Do you have Zwift fatigue? Tired of pedaling and sweating in a pain-cave all by yourself while staring at a LCD screen? Do you yearn for a little real-world on the bike gravel competition that is COVID safe?
Yes. Yes. Oh Yes.
Well, the Old Man Winter Gravel Rally in Boulder County Colorado, USA is trying a new format in 2021 that might just be what you need. From 6-14 February cyclists will compete on 50km and 100km courses of gravel, dirt, snow, mud and hills in self-selected COVID-safe pods of up to 10 riders.
On the weekends, 6/7 & 13/14, the race will be fully supported with self-serve aid stations and on-course mechanical support.
After organizing and registering your own riding “pod”, just setup an account at ridewithgps.com and use your smartphone or GPS bike computer to upload results to a “live” leaderboard after riding. Your may ride the course multiple times during the nine-day event, but only your best result will show on the leaderboard.
Riders may also ride solo if they choose.
Prizes for the best times on the 100km race course include cash payouts for the top five men and women, with equal payouts for both categories as follows: 1st: $1000 USD, 2nd: $500, 3rd: $300, 4th: $200, 5th: $150. Top 50km course finishers will split $1000 in prizes.
With many professional cyclists living in Colorado, some big names are planning to show up, including EF Education First’s Alex Howes, pro graveleur Peter Stetina and Erin Huck, pro XC mountain biker.
Although the event is promoting a new innovative pandemic racing format, the organizer is sticking with an old style cancellation/refund policy that is not very rider friendly.
Riders will receive no refund if they cancel for any reason. If the organizer cancels the event due COVID-19 issues, refunds will be provided on a sliding scale: cancellation 45+ days out earns a 75% refund (minus transaction fee), 30-44 days out 50%, 15-29 days out 35% and 14 days or less only a 25% refund.
Old Man Winter Gravel Rally information and registration here.