Monday, November 21, 2022

Gravel Amplifier: Funk Bottoms, Solstice 100, Flint Hills Gravel

 Hey y'all! It's another edition of Guitar Ted's Gravel Amplifier Series! Read on to check out today's offerings for your consideration. I have checked out these and they pass my standards, so you can be pretty sure these will be gravelly good times. 

However; please understand the following: I am not PROMOTING THESE EVENTS! I am amplifying them. In other words, I am acting here, (quoting the meaning) " to make larger, greater, or stronger; enlarge; extend." these events bandwidth in terms of their message. That's it. That's all I am doing here.

So, if the site goes dark, the dates change, if you cannot get a hold of the race director, or if there are issues on your side with attendance, etc, I AM NOT THE PERSON YOU SHOULD CONTACT.  I will not reply to such queries. I am merely informing you of the existence of an event. Period. 

Funk Bottoms Gravel:

Location:  Glenmont Park 108 Main Street, Glenmont, OH. 

Date: Saturday, June 17, 2023

Why It's Cool: Billed as Ohio's toughest gravel grinder, Funk Bottoms Gravel has been around for a while. I recall adding this event to the old gravel calendar I used to keep, so this is a veteran of the gravel scene. In fact, 2023 will be Funk Bottoms' 13th year. 

This one is a big loop course that you can do once, or if you have that crazy itch for climbing, twice. each loop is the same 100K course. There is a claimed 7000ft of vertical in the 100K course, so get on yer climbing gears! Self-supported means you have to be prepared for any issues. There is a secret checkpoint and chances for resupply in smaller towns the route passes through. Low entry fee of $40.00 (for now) which raises to $50.00 later and then $60.00 later on closer to the event. 80% gravel course.

Caveat: There are field limits for males, but none for women, single speed, or for the 200K


The Solstice 100

Location: Beatrice Nebraska

Date: June 17th, 2023

Why It's Cool: TheSolstice 100 is a grassroots gravel event put on by some great folks I have met, so I can vouch personally for their care and passion for this event. In fact, I rode this one back when it was located in Malcom, Nebraska. Two distances, including the Solstice Fiddy, which is as it sounds, a 50 mile version, and a 31-ish mile "kindler" version of the course. Self-supported with chances for resupply in pass-through towns and checkpoints. $60.00 reg for the long course. Nearly all gravel course. 

Caveat: As the name would suggest, this event occurs near the Summer Solstice, so it is HOT! Be prepared to get a lot of Sun and experience high humidity. 


Flint Hills Gravel Ride/Run

Location:  516 Locust Street, Americus, Kansas

Date: April 8th, 2023

Why It's Cool: This event is run to give folks a chance to experience the Flint Hills on a bicycle or on foot (the "Run" part) It is a very low-key, grassroots event run by a passionate race director named Bobby Thompson. Three distances ranging up to a crazy 100+ mile "Adventure" category, but Bobby offers shorter, more manageable distances as well. If you have a hankering to see what all the hub-bub is about the Flint Hills but "that other event" is too much for ya in terms of cost and hoopla, then this is your Huckleberry. 

Bonus: Bobby Thompson just announced an insane ultra-distance challenge dubbed the "Flint Hills Ultra", a 1000 mile (!!) permanent route you can do anytime. There will be a competition held on teh route as well.

Caveat: The Flint Hills are tough on tires, so be prepared by using puncture protected tubeless tires and bring a boot, extra sealant, and a reliable inflator. 


That's a wrap for this edition of the "Gravel Amplifier". If you know about an event that you think should appear on the "Gravel Amplifier", please send me a web address for that event at I'll check it out and if it passes muster, it'll appear in a future "Gravel Amplifier" post. Thanks!

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