With all of the new Gravel & mixed surface events popping up the common question is what do I ride? How big of tires do I need? What is the dirt like and how much of the course is dirt? Events in Southern California fall into this category massively as you can take an event such as Belgian Waffle Ride in San Diego which the majority of the riders use a road bike with 28mm tubeless wheels and they are more then likely good. You head 40 miles north/east bound to Temecula though for Gravel vol. 1 and you will want a much different set up.
A group of us went out to pre – ride the course and to get some other opinions about bike set up, where to put our feed stations, etc. The end result was knowing that this is a course more so in the Gravel category then the “mixed surface” type road events. You want bigger tires and if your choice is between a road bike and mountain bike we suggest the mountain bike. It is doable on a road bike though you will have a tougher time in some of the more sandy sections.
The route comes in at 49 miles with 4,000 feet of climbing. That doesn’t come off sounding too tough compared to some other events but with the course primarily on dirt this means you will be going slower up these climbs and down the straights. One note we took away though with this route was that there are no stop lights and only four stop signs to deal with. The dirt which consists of roughly 38 miles of the course are more so back roads where there is relatively no traffic and cars, we counted four cars on our time on the dirt.
The course does offer some punchy up and downs with the longest climb coming in at around 7 km but that climb does technically count two separate peaks so it’s not a sustained 7 kilometers. The road part does come in the beginning as you ride a few miles through wine country to a dirt segment of 4 kilometers then back on road for a few straight miles to take you to the dirt route. From there you do the first loop of dirt to hop on the road for a couple miles to allow you to finish the second dirt loop. After completing that second larger dirt loop you come back out to wine country to finish the last few kilometers on paved road.
The weather was a subject matter that came up when putting on an event in Temecula in July. We did our pre – ride starting at 8:30am to mellow temperatures in the low 70’s. By the finish of our ride 3.5 hours later closer to noon it reached the low 90’s. The weather forecast for the event date calls for warm weather but with a start time of 7am the temperature will look to be in the 60’s. We believe the front riders will finish in three hours with the bulk of the riders looking to finish around the four hour mark which will put them at 11am finishing time with the suggested temperature to be in the low 80’s. Once finishing up the ride our venue offers great opportunities for relaxing with food and drinks of your choice.
In true SPNDX Stampede form though we want our events to be nothing but a good time where you can get your ride in, hang out with friends, enjoy proper food and drinks after at a stellar venue and not be so trashed at the end of your ride that you want to hang out and still be lively.
Key points for SPNDX Gravel
- Tires larger then 28’s preferably tubeless
- Road bike is doable but it will be a challenge
- If unsure go mountain bike over road bike
- Bring a spare tube(s) just incase
- Download GPS route file to have, the course is marked though
- Ride departs at 7am
- Remember this is fun so don’t be so serious
- Be cautious on the descents as they can be slick and dry
- Don’t go too hard where you can’t enjoy the food, drinks and good times after
- Any more questions you need? Send them to unicorn@spndxstampede