Last year, Chip Shea and Sarah Newgard organized the first ever Lawton Loop, a bicycle gravel ride that explores the relaxing and beautiful countryside around the Lawton area. It was a fun, successful day, and time for a repeat! The 2nd Annual Lawton Loop will be held Saturday, September 18, 2021.
“Both the 25-mile and the 75-mile courses are different from last year. We wanted all riders to experience entering the city of Lawton the same way this year, as opposed to last year when the two courses entered on opposite sides of town,” said Shea, “and there is so much gravel to explore!”
Start times are 9:00 a.m. for the 75-mile loop and 11:00 a.m. for the 25-mile loop. A few may take the 100-mile challenge and do both loops.
“If someone wants to ride both the 75 and the 25, they are welcome to. They would be eligible for a top three finish in the 75-mile race only,” said Shea.
There will be an Aid Station at the halfway point of the 75-mile loop at mile 38 in Brocket. Those riding this loop will be able to have a drop bag at the station.
“Drop bags are bags that the 75-mile riders give to the person going to the aid station prior to the race that has items needed for them to finish the second half of the race, such as food, supplements, socks, energy gels, soda, or pickle juice,” said Shea.
There is not an aid station on the 25-mile course, but there will be a person driving the course doing a continual loop checking on the riders.
Helmets are required for all riders. If you are a beginner, the 25-mile loop is recommended. Bicycles should be a mountain bike type with wide tires or a gravel specific bike, as skinny tires are not good for gravel riding. Motorized bikes are not allowed on this ride. Before the race, make sure your bike is sound, the brakes are functioning properly, the drive train and gears are shifting normally, and the tires are in good shape. A .gpx file will be posted on the Lawton Loop Facebook page and the registration website ahead of the ride so riders can download it before heading out to Lawton.
The entry fee is $20, and you can register through the link in the “About” section of the Facebook page. If you aren’t on Facebook, you can call or text Shea at 218-791-4211 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, and he will get you the necessary information to register. Note: All people attending will be able to practice their own personal choice of COVID safety precautions.
Race headquarters will be at The Bar in Lawton. Owner Larry Legacie will be serving the post-ride meal for everyone again, starting between 2:00 and 3:00 p.m. that afternoon. The cost of the meal for riders is included in their entry fee.
If you want to extend your outdoor experience, there are 4 full hook-up campsites available for $20 per night. There are plenty of primitive (no hook-ups) sites available at no charge. Contact Shea to reserve a site.
As of two weeks before the event, 17 riders were registered for the 75-mile loop and 25 are registered for the 25-mile loop. Some will be coming from the Grand Forks gravel riding group.
“Every Monday night since early June, the Ski and Bike Shop in Grand Forks, led by Simon Murphy and Pat White, have been hosting a gravel ride to get people out and trying something new,” said Shea. “It’s been a huge success and has fostered many people to ride in this year’s Lawton Loop!”
There is still time to register and join the fun! Get your gear on and come to Lawton on the 18th!