Featured Event: Fiddlin’ Fifty- by Guitar Ted
Nestled in the Superior National Forest of Minnesota’s Arrowhead region is a little town called Chisholm. It is remote, beautiful, and if you get outside of town, you may not have cell phone service. It is here that on August 26th the next Fiddlin’ Fifty gravel road race will take place.
You may not think there are gravel roads way up there in Minnesota, but there are. The event will be in Saint Louis County which is right in the middle of the Mesabi Iron Range, so much of the area was used for mining and that required roads. The forest is thick and the scenery is gorgeous due to this. Expect hills, twisty roads, and a surprise or two.
Riders will be expected to be fully self sufficient as there are no places to resupply along the route. As Riding Gravel was researching for this post, we were speaking with one of the organizers of the Fiddlin Fifty, and we had wanted to put them on the Riding Gravel Radio Ranch podcast. However; the area doesn’t have good enough high speed internet to do that. That all to say that if you want to have a good time on gravel and really “get away from the rat race”, I cannot think of a better area to do that in than where the Fiddlin Fifty is.
It’s almost like a step back in time, in a way. Much of the appeal, I think, for riding gravel is to peel ourselves away from the “connectedness” and to have the ability to drop out and get “off the grid” while immersing ourselves in a natural setting. It is rejuvenating to the soul. This event,the Fiddlin’ Fifty, seems to embody the reasons why we do what we do in a grassroots, friendly way. 50 miles isn’t so daunting, not like some events with 100 or more mile courses, but it is enough to get you that “gift” that only comes when we choose to challenge ourselves to disconnect and do something like this.
Speaking of which, there is still time to get in on this goodness if you hurry. See the Fiddlin’ Fifty event page here for more details. There is a potluck and you may end up at an ice cream stop at the end of the course! For those not in to a fifty mile ride, the Fiddlin’ Fun 17 mile ride is also on offer. As an added bonus, every rider will also receive a Riding Gravel sticker as a gift.
Note: Information and images for this post were courtesy of the Fiddlin’ Fifty