Everyone from dusty old timers to the gravel curious will enjoy this event, with routes of 25 miles, 75 miles and 150 miles. Shae and Jeff Caldwell, hometown owners of Whitetail Cycle Sport, are the driving force behind the festivities, with additional help from local cyclists Lane Bergen, Paul Brasby, Ben Cooper, Luke Meduna and Randall Smith. Without knowing anything more, I know that these fine folks will put together a great event, with something for everyone, on and off the bike.
|Climbing on some powdered roads somewhere along the Buffalo Bill Rough Rider Gravel Grinder.
Starting from the railroad town of North Platte, Nebraska, the Buffalo Bill Rough Rider Gravel Grinder plunges into the remote valleys and deep draws of barely-populated south-central Nebraska. One can ride for hours on these winding, rough, remote roads without seeing an occupied building, let alone a convenience store or a town. I can't wait to see where these routes go.
Although the 150 mile route remains secret, a few leaked photographs reveal that it enters the legendary realm of Odin's Revenge. Think long, hot, steep climbs up rutted roads, panoramic ridge line cowpaths pocketed with hoof prints, and jarring, bumpy descents bottoming out on pooled powdered dirt. I suspect there will be long stretches of hero gravel, but there's also a hint of swinging through a section of single track in the renowned Potter's Pasture. Something for everyone.
|A peak at the Buffalo Bill Rough Rider course, deep into the legendary realm of Odin's Revenge.
As a four time finisher of the legendary Odin's Revenge, I recognize these roads. Of course, the Buffalo Bill Rough Rider starts in North Platte, not Gothenburg, and will offer a unique experience. Nonetheless, race reports and photographs from Odin's Revenge offer some insight into the country and roads this new event will enter. To see some of what's out there, here are links to posts with reports, photos, links and results from each of the five years of Odin's Revenge. The End Of Odin's Revenge; 2012 Odin's Revenge - Seeking; 2013 Odin's Revenge - Eureka; 2014 Odin's Revenge - Mud Year; 2015 Odin's Revenge - Gettin' After It; 2016 Odin's Revenge - Back In The Saddle.
So, there you go. Unknown course. Unknown elevation gain. Unknown road surfaces. Unknown resupply. Unknown human presence. Unknown unknowns.
Here's one known. A ride through this country, on a route created by these folks, will be memorable.
|YEE-HAW! Topping another hill on the Buffalo Bill Rough Rider Gravel Grinder route.
As far as the folks behind this new event, they are active in all sorts of community happenings and events. This is a local bike shop, with local riders, putting together a community event. This is grass roots gravel. This is where gravel lives.
I'll be out there. Hope to see you out there, too.
|Even the Start/Finish is unique at the Buffalo Bill Rough Rider Gravel Grinder.
Now, for you folks still singing Bob Dylan's "Knocking' On Heaven's Door," here's a link to the original. Knockin' On Heaven's Door.