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Bikes on the borderlands: The Spirit World 100

An intimate celebration of community, movement, and place

PATAGONIA, Arizona (VN) – Every year in early November, a small group of cyclists makes a pilgrimage to the spirit world.

Where is this elusive place? Literally, a gravel bike race in Patagonia, Arizona, and the vast swath of borderlands topography that surrounds it. Figuratively, the event’s co-founders Zander and Heidi Ault want every rider to decide.

Read also: The Spirit World 100 — and other grassroots gravel events — offer more than just a finish line

The Aults have crafted the Spirit World 100 to be unlike any other gravel race. It bursts with sights, sounds, and smells specific to the region, as well as to the couple’s own taste. This year, to name a few, we heard Mariachi music in the park, enjoyed a backyard benefit dinner for the Borderlands Restoration Project, and sipped on special edition beer and coffee.

And, of course, every day we rode our bikes.