So you’ve all been wondering…
And here it is. This is the 2016 Gravel Metric Route. A few route details:
This is a new route–with a lot of roads that have never been in the Gravel Metric. It is, bar none, the best route we’ve ever had. Beautiful scenery, more gravel, and further into places unknown. It’s fantastic. We did a pre-ride yesterday to verify last-minute course conditions, and it’s our favorite route in the area. There is gravel of all kinds–from smooth, fast hero stuff to chunky, loose and deep. Depending on the wind, you will either love us or hate us.
Those familiar with the Metric will recognize that we are riding Locust and Elva, because they’re at the heart of this ride. Please note that the condition of those two roads is worse than we’ve ever seen them. Locust in particular has some deep, hard to see ruts, so take your time and ride with caution. Locust is not the place for a breakaway–you will want to leave some room behind the rider in front of you, so you can stop when she crashes, and so you can see obstacles that she’s avoiding. If you’re riding near others on Locust, do a solid and call out obstacles.
The Forest Preserve makes an appearance again this year, and it’s late in the ride. Prepare to be heartbroken. There is not a good “non-GPS” way to plan the course through the preserve; we are not allowed to mark turns, and there are too many to mark, anyhow. So either print some screenshots showing yourself the route, or bring GPS/ride with someone that has GPS.
Quick note on routing: We used 3 GPS to track yesterday, and the mileage was off by about a mile between the three. The course routing track is accurate. You can print off a cue sheet, and the mileage on there is accurate based on my GPS track. But your GPS may be off by a mile or more, based on our results yesterday. Using a GPS is the best course here.
We do not go through any towns on this year’s map. If you look, most of the course does not have anywhere to bail to, or to head for supplies. We may have some support somewhere on the course, but don’t plan on it. This ride is 70 miles, the vast majority of it being unshaded gravel. We brought 3 water bottles yesterday (each) and wished we had 4. Bring your own food, water, tools, tubes, and whatever else you need to successfully finish 70 miles of gravel unsupported. There is no SAG. (Well, there might be some, but don’t rely on it). Some areas of the course do not have cell service. Be self-sufficient.
Roll-out will be at 9:00am, sharp. The Metric starts and finishes at 6805 Leland Road, Waterman, Illinois. When you arrive, we will have people to help pack cars in for parking purposes. We will have registration and merchandise right at the farm, for the start of the event. Bring monies for sweet bottles, stem caps, t-shirts and surprises. We will also have a few Axletree kits available.
At the end of the ride, weather permitting, we will be “finishing” back in the woods. When you get out to the ride, you’ll see that the start point is a grass lane that leads back to a mature Oak woods–we’ll have tents, food, beer, music and such back there…along a scenic creek. So the ride isn’t over until you get back to the woods! If you need to stop at your car and grab something, or a change of clothes, before heading back to the woods, go ahead.
A note on the start/finish location from Dean: this is my family’s farm.
- Please do not show up before 7:15am at the earliest (and if you show that early, expect to be put into service).
- Volunteers, please be there at 7:00am.
- We will have people in the yard helping with parking. Please listen to them.
- No one is permitted to go into any of the buildings, nor to go up to the farmhouse, for any reason. Anyone who violates this rule will be told to leave in not nice words.
- We will have portapotties on-site. No one cares if you want to pee in the woods, or on the side of the road, or just about anywhere else, but please do not pee in my family’s yard. We’d like them to maybe have us back some time in the future.
- No trash, debris, junk, etc. left anywhere.
- Keep in-yard changing tasteful. (Nudity in the woods is encouraged).
- We’re going to fog the woods a bit for skeeters, but feel free to bring some OFF as well.
Post-ride food will be from Fatty’s, and we will have beer there as well. We are planning on food for 300, based on current FB registration. The final food order goes in Tuesday, so if you’re planning on registering, do it now. As I said in the last post, please bring some monies to support the event,and to pay for your food and beer. Our food cost is about $15/head (plus beer, plus paper products, plus portapotties, plus everything else we’re bringing out).
If there are any questions, hit us up on Facebook, or email me here.
It’s going to be a beautiful day, and an amazing course. Join us!