The weekly dirt: The Mid South route reveal, Ripton bike pants, and Revel Bikes

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Don’t miss a moment from Paris-Roubaix and Unbound Gravel, to the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a España, and everything in between when you
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Apologies that this newsletter is a day late. Mainly because it’s been a fairly newsy week — did you read about the big, fat prize purse at the new Little Sugar MTB race? Or the fact that Keegan Swenson and Lachlan Morton are doing the Cape Epic together? 🤯 Can’t wait to follow them (along with Sofia Gomez Villafañe and Katerina Nash).

Although it continues to feel very much like winter in the West, the days are getting longer and the daffodils are considering their arrival. This weekend, many people will do their first gravel race of the season, pinning on number plates at BWR Arizona and the Shasta Gravel Hugger. Then it’s The Mid South and then it’s … game on. Fun times ahead!

Every time I write one of these I’m tempted to sign off like Michael Barbaro in The Daily — ‘here’s what else you need to know today’ — or Kai Ryssdal on Marketplace —  ‘let’s … do the numbers.’ Although, I hope The Weekly Dirt is a bit more uplifting than the economy.


The Mid South route reveal Monday, March 6

Let me tell you — no one is more excited about Monday’s Mid South route reveal than Bobby Wintle.

The Oklahoma gravel race organizer is chomping at the bit to tell everyone about the brand new 12, 50 (“it’s actually 58.8 with 1.5 miles of singletrack,” he cackles), and 100-mile bike courses, but he’s making you wait until Monday morning at 8 a.m. CST to find out.

The Mid South’s Bobby Wintle getting weird at the Truffle Shuffle (Photo: Molly Lofton)

Here’s what Wintle told me I could share: for the first time in race history, there will be singletrack on both the 50 and 100-mile courses. Also, the 50 miler clocks in at 4,000 feet of climbing (for reference, last year’s only had 3k), so you can imagine how climby the 100 is.

My own two cents: The Mid South is as much about the whole weekend as it is race day. Be sure to join one of of the myriad shakeout rides throughout the weekend, go see all the friends at the beer can release party, and treat the people and streets of Stillwater like it was your own hometown. Otherwise, NO BOBBY HUGS 😀

Ripton’s new bike pants

Even though it’s almost always jorts weather, sometimes you just want to wear jants.

Now, fans of Ripton & Co’s high-test denim jorts can find the same comfort, performance, and steeze in the brand’s recently-launched Bike Pants.

Ripton says that the hyper-thin, super-stretch performance denim has ample room for knee pads and includes three full-zipper closures and an internal drawstring. The zips have cute cord pulls and one is perfectly engineered to hold your cell phone. Women’s pants come in XS-XL and men’s run up to an XXL (size down if in-between).

As someone who has done nearly everything in Ripton jorts (including but not limited to racing the 2021 LeadBoat Challenge and bikepacking Baja’s Cape Loop), I can’t wait to up the shred factor with these new jants.


New GU

California-based GU Energy Labs has released a new flavor under its philanthropic GU Gives program. Proceeds from the sale of the new Raspberry Lemonade Energy Gel will support the Indigenous advocacy organization

Special edition eight-count boxes of the new flavor feature the art of Indigenous runner and muralist Yatika Starr Fields (Osage, Muscogee, Cherokee).

GU will donate 10 percent of Raspberry Lemonade Energy Gel sales to Rising Hearts, and the brand is also working in close kinship with the organization to bring awareness to all athletes and race directors of GU-sponsored events that the lands we recreate on are borrowed. Rising Hearts works to bring historically underrepresented communities together, while holding space for Indigenous voices to lead the conversations.

The Raspberry Lemonade flavor is formulated with dual-pathway carbohydrates for instant and sustained energy, sodium to aid in hydration, and amino acids to protect working muscles. And, it’s caffeine-free!

Why Cycles and Revel Bikes join under Revel Bikes banner

Why Cycles and Revel Bikes, two sister bike brands from Carbondale, Colorado, have announced a consolidation.

The two brands were founded simultaneously, with Why Cycles’ titanium drop-bar and hardtail mountain bikes entering the market in 2016. Revel debuted with carbon fiber mountain bikes and later, a gravel bike. From a public-facing perspective they operated separately, but behind the scenes, the two brands shared a roof, ownership, and employees.

Now, they’ll go forward as Revel Bikes, providing one-stop shopping for customers and a more streamlined production process. All Revel Bikes ti frames have been updated for UDH derailleur hanger compatibility and continue to carry a lifetime warranty — as do Revel’s carbon bikes.

Here’s what Revel Bikes founder Adam Miller has to say about the merger:


Greensky Bluegrass to headline Whiskey Off-Road

The Whiskey Off-Road MTB race has always been known for a good time on the bike — a spicy fat tire crit on Friday, amateur racing on Saturday, and a spectator-friendly pro race on Sunday. And then, there’s the party.

Over the weekend of April 28-30, downtown Prescott, Arizona transforms into Whiskey Row, and everyone — not just racers — is invited to come hang out. On Saturday evening, Greensky Bluegrass will headline the community concert, which is also free to the public.

keegan swenson
Swenson lasering in on the win at the 2022 Epic Rides Whiskey Off-Road. (Photo: @eddieclarkmedia)

The bluegrass band from Kalamazoo, Michigan has grown a devoted following since their formation in 2000 and produced records to critical acclaim, debuting two albums at #1 on the Billboard Top Bluegrass Albums Chart. 

The band’s most recent album, Stress Dreams, was described by Rolling Stone as having “…hard driving rhythms, speedy solos, ascendant harmonies – as a foundation for a broadly inclusive sound that features wide-open psychedelia and sturdy Americana songcraft.”

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