The beginning of fall is the perfect time to take your gravel bike out for a spin. Even if you don’t feel confident that you’ll be in shape to race this year, many of these races happen annually, so take note to start training. Grab your helmet, your water bottle, and your bike, and check out these 5 great Minnesota gravel races.
Woodtick 100 – September 15 | Deerwood, MN
With 70 miles of pure gravel (and 30 of pavement), this bike race will take you off the grid and into the countryside of northern Minnesota. The race kicks off the evening before at Cuyuna Brewing Company where you can enjoy some drinks and community with other cyclists. If you’re not feeling up to the 100, you can still participate in Deertick 50. Celebrate the finish with live music in the evening at The Woodtick Inn. Register here to participate in either race.
Hun-Dirt Gravel Grinder – September 22 | Alexandria, MN
Presented by the Big Ole Bike Club, the second annual Hun-Dirt race lets you pedal off the beaten path and explore rural trails. Show up the evening before to pick up your packet from Jake’s Bikes to ensure you’re ready to go first thing in the morning. This free gravel bike race has two options: 50 or 100 miles. Follow their Facebook event page for updates, and register here to secure your spot.
Heck of the North – September 29 | Duluth, MN
If you’re ready to be challenged, participate in the tenth annual Heck of the North race. Whether you want to do the full 100 miles or ride the 55- or 20-mile race, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery that the north shore has to offer. Come up the day before for a welcome party at Spokengear Cyclery and Outdoor in Two Harbors for food and live music to kick off the weekend. Free camping is available in Two Harbors. Register here if you’re ready to venture north for the ride of a lifetime.
Dirt Bag – October 7 | Clearwater, MN
This year’s Dirt Bag gravel race will be in memory of John Egburs who founded the race and was killed in an accident this year. Show your support to his friends and family by riding the longer, intermediate, or shorter route (exact distances will be finalized closer to race day). You can register the morning of the race and come ready to enjoy a hearty meal at the finish line.
The Filthy 50 – October 14 | Stewartville, MN
This is the sixth annual gravel race taking place in southeastern Minnesota. Unfortunately, registration is already closed for this year, but keep up with the Filthy 50 on Facebook (@TheFilthy50) and Instagram (@thefilthy50) for more information about next year’s race and to follow the race this year. This is a big one that you won’t want to miss!