Opal Wapoo Gravel Grinder
June 27 @ 7:00 am – 7:00 pm
Gravel grinding enthusiasts take note: The Opal Wapoo Gravel Grinder combines the best of both worlds – a challenging, scenic gravel route that starts and ends in a town full of hospitality (and free beer at the finish!), Excelsior Springs. The race starts and ends during the Waterfest, an annual festival celebrating Excelsior Springs’ mineral water heritage. You will be led out of town by a 1953 Johnny Popper (John Deere) tractor, and within a few miles you will leave pavement and hit the gravel roads and journey through the Missouri countryside. You will travel down hilly, curvy, flat, tree-lined roads, past streams, possibly through streams in a low-water crossing, in an area where the terrain is ever-changing. Cars are few and far between, and folks will wave at your from their fields as you ride by. You will ride through the Crooked Creek Conservation area. Just as you get used to the rolling hills on the 100-mile course, the course will take you through the river bottoms as you ride past corn fields, down gravel that looks like it touches the horizon. As you ride back into town, the party will be waiting for you at the finish in the middle of the Waterfest, an annual festival in Excelsior Springs. The finish line will receive you with a free beer and a bite to eat provided by local businesses. This of course will only wet your appetite for all the live music, great food and hospitality that Excelsior Springs and its annual Waterfest have to offer.