Sweden has gravel. Sweden has lots of gravel roads. Over 250 000km of gravel. The problem is with such choice its difficult to know where to go. At Grvl, Björn, Olivier, Johan and Michael are collecting the best of these routes and sharing them with you. Why not join us and submit your route with the gravel community.
Why gravel grinding?
You might have already heard through critics that gravel is just a marketing hype. It’s there to create a niche, a new need to push us towards consuming trends, to simply buy new gear. But gravel as we know it today is not new. People have ridden on gravel roads with much thinner tires for an age. You as a kid, might also have been riding gravel paths when the pavement ended without paying much attention to it. The truth is, you probably do not even need a new bike to go gravelling.
Having said that, for all of us who are not competing, gravel bikes could actually be a way to N-1. You could replace your racer by simply swapping to another set of wheels. As a matter of fact, some of the new gravel bikes are not much less aero than your typical fast road bike.
Gravel biking still allows for speed and high averages but without the road traffic hazards, without the washer fluids from irritated and narrow minded drivers. The exhaust pipe smells can be traded for some fresh air out in nature.
Gravel grinding can make MTB transport sections so much fun that you end up only riding transport sections. Gravel biking can make a boring MTB single track into the most challenging ride. With the different bike set up, with the different wheel widths, those old trails can get a new lease of life. >
Gravel biking is opened to everyone. It is not UCI sanctioned. You can wear any sock height you want. You can get your other family members involved and take the bikes out to the countryside and show the kids what biking is all about. Any excuses to get out of the city and go riding is a good one. It doesn’t really matter what type of bike you ride, it’s about being out there taking advantage of our beautiful nature and getting a bit of exercise at the same time.
This was supposed to be a tribute to gravel biking. But, I would go as far as saying that gravel biking is in itself is a tribute to cycling. It goes back to the essence why we ride bikes from the very beginning: it’s simply so much fun and enjoyable!
Olivier Henrat @GRVL