I’ve been wanting to do the Wheels and Wings Gravel Grind since it was first introduced in 2015 but schedule conflicts kept getting in the way. This year I was clear for both the gravel ride and the main event the following day. The main event celebrated its 10th anniversary and is more popular than ever but I was surprised to see a decent turnout for the gravel ride too. Clearly this gravel thing is taking off.
We rolled out under great conditions. We had plenty of cloud cover but no rain. The first part of the course took us through an unpaved section of Punta Gorda. It was a mix of dirt, grass, gravel, double track and a little bit of pavement. There were lots of twists and turns which made it fun. The rest of the route went through Webb WMA an area I’m very familiar with and love. Once inside the WMA we separated into several smaller groups and all ended up at the finish line that was well stocked with food.
One of the best parts of a gravel event is seeing the wide variety of bikes that people utilize. While I previously did these types of rides on my mountain bike which is fine, I was very happy to have a Felt Breed gravel bike with 47mm tires that made for a plush yet efficient ride. I’ll be back again next year. Text by PC Carlin