The Prairie Burn weekly rides occur every Tuesday offering a no-drop gravel group ride around 20-25 miles with a 10-15 mile Short Route option. Post ride beers and eats are enjoyed at Grinnell Craft Brewhouse at 923 Main Street. Every Tuesday, weather permitting, gravel bike riders gather at 5pm and depart from Bikes To You, 921 Broad Street, at 5:30pm.
This is a community ride with lots of different skill levels and bikes and our goal is to make sure everyone feels welcome and has a fun, safe ride. Be prepared by having your bike in good working order (A yearly tune-up is always a good idea, and bike shops get busier with longer wait times as weather gets warmer). Some reminders:
Bike Helmet and front and rear lights required (non-flashing mode when in group) make sure lights are charged!
Ride Right! Especially when climbing hills! Riding right allows vehicles to more easily pass us. Obey traffic laws, particularly when in town and clearly communicate your intentions to other riders i.e. yelling “stopping”, “slowing”, ”turning”, “going” etc.
Carry basic tools - spare inner tube, pump/CO2 are suggestions. A Phone and a friend to call is a good back-up plan.
Tire pressure makes a huge difference in comfort and handling - reference this link for a pressure calculator
Water and snacks - Carry at least 1 Bottle of water and something to eat on the ride.
TeamSnap App recommended for weekly ride information and Chat/message mode during ride. We’ll try to post routes on our TeamSnap, and Prairie Burner social media pages. All routes available in free Ride With GPS app format.
Look out for each other! If anyone needs to stop for a mechanical, say something and make sure at least 2 people stop. If a repair is going to take a while, get a text message out to the larger group via TeamSnap Chat.
Ride Leaders on every ride in charge of leaving on time and coordinating our 3-4 Re-Group stops. We’ll also have a Sweep, bringing up the rear and making sure no one is left behind. Re-Group stops should be marked on the routes ahead of time.
Pace seems to be a hot-button issue. We try to do the impossible and make all skill levels feel welcome. New or very inexperienced riders should start with our shorter, slower paced Thursday Night Gravel Curious rides.
Fast - anyone with the route can ride off the front of the main group at any speed. This is fun and can be a great way to increase bike handling skills, push your limits and work up a good sweat. Longer/Faster hard group training or hammer rides are for another time and are encouraged. Weekend rides are usually posted on TeamSnap
Medium - Main Group with Leader maintaining a 12-15mph pace, depending on group makeup.
Sweep pace,10-ish mph, at the Back of Pack
Re-Group stops will strive to wait long enough for Sweep (Last rider) to catch up and give Back of pack riders a chance to rest a bit if needed. Sweep will be chosen before start of ride, Tuesdays. Sweep should be a more experienced rider, not necessarily a fast rider, comfortable with riding at whatever the Back of the Pack pace turns out to be. We look for any experienced riders to volunteer and some nights will have 2 Sweeps to break things up a bit if needed. We’ll evaluate group make-up and Sweep role when shorter route splits off to make sure everyone is good.
We have a few loaner bikes for those wanting to try out gravel! We want all our friends to join us and we know an appropriate bike can be a big expense. Experienced road or mountain bike riders will have no problem joining our gravel ride but brand new riders will probably struggle with our hills and longer ride length. We’ll ask some qualifying questions to determine if riders should come on Tuesday Night Gravel or Thursday Night Gravel Curious rides which are offered the third Thursday of each month. We are always looking for more loaner bikes, especially smaller sizes. We currently have a few Medium and Large models. If you’d like to borrow a bike, or donate an unused bike, contact Tim Ellsworth at email@example.com.
Fun times ahead!