Tour of Elgin Questions

It looks like the Tour of Elgin is a go for this year

This race has been on my to-do list for a long time. I’ve got a few questions for anyone who has raced it in the past:
Q: What’s the course like?
Q: Is it rideable on a gravel bike with 650b x 47mm tires?
Q: Is it fully self supported or are there aid stations on the course?
Q: Are there any nearby accommodations worth recommending?


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I raced The 120 in 2014 and the singletrack required a true mountain bike. I rented a hotel room in Moncton for the nights before and after. There was no way I wanted to try to drive home to Halifax in the dark after 120k. Some of my friends slept in the fire hall. That probably won’t be an option this year. There were three 40k loops that all went through the centre of town where there was food and water. There was one other food station on a loop but it was at the bottom of a hill and I just couldn’t bring myself to stop. I know that the course has changed but I hear they keep adding more singletrack. Someone who has been more recently should be able to help.

  1. Course is 60% doubletrack, 10 paved, 30% singletrack. 120k / 2200-2500 vert metres but there are shorter distances available.
  2. Rideable on 650 × 47s but wouldnt be nearly as efficient or fast as a mtb. There is a lot of rocky terrain. There is a lot of steep climbing (think 32x50 extended walls) and descending. I think my upper body would give out on a gravel bike first. Not mention that control on greasy, rocky descents would be tougher.
  3. Course is a cloverleaf so you hit the main feed zone/ start finish area every 40 kms. They usually have basic water tables available every 20k too but who knows in the age of Covid
    I’ve done this event many times and the 120 is a solid haul. I’m in the 6-6:30 range so plan accordingly for a long day. I think a lightweight dually is the perfect rig for the job. Without hesitation I’d choose your trail bike with some 650-800 grm tubeless tires before a gravel bike just based on being more comfortable and fun.

I am much slower than Terry. It took me over 8 h. Definitely was glad to have a full squish trail bike with 2.3s, but if you’re racing it then an XC bike would be best I suppose. A gravel bike would make the couple non technical climbs faster but I would have lost time on the singletrack and I think I would have terrified myself on a sketchy descent or two.