Registration for the fourth annual Spotted Horse Gravel Ultra will open May 1 at 8am central time on BikeReg.com. Last year we filled and registration closed a few weeks early, so do not wait until the last minute to register! Hope to see you on the start line October 5!
In Iowa, there are roads you take your most trustworthy friends or worst enemies down, but you don’t route a race down them. I have done my best to route this race down roads that are in reasonable shape for bike traffic. If I have not taken my bike or my truck through it, it’s not on the route. (The truck is probably the higher standard. My kids have nicknamed it “MY PRECIOUS”). So be advised, if you come upon a road that is massively torn up by road construction, a bridge with huge gaps in the planks, a flooded road, or something you’d need to bushwhack to get through, please double check that you are on route. A race day contact number will be emailed to you. Do not proceed through anything that appears questionable without clarifying it with me, and never proceed into a situation that you deem unsafe, or beyond your skill level even if it is on route. You are responsible for you, and your personal safety is the highest priority.
I have seen the entire route over the last several days, either by bike or by truck. There were a surprising number of roads that closed recently, and those have all been edited out of the course. Rhea Rd. is under construction in Union County, and recent progress on that project severely impacted the 150 mile route. Checkpoint 2 has been relocated, and the entire second half of the 150 mile route has been moved south of Lorimor. Sadly, that means the old red schoolhouse, infirmary, and a very cool double track road are now no longer on the route. There is also a 0.3 mile section on US169. There is a large, wide, well maintained gravel shoulder. YOU MUST RIDE ON THE SHOULDER here, not on the pavement.
Packet pickup will be held Friday, October 5, at Madison County Winery from 4-6pm. in the outbuilding next to the tasting room. Please make every effort to check in Friday! If you must check in Saturday, please be there early! Saturday morning check in will be held at the winery from 4:30-5:30 am. We roll at 6am sharp!
Food News! We have the Papa Firkin’s food truck confirmed for race day!!
They will be set up at the winery from 4 to 11 pm, and the Madison County Winery has agreed to stay open until 11 pm to accomodate cyclists, supporters, and volunteers.
Exciting News! We are offering FREE camping this year!!
Sarah and her wonderful family are offering their Madison County acreage for everyone to camp. No electricity, but a gorgeous landscape.
Course recon drive with two of my kids through Adair, Union, Clark, Decatur, and Ringold ‘does anyone live here?’ Counties. The roads are rough in spots, but generally in great shape. Only saw a few cars in over four hours of driving. The one water crossing we saw was down to a trickle. Only one re-route for a bridge out; I doubt it will be fixed by October.
We are thrilled to share that this year’s race will be hosted by the Madison County Winery. The race will start and end at the winery. This will be a fantastic venue for friends, family and fans to gather awaiting the finishers. We are excited to work with Doug and his staff to make the Spotted Horse even better this year!
Here is the elevation profile for the 150. Approximately 7600 feet of climbing by Ride with GPS. It rides like more. This is the route that is most subject to change at this point, but you get the idea. It’s not flat.
You can switch to either distance at mile 84; from the 150 to the 200, or you can drop from the 200 to the 150 if it’s not your day. You’ll need to let the checkpoint volunteer know, and carry both sets of cue sheets because copies will not be available.
The route is as finalized as it can be at this point. Final GPX and cues will be released the week of the race. This is the elevation profile for the full dirt version of the 200 mile, with 10.5K to 15.5K feet of climbing (depending on which program I view it in). It’s not flat. There are approximately 30 miles of dirt roads, but the final route will have more or less depending on road conditions this fall. C-stores are 60 miles or less apart.