It is a new race that is 130+ miles almost entirely on dirt roads in Grand County. It is patterned after the extremely popular Dirty Kanza in Kansas. It will consist of 4 segments of 30-40 miles. At the beginning of each segment the riders will receive a map of the next segment.
The race will start at Grand Park at 7:00am with a police led rollout to the dirt roads of Grand County. The first rider should return to Grand Park around 9 hours later. The post race party will begin at Grand Park at 3:00pm with live music, food, ODell beer and much more.
Who can participate in Colorado Dirt?
Any seasoned, well-trained endurance bicyclist. Colorado Dirt is NOT an event for the entry-level endurance bicyclist. Assistance from support crews is limited, so participants are basically on their own for 130+ miles. Due to the remoteness and ruggedness of the region, riders need to be prepared to travel up to 40 miles between checkpoints. Riders also need to be capable of navigating by map (supplied by us) and a compass (supplied by the rider)
Is this a mountain bike race?
Colorado Dirt is a gravel road endurance cycling challenge. Good bike choices include: Cross Bike, 29'er Hardtail w/ Suspension Fork, 29'er Hardtail w/ Rigid Fork and a 26'er Hardtail. While you could certainly ride a full-suspension mountain bike, and many have, we wouldn't recommend it. You don't need the added weight and complexity for this event.
What are the race categories?
Solo- race the entire course solo in either Open, Masters, Singlespeed or Tandem divisions.
Duo- two racers take turns riding segments of the course, either alternating or each doing two segments back to back.
Relay- 3-4 person relay teams each do a segment of the course...or two.
Gentlemen's Race- 5-6 person teams that ride together throughout the race. 5 riders must finish together to be considered a finisher team.
What is the course like?
This area is remote. That means very few people… which means very little traffic… which means very little need for road maintenance. Roadbed consistency will vary from graded dirt roads, to soft volanic dirt that turns to slime when wet, to dirt two-track. Expect very little pavement. Oh… and you will do about 12,000 feet of climbing if you make it to the end. The course consists primarily of long gradual climbs followed by fast bone jarring but non-technical descents. (remember races are won on the way up and lost on the way down).
Will the course be marked?
Riders will be given a map at sign-in which will direct them to the first checkpoint. At each checkpoint, you will receive a map for the next section of the course. We may have a limited number of course markings to ensure riders they are still on course. However, riders should use the maps provided as their primary means of navigation. You should also bring a compass.
Can I use a GPS?
A GPS can be used to help you get through the race. Due to the remoteness of the area and the difficulty in finding someone who is lost out there, we do encourage riders to carry a GPS with them. That way, you can advise your support crew of your exact location, should they need to come rescue you.
Do I need a support crew?
Crews are highly recommended. They will be at each check point to resupply you, check your bike's health, and be your cheerleader. They are also the ones that will come get you get lost, hurt, or just plain worn out and want to quit. That means YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU. Don't expect someone you don't know to save your backside. You need to have a well thought-out emergency backup plan, that includes at least one support crew person to come get you, should you need help.
What if I don't have a support crew.
You may send gear bags to each check point with food, clothing, tools, etc. They will taken out the morning of the race and returned to Grand Park following the race. There will be Eldorado Artesian Water and Acli-Mate energy drink at each check point. Each checkpoint is sponsored by a bike shop, but that doesn't gaurantee you'll get the assistance you need. There will be a sweep vehicle following the last rider if you drop out mid-segment, however, that may mean a wait of several hours.
Will I be allowed to receive any outside assistance during the event?
Riders may receive assistance from their personal support crews at official checkpoints only. Checkpoint locations will be clearly communicated well in advance of the event. Receiving outside support at any point other than official checkpoints will result in immediate disqualification. Riders may assist other riders by any means and at any time.
Can my support crew follow me along the route?
NO. Support crews are not allowed on course except to pick up a rider who is abandoning the event. Colorado Dirt is all about self-sufficiency in a remote area. Having to dodge cars compromises this experience for our participants. If a support crew is found to be on course (except at official checkpoints), that rider will be immediately disqualified from the event.
How many can race at the Colorado Dirt?
For 2013, our field limit will be limited to 300 riders in the Colorado Dirt. Relays count as one entrant while the soloist and Gentlemen's Race team members are each considered as an entrant.
What is the weather like in Grand County in August?
The weather in Colorado is notoriously unpredicable. The average highs in Grand County in mid-August are in the mid to upper 70s. However, each day usually brings brief afternoon thundershowers that riders need to be be prepated for as they rise above 10,000'. Furthermore, it often snows above 10,000' in August so riders to to really really be ready for any weather situation.