CHI St. Joseph and Invictus Cycling Presents

GRAN GRAVEL 500

Thursday, March 19, 2020

CHI St. Joseph and Invictus Cycling Presents

GRAN GRAVEL 500

Thursday, March 19, 2020

GranGravel 500 Promo

Official 2019 Race Info

First of all, thank you for signing up for the GranGravel 500 (and for any of you continuing on the main event 600)!!!!!!! It’s going to a very challenging few days out. Please take a moment to read all of the information below.

 

Also please understand that this is a charity event and TONS of volunteers have come together to make this happen. Please honor them through your fundraising efforts. I’d really like to see our group of ultra racers blow the top off the donations and show up the cycling world. So please do what you can and spread the word. We want this race to be awesome for years to come.

 

- Billy Rice

 

 

SPOT TRACKING (SEPARATE REGISTRATION REQUIRED)

 

The race is being covered by www.trackleaders.com. There is a SEPARATE registration required. You can use your own SPOT or rent one from Trackleaders. Either way, you must click on the link below and sign up in order to be ranked.

 

 

DEADLINE for registration if you are renting, is March 6

so that the rental spots can be delivered. DEADLINE for all others is March 19.

 

 

ROUTE/ GPX

 

The DRAFT GPS is below. Racers using GARMIN must use the 10k GPX which will be on this web page two weeks before race day. The link below is for planning only as Garmin wont use it.

 

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/26724911

 

 

PARKING

 

All racers staying at the Stella Hotel can park at the Stella Hotel.

 

If you can’t find it, follow your GPX to the beginning of the route (lol).

 

All other GranGravel racers should park in the back of the CHI St Joseph Mature Well Center parking lot next door.

 

3989 N Shore Drive

Bryan, TX 77807

 

-From College Station: From Texas Avenue, head west on University Drive towards Texas A&M University. Exit to the right onto Highway 47, and take the exit towards HSC Parkway. Turn right onto HSC Parkway. Turn left onto Lake Atlas Drive.

 

-From Bryan: From Texas Avenue, head west on Villa Maria Road. Take a left onto Harvey Mitchell Parkway/2818. Turn right onto F and B Road. Turn right onto Lake Atlas Drive.

 

 

RACE DESCRIPTION

 

 

The race is 499.9 miles STARTING at the Stella Hotel in Tradition’s in Bryan. Do not be late. We will start without you.

 

0500 Race meeting in the parking lot of the Stella at the race start

0530 Grand Depart

 

DON’T BE LATE. We will be under police escort in group formation for the first 20 miles (SO NO SPEEDING). We will proceed down University Drive past Texas A&M and out Elmo Weedon Rd. Once we reach the Grimes County line (Mile 18), it’s game on. We will be moving slowly during this time so look at it as a long warm up. So we thank the BCSO and other emergency personnel who will be helping us.  

 

The following description is a DRAFT, as the official route will be released two weeks prior to race day.

 

THIS SECTION HAS BEEN DELETED. PLEASE SEE VIDEO AT THE LINK BELOW

 

https://youtu.be/1JtTIdtTL7k

 

RESUPPLY

 

PLEASE SEE VIDEO AT THE LINK ABOVE

 

The following are towns with stores. Note that many are not open 24 hours so night time resupply can be difficult.

 

40 Bedias     24 hour

 

78 Huntsville

 

107 Point Blank

 

126 Riverside

 

135 Trinity

 

211 Elkhart

 

226 Palestine    24 Hour

 

324 Groveton

 

343 Onalaska

 

351 Point Blank

 

378 New Waverly

 

414 Richards

 

456 Moody Ranch Gate and possible snack stand

 

460 Small store

 

488 Shannon’s Store 

 

 

CAMPING

 

Texas is loaded with private property. In keeping with the bikepacking ethos, please DO NOT TRESSPASS. Camp only in-designated areas and National Forest land (there’s plenty). Please leave no trace. Travel light and fast. At all times be respectful

 

WATER

 

At Least 4 bottles. The northern end is dry (or muddy) and no water between towns. It will be hot or freezing cold. Please be prepared to cover 100 miles or more without resupply.

 

 

BIKE CHOICE

 

There are a number of right answers to this. The route has some seriously rough roads. I’ll go over a few

 

1.) Gravel Bike. Also a cross bike with big tires. Race organizer will run Specialized Trigger Pro Tubeless in 700x38c

2.) Mountain bike – Tour Divide Style. Make it light and fast. Use Specialized Fast Track Controls 29x2.2 tubeless or similar. You’ll probably want a 34T chainring or bigger.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STUFF AT THE START AND FINISH

 

The start will be like any other ultra. We will have special parking for our racers as described above. There will be festivities at the finish for riders finishing Saturday, however for racers ending after Saturday afternoon, please consider yourself on your own and self supported. There will be no infrastructure after Saturday.

 

RULES (as generally accepted by most self-supported races)

 

Rule 1.) No complaining about the rules

 

Spirit: Above all, attempts are intended to be solo / self-supported, self-timed, and observed as one stage, i.e. the clock runs non-stop. The challenge is complete upon arrival to the opposite terminus from start. There are no required checkpoints or designated rest periods on course.

 

Modus operandi: To complete the Route, a rider may resupply food / equipment, rent a room, launder clothing, even service their bike at commercial shops along the way. The intent is to ride unsupported between towns, and function self-supported when in towns. Any services utilized must always be commercially available to all challengers and not pre-arranged[1]. No private resupply, no private lodging.

 

Equal Opportunity: GG500 strives for equal opportunity within the GC. Whether doing an independent time trial or tackling the grand départ, TD requires that every challenger—from those living along the route to those living on other continents—have an equal playing field. Therefore, outside assistance[2] with navigation, lodging or resupply (especially receipt of supplies from a non-commercial shipper) is prohibited.

 

Advancing (forward) on the route by any means other than one's own pedal power is strictly prohibited. No drafting. Use of any type of air scoop or umbrella sail intended to harness wind power is also prohibited. GG500 is a solo challenge, however, racing in the company of other challengers is tolerated. Again, no drafting, and each rider must maintain separate gear. One complete survival kit per rider.

In the event of a serious mechanical that renders a bike unrideable, a rider may hitchhike[3] by motor vehicle in ANY direction to repair the problem. The location of the incident must be well documented by SPOT tracking or other GPS logger. A rider may also receive assistance returning back to the exact location of the breakdown to begin forward progress. Again, the entire incident, form breakdown to return to the route must be fully documented by GPS. 

 

Shipping/receiving supplies (to the course): It’s only 500 miles so hopefully you don’t need this. In the name of equal opportunity for international riders and to minimize the GG500 'footprint', challengers are encouraged to race as reliant as possible on commercial services along the route. However, in advance of a start, a competitor may cache food or equipment resupply at US Post Offices only, care of general delivery. If a racer misses a resupply due to PO closure, that box may be forwarded to another PO down route.

 

Once a race clock begins, a rider may be assisted by a third party in receiving emergency repair/replacement items only. Food resupply is not considered an emergency. Emergency items must be shipped using a commercial shipper such as USPS, UPS, Fed-Ex, DHL, etc. Items may not be delivered privately by family, friends or even anonymous persons. Items may only be shipped to a commercial address (P.O., motel, bike shop, restaurant etc.), provided that address is equally available to all racers. Use of a private address (residence) along the route is forbidden. Use of the race blog to 'broadcast' for help (ie. conjure 'trail magic') is also forbidden. 

GPS navigators are permitted but non-essential. SPOT GPS trackers are required. Mobile phones are also permitted, however, mobile service is spotty.

GG500 is a web-administered, do-it-yourself challenge based on the purest of wagers: the gentlemen's bet or agreement. Nothing to win or lose but honor.

 

    • For grand depart racers, there is a pre-start meeting

    • There are no checkpoints or officials on course

    • Riders alone alone are responsible for their safety

    • Riders alone must police their conduct

    • There is no mechanism to communicate to riders on course

    • Riders alone are responsible for communicating with their loved ones

    • Online GPS tracking is also not intended to ensure rider safety. It is for info-only, and validation of course compliance

 

  1. Relegation: The GG500 has an advisory board made of experienced racers who reserve the right to relegate a rider from the General Classification (GC) for confirmed rules violations.

  2. No rider will be notified of possible relegation mid-race. It is the sole responsibility of all riders to know the rules, police themselves, and in cases of course deviation, recognize their error + correct it before proceeding on route.

  3. Note: If a racer voluntarily scratches from the GC mid-race, yet continues on to finish, their individual tracking page will remain online/updated for informational purposes, however, they will be removed from the group (GC) tracking map. 

 

Endnotes:

[1] Pre-arranged is defined as prior to the start of the race clock.

 

[2] Outside assistance is defined as any third party assistance in navigation or lighting and any non-commercial assistance in food resupply and/or lodging. A service is deemed 'commercial' when it is for commerce, equally available to all racers year after year.

[3] Racers may accept motorized transport backwards, directly off and/or back to route from bystanders, passersby or commercial transportation ONLY . A racer may not contact friends or family (private parties) living along the route for direct assistance.

 

 

 

 

 

Please direct questions to Billy Rice, at billyr@st-joseph.org