Mark your calendars…

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Is this thing on?

The Gravel Metric will ride again.  Mark your calendars.

Sunday, May 29, 2016.  

Full details to be provided.  Expect something old, something new, something gravelled, something true.

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Before the long sleep.

We bid you goodnight, friends and followers.

It’s time for us to sleep.

If you scroll down this blog, you’ll see a pattern.

Build up – prep -promote – Gravel Metric – sappy post – sleep.

In our estimation, there are about eight months of the year that folks don’t give a hot hoot about the Gravel Metric. And that’s ok, because you have to live in the now, and the GM is only in the now for a little while each Spring.

It starts in March or so. The trickle of traffic starts to come in via dusty links on the web. We get an occasional email asking why the next GM is on a Tuesday…

And then we get to work. The actual planning of the event gets easier each year, so we tend to be less and less vocal about it as time goes on. The GM becomes more central in the attention of those who enjoy these types of things once the weather starts to change.

On our side of the table, things get real nutty for a few weeks and then, after the big weekend at full capacity, the Gravel Metric comes and goes. We take a shower, say our thank-you’s, and hunker down for the long aestivation.

It's ok, no one knows what aestivation means. Look it up. It's neat. Go ahead, it's ok.

It’s ok, no one knows what aestivation means. Look it up. It’s neat. Go ahead, it’s ok.

Then this, the last post, sits here like a “Do Not Disturb” sign until we wake up again.

And, as we can see by the traffic stats, we’re not disappointing too many people. The week after the event, Google seems to forget we exist.

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 3.21.30 PM

So, while we’re asleep, and you’re here, maybe you should consider doing these other events we host, too:

The Night Bison – 55ish miles of gravelish terrain starting at Sundown. Labor Day weekend at NCC.

The Ten Thousand – 125+mi of 10-11,000′ of elevation gain in NW IL.

See you next year?

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Thank you thank you thank you and you’re welcome.

We wanted to thank everyone for a phenomenal event last Sunday.


We are still putting ourselves back together, so our words will be few.

Thank you all for coming out despite the rain. Everyone we talked to was very kind with their words and rode respectively. We were able to recoup our costs for the day and even raise some funds due to your generosity. Thank you for your support.

Our friend Ken posted a great gallery of pics from the day on his Flickr page, so you should go check those out.

Thank you to all our sponsors who came out and rode with us, too. Jamey Driscoll once again took the “win” by getting into the food line before anyone else. It’s hard to win a race that technically doesn’t even have a finish line, but he did it again!


Photo by Paul Anderson







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Last minute bits to chew on.

Hey everyone.
We’re wrapping up the final details around here and we have a few reminders for you:

1. Please come prepared. We will not have enough water to fill 1200 waterbottles. There are no guaranteed places to refill your bottles on the course, so be prepared to carry 3-4 bottles.

2. We will be getting a police escort out of town leaving NCC at 9am. Please be prepared to roll out with the group. Position yourself appropriately in the corral so as not to be jostling during the neutral rollout. (This generally leads to premature shenanigans). We will be able to roll without stopping all the way to the first bit of gravel. During this neutral leadout, it is absolutely unacceptable to swerve into the oncoming traffic lane in order the jockey for a better position. Stay to the right of the yellow lines. We will have a line of Axletree folks herding the group and watching out. Don’t be the juicebag that gets caught doing this or we’ll put gum in your hair.


3. Once we hit the gravel, we’ll be halting the start until the whole group has made the turn. At that point, we’ll open the course and you can get wild.

4. It looks like we might have a spot of rain on Sunday, so please come prepared for it. Ride safe, have fun, and please stick around for food and drinks even if it’s raining. We’d prefer not to lose our funds for all those meals.

5. We’re very humbled and thankful to have so many people rsvp’d and so many pre-orders for GM goods. Thank you for your support! Please be patient with the volunteers on Sunday – this will be, by far, our biggest gravel event to date and we’re a small crew.

Please let us know if you have any questions!

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Good goods for the common good.

We’re lining up some things to sell at the Gravel Metric and we’d like to know if you want some. Click here to get right to it, or stay on the line for more information.

We worked with some friends in Omaha to come up with some new branding for the Metric this year. It was a fun project.

The main design for the t-shirts comes from some of the research we did into old advertisements in DeKalb. DeKalb is the home of barbed wire, and the apparatus you see here was called “The Rattler”. It was a tool used to tension barbed wire between fenceposts. We thought it was very apropos.

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 9.39.01 AM


We made men’s and women’s t-shirts in lieutenant green. Pre-order here.

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 3.35.52 PM

As is our custom, we are printing bandana cue sheets. We dig this idea, since no amount of rain, sweat, blood or mud will take the ink off of them. And they are a great memento. We will nor promise to have printed cue sheets, so we recommend ordering one.

2015 bandana

Our generous sponsors, Moots and Clement, contributed towards a run of Purist MoFlo bottles for the event. They will be available for $10ea at the Metric, but you can pre-order them 2 for $15 here. Purist22_f

All of the above goods are being sold to raise money for Axletree, our non-profit dedicated to Events, Advocacy, and Awesome. We have no paid officers and get no perks from the non-profit. All of the funds go to our advocacy and events. This month alone, we have worked with multiple community foundations to provide 20 helmets to the local library and 20 bikes and helmets to people who need them most in DeKalb. We excited to host events like the GM to make these things happen. We appreciate your attendance, but we also greatly appreciate your support in buying our goods and donating at the event.

If you appreciate what we’re doing and want to get all of the goods together, we are offering the AXLETREE LOVE BUNDLE – including a t-shirt, 2 bottles, a bandana and an added donation to Axletree. Thank you in advance for clicking hereGM BUNDLE

Pre-ordering all of these is good for a number of reasons. Four, to be exact:

1. You actually get it, in your size, for sure. This guarantees we don’t run out of the item in your size. This is important. 

2. We will have it ready at the start so you don’t have to wait in a (long) line like a sucker. 

3. We will sleep better knowing we didn’t just order a pile of goods no one wants. 

4. We will share your name in lights (twitter, at least) if you buy a LOVE BUNDLE.

So please, click here and show your support. We are looking forward to it. 



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The Whole Enchilada of Information & Cats.

Thank you to everyone who has registered on Facebook or given us an RSVP via email. We have a pretty good idea that this is going to be the biggest, baddest and best GM ever. Unless it rains, then it will be all those things and more.

Before I get started on some updates, I want to say thank you to everyone for coming out to our GM Training Rides. We had a good turnout to both of them and enjoyed seeing you all.

Ok, we have to get serious for a second.


During the training rides, we were also reminded that no matter how much we talk about behaving well on the road and being good representatives for cycling, we still have people come out and act like jerkbags. This may sound harsh, but if you take offense to it, then you are probably an offender. Our good times on bicycles do not merit conflicts or confrontations with the other users of the roads. We ask that all riders that come out by our invitation be mindful that your behavior on a single ride affects how local riders are treated on every single ride. 

For example, riders should not clog an entire lane so that oncoming cars have no choice but to swerve off the road to avoid a collision. Your draft is not more important than the safety of those drivers. The GM isn’t a race and it isn’t a closed course. Be cool out there.

If you hail from a cycling culture that rides as if it owns the road, or you think your team kit is famous or fast enough to merit special consideration, we recommend getting together with your team to ride in circles somewhere else that day.

We’re not serious about much, but we’re serious about this.

Now, down to business. Funny business.

edfsaf copy

Here’s the parking situation.


When you get here, park anywhere in the green.Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 3.35.52 PM

Sign a waiver (or sign it beforehand, you smart and handsome person), grab a cue sheet (or print one out beforehand, you clever one), and buy some rad goods. Gravel Metric goods and Axletree goods will be for sale outside (first come, first served)(please bring cash). If you’re a smart cookie, you’ll jump over to the pre-order site by clicking here and nabbing some of those goodies ahead of time. Pre-ordering guarantees your goods and speeds up your check-in process on the day of the event. Again, click here.

NCC will be open for business starting at 7am. That means that after 7am, you may enter the bike shop and purchase any last minute items you need for the ride. It also means that, if you have to go to the bathroom, you can USE THE BIG JOHNS OUTSIDE. Please do not obliterate our kind little facilities. Speaking of, there will be coffee.


Our friends from Heritage Bicycles General Store will be present at the start to sell great coffee – with proceeds going to Axletree. Please support them supporting us. Thanks for the support.

Please watch for traffic as you register and get ready. We’ll be exiting the south end of the Staging lot at 9am. We’ll have a police escort out of town. (Thank you, City of DeKalb).

On the way out of town we’re going to have a pace car take us all the way to the gravel. We were dismayed when people crossed the double yellow during the neutral leadout in order get a better position. We’ll have a line of Axletree riders keeping everyone in the fun zone and out of the danger zone. Once we hit the gravel, the course will be open.

Please check out the route. It’s the same as last year, so you know. Come prepared. Have a ton of fun.

You’ll want to mind the out-and-back on Woodlawn (go south from Houghtby, even if you see riders going north) and hit the checkpoint to get your wristband punched. All riders with a punched wristband get a beer ticket at the after-party.

Finish the course, sprint for the RR tracks (even if you’re alone), cool down on the way into town, and arrive safely at the starting line. Remember what I said before and be cool to drivers as you’re coming into town.

After you’ve put your bike down and used the Big John, please join us in the Gravel Metric Beer Garden. You’ll need an ID. Show ID and a punched wristband at the door and get your free beer ticket. Once you’re in, we’ll have beer and food available.

We’re asking for a $13+ donation for food. Axletree is footing the bill for the catering to keep our permits straight, so we’re hoping you’ll help us cover and exceed the costs of the day. Cash is best, again. If you’re interested in more beers, those will be available as well. Donate as you wish for the drinks. Do not exit the beer garden with alcohol. For the sake of all future Gravel Metrics, keep all alcohol in the beer garden. Do not bring your own and drink in the parking lot or you run the risk of ruining the fun for everyone.

We’ll hang out until the food and drink run out (which they will) and then we’ll accept any willing hand in the tear down process.

That about wraps it up! Come have fun! and bring cash, if you could be so kind.

If you have any questions, please email


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The Gravel Metric 2015 will be Sunday, May 24th.

We have a Facebook event page up here.

Please RSVP there, or by sending an email to

There is no formal pre-registration, but we do like to know how many people might be there so we can be ready. Or at least look ready.


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