To get away.
I’ve ridden gravel roads since I was a kid, so this whole gravel grinding thing seems to come naturally. I could get onto a gravel road at the end of our street which would take us down into a park and beyond.
In the mid 2000’s I purchased a Lemond Poprad, my first all-road bike since childhood. Of course, our childhood bikes were all-road, because it needed to go everywhere. I picked up a Light & Motion light set and we started riding gravel at night in Ohio County, WV. What amazed me was the number of cars that would slow down and move over for us with lights that bright. A few years later I left my friends in the valley and moved to Columbus, OH.
Shortly after moving here I traded my Poprad in for a Lynskey Cooper CX and continued riding organized road rides. I picked up a ton of biking friends who would ride wherever, whenever. Over time we rode all the locally organized road rides (over and over) and biking somewhat turned stale. Then, our friend Tim started routing new rides with gravel. And then it went downhill from there. Literally.
Oh, and I bought a Fargo after seeing Tim ride his on our rides. After several of us in the group bought Fargos Tim mothballed his proclaiming he didn’t want a bike like everyone else.
The Ohio Gravel Grinder Story
In November of 2011, Tim sent out a ride invite with a route that was 23 miles long with half being gravel. We rode the area around Conkles Hollow area and had a great time.
Our first named “gravel grinder” held in January 2012 led us from Loudonville, OH to Danville and back. It was cold, the gravel was squishy and there was whisky. Through the rest of the year road riding still held it’s sway with our group and we sprinkled in some more gravel rides, including bike packing.
At the end of 2012 we tried out another Tim Cristy developed route, the Wildcat Gravel Grinder. On the back side of the route I mentioned to John Crook, our good friend training to race gravel, that we should create a Facebook group to get more people into gravel riding. Over the last 6 years we have organized hundreds of gravel grinders, explorers and bike packing trips and our group has swelled to over 2200 members. This website is the logical extension.
Welcome. I hope you join us as we get away on gravel roads, trails and the occasional jeep road with big muddy potholes. ~ Ray