5 good reasons to ride gravel!
More and more people who love cycling and the outdoors are discovering gravel riding. It’s the freedom to ride where you want, be it on road or on trails, on almost any kind of surface. Simply put, a gravel bike is a cross between a road bike and a mountain bike.
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!
1. For an adventure!
Gravel is adventure in its purest form! The ability to be able to ride anywhere and everywhere is pretty special. You are never limited by where to ride, and you always have choices to make as you see fit. Smooth gravel, technical trails or tarmac, it’s for you to choose.
Gravel bikes are sturdy, adaptable and comfortable, and it’s easy to add panniers or bike packing bags to them, enabling you to head off for a few days or many.
A bike trip is something special, it gives us time to just be and simplifies life away from what can be a stressful daily grind. Ride eat relax repeat!
Discover new areas, stopping for a coffee in a tucked away hamlet and/or a picnic by a river along the way… Whats more, cycling is an extremely environmentally friendly mode of transport placing you in nature. Point to point gravel routes are “slow tourism” personified, allowing you to take your time and be in the moment.
Freedom is the key word for gravel!
2. Because its for (almost!) every kind of cyclist!
No matter what your level, gravel riding is for everyone whether you race and love speed, or prefer to take your time and notice everything along the way.
It’s a sport that you can enjoy at any age and level. Everyone can ride at their own pace and rhythm according to how they feel and their fitness. Theres also a massive range of types of bikes available now with something for those who ride occasionally to those who race, and those who ride long distance journeys in between.
And with e-Gravel bikes now available, almost anyone can enjoy gravel riding. The enormous variety of routes means that there really is something for everyone, no matter what your level.
3. For the feel of the ride!
Moving between on and off road is an integral part of a gravel ride, and that’s what we love!
You will become a master of bike handling, riding on all types of surfaces and use your bike handling skills accordingly. Descending on smooth tarmac, then branching off onto fast gravel tracks followed by a technical section, being able to deal with whatever comes at you without fear is important so that you can make the most of the bike and terrain.
You’ll never get bored as you’ll need to constantly adapt your techniques to deal with the changing terrain, being it pedalling, braking or steering. Tension in your body or sudden movements can lead to a loss of balance or tyre grip andso learning to be precise on your bike is crucial!
4. Gravel is mostly a state of mind.
One word: de-connection. The natural environment is totally different from when we most probably are used to in our daily urban lives. Cars, stress, noise, pollution… daily life can often be stressful.
The good news is that when you’re riding gravel you can leave all that behind, getting away from those sources of stress and replacing them with the sounds of birds, breathing in the fresh air and finding new perspectives.
You can ride where you want, when you want and at the speed you like. And there’s no fixed dress code as long as its comfy to keep you riding - the latest lycra or a Hawaiian shirt and bumbag, your choice!
It’s well known that exercise releases endorphins that improve happiness and wellbeing. Simply put, riding your bike makes you happy! A bike adventure takes this to another level as it’s shared with others. Riding is good of course, but riding with others is even better! Getting together with friends or family for a journey by bike makes for many special moments shared, and means there’s encouragement there when the going gets tough.
And if no-one you know fancies riding, there’s always others ready to share a day (or a few!) on the gravel with you.
5. For a challenge.
Gravel is also a chance to challenge yourself, with you deciding your aim. Daring to do something or go somewhere you may not have thought yourself capable of.
Heading off for a weekend or a whole week on a bike, traversing a mountain range or even a country… with a gravel bike the possibilities are almost endless! The only constraints are respect for the environment and others.
It’s satisfying and invigorating to challenge yourself, taking pride that you came through what might have been difficult at the time!
Comment s’entraîner pour une aventure gravel de plusieurs jours ?
Lorsqu'on envisage de partir pour une aventure à vélo de 3, 5 ou encore 7 jours, il est important de s'entraîner en amont pour être suffisamment prêt à relever le défi physique que cela représente. Passer plusieurs heures sur le gravel, même si ici on ne parle pas de performance ni de compétition, peut être difficile quand on n’a pas l’habitude.
Et vous, vous faites quoi pendant les ponts ?
2023 est une année assez exceptionnelle car elle vous permet de profiter de nombreux graaaands weekends ! Si vous optiez pour un weekend aventure de pure gravel dans les plus belles chaînes de montagnes avec GravelUp !