July 30 – Gravel Grinder Road Race
The RR will start at 9am.
New Strava Map: https://www.strava.com/segments/12753414
Description: Long Hollow/Dryside
Start/Finish is on CR 136 at the Hesperus substation (which is NOT in Hesperus)
Simple directions – Wildcat Canyon Road (CR 141 ) to MM 8, left on CR 136, south about 3/4 mile to BIG electrical substation
The course is south on CR 136 for 9 miles, doing a rough “figure 8”, then backtracking north on 136 about 4 miles to the finish
It is all county roads with less than 1/2 mile of pavement (while passing through Marvel) @about mile 12.4. Much of the course is “false flat” up or down. It traverses Long Hollow 4 times with short steep descents and climbs. Traffic should be very light.
Excellent vistas of Sleeping Ute, La Platas and even the Needles.
It should be fun. Generally good roads, but the worst parts (the short descents) can be expected to be steep, loose, rough and curvy.
31. 5 miles with 1800 feet of climbing
0 Start – South on CR 136 from substation
8.9 R (W) on CR 131
—Traverse Long Hollow #1—
11.5 L (W) on CR 133 (Stop Sign)
12.5 L (S) on CR 134 (Stop Sign) Marvel
—Traverse Long Hollow #2—
16.5 L (N) on CR 136 (southernmost point – about halfway – start “back”)
18.1 L (W) on CR 131 (second pass through intersection )
—Traverse Long Hollow #3—
20.7 Straight at Stop Sign (second pass)
21.7 R(E) on CR129 (Marvel Cemetery on NW corner)
22.7 Left bend
24.7 R on CR 128
—Traverse Long Hollow #4—
27.5 L (E) Backtrack on CR 136
Map Notes – Deciphering the code:
It’s not really complicated. The first half (“Out”) is yellow, the second half (“Back”) is Black.
Greater detail -There are 8 turns required to navigate the course which are identified on the map with turn #, direction (“L” or “R”), and the County Road ID
Example “◆ 1R- CR 131″ = An icon marking Turn #1, Right onto CR 131
A star icon ★ indicates the course passes through that intersection twice.
A red icon indicates a stop sign. Enough said.
A yellow icon indicates a left turn or other intersection where it may be necessary to yield to any other traffic.
A blue icon indicates a turn/intersection with no specific issues (but you still need to be alert).
Other than the mandatory turns, simply go straight and/or follow the obvious road. Do NOT proceed past any “no outlet” signs. The course will be well marked on race day.
The DWC Championships includes two Gravel Grinder events this year, a Time Trial and a Road Race
Please let us know early on whether you plan to participate. Feedback in advance is also welcome, as are questions or comments about the courses.
In simple terms, a “gravel grinder” (“GG” for short) is a road ride/race on unpaved roads.
Fun fact: La Plata County maintains 653 miles of roads. Of these, only 222 (about a third) are paved.
“Unpaved” can be a buffed mag-chloride surface almost indistinguishable from pavement.
Or it can be a loose, twisty, rough, steep, washboardy surface.
Expect some of each.
Equipment: The choice is up to you.
Road bikes can work well when conditions are good, but can be very prone to flats when it gets a bit rougher. They worked well for 80% of the TT riders – no flats this year. But the general consensus for the RR (similar but with rougher sections, especially on the short steep descents and climbs) was that road bike was NOT the tool of choice.
Support – the GG events require riders to ride fully self-supported, particularly for mechanical issues.
Bottle handups from fixed locations the roadside are OK. But, please, no vehicles leapfrogging the group.
Support vehicles are discouraged, however you may use a support/follow vehicle, subject to a few conditions.
First, the support vehicle must be made available to ALL participants for carrying spare wheels, tubes, tires, bikes or picking up any rider who has abandoned for any reason.
Second, the support vehicle must remain behind ALL riders for the duration of the race.
Third, we would very much like to (and expect to) have a “broom wagon,” so please let us know in advance if you intend to be using and/or providing a support vehicle. (That’s a condition)
Any support vehicle should plan on having an accessible means of communication. A cell phone will work.
A finishing rider who takes advantage of support outside of these guidelines will be relegated to last place.
Weather note: We hope to run these events rain or shine! Be prepared!
July 7 Gravel Grinder TT (Successfully completed!)
The start is near the intersection of CR 240 / CR 245, about 9.5 miles past the stoplight on CR 240 / CR 250 (a bit past MM 11 on 240) . There are many places to park in this area if you are driving to the start/finish.
TT Course Description:
The finish is about 1 mile from the start, eliminating a long steep twisty descent. The turnaround is at the top of 502 and will be marked (@ the speed limit sign). The route is on unpaved County Roads (CR 245, CR 502, CR 245). These are well maintained county roads with a dirt/gravel surface. Road surface conditions will vary depending on both the current and recent weather and traffic. Expect some loose gravel. There is substantial climbing AND descending.
TT Route Notes:
Start at bridge on CR 245
4.1 mi sharp right onto CR 502
7.6 mi turnaround at top of climb on CR 502 (@speed limit sign)
11.3 mi sharp left onto CR 245
14.3 finish on flat (@speed limit sign) before steep DH, .4 miles past top of final climb on CR 245
Total Distance =~14.3 miles
Total Climbing =~1450 feet