Yeah, yeah, I know gravel is so "on-trend" right now, but it's legitimately fun and a great way to explore new terrain.
We all know the deal, this pandemic blows. Thousands have lost their lives and thousands more have lost their jobs.
Every race previously planned for the next few months is out of the question, and who knows when we'll be able to toe a start line again?
Who would've guessed that society calling a collective sick day to stay home and binge Tiger King would be bad for local restaurants, bike shops, and other establishments?
Buy at least a $20 gift card / gift certificate to a local Grand Valley business.
Contact me via e-mail to enter the competition.
Complete the route between April 20 and May 3. Document your ride on Strava.
Divide all the booty evenly five-ways: Men's Open, Women's Open, Men's Master, and Women's Master category winners AND one random draw from a hat (on May 4).
Treat yo'self or your family with all your winnings, or lament that you failed - but take pride in the fact that you had a sweet ride and helped local businesses!
51.3 MILES, APPROXIMATELY 3,200' OF CLIMBING
The Lockdown Graveltational course starts and ends at the main Kokopelli Trailhead (just west of the parking lot, to be exact). A gravel bike with durable, large-volume tires is recommended, but the course could also be completed on a mountain bike or even a road bike (if you're really ambitious!). The different sectors will favor different bike setups and rider strengths. For reference, I rode on a Fezzari Shafer with a Redshift Suspension Stem and Seatpost, 2x11 Shimano GRX drivetrain, and ENVE 4.5 AR wheels shod in Maxxis Re-Fuse 40c tubeless tires (at 38psi). This setup was just about perfect.
approx 3.6 mi
This sector happens on Hawkeye Road, on the North side of the Kokopelli Trailsystem. The road is gravel and features several short, rolling hills. Keep your head up, especially on the weekend, as this road is used somewhat heavily to access the Kokopelli Trailsystem's numerous trailheads. At approximately mile 3.5, you'll turn right at the Hawkeye parking lot at the Mack exit on I-70 and head north to HWY 6. This sector concludes at the stop sign at the I-70 underpass (just one of TWO on the whole route!).
approx 12.6 mi
This is the tamest section of the course, but not for your legs! You'll begin by passing the Country Jam venue as you descend to HWY 6. At the stop sign, turn left. This sector is all about finding a groove and getting consistent power down. Once you're a few miles outside of the town of Mack, traffic is minimal. I've occasionally been chased by dogs from the houses around 2.8 Rd, so pay attention! This sector ends at the Utah border (marked by a very fancy sign), but you'll just continue on.
approx 6.3 mi
As soon as you cross the border, the road quickly degrades in quality - but that's what we're here for: GRAVEL, BABY! Right off the bat, there are a few long, fast downhills. There ain't nothing out here but some cows and antelope (if you're lucky!), thus the name "No Man's Land." About the only structure you'll pass is some kind of energy company plant, which I've always thought would be an excellent base in a "Walking Dead" scenario because it's quite spacious and completely guarded by barbed wire.....and that's the kind of thing I think about on rides like this. After a few long-ish, gradual climbs, you'll start to see signs of civilization and, to your left, I-70. Right about here is where you'll turn left to dip under the underpass at the Westwater Exit (227, I think). After passing under, stay right and take a left on the first gravel road you see.
approx 10.0 mi
Now shit gets REAL. Not long after starting this road, it'll split. You'll see a carsonite sign for the Kokopelli Trail directing you right, but you wanna go left. There's a big radio tower to your left that serves as a good point of reference. You'll pass by some campers and, not long after, that radio tower and you'll start descending the roughest part of this route. Keep things backed off a bit here unless you're on a MTB, because it can get outta hand real quick. I *think* this road is called May Flats which is appropriate because you MAY FLAT here. I'm probably overselling it a bit, but this where I was very happy to have all 40 of my tire's 40c width and fresh tubeless sealant. Once the descent is done, you'll start to recognize the area if you've ever ridden the Zion Curtain trail. Shortly after you pass a sheep herder's trailer and a couple wash crossings, there's an intersection. Take the road on the left (as you would riding Zion Curtain clockwise). This road is a little bony at times, but really beautiful and fun. As you get close to I-70 again you'll see the Zion Curtain singletrack on your right, definitely check that trail out sometime as it's one of my favorites (just not today). Now, you'll pass under I-70 in some really sandy, powdery crap. There will be a gate you'll have to pass through. Once through the gate, stay on the main, obvious road that veers right and parallels I-70. You'll be going East, towards Rabbit Valley (and Colorado - you're still in Utah). About 7 miles into this segment you'll go through the border gate and be back in ColoradBRO. Again, stay on the obvious, main road all the way to the Rabbit Valley exit. There is a road on your left approximately one mile after the border, do not take it, stay right. You'll do a little more climbing then do some fun gravel descending to the Trail Through Time trailhead at the Rabbit Valley exit on I-70 (2, I think). Cross the overpass into Rabbit Valley and hang a left, shortly after the parking lot, on the Kokopelli Trail.
approx 8.8 mi
Now you're on the world-famous Kokopelli Trail! You'll generally have a tailwind on this section and aside from a few short hills, you should be able to rip it pretty good. But, be aware, the gravel is fairly coarse and can be slidy. Also be aware that there seems to be a heckuva lot of Covid escapees taking up residence in Rabbit Valley, so this road is busier than usual and just about anything remotely resembling a campsite is occupied. At the bottom of the fastest descent on this sector, hang a left to get off the Kokopelli Trail and cruise under I-70 back towards HWY 6. After going under the interstate, there are a couple faint sideroads, but stay on what's obviously the main road all the way to HWY 6. After a gravelly descent that's adjacent to dried-up reservoir you'll kinda veer left towards a trailhead and then go right once you get there, then a slight climb to HWY 6.
approx 10.0 mi
HWY 6! You've been here before! Just retrace your steps to the start/finish at the Kokopelli Trailhead. In case you forgot, just head East on HWY 6 until you pass through the town of Mack. Then take a right towards the Mack Exit on I-70 (12, I think). Go under the interstate and climb up towards the Hawkeye parking lot and hang a left on Hawkeye Road to the end.
With respect to Colorado Stay-At-Home guidelines, this "thing" is only open to Grand Valley residents until those are lifted.
Group riding is strongly discouraged, unless your "group" lives in the same household. Please respect social distancing directives.
Examples of suitable local businesses to benefit: restaurants, bike shops, yoga studios, gyms, florists, specialty retailers, barber shops, or anyone else that's rad and may be struggling right now.
Examples of unsuitable local businesses to benefit: chain restaurants, big-box retailers, online stores, or Big Cat Rescue.
No bike-swapping mid-course. You must ride the same bike for the whole route.
More to be added as needed.....
The categories are:
Master Men (40+)
Master Women (40+)
Gift Cards / Gift Certificates:
You may mail or bring them to me, or you can Paypal me your donation (with or without direction to where it should be spent) and I'll gather the gift at the culmination of the contest. In any case, e-mail me to get square and officially "entered."
Results and updates:
Ongoing results will be posted here in the section below and updated frequently.
Final results will be posted May 4.
The Lockdown Graveltational is a wrap! Thank you for you generosity and appetite for adventure, I'm overwhelmed by the success of the event! We had over 80 locals enter, which far surpassed my expectations!
Together we sent $1,800 to local businesses! Stay tuned for another round in the near future!
Be aware that there are sheep herding dogs in Sector 4 after you descend from Westwater Mesa.
1. BRANNAN FIX 2:22.06
2. TORBJØRN ANDRÉ RØED +0:00.15 (2:22.21)
3. JAKE WELLS +0:03.35 (2:25:41)
1. ALEXIS SKARDA 2:46:55
2. GWENDALYN GIBSON +0:03.39 (2:50:34)
3. SPARKY MOIR +0:07.35 (2:54:30)
1. CAMERON BRENNEMAN 2:40:34
2. JOHN TODD MALLOW +0:10.56 (2:51:30)
3. RYAN CHRISTIANSON +0:13.07 (2:53:41)
1. MANDY BROTHERS 3:28:20
2. SARA LANDIS +0:12.34 (3:40.54)
2. DANA VANVOORHEES +0:13.02 (3:41.22)