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Cyclists grind it out in Castell on April 10

The 2021 Castell Grind, a gravel road bicycle race, starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 10, at the Castell General Store, 19522 RR 152 in Castell. Courses are the 100-kilometer Full Grind, the 75-kilometer 3/4 Grind, and the 50-kilometer Half Grind. File photo

The hills of the Castell area in Llano County come alive with the sound of bicycle tires crunching on gravel during the annual Castell Grind.The 2021 event is Saturday, April 10. It starts at 9 a.m. at the Castell General Store, 19522 RR 152 in Castell. The self-supported, endurance bicycle race features the 100-kilometer Full Grind, the 75-kilometer 3/4 Grind, and the 50-kilometer Half Grind — it’s cyclist’s choice.

Not the typical road race, the Grind winds through mostly rural gravel roads and some paved county roads. Cyclists are on their own: Event organizers do not allow support vehicles. Participants must pack enough food, water, and gear for the entire ride.

The Full Grind course is a figure eight, returning to Castell at the mid-point for a mandatory check station, which gives riders a chance to rest and refuel. The 3/4 Grind goes north of Castell for a large portion before cutting back through town in the 12.1-mile final leg. The Half Grind uses the same route south of Castell as the Full Grind.

Roads will remain open to traffic during the race.

The top five men and top five women win awards, but riders can make it an enjoyable trip without the competition. However, officials remind participants that it is a true endurance event and they need to be up to the challenge.

Entries are limited, but more than 500 cyclists have participated in past events. Registration closes Saturday, April 3.

editor@thepicayune.com

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