Gravel grinders are the current rock stars of the amateur cycling world. These grueling, mostly off-road, but not quite mountain bike races, challenge man and machine against ruthless terrain, leg-searing elevation, and nearly every form of weather Mother Nature can dish out. Judging from their rapid rise in popularity — currently the fastest growing event in the sport — cyclists can’t get enough of them. They’re so popular, in fact, that some events now span an entire weekend, offering live music, games, expos, and tons of stuff that both your racing and non-racing travel companions can enjoy. Here are a few to put on (and check off) your list.