About GrNY

GrNY is an informal club for gravel riding in the New York metro area. Rides involve dirt and paved surfaces, since it is difficult to string together continuous unpaved routes in our area. The basic idea is to get away from cars and seek gravel where we can find it.

Join us for rides that emphasize:

  • Fun exploration
  • Non-competitive atmosphere
  • No dress code (whether lycra, MTB baggies, or flannel)
  • Pacelining is discouraged, particularly on gravel roads, unless you know your ride partner well.
  • Some members enjoy challenging rides, but the goal is the experience, not speed/stats.

Rides are posted to the GrNY Strava group and often emailed to the GrNY mailing list. Please RSVP via Strava. A free Strava account is all you need.

If you’d like to join the Strava group, where you can RSVP for rides

First click “join group” on Strava. We want to include people who might actually join rides. That’s why we will check that you:

1) live in the broader NYC Metro area (e.g. NY, NJ, CT), and

2) are capable of riding the distance of our shortest rides (35+ miles of hilly terrain).

If your Strava profile says you’re in London, or Paris, Des Moines or wherever – you won’t be approved for membership. And we also won’t approve you for membership if, when look at the stats on your profile, we see that all the rides you’ve logged to Strava are short rides. That said, privacy is an issue and some people have their profiles locked down. Others have never used Strava before. That’s okay.

If your Strava profile doesn’t reflect your location or riding ability, click “join group” then send an email to info@grny.org with a link to your Strava profile or your profile name. If you don’t hear back from that address, you are welcome to email Steve at track.smart@gmail.com. He can also approve your membership to the Strava group.

Once you’re a club member communication via Strava is an issue. Strava has a policy of gradually muting clubs as they grow in size. To get around that problem we’ve created an email mailing list.

To get on the mailing list visit https://grny.org/email-list/ and follow the instructions on the page. We try to keep emails to a minimum. And please realize you have to confirm your email address to be fully signed up – some people miss that step. Check your spam folder if you don’t see the confirmation email within a few minutes.

Finally, if you want to get a sense for the rides we do, we’ve put “ride reports” on our website (https://GrNY.org) for many of our rides.

Celebrating a Year of Gravel Rides — and Happy Holidays!

Hi Folks,

I want to wish everyone in the GrNY group a happy holiday season! My personal end-of-year thoughts and observations are below.

A Year of Rides:
Since April of this year, GrNY has hosted at least 24 group rides. Probably more. That’s a lot of group rides! Particularly, given that two people account for most of the rides that are posted (i.e. Jay and I). The count increases if I include gravel rides where I invited members of GrNY via email or text, but didn’t post a Strava event. These gravel rides spanned a wide range of distances and elevations, from 35-40 miles on rolling terrain to a gravel century (100 miles) with over 10,000 feet of climbing. Looking through my Strava activities, I’ve personally done about 25 gravel rides this year, about half of those as group rides with GrNY.

The General Spirit of GrNY Rides:
GrNY rides are informal, there are no membership fees, and folks are welcome to show up on any kind of bike, in any kind of clothes. Stopping to enjoy the scenery, snap a photo, and/or refuel with a snack, is an expected part of the experience, rather than something that immediately gets you dropped from the rest of the ride. That’s not to say that you should ignore the expected ride speeds that get posted! Some of us like challenging rides, or riding hard, but we are out to enjoy the day, rather than to race or achieve particular speeds/times/power numbers. I want to thank Jay for starting GrNY. I’ve grown to appreciate what he was aiming for.

Do GrNY rides count as “Gravel Events”?
Some of you have told me you treat the longer rides that I post (e.g. 60 – 80+ miles with lots of climbing) as if they are gravel events, which I’ll take as a compliment! They are certainly fun adventures and the courses certainly rival many events in terms of challenge and scenic beauty. Unlike typical events, our rides aren’t declared months in advance and don’t run out of spaces within a few hours of posting. We expect riders to be self-sufficient on the road, rather than have aid stations. We certainly don’t have plans to charge money for rides, despite some of you joking that it would boost turnout by 100-fold — ha! And our rides are small with typically anywhere from two to just over a dozen riders (usually somewhere in between).

Whether these rides are true “gravel events” or not, I appreciate the folks who wake up early or travel some distance to join them!

Winter Rides?
I can’t speak for Jay and others, but I tend to ride year round. I’ll probably continue to post some rides in cold weather. That said, riding in cold weather on closed-for-the-season dirt roads, in areas without cell reception, requires being especially well-prepared. Please be sure that you are ready for winter conditions if you join these rides.

Thanks for a great year everyone! I look forward to riding with many of you in 2022.

Email: track.smart@gmail.com