Ride for water

2021 = 3 Gravel Routes = #diverse100km
to fundraise for clean water

Gravel in the Time of COVID-19

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!

Currently, Mass Start events are not permitted in British Columbia during COVID. Bringing everyone together, all at the same time, isn’t going to help our current Provincial situation either. And just like you, we too are itching to get out and ride our bikes.

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.

UPSTREAM: CRUSHING THE CHALLENGES

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! 

The Upstream Challenge 2021

Gravel Routes

Abbotsford

Starting and finishing at Douglas Taylor Park, off Harris Rd, this route takes advantage of north Abbotsford’s Matsqui Dyke Trail. A wide, winding gravel pathway will take you down to the dyke along Matsqui Prairie.
 
Just after you pass under the Mission Bridge and over the train tracks, you will need to stay on the actual dyke, all the way to the base of Sumas Mountain.
 
Once you reach the base of Sumas, the screws start to turn as you begin climbing a steep 3km gravel road. This climb tops out in places above 20%. A wide-range cassette will make it hurt just a bit less.
 
Our #UpStream segment will be the “Pavement to Pavement”, Strava KOM segment up the backside of Sumas.
 
Once on the pavement, you will stick to Sumas Mountain Rd and make your way back to Matsqui Prairie, turning right at the 4 way stop and down through Claybourn Village. The route will pass by one of our other partners, Lepps Framers Market. This is a good regroup point or a place to grab a refreshment if needed.
 
Make your way back to Matsqui Dyke via Riverside St. through the 4 way lights. Once on the dyke, you will retrace your steps back to Douglas park to complete the #UpStream Gravel – Abbotsford edition.
 
*Please remember we will only be timing the climb section. However, you have to complete our whole Gravel Route for your time to record.

Yarrow

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.

Tamihi

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.

#DIVERSE100KM

 

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.

HOW DOES THIS WORK?

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 ride@rideforwater.ca

Gravel Grinding Essentials

What Bike
Should I Ride?

For any Gravel Adventure, you’ll want a capable rig that isn’t going to leave you stranded in the backcountry.

A 29″ MTB may work, but an CX or dedicated Gravel bike is definitely the way to go.

Take a look at the route profiles on the STRAVA SEGMENTS. You should pair the appropriate gearing to the grades of your route.

 

Preparedness

Being 100% self-sufficient should be your goal. We’re recommending a minimum of three tubes, CO2 or pump, sidewall tire boots, levers, a multi-tool and spare links. Extra points for knowing how to use your gear.

Hydration

Two bottles would be the bare bones minimum. Two bottles and a hydration pack is a winning combo. Aid Stations are positioned 1.5hrs to 2.5hrs apart.

Frame Storage

It’s a good idea to have adequate storage for all your fuel, tubes, a light jacket and other supplies. Remember with gels and other onboard fuel, when a one gets pulled out, the wrapper always goes back in.  That’s just good stewardship.

Handlebars

Areo, flare, sweep, hover, draft-legal clip-ons, …. whatever you’re comfortable riding with, is fine by us. Just don’t use your clip-ons pack riding. That’s just a bone head move. Other than that, life already has too many rules, Gravel shouldn’t.

GEARING

Gravel gearing is not Road gearing, especially for BC Gravel. Check your route climbing profile and factor accordingly. Still unsure of what type of gearing to run? Always a safe beat to match the Organizers gearing selection. 11-42 x 32t/44t

single or double?

Either or. As long as you have a gear selection that is capable to keep you in the saddle riding rather that off the bike walking. Too tall of gearing is just punishment.

Tire

The best thing about Gravel bikes, you’ll never have the right tire for the entire ride. It’s about balances and compromises based on your ability and the route profile. But that could go out the window with any bit of rain.

  • Preparedness

    Being 100% self-sufficient should be your goal. We’re recommending a minimum of three tubes, CO2 or pump, sidewall tire boots, levers, a multi-tool and spare links. Extra points for knowing how to use your gear.

  • Hydration

    Two bottles would be the bare bones minimum. Two bottles and a hydration pack is a winning combo. Aid Stations are positioned 1.5hrs to 2.5hrs apart.

  • Frame Storage

    It’s a good idea to have adequate storage for all your fuel, tubes, a light jacket and other supplies. Remember with gels and other onboard fuel, when a one gets pulled out, the wrapper always goes back in.  That’s just good stewardship.

  • Handlebars

    Areo, flare, sweep, hover, draft-legal clip-ons, …. whatever you’re comfortable riding with, is fine by us. Just don’t use your clip-ons pack riding. That’s just a bone head move. Other than that, life already has too many rules, Gravel shouldn’t.

  • GEARING

    Gravel gearing is not Road gearing, especially for BC Gravel. Check your route climbing profile and factor accordingly. Still unsure of what type of gearing to run? Always a safe beat to match the Organizers gearing selection. 11-42 x 32t/44t

  • single or double?

    Either or. As long as you have a gear selection that is capable to keep you in the saddle riding rather that off the bike walking. Too tall of gearing is just punishment.

  • Tire

    The best thing about Gravel bikes, you’ll never have the right tire for the entire ride. It’s about balances and compromises based on your ability and the route profile. But that could go out the window with any bit of rain.

Bikepacking Essentials

Ride for Water

The popularity of Gravel Grind events continues to grow. Riders are looking for new adventures and will target events based on course design, vertical gains, distances, challenge level, geographic location, and awe-inspiring scenery. What if social consciousness was another attribute that determined what events to attend?
What is the Ride for Water?

A Gravel Grind adventure that links multiple mixed surface terrain in a format that showcases the stunning beauty of the Fraser Valley.

Where is Ride for Water?

In the spectacular Fraser Valley. We have three routes for 2021, located in Abbotsford, Yarrow, and Chilliwack. 

How do I get here?

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.

Is this a race?

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.

Where will the funds raised go?

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. 

How long will this adventure be?

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.

How much training is required?

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.

New to Gravel – what skill level is required?

A good sense of adventure, with a medium to moderate comfort level for riding on mixed surface terrain.

How do I register?

Please follow the registration button above to sign up!

SPONSORS

HUGE thanks to our generous donors for making this possible! 



Clean Water. It's a Movement. Run with it.

Responding to the water crisis in Africa

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Run for Water, #201-2020 Abbotsford Way, Abbotsford, BC, V2S 6X8

info@runforwater.ca
Registered Canadian Charity 82994 6037 RR0001

Donation Disclaimer:

100% of your donations go directly to Ethiopia to bring clean water and improved education. All of our overhead cost is covered by a group of generous partners. 
If this year’s designated project is fully funded, Run for Water reserves the right to use excess funds to build additional water and education projects in other rural communities in Ethiopia.