Coordinator: Mike W
Type of Ride: Backroads Intermediate / Advanced
Cumulative Elevation Gain: 915m
Anticipated Pace: 15-18 km/hr overall, faster on pavement, slower on dirt
Duration: About 5 hours moving time, 6 hours including stops
We will stay together as a group for the entire ride. No one will be left behind.
PLEASE ARRIVE 15 MINUTES PRIOR TO START TIME TO GET YOU AND YOUR BIKE READY
This is a 76km gravel backroads loop starting 10km west of Water Valley, taking you through the scenic Ghost Wilderness backcountry. Most of it is on gravel roads except for 4km on pavement and 5km on a dirt/grass pipeline service road. For a view of the route, see https://drive.google.com/open?id=1-Coq88THp72oFJOqZ77xoaaGDPpTczbU
. This route is a short version of the Ghost of the Gravel Fondo route - http://deadgoat.ca/ghostofthegravel/
We'll meet at 9am the Water Valley General Store at the NW corner of Hwy 579 and Range Road 52. Carpooling is encouraged. From there we'll drive together about 10km west to the start of the ride at a suitable parking spot. We'll ride the loop counterclockwise, heading north on Doc Mills Road, west past the Burnt Timber Gas Plant and on a pipeline access road to Hwy 40, south on Hwy 40 and then east on Harold Creek Road back to the start.
This ride is suitable for bikes with tires that are at least 38mm / 1.5" wide, and some sort of tread pattern at least a couple of millimetres deep. Large lugged mountain bike tires are fine, but not required. The gearing should be set up for steep grades up to 15%. Front suspension will give you a more comfortable ride, but is not required. In general, this ride is suitable for gravel, cyclocross, hybrid, and mountain bikes, or a touring bike with the necessary tires and gearing.
There are no facilities along the entire route. Much of it will be remote and out of mobile phone range. Accordingly, participants should ensure their bikes are in excellent condition and bring along more drink, food, clothing, safety, repair, and first aid gear than they would normally bring on a road ride. This includes bear spray. We will stay together as a group for the entire ride.
It may be necessary to walk the bikes through some very steep or wet sections, so you should wear appropriate footwear. In case of bike failure that can't be repaired in the field, you're looking at up to a 5km walk to a point that is accessible by car. Road cycling shoes with exposed cleats are entirely unsuitable.