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Gravel Bike Classic Is Set For April 9


There was no quorum for a joint Tourism Tax Commission/Tourism Advisory Council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 18.

Without a quorum, no official action was taken and City Administrator Happy Welch and Tourism Director Jeff Wix turned the gathering into an informational session.

During the session, Wix announced the city will soon become the site of gravel bike ride on Saturday, April 9. 

“This will help us open doors for a new group of folks to experience Ste. Genevieve,” Wix said in a telephone interview with the Herald on Friday afternoon.

Welch chimed in. He noted the course, which will run along the Ste. Genevieve levee, will be challenging.

There will be three distances of racing to choose from, as short as 20 miles to as much as 78 miles. 

The race will be sanctioned through Trailnet, and the event already has a name – the Ste. Genevieve Gravel Classic.

Gravel riding is an activity fast-growing in popularity, especially throughout the Midwest. Seasoned and recreational riders alike are finding the challenges. Bicyclists are encouraged to use wider tires for greater comfort and handling.

Wix noted the event will be 90 percent on gravel, throughout the levee trail system and some riders will even cross the border into Kaskaskia, Ill.

This ride is the first of the 2022 Trailnet Classics, a series of multi-distance, supported bike rides across the region that help fund Trailnet’s work to improve safety for people walking and riding – according to a press release. 

Trailnet, based in St. Louis, has operated events for more than 33 years.

All riders will receive a timing chip, like a cross country road race, that records their total time on the ride. 

Prizes will be furnished by Trailnet and sponsors to the top-five finishers in the following categories: 18-under, men’s open (age 19-plus), women’s open (19-plus), men’s masters (35-plus) and women’s masters (35-plus).

Wix reported nearly 20 bicyclists already have registered for the event. The registration cost is $30 for Trailnet members and $45 for the general public. Registration for the 18-under division is only $10. 

The races will begin on Main Street in Ste. Genevieve, with bicyclists heading north to Division Street, then Stormy Crawford Way, before ascending onto the levee trail.