INAUGURAL EVENT

Zion Gravel Bike Race

30 Mile & 55 Mile Courses

The Zion Gravel Bike Race will give people the opportunity to explore the surrounding areas of Zion National Park by racing bikes through the back roads. Riders will be able to push themselves through gravel roads and ATV double track trails. With some of the most scenic views of the Zion area this race is a must!

October 23, 2021

Apple Valley, UT

Difficulty:

Gravel Road

Loop Course

  • Quick Info

  • Travel & Lodging

  • Explore The Park

  • Register Now!

Race Info

Date: October 23, 2021

Start Time: 7:30 & 7:45 am


Ruby Rider Ranch

Apple Valley, UT

Expo & Bib Pickup

October 22, 2021

5:00-7:00 pm

*The expo is located at the same property as the race start and finish line


Rent Your Bike

Don't want to travel with your bike? Rent from our local partner Rapid Cycling and get a 10% discount at checkout with the code ZGBR10.


Plan to pick-up your bike at least the day before the race to get used to how it rides!

Course Descriptions & Maps

  • 30 Mile Race

  • 55 Mile Race

Zion 30 Mile Gravel Bike Race

Course Time Limit: 4 hours  
Race Start Time: 7:30 am

Read the details!

The First 5 miles of the course are up Gooseberry Mesa Road. This is a very well maintained, slightly uphill gravel road. It has a few sandy portions, which are still rideable. You should get a fast-moving, fun roll here. At mile 5.15 there is a beautiful view of Zion National Park and Kolob Canyon. This is a great area for riders to get off the bike and take some photos. 

Backtracking just a few yards you will take a right hand turn that takes you on your first OHV trail. This trail is a little more rugged and has scattered rocks and small boulders through the next 2.5 miles of the course. At Mile 7.1 riders will come to a water monster where they can fill their bottles if needed. At mile 7.7 riders will take a slight left turn back on the main gravel road that  travels back down the mesa 7 miles where they will come to the first aid station at mile 15.2.  This aid station will be supplied with gels, snacks, bacon, chips, sandwiches, water, and bathrooms. We will have some tools and equipment to help with any bike repairs but please be prepared and bring your own supplies, just in case. 

After the first aid station riders will be allowed to cross the highway with the assistance of a traffic control officer. From mile 15 to 25 riders will come across some sandy sections. You may need to walk your bike no more than 30ft across this sand, depending on rain conditions leading up to the race. This section of the course is pretty flat with some of the best gravel roads you could ask for. At mile 21 riders will come to a quick right hand turn that heads towards the Arizona border. This road takes you through some scenic canyon lands. We have even spotted some oddly placed lamas out here so keep your eyes peeled.  

At mile 26 you will double back on the same roads to get to the finish line. You'll pass by the same aid station once more around mile 28.25. Riders will finish their race by returning to the staging area where they began at Ruby Rider Ranch!

30 Mile Course (Click for interactive map) 

Course Photos

Get a feel for the terrain and landscape that await you out on the course!

GET INVOLVED

Volunteer with Us

Our amazing volunteers help out at the race expo, finish line, merch tent, and beyond! Join us for a 3-4hr shift and earn a $50 or $100 credit towards a future race.

Pro-tip: Volunteer at the expo and race the next day OR ask a friend to volunteer and "gift" you the credit (or use it themselves!)

Sign up now and we'll notify you about volunteer shifts closer to the race!

HOW TO PREPARE

Gravel biking is a new sport on the scene - read this guide from Bicycling.com to learn about the skills, gear, and training that go into this exciting activity!

Know Your Guidelines

- Read your race details! Following event rules helps us to put on safe, sustainable events.

- We are a zero-waste event! Please stick to reusable water bottles and avoid bringing disposable items to the race.

- Be courteous towards fellow runners on and off the course!

Join the Community

Vacation Races is building a community of cyclists to actively support one another! We invite you to join our Cycling Adventures FB group to get input from other cyclists, share stories, and learn about the latest updates.


You can also find Vacation Races on Instagram!

Zion Bike Race Details

Come here to prepare for your race! 

Gravel Bike & Gear

Biking on gravel roads is a unique, technical challenge. It has grown in popularity recently and we are excited to offer this opportunity to flex your gravel bike muscles!

Your Bike

We recommend a gravel bike - That being said, it is possible to complete this event on a variety of bicycles including mountain bikes or e-bikes.


Want to rent a bike locally?

Rent from our local partner Rapid Cycling and get a 10% discount at checkout with the code ZGBR10.


Plan to pick-up your bike at least the day before the race to get used to how it rides!

NOTE: Riders using an e-bike are not eligible for a top finisher award in any category. However, e-bikes are still welcome at the race and all riders will receive a finisher medal when they cross the finish line!

We recommend a 42C tire (or larger) - Tire choice can make a big difference when it comes to handling terrain and road conditions. Here in southern Utah we have a lot of embedded sandstone and rock on our trails. A 42C tire or larger will help you to roll over some bigger terrain on our course.

Your Gear

Helmets are required on course - the exact style and model is up to each racer. 

We will have tools at the start/finish line and at the aid stations for you to make basic repairs. If your bike has special mechanics, you may want to bring your own tools. If you choose to have crew (55 mile racers only), they will be able to meet you at Mile 28 to provide assistance.

Race Schedule

This is a tentative schedule for our inaugural event! Racers should plan to arrive well before their start time.

Friday

2pm -7pm - Race expo & bib pickup located at Ruby Rider Ranch!

Saturday

5:30 am - Parking lot opens

6:00 am - Early morning bib-pickup opens

7:15 am - Riders line up & bib pick-up closes

7:30 am - 30 Mile & 55 Mile race begins

7:45 am - E-bike non-competitive wave begins

11:30 am - 30 Miler cut-off*

3:00 pm - 55 Miler cut-off*


*Cut-off times give our racers ample time to complete the course. 4 hours for the 30 Mile course and 7.5 hours for the 55 Mile course. There will be a sweeper on course to make sure all racers complete their race within the allowed window.

Bib Pickup & Expo

Bib Pickup Options

You have a couple of options for picking up your bib and race packet. When you register, we ask you to indicate when you plan to pick up your bib. If you plans change, don’t worry about it. We only ask to help us plan in terms of numbers.

Option #1: Race Expo
We’ll have our race expo the Friday before the race. We’ll have our merch table set up, so be sure to stop by and say hi!

Option #2: Race Morning (not recommended)
We will have limited race morning packet pickup. If it can be avoided, please do not pick your packet up the morning of the race.

Date: October 22nd, 2021 (Friday)

Hours: 2:00-7:00 pm

Location:  Ruby Rider Ranch just outside of Apple Valley, UT. 

Race day parking will be in the same location near the start/finish.

Do not park along Smithsonian Butte Road/Main Street. Please pull into the parking area as directed when you arrive.

Bring Your Own Bag
In our ongoing effort to eliminate waste during our races, our expos are bag-free events. We encourage you to BYOB (bring your own bag) to hold your bib, race shirt, and any goodies you pick up from the race expo!

Aid Stations

Locations

30 Mile Course -

- 2 full aid stations (mile 15.2 and 28.25)

- 1 water-only station (mile 7.1)

- Finish line water & fuel

55 Mile Course - 

- 3 full aid stations (miles 15.2, 28.25, and 50)

- 2 water-only stations (miles 7.1 and 39)

- Finish line water & fuel

All Aid Stations will have - Composting toilets, tools for basic repairs, a First Aid kit, and food & supplies (listed below)

Ultra Marathon Aid Station

Aid Station Food & Supplies

  • Water
  • Gnarly Hydrate (electrolyte drink)
  • Fresh-cut fruit
  • Soda
  • A variety of both salty and sweet items

Starting at Mile 28.25 aid stations will have additional food and supplies which may include:

  • Boiled potatoes
  • PB&J
  • Tortillas w/ Nutella
  • Turkey sandwiches
  • Dill pickles
  • Chips
  • A variety of candies
  • An anti-chafing agent
  • Sunscreen

We will also have a limited supply of: 

  • Gels
  • Salt caps
  • Electrolyte caps
Timing Requirements
Minimum Pace & Cut-Off Times

Each runner must complete their race within the below cutoff time, otherwise they will receive a DNF (did not finish). Your time starts the moment each runner crosses the start line (this is your chip time).

30 Miler

Cutoff Time: 4 hours

Minimum Pace: 8:00 minute mile

55 Miler

Cutoff Time: 7.5 hours

Minimum Pace: 8:40 minute mile

When training, aiming to beat the minimum pace times will help you avoid a DNF. If you find yourself consistently behind these minimums, your chances of finishing before the official close of the race will be small.

Finishing after the minimum pace time OR outside of your overall cutoff time will result in a DNF. However, you will be allowed to continue as long as race officials believe you are in good health. There will be a sweeper on course assisting riders who fall behind the minimum pace time.

Spectators & Crew
Spectators

We love having spectators here to cheer on our racers! Here are some guidelines to know:

Spectators are only permitted along Main Street and at the Start/Finish Line (which is always the best place to cheer on racers!)

You will be sharing the road with cars and bikers on Main Street. Please be courteous of the racers - stay off to the side and expect lots of dust!

Crew Access (55 Miler Only)

Due to the remote nature of the event, crew access is limited. 

55 Mile racers may have crew meet them at the crew access point right past Mile 28 on Little Creek Mesa Rd. There is an aid station located here and there will be parking available nearby (Follow the cone and please be respectful of riders on this road).

We do not allow crew for the 30 Mile course.

Reckless or disrespectful behavior by spectators and crew will not be tolerated. Failure to follow rules may result in your racer being disqualified from the race!

Zero Waste

As nature lovers, we are committed to keeping our events sustainable and managing negative impacts on the environment. Our goal is to send less than one bag of actual “trash” to the landfill after each event. We have managed to meet this goal at events with over 3,000 participants!

ZERO WASTE CONTAINERS

Please avoid bringing disposable items to the event. When unavoidable, you can help us reduce trash by sorting items into the appropriate container. 

You’ll notice three containers at our events:

  • Compostables: Organic goods like banana peels and most food items (without the wrapper please!)
  • Recyclables: Paper, aluminum, cardboard, steel, and glass. Please dump out any liquids into the compost bin BEFORE recycling the container.
  • Everything Else: Non-recyclable food wrappers like from used gel packets and styrofoam. Please dump out any food matter BEFORE throwing away the container.

Please avoid putting organic waste and compostable items in the wrong bin. It gets gross to sort through.

Composting Toilets

When possible, we also use Great Outdoors Composting Portable Toilets which conserve water, eliminates the use of harmful chemicals, and create a nutrient rich soil amenity. It is the best pooping experience you will ever have. To learn more or to have them at your event visit GreatOutdoorsToilets.com or ask the race officials for more information.

Rules for Race Day
Please review these guidelines so you know what to expect during the race!

Racer Safety

All racers MUST wear a helmet on the course. You may share the road with cars - please be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Awards

Only non-electronic bikes are eligible for a top finisher award. Electronic bikes are welcome at the race, but these riders will have a later start time to keep the course clear for competitors.

Course Marking
For course marking all distances/courses will be marked with pink flags and ribbons. Any tricky junctions will be marked well with signs and flour arrows.

Dropping
Any runner dropping out of the race MUST hand their bib over to the aid station captain where they are dropping. Failure to do so will result in a 2 year suspension from all Vacation Races events.

Medical
At each aid station there will be a tent with self serve medical items like bandaids, salt tabs, etc. We will have trained medical personnel at the finish line for racers. If you find yourself in an emergency, please call 911. You will be personally responsible for any costs associated with medical dispatch. If the problems are not urgent, please contact race personnel. We are equipped to respond quickly to problems on course that are not life threateningly urgent.

Spectators
Give racers and cars a wide berth if you are standing along Main Street. Keep to a single line when needed. Please do your best not to distract or impede our racers in anyway - this behavior can be dangerous and you will be banned from future events.

Race Results and Photos
Race Results

Visit RunSignup for inaugural race results.

Results are based on chip time. Your time starts the moment you cross the starting mat. This mean someone who crosses the finish line after you may still have a faster overall time.

Racer times are available online ~20 minutes after you finish the race. Keep in mind, the results are not official until all racers have crossed the finish line, and have been reviewed by the event director. 

Top Finisher but missed the awards ceremony? You can request to have your place medal shipped to you!

Got questions about your placement? please email timing@vacationraces.com.

Race Photos

We'll have race photos available via the event page on RunSignup following the race. Photos are typically available a week after an event. A link will also be posted here.

Share your experiences with us! 
Be sure to use #ZionGravel in any photos you post from the race or your adventures exploring the park so we can share in the fun with you!

Meet our partners!

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