Cash prizes offered for this year’s 40 Mile Gravel Grinder

Cash prizes offered for this year’s 40 Mile Gravel Grinder

Bike Fast. Get the Cash.

How fast can you grind through the Gravel Grinder? Asheville Bicycle Company is giving away cash prizes for this year’s 40 mile Gravel Grinder at the Asheville Off Road Series. Prizes will be given to male and female overall winners and masters winners. 

“If we can make more people happy, the better,” says owner Craig Friedrich.

Craig started selling bicycles in 1993 and has been owner and partner of Asheville Bicycle Company and Ski Country for almost 30 years. He grew up road biking and mountain biking, and has spent most of his life riding Asheville’s scenic roads and mountain bike trails. He became involved with the Asheville Off Road Series through Biltmore Estate several years ago.

“They (Biltmore) asked me to produce a bike race,” Craig explains. “In doing so…after some exploration work, I met Daphne through the Kiwanis run…and it was pretty obvious that with the size and scale Biltmore wanted for this event…I asked her to do it. She’s just so damn good at everything she does.” 

Asheville Bicycle Company is now one of the main sponsors of the event and has been since its inception. They provide bike mechanics on the West side of the Biltmore Estate for anyone having issues on the trail, and at the start of the race for any last minute repairs and to top off air. 

This will be the first year Asheville Bicycle will be offering cash prizes for the 40 mile Gravel Grinder. Craig hopes the prizes will continue to draw more participants and build momentum for this multi-sport event. 

“This event does bring a lot of extra income into the community: Lodging, food and beverage. It’s not just good for Asheville, it’s also good for the cycling industry,” says Craig. “It highlights Asheville’s charms on what the riding community offers - the access we have, and the beauty of Asheville and Biltmore Estate.”

The Gravel Grinder - part of the Asheville Off-Road Series - takes place on Sunday, September 15th. There are 20, 40, and 60 mile options for this event.

The event also offers a Duathlon and 10K that same day. Relay teams are an option when you sign up. Prices increase September 5th! 

What’s it like to ride the Gravel Grinder?

We get a lot of questions about what the Gravel Grinder is like to ride. Here longtime cyclist and Asheville local Billy McCracken talks about the course, which is part asphalt, mostly gravel, and not too much elevation gain. This event takes place on the West side of Biltmore Estate. Video Credit: Wright Creative, Inc.

Past iDaph Blogs

Virtual Races 2020

Virtual Races 2020

What is a virtual run, bike or swim? Virtual races are all the rage these days. What is a virtual event? Picture a race that you can do all on your own, from any place at any time. You still get a commemorative medal and cool race t-shirt, and your results get posted...

Colombia Triathlete Jorge Marin to join Asheville Triathlon

Colombia Triathlete Jorge Marin to join Asheville Triathlon

Asheville Triathlon a great event to meet local triathletes, says Marin

We are super excited to meet Triathlon Coach Jorge Marin at our Asheville Triathlon this weekend! 

Jorge coaches a triathlon team called Tritanium in Colombia, and he organizes a triathlon race every year in his country. He definitely has some experience under his belt: 14 years as a triathlete, several completed triathlons in Colombia and few half Ironmans in the United States. He is preparing to do is first Full Ironman in Florida in November. 

Jorge placed 5th overall and 2nd place in his age group in  a recent national half Ironman, and he has another one planned in the Outer Banks here in North Carolina in September.

So why is he participating in our Asheville Triathlon? 

“Because I will be visiting Asheville for 10 days and saw there is a triathlon here, and I thought it could be a nice opportunity to meet people here,” Jorge said. “Also because Asheville is a beautiful city.”

Jorge said he would love to meet more local triathletes, so please give him a warm welcome when you see him this weekend.

We did ask Jorge if he would like to compete against Professional Triathlete Sarah Alexander, who is also competing  Sunday. He replied via email with smiley face icons:

“Hehe, I am not a professional triathlete like Sarah. I bet she will kick my a$$ for sure!”

I guess our money is still on Sarah. 🙂

Good luck Jorge we can’t wait to see you and all of our other participants in action this Sunday, July 21st at  Asheville Rec Park! 

For more details about the Asheville Triathlon, click here

Past iDaph Blogs

Virtual Races 2020

Virtual Races 2020

What is a virtual run, bike or swim? Virtual races are all the rage these days. What is a virtual event? Picture a race that you can do all on your own, from any place at any time. You still get a commemorative medal and cool race t-shirt, and your results get posted...


2018 Asheville Winter Bike League presented by Hunter Subaru RIDE DATES & LOCATIONS


ALL rides begin at 10am  

Ride #1 November 18th - Kickoff Ride at Bold Rock Hard Cider (Mills River) 
Ride #2 November 25th - Burn The Turkey Ride at Mills River Park
Ride #3 December 2nd at Carmichael Training Systems in Brevard
Ride #4 December 9th at Bold Rock Hard Cider (Mills River)
Ride #5 December 16th at Mills River Park
Ride #6 December 23rd at Fletcher Park
Ride #7 December 30th at Bold Rock Hard Cider (Mills River)
Ride #8 January 6th – New Year’s Kickoff Ride at Fletcher Park
Ride #9 January 13th at Carmichael Training Systems in Brevard
Ride #10 January 20th at  Fletcher Park
Ride #11 January 27th – FINAL RIDE at Bold Rock Hard Cider (Mills River)

Ride schedule and locations subject to change, please check weekly on our AVL WBL Facebook Page for up-to-date changes. 

2017 AVL WBL Pottery Mug Shown - 2018 mug to be revealed at the final AVL WBL ride in 2018.






The AVL WBL presented by Hunter Subaru offers A, B+, B- & C groups with SAG support. All levels of cyclists encouraged and invited to attend.

A group = experienced, pro’s/elites, competitive, ‘team’ racers & can maintain 18-22 mph throughout entire ride. This is a DROP ride, if you can’t hang please join one of the B groups.
B+ group = experienced, mostly non-competitive, & can maintain 17-19 mph throughout the entire ride. This is a DROP ride, if you can’t hang please join B- group.
B- group = experienced, non-competitive & can maintain 15-17 mph throughout the entire ride. No Drop, but expected to keep B- pace. 
C Group = novice/beginner riders, riding an easier pace. No one left behind. 

Please note the groups offered and the paces associated with the AVL WBL groups. 

  • If you participate in the Tuesday Night Worlds rides in Etowah or along the river in Asheville and ride in the ‘A’ group this would be the same as the A group in the AVL WBL rides.
  • B+ AVL WBL Group– If you have participated in the Kirbo Cycling ‘A’ group rides, the B+ group is considered the same as the Kirbo ‘A’ Rides. 
  • B- AVL WBL Group is the same as the ‘B’ Kirbo Group. The B- Group is a NO DROP  Ride, however,  you still need to be able to maintain the expected B- pace overall. The leader will plan on stopping at key re-grouping points, but can’t expect to have the group waiting excessively for anyone that is consistently falling behind unreasonably, so make sure that you are at the proper level to sustain a B- pace. 
  • C Groups– are for riders wanting a gentler pace, to soak in the scenery, new to the bike and/or may not feel comfortable drafting or riding with a group. This is a NO DROP Ride.  



HB 232: Are You With Us or Against Us, NCDOT?

HB 232: Are You With Us or Against Us, NCDOT?

NCDOT Article 1

Bicycle safety in the state of North Carolina has been a hot topic this year.  Since August (and work was being done before that to get to this point!), a committee – House Bill 232 Bike Safety Law Study working group aka Working Group - has feverishly been working together to propose recommendations on legislation to the NCDOT, to be presented to our NC Legislature.  Note: this whole process is supposed to ultimately be about ensuring cyclists’ safety.  Let’s ultimately reduce cycling fatalities to ZERO.  Read on to see what’s happened over the course of a few days, quietly, and what you can do about it!


Before we begin, we would like to thank the NCDOT for allowing this process of the Working Group to happen and for rock-solid information to be learned and presented, as well as for keeping our roads, highways and interstates safe.  However, we do not applaud your actions in how you carried out the shifting of the Group’s recommendations prudent to cycling safety in North Carolina, as noted below.

Over the course of four months and four Working Group meetings (plus lots of out-of-meeting research), they came to agreement on twelve topics and submitted to the NCDOT a report that detailed each topic’s pros and cons thoroughly.  Unfortunately, the NCDOT didn’t take the Working Group’s recommendations too seriously and even went against their recommendations on a few, which we’ve noted below.  The modifications by the NCDOT were fairly drastic to what was recommended by the very group who’d spent four+ months conducting research, analysis and interviews across the state and even beyond our state lines.  The biggest disagreements from Working Group’s recommendations and the report just unleashed by NCDOT are on these three topics:

  1. Should it be required that cyclists/riders ride in single-file on the road, or two+ abreast?
  2. Must the cyclist remain to the right side of the lane, and if not, then where?
  3. Is it required that group rides of 30+ riders be “approved” by the local, presiding government of where the ride will be held?

 See the report, including the NCDOT’s (anonymously) inserted recommendations by clicking HERE.


What We Need to Do About This by Tuesday, Dec. 29 at 5:00 p.m., before this report goes to NC Legislature for voting:


iDaph Events and iDream Athletes Foundation, as ride organizers and cycling enthusiasts, stand strong and firm that cyclists’  safety on the road is our top priority when we conduct cycling events and educational opportunities on our often-rural, mountain roads (i.e.: AVLWBL, Lung Buster Time Trials, Asheville & LPC Triathlons and more)

To ensure the NCDOT hears us loud and clear, and that they know that we want to continue to keep cycling safe in North Carolina, please:

  1. Contact your Representative and Senator (if you don’t know who they are, please click HERE). See email template to copy/paste to your representative.
  2. Contact the NCDOT’s Feedback representative (he’s not the guy that makes decisions, y’all), by emailing him at: bwpoole@ncdot.gov.   When you email him (see our prompt below), please mark your subject line as “Comments on HB232” and address your email to NCDOT,
  3. Tell your cycling friends about this! Spread the word on social media and by an email to your friends that enjoy the freedom to ride on the road.
  4. Use the prompts provided by BikeWalk NC (at the bottom) or this template:

    As a cycling enthusiast, I urge the NCDOT and the North Carolina Legislature ensure cyclists’ safety on the roads.  I urge the NCDOT to consider allowing cyclists the full use of the lane and not just the right-side, as that allows for potential crashes and defensive driving by motorists; not limiting side-by-side riding within a single lane because group riding tends to offer safe group riding practices; and lastly, not enforcing that group rides of 30+ riders be registered and permitted, as most group rides cross between many municipalities and that will deter ride organizers to be able to safely plan for and execute these group rides.  Thank you for your consideration of these amendments to your report to be reviewed by our Legislature.