BLACK FORK GRAVEL GRINDER

Overview

This early season gravel road race and ride will test your spirit, legs, and lungs and is perfect for Mountain Bikers, Cyclocross Racers, Adventure Cyclist and Gravel Junkies itching for a challenge after a long winter of spinning on the trainer.  Participants will get a glimpse of some of the same route as the legendary Mohican 100 National Ultra Endurance Mountain Bike Race and will have an adventure you just can’t get on pavement.  The three route options near Loudonville, Ohio are almost entirely (80%) on gravel roads and have varying degrees of climbing.   The 23 mile route has just three big climbs, lots of rollers and great views for participants who may be new to gravel grinding or don't have the legs and lungs to tackle the longer, more challenging distances.  Our original 30 mile route has seven long, steep climbs that will test your strength (both mentally and physically), fast and furious downhills that will make you pucker, and an occasional smooth roller that will put a smile on your face.  And our 54 mile race route is for the advanced adventure junkie who just can't get enough gravel.  It has 10 big climbs that will test the strongest racers.  Regardless of which route you choose, none are easy so you'll definitely have earned your beer at the finish!

For 54 mile racers, the top three overall men's and women's finishers will receive a cash payout and award medals.  In addition, the first place winners will receive free entry to compete in the Barry-Roubaix, the largest gravel road bicycle race in the world!  The top three finishers in each age category will receive recognition at the awards ceremony.  We also have a King and Queen of the Mountain Award for the first guy and gal to reach the top of our second major climb (on Big Hill Road).  


Start and Finish

Packet Pick-Up is at Mohican Wilderness' main pavilion  located at 22462 Wally Road Glenmont, OH 44628 (9 miles south of Loudonville).  Team tents are welcome and can be set up in our designated location at the start/finish line.  All registered participants should plan to stop for a much deserved free, cold Four String Brewery beer after you finish.    

Check in starts at 8:00am and we will have a mass roll out start beginning promptly at 10:00am.  Don’t be late!

The after party will consist of one free beer for each rider (age 21 or older of course), BBQ available for purchase, free raffle with tons of Kenda and Hammer goods and fun with 300 of your best gravel grinder friends!  


Age Categories for the 54 Mile Racers

Men's and Women's age categories are 16-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50 and over.  The top three finishers from each age category will be recognized during the awards ceremony and the first place finishers will receive a six pack of Four Strings Beer.  Cutting edge chip timed, Innovative Timing Systems will be used to record race times.  Any age category with less than 5 competitors may be combined on race day. 



Cash Purse for the 54 Mile Racers

Cash purse and awards will be given to the overall top three finishers in the 54 mile event in both men's and women's categories.    

1st Place Overall Male and Female Finisher- $250 and Free entry to compete in the Barry-Roubaix,             the largest gravel road bicycle race in the world!

          Barry-Roubaix.com 

2nd Place Overall Male and Female Finisher- $150

3rd Place Overall Male and Female Finisher- $100


King and Queen of the Mountain

Our KOM and QOM competition is open to all participants so 23 and 30 mile riders can go against some of Ohio's strongest cyclist to be the first to reach the top Big Hill Road, the second major climb.   

King of the Mountain- $100

Queen of the Mountain- $100

Race winners and our KOM and QOM must be present at the awards ceremony to claim your prize.


On-Course Support

On course support includes directional signs at each road crossing, a route map to each rider, and one self-supported water stop/aid station for 23 and 30 milers, and two for the 54 mile racers.  Those who wish to have a drop bag may bring a gallon zip lock drop bag with your name clearly marked.  We’ll make sure it gets to the water stop/aid station.

The Central Ohio Chapter of the IMBA National Mountain Bike Patrol will also provide support and roam the route to help cyclists who are having mechanical difficulties.  And Ride On bike shop will have a mechanic at the event and be our sweep vehicle if anyone needs a ride back to the finish.  That being said, this is a challenging ride so you should be self-sufficient and carry your own water, food, tools, spare tube, etc.   If you see a rider who needs help, please stop and give them a hand. Also, cell phone coverage in this area is sporadic so coverage may be limited or non-existent. 


Equipment

The route is approximately 80% gravel road that range from smooth and fast, to lose rock and gravel.  This mix of surfaces lends itself to mountain bikes, gravel/cyclocross rigs, and fat bikes.  Also, riding in May means Mother Nature can throw about anything at us, so be prepared.


Rules of the Ride & Race

  • Participants must wear a helmet while riding their bicycle.
  • Participants must obey all city, county and state laws, and “Rules of the Road”.  There will not be anyone stopping traffic at intersections and road crossings.  All riders must watch for and yield to traffic.
  • Riders are responsible for staying on the correct side of the road and being careful at blind corners and hills. Be careful, we want everyone safe out there!
  • Do not litter.  Pack out your wrappers, water bottles, etc.  We’re guests so don’t be a slob. 
  • Riders are to yield to automobiles and allow them to pass on hill climbs.
  • In order to participate, each rider will be required to review, sign and date the event's Liability Waiver form.
  • Racers are to mount number plates to their handlebars.
  • Racers who exit the course must return to where they left the route and continue from there.
  • Private vehicles are not allowed to support racers.
  • Racers may only receive a hand-up from other racers.
  • Battery assist/E-bikes are not allowed.

Registration

The Individual registration fee for 23 and 30 mile riders is $40 before April 1st and $50 after.  Individual fees for 54 mile racers is $65 before April 1st and $75 after.  Riders under 18 years of age must have a parent or guardian sign a rider release form available the day of the event and the minor must be chaperoned by their guardian during the ride.  There will be no day of event registration and the event is capped at 300 participants so get your registration in early.  Go to www.bikereg.com/35903 to register on-line.  Please note that there are no-refunds, but you can transfer your registration to another rider through bikereg.com.  All participants are required to bring a signed Liability Waiver on event day.  And lastly, the event will go on regardless of the weather and road conditions, so man up and ride, damn it!


Post Race Festivities 

Make sure you stick around for all the post race festivities!  We'll have delicious City BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, Four Strings beer, free raffle with tons of Kenda and Hammer goodies, awards ceremony, music, and lots of stories to tell about the day's ride.

      

 

Where to Stay

The Mohican area has lots of great lodging options for riders coming from out of state or who want to explore the other outstanding attractions the area has to offer.   Check out the websites below for all your lodging needs:


Sponsorship

This event has the privilege of some amazing sponsors and supporters of cycling and gravel road events.  Please check out their websites for more information about their offerings and be sure to thank them for sponsoring our event!