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Russ & Laurafrom Path Less Pedaled visited Grinnell, rode some local gravel and posted this great 24 mile loop on one of our favorite GPS sites - Ride with GPS..

Grinnell is home to one of the most challenging and renowned self-supported gravel endurance bike races in the US: Trans Iowa. Limited to only 120 participants, Trans Iowa takes its riders on a 300+ mile vision quest across Iowa’s gravel and B-roads. For many, the mere act of finishing is an accomplishment. The difficulty of the race is legendary (Trans Iowa 11 saw no “official” finishers) and has created a mystique about the gravel roads in Central Iowa.

The good news is: you can experience these same mythic roads for yourself and get a glimpse into the race, without having to tackle the event itself. You can punish yourself as much or as little as you want and end the day with a warm shower and glass of wine or a cold beer… or three.

This loop is the perfect introduction to gravel riding in central Iowa. Leaving from Bikes to You, it takes you on some quiet residential streets out of town. In short order you’ll be off the tarmac and on to some fun. The route takes you on some great rolling hills that will make you wonder if you’re still in Iowa or weren’t magically transported to pastoral Europe. On a hot day, you’ll be glad that it passes by Rock Creek State Park where you can take a break under the trees or go for a quick wade in the lake. You’ll also pass The Red Barn that has been the official Trans Iowa finishing site for the last few years.

READ MORE, download the route and cue cards

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