The "Death March" is a classic deep woods loop that has long been the testing ground for up & coming racers and seasoned pros alike. With the Death March Revival, we've added more challenge to the original loop and set it up as an individual time trial that you can attempt at any time. Check out the details below and use the registration form to sign up for your turn to take it on!
To be clear, all of the routes we offer at Tennessee Gravel are free, just as there is no charge to ride in the national forest. With our time trials, we are simply taking a few of our hardest routes and turning them into an organized challenge that we hope adds a little more fun and inspiration (and perspiration!) to the experience of riding in the woods. There's still no charge to ride these particular routes. The registration fee for each of the time trials covers our costs in providing the structure for the challenges (website, leaderboards, etc.), the rewards for taking on the challenges (t-shirts, patches, etc.), and putting on the annual fall invitational event. Any money leftover goes back into our efforts to promote bikepacking and cycling adventure in the beautiful Southern Blue Ridge Mountains!
The Death March Revival is an individual time trial (a timed solo ride) covering 88 miles with over 12,000 feet of climbing. The course is close to 100% gravel and runs deep in the woods of southeast Tennessee and northwest Georgia. With no resupply stops, the DMR is a true test of self-sufficiency and determination!
As an individual time trial, you're free to ride whenever you want. Just make sure you've registered with us prior to the ride so that we can track you on our ITT Leaderboard and reward you for your effort!
Riding the route is free anytime, but if you want to get on the official ITT Leaderboard, you will need to register for $40. Everyone who registers will also receive the most up-to-date route map, a Death March Revival t-shirt, and a Death March Revival patch (assuming you finish). Your registration fee also counts towards the special invitational race that we'll hold the first Saturday in November for the top 50 finishers of each of our ITTs!
Mulberry Gap also has a wide variety of awesome lodging options, from primitive camping to luxury cabins and everything in between. Make a weekend of it at Mulberry Gap! Click here to book your lodging!
There are two ways to have your ITT verified for placement on the ITT Leaderboard. You can submit a Strava file to us after the ride or you can set up tracking with Trackleaders.com which will allow your friends and family to watch your progress "live" during your ride. Please contact Trackleaders at least a week prior to your intended ride date. (Allow more time if you need to rent a "Spot" tracking device from them.)
SUPPORT & WAYFINDING
The Death March Revival is a self-supported individual time trial. It is imperative that you familiarize yourself with the route prior to attempting the ride and that you prepare a nutrition & hydration plan. Please note that there is almost no signage on the route. We will provide you with the most up-to-date route map after you register for your use during the ride.
The Death March Revival can be ridden with either a gravel bike or a hardtail mountain bike. Because there are some rough sections of forest road on the route, a hardtail mountain bike seems to be the most popular choice. Check out our DMR Bike Gallery to see bikes that have been used for the challenge by past riders.
Everyone who registers and completes the time trial will be placed on the official ITT Leaderboard showing completion times. The top 50 finishers on the Leaderboard of each of our ITTs as of midnight June 30, 2021, will qualify for a special invitational race the first Saturday in November on a course that won't be revealed until the morning of the race!
CHAMPIONS BELT BUCKLE
The rider with the fastest time at the end of each season (July 1st thru June 30th) will be rewarded with a custom Death March Revival Champions Belt Buckle!
If you're not interested in racing the course, the Death March Revival also makes a beautiful bikepackiing adventure! Click here for a couple of bikepacking versions of the route - "The Revival" and "The Death March"
- In keeping with DMR tradition, we will be awarding finishers with either a sunset or lunar patch. To earn the coveted sunset patch, you must finish under 10 hours!
- John Wiygul 12/19/20: 7h-13m
- Randy Kerr 12/11/20: 7h-33m (singlespeed)
- Bruce Stauffer 11/7/20: 8h-18m
- James Ebert 11/21/20: 8h-23m
- Austin Sullivan 11/22/20: 8h-40m
- Carey Lowrey 11/27/20: 9h-11m
- Jeremy Hoff 10/25/20: 9h-18m
- Stephen Lebovitz 11/14/20: 10h-6m
- Ali Whittier 11/14/20: 10h-48m
- Monica Desjardins 11/14/20: 11h-9m
- Amy White 8/22/20: 11h-28m
- Michael Rasch 11/14/20: 11h-40m
- Canaan Barrett 11/14/20: 11h-42m
- Audrey Tangye 11/14/20: 12h-15m
- Jennifer Braddock 11/14/20: 12h-17m
- Justin Shealey 11/14/20: 12h-30m
- Chad Ponvelle 11/14/20: 12h-55m
- Bill Mondock 11/14/20: 13h-48m
- Susan Burkley 10/31/20: 14h-8m (singlespeed)
- Jennifer Davenport 11/14/20: 15h-4m
- Sheena Sheffield 12/11/20: 15h-13m
- Whitney Stanley 11/14/20: 15h-17m
- Nani D' Ettorre 12/11/20: 16h-55m
Individual Time Trials are all about self-sufficiency and a level playing field. To be eligible for a recorded time and placement on the Leaderboard, you must abide by the following rules:
1. You must take a picture of your bike computer right before you start and right after you finish. The pictures need to show the time of day and the mileage.
2. The route must be ridden in one unbroken stage.
3. No drafting at any time.
4. No stashed caches along the route.
5. No sharing supplies between riders.
6. No outside assistance with navigation.
7. No motorized transport or hitch-hiking. You must complete the route under your own power.
8. You are allowed to leave the official route at any time as long as you return to the route within 100 feet of the point that you left the route.
9. No support crews. You can only receive support from local businesses on-site during their normal business hours.
10. You must have a contingency plan in place before you start the ride in case of emergency or if you need to quit. You are responsible for your own safety and well-being out there.
TRAIL MAGIC: Trail Magic is an unexpected occurrence that lifts a rider's spirits and inspires awe and gratitude. During an ITT, obtaining an item from another person can only be unsolicited and accidental, otherwise, the receipt of assistance or supplies by individuals when it's not available to all riders reflects a lack of self sufficiency which renders an effort not self-supported. In short, you can't ask for Trail Magic. You can only pray for it!
Registration is temporarily closed but will reopen soon!