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The Grind is a weekly column on all things gravel.
The 2021 edition of SBT GRVL sold out nearly 3,000 spots in 10 minutes. Granted, many of the spots were carried over from the canceled 2020 edition, but even that edition sold out in well under an hour.
Now, People for Bikes is readying to sell four entires into the race for $1,000 each, with $750 to $850 of each entry qualifying as a tax-deductible contribution to the nonprofit cycling advocacy group.
People for Bikes is using the ticket sales as a promotional tool as well as a fundraiser, as the ticket sales will be announced on its Ride Spot Instagram account. Ride Spot is People for Bikes’ cycling navigation app; think Strava but with a focus on bike shops, and without comparative times.
SBT GRVL co-founder and race director Amy Charity said this special promotion had been made exclusively with People for Bikes because she believes in the nonprofit’s charter.
“We are 100 percent aligned to their mission: To get more people riding bikes more often. To make bike riding better for everyone,” Charity said. “SBT GRVL has been focused on core values including inclusivity, fun and safety from the outset. We are focused on creating a race that brings more people to the sport of cycling and we appreciate the work that People for Bikes does to support the cycling industry.”
Charity said she is confident that her August 15 event will be held this year, thanks to both an increase in vaccination availability and the race’s Covid-19 mitigation plan.
“We are working closely with Wild Health and the Director of Public Health for Steamboat Springs and we feel good about our plan that will ensure a safe and fun event,” she said.
Charity said she is prepared to have wave starts for each of the course distances, so the Black and Blue courses will likely have several waves.
“We will increase the timing gaps between rider wave start times to increase distancing and to minimize congestion at the start/finish and aid stations,” she said.
Charity has made gender parity a priority since starting the race in 2019. This 895 women are signed up.
Charity reserved 50 spots for BIPOC athletes — 25 early registration spots and 25 Ride for Racial Justice spots. “Our hope is that we have hundreds of BIPOC athletes, but we don’t have an exact number because we didn’t ask for this information at registration,” she said.