Gravel Races

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  • Spotted this on tweetah. Looks like gravel grinder "races" are on their way.

    It's off road ("gravel") ride/sportive around Kielder Forest which I even know the location of thanks to the Tan Hill audax.

  • I heard about this just after the inaugural race/ride. Apparently 'hardest thing I've done on a bike' was the general consensus.

  • Kielder Forest is where I first snogged a girl. We were about 13, at a school field centre disco night. She tasted of wrigleys and benson & hedges. Strawberry Switchblade 'Thoughts of Yesterday' was playing. She only kissed me because there were no 18 year old lads with Ford Capris available.

    CSB bingo!

    Gravel hmm? I prefer riding on shale or sometimes sandy earth. Perhaps loamy dirt with low peat content. It's all about the specific surface riding these days.

  • The roads in the forest don't strike me as being hard but off road I've no idea - guess it depends what the riders normally consider 'hard'.

    It says doable on 32s so maybe I should consider taking the 4SD up there for a bit of a dirty weekend?

  • I think the gist of gravel racing is CX without the lycra and jumping stupid little unnecessary fences? I'm not sure yet.

  • derail fail

    Think all kinds of cycling are fine. If you like having special tyres for things good luck to you.

  • subbed - i'm interested in doing that

  • This looks interesting. Anyone going?
    Side note- anyone want to try the SDW (I'll cross post in appropriate thread).

  • Aggregate 100 entries opened today.
    Looks like dirty reiver but more lolz than serious racing.

  • Folks I know riding DR last year said it was pretty much all lolz (other than the weather) unless you were in the front pack with the serious people, or the guys on overly bouncy bikes struggling along at the back. Event was really well catered for and they're all going back this year.

    Almost went up for the Aggregate last year but it was a lot of £££ on entry and travel, even from up here in the north...

  • None of them rode "gravel" bikes. Two of them were on a tandoom.

  • Did anyone on here go? It looks great from the pictures on IG

  • @gabes

    He loved it...

  • podh

  • It was...

    ...awful. I managed to get a conversation out of ONE rider, out of hundreds that I rode alongside throughout the day. Lots of wankers in racing mode. Just call it a fucking race, cos it basically is, timing chips etc etc. People are jizzing themselves about the food stops, but they basically had Energy Drinks, shit crisps, haribo and pork pies. Where's the real food? Where's the veggie stuff? Oh yeah, they had bananas, which weren't ripe.

    The course was OK, but the countryside was pretty uninspiring, and all looked the same after about mile 3. The highlight of the event for me was leaving at the end.

  • Ouch. All hype vanished in one go! Sorry to hear

  • Oh, and there was one water crossing on the route, a small maybe 8' wide ford. I came around the corner and people were fannying about, taking off their shoes and socks, and trying to climb rocks to get through. I just rode it, it was hub deep and had a firm bed, easy peasy. People the other side putting their shoes and socks back on were astounded.

    It's only water.

  • Loved it. :)

    I've had fun on sportives before, I've had miserable audaxes that everyone else raves about. Guess it depends on what you expect, what happens and for me, my own fucked up mental state given what I'm trying to do with the ride at the time.

  • You're right, I know plenty of people really enjoyed it. But they probably enjoy prancing about like tropical cocks trying to impress one another. I like riding alone, or in small groups, and with friendly people!

    Each to their own I guess. I've done events with 100 odd riders and it was fine. Maybe it's the combo of 800 riders, being a non-race with timing chips (so a race), and almost being on road bikes, so attracts a certain type of rider.

  • Cheer up mate, it wasn't that bad.

    Pretty sure they only don't call it a race for insurance reasons. By all accounts the baked potatoes at stop 3 were good but we only stopped there for a couple of minutes so...

    I agree the river crossing was all a bit hyped up. I hate having cold feet but fuck it just blast through, it was relatively sunny after all.

    For me the problem was the lack of variety in the terrain and the fact there was just so much climbing.

    (Still not sure why you're going on about that guy with the OpenUp)

  • Cheer up mate, it wasn't that bad.

    Your face at the end said otherwise! Yeah, the the lack of variety, and the nature of gravel is that you descend for 2 mins and climb for 20+ mins. Tedious. Combined with most riders barely being capable of more than a grunt as they pass, there wasn't even conversation. Glad I got to ride with you for most of it, otherwise it would be been a lot more miserable. From stop 3, I just had to get finished, I was thoroughly hacked off by that point.

    I think the larger gentleman on the Open Up just captured a lot about the event really. One for the scenesters.

  • If someone was to say ride something like or and had a bike that could use 700C wheels or 650B wheels with fatter rubber fitted and felt a desire to use said fatter rubber of the 650B option, what wheels would they look at and what tyres?

  • WTB KOM on your hub of choice. Out of interest, what bike?

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Gravel Races

Posted by Avatar for hippy @hippy