Top 3 places to ride in the winter sunshine.
The temperatures are gently dropping and the mornings are getting that bit fresher. Armwarmers and a wind jacket are probably your go-to items for a ride, and soon it’ll be your gloves and legs. If riding in the cold isn’t really your thing, you’ll love this months article - our top 3 places for winter riding.
All the important info you need for getting back out on the Trails.
As everyone heads back to work and school after the summer break, we’ve put all the key info together to help you get back on the bike (if you stopped!): Getting (back) on the bike, choosing the right kit, heading off on a bike trip, gravel events to take part in...
Gravel vs Road, what’s the difference?
It’s not really news anymore that gravel is having it’s moment, with all kinds of bikes now available for all kinds of riding. It’s where MTB meets road riding, for a do-it-all bike that can take on a large variety of terrain, with unrivalled versatility. A gravel bike can take you from your daily commute to a long distance trip, via any trail it can find in between. So is a gravel bike just another bike on the market??
Gravel events not to be missed this year
The season’s not over yet! Even though the summer holidays are ending, there’s still some gravel events not to be missed this summer, from races to test yourself against the clock to festivals dedicated to gravel to try it out or even test a bike. Here’s some of the main gravel events that are coming up soon :
3 récits d'aventure à vélo à lire absolument
À lire au bord de l'eau, entre deux sorties à vélo ou sous la tente à lumière de sa frontale, ces trois lectures estivales sauront vous donner envie de partir à l'aventure et d'explorer de nouvelles contrées lointaines. Nous vous avons sélectionné trois livres de voyage à vélo, sous forme de BD, carnet de bord et récit. De la voyageuse solo au voyage entre amis, ces livres transporteront votre imaginaire en Arménie, au Sénégal, en Italie, au Canada et même jusqu'en Chine. Bonne lecture… ou plutôt bon voyage !
Discover the Vosges, through the eyes of Alice, our local yoga master
Alice has lived in the Vosges for the last year and a half. Having grown up in the south west of France she decided to return to her roots at the ripe old age of 35. Searching a connection with the natural world, living by the side of a lake in harmony with nature was a no brainer for her.
How does GravelUp choose where to run their bike trips ?
Right from the beginning our co-founders envisaged adding new destination each year. But not just anywhere! Putting everything together in a new location doesn’t happen overnight, so we thought we’d share a little of our process: 1. Make sure the destination meets our exacting criteria. 2. Get in touch with the various local people and authorities who will contribute to the trip. 3. Make several recce trips. 4. Keep improving the overall experience once the trips are up and running.
The Sierra Morena, a welcome dose of midwinter sunshine
If, like us, you have a real need to prolong your short-sleeve riding season or to get some welcome vitamin D during winter, then you’ll be pleased to know that the GravelUp team invites you on a special trip to the winter sunshine. We’ll be heading to southern Spain and the Sierra Morena Natural Park, just to the north of Andalusia. Far from the resorts of the coastline and the crowds you’ll find yourself in the heart of a unique and protected landscape, riding top notch gravel.
Our tips for riding gravel in Paris
Would you believe us if we were to tell you that you can be in a forest, deep in the heart of nature, and just a few kms from Paris? Adventure is never far away, even if you call Paris home! You just need a good route and the right kit to get out there and make the most of the fresh air just outside the city.
Bike adventures are for men and women alike, as vouched for by our clients.
We’ve had great feedback from our first all female gravel trip in the Morvan, and we’ve got this to report : “Ladies, bike adventures are for you too!” More and more women are booking a gravel bike trip.
Gravel in France: New trails to explore off the beaten track!
Gravel has become one of the most popular ways to ride a bike in France in the last few years. And for good reason, it’s the only bike that has the best of both the worlds of road and MTB. Which means that you, the cyclist, can explore all sorts of tracks and trails without compromising on the tarmac.
5 good reasons to try bicycle travel with our ESCAPE format
After the success of our two-day ESCAPE format in the Morvan, we're officially launching this weekend format in two new destinations in France: the Vosges and the Grands Causses. Discover five good reasons to join us and get your first pedal stroke on a gravel bike.
My GravelUp adventure in the heart of the Grands Causses Natural Regional Park
It was with the impressive Millau viaduct, limestone plateaus and deep gorges as a backdrop that we set off to explore this incredible area, and where it seems you can do almost any outdoor sport. The Tarn and Dourbie rivers meet at Millau, creating an natural amphitheatre, and its from here that our journey begins, on gravel bikes, ready for adventure.
Our GravelUp guides, the vital ingredient of a successful adventure.
We created GravelUp around 4 essentials: our guides for sharing the experience, the routes for adventure, locals for authenticity and of course gravel bikes to enable our adventure. Getting just the right mix of these fundamental ingredients makes for our unforgettable experiences. Here we focus on the first of these: our guides.
How to take care of your rear-end on a multiday bike trip?
Point to point bike trips are becoming more and more popular but, depending on your kit, it can be a rude awakening for certain parts of your body! Saddle discomfort is one of the main issues that can ruin a good weeks cycling. But rest assured, it’s not inevitable. In fact there’s some easy steps you can take that will make all the difference and we reveal all in this article.
Meet with Peter: our most loyal adventurer
Based in Nice and passionate about travel, Peter is an American who has fallen in love with France and all things gravel. Here he chats about his experiences with GravelUp (having already explored a few of our destinations!) as well as how he finds balance in his life through bike trips and mini adventures.
Norway by gravel bike, the route to paradise.
Getting away from the crowds, mass tourism and all it’s trappings is what a bike trip to Norway is all about. Norway is a mythical place for nature lovers, adventure lovers and those in search of some space. In this northern corner of Europe you’ll find spectacular scenery, jaw dropping fjords, majestic mountain, glaciers, waterfalls, crystal clear lakes… the list goes on!
How to prepare for a multi-day gravel adventure?
When we plan to set off on a 3, 5 or even 7-day cycling adventure, it's important to train beforehand to be sufficiently prepared for the physical challenge involved. Spending several hours on the gravel, even if we're not talking about performance or competition here, can be difficult when you're not used to it.
Collaboration : Origine Cycles X GravelUp
GravelUp and Origine join forces to develop the gravel adventure. We have chosen Origine to accompany you in 2023 through the most beautiful mountain ranges of France and Europe, on our 100% gravel trips.
And what do you do during long weekends?
2023 is a rather exceptional year, as it offers many great long weekend opportunities! Why not opt for a weekend of pure gravel adventure in the most beautiful mountain ranges with GravelUp?
Adventure story - The Morvan, a gravel destination off the beaten track
In the heart of the Parc Naturel Régional du Morvan, the van heads straight towards the horizon, with the (future) adventurers on board, eager to give the first pedal strokes of this Up Morvan trip. An air of Indian summer reigns in Saint Brisson, where we arrive around midday. Autumn colors are already in evidence, and temperatures are still mild for November 11th...
Behind the scenes of 2022 with the founders
So how has living the dream been?! We catch up with Aurelien, Olivier and Jean-Baptiste to find out how their first year of GravelUp has been and how far they’ve come since that ride in Shanghai where they first met, all those years ago. Has sharing their passions of travel and cycling with others been all they hoped it would be?? Read on!
How to dress for winter riding?
The key to keeping warm is… staying dry! Gravel is ideal for year round riding, on dry trails and muddy tracks alike. Winter riding needs good kit, and there’s two golden rules to help keep you as warm and dry as possible.
On Course for Corsica ?
Gravel, Corsican style. The Beautiful Isle is well known for it’s rocky coastline with beautiful beaches and mountains aplenty, not to mention it’s culinary delights, traditions and an all round generous nature. Which all makes for an intoxicating mix, so it’s easy to see why we’re so keen to take more trips there !
3 bikepacking movies you must see
Don’t miss the three bikepacking adventure movies we have selected for you! You’ll only want to do one thing after watching them: explore the world on your bike.
How to choose the tyres for your gravel bike
Just as there’s all sorts of surfaces, there’s all sorts of cyclists. Some prefer smooth gravel and tarmac, others the rougher the better, rarely riding on the road. And this is where tyre choice comes into play to make your bike ideal for where you ride. We thought it was time to have a look at the different options so no one gets left behind!
How to choose your first gravel bike?
YOU'VE DECIDED YOU REALLY NEED A GRAVEL BIKE? You’re in the right place! A gravel bike is really the ultimate utility bike! Often used by long distance cyclists, it’s ideal for everyone from leisure riders, commuters and racers alike. Theres hundreds of models on the market now, here’s some points to bear in mind when making your choice.
Interview with Olivier, one of the Gravel Up founders
It all goes back to a catch up with JB in October 2020 - he was still in China with some time on his hands but unable to leave due to covid and we were about to go into our 2nd lockdown here in France.
Which of our destinations is the one for you?
We’ve chosen our three destinations really carefully, each are breathtaking in their own right and make for a unique experience on a bike. Choosing between them is tricky so we thought we’d give you a bit more info on each to help you make up your mind. Read on to find out more.
An adventure retold - welcome to the gravel paradise of Les Grands Causses.
My mother always said that you have to take the plunge, a phrase that is entirely appropriate here. No matter what has brought us here and where we have come from, we find ourselves in the saddle ready explore the roads, gravel and paths less travelled here.
View of the Vosges straight from the saddle.
Trip report of a bike adventure in The Vosges, a fantastic region of forest covered, dome shaped mountains and jaw dropping landscapes.
Gravel bike trips: the essential kit list!
A gravel bike is THE perfect bike for this kind of adventure due to its solidity, versatility and more relaxed geometry. You can load the bike with just the few items of kit that you really need, traveling as lightly as possible with frame, handle bar and large saddle bags. Or add front and/or rear panniers for longer journeys or more comfort.
The other side of the Côte d'Azur
Flashback on a three-day traffic-free adventure beyond the tarmac of the Côte d’Azur. Read how GravelUp and Café du Cycliste joined forces to offer a unique experience of the French Riviera to 8 lucky riders coming from all over Europe.
5 good reasons to ride gravel!
For an adventure, for the challenge, for the feel of the ride...It’s not easy to choose only 5 reasons to ride gravel as it unites some of the best parts of cycling for a unique and addictive discipline!
Interview with GravelUp co-founder, Jean-Baptiste
GravelUp was born of passion, freedom and adventures with friends, Here’s an interview with Jean Baptiste Le Blan, one of the founders of GravelUp and a passionate cyclist to boot, as free-flowing as the singletracks that take him towards adventure.
GravelUp, the story
Discover the story of GravelUp: the brainchild of 3 forty-somethings who, after meeting each other on the other side of the World, decided to throw themselves into a slightly crazy adventure!