awesome, to make a contribution towards our advocacy efforts.  We have made a conscious decision to not charge for our events, because we’ve found that you all, as riders, are a generous lot.  We appreciate your support, and we try to show our appreciation by continuing to do awesome events and advocacy.  Check the Axletree website for more details on that.

We will have t-shirts, bottles and a very small supply of Axletree kits on hand.  We ask that you bring cash if at all possible.  If that is not possible, we may not be able to accommodate you, but we’ll do our best.  Pricing and related information will be released shortly.  We will release the waivers in advance as well–printing your own copy would be appreciated.  Routes will be released at least a week before the event, with cues and GPS files.  At this point, it does not appear that we will be selling cue sheets, so come prepared.  We do ask that if you pre-ride anything, you not ride on private property until the day of the event.

We’re looking forward to seeing a whole bunch of you join us at the farm, and we’re looking forward to everyone having a great time.  We’re also hoping to show how awesome cyclists are, so that we can continue to host this event at new and better locations each year.  Come out and ride with us.

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4 Responses to Gravel Metric Update

  1. Frank says:

    May 24th is a Tuesday. What is the correct date?

  2. Frank says:

    Its not totally clear to me what the date of this ride is. May 22nd?

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