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What to Expect

Curious about what’s all a part of Driftless Gravel Camp? We’re glad you asked! Camp isn’t just 3 days on the bike in Winona; it’s also community dinners, Q&A sessions, and Zoom sessions with experts. It’s a place to be surrounded by people who have shared experiences and want to ride bikes off road. It’s three days of returning to a state of curiosity and community, where you will slice the learning curve down. Instead of taking months, or years learning the ropes of the sport, you’ll leave confident in your knowledge of gravel cycling.

Image of FTW riders on a gravel road.

Photo by Wark’s Cycling Services.

Applications

We’re proud to offer camp at no charge for FTWNB riders, but the flipside is that we can only take a select number of riders. Camp applications will be open February 12-22 and selected riders will be notified by the end of February.

Everyone is asked to:

  • Treat others with respect and agree to our Community Agreement
  • Be in Winona from Friday morning until Sunday lunchtime (April 26-28)
  • Bring their own gravel bike with drop bars, disc brakes, and at least 35mm wide tires
  • Attend Zoom sessions on Mondays at 7pm CT (March 11-April 22)

What does it mean to be an advanced beginner?

  • You have access to a bike with at minimum 35mm tires, disc brakes and drop bars
  • You are confident on a bike for over 20 miles
  • You have ridden some rough terrain like a bumpy road, potholes or poor weather
  • You are excited about the idea of completing a 35+ mile gravel ride
  • You ride at least once a week for at least one hour at a time
  • You can safely ride a bike near people without interfering with their biking
  • You are excited to learn the more technical aspects of off-road riding

What does it mean to be an intermediate rider?

  • You feel comfortable riding in groups and understand pack riding etiquette.
  • You can ride steep climbs and descents, and you want to go faster!
  • You can ride washboards, corners, navigate bumpy and rocky terrain, but want to do it with more confidence and speed.
  • You are comfortable eating and drinking while on the bike.
  • You ride or exercise a minimum of 5 hours per week and can ride up to 4-5 hours, 2-3 days in a row.
  • You ride for 5 hours at a time, once in a while.
  • You have access to a bike with at minimum 35mm tires and disc brakes and drop bars

Camp Weekend

Riders will arrive Friday morning. After intros and bike prep, we’ll practice safety and bike handling drills on grass. We’ll then move on to practicing bluff descents on gravel. The day will finish with a group dinner and preparing for the next day’s big ride.

Saturday will be our supported adventure ride with ~30 and ~60 mile options. Both options will have a significant amount of climbing. We’ll have a community dinner with supporters of all genders. This is also a great opportunity to talk about what you’ve learned and ask lingering questions.

Sunday will include a shakeout ride, debrief, and cleanup. Go home and apply what you’ve learned for the rest of the season!

Photo by Wark’s Cycling Services.

Webinars: Mondays With Driftless

These webinars are an important part of getting ready for camp and live attendance on Zoom is strongly encouraged. Speakers are donating their time and expertise, so please come with your questions! Full speaker list to be published soon.