The 1st Black Fork Gravel Grinder is in the books. What a great day full of tough climbs, fast downhills, and big smiles at the finish. Thanks to all who attended! You made it an awesome event!

Four Strings Awards

This first year we had some fun awards to recognize the riders who finished the event first, concurred the first two hills the fastest, and were our most senior riders to complete the loop.   Congratulations to the awardees and everyone that finished and participated!

First Overall Finisher:  Larry Pandy from Mentor, Ohio.  Riding a Wilier Crossbike. 

Unofficial Time: 2:03

First Women Finisher: Jessica Tomazic from Elyria, Ohio.  Riding a Felt Crossbike. 

Unofficial Time: 2:56

First Men's Mountain Bike Finisher: Russel Verlinger from Cleveland, Ohio. 

Unofficial Time: 2:33

First Women Mountain Bike Finisher: Marsita MacDonald from Hudson, Ohio. 

Unofficial Time: 2:56.05 (she was right on Jessica's wheel at the finish).

Women's Mountain Biker Honorable Mention:  Beth Anderson from Columbus.

Unofficial Time: 3:07  (We thought Beth was the first women mountain biker to finish but we didn't see Marsita ahead of her) 

King of the Mountain (for the first guy to reach the top of Big Hill Road):  Chris Smith from Canton OhioChris also gets the "I can't get enough of the BFGG" award for missing the last route sign and doing an extra 6+ miles.  He still finishing 3rd overall!)

Queen of the Mountain (for the first gal to reach the top of Big Hill Road): Laurie Westhoven from Whitehouse, Ohio

Die Hard Award (to the riders over 65 to finish): Dale Seeds, Jos Belich, Mike Neag, Stewart Freedman and Tom Roberts

What participants said about
the 2016 event:

"Now that was a gravel ride, really tough but a blast just the same. Hope to do this well run event next year. We need more of these."

"Great job with this ride! Well organized, good course marking, great beer and roads!"

"Really fun ride! Can't wait for next year"

"Great event out in Holmes County, OH @ the Black Fork Gravel Grinder. If you missed it, this is                                                                         one to put on your list for 2017!"

"Thank you Matt Simpson and Jay Clipse for hosting such a great event. The 30 mile ride kicked my butt. Looking forward to next year!"

"Loved the route, hard technical gravel, and a beer handed to me as I crossed the finish line"

"I just finished the Black Fork Gravel Grinder and highly recommend it for next year. It was very well run, good communication and course maps/signs. Hills were tough but good training ride for Michigan Mountain Mayhem. Winter Warriors should seriously consider."

"It was great. And the BBQ dinner was really good, plus free beer!!!"