Stay tuned! Only 1,500 Riders get to join us this year. Registration opens early winter 2020 Race date 04/24/2021
Race date 04/24/2021 – (Spring in the desert is awesome!)
Wondering what ‘gravel’ is all about? Come ride our starter course to get a feel for why everyone is saying gravel is a blast! Beautiful, forgiving and fun terrain – Just challenging enough to give you a true sense of the gravel adventure!
Our 70-miler will push you. The terrain is rolling, fun and you will have to work. The reward is incredible beauty and a shorter but true gravel adventure, with a little bit of sting. Just like the tail of stegosaurus!
Aid at mile 25 and 46 – both stops crew accessible.
Triceratops 100-miler, the quintessential, gentle giant $100 Click here for a map link
This century route takes you 100 miles and onto a special section of gravel right down the seam of our Co-Ut boarder. A perfect blend of challenging terrain, incredible scenery and amazing views. With just over 5,000′ of climbing you’ll know you got your money’s worth!
Aid at miles 25, 41, 6o and 76. You’ll find the support you need to take on this rugged monster.
This 125 mile route has it all – Riding well into Utah and high onto the plateau where the deer and the antelope play (for real). With more than 7,000′ of elevation gain you will work very hard and be rewarded with incredible views all the way to canyon country and the snow capped La Sals!
Aid at miles 25, 41, 66, 86 and 102. You’ll find the support you need to take on this rugged monster.
190 miles – This is what gravel racing is all about. Big, challenging, long, and amazing! With more than 10,000′ of climbing, you will experience views (and climbs) that take your breath away. You will cover terrain so good you won’t believe you’ve never been here before. You will experience so much variety you’ll never be bored. When you come across the secret “Endless” (that only this distance finds) you will understand the magic of Co2uT!
Aid at miles 25, 41, 88, 106, 127, 145, and 161. You’ll find the support you need to take on this rugged monster.
When it is safe to visit the desert AND you promise to follow the state, regional and local rules and always respect social distancing we’re willing to share several samples of the riding at Co2uT.
Before we do – two HUGE disclaimers.
1- We’ve gone to extreme lengths to design complete courses. A “complete course” combines a balance of hard and easy, climbs and cruises, elevation, and flats, excitement, and relaxation. We’ve personally ridden each course in its entirety to ensure the total flow and balance are right on for its total distance. So, riding a “sampler” of any given course will never provide the race day, full course experience. What the samplers will provide is a way to get a feel for Co2uT. See many of the sights and allow you to piece together your course in bite-size (relatively speaking in dino proportions) samplers.
2- The desert is an extreme environment. There is NO SUPPORT and NO WATER out there! You are using these maps at your own risk and we take no responsibility for what may happen to you out there. If you use one of our maps you are acknowledging and accepting these risks and releasing us from any and all liability. Getting lost, getting injured, suffering dehydration are real possibilities and you are responsible for you. Before you go we strongly advise you to study your ride, have a bale out plan, let someone know where you are riding and when you’ll be back. Carry twice the water you think you will need and if you’re going long find someone to meet you along the way and resupply.
P.S. share your feedback and have a blast.
CLICK ON A PIC TO GET A SAMPLER MAP
Looking for a big day? Ready to discover the meaning of endless? Literally and figuratively? This one is for you. Hwy exit 214, westbound on I-70 allows a support person to meet you at ride mile 39. By clicking this link to the map you acknowledge you are using it at your own risk and we take no responsibility for your safety.
“I love the vastness and the variety of the desert. Putting together these courses I’m always looking to change it up. This route does just that. It includes a few seriously kick-ass climbs, two ripping downhills, the infamous Raptor sand traps and always, breathtaking views – look up and Gravel on~” Morgan Murri.
This route gives you several options and swings back by your start point (with a slight detour) at mile 47. Allowing you to resupply before heading onto the 70-mile route section. By clicking this link to the map you acknowledge you are using it at your own risk and we take no responsibility for your safety.
Looking for a long day? Ready to discover the meaning of endless? Literally and figuratively? This one is for you. Hwy exit 214, westbound on I-70 allows a support person to meet you at ride mile 63. By clicking this link to the map you acknowledge you are using it at your own risk and we take no responsibility for your safety.
Co2uT creator Morgan Murri, inspired by his daughter, founded a girl-focused charity to reconnect kids with the wild.
Our sister event Beti Bike Bash is the largest women’s mountain bike event in the nation.
We strive to have the highest percentage of female participants in our gravel event on the planet. We are putting money where our mouth is. How? The first 150 women that sign up will receive a 50% discount for the same distance that you can give to your sister, girlfriend, daughter, niece, mother, grandmother or partner! That’s 300 female riders, 30% of our 1,000 rider limit and more incentives to come. How about a 50/50 field? Help us make it happen.
2020 PARTICIPANT LIMIT
GENDER MIX GOAL
Race date 04/24/2021 – (Spring in the desert is awesome!)
We know that crappy feeling… You get it, you pull the magic lottery ticket and then you scramble for a place to stay. Nothing but No-Vacancy everywhere you look.
Not here. With more than 2,000 local hotel rooms, hundreds of short-term rentals and plenty of camping have confidence you won’t be sleeping in your car. (Unless you want to of course!)
Access is another GREAT reason to join us @ Desert Gravel. We are located right off Interstate 70.
A beautiful, scenic and easy 4-hour drive from Denver.
4.5 Hours from Boulder.
The same from Salt Lake City.
Coming from farther away? We have a fantastic, regional airport with flights from Denver, Dallas, Phoenix, L.A., Vegas and Chicago.
Think it’s a hassle to fly with your bike? Contact us about our partnership with Bike Flight and our local bike building team.
Key aid stations for all courses (except the 30 mile course) do allow access for crew, friends and family for outside support. These defined locations can be found above in the courses info. Within these open access aid stations, riders are allowed and encouraged to meet with their crews and families for mechanical, nutritional and moral support!
Beyond these defined ‘open access’ aid stations All courses are closed to outside support and riders are not allowed to accept support, crew or aid outside of ANY designated aid station.
At Desert Gravel we want riders and their support to be involved and part of the action. We also want to honor the adventure of gravel riding and the self reliance appeal of the sport. For these reasons WE WILL NOT RESCUE YOU. All riders MUST HAVE a designated crew person on hand and available to retrieve a rider that needs assistance. If a rider does receive this outside assistance they become disqualified from the event.
Please take the time to review your course, develop a support and crew plan and determine at which open access aid stations you would like your crew to meet you. Crew suggestions and directions to open access aid stations can be found in the riders’ bible.
If you’ve never visited the ‘Grand-Valley’ prepare to be amazed! World class scenery, 1,500 miles of mtb single-track, incredible hiking and a great bike path.
Three distinct and unique downtowns – Fruita, Grand Junction and Palisade provide shopping, dining, exploring and excitement across our Valley.
Want to extend your trip? World renowned destinations like Moab, Telluride, Ouray, Vail and Aspen, each less than 2.5 hours away!
All Courses have aid stations. All aid stations, except one on the longest course, have water, hydration drink, and an array of snacks and energy nutrition. Aid stations are approximately 15-20 miles apart.
We want you to have your family or friends cheer you on and provide additional support. Most (see your course map for details) aid stations are crew accessible. These “crew accessible” aid stations are the ONLY place riders are allowed to receive outside support. Crew on other parts of the course is not allowed and taking outside support (except from a fellow rider) is grounds for disqualification.
All Co2uT courses take place on open, active roads. You are required to obey all traffic laws and ‘rules of the road’ – such as staying on your side of the road and paying close attention on tight turns, curvy segments and always being on the lookout for oncoming traffic. Don’ t let the remote nature of this event or your location lull you into a sense of forgetting that others may be just around the corner and coming your way!
Courses will be moderately marked. This means major turns, key intersections and locations that one course departs from another. Maps and cue-sheets (turn by turn directions) will be available electronically for download and will be emailed to racers. You should print these and carry them with you. You should also provide copies for your crew and designated support person.
GPS is allowed and strongly encouraged. Like most long gravel races today using your device to keep you on course is the easisest and safest way to get along out here. There are a LOT of roads in the region and having your device charged, on and active will give you more time to keep your eyes on the road and the scenery. Downloadable GPS files will be provided to all racers and should be shared with your crew.
We want you to ride with us! We want you to have an exceptional experience too.
We have to make money to do what we but don’t want cost to keep you away.
We keep it simple and affordable – just $1 per mile. 30 miler, $30. 100 miler, 100 bucks. You get the picture it’s a great value!
Swag and Awards.
Great swag – we love it. Bad swag, turns into rags to clean your bike with. We are all about GREAT swag.
Every rider receives – A cool t-shirt you’ll actually be proud to wear. Socks that are better than the shirt and a course-specific finishers’ award that you’ll want to show off.
Awesome awards – Age group awards (each 10 year bracket). 1st, 2nd, 3rd places receive an award that will become coveted and iconic in the gravel world.
Queen and King and Princess and Prince of the desert for the overall male and female winner of the 180 and 125 mile courses. Trust us – these awards will befitting of the royal desert family.
Beer. A lot of excellent beer for all of those riders 21+ and plenty for purchase for family and crew.
Food. Finish line recovery, snacks and calories to get you back up and active.
Plenty of extra tees, socks, hats and jerseys for sale for you and/or your family and crew. So you can all go home and show the world that you came to the desert and conquered C02uT!
This is a gravel event. Our top choice is a gravel bike. Especially in the longer distances, getting low, and grinding out the miles happens faster and more comfortably on a gravel specific bike.
That said – If you want to ride your mountain bike, no problem. No big rocks, drops or ledges (that’s mostly on the other side of the highway) so lockout suspension or a hardtail would be ideal.
Tire size is a big debate in today’s gravel. These courses, on most days, are smooth enough for anything in the 30’s. We personally like 38’s -42’s for the extra absorption and float if the sand comes out. We’ll keep course conditions updated as the race date approaches.
True that! 2 items of note.
1 – For safety’s sake. A closer review of the maps will show that the distances between where inbound riders come back onto a two-way section is long, in the two longest courses extreme even. We built each course this way intentionally so that only a very few of the fastest riders may ride ‘against’ the tail end of the field still headed outbound. Additionally for the few riders that this will be a concern for the course in these sections is wider open road with plenty of room for all – as long as you stay on your side of the road.
2 – For aesthetic’s sake. Equally important we’ve gone to great lengths to select the very best, most interesting, most challenging and most beautiful route options. We’ve ridden these roads over and over and over and everyone we’ve taken out there says two things… “Holy-#&%* amazing” and “There is no way we covered the same road twice.” The terrain flows and turns and ducks and darts so often that coming and going are two completely different feels.
We thought long and hard about this question –
The right answer is – Hard. And, for us that is the point. We want you to challenge and test yourself, get out of your comfort zone and overcome it. This is why we have 5 distances. Giving you several levels of “hard” to choose what is right for you.
Just getting started? Our 30 miler is perfect.
Want the full, kick your ass, ride an EPIC experience? Take on our 190 miler with more than 10,000′ of climbing!
Want something in between? Choose our 70, 100, or 125 miler for whatever level of excitement and suffering you dare to take on.
What makes it “hard?”
One of the unique aspects of riding here is elevation gain for all courses comes in short, abrupt climbs, generally steep and rarely over 1/2 mile long. When you think about 4,000, 7,000 or 10,000 feet of total gain that means there are a lot of short little punches out here. You can see an example in this video of our steepest climb.
Depending on the recent weather we can also have none – some sand. More likely on the 100, 125 and 190 mile courses. The challenge isn’t that the sand is for long sections. Actually it is just the opposite – It comes without notice and in areas you might not expect. It can be deep and quickly take charge of your front wheel. You can see an example in this video.
Every distance is legit gravel. Tough, dirty, up, down, and all around. We’ll promise you this. The beauty and effort will take your breath away!
Such a great question – The national definition of the term is anything from not quite asphalt to just short of single-track.
Desert Gravel is this. We ride on 4 types of road – in order of most prevalent to least.
1- 70% ‘dirt’ to ‘actual’ gravel. Desert, hardpack dirt with gravel and very fine crush rock mixed in and, occasional segments of sand. Width ranging from single-lane to wide double lane. These roads range from regularly maintained to seasonally maintained. The texture from very smooth to moderate washboard.
2- 15-20% Hardpack – less packed dirt road. (primarily on the 3 longer courses). Narrower, ‘jeep’ style road (no double track, all are actual road) comes into play higher in the hills with more climbing, and descending, rolling terrain. Some sections of these roads can also be sandy when the weather has been dry for long periods of time. The opposite can be true with extensive rain creating challenging, sticky mud.
3 – 5% Primary county maintained true “gravel” road. Well-maintained, wide, smooth, fine gravel roads. We’ll also put old deteriorated state hwy 50 road into this category. Low or no maintained old asphalt road, plenty of gravel and potholes in sections. In the 175 and 125 mile courses these few sections will be much appreciated for a reprieve from the ever-changing terrain most of the course enjoys.
4- Paved, current, modern asphalt road and hwy. Minimal. ALL course use this primary road type for the 1st and last 5 miles of each course leaving and coming to Fruita. All but the shortest courses use 1 mile (each direction) of a state highway at about outbound mile 24.
What you won’t find here. There is NO single-track. There are no “rock gardens” (yes, rocks can be anywhere on a rural road) – but there are no segments, or sections covered/littered with medium to large rocks.