Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Fiddlin' Fifty Gravel Grinder

Alright, gravel enthusiasts, here is the post with details on our event.  We will probably miss something, so please don't hesitate to point it out to us!

Who:  Susan Hoppe & Scott Dahlquist

Scott and Susan live on six acres in Minnesota's Balkan Township.  We are literally surrounded by hundreds of acres of Superior National Forest.  In addition to biking, we enjoy all kinds of sports with our Irish Red & White Setters.  In fact, the dogs are where the name of our ride came from.  Susan plays fiddle in a local band, which is why we chose to call the kennel Fiddlin' Irish Red & White Setters.  The ride is ours, starting from our house, so...

What:  The Fiddlin' Fifty Gravel Grinder and Potluck

Riding a [Mountain] Bicycle Built for Two
This is a 50-something mile gravel road RIDE, not a race.  We are toying with the idea of making it a timed event in future but wanted to start with something simpler.  If there is consensus before the start, we can do informal times, but we don't currently have anything better than your honesty and the accuracy of your trip computers.

The route is about 55 miles.  The only pavement comprises fewer than four (4) miles of the route.  Fewer than two miles are on snowmobile trail rather than actual gravel roads.  The terrain is all north of the Laurentian Divide.  There are no killer hills though there are a lot of undulations in the road.  Most of it is noticeably within Superior National Forest but there are a couple of spots that open up to farmland.

It is unsupported.  We'll come get you if you break your bike beyond field dressing or arrange a ride with flashing red lights and sirens if you need one; otherwise, you are on your own.  There are no stores or gas stations en-route.  The only water available is the form of lakes and streams.  Prepare accordingly.

We are having potluck.  Bring a dish to pass if you wish to participate--make sure you label your dish.  We'll organize the food while you are on the road.  We don't have a lot of chairs, so if you want to sit on something other than the ground, you may want to bring your own. 

When:  23 August 2014

Specifically, you need to come between 7:30 and 8:00 to check in and sign waivers.  The ride itself begins at 9:00.  It will finish when you are ready for it to be over. 

Where:  Balkan Township, Minnesota

Wolf Track
Much of Balkan Township is also Superior National Forest.  There is lots of wild flora and fauna.  Hopefully you will see some interesting critters at safe distances.

The Fiddlin' Fifty begins and ends at our house. Other than that, we aren't telling you any of the route until the day of the event, at which point you will receive cue cards.  We have friends who are going to test the cards for accuracy and useability this weekend.  (added 16 July 2014)

We are taking the first 100 registrants only and we ask that you have your postcard to us by 20 August.  Send your cards to: Fiddlin' Fifty; c/o Scott Dahlquist; 6479 Colombe Rd.; Chisholm, MN 55719.

On your cards we need to have your name, address, primary and secondary telephone numbers, e-mail, and age.  For the waiver, we will also ask for an emergency contact number, so please make sure you know what it is ahead of time.
Relaxing After a Great Ride

You can ride whatever you want, but you must wear a helmet. 

Why:  Just for Fun!
Happy Trails!

Scott and Susan


  1. There ya go Susan!!
    How about them cue cards???
    Peace, Joe

  2. Maybe my Suzuki V-Strom would qualify as ride whatever you want?? Nice looking event Scott and Susan. Thanks. Sorry this year I'll be still building, maybe next year... Larry K.

    1. Does your Suzuki have pedal power? ;-) Feel free to come spectate if you have some free time. --Susan