Monday, April 18, 2016

Dusty 100 Gravel Challenge 2016

The second edition of The Dusty 100 Gravel Challenge will place Saturday, May 28, 2016.

The start/finish is Metis Crossing, AB (2 hour drive northeast of Edmonton); park one km east of the campground entrance, by the monument.

9 am bugle call and roll out.

The route is a 107-km loop on quiet, picturesque GRAVEL roads that include the scenic Victoria Trail, the oldest continuously used road in Alberta.

Everyone is welcome: gravel lovers, the gravel-curious, and anyone up for a dusty adventure. But a ride like this isn't easy.

A few things to know:
  • This is not a race (though the fastest known time will be recorded)
    • No prizes will be awarded.
    • There's no entry fee or mandatory registration.
    • There's no check-out at the end.
  • This is not an organized ride or event. We're just some guys who have put an awesome challenge together.  We're telling you how you can challenge yourself in the same way.
    • The route is entirely on public roads.  They are mostly lonely rural range roads with low traffic,  but they are still roads. Be respectful of the rules of the road. 
    • Especially don't ride in the oncoming lane while going up hills, no matter how sweet the gravel on that side of the road is. Nobody used to blasting their way down empty backroads on the way to the farm will expect you there, and they won't be able to see you, either.
    • This is a Challenge directed at the solo bicyclist. It's about you, your bike, and a lot of crushed rock.  Anything more complicated than that misses the point.
    • Have a plan to get home if your bike, your body, or your mind breaks down. There's no sag wagon or follow car.
    • Bring (at the very least) a multi-tool, patches, pump, and an extra tube. You're a long way from any bike shop or friendly mechanic out there.
    • Following the Code of the West, riders can help each other with unexpected mechanical support if they both want.  
    • This is just for fun. Always stop to render medical aid if you see someone having a problem.
    • Riders may not plan on sharing gear. (That is, three guys carrying one pump or one guy carrying his buddy's rain gear.) 
    • Riders may not cache gear or supplies or food or water along the course ahead of time. 
    • Getting any kind of help from any non-rider undermines spirit of the Challenge and is therefore not allowed. 
  • Riders will be given the opportunity to download a cue sheet and a .gpx file of the course--that's all. 
    • You're responsible for familiarizing yourself with the course ahead of time and for all route-finding on the road.
    • There will be no route markers, turn indicators, or signage of any kind on the course. 
    • Not traveling the entire course, taking short cuts, or deviating from the listed route undermines spirit of the Challenge and is therefore not allowed.  
  • There is an exceptionally lovely Petro Can and a restaurant in Waskatenau at the midway point. THAT'S THE ONLY SUPPLY POINT.
    • Watch the weather. This is an unusually hot year. Make sure you have enough water and food to get you where you need to be. 
  • Almost any kind of bike (cyclo-cross, touring, mountain, fat) will work, but tires 33 mm or wider are strongly recommended. 40 mm tires are even better if you can fit them.
    • And did we mention that it will be dusty?


  1. I'm very much looking forward to this even though I've only got 32c tires.

  2. Those should be okay, Allan. There may be a few soft spots that'll have you cursing, but you'll roll nicely along most of it. Looking forward to seeing you.

  3. Cursing you say? Even better!

  4. Approximately how many hours of riding will this be? Will people be camping at the campground?

    1. Hey Curt, Last year it took us about 6 hours, including a lunch stop at the Petro Can. That was a leisurely pace. As for camping, yes, you can camp at Metis Crossing, but it's rather rustic, shall we say. Hope you can make it.

  5. Sounds like fun. I would be coming from Calgary. Would most just drive up in the morning?

    1. I think most Edmonton folks will just drive out there in the morning, but some may camp. We're not sure what we're doing yet. I'll let you know if I hear of anyone else camping.

  6. I'll be keeping my eyes open for this next year, it looks like a lot of fun.


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