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Oct 25, 2018

Episode Links:

Peloton Magazine

Peloton Instagram

The Gravel Mob Event Registration.

10% off use code TheGravelRide10   UPDATE: 2018 event is SOLD OUT.


Hello everyone, this week I want to welcome Ben Edwards from Peloton magazine to the podcast. Ben, thanks for joining us.

No problem. Thank you for having me and having a having to the Peloton gravel, Bob and Peloton magazine on the show.

Yeah. I'm excited to dig in with you. I always like to start by giving our listeners a little bit of understanding about your background as a cyclist, your current sort of gravel interests and because he worked for Peloton magazine. Love to hear a little bit about how you arrived at Peloton.

Yeah, sure. Well, I, I got into bike racing as a kid in high school. I played water polo and a kid showed up on pool deck with a road bike and he was wearing tights and we all kind of made fun of him, but in the back of my head I'm thinking that looks really cool and I want to do that. And my dad had a background as a cyclist, so once I told them I was interested then it was. It was full gas and I spent a lot of years racing is a junior track racing, a lot of team pursuit, a points race, stuff like that. And then really, um, after I was about 21 I realized I was not going to win the Tour de France. And so I, I went to school and I didn't touch the bike for almost 10 years. Wow.

Yeah. Yeah. And then, um, my wife, when I was 30, bought me a road bike. I took one look at it and I said, uh, oh, we're in trouble. I just, I felt that, uh, that passion just immediately explode. And uh, yeah, it was in the movie business. And so I started doing a lot of, um, lot of film work in the cycling industry. And I started a website called [inaudible] dot com where we did a lot of bike reviews. And, uh, and from there I met Brad Rowe, who is our publisher at Peloton magazine. I met Tim Shamburg, who's our creative director, and those guys were itching to do a different kind of cycling magazine and they invited me to come on board and, uh, enjoying the party and that was eight years ago, eight years ago when we founded Peloton magazine, along with Adam, rick and Robert Rex and, um, man's been 80. We're on working on her 80th issue now. It's just hard to believe because it still feels so fresh and fun. But yeah, eight years ago, working on her 80th issue now.

That's amazing. For those of you who haven't seen Peloton magazine, I definitely encourage you to go out and grab an issue really beautifully done. Every time I have an a, every time I receive an issue, I'm just inspired to ride. I think you guys do an amazing job of capturing the visual aspects of cycling and it just makes you want to kind of get suited up and go out the door.

Thank you. I appreciate that. Yeah. Or um, you know, our goal with Peloton really was we didn't do a lot of focus groups. We didn't try and think what do people want to see, we just did what we wanted to see and luckily people agree with us, so we had a really fun ride for eight years and this will be our biggest year yet. Um, so, so nothing but, uh, on the web. It's looking really good.

That's awesome. And it seems to me that Peloton seized on the gravel cycling scene pretty early on and has really done a lot to kind of promote gravel within the pages in the magazine.

Yeah, I think that gets back to what I just mentioned, that when we just saw something we liked and we were interested in, we didn't worry if it was going to be a fit or if a drop bar magazine should be doing something in the dirt. We just thought it was cool and we just knew we were doing a lot of it on our own and we wanted to make it part of the magazine. I've always been at a mountain bike riding and mountain bike racing than a lot of that. And um, it was a great way to one, get dirt riding in Peloton magazine, which is really a drop bar, road magazine, and it was also, you know, I mean, I think it's everyone knows who rides gravel it, it's an incredible way to sort of reinvent writing territory. You may cite, you thought you knew well, you know, loops that were not possible on a road bike or not a lot of fun on a mountain bike because there was a bunch of road sections or is all just fire road are suddenly unlocked on a gravel bike. Eh, you know, in a way that's really inspiring. And, and I'm good, like I said, reinvents areas that people thought they knew. Well there's, there's new rides to be had.

Yeah. I think for me, as I've said many times on this podcast, it's really drawn me back into cycling. Just that idea that I can create these mixed terrain loops and travel all over marine county, avoid the cars and see the beautiful scenery. It's just, it gets me out riding, which is super exciting about the gravel scene.

Yeah, absolutely. And, and that's, that's a huge part of it is getting just out of traffic, you know, my wife, she asked me, are you going for a ride where you going? And if I say I'm writing gravel, she kind of breathes a sigh of relief and goes, have fun.

I never thought of that. But it's so true. I'm curious for your, from your perspective in the industry and as somebody who's been on the both the road and mountain side, what, what part of the sport, if, if you had to, if you had to say from the road side or the mountain side, do you think gravel is drawing more athletes from?

Well that's a great question. Um, I, I would say probably from the road side right now because, you know, a lot of the guys who were on mountain mountain is so segmented anyway, so segmented. Anyway, there's so many guys that are downhill and so many guys that are all mountain an enduro. And, and I do think a fair amount of the equity guys, the cross country guys have found gravel riding gravel racing. Um, but I just know so many friends that are just dedicated roadies that just their eyes have just been opened up by gravel riding and what's possible and they're so excited about the equipment and about trying to find the right gravel setup for them. Um, and it's a lot of things, you know, talking about tire pressure and tire size. You're riding that mountain. Bikers are familiar with that kind of conversation and for a lot of roadies it's very new and so it's really, um, it energizes them in a way that I don't think, um, they have been for awhile.

Yeah. I tend to agree with you. It's something I've been pondering for a little bit now because I do think that more roadies are discovering gravel then mountain bike guys, for all the reasons you just described and I think it's having an effect on the equipment in the space as well because I think a lot of the equipment manufacturers came from that road plus mindset versus a mountain bike mindset. And we're starting to see the influence with the bigger tire bikes like open and thesis and a bunch of other bikes out there that are really starting to look at it from more of a cross country mountain bike perspective and add the road elements on it rather than a road perspective and add the dirt elements on it.

Yeah, I think that's. I think that's very true. You sort of look at a gravel product right now and to me it always falls into two categories. It falls into sort of gravel survival, which when you look like sauces cycles, that's something like maybe a, a, a cutthroat, you know, it's a little more relaxed, tons of tire volume. It's also great adventure bike. And if you're going to try and knock out cancer and you know, you're going to be out there for a long time and just want to survive and be comfy. So perfect bike. And then there's sort of that gravel race side of things, you know. And that's um, that's like a salsa warbird, you know, something where you're gonna run a smaller tire as you can. You're really going to try and run light and you know, I want to be controversial, but some of the guys were put an arrow bars on these things now. So they're sort of. To me, there's two sides. There's gravel survival in gravel race and those products are starting to differentiate.

Yeah. I buy that. United had mentioned before on the pod that I originally got interested in gravel from the bike packing side of things and I was seeing. I was just interested in following races, like the tour divide and not that I had done much of that myself, but I started to look at those bikes in the types of adventures that they were designed for and as someone who probably aligns himself more as a mountain biker than a roadie. There was a, there was an instant appeal to me. Um, and so you see the bikes, like what salsa was doing with the drop bars that were, could have a lot of carrying capacity and they were built for the, for the tour divide. And then you started seeing the other side of the spectrum where it was just sort of these road plus bikes that may be, could get out to a 38 tire Max. Um, so I liked those two categories as you define it. And clearly there's no right or wrong answer. I think it's an interesting discussion to continue to have with lots of people because as my listeners are trying to figure out what bikes are they going to buy to get into the sport, these are the types of things I think you have to grapple with. It's sort of like, are you just going to kind of get off the beaten path from time to time or is it going to be primarily dirt?

Yeah, yeah, no doubt. I think, um, you're talking about those bikes where you can get up to a 38, right? That's, you can write that on the club ride with us at 28 mil tires. Put the 38th on it and you got a great bike for gravel worlds or, or the Peloton gravel mob. But you might want something a little different if you're looking at crusher or you're looking at at a dirty Kanza. But that's again, I think one of the things that energizes people is it's really tough to say what's the right bike for a specific course because you're sort of always making a compromise somewhere. You're compromising on the fast section. If you go with bigger tires and you're more laid back, you're compromising on the more technical sections if you're trying to run a real fast, narrow tire setup. So that's the equation that everyone gets to wrestle with when they are signing up for these events and trying to, you know, trying to build their right bike.

That's a great segue because I want to talk about the gravel mob event that is coming up. Sure. It's actually one of my favorite events. As I mentioned to you before. I think I'll be on my third edition this year when I come down and on it to me captures all the elements of a great gravel ride. It's got great adventure. It brought me way off the beaten path that never written any of that terrain. And the first time I had been down there, and Ohi I hated my bike at one point and I love to add another point. I wait all day long for that ripping single track at the end. I'm going to tell you that right now because I'm the guy who rides the fat tires and I'm dragging up hill, but when I get there, boy, Oh boy, I am cruising down there and finding the guys who elected to be on 28 suffering through that tiny last section of the course.

Yup, Yup. Yeah, absolutely. That, that is a, our Howard creek descent off the ridge line. It's definitely something that the, uh, the event has become known for.

So tell us how the event started. I know you're linked up with a great shop down there and Ohi and a lot of great sponsors. I just love to hear about how it all got started.

Yeah. Well, so it's our fifth year doing this when we did it with a mob shop in Ohio, uh, one of the owners of the mob shop, Tim Rowen is my co race director. So we pretty much, you know, um, it's, it's pretty equal load there in terms of the, the entire creation of the race, um, and, and running it itself. So we, uh, went six years ago, we had a Peloton cross, we were doing a cross race out at Lake Casitas here in Ohio and we decided the next year, hey, on Sunday after the cross race, let's do a gravel ride and let's go ahead and kind of create this course that we think shows off the best of, of gravel riding in Ohi and sort of Ventura county. And we realized pretty quickly that, uh, it was a lot more fun too in that gravel race. Then I'm at the crossroads and we love cross, but hearts were gravel, gravel is where our heart is.

So we transitioned into just making the Palatine graebel mob, um, our focus and definitely have not regretted that. And we've had some amazing sponsors come on to support the event and just support gravel writing in general. Pattern racer has been a sponsor since year one. And then make the gravel cane, which is just, they have a bunch of great options for the ride and the gravel cane, whether you're ride in the SK or one of the file treads is perfect. Easton came on last year and Craig Ritchie, who runs their marketing program, he was in the lead group all day. I'm that guy is crazy fit. He'll be back racing again. A goo comes out, good nutrition, you rehearse while day. Kansas Champ. He comes out and he leads a ride the day before and then he crushes it on the course again. And Salsa cycles coming back for that second year. Those guys have been amazing support. And uh, we're giving away a warbird again this year in our December issue. If people saw that ultimate bike build we did last year, that was all salsa. All Easton. I'm pattern racer. And then we're really super excited because Wa who's coming on board this year as our official gps sponsor. So, uh, if you know our, our raffle at the end, which is about as important as the race itself for us a while it will be a part of that as well.

That's awesome. I'm looking forward to it. I, I've been lucky two years in a row. I've walked away with something awesome. So I'm stoked for that. So I know you said you wanted, you guys wanted to kind of just create a course that took a good hard look at all the disciplines within gravel and providing a sort of an option of pushing your limits regardless of what your strengths are. So if we chop up the course, I know we've got a couple of climbs in there, a couple of good descents. Can you talk a little bit more specifically about the course and what people should expect?

Yeah, absolutely. So I mean overall the course is 58 miles. So when people think about a gravel riding, oh, that's short. And it is, it is short for a short program, programmable ride and part of that's very intentional. We want people to enjoy the party after and hang out for a long time, you know, we got tacos and beer and like I said, the greater the raffle after. So that's as important as the race to us is that community feeling after an in sharing those stories from the course. But uh, we started out, the first big, big obstacle is called Sulfur Mountain. It's a monster monster climb that is in the neighborhood of eight miles, but it's really like super highway dirt fire road. And so that's where the first group group goes away, is right on there. Um, after that, the next big climb is called CSR and a CIS. Our road is a beast. It's really steep through a creek bed at the beginning. But again, fire road, couple of water crossings, it looks like there'll be a little wet this year and that's another super, super long long climb because overall there's 8,000 feet of climbing on the course.

Yeah, that's. This is our climate is definitely. I think it's part obviously that it's in the latter half of the race and you've already climbed sulfur mountain, but there's something about it that I think, well, for me it was just very taxing. I think it's this super steep pitches and a couple of years I've been down there, it's been super hot. Uh, so people were just melting away on that climb.

Yeah. Did you get one of the popsicles?

I just have a night. I was just going to mention that. I mean towards the, towards the aid station, at the top of the climb, this, this young volunteers running down with shaking something in his hands and he asked do you want a popsicle? And I honestly like didn't know if my brain was working correctly, if I'm truly answering the right question. Absolutely. I want to

popsicle. Yeah, yeah, no, for sure. And there'll be popsicles, oncourse again, don't worry. Yeah. So that climb, it's eight miles long and it's over 3000 feet of climbing. So it's, it's a big ask, although this year, and we can talk about this a little more when we get to Howard trail. So there's some big updates there. We had the Thomas fire come through in December, which really scorched all of Ohio and you're going to get a front row seat to seeing what happened with the Thomas fire in the back country of Ohio on this ride. But because of that, the bottom of Sister Canyon road, which used to be the most technical section of the course is beautiful smooth dirt. So I did a facebook post earlier this week. Um, if Neil Shirley's Koom is to fall, it's going to be this year because the bottom of the course is so fast right now

that that could have a huge impact. I mean, I, that's, that part of that climb sticks in my memory every year as something that sort of piece pick male your way through. And a lot of people were getting off and walking. So I, I think, uh, our friend Neil may have some challenges in that. Keeping that KLM.

Yeah, the time is not so fast, but if it's going to be done it'll be, it'll be this year. But then after you get to the top of sis are you get to what I think is the signature moment of the race itself, which is the North Ridge road. It's just this beautiful eight mile long, gorgeous gravel road across the spine of the Topa Topa mountains. And you're at over 4,000 feet. You have unbelievable, unbelievable views out to the Pacific Ocean. You're looking into the CSP wilderness left to your right. We think it's the best gravel road in America. And uh, and to me it's a signature part of the ride itself, getting getting our field up there and enjoy. And that is incredible.

Yeah, no, there's definitely spectacular views. I spent a little bit more time last year up there than I had planned as my good good riding buddy. Todd got a flat and we had a hell of a time getting his tire unseated off the rim and changing out. So we were probably sitting around for 10, 10 minutes looking at that view as we were begging for extra tire leavers from riders that came by and eventually got it, got it corrected. And the good thing about where we were located was a few miles further down the trail. We came to the next aid station where I got the second surprising offer of the day.

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So yeah. Are Our final aid station of the day is right at the entrance to that single track descent you referenced earlier. Uh, Howard Howard creek trail. And um, this event is kind of run like a family event. So a lot of the people up there are my brother, my sister in law. My kid probably ran down to give you the popsicle. And so what my, my brother and sister in law, I do at that third aid station. It's not officially sanctioned by the event, but rumor has it if you need it to kill a shot before you dropped down Howard, you can have a tequila shot before you dropped down. Howard?

Yes. Ed recollection serves in a doe is all fuzzy at this point. I had one of those, it, I don't think it had any net effect on me, but I did because my legs were so tired at that point. But I enjoyed that dissent, uh, as I said, I had the bike for it, so it was a lot of fun and you know, it's always fun getting a little tiny bit of payback for the guys who were on the super lightweight setups on the way up.

Yeah. Yeah. So that Howard creek trail, it's called, is two, almost two and a half miles of single track. You're going to drop over a thousand feet. Um, it's, it's loose, it's exposed. Uh, and, and that's always where I said, you know, at some point during the ride, like you were saying, you're, you're having a great time and you're cursing usually us for sending you down that trail, like if you don't think that we're a little bit nuts at that point. Well, it's definitely a, um, a cool moment. And I think for a lot of people who are coming from that skinny tire background, it definitely pushes their comfort zone and pushes their technical ability. But everyone who gets down is so fired up that they were able to do it and they realized really what these drop bar bikes can do. Even with a set of 28 or 32 is, it's amazing what you can ride.

Yeah, and I think the thing is it's so different from every other part of that course that you've been on all day long to arrive there and have to really just wind your way through that single track. As you said, it's loose. It takes a lot of bike control. It's a lot of fun from my perspective, but I definitely saw that it challenged a lot of people and you know, a few people I saw at the very end they're getting out onto the road where like I'm just glad I got through that without injury or, or clipping out too much. But then as you, as you're probably about to say, you're sort of rewarded by this really fun ripping road descent.

Yeah. That's the descent of Rose Valley, which is sort of a staple climb out here. But we send our writers down it. So once you get off Howard, you get this a super smooth and flowing descent for 10 miles all the way back into Ohio. And uh, yeah, once you get to that point, you really know you've cracked it, you're going to make it, it's all good. Head Back Beers and talk.

Yeah. And I remember each year it's sort of linking up with maybe six or seven people in pace lining and cramping, cramping as I'm coming into town house, hoping that I could stay with the group because I don't want to be out there any longer. And I know the Taco guys are already cranking the Tacos.

Yeah. Well, and that's where guys who are riding the bigger tires or you know, every year there's a few guys and hardtail mountain bikes, which is great. We love it, bring them. But uh, that's where they suffer. Uh, you know, usually not a big enough gear and you're just turning a lot of tire to try and stick with some guys on some skinnier gear and dropbox. But again, it's all about finding not just the right bike, the event, the right bike for you. Where do you want to make your compromise and that that's all part of the fun.

Yeah. And it's in Ohio is a great community. I mean, it was a community I hadn't visited prior to racing at Graebel mob, so it was, it's awesome because you can go down there, you can make a weekend of it, you can bring your family this plenty of plenty to do and it's a community that can definitely use our support after the Thomas fires last year.

Yeah, no, no question, no question. The fires were crazy up here, but um, yeah, it is an amazing place to come hang out for the weekend and like you said, bring the family, make a weekend of it. Um, there's, there's plenty to do for, for everybody, but yeah, one thing we should definitely mention is that Howard creek trail, which we just briefly touched on, um, that's gone. That trail was wiped off the face of the mountain by the Howard, by the, uh, Thomas fire

really. So all the, all the, all the plants and vegetation burned off at that trail.

What happened, if you remember a lot of the real scary sections with little pucker factor. They had some wood retaining structures. Will the Thomas Fire burnt those structures away? And then we had heavy, heavy rain in January that just wiped the trail off the side of the mountain.

Gotcha. Because it was, it was absolutely on the side of a mountain and I could easily see like any erosion is going to just take the whole thing out.

Exactly. Exactly. So we've, we've hooked up with a guy here up in Ohio who is basically the Ohi trail whisper, this Guy Mike Gourley, he's a staple in the Ohi Ventura county cycling community and he just works tirelessly on these trails. And so a bunch of our sponsors, eastern Guru wa who stepped up along with Peloton to help foot the bill to repair that trail. So, so my Gourley is up there with a crew, literally recutting Howard trail, almost almost from scratch. So it should be an amazing shape by the time the race comes. But I'm just a huge thanks to the sponsors for stepping up to help, uh, you know, a pair of trail, not just for our event, but you know, it's one of those popular trails in that Ohi back country. So it's amazing that it'll be there, you know, be there in great shape for everybody.

Yeah, absolutely. That's hugely appreciated. I'm super curious to check that out. I know talking to a couple of local rippers they were saying that they love to come up there and downhill that on their bikes, which I can see.

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. The downhill is pretty fast and there's a that is officially neutral on the course, um, because really we're more of a ride than a race. It's not really about the race, it's about the ride. And there's of course, like any club ride, like anything, there's guys at the front that are racing, but really officially it's a ride. We don't give out prizes for first, second or third. Everything we get from these amazing sponsors goes into the raffle. So whether you finished first or dead last, you have the same chance of walking away with an eastern set of wheels and new Wahoo, gps, new pattern racer tires, some eastern components. Um, a bunch of good nutrition, some Schwag from salsa. Doesn't matter where you finish, you have an equal chance of winning.

Last year you guys did something interesting in the magazine and you built up that gravel mob bike from salsa and you alluded to that. You're going to do that again this year.

We're not doing that. That was sort of a, the ultimate build or at least what I think would be the ultimate build for the race. Like we said, there's the ultimate bill is different for everybody. So this year we're going to be giving away a salsa cycles warbird, but it's one of their stock builds. Okay. But still the way salsa puts that thing together, um, you, you can't go wrong. It's an amazing bike, not just for this ride, but for, for any ride, whether it's back country or like we talked about, you want to put on some skinny tires on it and write it on the road. It's more than capable of it.

Yeah. I thought that was an interesting project because it just illustrates a lot of what we've been talking about. How the right bike for gravel mob you had, you had a bunch of different constraints in there yet a bunch of climbing with 8,000 feet of climbing, but then you had this gnarly single track descent at the end. So putting together a package that would work across all those different types of terrain was a pretty big challenge.

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, and you look at the bottom of CSR, it's so steep. You really want to have that one to one gear ratio or maybe even a little more gear, but then you have a ripping fast spun out, descent down Roads Valley. So you've got to have a lot of gear range. Um, and like you said with Howard, do I want to run a 40 mil tire with some Nabi on it so I feel comfortable on Howard, but then I'm climbing with that up up. Um, you know, our first cleanup, sulfur mountain, which is a really fast climate. You can easily do on 28 millimeter road tires in the dirt, you know. So it's all about this tradeoff.

Yeah. I have to say, uh, I've, I've added one easier gear each time I've come to gravel mob and I don't think I'm quite there yet. I'm mashing up a up Caesar.

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I know the guys that are really racing the course. I mean some of those guys are hitting it on a 34 slash 28 or a 34 slash 32 less than a one to one. But then yeah, uh, myself included us that are a little farther back. We went that one to one gear ratio for sure.

We'll have to see. I'm thinking about making a couple of equipment changes before, before the event, so we'll see what I end up with this year.

Yeah, right on. Yeah, I know. Uh, I, I put 40 millimeter gravel king slicks on that salsa ultimate build. And I know a lot of people thought not slicks and file treads. A lot of people thought, oh, why didn't you go with the ski with a little more knob? But, you know, it was sort of my ultimate build. So maybe not ever been everybody's ultimate build, but I wanted, I wanted the file treads for the road stuff.

That's a. that's a good choice. I think we'll have to see. That's what I love about. I mean frankly I'm like I'm not the type of writer that makes a lot of switches for a specific. Even though I kinda think about it a lot, but as I said, I've got a couple of moves in my bike quiver that may be happening before gravel mob this year. So I'll make some choices. Maybe with the intention of changing things up a little bit.

Yeah, absolutely. I think that, like we talked about, that whole equipment equation is such a fun and engaging part of it, but I mean the other aspect to be of not just our event but, but all gravel racing is. I look at it as sort of like the ironman example where you get to race on the same course on the same day with world champions, with guys who wrote the Tour de France with some of the best athletes in the world and you're literally line up with them, which isn't going to happen anywhere else, you know, and it doesn't matter if you're trying to win, are you just wanting to be a participant? You all get to have that experience together. I mean last year at our race, but we had met over and came out. Got You said mountain bike world champion there. You know, we got neil surely lining up the guy who is, you know, 30 Kansas Champ, unbelievable writer. We've had dave brisky out there and to really get to line up with those guys in, you can try and stick with them, you know? Where else can you say, I'm going to try and stick with the tour Yellow Jersey on the at a big climb other than gravel racing, it just doesn't happen anywhere else.

Yeah, absolutely. One of my strengths and gravel racing is the neutral rollout. I don't tend to get dropped. Yeah, so I get to ride with all the guys at that point, which I think is fun. It's fun. Rolling out of 10, rolling out of Ohio together, down that bike path, and then kind of getting everybody's geared together for the first climb and and having the second start line if you will.

Yeah, exactly. Exactly. That's really is so everyone can line up and start to get it because I don't know if you've ever done something like the Belgian waffle ride. Not all neutral starts are created equal. There are some full gas neutral starts out. There are neutral strategies are real neutral. Start with a regroup at the bottom of sulfur mountain and that's where the ride really gets going. Yeah.

Now I want to go back to one thing you touched on which was the distance of the ride at 58 miles because I do think personally that that's the sweet spot. It's the type of thing that it's. It's not insignificant. Certainly with the climbing, you feel like you'd put a big day together, but it's also not bone crushing

at all. Yeah. Yeah. I made the top guys are going under four hours, they're moving and then there's some people that are taking six or seven of course. But uh, yeah, it's, it's to really sort of reinforced the fact that we feel the community aspect is as important as the ride itself. And you know, everyone's got a story to tell whether you were first or last. So let's, let's hear your story and let's do it over or some, some great tacos from Turkey, a house in Topa, Topa. Brilliant. Does the beer. So it's a and we're all hanging out at the mob shop. It's um, it's the perfect environment to share those stories.

Yeah, it is. I think it's interesting as how the race promoters and course designers are exploring the different ends of the spectrum, whether it's shorter, punchier races that are really truly races and everybody's gone ballistic the whole time. Or the gravel mob distance, which I think is a, is the kind of perfect in between a distance where it's hard and long but not epic. And then you've got, you know, things like dk, 200 and the xl that are just exploring the full epic side of the spectrum.

Yeah, yeah, exactly. How far can you go. And, and we, I love that side of the sport as well. I've done grab a world's 150 mile course eight hour day. Um, we love that side of it too. Bwr what those guys do. They put on a great, a great event. But yeah, we like to hang out and have tacos and beer and not be completely smashed.

Yeah, no, I think I've come to the conclusion that there's room for all of them, you know, in the calendar and some you're only gonna do one, maybe 150 200 mile race a year and you'll focus on that. But you can, you can drop in a ton of these 60 mile in shorter races. Um, and have a blast doing them.

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I mean that, that has been an amazing part of this gravel riding explosion, not just all the cool product and all the brands that are getting behind it, but the promoters and just, there's so many great events. Uh, you know, it's southern California here. We got Grapes of Wrath coming up October 26th I think, which is an amazing event. Sandbar. And is that the same emphasis, the rock cobbler out in, um, in Bakersfield, which is another amazing events in, I think it's in February. So there's just so many cool events that you as a writer, you really, you have your pick of just a really fun calendar.

Yeah, I agree. I mean, I think the toughest thing is an earthing information about all these great regional events and putting a plan together to go hit them.

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I know, uh, my buddy at fast track, Dave lotteria comes out and does the gravel bob every year. But uh, at the end he ended the year. He always does this big facebook post with every single number that he has from the year. And as well as I know the grapple seen, there's still some numbers in there. I'm like, what event is that? And I have to look into it because there's so much out there.

Yeah, I mean it's clear the classics of the future or just get getting created right now, which is exciting to be part of the sport at this juncture.

Yeah, absolutely. I was thinking that this year at Belgian waffle ride, you know, the, the guys that um, that are going well there and trying to win that, that's going to be their biggest one of the season, you know, I think more people know who ted king is now for winning dirty Kanza. Then when he was racing the tour and racing the zero, I mean that's how far the sport's come. Yeah, I would definitely agree with that

bullet. Ben. I appreciate all the time. It's always great to talk gravel with someone who's been in it and, and making the scene happen. I appreciate you guys creating the event and I appreciate all the coverage and Peloton magazine.

Oh well, no problem. And thank you for letting us talk about our event. Just we throw it out there at Peloton gravel mob is going to be on November 17th this year and we want to put together, we've put together a code for your listeners, so if you listen to the gravel ride, go to bike, Raj searched, peloton gravel mob, put in gravel ride 10, and you get 10 percent off your entry for being a a gravel ride podcast listener.

That's awesome. Well, I appreciate that Ben, and we'll definitely try to get a truckload of people here from northern California to come down and hope hopefully listeners from around the country. We'll have time to make plans and as I said, Ohio is a great, great place to visit and an even better place to gravel ride.

Yeah, yeah, exactly. Bring the family. It's an awesome spot.