Right now gravel riding is the fastest growing segment in cycling… and why wouldn’t it be?
With highly capable bicycles that can take you to new areas for a mixed-terrain adventure, it’s easy to see why so many bike riders are flocking to gravel events and heading out for gravel adventures of their own!
One media outlet that has been on the forefront of gravel cycling is Road Bike Action Magazine. Their editors have embraced this kind of riding and all the specific equipment needs that can make a gravel ride the best it can be.
So when they asked us to share our five best gravel riding tips, we jumped at the opportunity!
Our Big Wheel Coaching 5-Tips To Boost Your Gravel Greatness training article was released in this weeks edition of the RBA Newsletter and can be viewed on their website:
Gravel riding is more than a new segment of equipment, it is a type of cycling that adds the element of adventure to an otherwise fun bike ride! Photo Credit: Brian McCulloch
Here is an overview of the 5-tips:
#1: Look Ahead/Focus Forward
Bike riding is just like driving on the freeway, the faster we go, the further ahead we must look. Although looking ahead can be made difficult on rough roads, technical terrain, and narrow trails, this simple trick can improve your riding immensely as it almost always reveals a smooth line on a bumpy sector.
#2: Momentum Is Everything
Build It, Maintain It, Covet It! As the motor of our mixed-terrain adventures, forward motion starts and ends with our legs. Thus, we must work to maximize every ounce of energy put into the pedals.
#3: Weight The Outside Foot
Cornering on gravel, dirt, or other loose surfaces can be nerve-wracking as it requires immense faith in our equipment. One way to lower that anxiety and increase your stability, as well as your speed, is to weight the outside pedal.
#4: Soft Hands Make For A Smooth Ride
Although it causes discomfort, it is common to tense hands, shoulders, the upper back, and even our faces over rough-terrain. This tension can add significantly to the fatigue-factor of gravel riding. When this happens, the fix is simple, take a few deep breaths with long exhales and breathe out the tension!
#5: Fuel Strategically
An epic day in the saddle will get cut short if an Athlete doesn’t fuel properly. For gravel riding, we suggest that all substantial fueling/eating take place on smooth terrain, preferably on the road. So slow down, soak up the scenery and take on-board the hydration and nutrition necessary to power your adventure!
Equipment Bonus Tip!
Tire pressure and tread pattern are the most important aspects of equipment set-up for gravel riding. We suggest testing various tires and tire-pressures on the terrain you regularly tackle to both boost your confidence and increase your off-road speed.
You don't have to sign-up for an event to have an adventure on a gravel-bike, but there are plenty of great events that serve-up a sizable helping of adventure that are worth considering.Photo Credit: Rachel Wills
We hope this article gets you excited to get out and ride on mixed-terrain, whether it be tasting the gravel on your road bike, commuting to/from your local trail-system on your MTB, or crafting your own mixed-terrain adventure on the latest gravel machine.
The beauty of gravel cycling is the notion that every ride can blend adventure, fitness, and fun, which we think is reason enough for this segment of cycling to be exploding in all areas of the country.
We would like to thank Road Bike Action for giving us the opportunity to share our best gravel cycling tips with their community of readers and hope you will tune to RBA for all the latest gravel cycling innovations coming to our sport.
Until Next Time, Be Safe, Train Hard, & Have Fun!
-Brian and Joy McCulloch
Big Wheel Coaching
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.