The Gravel Pursuit is a 60 or 120-mile bike race that takes place on a network of Forest Service roads in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The roads vary in surface condition from good gravel to small cinder like sand, to dirt, to bigger rock, to some rutted washout, to 10 miles of pavement. The roads in the ‘flat’ lands tend to have the best maintenance and as the route heads into the hills the roads get rougher at times. There is also a 1-mile ‘connector’ that jumps the state line that is mostly rideable but will require a little on and off.
What bike/tire setup is ideal? Good question. I think this is kind of fun as it is still up in the air, and I’ve seen a variety of bikes make it across the finish line. I think it mostly comes down to the skills and comfort level of the rider. I have ridden the whole course on my Salsa Cutthroat with 38 mm tires and been just fine. At times, when in the hills, I have questioned myself if a 2.1 tire would be better but then I think back and those sections are very short-lived, literally a washout here and there or where rocks have been turned up from an ATV. With all that being said I will say this is mountain Forest Service gravel road race, not a maintained county gravel road race.
You MUST be 100% responsible for yourself out there. The route gets remote at times and in some areas is limited to certain vehicle requirements making it hard to get too. There will be several course marshals on motorcycles, to monitor the other trail users and scare away any animal life. Yes, bears are a real thing out there. You will be riding where the big animals live and on the border of Yellowstone National Park. Take note to the recommended gear.
Island Park, Idaho
The Pond’s Lodge is the race headquarters.
September 29, 2019
The race course will be marked but I highly suggest using a Garmin GPS unit or similar. You can download the track from the “Course Info” page.
I also suggest bringing a map and cues. You will come across map posts throughout the course that may help you in case of an emergency.
The race is not responsible for you getting lost.
If you decide to bail out you will want to know where you are going and the maps will help you.
I can’t express enough that you are responsible for yourself and we do not have the ability to give you a ride if you decide you cannot go on.
There are shorter distances, and easier ways to get back to the race headquarters from each aid station if you do not want to carry on. But this means you still have to ride back and from Checkpoint 2 for the 120 miles it is still a good way. This is another reason to make sure you carry your map. With all this being said prepare wisely and make good decisions.
There will be 2 aid stations. They will be stocked with water, GU Brew, GU Gel, bananas, sweet and salty items, PB&J and maybe even a little soda pop!
No cut-off times
Aid Station 1 – mile 34, corner of Chick Creek and Chick Creek Flat #68
Aid Station 2 – 8 miles from the finish
Aid Station 1 – mile 34, corner of Chick Creek and Chick Creek Flat #68. No cut-off time
Aid Station 2 – mile 74, Reas Pass. Cut-off time is 3:00pm
60 mile – 3:00 pm or before if all the riders are back
120 mile – 7:00 pm
We do a silent auction-like raffle when you are out riding and put a raffle ticket on each sponsor-provided piece of gear/art/schwag. Come take a look at the table and see if there is something for you at the completion of your race. Odds are everyone gets something, thanks to our awesome sponsors!