FROM MARCH 20, 2014:
Riding GravelThis website started last fall after some coercing from Andy at pedal of Littleton to get a gravel ride going in the fall after interest in the spring AntiEpic. It was a last minute decision to get the Pedal 50 and the Greenland Gravel Grinder going after another push be the guy behind Nord Bicycles contacted me about doing something. Those free rides, led to a website, which led to a forum, and then a new website, news, tshirts, and more. Great supporters (see the right sidebar) jumped in and Ridinggravel.com was off and running. It was a function of what others/you wanted. It has never been me pushing anything on anyone. You may or may not have noticed that we’ve (by we I actually mean “I”) been compiling whatever gravel related news comes across my “desk” during the last couple weeks. I will continue to do so, but would like to add in some editorial pieces every once in a while. We (again….by “we” I mean “I”) welcome other guest editorials as well. You interested? Contact “us.” As I eluded to, this website is a one-man show that would not continue to grow without the support of all of those who send info, spread great word of mouth, advertise (please check out the companies on the right sidebar – they are all an active and giving part of the industry), and participate in all of the things that Riding Gravel has going on. I really appreciate all of those who have helped in any way so far. I can’t thank you all enough. The word “community” is sometimes overused, but it also is a good way to describe any group of common interest – running community, cycling community, etc. It’s even more useful in describing the gravel community as it’s a common ground for a very large group of people. I’m proud and excited that you are all coming to the site.
Bike SnobI recently came across a post called “NAHBS: Niches Have all Been Sold” by the Bike Snob about how NAHBS has seemingly lost it’s way, with the niches that it previously filled being eaten up by the big guns. It’s now becoming a place where components makers are releasing new goods. It’s a good read, check it out. The prototype Enve Mountain Fork and the new Challenge tires are two examples of components showing up.
I mean, gravel bikes, for fuck’s sake! It’s a niche within a niche within a niche, yet there are 20 off-the-rack models you’ve got to wade through before you’d even think of ordering one from a builder–and if you do, by the time it’s finished half the shit on it is going to be obsolete. – Bike Snob NYC
You can use whatever you’d likeYou can use any bike to ride and complete most of these gravel events. I don’t think anyone is going to argue that. Sure, there was one guy who rode the 2013 Pedal 50 and the Greenland Gravel Grinder on a dedicated road bike on 23’s. The courses are fairly smooth and he did have at lease a couple flats. But, he did it, and faster than a lot of others who were on “gravel bikes.” The truth is though, the guy probably could’ve finished on a bmx bike too. He could’ve finished on a full suspension mountain bike or a triple chain ring “recreation” bike (yes, someone rode a Cannondale Quick CX and it proved to be a very good and relatively inexpensive option by the way) and been fine.
He could’ve finished on a full suspension mountain bike or a triple chain ring “recreation” bike
Gravel is not a fadNumbers aren’t the main reason I say it’s not a fad. It’s not a fad because there is already a huge group of people out there doing it. Gravel grinding is only the far extreme of the whole group in between mountain biking and road cycling. It means that those going into a bike shop are no longer asked “road bike or mountain bike.” They are asked about the ride. Guitar Ted has definitely been a large part of the discussion on this for a long time. He has some great thoughts about the topic, but I especially like this post.
Yes, it would be a great gravel grinder, but it is more than that. It can be ridden anywhere save for “real” mountain bike trails and should be more stable, more comfortable, and more fun than a “real road bike”, which is designed to be raced. Last time I checked, most people buying bicycles at the shop where I work do not race. Nothing wrong with racing and those who do it, its just that you are in the minority of cyclists. So again, why should these folks even be on a bike designed with a limited use? It’s stupid, really. – Guitar Ted