At the end of 2022, we polled our readers with a series of questions about adventures, events, riding styles, and more.
One question we asked was, "What kind of events does our region needs more of?". The options included gravel, fat, and bikepacking as well as racing and non-racing formats. Here is the breakdown of responses from 140 respondents.
The most popular category people said they want more of is gravel non-racing events. This was especially interesting since the 2nd most popular answer was 50-100 mile races (basically the opposite, right?).
While the total responses are fairly evenly split between racing and non-racing I think it's important to note that if you look at our Gravel Bike Race calendar, for example, there are significantly more races than non-races. Now many of the races emphasize community more than racing, so it might be a moot point. But as event organizers think of ways to bring more people to the starting line, I think it's pretty important to place a lot priority on how the event builds community and includes people of all backgrounds and abilities just as much as on the competition and challenge itself.
Another interesting point to note is the large amount of people looking for more bikepacking group trips. And I think it's great that more of these types of events are popping up. In just the last year, we saw the first Hodag Country Ramble, the first Gravel Pizza Overnighter, and this year Iron Bull is hosting the first Midwest Bikepacking Summit, plus more new events that are in the works from other groups. And of course you can't forget about the incredible Tour de Chequamegon annual community bikepacking trip every fall. These are all great community building events and I'm excited to see more of them popping up.
Just for fun, here were a few of the write-in responses people also gave for this question:
Gravel events that are fun rather than stupidly hard
Women’s development opportunities
Gravel events under 50 miles
I don't know. I don't care about races.
Non-gravel, paved bikepacking events, unguided
Fatbike winter bikepacking (outdoor camping)
Gravel rides shorter than 65 miles
Unique races, like Rule of 3 or something besides the typical events we already have
Now if you're looking for new events for gravel season, check out our Gravel Race calendar.