PLAY Roanoke Hosts Carvins Cove’s First Gravel Race: Happy Valley Grit

Happy Valley Grit, the first gravel bike race to take place at Carvins Cove, is happening December 10. This is a great opportunity to try your hand at a local gravel race while catching killer views of Virginia’s Blue Ridge usually obscured by foliage. This is an approachable bike race open to all skill levels and surrounded by one of the most fun, supportive communities around (it’s got “Happy” in the name after all!).

On a winter day, a mountain biker does wheelie on gravel road.

Kerry Werner at Carvins Cove


You’ve got two route options to choose from:

This is an out-and-back route on Happy Valley Fire Road with 720 feet of elevation gain and perfect for someone looking to dip their toes into gravel racing.

This is an out and back route with a whopping 2,690 feet of elevation gain. The route follows the 15-mile route and then heads up Brushy Mountain Fire Road to the top of Buck Trail before heading back the same way.


Visit PLAYRoanoke’s site to get all the nitty GRITty details of this exciting new race. Entry is $65, and while the sweatshirt deadline has passed, we do have a little gift for you. When you register, enter friendofplay at checkout for $5 off your race entry.

We look forward to seeing many of you out there grinding it out on the gravel on December 10. Happy racing and be sure to tag @roanokeoutside in your race photos!