The Gravel Pursuit is a 60 or 120 mile bike race that takes place on a network of Forest Service roads in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The roads vary in surface condition from good gravel, to small cinder like sand, to dirt, to bigger rock, to some rutted wash out, to 10 miles of pavement. The roads in the ‘flat’ lands tend to have the best maintenance and as the route heads into the hills the roads get rougher at times. There is also a 1 mile ‘connector’ that jumps the state line that is mostly rideable but will require a little on and off.
What bike / tire setup is ideal? Good question and I think this is kind of the fun it. I think it mostly comes down to the skills and comfort level of the rider riding on said roads. I have ridden the whole course on my Salsa Cutthroat with 38 mm tires and been just fine. At times, when in the hills, I have questioned myself if a 2.1 tire would be better but then I think back and those sections are very short lived, literally a washout here and there or where the rock has been turned up from an ATV. With all that being said I will say this is mountain Forest Service gravel road race not a maintained county gravel road race.
You MUST be 100% responsible for yourself out there. The route gets remote at times and in some areas is limited to certain vehicle requirements making it hard to get too. There will be several course marshals on motorcycles, to monitor the other trail users and scare away any animal life. Yes, bears are a real thing out there. You will be riding where the big animals live and on the border of Yellowstone National Park. Take note to the recommended gear.
Island Park, Idaho
The Pond’s Lodge is the race headquarters.
September 23rd, 2017
- 120 mile 7:00am race start
- 60 mile 8:00am race start
The race course will be marked but I highly suggest using a Garmin GPS unit or similar. You can download the track from the “Course Info” page.
I also suggest bringing a map and cues. You will come across map posts throughout the course that may help you in case of an emergency.
The race is not responsible for you getting lost.
If you decide to bail out you will want to know where you are going and the maps will help you.
Front and rear blinky. Make yourself visible. Safety is no accident and the roads are open to traffic. You will encounter ATV’s and side by sides and maybe even a truck or two.
- 2 tubes (we are not going to haul you out if you double flat and only bring one tube)
- multi tool
- tire levers
- piece of chain and quick link
- rain / wind jacket
- trail map is mandatory for the 120 mile distance (provided)
- Bear Spray – highly recommend by the Forest Service
- In addition to the required front and rear safty lights I highly recommend a real light you can ride in the dark with. The 120 mile race will take riders into the dark and our cut off time also goes into the dark. If you are not sure how long you will be out on course please be prepared and bring an extra light.
- Rain / wind jacket
- Arm warmers, knee warmers
- 3 water bottles
- calories, food
- NO cheating, no cutting the course
- Drafting is allowed
- Respect your fellow competitor
- Don’t litter
- Race Director has final say in any situation
- If you decide to turn around or drop you must notify a race volunteer.
- Break any rules and you are disqualified
Drop Out, Quit or Missed Cut-Off
I can’t express enough that you are responsible for yourself and we do not have the ability to give you a ride if you decide you cannot go on.
There are shorter distances, and easier ways to get back to the race headquarters from each aid station if you did not want to carry on. But this means you still have to ride back and from Checkpoint 2 for the 120 mile it is still a good ways. This is another reason to make sure you carry your map. With all this being said prepare wisely and make good decisions.
- We will transport your bags to and from the Checkpoints.
- Keep drop bags to a minimum size. NO big coolers.
- We will return drop bags when the volunteers come back from the checkpoints. Keep in mind it may be later then you want.
- We are not responsible for misplaced or lost items.
Aid Stations & Checkpoint Cut-Offs
There will be 2 aid stations. They will be stocked with water, GU Brew, GU Gel, banana’s, sweet and salty items, PB&J and maybe even a little soda pop!
no cut-off times
Aid Station 1 – mile 34, corner of Chick Creek and Chick Creek Flat #68
Aid Station 2 – 8 miles from the finish.
Aid Station 1 – mile 34, corner of Chick Creek and Chick Creek Flat #68. No Cut-off time
Aid Station 2 – mile 74, Reas Pass. Cut-Off time is 3:00pm
*At mile 98 just past Big Springs Bridge there is a campground on the left that has a water spicket. Just in case…
Awards and Raffle
60 mile – 3:00pm or before if all the riders are back
120 mile – 7:00pm
We do a silent (auction like) raffle when you are out riding and put the raffle ticket to the prize. Come take a look at the table and see if there is something for you at the completion of your race. Odds are everyone gets something!
September 23rd, 2017
120 mile = TBA| 60 mile = TBA
What is Included:
– Super sweet schwag bag
– Stocked aid stations
– 1st, 2nd, 3rd place prizes and awards for both male and female
– Dinner feed Friday evening
– A challenging, most rewarding, and beautiful marked course
– Course marshals for safety
Ponds Lodge – Race Headquarters
3757 Highway 20, Island Park, ID 83429
Buffalo Campground – Forest Service campground with paved campsites, water and pit toilets
Located across the street from the Pond’s Lodge
$15 per night