Bicyclists from around the Midwest are planning their summer rides, including the Dust Bowl 100. What's that, you say? Well, the Dust Bowl 100 is Indiana's only gravel century ride, held in Morgan and Putnam Counties. Participants can choose from three route lengths - each featuring beautiful scenery, gravel roads, historic bridges, offroad adventure and unforgettable memories. Ride lengths are 44 miles, 80 miles or 100 miles. This year's ride is set to take place on Saturday, July 24.
Headquarters for the event is Eminence High School in Eminence, Indiana. Conveniently located in northwest Morgan County, just seven minutes off Interstate 70 and only 30 minutes west of downtown Indianapolis, Rider perks at this event include pre-race donuts, a post-race meal, bike wash station and of course, cool swag, including a t-shirt, event photos and more. The ride itself features chip timing, fully stocked SAG stops, signage at key turns and SAG bag service.
Registration for this epic ride is currently open, and riders are not wasting any time in securing their spots. Event organizers recently shared that they have already had more than 100 registrations confirmed including riders from 10 different states! Participants are coming from as far away as Florida, Minnesota and Maryland to enjoy this beautiful Indiana ride. Don't delay - the ride is capped at 250 participants, so if you think you'd like to be a part of this year's Dust Bowl 100, get that registration confirmed ASAP! Event Registration.
From the ride's website:
This is Indiana: Farm fields stretching to the horizon, dotted with silhouettes of barns and intersected by miles of lightly traveled gravel roads. Century old covered bridges crossing serene streams and idyllic creeks. Beautiful wooded oases offering shelter from the mid-July sun. Hills (yes, Hills!) that will wake the legs and burn the lungs (but not for too long, because remember, this is Indiana). And a handful of small towns where you’ll be greeted by a wave and a smile as you pass through.
The Dust Bowl 100 is meant to be a celebration of all this. It’s meant to be a challenging race for those that want to push themselves and see how quickly they can conquer all that the Dust Bowl throws at them. BUT it’s also meant to be a rewarding and memorable experience for those that just want to unplug from the busyness of everyday life and explore roads that will refresh the soul. Three distances are available (100 miles, 80 miles, and 44 miles), so no matter if you choose to race, ride, or cruise, this event is for you!
Oh, and about the Dust Bowl name? Let’s just say that it can be pretty dry around these parts in late summer. But it could also be rainy, or damp, or chilly, or absolutely beautiful. Remember, this is Indiana!
Testimonials from rider's in last year's Dust Bowl 100 event:
"There was more shade than we usually get here in Indiana! The sections through the woods were a very welcome break from the sun. It was rolling enough to be scenic and challenging, but not so much that it was intimidating." — Shanelle, Lebanon (IN)
"You truly have the best gravel we've ever ridden and it's so well maintained...We'll be back for sure." — Keith, Bloomington (IL)
"It was a beautiful course - plenty of hills and mixed with the right amount of road for a little recovery time." — Scott, Avon (IN)
"Appropriate mix of gravel and pavement. Typically, I do not like pavement with my gravel bike. However, I quickly found that if on pavement, gravel was right around the corner...well done in routing the course." — Katie, Westfield (IN)
The Dust Bowl 100 is an Elevate Endurance LLC event. Elevate Endurance was launched in 2020 by Marc O'Leary with the goal of elevating the central Indiana cycling community through new and unique bike racing opportunities.
Make sure to plan to stay an extra day or two after the ride to explore all of Morgan County!