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Thread: Loudoun 1725 Gravel Grinder

  1. #21
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    Wait.... that's what people look like from NYC? Is that why they surrounded the city with a moat?

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  3. #22
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    A few friends, my wife, and I have never biked in Middleburg prior to last Saturday, so we wanted to see what it was like and rode the first loop (about 17 miles) starting from the Middleburg Community Charter School. In the parking lot, I saw three other bikers and asked one of them if it was OK to park there. He said he has done it for years with no issues.

    I rode my mountain bike with 700x50 Soma Cazadero tires, and they were fast, relatively cushy, and provided good grip through the turns, some of which were gravel, and some which I took quickly. If you have the clearance for them, I'd recommend them. Definitely faster than my 700x45 WTB Riddler tires, probably because the Soma has a continuous center stripe. They weren't as fast as my Schwalbe 29x2.3 G-One Speed TLE, but I've had a lot of flatting problems with them, tubeless and tubed. Another tire I run on gravel is WTB NanoRaptor 29x2.1, which has better grip, is cushier because it's bigger, but much slower than the Soma.

    The part of the course that we rode was a mix of tarmac and gravel. Around mile 2 (starting from the school), you come down the road at high speed and cross a small bridge that goes over Goose Creek. Be careful there because there are a few potholes on it. My friend banged his tire on one and got a flat. Luckily there's a little pull-off spot where you can change your tube if the same happens to you.

    Dry Dry Run of Loudoun 1725 Gravel Grinder by ricky d, on Flickr

    There was a small downhill turn section of deeper gravel (~8.4 miles in), so make sure you are in control and can slow down if necessary.

    It rained hard the night before, and the gravel was still in great shape. There were a few puddles on the side of the road, but I was worried about not putting on a rear fender at the beginning of the ride. I totes didn't need it.

    Dry Dry Run of Loudoun 1725 Gravel Grinder by ricky d, on Flickr

    Compared to the C&O Towpath's gravel, there's a lot more climbing and descending in M'burg, and you'll have to deal with cars, but all cars that passed us that day were very courteous and gave us breathing room when they went by. We didn't see a single person walking the roads, so there is no dodging of other trail users like you have to do on the C&O. C&O has more undulations and potholes, while M'burg's gravel (where we rode) was generally a lot smoother with smaller bits of gravel. If you have no intention of flying into corners, you could do this on a road bike without too much worry, although I'd probably opt for 28mm or wider tire for comfort.

    The 17 miles we rode of the course was a beautiful, serene ride, and I think this will be a wonderful event even if it rains because the gravel roads can handle it.

    Dry Dry Run of Loudoun 1725 Gravel Grinder by ricky d, on Flickr

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  5. #23
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    Bumping this back up on everyone's radar! Last day to register is Wednesday!

    Do not miss out on this amazingly awesome first time event!

  6. #24
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    Thanks for the bump. I registered a while back.

    If you would like to have your gas and your beer paid for, offer me and my bike a ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    If you would like to have your gas and your beer paid for, offer me and my bike a ride.
    Don't forget me!

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  9. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunyata View Post
    Bumping this back up on everyone's radar! Last day to register is Wednesday!
    Quoth the website, "** Ride is SOLD OUT **"

    😕

    Have fun, everybody!

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  11. #27
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    If you would like to participate, you could still volunteer. Come volunteer at a Bikenetic Aid Station and then ride the gravel like a bucking banjo! Try to contact me directly.

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  13. #28
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    Good times yesterday and hope everyone had as much fun as Jo and me



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  15. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by drevil View Post
    Good times yesterday and hope everyone had as much fun as Jo and me
    We didn't see you. :-(
    I'm sure you were long gone before we rolled in from the 80-miler. Here are a few pictures.

    The start (reji and smb9600 waiting in line)
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    The first support stop. Mucho thanks to Bikenetic for all their support
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    Reji smiling along the way
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    Lots of nice scenery, including this stone wall
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    Two Steves
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristoB50 View Post
    What's the group consensus on whether my pedelec assist bike would be suitable for this kind of riding? (29x2.0 tires, with a fairly upright posture.)

    I have a car, no bike rack, and potentially a bike (which just barely fits into the car with the back seats folded down.)
    NCVC is putting on a gravel race this fall, and there's an e-bike category for the shorter version (37 miles, 4.5k feet climbing). I don't know how long the battery lasts or how heavy it is, but you could try this. I'd definitely make sure you have some decent tires on though.

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