Riding Gravel Radio Ranch | Episode #53 – Dave Pryor of unPAved of the Susquehanna River Valley



Guitar Ted and Andy get together for something a little special. In this episode, in addition to the usual segments, they chat with Dave Pryor from unPAved of the Susquehanna River Valley. Dave shares plenty of thoughts on where they are at for this year (be sure to check out the full informational press release below….). Listen in to get a little taste of what Dave and the event are all about.



unPAved of the Susquehanna River Valley

Sunday, October 11, 2020 in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

This year, unPAved will take 2 different paths. 

Announcing the plans (yes, plural) for 2020’s unPAved of the Susquehanna River Valley:

  1. The unPAved Full-120 Race, limited to 200 participants in an individual time-trial format, on Sunday, October 11th. The registration lottery is open through August 2nd and participation announcements will be on August 3rd. Event costs $150.
  2. The unPAved Weekend Challenge, over 2 of the best cuts of the unPAved course set up as timed segments to test yourself on while you spend a weekend vacation in the Susquehanna River Valley. There will be swag, random prizes and lots of fun ways to play along from August 1st through October 11th and registration is now open. Weekend Challenge costs $40.


One of Cyclingnews’ “Top-10 Gravel Races in the U.S.A.” will happen this year, on October 11th, though will be significantly different with a reduced field size, eliminating the mass-start and DONEpaved Finisher Party, and including a significant amount of protocols in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Some highlights:

  • 200 PARTICIPANTS Current guidelines for outdoor events in Pennsylvania is a max of 250 people, which includes staff, volunteers, mechanics, medics, marshalls, everybody. This field size will also help make the sign-in and aid stations manageable with the extra protocols in place. 
  • FULL-120 ONLY There’s only going to be one field this year, so it’s for the Full-120 miles, and 10,000’ of climbing on some of the best gravel and dirt (in other words, unpaved) roads found anywhere.
  • LOTTERY REGISTRATION Participants can profess their desire to participate until midnight, August 2nd. Announcements on attendance will be made on August 3rd, which is when they will be charged the $150 entry fee.
  • OPEN WAITLIST Everybody who doesn’t get into the field will be placed in the Waitlist. If COVID-related restrictions, and the confidences related to it, lift between now and October as many people from the Waitlist will be included as possible & safe. Also, anybody who doesn’t get in from the Waitlist this year will get the opportunity to register early for unPAved 2021. 
  • INDIVIDUAL START TIMES All riders will get a time to arrive in the start area and called-up when it is time for them to begin their 120-mile race, or ride. Riders will be asked for how they plan to ride unPAved during the registration process:
    • “Taking in all the sights, sounds and smells. Ready, willing and able to spend all day out there.”
    • “Not going to win, place or show but that doesn’t mean I’m going to dilly & dally too much.”
    • “If there’s a clock running I’m going to see how I do. Get me to the whoopie pies!”
  • SIGNIFICANT COVID-19 PROTOCOLS Including temperature checks, mask-mandatory zones, no indoor venues, different food & drink available at Aid Stations, two extra drop-bag spots on course, and no DONEpaved Party. 

Last year, Kelly Catale (Seven Cycles) returned to her college town for the event, and left as the 2019 unPAved Women’s Whoopie-Pie Winner. She’s planning to come back to defend her title: “I am so excited to participate in this re-imagined version of unPAved that will enable me to stay safe during this time while enjoying one of my favorite places to ride!”


A second option for people who want to ride unPAved, though maybe not all of it, is by spending a weekend riding the beautiful farm roads & big forest hills, and taking on a special challenge over two of the best parts of the unPAved course: “The Proper Parts” and “The Difference!”  This challenge is open from August 1st through October 11th, and open to anybody visiting the region, and willing & able to ride the courses unsupported. 

Riders can take this challenge on any weekend between August 1st and October 11th by riding solo, or with their teammates, friends or family (practicing best COVID-19 protocols, of course). The Susquehanna River Visitors Bureau has worked with a number of hotels in the region on special weekend packages—complete with unPAved Swag Bags and special offers from sponsors when they check in. Proceeds will benefit a variety of local charities, as well as the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Cycling League.

Digital routes will be provided that are marked with water and facilities that are available and any nearby food stops. Riders can start & finish their ride from anywhere, as long as the Strava Segment on course is completed. Riders will need to post their rides to Strava, RideWithGPS or similar online service that’s visible to event staff. A leaderboard will be posted for bragging rights, but all prizes from sponsors will be random.


“Fortunately for unPAved, we have had the time and opportunities to talk with government officials, epidemiologists, our participants and the local community to create a different event for this very different year,” said Dave Pryor, unPAved’s Promoter. “Pennsylvania has done an incredible job mitigating the curve, and it appears that outdoor recreation is one of the safest things people can do at this time—with extra precautions to take care of each other. We are also well-aware there are a number of ways that the event will need to change again, or even be cancelled as we continue to live through a pandemic. Both the local and gravel communities have been amazing to be a part of through this and we will all be in constant communication with both—because that’s how communities move forward.”

“The Susquehanna River Valley Visitors Bureau is proud to be the Title Sponsor of unPAved of the Susquehanna River Valley,” said Andrew Miller, Executive Director. “For the last two years we’ve had the distinct pleasure and excitement to introduce and promote the Susquehanna River Valley as a ‘must-do’ destination for gravel cyclists from the United States and Canada. unPAved adventure cyclists are living their best lives when they come to the Susquehanna River Valley and have praised the event and the destination. Their experiences and joy with unPAved has exceeded our expectations. 2020 will be a different event in a very different world but the adventure, friendly competition, beauty of the Susquehanna River Valley and the joy of gravel cycling will now and always remain the same.”

“Salsa Cycles is thrilled to support another year of Pennsylvania dirt riding in the Susquehanna River Valley,” said Lindsay Beltchenko, Marketing Manager of Salsa Cycles (the official bikes & frames of unPAved). “Despite the challenges unPAved has been faced with due to the pandemic, they have put their best foot forward with amending their event plan to provide a safe and fun gravel experience for all.”

Along with the Susquehanna River Valley Visitors Bureau and Salsa Cycles, unPAved sponsors include Stan’s NoTubes (official wheels & sealant), GU Energy Labs (official hydration), Floyd’s of Leadville (official CBD recovery products), Ritchey Logic, Voler Apparel, Purple Lizard Maps, Nittany Mountain Works, R.E.Load Bags, Philly Bike Expo, and Chamois Butt’r
To follow along with the events, and to stay updated on any further changes, visit unpavedpennsylvania.com, and follow them on social media at facebook.com/unpavedPA, twitter.com/unpavedPA, and instagram.com/unpavedpennsylvania.


Author: RGBen

I created Ridinggravel.com in the fall of 2013 and happily joined with Guitar Ted in late 2014 to form the current day Riding Gravel. Originally from Wisconsin, my wife, 2 kids, spent several years in Colorado, before spending a couple years in North Dakota. Now we're back in Northern Wisconsin in the middle of an Outdoor Mecca.

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