Thursday, August 4, 2016

The 2016 Specifics

Friday, September 9
Registration at 8am
9am Depart for Ely. Route is about 80 miles with little tono locations for resupply. I will have an aid station out on course on the first and last day. We do this as a potluck, so bring some ride food to share. I will have a cooler of drinks and drinking water.

I will email all participants a PDF with cues and GPX files soon. If you are not registered you will not get the route.
You will need to arrange lodging in Ely for Friday and Saturday night. There are tons of places to stay in Ely. Please tag you luggage with your name and lodging location so I can make sure it is there when you check in. Usually we try to get together to eat dinner somewhere once everyone gets into town. I will see if I can find an establishment that can host us.

 Saturday September 10th
9am Depart from Bandstand at Whiteside Park in Ely.

The route will make a large loop out to the west of Ely. Total milage will be around 70 miles. Expect to get your feet wet, but you should not encounter water more than knee deep. There will not be any services for the first 50 miles, and even then, the pickings are pretty slim in Tower and Soudan. But the general store in Tower has a great little ice cream bar and soda fountain. I will not have an aid station out on course this day (because I am going to be riding too!) so make sure that you are prepared to go all day.

Sunday September 11th
8am: I will start collecting your luggage from your respective lodging.
9am Depart from Whiteside Park to head back to Silver Bay.
Expect to see some of the same trails that you hit on the way into Ely, but then we will take a northerly route so that you can have Brunch at the venerable Trestle Inn. They only take cash!
I will have drinks and food at the Trestle if you just want to resupply and boost.

Note: I haul your gear to Ely, but please try to keep your stuff to a minimum. I am not going to lease a big box truck if I do not have to. No spare wheels and no extra bikes. You are responsible for you.

Questions? Comments. Give me a holler

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Gravel Conspiracy 2016: September 9-11th

Its that time again. Mark your calendars for September 9th through the 11th, 2016.
Registration for the 6th Gravel Conspiracy is open (click on the registration link above).

The tentative route (I am finalizing the route next weekend) will be to start from around Silver Bay and ride to Ely via double track, dirt roads, and gravel.
Second day will see us on a big loop west of Ely, and then returning to town for a 2nd night. This really simplifies the logistics.
The last day will have us rolling back to Silver Bay.

As always, I take care of the transportation logistics of getting your stuff from the start to your lodging, but if you want to bikepack it, RESPECT!
I will post the formal agenda in two weeks after I finalize everything with local authorities.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

2015 Happened. And then I went on a Bike tour

GC15 was a blast, despite getting a toad of a truck from Penske.
I wanted to post about this earlier, but I went on a bikepacking trip after GC. I will spin that yarn later.
Here are what other people have to say about GC15:

Ben Oney: "This year was my 3rd Gravel Conspiracy (I missed the first one). Each year I finish this event amazed that there aren’t 300 people demanding a spot on the roster. Admittedly, GC is hard to define. It’s not a race, but it attracts some fast riders who like to push themselves. It’s not bikepacking, but the route is as remote as anything you’ve ridden and you have the option of carrying your gear and camping every night if you wish. It’s not a party ride, but you’ll have access to a cooler of beer at some key points throughout the weekend."

DeathRider: "The Gravel Conspiracy........To me, is...... three days of riding amongst the best terrain in Minnesota with your pals."

Ben Mullin for CyclovaXC: "You are responsible for you".  That was a direct quote and the general gist of Head Conspirator Josh Stamper's pep talk as we gathered around the truck Friday morning just north of Duluth.  My third year of participation had me translating that statement to "You are responsible for you, and anyone you encouraged to also do this crazy thing."

There is lots'o stuff on the book of faces. Google that mess.

Here are a few from me that I really enjoyed:
I was super pumped to get Nate Ball up here this year!

Filter was defiled

We thought that replacing the filter would fix it. Spoiler Alert: it didn't.

This guy. Sunshine on my shoulder.

Nothing like the morning calm.

Spirit Animal. Kunisher

Organizing the box

The hand off. 
The Wizard says to get your honkey bottom to Silver Bay  for GC16

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Lodging for 2015

We will be following a similar route to last year:
How we get from Korkki to Grand Portage (hence the bus ticket)

  • Meet at Korkki Ski area by 8am, load bikes and gear in box truck, and load people in tour bus.
  • Proceed in tour bus to Grand Portage where the real adventure begins
Stage 1: Ride from Grand Portage to Grand Marais (~60 miles)
Rolling down pin cushion

Stage 2: ride bikes from Grand Marais to Silver Bay/Beaver Bay (~100 miles)
Obligatory stop at the trestle inn for lunch and tetherball

Stage 3: Ride bikes from Beaver Bay back to the Korkki Ski area (~50 miles)
Briton Pit mine section

As we are starting to fill up I would like you to think about where you would like to stay for the two nights that we will be out. We will be staying in Grand Marais the first night, and Silver Bay/Beaver Bay the second night.

In Grand Marais (September 11th, 2015) here are some places that I have stayed at or have come recommended:
Art House B&B
Macarthur House B&B
Gunflint Motel
Grand Marais Municipal Campground
Other lodging options are available through the Cook Co Visitors Bureau

The second night (September 12th, 2015) we will be staying in Silver Bay/Beaver Bay (they are only 2 miles apart). Lodging options are limited so make your reservation early.
AmericInn in Silver Bay (its pricey but they have a hot tub and a giant waterslide that will make grown men squeal)
The Mariner in Silver Bay (they want a 2 day stay, but 2 nights at the Mariner is still cheaper than one night at the Americinn.)
The Silver Bay Marina Campground: They have a few campsites at the marina that they do not advertise. You will need to call to reserve these.
Camp 61 Bunkhouse in Beaver Bay (We actually start the last day from right in front of this place)

Questions? Just leave a comment

Sunday, January 4, 2015

2015 Date

Gravel Conspiracy.
September 11th-13th, 2015. Plan your life accordingly.
Same format as last year, but route may change slightly depending if I can get a boat to ferry people across a lake.
Registration opens in March 15th. Registration is capped at 75.
More will be revealed with the passing of time.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Gravel Conspiracy 2014

When: Sept 5-7th 2014
Where: Duluth to Grand Portage and back to Duluth
What: 250 miles of gravel, dirt and Forest service roads roads on the north shore of Minnesota

Friday morning September 5th we will meet in Duluth, load bikes into a box truck and board a 55 passenger coach that will deposit you just short of the Canadian border. around lunch time.

Day 1 will see you ride from Grand Portage to Grand Marais over some of the roughest roads in MN. You will go from the lowest point in the state, to near the highest point, and back to the lowest in 65 miles.

Day 2 will send you one a rollercoaster ride down the Laurential Divide to Silver Bay. Past conspirators will remember Bally Creek, Mark Lake, and Honeymoon Trail.  We even are gonna be revisiting Heartbreak Hill, but this time going down it! Then a quick break at the Trestle Inn for some beers and tetherball

Day 3 will take us along the shore to Gooseberry falls, and then we turn inland  before coming back into Duluth.

For the sake of logistics I have reserved a 55 passenger bus and leased a Box Truck to transport people and their gear from Duluth to Grand Portage.  I will make sure that your belongings are delivered to you each night from the box truck. If you wish to ride the bus, I would ask that you purchase a bus ticket. You are not required to purchase a ticket to participate in the Gravel Conspiracy. As always the Gravel Conspiracy is a free event.
As always you are on your own. If something goes wrong, you are on your own. THERE IS NO SAG. There is no cell service. You could die!
More will be revealed in the coming days. To Register click on the registration link or just fill out the form.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Northern Promises

A beautiful start.

Starting up the shore. The group would splinter quickly

Rob was on the prowl for some gnar.

LisaT motors on all smiles

Monika Sattler would soon fashion a voodoo doll named Joshua Stamper. Photo cred Ben Oney

We ended up having to have a gas station potluck when the casino closed the kitchen.

John Carline rolling towards the Canadian border.

Ben Oney is the rose between two thorns PhotoCred: Ben Oney

Yeah, I Hauled pizza out to the middle of no-where. Photo cred: Ben Mullin

Bryce, why you bleeding all over the place? PhotoCred: Ben Oney

Ben Mullen captured the engineering prowess of beavers

We made time to break bread as a group. Photo cred: Doug Krone

Greatest bloody mary EVAR? Photocred: Doug Krone

After Bryce tried to put a hole in his hand, he volunteered to run the aid station, which meant that I got to ride on the last day! Thanks Bryce!

Dallas Wynne rolls in as a 2 time GC finisher

John Carline is also a 2x finisher, and Scott Spoo finshed his first GC

Bob was our resident meteorologist!

Monika and Chukker rolling down Bally Creek
Bryce shows off his puncture wound
Ben Mullen captures the essence of the north shore.
"There is a whole ocean of water down there, and you can drink it"
Many thanks to all the participants for bringing their A games. Everyone had fun and got to make some new friends.
Gravel Conspiracy 2014 will start on September 5th. We will start in Duluth, take a tour bus up to the canadian and then ride back to Duluth. Details will be forthcoming.