Cannonball Fall 2018 Series

The Cannonball Ride Series is back and bigger than ever for this fall with a series consisting of three gravel adventure races throughout southern Illinois. The first in the series will take place at the Southern Illinois Fat Tire Fest on October 13th in beautiful Ozark, Illinois. Then we will head back to Chester, Illinois for the next two events; one on October 27th and the final for the 2018 calendar on November 10th. As you likely know from before Cannonball Gravel Races are epically fun cycling races, held on open roads, completely self-supported, utilizing GPS for navigation and Strava for timing/scoring. No traditional timing clock, no corner marshals, no closed courses; just you, your bike, and your honor.  For this Series we will have FREE meals and drinks included after each event for each participant at great venues to hang out at and reminisce about the day’s race.  Racers competing in at least two of the three races in the Fall series will receive a custom Cannonball Growler,  that includes a hookup on fill-ups from the brewers at St. Nicholas Landmark for not only the first fill up but for future visits too!

Cannonball I at Fat Tire Fest 2018, NOW WITH TWO DISTANCE OPTIONS!!

This morning starts at 10AM, Saturday, October 13th, leaving you plenty of time to drive in from anywhere in the Midwest.  Come fueled up and ready for a challenge, the Gravel Road Race will roll at 10:15AM for the first event of the 2018 Fall Cannonball Series with two mileage options; first option a a 36 mile gravel race with 2300′ of climbing thru the hills and valleys of deep southern Illinois, check out this route here: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28712425.  The second option is a newly added 53 mile ball buster with over 4,000′ of GPS verified climbing (ride with GPS is a 1000′ shy) everything from 20% grade climbs to chunky gravel to some of the most challenging terrain available as you wind between Bell Smith Springs and Jackson Falls, check out this route here: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28697758. This route is not for the faint of heart, you will come back muddy, hopefully not bloody, and well cooked guaranteed!  This course will present the most challenging terrain of any of the previous or remaining Cannonball races for the 2018 calendar with significant elevation, over 3300’ gained within the 53 mile course.  Both races will start and finish at FTF HQ at CampO where a late lunch will be served while first round points are tabulated.

Following lunch and a bit of fun exploring Camp we will host the second annual Gravel Crit World Championships.  Seeing as how we have yet to be copied by someone doing it bigger and better we are going to continue flying the flag of world championship with this very unique 1 mile gravel race course that circles Lake St. Isaac with a combination of gravel, funky road and just a bit of slick rock. Thirty (30) minutes of wheel to wheel racing will result in racers completing over 15 laps, combined with lots of tom foolery results in of the most fun bike races ever.  All Cannonballer’s are invited and encouraged to participate in this event, whether as one of the racers or just part of the audience, you are guaranteed a good time.  Following the Gravel Crit we will serve dinner, some of the best BBQ in soILL, and do a quick awards ceremony for both the Gravel Race and the Gravel Crit before the one day Cannonballer’s head home.

  • The Whole Enchilada: Cannonballer’s are invited to experience the entire Fat Tire weekend, with the opportunity for an additional gravel grinder “opener” on Friday, tons of great outdoor fun, great drinks, great food, mtb riding, hiking, climbing, paddling, live music, cool treehouse accommodations, an awesomely fun adventure race on Sunday; WAY more than just some riding in the woods, the best outdoor adventure weekend and party in all of the MidWest!  Check out the entire event here: www.ftf.bike and if you are interested look for the hookup deal for the Cannonball+FTF package on Cannonball signup page here.

Cannonball II and III from the Landmark, Chester, IL

Come check out our newest Cannonball sponsor, the brand new St. Nicholas Brewing Landmark Restaurant on the Mississippi riverfront in Chester, IL.  The Landmark is serving as race HQ and host for the second and third races of the Fall Cannonball calendar.  For both Cannonball II and III we will launch from their place and more importantly finish at their place, arriving to a phenomenal hot meal and cold drink (included with your race). We have even heard there might be a special Cannonball brew from their microbrewery for racers of age!

Cannonball II

SHORT Course added! The long awaited fall Cannonball II routes for the October 27th race are ready! The Surgeon crew designed two awesome gravel races. The LONG route will be just over 75 mile with roughly 1800 feet of climbing. The SHORT route will cover 29 miles with 1200 feet of climbing.

The Cannonball Short route is perfect for those interested in a “dabble in gravel” or those who don’t want to spend all day crushing it.

Both will roll from Chester on October 27th at 9AM and head North along the Mississippi before making the only significant climb up the bluffs towards Ellis Grove, IL. Just after the climb the short course will peel off for a loop through some great gravel north of Chester and west of Ellis Grove before making their way back to the Landmark Restaurant on the rolling gravel south of Ellis Grove.  The long course will   descend from Ellis Grove back down to the Mississippi levee network which will take them all the way to Fort de Chartres a very cool stone fort built by the French in 1753, who doesn’t love a cool fort mid ride. Festivities at the fort might very well include some extra-curricula’s that will add to everyone’s enjoyment of the day, think photo ops with the shotgun toting hillbilly from the infamous Sauget Cannonball race earlier this year.  We will turn back South from there and head back to the Landmark for a ~75 mile total course with just over 1,500’ of total climbing.

Cannonball III NOW with a SHORT Option too!

We will roll from Chester on November 10th at 9AM heading South, directly into the hills of the southern Illinois and the Shawnee National Forest.  We are providing two route options, a short and challenging 33 miles with just under 2,500′ of elevation and a bit longer route with just over 54 miles, and a super challenging 4,500′ of elevation! (don’t believe RidewithGPS, we verified the elevation)  This will be a course that separates the climbers from the mere mortals. Check out the courses here and remember to sign up early and often!

Long Map: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28859875

Short Map: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28859850

At the conclusion of Cannonball III we will have our overall awards ceremony at the Landmark with a real podium and everything 😊. We will bestow accolades on the top three finishers for each race both male and female and amazing one-of-a-kind custom trophies will be presented to the top three male and female finishers for the overall series.   Everyone who completes at least two of the three Fall Cannonball Series races will receive a custom Cannonball Ride Growler, which you can elect to fill with a selected St. Nicholas microbrew or any other liquid you choose.

Cool Extras

We are also offering event tees and jerseys for those interested.  Event tees will be $15 and jerseys will be $75 and are available for order through October 1.  We will have final art on both in mid-September.  Both the jerseys and the tees will be delivered at the conclusion of Cannonball III at the Landmark or can be picked up from Bike Surgeon any time after they arrive in early November, we will advise all who pre-ordered when they are in house.