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Crooked Gravel

Register today for the Crooked Gravel on July 24, 2021!

Crooked Gravel takes a few cues from an exploratory event the legendary Ron Kiefel put together a decade ago called Crooked Roubaix. Back before gravel bikes were really a thing, Kiefel and some friends set out on a 95-mile dirt-road adventure from Winter Park up into the high mountains on road bikes.

Fast forward to 2021 and gravel bikes are a thing. Our two routes take in the very best of Grand County gravel, with long, winding climbs up through aspen and pine forests, wide open descents under the massive Colorado sky and – on the long route – some secret tracks never before explored in a cycling event.

If nothing worth doing is easy, then Crooked Gravel is certainly worth doing… Both routes tackle over 5,000 feet of climbing on gravel, beginning in at 8,500 feet elevation.

Details

In addition to a great experience riding some of Colorado’s most scenic dirt roads, each participant will receive:

    •     Commemorative item
    •     Refreshments and support throughout the ride
    •     Post Ride Lunch/BBQ
    •     A chance to win dozens of valuable prizes
    •     Bike Number and Wristband (see below)
    •     Opportunity to participate in friendly time segments (if applicable)
    •     Riders under the age of 18 are FREE and must be accompanied by an adult.

 

Crooked Gravel

 

Routes

93-mile gravel

Let’s start with the numbers. 93 miles, almost entirely on gravel. 8,100 feet of climbing, again, almost entirely on gravel. And a starting altitude of 8,800 feet.

But riding gravel isn’t just about the numbers, is it? After a police-led rollout from downtown Winter Park, we bank left onto gravel and head into Arapaho National Forest. As we climb through pine and past creeks, the air gets thinner and the views get better.

All riders from both routes roll out together at 7:30 a.m.

The first timed segment, Crooked Creek Climb, starts at just past 8 miles and tops out just shy of 10,000 feet 4.5 miles later. Up there, stop at the first aid station to refresh and regroup.

Then it’s time for miles and miles of smiles as we cruise down rough forest roads that give way to wide-open, smooth-running dirt roads that you’ll swear are smoother than pavement.

At Williams Fork Reservoir we’ll hop back on pavement and head towards Hot Suphur Springs.

Just before the town, we split with the short route and head southeast for the High Alpine Grind segment. This one is a doozy: 2,500ft in 13 miles. Take in the views – and afterwards the refreshment just over the top – but please be careful on the descent. It’s a long way down.

Back down to Highway 40, we rejoin the short route, for a short jaunt on pavement through a slot canyon that takes us to Hot Sulphur Springs. Take on some sustenance here, because the fearsome Cottonwood Pass lies ahead! Okay, it’s not fearsome. It’s actually really pretty, smothered with an aspen grove over the top. But it is annoyingly steep. And it is a timed segment.

With that work done, you are homeward bound.

See the two maps below for more detail. You can download the GPX file from the RideWithGPS map.

Please note: Route is subject to change pending permits and road conditions.

 

65-mile gravel

Gravel riding may be a pancake-flat affair in Texas, or a rolling-hill thing in Kansas or Nebraska. But here in Colorado we do things a little differently…

The ‘short’ route of Crooked Gravel will be a full day of riding, with a big mountain climb in the Arapaho National Forest coming almost right off the bat. Race your buddies on the two timed segments or just settle in at a comfortable pace. There is no one right way to Roll Massif.

All riders from both routes roll out together at 7:30 a.m.

The first timed segment, Crooked Creek Climb, starts at just past 8 miles and tops out just shy of 10,000 feet 4.5 miles later. Up there, stop at the first aid station to refresh and regroup.

Then it’s time for miles and miles of smiles as we cruise down rough forest roads that give way to wide-open, smooth-running dirt roads that you’ll swear are smoother than pavement.

At Williams Fork Reservoir we’ll hop back on pavement and head towards Hot Sulphur Springs through a slot canyon. There is a second aid station just before Hot Sulphur Springs. Take on some sustenance here, because the fearsome Cottonwood Pass lies ahead! Okay, it’s not fearsome. It’s actually really pretty, smothered with an aspen grove over the top. But it is annoyingly steep. And it is a timed segment.

With that work done, you are homeward bound.

See the two maps below for more detail. You can download the GPX file from the RideWithGPS map.

Please note: Route is subject to change pending permits and road conditions.

 

Travel and lodging

Winter Park, Colorado’s favorite Playground, is also one of the most family-friendly destinations. Here are some ways to make sure your time is well spent and your time in Winter Park is unforgettable!

RV Camping

Overnight camping available at Winter Park Ski Resort Parking Lot.  More details coming soon.

Tent Camping

Winter Park summers just aren’t complete without a camping trip! That’s why camping in the mountains tops our list of must do activities for any fun-filled Winter Park adventure. How is that conversations held around the campfire seem to mean more, a night’s sleep on the hard dirt leaves you more refreshed than when you sleep in your own cushy bed, and even hot dogs grilled on the fire leave you more satisfied than a 5 star meal!   If you’re considering a trip to Winter Park or the Fraser Valley for a late summer camping adventure, check out some of our top tips on where to camp, what to pack & what to know before you go, you can be sure everyone in your group will leave a happy camper!

Lodges, Cabins, Hotels & More

From economical motels to luxurious townhouses and condos, as well as rustic cabins and guest ranches, the wide range of accommodations in Winter Park and Grand County are sure to provide you with the perfect mountain getaway to suit your style.  On a budget? Be sure to check out our Lodging Deals and look for seasonal specials and activity packages. We’ve got something for everyone!

Camping at the Crooked Gravel

Beneficiary

A portion of all registration proceeds will go to support The Winter Park Ski Education Foundation, which supports athletes and competitors in Alpine, Freestyle, Freeski, All-Terrain, Nordic and Snowboard programs through the Winter Park Competition Center.

The WPSEF is a 501(c) (3) non-profit charitable organization that is run by a board of volunteers, so all funds raised go to its programs and assisting athletes, including supporting entry-level programs.

Crooked gravel banner

Click here to learn more about the Crooked Gravel!

Event Details

When:

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Time:

07:30am - 06:30pm

Location

Winter Park, CO
Event Webpage

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