Great Mustang Gravel 100
For the first time ever, Pedal The Plains is offering a gravel ride – the Great Mustang Gravel 100. As many know Gravel is growing amongst cyclists because it allows you to ride on bucolic quiet roads with very little vehicle traffic. Gravel is not really the right word because it really is packed dirt in most cases. In some cases the dirt is smoother than some of the paved roads! The Eastern Plains has a plethora of wonderful dirt roads that allow you to explore and enjoy and we thought this was a great year to start the tradition! Here is information that can help you prepare.
You will start with everyone and travel through Bennett, Strasburg and Byers. This will allow you to stop at two really fun train related educational stops. In Byers, everyone else will take a left but you will take a RIGHT and head on your adventure. Your first stop will be the Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary. It is a wonderful sanctuary for both mustangs and burros. If you lucky one of the two sets of burros (Batman & Robin and Thelma & Louise) will be out and about as they are great fun. The staff will give you a tour and talk about their program.
There are four feedzones along the way including Matheson Town Park that has an old grain elevator that just says “come explore me” even though you really shouldn’t climb up into it! It does highlight the life of the Eastern Plains.
The final feedzone is the Prairie Ridge Buffalo Ranch and the Ranch owner is strategically feeding the buffalo in the field right where you ride so you will see a herd up close and personal. You can stop by and see the Rancher at the Limon Entertainment since he will be there flipping bison burgers.
We did a test ride with retired pro cyclist Amy Charity, upcoming pro cycling Petra Schmidtmann, Taylor Ross of Primal Wear, and Kim Welk of Team W Coaching. They did get caught in a bit of weather but the sun did come out and a great ride was had by all. Their recommendation notes from the ride:
- Ride 33c tires or wider with gravel tread. The road is in great condition but some of the corners are soft
- Be careful on the bridges – we will cover them – but there are gaps on the bridges that are just the right size for a wheel to get caught
- Some of the bridges have no guard rails – take note
- Go back and explore
- Beautiful and no cars!
Both Road & Gravel (or CX). Pro Bike Express will be onsite on Friday Morning in Kiowa to take possession of your Gravel bike. The Bike will be transported to Bennett where you will exchange it for your Gravel. Likewise on Sunday morning, give Pro Bike Express your Gravel Bike and head off with your Road Bike. If you don’t want to bring a whole second bike then bring a 2nd set of wheels, Pro Bike Express will transport your wheels.
Just coming for one day, bring your gravel bike!
Is there the same support as the regular route?
Absolutely! There will be 4 Feed Zones. We call them Feed Zones because they are mobile. The van will move down the road with the cyclists just like European Bike Tours. There are 4 set locations so you know where to stop.
There will be support vehicles along the route to help you with your needs – mechanical or otherwise.
Will the Route be marked?
Yes, the start of the route will be in blue signs to make sure that the others that don’t want to do gravel don’t take the course but after that there will be blue and yellow signs, plus ribbons on trees and fences along the way so you don’t get worried you are on the wrong road.