Date(s) - 10/16/2021 - 10/17/2021
Lost Coast Gravel Adventure
EL MERO-MERO: 60 MI. 8,500 FT.
EL MEDIANO: 43 MI. 6,900 FT.
EL CHIQUITO: 32 MI. 4,100 FT.
Usal Hopper: Lost Coast Gravel Adventure
North of Westport and south of Eureka lies a seldom traveled ribbon of rugged California coastline accurately called the Lost Coast. Due to the remoteness of the area it’s been impossible to host a cycling event, until now. In partnership with RFFI and Usal Redwoods we will have a unique opportunity to ride on state, county and private RFFI/Usal land. As an effort to showcase their restoration efforts and stewardship of the land and provide the public access for the weekend we will be riding on their 50,000 acres between the Eel River and the Pacific Ocean. Hoppers have always been about adventure and exploration while striving to connect to and create community within the cycling community of northern California. We are thrilled to be venturing north and give you a glimpse into remote Mendocino County. To read more about the history of RFFI and their mission please visit their web page.
We’ve always believed in the importance of viewing the social and environmental impact of our travel and recreation. We are fortunate to live in a beautiful part of the world and need to make the connection between our lifestyles and the impact on carbon emissions. RFFI is doing their part to fight climate change with their carbon sequestration and bio-char projects. This year your registration will include an annual membership to RFFI. (Individual rate $35). We encourage everyone to visit their site to learn more and make additional donations to offset your personal carbon footprint.
There will be three different loops to choose from. The “Mero-Mero” and the “Mediano” will be timed. Only the Mero-Mero will have a podium. The “Chiquito” will not be timed but will give riders a chance to get out and explore the Lost Coast and RFFI land at their own pace. Roads are a combination of hard packed dirt, loose gravel, pavement and weather-beaten, rutted county dirt roads. All routes will start and end on the County Usal Rd. Part of the adventure will be just getting there!
Registration Fee: $125: The increase in the registration fee this year is due to the following factors: 1. Including 1 year membership to RFFI ($35 value individual). 2. Increased cost in services. Registration includes lunch, beer, timing, ride nutrition/hydration, emergency medical support, camping 2 nights (or longer) and guided hike on Sunday for those who wish to join and learn more about RFFI conservation projects.
Mero-Mero: 60 mi. 8500 ft. (w/ 7.5 mi. Hwy 1 pavé) (Route Map coming soon!)
El Mediano: 43 mi. 6900 ft. (w/ 7.5 mi. Hwy 1 pavé)
El Chiquito: 32 miles 4100 ft. (all dirt)
If you’ve read this far you know what the Hopper are all about…adventure, exploration, shred. And, we’re here to make you scratch your head as to what exactly is the “best” bike to ride. We’ve designed an amazing loop to give you a solid glimpse at the Lost Coast and Usal and also include the best of the RFFI gravel roads. If you’re lucky enough to have multiple bikes you will need to decide both bike choice and tires. If you only have one, then ride whatcha got and have a blast! I’ve ridden the Mero-Mero loop on my gravel bike with both Boyd 650b and 47c tires and 700c on 38c. I’ve also done the Chiquito loop on my hardtail mtb bike and there are pros and cons to all these set ups. Whatever your choice there will be sections that will and won’t fit your set up. One thing for sure, you want low climbing gears. There’s a reason this coast mountain range is lost and has no paved roads through it…it’s feakin’ steep!