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The Grind is a weekly column on all things gravel.
The event directors of Unbound Gravel, Leadville, Crusher in the Tushar, and Big Sugar NWA today rolled out a new series of adventure camps called The Rideaway Experience.
Those gravel and mountain bike races are owned by Life Time, which also owns the gym chain by the same name. But the new three-day adventure camps will be run in large part by the people who have built gravel races, including Burke Swindlehurst, Gabbi Adams, Nat Ross, and Amy Charity.
Starting this summer, Life Time will host Rideaway Experience camps in Bentonville, Arkansas; Boulder, Colorado; and Zion, Utah. The fully supported camps are capped at 30 people, and Life Time is billing them as each as having a “unique, fully-catered glamping experience.”
“As an organization who builds connections through event experiences, we wanted to create something to fill the void from this past year,” said Ryan Cross, Life Time’s off-road cycling and trail running marketing manager. “You don’t have to worry about any of the details, we are handling lodging, nutrition, routes, entertainment, meals and photography. You just need to show up ready to have fun and ride bikes.”
At this point let me interject: This all may sound corporate-y, but the folks behind it are legit and super fun to ride with. Ryan, for instance, is always up for an adventure ride – no matter how much snow there may be. Nat is a Mountain Bike Hall of Famer and an all-around nice guy. Burke is a former pro roadie and creator of Crusher in the Tushar. Amy is the owner and race director of SBT GRVL, which is not a Life Time event, but she and the Life Time crew play nice. I haven’t yet met Gabbi. Okay, back to the news.
The Rideaway Experience camps are open to riders of all levels and attendance is capped at 30 people per camp. While Life Time has done training camps around its races before, this is more of an adventure vacation model. The idea is to parachute campers into a cycling-friendly community and show them a good time.
April 29 to May 2 – Bentonville
Campers in Arkansas get three days of mountain biking, led by Gabbi Adams and Nat Ross, who are both race directors for Big Sugar NWA Gravel, a gravel race that was slated to launch in 2020 but was canceled like so many others. Campers will stay at Coler MTB Preserve, a new facility near Bentonville’s great network of mountain biking trails.
June 10 to 13 – Boulder
Hey, one in my hometown! Life Time is billing Boulder as the “gravel mecca of the Rockies,” and I won’t argue with that. Amy and Ryan will be the guides for this camp, which will be based out of the Boulder Adventure Lodge.
November 11 to 14 – Zion
Just outside Zion National Park, the third camp taps into local knowledge of Burke Swindlehurst, and will be based out of Zion Basecamp.
The camps start at $899, which includes everything except travel.
Registration for the Bentonville Rideaway is now open at www.rideawayexperience.com.