7:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Sunday, July 29, 2018.
The Whitney Gravel Ride returns as part of the 2018 Rogers Cycling Festival Sunday, July 29th with a new start time, more route options, and a new start/finish location that includes a post-ride party with live music, cold brew, and fresh food!
What is “The Whitney”?
The Whitney is a single day, self-supported experience featuring a mix of gravel and paved back roads that takes you to the top of Mt. Whitney (the highest elevation in Benton County) for some amazing scenic overlooks at the Mt. Whitney Lodge, before traveling down a vast array of scenic backcountry gravel and B roads through the Ozark Mountains.
What are the route options?
New this year, we are introducing two downloadable route options featuring a first-time friendly 38-mile route, and something a little bigger for those ready for a 50+ mile adventure. If you can comfortably ride the square to square (32 miles), you should find the 38-mile option doable, but with its challenges. Both routes run clockwise. Remember, Mt. Whitney is the highest point in Benton County, and the only way to get there… is up.
If you have a subscription to Ride with GPS or use Strava, you can download the routes (remember, the routes will NOT be marked) on the below links:
For Ride with GPS Subscribers:
The Whitney (38 miles)
The Whitney Plus (52 miles)
For Strava Users:
The Whitney: https://www.strava.com/routes/14370943
The Whitney Plus: https://www.strava.com/routes/14371318
If you do not have a subscription to Ride with GPS, or want to use Strava and want to download the route to your Garmin or other GPS device, download the routes for the Whitney 38 Mile or the Whitney Plus Ride here.
Scroll to the bottom for maps, elevation profiles!
What time does it start, and where?
We are moving the start time up for this year’s event to 7:30 a.m. (sharp) from the Phat Tire Bike Shop in downtown Rogers located at 321 S Arkansas St. in Rogers, Arkansas. Registration opens at 7:00 a.m. at Phat Tire. Upon returning to Phat Tire, Whitney riders will be greeted with a post-ride gathering featuring live music, cold drinks, and fresh food! It’s the perfect cap to a full weekend of festivities!
What bike should I ride?
While mostly smooth rolling, portions of Ozark gravel can become chunky and rough. Aside from gravel specific bikes, any mountain bike or cycle-cross bike should be up for the challenge. Road bikes with skinny tires are not advised. Consider a gravel specific or mountain bike tire with at least 32mm of tread.
What should I bring?
While the event is lightly supported with a first-class aid station waiting at the top of Mt. Whitney from our event sponsor Phat Tire Bike Shop, we ask that riders please consider the event “unsupported”. Please bring with you the basic tools, tubes, patches, and other necessities to fix a flat or two, as well as PLENTY of hydration and snacks. Although we are starting the ride earlier this year, it is July and riders should expect warm temperatures. A little sunscreen can go a long way. The routes will also travel past a couple different convenience stores so there will opportunities to replenish your hydration, so bring a little extra cash or a debit card just in case. With the expansion of the routes, this year’s course will only be lightly marked at best and we ask that ALL riders please download the routes and carry with them some form of GPS device. Routes will be released at least two weeks ahead of the event.
Any areas we should take caution?
It’s a ride, not a race. Enjoy the experience. All riders are asked to PLEASE obey all traffic signs and laws. The course will be open to traffic throughout the event. Please use caution and common sense when approaching intersections and passing. ALSO, and very important, when you start to make your way back from Avoca there will be a road race taking place and volunteers may ask you to hold up as they finish that specific event. There are plenty of breaks in the race action, so you shouldn’t have to wait too long. This pause will allow you to group back up with fellow riders before heading south for slow roll into downtown Rogers and the post-ride party waiting for you at Phat Tire Bike Shop.
What about dogs?
There will be some. Leash laws are limited in in the County and there could be a couple pups that come out to greet you. Most dogs on the route are just letting you know they are there and can be subdued with a couple stern shouts of your own to “lay down” or “go home”. A water bottle is always an option, but typically most of the dogs will back down with a loud, familiar command. Staying in a semi-group helps, and if you find yourself in a situation where you don’t feel you can out pedal an aggressive animal then stopping and dismounting to humanize yourself can work. Always use the bike as blockade between you and an upset dog. Yelling/shouting can go a long way to making the dog back down or drawing the attention of the owner. We do not want this statement to deter your decision to experience “The Whitney”, just understand dogs are typically part of any gravel adventure and The Whitney is no exception.