Bicyclists from around the Midwest are planning their summer rides for the coming year, including the 2023 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 22.
Headquarters for the event is Eminence High School in Eminence, Indiana. Eminence is 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. New this year is a category for single speed riders and even more age groups in the 100 mile distance!
Registration for this epic ride opens at 8 am on January 1, and riders do not waste any time in securing their spots, so be sure to get yours saved. Last year's race included a full field of riders from 20 different states (plus Canada!). Don't delay - ride organizers have expanded the event's capacity again, but registrations are capped at 800 participants, so if you think you'd like to be a part of this year's Dust Bowl 100, get that registration confirmed ASAP!
This year, the event organizers have a goal to double the number of women and junior participants, so for the 2023 race there are 200 registration spots reserved for women riders and 25 spots reserved for juniors. In addition, the first 25 junior riders (that's ages 18 and under) will have their entry fee paid in full by a generous donor! This free entry is applicable across all junior distances and categories. Once those 25 spots are snapped up, junior entry fees will bump up to the standard $45.
Participants will enjoy traversing the wide open farm fields, century-old bridges, and wooded creek valleys of west-central Indiana. This scenic journey is undertaken on some of the Midwest's finest gravel roads. The event is meant to be a challenging race for those who want to push themselves to see how quickly they can conquer all that the unique route throws at them... but, it's also meant to be a rewarding and memorable experience for those what just want to unplug from their busy everyday lives and explore backroads that will refresh the soul. No matter if you choose to race, ride or cruise, this event is for you.
Come get dusty in Morgan County!
Testimonials from past participants in the Dust Bowl 100 event:
“I think what sets it apart from other races is the course itself. So many gravel races are just a miserable suffer fest. The Dust Bowl course is as challenging as you want it to be . People with a lot of miles under their belts can hit it hard and fast, but it's not so terrifying that newer or less strong riders are unable to complete it. I can't emphasize enough how much I appreciate the fact that this race is inclusive for riders of all abilities …It truly is a standout race” — Shanelle, Lebanon (IN)
“The whole experience was very inclusive at all distances. Seeing so many women participating was awesome . The communication was absolutely incredible. The on course photographers were wonderful. The cold wet towel at the end was pure heaven. It was simply an amazing event that was fun for all , like it should be, but like so few actually accomplish” — Michael, Nashville (TN)
"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)
“Thanks, Dust Bowl 100 for a great route - well marked, well supported, well stocked, and well pretty damn fun!” — Will Travel For Gravel (TN)
"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. Learn more about this fun event, including specific route information, at www.dustbowl100.com.