The Gold Rush Gravel Grinder is a gravel road race/ride/tour through the sacred Black Hills of South Dakota, Saturday, June 10, 2017.
Presented by Gold Rush Gravel Grinder, LLC, permitted by USFS.
**PLEASE READ THE RULES PAGE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ALL RACES!
EVERY RIDER MUST HAVE A SUPPORT PERSON TO COME PICK THEM UP IF THEY ARE UNABLE TO CONTINUE IN THE RACE FOR ANY REASON. IF YOU DON’T HAVE ANYONE AVAILABLE FOR SUPPORT WE OFFER A SUPPORT CREW, FOR AN ADDITIONAL FEE, FOR MOTHER LODE AND GOLD RUSH RACERS, WHICH MUST BE PURCHASED AT THE TIME OF REGISTRATION. THIS FEE IS NOT REFUNDABLE IF YOU END UP FINISHING THE RACE AND DON’T USE THE SUPPORT CREW. * *All three of the courses are for experienced riders only. They are challenging and not for beginners. Anyone attempting to race any of the three distances should be well trained and used to riding gravel for longer distances such as these!
Mother Lode: 210 mile adventure
Course Record: Greg Gleason 12:59:33, Katie Knoll 17:33:38
Race start: 5am
The Mother Lode is a 210 mile ride that will take you on a tour through both the Northern and Southern Black Hills of South Dakota. The Race will have a 5am start at the Spearfish City Park, with a neutral roll out of town. Once you hit the gravel, the racing will begin. This race is a self supported race and you will need to carry all of your own food and water. There will be 4 checkpoints at various stores that will have water and food items to purchase, and a phone available to use for $5. All four of these places are restaurant stores so if you need a full sit down meal, they will have food available to order.
At each of the 4 checkpoints will be a list of riders names-All riders must initial by their name at each checkpoint to notify race directors that you have come and gone from the checkpoint. If you are abandoning the event for any reason, please write DNF next to your name. Failure to “check in” will result in a DNF! All riders will have from 5am to 2:30am to complete the ride! After this you will not be given a finishing time, and there won’t be anyone or anything at the finish line!
Aid Station: Mile 36 *you are not required to stop/check in here.
Checkpoint 1: mile 69 at Trailshead Lodge, with a 12:30 cut off time
Checkpoint 2: mile 123 at Mountain Meadows, with a 6:00pm cut off time
Checkpoint 3: mile 152 at Moonshine Gulch Saloon, with a 9pm cut off time
Checkpoint 4: mile 172 back at Trailshead Lodge with an 11:30pm cut off time
These four checkpoints all have cut-off times based on an average traveling speed of about 8-10mph, and dependent upon which checkpoints you are riding between (we’ve given a little more leniency to the checkpoints with a lot of climbing involved, and only 3 hours for the last 40 miles due to the fact that it is predominately downhill). This speed includes all of your stop time, so if you like to stop a lot you will have to ride faster in order to make the cut-off times. If you fail to reach a checkpoint before the cut-off time, we ask that you discontinue the race.
This race is not for beginners, as you must be able to average an approx. 10mph pace to finish the ride before the 2:30am deadline. It is a challenging course with about 13,000 ft. of climbing!! There is a total of approx. 185-190 miles of gravel, with the rest being pavement. Most of the gravel is fast and hard packed, but at times graders will come through and make the gravel thick and sometimes dirty/muddy, and difficult to ride. Please be aware that many of the roads are also narrow with little to no shoulder, so you must use cation and ride only on the right side of the road. There are also many logging trucks in the area to watch out for!! The gravel in the hills is unique in that there aren’t a lot of rolling hills. You will usually be doing long steady climbs and descents on roads that don’t make many 90 degree turns, but rather wind their way through the beautiful Black Hills landscape. You will also get to enjoy a section of the famed Mickelson Trail where you will take a “car free”, winding path through the woods, crossing a multitude of bridges and going through 3 tunnels! The last 13 miles take you down Spearfish Canyon to the finish. Per our permit you are required to ride on the shoulder of the road. June is a beautiful month, with flowers in full force, but it can also be a very wet month …..so be prepared for anything! We are often frequented with late afternoon thunderstorms. There is very limited cell reception on course. We will have a vehicle on course to check on riders throughout the race. This person is not there to give you a ride back to the finish should you break down or get injured! They will be able to give you a ride to the nearest checkpoint (if they see you), so you can call your support crew to come pick you up. This person should not be relied upon however, as they may not see you should you break down or become injured.
EVERY RIDER MUST HAVE A SUPPORT PERSON or HIRE A SUPPORT PERSON PER REGISTRATION, to come get them should they need a ride. Every checkpoint will have a landline that you can use to call your support person for $5, and a map with directions to each checkpoint is available to print for all support crew. Support crew will not be allowed out on course unless they are picking you up, but they can meet you at any one, or all, of the 4 checkpoints for resupply. If a riders support crew is spotted on course at any time, the rider will be disqualified. Cue Sheets and a Map are available to print off, and will contain notes on various places with cell reception, water, and other important information. You need to print off your own Cue Sheets/Map and bring them to the race with you. A GPX file is provided and is highly recommended, especially if you are ‘racing’ as cue sheets can be hard to read when traveling at fast speeds and over bumpy gravel roads. A Data sheet is available to print off for all riders support crew, giving them directions to checkpoints and several bail out points.
Gold Rush: long course, 110 miles
Course Record: Jason Siegle/Nate Keck 5:48:26, Karen Borgstedt 7:38:41
Race Start: 6:30am
The Gold Rush Gravel Grinder is the Black Hills Premier Gravel Road Race. It is a 110 mile long, single-loop route that will take you through the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. This area is rich in history and was once a big part of the great Dakota Boom and Gold Rush in the Black Hills. The event is intended to be a fun, yet challenging endurance gravel road race/ride that will use open public-access gravel and dirt roads, through the Black Hills National forest and into Wyyyooommming! The course will consist of mostly gravel, some dirt, possible mud, and a bit of pavement (gasp)! while rolling over open prairie, meandering through beautiful canyons with flowing creeks, exploring the deep forest, and climbing to several spectacular vistas. This race is intended for people familiar to gravel riding that can average a minimum 10mph pace. This is a semi-supported race due to limited access to water and cell reception, with over 7,000 ft. of climbing! At mile 36 there will be water, Heed sports drink, and gels provided for riders, with a cut off time of 10:30am. If riders fail to meet this cut-off time they will receive a DNF and will need to turn around and ride back down to the bail out point (at mile 14.1 on your Cue sheet) where they may call their support person to come and get them. PLEASE respect this cut-off time! The riding gets much tougher after this, so if you didn’t make the first checkpoint, you will surely not make it to Trailshead Lodge in a timely manner.
Checkpoint 1: mile 68 at Trailshead Lodge with a cut off time of 2pm, if riders fail to meet this cut-off time they will receive a DNF and must call their support crew to come get them. Riders are required to “check in” at this Lodge. If they fail to do so, they will receive a DNF. This checkpoint is at a bar/restaurant where participants may buy food/drink, and may meet with their support crew for supplies. We will not provide water or food at this checkpoint, but this will be a drop-bag point, where we will haul your drop-bag (provided at packet pick up) to.
Checkpoint 2: mile 85 there is an “aid station”/checkpoint dubbed the Potato Station with a cut off time of 4pm, if riders fail to meet this cut-off time they will receive a DNF and will not be given a finishing time. All riders must “check in” at this aid station. If they fail to do so, they will receive a DNF. This aid station will provide riders with water, Heed Sports drink, gels, potatoes, and perhaps a sip of moonshine!
All riders must have a support crew or HIRE A SUPPORT CREW PER REGISTRATION, should they break down, get injured, or become unable to finish the race. Support crew will not be allowed out on course unless they are picking you up, but they can meet you at the Trailshead Lodge checkpoint for resupply. If a riders support crew is spotted on course at any time, the rider will be disqualified. Cue Sheets with important course info are available to print. You need to print off your own Cue sheets and bring them to the race with you. We suggest having a back up set of Cue Sheets, in the event you loose yours on course. A GPX file of the course is available and is highly recommended, especially if you are ‘racing’ as cue sheets can be hard to read when traveling at fast speeds over bumpy gravel roads! A data sheet is available to print off for all riders support crew for directions to bail out points and Trailshead Lodge, the only checkpoint where you may meet your support crew without being disqualified from the event.
Gold Dust: short course, 70 miles
Course Record: Zach Stone 4:07, Betsy Farris 5:27:55
Race Start: 7am
Want to experience Gravel riding in the Black Hills, but not 110 mile’s worth and at a more relaxed pace, then consider the Gold Dust Gravel Grinder. This is sort of a race, as we will be giving away an award to the top 3 overall mens and womens finishers (regardless of class), but it’s more about the fun and challenge of just finishing the ride. In the Gold Dust we give you more time to reach each checkpoint, than the more difficult Gold Rush and Mother Lode routes. This route is a challenging 70 mile, single-loop course, with the last 20 miles being primarily downhill! This is a semi-supported race/ride due to limited access to water. At mile 36 there will be water, Heed Sports drink, and gels provided for riders. This water stop will have a cut-off time of 11:30am, which will require an average speed of about 8mph to reach. If riders fail to make this cut-off time they will not be allowed to continue on in the race and must turn around and ride back down to the bail out point #1 (at mile 14.1 on your Cue sheet) where they may call their support person to come and get them or ride back to town This cut-off time is for rider safety and will need to be respected and obeyed by every participant. There will also be a checkpoint, the Potato Station, at mile 45 where all riders must “check in”. If they fail to do so, they will recieve a DNF. The station will close at 4pm, and anyone not making it there by this time will recieve a DNF. Water, Heed Sports drink, gels, and raw potatoes will be available at this checkpoint.
All riders must have a support crew, should they break down, get injured, or just need a ride back to the finish area. We do not provide riders with transportation. Support crew will not be allowed out on course unless they are picking you up. If your support crew is spotted on course you will be disqualified from the event. The Gold Dust is our shortest course but don’t let it fool you, as there is 4,500+ ft. of climbing on this course, and it is a challenge no matter your fitness level!
Cue Sheets with important course info are provided. You need to print off your own Cue sheets and bring them to the race with you. We suggest having a back up set of Cue Sheets, in the event you loose yours on course. A GPX of the course is available as well. A data sheet is available to print off for all riders support crew giving directions to the bail out spots.
Races Start All races start in the Spearfish City Park. Participants of the Mother Lode will leave the starting line under police escort at 5:00am. The Gold Rush will start at 6:30am and Gold Dust will leave at 7:00 am. The start is a 5 mile, neutral roll-out, with an escort out of town. Once onto the gravel, the racing will ‘officially’ begin.
All race courses are on open roads and it is the riders responsibility to ride according to the rules of the road. If you fail to do so you are putting yourself at a high risk of a collision with a vehicle. Many of the roads are narrow with no shoulders and blind corners! Logging trucks, farm trucks, and cars travel rapidly on these roads, and if they come around a corner and you are in their lane, you could get seriously injured. Stay on the right side of the road, and be very careful in blind corners!!
Navigation and support This is not a marked course! Participants must use the supplied cue sheets, along with their own personal cycling computer, or a GPX, to navigate the course. All participants need to know that they are primarily on their own, and are totally responsible for themselves. However, due to the remoteness of the course, and lack of cell reception, we will be providing a sag wagon for emergency only. This sag wagon, will be sweeping the course and ‘may’ be able to provide a rider a lift to the nearest checkpoint. But DO NOT count on this sag person, as they may miss you on course and they WILL NOT give you a ride all the way back to the finish area, only to the nearest checkpoint where you can call your support crew to come and get you. Also your cue sheets provide you the locations of several ‘Bail-out spots’ on the course where you will have cell reception and can call your support and Bail Out if needed (support crew may print off the maps to get them to these bail-out points). Participants may have to walk for miles to reach the nearest checkpoint or bail-out point. In all, Participants are solely responsible for their personal well-being, will have to make their own informed decisions, and suffer the consequences of those decisions.
Cash and prize guidelines for Mother Lode Race
Mens 39 & Under= prize for top three finishers
Mens 40 & Over= prize for top three finishers
Overall top 3 finishers, mens and womens (equal cash)
1st Place= $250
3rd Place= $100
Quollector for fastest rider of the day!
* Many prizes will be given out, by random drawing after the awards ceremony Sunday morning!
Cash and prize guidelines for Gold Rush Race(breakdown according to class size)
Mens Open 39&Under
Mens Single Speed
Prize awarded if not enough riders in a class for the cash award.
• 4-10 riders in a class = Cash 1 deep
• 11-20 riders in a class = Cash 2 deep
• 21+ riders in a class = Cash 3 deep
* Overall fastest time mens and womens $100 bonus (regardless of category)
* Many prizes will be given out, by random drawing after the awards ceremony at 5pm!
Prize guidelines for Gold Dust Race
Award will be given to top three male and female overall riders.
*Many prizes will be given out, by random drawing after the awards ceremony at 5pm!
These races will happen, regardless of rain, sleet, snow or whatever mother nature decides to throw at us. So be prepared! Check the local weather forecast for the day and dress accordingly. June in South Dakota is a very beautiful, but sometimes wet month, so be prepared to bring your rain gear if needed! Remember , there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear choice!