Gravel events and riding in the UK and around the world
The best thing about these bikes is you only need your
imagination and a willingness to follow your nose to find suitable
off-road trails. Here in the UK, you'll be amazed at how easy it is
to get off the road onto the huge network of bridleways and byways,
even the bigger cities are well catered for. Get hold of an OS map
and you'll soon uncover a wealth of suitable places to ride these
If you want to test yourself and your new bike in an organised
event, well there's a growing number of events all the world that
are catering specifically for bikes like these. Probably the
original is the Dirty Kanza, a
200-mile event held entirely on gravel roads and it's been
going for a decade and has built itself up to be the premiere
gravel event by which all others are judged.
But it's just the tip of a huge gravel iceberg. Oregon Coast
Gravel Epic, Gorge Roubaix Race and Grinder, Rock Cobbler Ride,
Lost and Found Sierra Nevada Gravel Grinder, Cedar City Fire Road,
Perry-Roubaix, Ten Thousand, Crusher in the Tushar, Tour Iowa and
many more we don't have space to list here. One we've got our eye
on is La Resistance in France, with two distances to choose
Closer to home, there's the
Dirty Reiver which mimics the Dirty Kanza with 200km solely on
gravel roads around the wilderness of Kielder Forest, about as
remote an area you can find on this small island. Also consider the
Yorkshire True Grit, Ridgeway 100, White Horse Ridge, the Gold
Rush, Gran Fonduro and the Dorset Gravel Dash.
There's also the GritFest and Grinduro which bring the mountain
bike enduro format of timed stages to a gravel event.
If one-day riding isn't too easy for you and you prefer an epic
multi-day challenge, consider the legendary Tour Divide, a
self-supported bikepacking epic. There's also the Tour Aotearoa and
the Yak Attack and many more.
And of course, there's planning your own adventure. Plot a route
from A to B, or get a train or flight to somewhere and then ride
home, picking the most interesting scenic roads.