Gravel riding is about experiences and adventures. It’s about escaping the congestion and busyness of life. It’s about getting lost in the beauty of being outside on your bike.
Sometimes you’re with your small ride group and other times it’s a solo outing. Adventure awaits when you head out on your bike!
Fundraising for clean water projects in Ethiopia is our goal. Every year, we’ve committed 100% of our registration fees to building clean water systems for some of the most remote and marginalized communities in our planet. Unfortunately, we now face our second year where COVID-19 has derailed our desire to fundraise through our preferred in-person mass-start Gravel event.
So we needed to put more intentionality behind thinking outside-the-box in this unprecedented time!
As an alternative, this year Ride for Water will be hosting our the Upstream Challenge & #Diverse100km event.
Crushing gravel with 400 other riders at the same time will happen again, one day. Until then, we’re pretty jazzed about our Upstream Challenge.
Register for the Upstream Challenge and continue doing what you’re already safely doing – riding your bike solo and/or in small groups. We’ll provide you with the route segments, and give you the entire month of May to complete your Upstream Challenge. All on your schedule and when it is safe for you.
This Challenge is simple. Sign up and ride any or all of three gravel routes, as many times as you like, during the month of May.
With your one-time $35 registration fee, every time you ride one of our gravel routes, Diverse Properties will donate $35 to provide lifelong access to clean water to one person in Hawo, rural Ethiopia.
Each time you complete a ride, one more person gets access to clean water for life.
We’re using Climduro.com to track these Strava segments and maintain the fundraiser leader board for each of the three routes. Each of our gravel routes has a known local KOM segment. Completing this segment, while riding our gravel route, will unlock the route’s $35 donation.
Please follow the Strava route strictly. Deviation from this route might result in your activity not syncing with our leaderboard.
See you on the trails!
One of the Fraser Valley’s staple gravel rides is the dyke route in between Abbotsford and Chilliwack – dubbed the ‘coffee ride’ by many locals. This is a flat, there and back ride.
You’ll start at the McKay Creek Trail parking lot, at the corner of Atkinson Rd and Eldridge St. Head east on the gravel path, north of the slough, and cross over to the dyke at the bridge. As you approach Yarrow, you will take a right off the dyke at Yarrow Community Park, on Community St. Ride into Yarrow and pop in for coffee at Chestnut Springs Bakery or just make a rolling stop. Either way, you’ll need to at least make a past by Chestnut Springs Bakery for this route to pick up and log into our Challenge.
The Yarrow route is very manageable for the new-to-gravel riders as there isn’t any real technical skill required for this route. It’s one of those ones where you can just ride along and take in the views, or really try to smash it and go for the KOM.
And speaking of KOM’s, our timed segment is the 2.5kms Bridge-to-Bridge section in between HWY #1 and the Keith Wilson bridge. Currently, our very own Race Director, Matt Scott, holds the KOM for this segment. Do you have what it takes to dethrone him?
You have to complete the KOM segment and the route in its entirety for your ride to unlock the $35 donation.
This route has been our Intro to Gravel route for the past few years. The Tamihi route is a condensed version of everything you would expect from an all-day gravel epic, without spending all-day riding it. You get a blend of pavement, FSR and double track 4×4 trails.
The start and finish is at Vedder Park, next to the dog park and the coffee trucks. You’ll head out, over the bridge, and up to Cultus Lake using the round-about.
Our #UpStream Strava segment will be “Yo Can Vance if you Wantoo”. This segment will include a cross-section of everything from open FSR, to some chunky climbs and descents. Exactly the mix of terrain that is highly sought after for our regional gravel.
Once you get to the intersection of the Tamihi Campsite and Chilliwack Lake Road, you’ll head left, back into town on a dedicated paved bike lane. It’s a gentle rolling 12km road ride back to the finish at Vedder Park. Figures crossed you get a favourable Valley tailwind.
*Please remember we will only be timing the KOM section. However, you have to complete our whole Gravel Route for your time to record.
Diverse Properties has been an amazing partner of Ride for Water since day one. They share our passion and love of riding bikes. And just like us, they are pretty keen on getting out for a big ride any chance they can get. So, in keeping with the spirit of big ride days, Diverse Properties is presenting the #diverse100km challenge. Ride all three of our gravel routes, all on the same day!
That’s right, three ride routes on the same day. In any order you like. Luckily for us, all three route distances add up to 100kms. Driving in between start locations is permitted. You can even take some time in Yarrow for a coffee or grab some food along the way, in between routes.
Diverse Properties is so committed to getting as many people out riding in the month of May, that they are going to reward you for your efforts with cash prizing.
$250 – Female / Male prizing to the rider who completes the most #diverse100km routes in May.
$250 – Female / Male prizing to the rider with the lowest accumulated MOVING time for all three routes, ridden all on the same day, in the month of May.
We have cash prizes for both participation and competition! It doesn’t matter if you’re the fastest rider. What matters is you are out riding your bike to help us fundraise for clean water.
Climduro.com will keep track and manage the leader board for the amount of times you complete a route in the general Upstream Challenge.
It is a little bit different for the #Diverse100KM.
Managing the leader board for lowest accumulated MOVING time, of all three routes ridden on the same day, will take a bit of work on our end.
If you would like to participate in this unique #DIVERSE100KM, here is what we will need from you! Head out for your big ride day and just log each ride using Strava. You should review each route on Strava prior to attempting your ride. Or download the route segment and follow the direction prompts. This will ensure the route you ride matches our route segment for your ride to count towards the #diverse100km.
Although these routes won’t be officially marked, you shouldn’t worry. We’ve kept each route fairly simple and they wont require any crazy route finding.
So, just start and stop each route as if you were riding them like any other day. You can even take time, mid ride, for regroups if you have a small ride bubble. We will only be tracking your moving time.
Once you have completed all three routes, all on the same day, we will require proof of your achievement. Send us screen shots showing the MOVING time, of each of your Strava rides, for that day. As well as the link for each route, for that day. Preferably these links wont be opened and will only be used for scrutineer purposes. We will populate and update the #diverse100km leaderboard each Wednesday in May.
Send your submissions to email@example.com
A Gravel Grind adventure that links multiple mixed surface terrain in a format that showcases the stunning beauty of the Fraser Valley.
In the spectacular Fraser Valley. We have three routes for 2021, located in Abbotsford, Yarrow, and Chilliwack.
Abbotsford – The start and finish of this route is located at Douglas Taylor Park, inside corner of Harris Rd. and Olund St.
Yarrow – You will start and finish at McKay Creek Trail parking lot, located just past the intersection of Atkinson St. and Eldridge Rd.
Tamihi – The start and finish is at Vedder Park in Chilliwack, next to the dog park and coffee trucks.
No and Yes. You can ride each route at your own pace. But if you’re one of those hyper competitive types, a solo ride to the coffee shop can turn into a race.
Funds raised through the Upstream Challenge will be going to build a clean water system in the rural village of Hawo, Ethiopia. With your partnership, over 5000 people will be drinking clean water for the first time this coming Fall. If this project is fully funded, the rest of the funds will be going to another clean water project in rural Ethiopia. 100% of funds donated to Run for Water goes to projects on the ground. Go here to learn more about how we work in Ethiopia.
Expect 1hrs – 3hrs for each of our Gravel routes. It all depend on if your rolling at party-pace or gunning for the KOM on the leader board.
You could try to do it off the couch, but we suggest some amount of base miles training would be ideal for ride enjoyment. Try to fit in some green level mountain bike trail riding too.
A good sense of adventure, with a medium to moderate comfort level for riding on mixed surface terrain.
Please follow the registration button above to sign up!
HUGE thanks to our generous donors for making this possible!
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