Posted on March 21st, 2016 by Broadway Bicycle School
This past weekend marked the first day of spring and you know what that means! It’s time for the first annual “Greasy Joe’s Gravel Grind” — a 47 mile mixed terrain ride outside of Providence, RI. Mixed terrain rides are increasing in popularity partly because they seem to offer a little something for everyone. So I decided to pay the $15 entry fee and drive down to check it out.
When I arrived at the parking lot I saw all manner of bikes from fat bikes like the Surly Pugsley, to road bikes like the All City Mr. Pink. I brought my Traitor Crusade which is fairly new to me. This is the longest ride I have taken it on.
While the calendar may have marked the change to spring, Mother Nature had other plans that day. It was 23 degrees when I pulled into the parking lot and people were donning all sorts of cold weather riding gear. Picking the best winter apparel was tough so at the last minute I grabbed my Ortlieb seat post bag to take a few more options along.
I set off into the woods ready for whatever awaited me. When Greasy Joe says mixed terrain they mean it! The landscape did not disappoint — asphalt, gravel, sand, mud, grass, rocks, roots and a stream crossing. I never knew what was coming next. Riding along a scenic roadway I followed the left turn marker into single track in the woods. I was met with a new challenge at every turn marker. At one point a poorly executed maneuver meant landing knees deep in the stream which resulted in a chilly last few miles, but in the end it was all in good fun and another obstacle conquered.
With the variety of bikes I saw out there on Sunday, the bikes that seemed the best suited for this event are the same bikes we recommend to commuters in the Boston area. All City Space Horse, for example, is one of our most popular bikes for people going to and from work all week. With a quick tire swap it is the perfect weekend gravel bike.
Whether your background is mountain, road, or commuting, as long as you’re up for adventure this type of ride will work for you. At it’s core Greasy Joe’s was not a race. It was an adventure and it was one I will be looking forward to participating in again next year. Thanks Joe. Keep it greasy.
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