For the inaugural year, promotor Chainsaw Don knew that his course for Keystone Gravel would be a winner, since he’s been riding those roads and trails around his family’s farm for ages now. But could he convince 150 people to come up and ride the roads filled with mini-rocks near Jersey Shore, PA? …And where the $%#* is Jersey Shore, PA?! As it turns out, this giant group ride has put it on the map for cyclists beyond the heavily used Pine Creek Gorge rail trail, as Keystone Gravel contains some mega climbing/descending, abandoned roads, cheap beer bar stops, a river crossing, and a big following of notorious PA/NY/DC people, all set in the early autumn trees and fields. I should mention that there are timed sections called ‘gravelduro’ segments, where you test your meddle against the other riders through the Strava app, but really, it was all in good fun and played second to riding through this newly found Narnia.
I can’t quite put into terms what this ride means to Donnie and what the experience was for everyone who partook in this first year – but I do know next year will definitely have a waiting list if you don’t get in right away. Check more out at website: www.keystonegravel.com
Here is a link to the photos I took (while Mike Hermann of Purple Lizard Maps was my navigator) all through the event. If you love a photo, please consider a purchase, and please share on social media with tag back to @firespirephotography – enjoy!