Okay kiddies! I spent an inordinate amount of time tonight mapping out this dang route for ya'all that may or may not be coming to the GTDRI on Saturday morning. Of course, some of us will be camping out at Echo Valley, so you are all welcomed to join in that fun which will be occurring on Friday afternoon/evening.
Keep in mind- We'll be bugging out for the ride at 6:30-ish. So if you won't be there Friday night, you will have to get crackin' early on Saturday morning at "dark thirty" to make this little gravel party.
Secondly, it is NOT A RACE!! It is a no rider left behind, fun, challenging ride. How challenging you ask? Let me tell you.......
First off, it will be 117 miles and most of that will be gravel roads with a few miles of pavement and B-Maintenance roads thrown in. We'll need the whole day to do the route at the leisurely pace I suspect we'll all be going at. Why so lazy? 'Cause it is NOT A RACE and it will be dang tough. Think Iowa doesn't have any climbing? Well, if you show up fer this one, you will ride two- count em- two!- multi-mile climbs. Yep! I said "multi-mile". I found two climbs that both go over three miles each and one of those is over four miles. Sure, they aren't too steep, but they are long!
Then there are a couple in the mile plus range that are steep! Whoa! This is gonna hurt folks! But then again, it is the "Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational" afterall!
I lull everyone asleep to start off with on the first 25 miles which are gently rolling hills along the Turkey River for the most part. However, once we get past Elkader, things will start to get roller coasty! In a big, big way too. Then in about the 50 mile mark, the first multi-mile climb will hit ya. After a few more rollers, I give everyone a break on a section of flat stuff that takes us through Strawberry Point where we'll likely be refueling. After turning north, we'll hit one of the most heinous sections of rollers I ever threw at a Trans Iowa for just over a mile. Then at the outskirts of Volga, we start our next multi-mile climb, although this one has a much more palatable gradient! Following a flattish to downhill run in to Wadena, we'll get to enjoy the corkscrew ascent out of the Volga River Valley on Fox Road. Yeah! Steep and twisty!
Then we finish it all off with some big ol' rollers back to Echo Valley, and hopefully some cold brews!
See ya Friday night, and if not then, Saturday bright and early.
p.s.: If the weather is violent, or super crappy, I'll cancel the event. Stay close to your weather and stay tuned to the GTDRI site for updates!
Oh! And Here is the link to the route.
Packrafting the Grand.
2 hours ago