Mad Gravel has already seen many changes and we’ve only run the event twice! Prior to the start of the 2022 edition, we were fortunate to get to know Kristine and Steve Johnson, who are amazing ambassadors to the cycling community. Kris and Steve presented to us the idea of The Hemi, and how we can merge that into the Mad Gravel weekend.
What is The Hemi? The Hemi is held in memory of Kristine and Steve’s son Craig, who died in a tragic cycling accident in 2019 in Kansas while racing gravel. Craig was an Air Force veteran, avid cyclist, and founder and President of 3 Feet Cycling. The event carries his nickname “The Hemi” due to the raw power he demonstrated on the bike. The Hemi is not necessarily a memorial event, rather a celebratory event that acknowledges the great sport of cycling. It celebrates the dedication, the work, and the sweet pain we put into the sport and ultimately the dividends and joy we get out of it. And finally, The Hemi is an opportunity to remember those cycling enthusiasts who preceded us, sometimes way too early, but still relished in all that is cycling.
Mad Gravel and The Hemi are part of the Junior Cycling Project non-profit organization. Donations and sponsorships will generate funds for junior development. They are the future of the sport and it’s important to us to support the next generation in the sport of cycling.
Mad Gravel is excited to make The Hemi part of the entire Memorial Day weekend dirt festival, and introduce it on Sunday, where you get to choose from 3 epic Hemi events. The Hemi is a 100-mile route on 100% gravel! The Hemi Five-O is, you guessed it. Finally, the Hemi Hustle is approximately a 30 mile non-competitive gravel ride for those that want to get their feet wet in the gravel world. Regardless of what version you choose, you will be hooked once you do The Hemi!