Thunder Grinder you say? What am I signing up for you ask? Gravel what? Grinder who? Do you know how busy I am?!
We understand. You have some serious questions and deserve some serious answers. Give us five minutes; we’ll explain……hold my beer.
The 2019 Thunder Grinder is the brainchild of a group of like-minded cyclists yearning for an excuse to organize a ride. Usually, we send out some texts, post on Facebook, send out the pigeons, light the signal fires, and tell our spouses we’ll be back before dinner. We thought it was about time we take this to the next level.
We got together, discussed, analyzed, percolated, then unanimously agreed that we would organize the greatest gravel ride of all time! We may have set the bar a tad too high…I’ll take that beer back now.
So, what can you expect?
We have two tantalizing ride options consisting of a 60km and 120km. Both route options will take you through the gravelisious maze of the Thunder Bay outskirts. These routes have been carefully crafted by a team of seasoned riders who have collectively logged thousands of kilometres over the last decade navigating this intricate web of Lappe car museums, SISU strongholds and Slate River farmland. Presented by the TBCC and supported by our local business community, this is your best chance to immerse yourself in a true Thunder Bay gravel adventure. Race it or ride it, the choice is yours. Either way, we guarantee you will have a blast!
So, does the fun end with the last kilometre? Nope. We’re cooking up something special. You won’t be disappointed. We will be posting more details in the coming weeks including race routes, registration links, and post-ride party details. In the meantime, save the date and tell all your friends.
Date: August 10th, 2019
Start & End Location: Loch Lomond Ski Hill - 1800 Loch Lomond Rd
Early bird registration until June 30th. Registration closes Thursday August 8th.
Kit Pick-up: Friday August 9th 5-8 pm Sleeping Giant Brewing Co (712 Macdonell St, Thunder Bay)
Registration kit includes complementary T-Shirt, post ride meal with beverage and other assorted goodies.
Cost: Same price for both distances.
Earlybird (Ends June 30th) $55.00
July 1st – August 8th $65.00
Start Time: 8:00 am for the long course, 10:00 am for the short course. All riders must be finished by 4:00 pm.
Camping and Accommodations: Free camping spots will be available at the Loch Lomond Ski Hill with spots available for both tents and campers. Basic amenities will be provided including washrooms, BBQ and a fire pit.
If you don’t feel like roughing it, the closest hotel is the Best Western Nor’Western Hotel and Conference Center (2080 Hwy 61)
Post Ride Feast and Reception: Rest your weary bones and share your epic stories at the post ride reception taking place at the Loch Lomond lounge. Starting from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm riders will be fed a meal worthy of the day’s effort. Sleeping Giant Brewery will be there with their amazing assortment of local craft beer.
Code of Conduct and Tips for the Wise:
• In the words of Frankie MacDonald “BE PREPARED!!” don’t forget that case of Pepsi.
• Make sure you bike is gravel worthy for the ride (33mm tires and up recommended). Get it tuned up at a local bike shop before the ride.
• Be kind to each other and stop to help any stranded riders along the way. The universe will repay your kind gestures.
• Be respectful of people’s property. Pee discretely.
• Always, always, always stay on the right side of the road. Pacelines are faster anyway.
• Other than your tire tracks don’t leave any trace behind. Litterers will be publicly shamed.
• Know where you’re going. The course will be marked, cue cards will be provided, and track files are available for upload to your GPS. It’s still up to you to make the right turn (or the left one).