The NCC HAC Gravel Metric
We are lucky to have some friends in the bicycling world who know how to do things right.
If you're not doing anything on May 30th (and we know you're not you slack-jawed dingleberry), get yourself to DeKalb, Illinoize for this:
Tobie and his band of goofballs are good eggs and you'll be a better person for having met and ridden with them.
Conveniently, they also run a bike shop. So, if you need a bike (say, a Surly) they can sell you one with both bells and whistles. If your current pile don't run good, they can make it run good. If you don't have a bike and don't want one, they can probably give you a buck on their handlebars.
More info here: http://nccyclery.wordpress.com/