PENINSULA ADVENTURE SPORTS: Gravel Unravel returns to Quilcene with more than 300 cyclists expected

David Goetze
Cyclists ride around Worthington Park in Quilcene as part of the Bon Jon Pass Out in 2023. More than 300 cyclists are expected to descend on Quilcene this weekend.

David Goetze Cyclists ride around Worthington Park in Quilcene as part of the Bon Jon Pass Out in 2023. More than 300 cyclists are expected to descend on Quilcene this weekend.

QUILCENE — The biggest gravel race in Jefferson County returns this Saturday in the hills and forests between Quilcene and Blyn.

The Bon Jon Pass Out is put on by Peninsula Adventure Sports in partnership with Quilcene Historical Museum. It is the second of three races in the Gravel Unravel series. The races in the series are produced by Night Owl Cycling (Kingston), Peninsula Adventure Sports (Port Angeles), and LaVogue Cyclery (Hoquiam) and presented by sponsor Eleven Winery in Bainbridge Island.

More than 300 cyclists, the biggest crowd for the Bon Jon in four years, are expected to compete in three different races originating out of Quilcene, including Ted King, a retired pro road cyclist who last rode for UCI ProTeam Cannondale-Garmin and now rides gravel bikes. The race begins and ends at Worthington Park in Quilcene.

A cyclist is caked in mud during rainy conditions in the 2022 Bon Jon Pass Out in the hills above Quilcene. (Matt Sagen/Cascadia Films)

A cyclist is caked in mud during rainy conditions in the 2022 Bon Jon Pass Out in the hills above Quilcene. (Matt Sagen/Cascadia Films)

The Gravel Unravel has moved around somewhat with races in the Sol Duc area near Forks in the past. There was a Gravel Unravel race, the Gamble Graveller in Kitsap County near Port Gamble on April 20 and the third of the three-race series, the Why-Not-Chee, takes place around Wynoochee Lake on the southern edge of Olympic National Park on July 20.

The Bon Jon Pass Out goes over Bon Jon Pass and has three different routes in the rugged hills northwest of Quilcene. The long course contains multiple passes.

Port Townsend’s Social Fabric, formerly Discovery Bay Brewing, will provide beer for the beer garden at Worthington Park and Brinnon’s Half Way House Restaurant will cater the event for bikers and attendees.

The Gravel Unravel has both competitive and non-competitive Gran Fondo-style divisions. All cyclists are welcome to give the Gravel Unravel a try on their own terms. Mountain bikes and e-bikes are welcome in the non-competitive divisions and mountain bikes are allowed in all divisions.

The Bon Jon Pass Out consists of three courses:

• A 32-mile short course that goes in a circular route to the Mount Townsend trailheads. This course involves 4,000 feet of total elevation gain. The high point of this race is 3,591 feet. This course contains a very short 6.2 percent climb. Start time 9 a.m.

• A 55-mile medium course that goes all the way north to Country Paw Resort. This course involves a total of 6,000 feet of elevation gain and tops out at an elevation of 3,591 feet with another pass of 2,946 feet. This course contains an 8.4 percent climb. Start time 8:30 a.m.

• A brutal 80-mile-long course that goes nearly all the way to Blyn. This course involves a total of 9,000 feet of elevation gain and tops out at 3,591 feet and then another pass at 2,964 feet. This course contains an 8.6 percent climb, then a grueling 16.8-mile, 6.3 percent climb. Start time 8 a.m.

Showers are forecast for Saturday so riders should be bring a rain jacket and other appropriate clothing.

Snacks, water and sports drinks will be available at several support stations along the three courses.

Racing categories include open, open masters (45+), open super masters (60+), non-binary, women’s open, women’s masters (45+), women’s super masters (60+), juniors (under 18) and single-speed.

Registration is still open at https://tinyurl.com/BonJon2024.

Peninsula Adventure Sports also puts on other endurance events such as the GOAT Run on Sept. 7, the Big Hurt in Port Angeles on Sept. 28 and the Salt Creek 24 Oct. 26-27 at Salt Creek Recreation Area.

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Chris DuBois battles the elements on the road during Saturday’s Gravel Unravel in the mountains northwest of Quilcene. DuBois, of Seattle, raced on the 55-mile-long course. (Dan James/Peninsula Adventure Sports)
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