Fernie Gravel Grind - The Virtual Edition
Photo by Steve Reed
Last year, local rider Carter Nieuwesteeg had an idea of an event that would both lure bikers to explore the expansive and beautiful lanscapes in surounding the community of Fernie while also raising money for the the town's local trails alliance - the Fernie Trails Alliance (FTA).
Working with the FTA on event approvals, creating routes that were attractive to all levels and experiences and developing a fun "ride" atmosphere with a pre-ride coffee, stocked feed stations, post-ride beverage, and non-traditional prizing, the Fernie Gravel Grind was born and the stoke high among riders and the community of Fernie.
While COVID-19 definitely threw a wrench into any events planned this spring and summer, it has also provided the opportunity of ingenuity. Carter took on the challenge, and created a virtual challenge that begins July and runs until the end of August. Instead of the two route options set for "ride" day, there are not seven backcountry GPX routes varying in distance and difficulty available to those who register. It's just $54, with funds still donated to the FTA, and miles of backroads for your gravel grinding pleasure.
So how does it work? Once you register for the Virtual Fernie Gravel Grind online, you receive the seven routes via email that include descriptions of the challenges and available draw prizes. Choose your routes and challenges, sync the routes to your cycling computer, ride the routes and challenges, and share your rides by joining the Fernie Gravel Grind Club on Strava or by tagging @FernieGravelGrind on FB or Instagram and you are entered to win a prize on September 1! But above all else, have fun, enjoy the scenery and exploring space perhaps you have never been to before!