Grinduro kicked off the 2023 season in Germany at the beginning of May, followed swiftly by a visit to Northern California, once again offering the perfect party-to-race ratio!
Grinduro first landed in California back in 2015 and set an immediate benchmark for what the future of gravel events could be. Rather than being solely a race, Grinduro set itself apart from rivals by being a combination of race and party over 3 days. The initial event proved to be hugely popular and has now grown into a six event world series, with rounds in 2023 in locations as diverse as Japan, Italy, Wales, and Pennsylvania, as well as its spiritual home in California, USA.
The first weekend of May saw the second visit to the Eifel region for Grinduro Germany, with the purple Grinduro party machine arriving at Hellenthal in North Rhine-Westphalia. The weather delivered everything from baking hot sunshine through to torrential rain, testing the skills of riders along the course of the 100km route. Thankfully, the rain took a break during the Saturday evening festivities, enabling revelers to fully enjoy the live music hosted in the arena, set-up close to the heart of this small, but vibrant town.
Nearly 300 riders took on the challenging course, which comprised a series of non-timed ‘liaison’ stages and chip-timed race stages. The route included everything from lung-busting fireroad climbs, to flowy singletrack to some demanding technical descents including the Schwalbe Prologue, which featured a series of steep drops back into the arena. The course had been designed so that different cycling abilities & skills were required – fitness for the climbs, technical competency to overcome some of the challenges the trails delivered and most importantly – the ability to smile and enjoy the ride, no matter how steep the climbs were that the course designer had shoehorned in.
Grinduro then leapt across the Atlantic, to Mt Shasta in Northern California. With blue skies and warm temperatures all weekend, the second event in the six-round series couldn’t have been any more different to Germany if it tried! Near to 600 riders praised the challenging course and partied well into the night, with locals from the town also flocking to the event village in Shastice Park to revel in the live music and listen to the stories riders had to tell of their wild adventures high above the town of Mt. Shasta.
Erik van Kooten, Category Marketing Manager at Global presenting partner, Shimano, commented:
“At Shimano, we are thrilled to be partnering with Grinduro. They champion a global community spirit with a festive yet competitive energy at the events, aligning perfectly with our favorite aspects of gravel riding. We see gravel riding as a great equalizer and unifier, and we can’t wait to welcome everyone at more Grinduro events this year"
Grinduro California 2023 was an absolute blast. Hundreds and hundreds of awesome folks descended on Mt. Shasta to enjoy this weekend-long festival and bike race, where local artisans and regional bike makers showed their stuff. The two nights of live music were enjoyed by all–including the Mt. Shasta community!
Grinduro CA isn’t just about having a good time, it’s about doing good too! Grinduro CA is hosted by Siskiyou Outdoor Recreation Alliance (SORA), and all proceeds from the event go directly back to SORA to support their important work.
Grinduro CA’s proceeds will support SORA’s Siskiyou Stewardship Fund, which is dedicated to improving recreation infrastructure and access. A large chunk of funds each year are earmarked specifically for maintenance of trails included in the Grinduro CA course. Programs funded by Grinduro proceeds include the Siskiyou Stewardship Corps, whose staff & volunteers spend time in the field encouraging responsible and sustainable use of the recreation landscape, maintaining high-use recreation areas, and working to keep trails in good shape.
Justi Hansen, Executive Director, Siskiyou Outdoor Recreation Alliance, said following the event "We want to extend a huge thank you to our global and regional sponsors, partners, landowners, and volunteers for helping us pull off this seriously epic event. The SORA team literally couldn’t have done it without you!"
Northern Consultancy Co., who since 2017 have overseen the management of the Grinduro Global series, completed the acquisition of the Grinduro brand from founders Giro Sport Design in late 2022. Paul Errington, founder of Northern said “The success of Grinduro events is because it really is all about the people. With an inclusive and welcoming environment, events like Grinduro highlight cycling at its best. Taking full control of the brand for us, means we can continue to shape and direction of Grinduro as we move ahead towards introducing the series to new markets and a fresh audience.”
The Grinduro series sticks Stateside for the 3rd round of the series in Pennsylvania over the weekend of June 16-18, before returning to Europe on July 7-9 for Wales and Italy on September 8-10. The finale of the season will be held in Hakuba, Japan on October 7-9.