Gravel bikes have made the job much easier though, the control you get with disc brakes and what bike gurus can do with modern carbon fibre works like magic. We tell you some of our favourites, This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google. The UK is now a significant gravel scene, its growth driven by cyclists looking to escape busy roads and find the path less travelled. You’ll need to plan ahead. In fact it possesses more miles of unpaved roads than it does paved.Â. There’s much more besides that too, so you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to a gravel deep dive. You can unsubscribe at any time. I first rode this whole route in October 2017 but it came together bit by bit over the previous year, just exploring trails, using maps and routing tools such as Komoot, realising there are paths here and bridleways there and connecting it all together. I’ve often considered riding home but once you sit down on the sea front and enjoy a few beers the urge to ride back subsides exponentially! You need that to get back down to the Pennine Bridleway into Hayfield. The Centennial State is front and centre of the gravel boom and with good reason. Circa 5,000 years old, it’s at least got an excuse. The 100-mile route I’d requested – based on what I was used to on the road bike … Ride into the Isle of Purbeck, one of the most biodiverse regions of the UK. There’s a section around Guildford through farmlands that gets very squishy in the wet and you need the most grippy tyres you can find. It’s home to desert, mountains and a rather big lake. The Mendips are an ideal spot for an over-night bikepacking adventure. Further south is the Irfon Valley, which in turn opens up the dirt tracks of the Towy Valley. April 17-18 2020. We want to show off how great the gravel riding is here. Many routes will pack in several thousand feet of climbing. Mixing forest roads with cycle paths, quiet country roads and some single track, it passes mountains and lochs and sees riders enjoy both woodland coastline. It provides adventure, solitude, and dirty fun away from heavily trafficked roads. The final half of the route, the Downs Link, is well documented, but the challenging bit was connecting that with our start at Hampton Court and it took some trial and error to hook it up. With miles upon miles of off-road gravel routes to be discovered, this is an ideal location for some epic adventure cycling. The Pirate Cycling League announced a new event to Gravel Worlds 2021. Colorado combines wide open spaces with big skies and mountain vistas. The Ridgeway is more popular with walkers than cyclists, and you’re still more likely to see mountain bikers than gravel bike … Are you a gravel convert? These are the roads that helped elevate gravel riding from a bourgeoning discipline enjoyed by a few die-hards to where we are today. The following routes have been designed and tested by Bikepacking Scotland. It’s amazing gravel country, with fun, fast descents and grind-it-out hills. But armed with a gravel bike, a map and a sense of adventure and the desert soon becomes an oasis.Â, Where are the best spots to go gravel riding both in the US and in the UK? From here it meanders alongside the Hudson River mixing largely flat terrain with a few technical sections.Â, >>> Preparing for your first gravel race: what to know and do, Riding to the end of the trail at the spectacular Croton Dam doesn’t have to be the finish. It’s now a National Trail, open to cyclists all the way up to the river Thames – beyond that, there are fewer opportunities for two wheels, so our route ends in Goring-on-Thames. You don’t want to roll a road bike down a singletrack, for example, and you don’t want to ride a downhill mountain bike … The Cambrain Mountains are dubbed the Desert of Wales. When a cycling event itemises a survival blanket and a whistle on its list of essential gear, it means business. Get £10 off the fantastic 1000W Cooks Professional Stand Mixer, Whip up some of your best bakes yet with this powerful and easy-to-use stand mixer. Similarly, the terrain could involve rocky single track accents, sapping your legs further still. View The Classics But in return you’ll be rewarded with a view of the American West few get to enjoy. Staying on forest tracks and keeping your eyes glued to the wonderful views over the Trossachs ahead, you drop past the brilliantly-named Loch Drunkie to Loch Venechar for yet more speedy gravel trails along the waterfront. With 20 years of stage race experience, TransRockies goes ‘all in’ on gravel for 2021 Panorama, B.C. Don’t discount a few stream crossings and a bit of hike-a-bike, too. >>> Gravel v cyclocross bike: what’s the difference? Dry conditions and tires north of 40mm will make the going far more enjoyable. It’s good to have to use your skills again, because modern mountain bikes are skill compensators. I would do it on my cyclocross bike before even mountain bikes existed, and we’d jump off and carry our bikes over any bits that they couldn’t handle. Made accessible via its vast network of traffic-free dirt roads is what makes it a dream for cyclists. I’ve ridden it in decidedly damper conditions and the weather makes such a difference. There’s singletrack here, too. Be prepared to sign up early though, 2020 registration is already sold out. Adding a gravel segment or route is easy. Many of its nearby gravel routes can be reached by riding from from the city, but we recommend using a train to escape the sprawl and doing away with having to ride junk miles. Wayland’s Smithy burial tomb, just off the main track just beyond Ashbury, has 1,000 years even on Avebury’s stone circles, built in around 3,590 BC. Ancient byways traverse the countryside; gravel roads forged by farmers criss-cross through farmland; forest trails carve open new riding routes; and national parks are home to tracks rarely seen and even rarely ridden.  Zion, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef National Parks all provide plenty of unforgettable gravel routes suited to the more experienced adventurer. It slowly morphs from gentle gravel riding that anyone could do to a point where you really need to think about your bike and equipment – it’s wide, tubeless tyre and mountain bike shoe terrain. Tuesday 26 September 2017. Despite the highest point being 475m, the course also packs in around 3,800m of climbing, about the same as the Fred Whitton Challenge. The route I’ve shared below has elements of the Yorkshire True Grit course, but we can’t share the whole route because it’s pieced together with bits of private road that aren’t open at any other time of year. Let us know in the comments below. This equates to a sheer variety of routes that is hard to match, with rides for all ability levels. The farm and forest roads of Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Minnesota provided the backdrop for many of gravel’s formative races. Start point: Brockley. Britain's Best Selling Road Cycling Magazine. Once there, you’re not quite done, as you turn off up a cobbled climb towards Kinder Reservoir. Britain may not have the extensive network of gravel roads found in the US and other parts of the world, but there’s still plenty of opportunity to head out into the wild, from the prehistoric Ridgeway route in the south of England, to the forest tracks of the Trossachs in Scotland. If you’re looking for a scenic country ride away from the constant flow of traffic, then some of the UK’s railway cycling routes might be up your street. Riding here is, naturally, hot work. I saw one moving vehicle all day, but just note that it might not be that way at other times of the year. More importantly, they are a lot of fun to ride. London to Brighton Off-Road series - choose from cycling this classic route by day or through the night - now with gravel and mountain bike options. Kielder Castle Forest Park in Northumberland is the venue for Dirty … In the 1960s, over 5,000 miles of railway lines were axed following the ‘Reshaping of British Railways ‘ report, Dr Richard Beeching (commonly known as The Beeching Report). Gravel bikes also have the potential to become a contender for the near-perfect commuter bike in the UK. The sandy roads west of Wichita in south-central Kansas are where The Open Range is held, an annual event showcasing the region’s gravel credentials. The state boasts a number of significant gravel events that showcase the variety of gravel riding available. We have ~100 routes on our worldwide bikepacking routes map. It cut its teeth early as a serious mountain bike destination, making its rise on the gravel scene unsurprising. If you’re interested in the ancient stones of Avebury, there’s plenty else along the trail for history buffs, including the Iron Age forts of Barbury Castle (where the National Trail and original Ridgeway diverge for a period) and Liddington Castle. Land access in Yorkshire generally isn’t that good and we work really hard to convince landowners that we’re not going to cause any damage or that there’ll be issues with grousing birds. CX riders and mountain bikers have long used the network of trails in Leigh Woods to hone their skills. After a quick (or not so quick depending on your legs) feed in Aberfoyle, you take to the open tracks again heading south for the second half. Established in 1992, every issue is packed with expert reviews of the latest road bikes and gear, inspirational routes and rides, evocative features that take you inside every aspect of cycling and unmatched nutrition, fitness and training advice. The Chilterns Challenge - a relaxed and friendly, signed and supported cycling event based in our local stomping ground County and area cycling guides . Variety nicely mixes with familiarity in this part of the country. Other nearby gravel getaways include Harriman State Park, near Sloatsburg, and Minnewaska State Preserve, near New Paltz. >>> Should your next bike be a gravel bike? The path can be heavy going in places, with plenty of large rocks and rutted sections. Like Scotland, Wales offers gravel cyclists a chance to get out and ride in some pretty remote areas. Add Route. The village of Rhayader serves as an accessible gateway to the Elan Valley. I think it’s the sheer variety as to why it’s so special. Here’s some of our favourite spots. Once you’re over that you’re into typical Peak District heather moorland. This Hayfield route is not what I’d call a beginner’s route. A 200km route it takes in the high plains and the Gypsum Hills and proves that Kansas gravel is as varied as it is extensive.Â. The Dirty Reiver’s roads are open all year round, but on the day of the event, the organisation makes a point of taking you away from harvesting and industry going on at the time. It’s really quite steep at its lower part: 1:1 gearing is essential, so a 34t chainset with a 34t big rear cog. According to Gravel Worlds co-promoter, Jason Strohbehn, the self-supported Long Voyage will challenge the most adventurous of […] Made accessible via its vast network of traffic-free dirt roads is what makes it a dream for cyclists. The Cheshire Cycleway is a 283km (176 miles) way-marked circular route around the county of Cheshire covering a wide variety of terrain ranging from steep climbs in the Peak District, through a network of quiet country lanes across to the Wirral Peninsula. We’ll take riders up Newtondale and Cropton Forests, which are unique due to being on hillsides, so you have these amazing vistas. Take note of the facilities because this figure-of-eight ride passes back through the town at the halfway mark, allowing you to stock up on supplies before you embark on round two. The Routes Map. Classic Routes. Avebury has a National Trust car park, costing £7 all day. Cycling in Kent is one of the most enjoyable ways to explore more of this part of England. Click on the map to add points to the route. Many of its nearby gravel routes can be reached by riding from from the city, but we recommend using a train to escape the sprawl and doing away with having to ride junk miles. The Go East Lothian Trail At 63 km the Go East Lothian Trail is perfect for families, microadventures or a long day ride. The route below is an almost entirely flat route along towpaths, old railway line, a bit of singletrack and gravel roads, though we do a hilly route with another 800m of climbing that goes over the North Downs, rather than skirting around. We will publish new routes here regularly. The first half makes use of National Cycle Route 7 north as it winds up through magnificent, towering mature woodland on forest tracks, topping out after a stiff 250m climb at the summit of Duke’s Pass. It’s a point-to-point route, so unless your legs are feeling good and you fancy a ride back to London from Brighton, you’ll need to get the train. But now the equipment has finally caught up and is keeping pace with our demands and our imagination. The ability to ride miles of winding country lanes before hitting hilly dirt tracks was an option that was never really open to roadies on 25mm tires or mountain bikers on full-suss machines. Unless you’re one of those oddities who embraces wet weather, it’s best to ride the Ridgeway on a dry, bright day because the chunks of actual gravel are sparing and, on soggy days, it’s infamous for turning into a hellish quagmire of Glastonbury-on-a-wet-year proportions. Narrow and occasionally rocky, it demands attention, so make sure that you’re ready for it. Sign in to manage your newsletter preferences. These distinctive red-dust roads zig-zag their way across several of Utah’s state parks. Other recommend routes include The Reiver Raid, a 175km loop in the border country of the Ale Water Valley, designed with bikepacking in mind.Â. When it’s wet, bumps are shaped and when they dry out they’re like skiing moguls. … Journey Planner . As cyclists we find ourselves in an exciting place, reaching a confluence where mountain bikers and roadies meet and are then free and uninhibited to decide which tributary to explore. It’s just over 100km from Hampton Court, which I think equates to 160km on the road. The Ridgeway is more popular with walkers than cyclists, and you’re still more likely to see mountain bikers than gravel bike converts. Without suspension and with narrower tyres, it’s always a thorough examination of gravel skills, and the ever-changing terrain will keep you on your toes. This ride is based in Aberfoyle, 32km north of Glasgow in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. End point: Peebles. In fact, the only short section appears as part of the climb back over the Duke’s to Aberfoyle, and even that is a beautiful and scenic road in its own right. But there is still a vast playground to enjoy. Rooted’s blend of paved, dirt and mud is quintessential Vermont riding. With cafes, shops, a great pub (Forth Inn) and plenty of parking, it’s a perfect starting point to kick-start your adventure. The road predates the stone circles of Avebury, Wiltshire, which is its starting point in the west; in total, the Ridgeway stretches 140km, all the way to Ivinghoe Beacon in the Chilterns. Filmed on the ‘ Drovers Trail ’, a new 331-km-long gravel bikepacking route spanning almost the entirety of Highland Perthshire, ‘Drovers’ tells the story of the ancient drove roads, an important part of Scottish history, which inspired Scotland’s greatest writers like Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott. Nevertheless, this route starts off nice and gently on the Pennine Bridleway, on a section of the path that’s a disused railway line that once connected Hayfield and Manchester. It’s so good that the locals here built a gravel extravaganza around it, the Duke’s Weekender. The neighboring county of Wiltshire is home to the famed Ridgeway. “Gravel Cycling is both a utilitarian reference for gravel riding and a celebration of the fastest growing discipline in the cycling world…Worthy of display with its top-notch photographs; selected race and tour descriptions from around the world; and Q&As with race promoters, athletes, bicycle designers, route-planners, and other experts.” Once the terrain gets trickier, into the Peaks, it requires more mountain biking techniques, standing up on the pedals with knees and arms slightly bent, letting your bike move around. On Easter weekend, when we last did the flat route, we had the most glorious weather, and the surface was bone dry. Shirley Chisholm Park in Brooklyn is home to 10 miles of fresh gravel paths built on a former landfill site. 200 cycling routes . There are lots of them and hitting one is to hit a brick wall. When it comes to cycle travel, all you need to enjoy your chosen cycling routes is to be appropriately prepared—and to ensure you’re riding the correct type of bike. In a little under 10 years gravel riding has gone from something of a niche to full-blown phenomenon. Sure, it’s not new – riders have been venturing off-road on drop bar bikes for decades. In addition to the 150 mile, 75mile, and 50km events, to be held August 21st, 2021, it is adding the 300-mile Long Voyage sponsored by Komoot. The 26-mile Old Croton Aqueduct Trail (OCA) provides many miles of packed dirt to explore. One day I’ll ride home. Then again, this is the Peak District – there aren’t that many of them here! There are a couple of sections early on that you shouldn’t cycle on and my advice, generally, is that if you’re in doubt, get off and walk. The route is suitable for gravel, mountain and e-mountain bikes, and can be ridden in all seasons. The latter offers miles of undulating gravel trails and beautiful views from the Shawangunk Ridge. Best gravel riding routes in the UK | 6 rides recommended by, Gravel riding explained: Adventure Addicts part 1, How to have a gravel adventure: Adventure Addicts part 2, How to ride gravel: Adventure Addicts part 3, Ten tips to stay motivated through winter, Reivers Way 282km coast to coast challenge, GT Grade vs Cannondale Topstone | ‘suspension’-equipped gravel bike shootout. Browse Gravel Routes - Gravelmap Map Search • After a ride on a canal towpath, we turn off and begin climbing into the high peaks, joining back onto the Pennine Bridleway. When and where: 22nd February, North York Moors. Cycle routes in Dorset whisk you across swathes of colourful heathland, rolling chalk hills, old forests and even past an ancient carved hill figure in his birthday suit. The trail’s official start is at the northern tip of Van Cortland Park in the Bronx, but it’s accessible from a number of spots along the trail, including Dobbs Ferry in the lower Hudson Valley. By entering your details, you are agreeing to BikeRadar terms and conditions and privacy policy. Pedal across its chalk ridge to the phenomenal Old Harry Rocks, bright white sea stacks that mark the eastern end of the Jurassic Coast UNESCO World Heritage Site. In part four of our Adventure Addicts series, we set out to find six of the best British gravel riding routes. Like its neighbour Colorado, Utah offers an expansive and dramatic landscape ideally suited to getting away from it all on a bike. There’s no single tough section, its difficulty is with the cumulative effect of all the climbing. The Dirty Reiver is not a race, but there is a timed sector, sponsored by Lauf, who make suspension forks. The sheer isolation of these spots makes self-sufficiency a necessity rather than a luxury. In other words, if you were painting a picture of gravel nirvana it probably would end up looking a lot like Colorado. You may even have time to stop and enjoy a wee dram after a dip in the ocean. Gravelmap is a tool for finding and sharing local gravel roads for biking, gravel grinding, exploration and more. The trans-UK experience If you fancy the long-haul challenge rather than a one-day affair, try EuroVelo – a network of 15 long-distance cycling routes that criss-cross Europe. In this section. It’s a very popular service with cyclists heading back to London, so there’s no problem getting the bikes on the train (at non-peak times), even if there’s a bunch of you. >>> Why are road cyclists riding gravel bikes when hardtails could be faster? Sparely populated and largely rural, it’s home to a vast network of gravel roads and logging tracks, connected by quiet country roads. The Wild About Argyll Trail is a 407-mile route that takes in the Ardgartan Peninsula, the coastal roads of East Kintyre and the Glen Want National Nature Reserve. The state’s other desert roads have also piqued the interest of many gravel riders. These distinctive red-dust roads zig-zag their way across several of Utah’s state parks. The Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia are better known, but mid-Wales is an area that will put a smile on any gravel rider’s face. The roads are probably just uncomfortable if you’re in the back of a four-ton military lorry – besides being Forestry Commission, this is firing range territory – but 10 hours being bounced and pinged off angular rocks on a bike thrashes parts of the body other gravel rides can’t reach. But you don’t always have to leave the city to get a dose of gravel. For a newcomer, though, it will be undoubtedly tough. Click on a point to delete it, or click and drag to move it. >>> These are the best gravel bikes on the market right now – and we’ve reviewed them. Given the nature of the ride you don’t see much in the way of cafes or pubs along the route, so take the opportunity to refuel at Stan’s Bike Shack in Horsham. From touring the countryside to descending a mountainside, whatever type of cyclist you are, Cycling UK has some inspiration cycling routes for you. I’ve been mountain biking in north Yorkshire for over 20 years and the arrival of gravel bikes has taken me back to those early days. There are some routes that are made classic by their sheer perfection, and others by races. We’ve moved our event this year to Hutton-le-Hole so that we can show off the eastern side of the Moors, but our original plan A route got a big fat, ‘No!’ from landowners. Elevation gain: … It’s impossible to provide a comprehensive guide to gravel in the United States in just a few hundred words. Titsey Hill Smash Up. Blessed with endless miles of forest and estate tracks threading their way through hills and glens, the Trossachs are a gravel paradise. It’s about exploration, too, just going anywhere, and that exploration has led to us setting up our own gravel event, Yorkshire True Grit. Don't miss out on MBUK – get your next 3 issues for just £5, Get the next 3 issues of the UK's number one cycling magazine for just £5. The remoteness of Scotland make it a serious draw for gravel riders and bike packing enthusiasts. Dirty Reiver. Gravel riding has become so diverse that it’s almost genre-defying in its sheer breadth of terrain and experience. Once the domain of hikers and mountain bikers, the gravel boom has seen drop bar riders take to the route, enjoying the panoramic views while breathing in a bit of history. The region is sparsely populated and there are few paved roads. Elevation gain: … Without the extensive network of dirt roads found in America and our notoriously damp climate, gravel might be a slight misnomer in the UK but, with a bit of imagination, it’s relatively easy to piece together exciting “gravel” routes, get away from traffic and discover trails and lanes that you'd never dare tackle on a road bike. While the concept of gravel riding originated on the hard-packed dirt roads of the United States, exploring on bikes specifically designed to take you off the beaten track has captured the imaginations of riders the world over. If you’d like to try a gravel bike, look out for Demo Days from Shops and brands like the road.cc ones or The Ark Cycles in Stroud. Vermont is a certified east coast gravel mecca. “Route80” In partnership with Click while holding the Ctrl or Command ⌘ key to add a line without snapping to nearby roads, or change the Draw Mode to the setting in the toolbar below. Bristol’s reputation as a ‘cycling city’ is well-earned.  407-mile route that takes in the Ardgartan Peninsula, the coastal roads of East Kintyre and the Glen Want National Nature Reserve. Located just outside the southern boundaries of the city, these wooded trails are easily accessible by bike. The majority of routes here navigate the large reservoirs and blend winding country roads with off-road cycle paths and dirt tracks. What ‘gravel riding’ means to you will vary dramatically depending upon where you’re based. During the easier early sections, it’s best to get into the flow of gravel riding. The ex-Grand Tour rider, and two-time DK200 winner, now calls the state home. Oh, and there’s the altitude to consider. >>> Nine tips on how to get started with gravel riding. And plenty of dog walkers! End point: Brockley. It also serves as a jumping off point for the gravel roads of northern Westchester County. 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