Percentage: 80% gravel 20% road
Style: Gravel roads with some short single track sections
The Century CX tour is an event organised by Ålems Cykelklubb and in collaboration with the Mönsteräs Municipality and the charity group
Suicide Zero ( www.suicidezero.se )
“We ride together for those who suffer alone”
I caught up with the event organiser and route designer Oscar Ekstam ( @oscarekstam on instagram ) to find out more.
GRVL: Tells us about the route you design for the 160km ride. How do you come up with the route and decide where it goes?
Oscar: Living in Mönsteräs I love getting out and exploring the countryside. I often find my way down dead ends and have to cross fields and streams but when I find a great section, I try to incorporate it into a route. The first event was 3 years ago so this coming year will be the third. I particularly liked the route from the first year, 2018. I wanted to have it as a water edition, so the route crossed over the Emån and Alsterån rivers and their tributaries and lakes something like 30 times. Småland has some of the best gravel roads in the country so its a great place to host such an event.
GRVL: How does the tour work? Is it a free for all or how do you organise the event?
Oscar: There’s a starting fee and at least 160kr goes to charity (one krona for each kilometre). All the money left over after buying the food and fika etc it will be added to charity as well. It’s a non profit to raise awareness for mental illness and the high amount of suicides in Sweden.
The tour starts at 9am and we break the participates up into 3 groups. Those who will cycle at 30km per hour, 25km per hour and 20km per hour. We keep the groups together and leave nobody behind. We have breaks along the way and there is a support car with each group. There’s Fika and coffee stops along the way which are maned by the Suicide Zero volunteers and then pizza and a swim in the local swimming pool at the end.
GRVL: How hard is the route?
Oscar: The route is 160km long, or 100 British miles. The 2018 tour was 80% gravel and some short sections of single track. The route can be done on 28mm tyres, but we recommend at least 33mm and over 40mm is obviously more comfortable.
A big thank you to Oscar and all the hard work for our gravel community and his chosen charity, Suicide Zero. Looking forward to getting the information for the 2020 edition.
The Century CX tour is obviously a long one but for those not wanting to ride the full 160km the 2018 route can be broken down into two separate rides. The northern loop would be 80km and the southern loop 90km.