Presented by the Mad River Riders. Hosted by ​Sugarbush Resort Mt Ellen July 29th, 2023

Grateful Gravel is a concoction from the minds of cycling enthusiast Dead Heads in the Mad River Valley that blends the worlds of endurance sports and music festivals into one event. Two entertainment endeavors that collide to move you brightly. Grateful Gravel provides a challenging cycling event featuring some of Vermont's most picturesque landscapes and gravel roads that segues into a face melting gathering of community and friends to enjoy the song catalog of Hunter, Garcia, and the rest of the Grateful Dead.

The day begins with a 35, 44, or 60 mile gravel ride starting from Sugarbush Resort's Mt Ellen that makes your legs scream louder than Donna Jean during a mid-70’s Playing in the Band.

An epic after party at Mt Ellen follows the ride. Zach Nugent, one of the best to cover the Grateful Dead, will play one of the most well known Grateful Dead shows, Cornell, 5/8/77, in its ENTIRETY!. All riders can refuel after the ride with a small meal provided by Sugarbush and a beer compliments of Lawson's Finest Liquids. Additional food and beverage from Sugarbush and Lawsons will be available for purchase.

Friends and family are welcome! Children under 12 are free. General admission for those 12 and over is $20. Concert admission is included with rider registration. Two nights of camping in the Mt Ellen parking lot can be purchased through the registration link.

All event proceeds benefit the Mad River Riders, the MRV's non-profit mountain bike club.

Come join us for an epic summer weekend in Vermont!

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Gravel Road Bicycle Riders

Support the Community

The Mad River Riders is a non-profit, volunteer chapter of VMBA (Vermont Mountain Bike Association) that has built and maintains a growing, 60+ mile trail network that connects community centers and provides access to Vermont alpine woodland beauty. Our trails are open to the public and free to use for biking, hiking, skiing and snowshoeing. In addition to trail building and maintenance, the Riders run the Mad River Rippers youth mountain bike program, which provides kids of all ages and background the opportunity to explore, exercise, learn bike skills and enjoy the outdoors - free of charge. All proceeds from the Grateful Gravel will support these programs. For more information, please visit the Mad River Riders website.

The Ride!

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You're not ready to burn your legs out on a ride but you are ready for some really good music with your friends and family

(Includes Concert Ticket)



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32 miles and 4000 ft of climbing. You'll be sore but still able to dance your butt off to a super rad show.

(Includes Ride, Concert Ticket, Food, One Adult Beverage)



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63 Miles and 8000 feet of climbing.This one's a leg burner and will steal your face right off your head.

(Includes Ride, Concert Ticket, Food, One adult beverage)



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2 nights of camping. July 28th & July 29th. Camping spots are un-supported 20x20. Porta-potty's will be available.



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Camels Hump, Vermont

Grateful Gravel Sponsors

Ride starts at 9:30am/ Music starts at 4:30pm

Check In July 29th:

· Rider check-in will begin at 8 am.

· Please ensure that that you have filled out the waivers prior to the start of the event. You will not be permitted to ride until these are filled out.

· Get your Swag bags. Each rider will get some products from Hammer Nutrition and a Grateful Gravel pint glass.

· Riders will be given wrist bands based on the categories they are registered for. PLEASE ensure that you keep your wrist band as this will be your admission to the concert after the ride.

Start Time: 9:30 AM

· The ride will be a mass start at 9:30 AM sharp. We will have a lead out vehicle from Mt. Ellen, down German Flats, and onto Rt 17. After about a mile on Rt 17 we will make a left onto Number Nine Road which will be a great wake up for your legs.

· We ask that everyone stay to the right of the yellow line and ride no more than three wide prior to Number Nine Road. I can’t begin to stress how important this is. When we hit Number Nine Road the lead out vehicle will pull off. It is expected that you do not ride more than two wide and we ask you to stay single file as much as possible. The roads are not closed to through traffic. Some of these roads are curvy and have several blind spots.

· ****We are adding a last-minute intermediate course to the mix**** 44 miles/ 6700 ft of climbing called “New Speedway”. The FOTM ride will take roughly 6-8 hours. That would put some of the folks on the long route, suffer fest, finishing after the music starts. If you have concerns about not finishing prior to the music, please feel free to switch to the New Speedway route. Category transfers will be available online at no charge. If you need help please email me at

· Routes are available to download on Strava at Please load Strava if you have not already done so. We will have a few hard copy turn by turn directions for those who would like to take them.

Aid Stations:

· 30 miler/ 46 miler - Two aid stations. Kingsbury Soccer Fields parking Lot. East Warren Market.

· 60 miler- Three aid stations. Kingsbury Soccer Fields parking lot. Northfield General Store. East Warren Market.

· Peggy Slow- 11 Miles (Stop 1, Kingsbury Fields), 21 Miles (Stop 2 East Warren Store)

· New Speedway- 11 Miles (Stop 1, Kingsbury Fields), 31.2 Miles (Stop 2 East Warren Store)

· Fire On The Mountain- 11 Miles (Stop 1, Kingsbury Fields), 32 Miles (Stop 2, Falls General Store, Northfield), 50 Miles (Stop 3, East Warren Market)

We will be providing snacks, gels, fruit, and water jugs with Hammer Nutrition Hydration mix. We will also have water available to refill bottles. Please feel free to purchase additional food/ fuel at the two general stores where the aid stations will be. There is also a natural spring on North Fayston Road where individuals can refill some good ol’ VT water. Porta Potty available at aid station 1. Please be courteous of other members of the community shopping at both general stores. Please keep bikes off to the side of the main parking areas.

After Ride Festivities:

· Music will start at 4:30pm behind Mt Ellen and go until 8ish.

· Riders that send it on the course, and finish well before the concert are encouraged to either hang at the Mt. Ellen base lodge for food and drinks, or head to town to enjoy some of what the valley has to offer prior to music at 4:30. The grass section behind Mt. Ellen, the hill off of GMX, and Mt Ellen deck will be open for one of the most rad hang out sessions of the summer. Feel free to bring blankets or chairs.


· Each rider will be provided a post ride meal from Sugarbush. Each rider over 21 will be provided one Lawsons Hazy Rays IPA.

· All after ride food will be served from inside the Mt Ellen Lodge Cafeteria.

· Riders will be given two tickets. One for food, one for drink. We will start serving rider food at 1 PM and go until the last rider.

· Sugarbush and Lawsons will be serving additional food and beverage for purchase for riders, friends, family, and general admission ticket holders throughout the afternoon and during the concert.

General Admission Ticket Holders:

· We ask that if you do not have a friend or family participating in the event you arrive at around 2pm or later.

· Friends and family of riders are welcome to post up and make Mt Ellen your home base for the day.

· Please check in at the main entrance to the lodge to receive your bracelet for admission to the concert.


· Campers will be allowed to check in at 12pm on Friday. Check out is by 11am on Sunday.

· A QR code will be available at the camping area if you decide to stay for one or both nights but have not yet registered.

· We will make a round at 6PM on Friday night to hand out permits for those who are camping.

· Campers will be permitted roughly a 20x20 camp space. Tents, small campers, Class B’s are permitted for camping.

· Sugarbush will provide a dumpster for trash.

· Porta Pottys will be available near the camping area at the bottom of the lot. The lodge will be open at 8am for a drinking water source.

· Please DO NOT bring food items into your tents at night. Secure all food items and coolers in your car. Vermont has a sizable bear population. A middle of the night run in would be a hell of a way to start your weekend or end your after party.


· Sugarbush will have security making a round at night. Please be courteous of your noise levels for fellow campers and for neighboring houses.

First Aid

· First aid will be available onsite and aid stations will have first aid kits available. If there is an emergency situation, please call 911. Please contact Derek Lusso at 860-985-7244 after calling 911 in the event of an emergency.

Have fun, be safe, and get ready for an amazing day. Fare thee well now, let your life proceed by its own design. Nothing to tell now. Let the words be yours, I’m done with mine.

Event Info

For additional questions please contact Derek Lusso at