Gravel cycling is tricky to define. In terms of terrain, ‘gravel’ can mean anything from unpaved roads to MTB single track and everything in between. On the subject of bikes, bike manufacturers use terms such as ‘all-road’, and ‘adventure’ to define their gravel machines, but one thing that gravel cycling can be defined by though, […]
Gravel cycling is tricky to define. In terms of terrain, ‘gravel’ can mean anything from unpaved roads to MTB single track and everything in between. On the subject of bikes, bike manufacturers use terms such as ‘all-road’, and ‘adventure’ to define their gravel machines, but one thing that gravel cycling can be defined by though, is how much fun it is to ride – and consequently, how addictive it is.
So, if you’ve exhausted the road, or even if you haven’t and you just want to try something new or want an excuse to buy a new bike / book another cycling trip then we’ve got you covered with the following reasons to join a gravel cycling tour!
Reasons to Come on a Gravel Cycling Tour
The Novelty of a New Discipline
Off-road purists may sneer at the advent of gravel cycling, at best dismissing it as a poor relation to cyclo-cross and at worst denouncing it as a mere marketing ploy by bike brands to sell more products. But there’s more to it than all of that, for starters, there are key differences between gravel and cyclo-cross bikes, namely that the former is designed for all-day endurance and thus comfort and the latter for flat-out racing on varied terrain over approximately one hour.
Gravel cycling is a novelty, but definitely not a gimmick, and it’s a novelty that doesn’t wear off, namely because there are always…
…New Places to Explore
Uncovering new places you didn’t know existed, or completely rediscovering places you thought you already knew is part of what makes gravel so fun. The added benefit of a gravel cycling tour is that you can experience this without the danger of getting lost thanks to the addition of a knowledgeable, local guide. Gravel continuously surprises and when you’re on a bike that makes riding virtually any surface possible it’s always fresh and exciting. Taking this exploration to another level with bike-packing trips is just another way that gravel cycling enables you to see and do so much more.
Never ridden a gravel bike before? No worries. A gravel cycling tour is the perfect opportunity to learn new skills and test your limits without worrying about traffic or hard tarmac. If you’re familiar with road riding and are just dipping your cleats into the off-road world then gravel is the perfect place to learn. Plus, on a gravel cycling tour your guide can coach you through technical sections and routes can be adapted to your level.
In addition, Gravel cycling is more inclusive than road or other disciplines, it’s not about what you wear, how much you know, your average speed, or how many Strava KOMs you own, if you’re up for an adventure then gravel is for you. You’ll never forget your first gravel ride!
Gravel Biking in Girona
So you know Girona for the pros, the classic climbs, the cafe culture, the quiet Catalan, country roads, you’ve got it sussed out, you know what it’s about. Think again. Girona is a gravel wonderland waiting to be discovered. For every classic Girona climb, you can bet there’s a gravel version. Done Sant Grau already? Do it on gravel and see it through a whole new perspective. Ever wondered if there was a different way to get to Banyoles Lake? There is, on gravel. If you thought road cycling in Girona seemed like an inexhaustible labyrinth of new discoveries then prepare to be amazed by what you can uncover off-road.
Weapons of Choice for Gravel Cycling
Of course, the right bike is vital for making the most of a gravel cycling tour. A versatile machine that can take you on almost any terrain is the order of the day. At Eat Sleep Cycle our go-to gravel steeds are the Basso Palta and Ridley X-Trail. You can read reviews of both on our blog!
Want to Test the Girona Gravel?
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Photos by Daan Van Meeuwen