Third-annual Galactic Grinder challenges cyclists

Third-annual Galactic Grinder challenges cyclists

Aztec Adventures hosted the third-annual Galactic Grinder gravel cycling event Saturday, attracting off-road cyclists from around the Four Corners region for 9, 35, or 50 miles among the mesas, washes, and singletrack outside of Aztec, N.M.

Toward the end of their Galactic Grinder otherworldly orbits, riders got to take in the out-of-this-world Alien Run trail system, the namesake for the event.

Hilly terrain out on the orbits meant the total elevation gain on the 50-mile course of just over 4,500’.  Some sections of the lunar landscape were sandy and challenging at times while other sections on roads were  “glazed” by traffic and then baked under the New Mexico sunshine. This made for a fast pace in those areas of the galaxy. The new location in Cedar Hill allowed everyone to spread out and warm up with some of the local trail lines on the property.

Galactic Grinder 2024 Overall Results

For full Results click here.

50-mile loop

  1. Logan Lewis, age 19
  2. Cobe Freeburn, age 22
  3. Brent Winebarger, age 46

35-mile loop

  1. Caruso Shanafelt, age 21
  2. Jesse Frizzell, age 43
  3. Michael Montgomery, age 40

9-mile loop

  1. Cooper Wells, age 10
  2. Paxton Wallace, age 15
  3. William Cockrell, age 14

Galactic Grinder will be followed up with Gas Field Grinder on June 8th in Downtown Aztec and Holy Grit will be based out of Wines of the San Juan in Blanco. Aztec Adventures encourages participants of all abilities to partake in its events–which show off its ethos of Go Fast, Go Slow, Just  Go. Founder Neil Hannum has extensive experience exploring the area via bicycle and seeing what’s soon to be known as world-class cycling terrain. In 2021, Hannum joined forces with recent Fort Lewis College graduate William Farmer, his cousin Haden Cox, and the rest of Will’s extended family along with a small group of volunteers to create what are now mainstay events on the region’s cycling calendar. Often overshadowed by the famed trails and cycling community in Durango, Colo., San Juan County is a hidden paradise of mountain biking and gravel riding just waiting to be discovered.

Registration for the Gas Field Grinder is now open. Riders who register for all three upcoming gravel events receive 20 percent off of registration. To learn more about these events, please visit

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