unPAved of the Susquehanna River Valley 2021 Announced.

unPAved of the Susquehanna River Valley 2021 Announced – by Guitar Ted

Image of riders in the unPAved event in 2020.
Image of the 2020 unPAved of the Susquehanna River Valley by Abe Landis.

The shindig in Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna River Valley area is going to happen again in 2021 with a bit different look here and there. The unPAved of the Susquehanna River Valley event was one of the few events to pull off its plans in 2020 despite the pandemic, but they did it and with some careful planning, it went off well. We covered how they did this with RD Dave Pryor in a previous episode of the Riding Gravel Radio Ranch (listen here).

Well, they have taken a lot of what they were forced to learn last year, mixed it with the best of 2019, and added a bit of fun to make what is hoped to be the best unPAved experience yet. I’ll let the bullet points of the press release speak for themselves on those things. Here we go…..

VARIETY OF DISTANCES Since we can invite 1,200 people to the event, we want to give them some of the best options of routes in Pennsylvania.

  • unPAved Full-120 Race: With over 10,000’ of climbing over 8 mountains, and 100 miles of a variety of unpaved roads, this is the big show to determine the King & Queen of the Whoopie Pies!
  • unPAvedPlenty-90: For those who want a great big day of beautiful gravel, that’s equal parts challenging & rewarding.
  • SOMEpaved Courses: ​New versions of the 50, 30 and 20 mile courses for 2021 that have less gravel but also have a lot less climbing! 
  • All courses feature the Buffalo Valley Rail Trail for the start and finish, beautiful & quiet farm country roads, fun aid stations and the unPAved courses go into the spectacular (and hilly) Bald Eagle State Forest.

OVERNIGHTER CATEGORY New for this year is the opportunity to take on the unPAved course over 2-days, with a camping spot reserved in our aid station at Poe Paddy State Park on Saturday night. This will not be timed, but expect some fun challenges because this one is all about #funnestknowntime.

SEGMENT TIMING One format change we made in 2020 was to only time 4 parts of the course, and it was a big success! This year we’re adding 2 more segments, which will make 40 miles of the Full-120 mile course timed for the race. They will definitely be “Hard on the Legs” but that’s so you can relax on some of the “Easy on the Eyes” parts. The aid stations will not be timed, which allows our racers to relax in those to refuel, reload supplies, and spend time with their new friends in Pennsylvania.

CHOOSE YOUR OWN START TIME Another format change from 2020 that we’re keeping is the opportunity to start when they’re ready, not when we say they need to start going. Segment timing makes this doable, but the reality is that different participants have different goals, abilities, likes and dislikes. Each field gets a window to start during, and times that the aid stations will be open will help them choose how to plan their day.

HEALTH & SAFETY FIRST We learned a lot by putting on the 200 person event in 2020, and will be keeping many of the adjustments & protocols in place moving forward because they actually do make the event better for the community we care about so much.

RETURN OF THE FALL FESTIVAL, DONEpaved PARTY and MORE! While the ride is the most-important part, we all sure missed the other festivities that help make events like this so special—and so do the good people of the Susquehanna River Valley. The weekend will be hopping again!

unPAved will also have some awesome sponsors again this year. The list includes the Susquehanna River Valley Visitors Bureau at the 2021 unPAved are Salsa Cycles (official bike and frames), Stan’s NoTubes (official wheels & sealant), GU Energy Labs, Floyd’s of Leadville, Ritchey Logic, Voler Apparel, Purple Lizard Maps, Nittany Mountain Works, R.E.Load Bags, Philly Bike Expo, Chamois Butt’r, Lupine Lights, Christopher Bean Coffee, NetCrafter Solutions, Giro and Rusty Rail Brewing Company.

Check out the unPAved 2020 ride report here.

Need more convincing? Check out their YouTube video here.

Want in? Better giddy-up! The lottery to get in on some of this is open now and ends April 28th. The rest of the shorter distances will have registration opening May 3rd. For all the details see their website here; unpavedpennsylvania.com , or follow their page on Facebook, or see them on Instagram.

Note: Images and information used in this post were provided to Riding Gravel by unPAved of the Susquehanna River Valley event. Riding Gravel is not responsible for any misleading information concerning this event or changes to the event.


Author: Guitar Ted

Guitar Ted hails from Iowa. Home of over 70,000 miles of gravel and back roads. An inaugural member of the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame and Co-creator of Trans Iowa in late 2004- Guitar Ted has been at the forefront of the growth of gravel events and riding since then. Creator of Gravel Grinder News in 2008, he produced the premier calendar of gravel and back road events. GT joined forces with Riding Gravel in late 2014.

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