Local News

Thayer County towns arranging events for Lazy Horse Gravel Grind

On May 18, approximately 150 cyclists from seven states — Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, South Dakota and Michigan — will ride the scenic routes along the Little Blue River and Big Sandy Creek, starting and ending at the Lazy Horse Brewing and Winery in Ohiowa.
The event will include talented cyclists and promoters from established gravel events.
Jim and Julie Stutzman of Lazy Horse have confirmed a hosting stop at Pioneer Inn in Gilead for the 100k route, and Linda Hudson and Thayer County Museum Curator Jackie Williamson of the Belvidere Woman’s Club are arranging stops in Belvidere for the trek. The event team has also coordinated with Toad’s.  
The riders will also see the new fire hall in Bruning, which will be hosted by the Bruning Volunteer Fire Department and Bruning State Bank.
In Alexandria, the cyclists will stop at the Alexandria West Cemetery. More stops along the route are planned.
The Gravel Grind event team also worked with Oregon Trail Run coordinator, Jeff Friesen as well as the county commissioners, emergency management and Sheriff David Lee.
“They have provided us in helping with selecting our primarily Thayer County based routes,” Stutzman wrote in a press release. “We appreciate the outreach and support.”
The event team would also like the public to know they are welcome at all the stops and cyclists will be available for questions.
Discussions about hosting a bicycle gravel tour began last fall and on New Year’s Eve, online registration opened. The planning team kept the registration cap low because the Lazy Horse Gravel Grind is an inaugural event.
Stutzman reported all 125 entries sold out in seven days and then, 25 more riders, who are event sponsors and “Ride Ambassadors” were added. Along with the cyclists, families, spectators and support personnel will attend the Gravel Grind. The ride will not be timed as the focus is the tour experience for everyone.
Multiple courses for the tour have been plotted, including wet and dry weather options. The 50 and 100-kilometer routes ride the gravel and township public roads.
Weather plays a major role, and riders will have GPS files and cue cards.
The event team is excited to announce several bed and breakfast locations, hotels and campsites are reserved for the weekend.
“The positive economic impact the event has on Thayer County businesses, attractions and tourism cannot be measured, but the overall goal of our event is to encourage folks to come back to the area, ride other gravel routes outside of our event date and support our local businesses. The event team has already noted several cyclists who have been riding in the area trying to guess and preview our route,” the press release stated.
The Gravel Grind cyclists take the back roads for safety and scenery. Over the last decade, popular regional rides, such as Gravel Worlds in Lincoln, Pony Express 120 Gravel Dash in Marysville and the Solstice 100 Gravel Grinder in Malcolm, have flourished.
The event team was supported  and assisted by several grassroots gravel organizations, such as Solstice in Beatrice, Tour de Nebraska of Lincoln, and made the event a reality with the help of Cycle Works in Lincoln.

Leave a Reply