Mixed terrain cyclists are blessed to have many options these days to explore new areas and ride dirt and gravel with friends. The promoters behind the incredibly successful Nutty Cross are back with their gravel event, called the Flannel Grinder, to offer West Coast cyclists a compelling early spring option.

The Flannel Grinder started all the way back in April 2017. The event was a success and jumpstarted the Flannel Grinder event. Though only about three dozen people showed up, the numbers quickly grew and for 2023, there will be a cap of 200 people.

Pro-cyclocross Cody Kaiser, known for his gravity-defying hops, takes us through what it was like on the very first Flannel Grinder.

The last time Flannel Grinder took place was back in 2019. Because of the pandemic, the event was not held in the last three years. 2020 was a bumpy year for Boundless Locomotion as its event was postponed and eventually canceled. But the wait is over, as the Flannel Grinder will be coming back on March 25, 2023 at Meadow Vista, CA, near Auburn.

Come prepared for amazing scenery, the chance of flat tires, and tacos for lunch!

For those that have not attended a Flannel Grinder, but have attended Nutty Cross, Flannel Grinder is sure to offer a similar vibe.


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See the announcement from Boundless Locomotion below for the March 25, 2023 gravel event.

Flannel Grinder Is Back!

Boundless Locomotion’s Flannel Grinder is back for 2023!

Come out and ride in your favorite flannel and plaid outfits. Of course, if you want to come out in your spandex or Hawaiian shirts we will not judge you in the least.

We recommend a gravel/adventure/cyclocross bike with nice big tubeless tires. Tire specifics depend on conditions and weather but you’ll want something you’re comfortable riding on a dirt/gravel descent with manageable rolling resistance for the pavement.

All bikes are welcome and doable so just come along and run whatchu brung! Just remember to bring tubes and some basic tools because there is a chance you may have an incident out on the course. If you choose to ride a road bike you should probably start with some fresh rubber and try to fit some big ones on there.

Flannel Grinder

40-50% of this ride is on gravel/dirt/broken pavement with the rest being on good pavement.

We are offering two route options this year:

The normal route: 42 miles 6k ft of elevation (est. ride time: 3-4 hours)

The longer route: 60 miles 8k ft of elevation (est. ride time: 4-6 hours)

Choose wisely. Both are tough routes!

Early registration is strongly encouraged! We will be capping the event at 200 riders.

Register here.

Some notes about the day.

Flannel Grinder Support:

We will have aid stations out on the course with water, drink mix, and some light snacks.

Please come prepared to change a flat!

We are on mixed terrain and the probability that you will flat on the course is high. Make sure your equipment is ready (good rubber, newer brake pads, thoroughly checked drive train). We recommend a tubeless set-up from our favorite bike shop: Kinetic Cycles in Sacramento.

Flannel Grinder

Post ride:

  • Lunch will be provided.
  • Tacos! Yes, the same ones from prior years 🙂
  • Keep an eye on our social media pages for various updates leading up to the event.

Flannel Grinder

Flannel Grinder Ride Info:

  • Dust off those flannels and get ready to ride some mixed terrain.
  • Start/Finish:

Meadow Vista Park
1101 Meadow Vista Rd. Meadow Vista, CA
8 Miles north of Auburn

  • Start time: 9:00 am
  • Check-in will open at 7:30 am