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Beehive Ride buzzes gravel roads en route to Interbike

Published September 20, 2016
VeloNews' Kristen Legan tackles a climb on the Beehive Ride. Photo: Meg McMahon

LAS VEGAS (BRAIN) — What better way to launch a new gravel-specific wheel, bike and shoe than a three-day, 200-mile, supported gravel ride across Utah, bringing nearly a dozen cycling journalists westward to their inevitable September destination in Las Vegas?

Clement Cycling's Donn Kellogg started thinking about such a ride years ago while driving a truck from Colorado to Interbike.

"I started noticing these sweet gravel roads off of I-70 and thinking, 'Someone needs to do a ride to Interbike.' So I've been thinking about it ever since, and this year things came together to hold the ride finally," Kellogg said.

What came together this year was Clement's launch of a new gravel wheel to complement its growing line of gravel tires, combined with Eddy Merckx Cycles' introduction of a new carbon gravel bike. Merckx and Clement go together like Las Vegas and neon: Eddy himself rode Clement tires to many of his victories and his world hour record.

The result this time was the first-ever Clement Beehive Ride presented by Eddy Merckx Cycles, which wrapped up Monday.

Riders on the Beehive ride were among the first to see and test the new Merckx bike and Clement wheels — the wheels were assembled just hours before the ride started.

Beehive riders also tried early production models of Bont's new gravel-specific shoe, the Vaypor G, which was officially unveiled at Eurobike.

Kellogg began planning the trip months ago. Pro cyclocrosser Jamey Driscoll, a member of the Raleigh-Clement team and a Utah resident, helped scout routes with Clement's Johs Husby, himself a former top 'cross racer.

The route crossed three national parks, several national monuments and a variety of roads and trails, ranging from smooth pavement to washboard, sand, river crossings and punishing rocks. Most of the rides were far from civilization; in some cases the roads had rarely or ever been traversed previously by bike.

For the record, 13 riders on 200 miles of challenging terrain had just five flats and no other mechanicals and no crashes.

The journalists gathered in Grand Junction, Colorado, last Thursday and began riding from Fruita, Colorado, on Friday. The ride wrapped up Sunday in Springdale, Utah, and the crew shuttled from there to Vegas on Monday.

Journalists participated from Adventure Cyclist, Bicycling magazine, BikeRadar, CyclingTips, Road Bike Action, VeloNews and Bicycle Retailer. We were joined on the ride by Merckx national sales manager Heather Rizzi, photographer Meg McMahon, retired pro cyclist Meredith Miller and Suzette Ayotte of Aspekt Brand Communications, who helped organize the ride. Kellogg drove a support vehicle while Western Spirit Cycling Adventures guided and supported the ride.

While not gravel-specific, a variety of other cycling brands provided gear and support for the ride, including Lazer helmets, Castelli clothing, Lezyne lights and tools, Effetto Mariposa tire sealant, Oakley glasses, Silca inflators, Skratch nutritionals and socks from The Athletic.

Topics associated with this article: Interbike

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