The Fernie Gravel Grind is a new bike event happening on June 20, 2020 that will showcase Fernie’s great gravel rides and raises funds for Fernie Trails.

Ride for fun, ride for the trails. This is a fondo-style fundraising event with all proceeds going to the Fernie Trails Alliance, and it’s not a race.

Local rider Carter Nieuwesteeg is the organizer of this event and he knows a good ride and has a genuine interest in giving back to what has made his life so cycle focus. The theme “Ride for fun, ride for the trails” exemplifies Carter’s spirit for riding and appreciation of the Fernie environment that propelled him into being an elite racer. Carter’s dad Jerry is behind the Highline 100, Fernie’s annual century ride, and has been a big influence in his cycling career.

Jerry and Carter Nieuwesteeg

Industry has its benefits including creating one of the greatest gravel network of roads in British Columbia. Fernie’s logging and mining activities have created endless gravel rides that have little or no traffic and offer excellent scenery and wildlife sightings. Safety concerns and tranquility have have been transforming many road riders to gravel grinders and this new adventure experience.

Fernie Trails and managed by the Fernie Trails Alliance and all proceeds will help support their efforts to maintain responsible non-motorized trail access on Crown lands and private lands in the Fernie area. A sustainable trail system that contributes to a vibrant, healthy community and the hardworking volunteers need your support.

The Gravel Grind ride will consist of loops through the backcountry starting in Fernie. To be inclusive there will be a 30km, 80km and120km options. The routes will be announced one week prior to the event. There will be no route markings; turn-by-turn directions will be available for download onto a cycling computer and physical copies of the map will also be provided on the day of the event. It’s not a race, there will be no timing—ride at your own pace for the love of the trails!

All bike types are welcome, a cross-country mountain bike or gravel bike is recommended, a standard road bike will not be suitable for the gravel.

This adventure ride has limited registrations, so you best register now before the event is full.

Registration is $50 which gets you:
1. A pre-ride coffee thanks to Rooftop Coffee Roasters.
2. A well stocked feed station.
3. A post ride beverage at the Kodiak Lounge thanks to the Raging Elk Hostel.
4. One kick ass day on the bike and all the warm and fuzzy feelings from donating to a good cause (and so many Strava kudos).

There are $25, $50, and $100 add-ons at registration if you are feeling extra generous and want to show some extra love for the FTA (remember trails don’t build themselves).


About Carter Nieuwesteeg
Born: Jan 1, 1997
Age: 23
From: Fernie BC
Currently living: Victoria, BC.
Disciplines: Cross Country and Cyclocross.
Education: Studying Economics at the University of Victoria (Graduation: 2020, BA Economics). I chose UVic because if there’s one place to get better at biking, its on the island.
Team: Santa Cruz Bicycles Trade Team
First Race Ever: Fernie 3, 2014 .
Years Racing: 6 (this will be my 4th year racing for Santa Cruz Bicycles).
Coach: Keith Wilson
Training locations: I have been doing all of my winter training in Victoria while studying at UVic, I come home each summer in between races. Luckily a lot of my friends at school are also elite racers, so its a pretty unique case to have buddies I can study with and then go hammer bikes together.
Favourite Bike: Santa Cruz Bicycles Tallboy
Favourite Trail: Hyper Ventilation
2020 Event Schedule:
– Whiskey 50
– TransRockies Singletrack 6
– Fernie Gravel Grind
– BC Bike Race
– Downieville Classic
– Canadian Marathon and Cyclocross Championships
– Yak Attack
Interests outside of biking: Fly fishing, downhill skiing, eating ice cream, and organizing the Fernie Gravel Grind.
Who got me into biking: My Dad when I was 6 or 7 years old by dragging me up to the top of Dem Bones in the Fernie Provincial Park. I hated the climb but always forgot about it after the fun descent.

Born and raised in Fernie BC and I grew up riding the local trails since as long as I can remember. My love for riding the trails in my backyard gradually transformed into a passion for racing and the sport as a whole. Cycling has become more than just a part of my life, its determined where I chose to pursue my post-secondary education, how I’ve met some of my closest friends, brought me closer with my family, and the reason why I so heavily believe in giving back to my community.