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100-mile Inspiration Bike Race to begin in Garfield

The Inspiration 100 - a 100-mile gravel road bicycle race - will start from the Garfield Elementary School this Saturday, September 8 at 8 a.m.

More than 80 riders from the upper Midwest and beyond will descend upon Garfield that morning to ride a gravel road loop that will take them through the Leaf Valley hills around Inspiration Peak, to Clitherall, and then back again.

This is a completely unsupported ride on open public roads. The riders, who do not know the route beforehand, will get a set of directions at the start and then self-navigate

the course.

Each rider is responsible for his or her own food and water for the entire route, and must be prepared to deal with any mechanical issues on their own.

While there will be a small number of riders who will race and compete for first place, the majority of riders are doing it for the personal challenge of completing a 100-mile gravel ride.

It will take between six to 10 hours for riders to complete the course.

This is a free event. The riders only had to submit a postcard to enter, with no entry fee. Local

sponsors, volunteers, and the race directors donate everything necessary for the race to occur.

The Inspiration 100 is the latest in a series of established gravel races that have been growing in popularity throughout the Midwest. These grassroots, free events offer a day of adventure while traveling 100 miles of backcountry roads.

A national publication, Men's Journal, has an article in the September 2012 issue, titled "Biking's Rough New Frontier," about gravel road racing. The Inspiration 100 is listed in the article.