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Monday, April 23, 2012

Announcing GGGRRR 2012 [Frank on a Bike]

On June 23rd 2012, at 7am, some friends and I are going to get together at Blanding's Landing in northwest Illinois for the Galena Gravel Grinder Rustic Road Ride (GGGRRR). This is a roughly (no pun intended) 116 mile long ride through the rugged terrain of the Driftless region of Illinois. This route is specifically designed to cash in on the hills in this little corner of the state, with every attempt made to go straight up and straight down as much as possible. The route is certainly "rustic", being roughly 55% gravel, 35% pavement and 10% trail of some kind or another. There are many sections that must be hiked (one in particular in Mississippi Pallisades State Park is MANDITORY since no biking is allowed on the trails there), fences to be hopped, gaping gullies to be traversed.

The route is not easy. However, along with its grueling nature comes a lot of great scenery, regular rest-stop opportunities in the many small towns along the way and, perhaps most importantly, many opportunities to short-cut the route once you realize there is no f!@#$%* way you're going to be able to finish the whole thing.

With all that said, I'd like to invite any adventurous cyclists out there to come join my friends and I. This is not an organized event in any way, just a group ride. You are responsible for yourself and your own safety and navigation, but I'll try to get some maps and/or gpx files for anyone who is interested.

The campground at the landing should provide a good place to stay. For those hoity-toity types that want beds and air conditioning and junk like that, the closest indoor lodging can be found at the Chestnut Mountain Resort, just 4-5 miles up the road from the landing. Just about a mile south of the landing is the Old Blanding Tavern featuring "fire" wood, ice, "famous" hollisburgers, fish, steak, sand, and according to the sign, bath"rooms". Both Galena to the north and Savanna to the south offer full dining, lodging, grocery and gas facilities. Galena is basically the Wisconsin Dells of Illinois, but instead of water parks there are a bunch of old buildings and the corpse of a president.

So, wanna ride with us? Post a comment and I'll try to keep everyone up to speed on any unfolding details.



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