Over the last six weeks I have tested some cracking bikes; a Parlee Zero, S-Works Tarmac, Trek Emonda SLR and a Cervelo S5 to name just a few. But my new 3T Exploro is the bike I have been most looking forward to ride.

I can honestly not remember the last time I was so excited about a bike

The appeal of Gravel will be there in the summer, but is even more obvious in the 'off-season'. Anything that gets you off the road in bad weather and away from murderous drivers, who constantly have a new excuse of failing to see you, is a good thing.

If its pouring with rain a 90 minute road ride becomes an unpleasant and slow base ride, where you are worried you will slip on wet leaves.

Whereas a 90 minute gravel ride in the rain becomes a giggle fest.....

A dirty road bike can look sad. Whereas a muddy gravel bike is a badge of honour.

The best thing about a gravel bike is that I can ride it with my kids; every trip with them becomes a little adventure.

Its really cute how little ones take after their parents - my boys grown up with me dressing up into funny looking gear and then returning 2-3 hours later. And now they can join....

Everyone remembers their first ever bike as a kid. Its probably one of the best presents you ever got - it was the 'outlet' that made your world expand almost infinitely. And thats what a gravel bike does for you as an adult. I have been riding on the roads I live near for more than a decade now. I know them intimately. But the gravel tracks, farm tracks and forest paths are completely new. I am a kid again, with new worlds to explore. And that's pretty priceless.

My riding buddies

Bespoke being Bespoke, now that we have got into Gravel we have done so in a big way. We offer gravel bikes from 3T, OPEN, Moots, Mosaic, Parlee, Trek and Specialized. That's some list !

I used to do a lot of 'smart trainer' (like Kickr or Taxc Neo) sessions in off-season. I still thank that's the best way to get fit. But these are intense sessions, and I think mentally it's too fatiguing to be 'on it' all year round. I would rather do less hard sessions now, and then more in Spring as one builds for the summer. So a gravel bike is a perfect way to keep the riding endorphins going and getting my exercise 'hit'.