Between the lack of bugs, the fall foliage along the trails, and the hundreds of miles of backcountry roads accessible from Fayetteville, the only real question is: gravel bike or mountain bike?
The RAPTOR Gravel Grinder sends riders through the White River Valley and into the Boston Mountain range of the Ozark Mountains for a day full of scenic gravel racing. Starting and finishing at the Mount Sequoyah Conference Center, overlooking the historic Fayetteville downtown square, racers will take on one of three courses traveling over a mixture of pavement, gravel, and dirt. Group X will ride 25-35 miles, Group XX 45-55 miles, and Group XXX 65-75 miles.
We’d offer to show you the course, but there’s a catch: only the mileages and elevations of road, gravel and dirt will be released early! The exact course maps will go live at 8:00 am the day before the event. For many, even experienced gravel returners, you will discover some new terrain and roads that you didn't even know existed in Northwest Arkansas.
The RAPTOR Gravel Grinder is known for its distinctive but difficult ending, a 1.4-mile singletrack climb up Mount Sequoyah to Fayetteville’s highest point. This year, participants will have a new alternate paved finish option - but choosing the alternate path disqualifies a racer from any potential awards. All finishers will receive a finisher medal regardless of which group or course they choose.
Following the event, there will be a post-race party with food, drinks, games, and (fingers crossed for good weather!) a bouncy house - a welcome reprieve after a hard day in the saddle!