The Fools Gold Gravel Grinder:This is the shortest ride in our Gold Rush race and is a great place to start if you are new to gravel endurance riding/racing.
This ride is all about the fun and challenge of just finishing, and everyone who makes the cut-offs, and crosses the finish line will get a Fools Gold finishers award! In the Fools Gold we give you more time to finish the race, with a generous 7mph average needed to make the first checkpoint/aid station. This route may be our shortest in distance, but don’t let it Fool ya’ as it is a challenging 45 mile, single-loop course. It consists of 3,800 ft of climbing and will be a challenge no matter your fitness level. The 5 mile lead out, and last 13 miles down Spearfish Canyon are the only pavement on the course.
Race start: Spearfish City Park at 7:00 am, riders will be starting with the Gold Dust Racers. The start is a 4 mile, neutral roll-out, with an escort out of town. Make sure to turn left onto Higgins Gulch road at mile 4, and don’t follow the Gold Dust racers as they will continue on to Homestake Rd. Once onto the gravel, the racing will ‘officially’ begin.
The course is 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, ATV's 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, and when cresting hills!!
Aid Station mile 22: Cut-off time is 11:00am, which will require an average speed of about 6 mph to reach. If riders fail to make this cut-off time they will not be allowed to continue on in the race and must go to the bail out point at Iron Creek Lake, where they may call their support person to come and get them. This cut-off time is for rider safety and out of respect for volunteers, and will need to be respected and obeyed by every participant. There will be water, Heed Sports Drink, and a few food items provided for riders.
Support Crew: It is mandatory that all riders have a support crew for the event. Your support crew is there to come and get you off the course should you break down, get injured, or just need a ride back to the finish area. Your support crew can be another rider as long as you both understand that you may have to wait at a bail out spot for the other rider to finish, before he can come to rescue you. We do not provide riders with transportation. It is your support crews responsibility to make sure you are accounted for at the end of the day! We will have someone sagging each distance, but if you make a wrong turn and the support misses you, we won't know that you are still out there! A data sheet is available to print off for all riders support crew giving directions to the aid station, should you need to abandon the race. Support crew will not be allowed out on course unless they are picking you up, but are allowed to meet you at the aid station to check on your well being. If your support crew is spotted on course you will be disqualified from the event.
Tripple R: If you do not have a support person you may purchase Tripple R aka Ridge Rider Rescue when you register on bikereg.com for $40. This service will act as your support person and will give you a ride back to the start should you not make the cut-off times or need to abandon the race for any reason.
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. We suggest using all 3 in the case you should lose one or have a garmin malfunction! You need to print off your own Cue sheets and map, and bring them to the race with you. Your cue sheets provide you the locations 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 wait for the sag person to give them a ride there. 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. 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 .
Finishers Award will be awarded to anyone who makes it to the aid station/checkpoints before the cut-off time, and crosses the finish line.
Many prizes will be given out, by random drawing after the awards ceremony at 4:30pm!
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!
WARNING! If you break down or become injured, it is YOUR responsibility to contact your support crew to come get you. DO NOT CALL US. WE WILL NOT COME RESCUE YOU. EVENT PROMOTERS AND SPONSORS ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR SAFETY AND WELL-BEING. So if you sign up for this event, YOU MUST HAVE A SUPPORT CREW with a well thought out emergency back-up plan. If you do not feel you are prepared to meet such a challenge, please stay home!!