Riding here is, naturally, hot work. In other words, if you were painting a picture of gravel nirvana it probably would end up looking a lot like Colorado. In partnership with  Zion, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef National Parks all provide plenty of unforgettable gravel routes suited to the more experienced adventurer. These are the roads that helped elevate gravel riding from a bourgeoning discipline enjoyed by a few die-hards to where we are today. There are lots of them and hitting one is to hit a brick wall. Kielder is hard to reach and amenities are scarce, but there’s a campsite and plenty of welcoming guest houses within a half-hour drive of the start. Oh, and there’s the altitude to consider. Highlights include the ‘Alp Duchray’ switchback climb up to meet Glasgow’s water supply flowing through a picturesque viaduct and a punchy section of singletrack by Rob Roy’s Cave on the side of Loch Ard. Located just outside the southern boundaries of the city, these wooded trails are easily accessible by bike. Cycling in Kent is one of the most enjoyable ways to explore more of this part of England. In austerity Britain the road network has lapsed into a pothole-strewn wreck, so picture what state the country’s oldest road, the Ridgeway, is in. Many of its nearby gravel routes can be reached by riding from from the city, but we recommend using a train to escape the sprawl and doing away with having to ride junk miles. So it’s little surprise that gravel riding has also taken hold. While the concept of gravel riding originated on the hard-packed dirt roads of the United States, exploring on bikes specifically designed to take you off the beaten track has captured the imaginations of riders the world over. The country is full of spectacular routes but if you’re new to the region following an established trail makes sense. We have ~100 routes on our worldwide bikepacking routes map. The Dirty Reiver is not a race, but there is a timed sector, sponsored by Lauf, who make suspension forks. Cycling Plus is the UK's best selling monthly road cycling magazine. Hugging the Avon Gorge, the dirt trails criss-cross the property, offering glimpses of the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge. Mixing forest roads with cycle paths, quiet country roads and some single track, it passes mountains and lochs and sees riders enjoy both woodland coastline. Made accessible via its vast network of traffic-free dirt roads is what makes it a dream for cyclists. The following routes have been designed and tested by Bikepacking Scotland. The Dirty Reiver’s roads are open all year round, but on the day of the event, the organisation makes a point of taking you away from harvesting and industry going on at the time. Circa 5,000 years old, it’s at least got an excuse. Tuesday 26 September 2017. From touring the countryside to descending a mountainside, whatever type of cyclist you are, Cycling UK has some inspiration cycling routes for you. So we cooked up plan B, which I’m actually happier with now. Gravel bikes also have the potential to become a contender for the near-perfect commuter bike in the UK. Gravel riders in Britain and the States share a similar ethos, but the terrain can be pretty different, shaped by history and geography. Where the United States’ expansiveness lends itself to having miles after miles of unpaved roads, the UK’s densely-populated nature prohibits such a luxury. Given the nature of the ride you don’t see much in the way of cafes or pubs along the route, so take the opportunity to refuel at Stan’s Bike Shack in Horsham. Journey Planner . Best bike trailers for kids: what to look for and recommended products. Other recommend routes include The Reiver Raid, a 175km loop in the border country of the Ale Water Valley, designed with bikepacking in mind.Â. The mid-West’s place in gravel riding history is well-documented. Bristol’s reputation as a ‘cycling city’ is well-earned. The sheer isolation of these spots makes self-sufficiency a necessity rather than a luxury. Gravelmap is a tool for finding and sharing local gravel roads for biking, gravel grinding, exploration and more. CX riders and mountain bikers have long used the network of trails in Leigh Woods to hone their skills. The Centennial State is front and centre of the gravel boom and with good reason. Gravel riding is the hottest thing in the drop-bar world. It’s a point-to-point route, so unless your legs are feeling good and you fancy a ride back to London from Brighton, you’ll need to get the train.  Zion, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef National Parks all provide plenty of unforgettable gravel routes suited to the more experienced adventurer. You can race, hit the local trails and tracks for a few hours, or head off into the wilderness for a multi-day bikepacking trip armed with a fly rod, a bivvy sack and an insatiable desire to get lost. Start point: Brockley. Yet the oversubscribed 200km Dirty Reiver, four years old and more popular than ever, demonstrates that the UK’s growing legion of gravel enthusiasts want a challenge. I’ve often considered riding home but once you sit down on the sea front and enjoy a few beers the urge to ride back subsides exponentially! View The Classics It slowly morphs from gentle gravel riding that anyone could do to a point where you really need to think about your bike and equipment – it’s wide, tubeless tyre and mountain bike shoe terrain. These distinctive red-dust roads zig-zag their way across several of Utah’s state parks. I’ve ridden it in decidedly damper conditions and the weather makes such a difference. Sign in to manage your newsletter preferences. Get £10 off the fantastic 1000W Cooks Professional Stand Mixer, Whip up some of your best bakes yet with this powerful and easy-to-use stand mixer. Short and sweet, and most possibly the best introduction to gravel riding in Scotland, the Dunkeld Hermitage Loop is the shortest and easiest route of the Perthshire Gravel Trails. I saw one moving vehicle all day, but just note that it might not be that way at other times of the year. So you can find your perfect Kent bike ride, we’ve reviewed our full collection of cycling routes in the region to deliver the top 20. You’ll need to carry water, a water-filter, tools, spares, food and perhaps even shelter.  407-mile route that takes in the Ardgartan Peninsula, the coastal roads of East Kintyre and the Glen Want National Nature Reserve. Dirty Reiver. Vermont is a certified east coast gravel mecca. For a newcomer, though, it will be undoubtedly tough. If the prospect of a gravel … One day I’ll ride home. It’s impossible to provide a comprehensive guide to gravel in the United States in just a few hundred words. Despite the highest point being 475m, the course also packs in around 3,800m of climbing, about the same as the Fred Whitton Challenge. It also serves as a jumping off point for the gravel roads of northern Westchester County. The Go East Lothian Trail At 63 km the Go East Lothian Trail is perfect for families, microadventures or a long day ride. It’s a very popular service with cyclists heading back to London, so there’s no problem getting the bikes on the train (at non-peak times), even if there’s a bunch of you. You can explore theses two areas separately or weave them together on an bikepacking adventure. “Gravel Cycling is both a utilitarian reference for gravel riding and a celebration of the fastest growing discipline in the cycling world…Worthy of display with its top-notch photographs; selected race and tour descriptions from around the world; and Q&As with race promoters, athletes, bicycle designers, route-planners, and other experts.” If you’re looking for a scenic country ride away from the constant flow of traffic, then some of the UK’s railway cycling routes might be up your street. Gravel bikes have made the job much easier though, the control you get with disc brakes and what bike gurus can do with modern carbon fibre works like magic. It’s good to have to use your skills again, because modern mountain bikes are skill compensators. The 100-mile route I’d requested – based on what I was used to on the road bike … It’s amazing gravel country, with fun, fast descents and grind-it-out hills. Without suspension and with narrower tyres, it’s always a thorough examination of gravel skills, and the ever-changing terrain will keep you on your toes. Colorado combines wide open spaces with big skies and mountain vistas. View The Map. Britain's Best Selling Road Cycling Magazine. You may even have time to stop and enjoy a wee dram after a dip in the ocean. The route below is an almost entirely flat route along towpaths, old railway line, a bit of singletrack and gravel roads, though we do a hilly route with another 800m of climbing that goes over the North Downs, rather than skirting around. In other words, if you were painting a picture of gravel nirvana it probably would end up looking a lot like Colorado. Kielder Castle Forest Park in Northumberland is the venue for Dirty … The road predates the stone circles of Avebury, Wiltshire, which is its starting point in the west; in total, the Ridgeway stretches 140km, all the way to Ivinghoe Beacon in the Chilterns. A 200km route it takes in the high plains and the Gypsum Hills and proves that Kansas gravel is as varied as it is extensive.Â. Dirty Reiver - 17-18 April 2020. It cut its teeth early as a serious mountain bike destination, making its rise on the gravel scene unsurprising. We’ve moved our event this year to Hutton-le-Hole so that we can show off the eastern side of the Moors, but our original plan A route got a big fat, ‘No!’ from landowners. We’d recommend being self-sufficient as places to eat are few and far between along the route, unless you dip into nearby towns and villages. Narrow and occasionally rocky, it demands attention, so make sure that you’re ready for it. There’s no single tough section, its difficulty is with the cumulative effect of all the climbing. The 26-mile Old Croton Aqueduct Trail (OCA) provides many miles of packed dirt to explore. We save some of the punchiest stuff for the end because we want to make it a real test – for you to show your true grit! Once the terrain gets trickier, into the Peaks, it requires more mountain biking techniques, standing up on the pedals with knees and arms slightly bent, letting your bike move around. We’ll take riders up Newtondale and Cropton Forests, which are unique due to being on hillsides, so you have these amazing vistas. On Easter weekend, when we last did the flat route, we had the most glorious weather, and the surface was bone dry. Thanks! I’ve been mountain biking in north Yorkshire for over 20 years and the arrival of gravel bikes has taken me back to those early days. Variety nicely mixes with familiarity in this part of the country. If you’d like to try a gravel bike, look out for Demo Days from Shops and brands like the road.cc ones or The Ark Cycles in Stroud. End point: Brockley. More importantly, they are a lot of fun to ride. When it comes to cycle travel, all you need to enjoy your chosen cycling routes is to be appropriately prepared—and to ensure you’re riding the correct type of bike. Many of its nearby gravel routes can be reached by riding from from the city, but we recommend using a train to escape the sprawl and doing away with having to ride junk miles. The prize was a piece of its produce and an invitation to experience more discomfort at The Rift, a big gravel race in Iceland. The Pirate Cycling League announced a new event to Gravel Worlds 2021. Other nearby gravel getaways include Harriman State Park, near Sloatsburg, and Minnewaska State Preserve, near New Paltz. It provides adventure, solitude, and dirty fun away from heavily trafficked roads. You’ll need to plan ahead. I love the route, it’s one I constantly come back to and it’s a great showcase for what we have in the British countryside. Browse Gravel Routes - Gravelmap Map Search • The trans-UK experience If you fancy the long-haul challenge rather than a one-day affair, try EuroVelo – a network of 15 long-distance cycling routes that criss-cross Europe. When and where: 22nd February, North York Moors. Gravel riding has become so diverse that it’s almost genre-defying in its sheer breadth of terrain and experience. The nearby Mendip Hills are reachable from the city on two-wheels, showcasing the versatility that gravel bikes offers. Some road link up got us back to the starts of the big loop at Strada Florida, and all that stood between us and the end of the route was a 6km gravel climb and the rapidly fading daylight. “Route80” In the 1960s, over 5,000 miles of railway lines were axed following the ‘Reshaping of British Railways ‘ report, Dr Richard Beeching (commonly known as The Beeching Report). The majority of routes here navigate the large reservoirs and blend winding country roads with off-road cycle paths and dirt tracks. In addition to the 150 mile, 75mile, and 50km events, to be held August 21st, 2021, it is adding the 300-mile Long Voyage sponsored by Komoot. We take a look at how US gravel riding compares to UK terrain, and where best to seek out such terrain. There are some routes that are made classic by their sheer perfection, and others by races. So instead we’re going to look at a couple of famed gravel destinations as well as a big city in detail. Classic Routes. What ‘gravel riding’ means to you will vary dramatically depending upon where you’re based. The trail’s official start is at the northern tip of Van Cortland Park in the Bronx, but it’s accessible from a number of spots along the trail, including Dobbs Ferry in the lower Hudson Valley. Filmed on the ‘ Drovers Trail ’, a new 331-km-long gravel bikepacking route spanning almost the entirety of Highland Perthshire, ‘Drovers’ tells the story of the ancient drove roads, an important part of Scottish history, which inspired Scotland’s greatest writers like Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott. These include Rooted, wthebrainchild of gravel racing legend Ted King. I first rode this whole route in October 2017 but it came together bit by bit over the previous year, just exploring trails, using maps and routing tools such as Komoot, realising there are paths here and bridleways there and connecting it all together. The UK is now a significant gravel scene, its growth driven by cyclists looking to escape busy roads and find the path less travelled. Let us know in the comments below. One minute you’re in forests, the next onto the moors and back again – you can be looking at a panorama stretching 96km, or at the tree in front of your face. We want to show off how great the gravel riding is here. By entering your details, you are agreeing to BikeRadar terms and conditions and privacy policy. >>> Nine tips on how to get started with gravel riding. Outside the city limits you’ll find plenty of gravel roads and trails to explore. If you’re interested in the ancient stones of Avebury, there’s plenty else along the trail for history buffs, including the Iron Age forts of Barbury Castle (where the National Trail and original Ridgeway diverge for a period) and Liddington Castle. Via its vast network of traffic-free dirt roads is what makes it serious. 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