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tall old member
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I was going to suggest riding along on the gravel as a private rider making use of public roads, which would allow you to turn back home whenever you wanted ..... but my next thought is, "Why bother?" It sounds like not a fun gravel ride.

Sounds to me like you need to get on the Board of Directors for next year.
I could turn back at any time if I was signed up but I have never used a sag in my life but if ever I thought a ride needed one it would be this gravel ride. Our townships don’t know what they are doing and use large crushed limestone that can cut a tire. I carry boots but most riders don’t. No SAG, NO SIGNAL, AND OUT IN THE BOONIES. This sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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5,976 Posts
Our annual Pedal The Lakes September ride has some changes this year. They always offered a 30 ish mile ride, a 65 mile ride, and a century, on these western Pennsylvania hills. This year they are offering a 35 mile ride and a 65 mile ride. They dropped the century and said if you want to do the century, ride the 35 and then the 65. Both these rides have SAG support and rest stops. They added a 75 mile gravel ride with no SAG, they say you should arrange your own SAG if you are a new gravel rider. No rest stops on the gravel ride, they said the ride will take you through two small towns that have a convenience store that you can buy drinks and nutrition.

I think the gravel riders are getting the short end of the stick. They haven’t published the route yet and they won’t publish it until next week and only if you sign up and pay they will email you the route. They will attempt to mark the turns with arrows spray painted on the dirt/gravel but said those arrows won’t last long with four wheelers and other vehicles running over them. They said a GPS with turn by turn is required.

This ride will probably go right past my house and on all the roads I normally ride. They warned people that the difficulty of this ride would be similar to a 125 mile pavement ride. Why they have to make it so difficult is beyond me. We start with the road riders at the marina. When you leave the marina there is a gravel road crosses the paved road less than 100 yards away. If we go to the left it will involve a hill that is probably unridable. I have been down it on my bike one time and after I made the decision to try it I had regrets all the way down, but I made it. I personally can’t even imagine myself or anybody else making it UP that hill.

I so wanted to do an organized gravel ride but with them saying how difficult this ride is, no SAG, no rest stops, and I know most of the roads we will probably ride I think I will just have to do the road rides. They also said you will need to download the directions to your device because many areas won’t have signal.

The only thing I can think of as to why they are making it so hard is people have been asking for a gravel ride and they didn’t want to be bothered. They made it hard so they could say they offered a gravel ride and nobody signed up.
That's too bad they seem to have half-a$$ed the gravel ride. I'm into the idea of a 75-mi self supported gravel ride as something I plan and choose to undertake. Doing so as part of a big event but with no external support at all just seems like a prescription for a miserable day. I'm sorry it worked out like that this year. I hope that they come up with something better in the future. Seems like a good way to drive one's riders away to other events.
 

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tall old member
Joined
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1,586 Posts
That's too bad they seem to have half-a$$ed the gravel ride. I'm into the idea of a 75-mi self supported gravel ride as something I plan and choose to undertake. Doing so as part of a big event but with no external support at all just seems like a prescription for a miserable day. I'm sorry it worked out like that this year. I hope that they come up with something better in the future. Seems like a good way to drive one's riders away to other events.
I did the 68 mile pavement ride with over 3,000 feet of climbing. After the ride I talked to some of the returning gravel riders. They said it was a blast. I checked their Strava time and they averaged 17 mph. They are a different class of rider than me. They must have been gravel racers. Of course I was at least twice their age.

I have been riding my road touring bike this month because it is easier to rack up miles for the September challenge to fight children’s cancer.
My township messed with my road again and put about four inches of loose material on top of the washboard dirt/gravel underneath.
I had to switch back to my gravel bike because my 520 with 32s on it could not handle that loose stuff.
 
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