A new gravel bike race in Wyobraska

I’m proud to see how western Nebraska is getting into the “fun fitness” scene. First, it was the Monument Marathon starting in 2012. Now, it’s the area’s first “gravel grinder” bike race, the Robidoux Quick & Dirty, debuting this spring, May 22, 2016, shepherded along by members of the Western Nebraska Bicycling Club.

The RQ&D is a 75-mile bike race that’ll be run primarily on gravel roads (88% gravel, 12% asphalt) in the Wildcat Hills area of Scotts Bluff County in western Nebraska, which is just a 3-hour drive from Denver, CO, or Rapid City, SD. This is in the most scenic western part of the state, so it is not a flat ride (about 4,000 feet of climb), and it’s also at an elevation of about 4,000 feet.

I’ve not gone out and ridden the course myself, but I do have photos I took while I was in the race territory for other reasons in past years.

From A visit to one of the newer public lands in Western Nebraska:

hey

There are a lot of turkeys in them thar hills.

landscape

Typical piney ridge in the Wildcat Hills.

cow-calf

This is open range. Gotta watch that!

The route goes right past the parking areas for Carter Canyon Ranch, and also for Montz Point Ranch and Bead Mountain Ranch, as well as passing through Scotts Bluff National Monument.

From Monument Marathon and its western Nebraska scenery (the bike race shares a few portions of the course with the marathon):

035-sbnm

The path of the old Oregon Trail through Mitchell Pass is in part under the road going through Scotts Bluff National Monument.

075-oh-help

This nasty little hill comes just after a peaceful circumnavigation of a historic cemetery.

From Views from a hike:

sunset-no-tresspassing

Yes, there is a portion of the RQ&D race that traverses private land. The landowners have given permission for riders to enter the property ON THE DAY OF THE RACE ONLY. Please respect what is effectively someone’s ranch yard – don’t ride this section of race other than on the day of the event. If anyone abuses this privilege, it will likely be revoked in the future.

This is really beautiful countryside to ride through. I much prefer to see it from a bike saddle than from a car window. You really get a feel for the place from a bike.

A few more details:

While this is a race and you can win prize money, much like the Monument Marathon the RQ&D also welcomes people who simply want to go out for a challenge and complete the course.

Unlike the Monument Marathon, which has a lot of on-course support, this bike race is designed for participants to be a lot more self-sufficient. There are a couple of water stops, but this ride is on rural county roads, and you’ll be on your own for a lot of the time. Pack supplies in on your bike (and pack out your trash, too). You also have to obey traffic signs (unless a course marshal flags you through), and you need an odometer on your bike, to help you navigate on this out-in-the-boonies race and to prove you’re not cutting corners. No non-rider family/friends allowed out there for course support, either.

Race day: Sunday, May 22, 2016, 8 a.m. start

Packet pickup: Saturday, May 21, 2016

Registration: open until May 1 or limit of 200 riders, whichever comes first

Fee: nonrefundable $55

For more information and to register, check out the race website here: Robidoux Quick & Dirty.

Happy trails!

Copyright 2016 by Katie Bradshaw

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