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The Gravel Diaries – Episode 6:

A month ago I set off to ride GBDURO, and a couple of days after that it was all over. I had injured myself, scratched from the event, and the journey was left incomplete. As I sat at the side of the road the sense of sadness and disappointment set in, and I couldn't quite reconcile how big of an anticlimax this was. I had envisioned completing the GBDIVIDE and rolling into John O'Groats with a sense of achievement that easily overwhelmed the exhaustion. This was a ride that meant a lot to me, and it represented so much more to me than just a physical challenge. I had known from the beginning that this was a massive undertaking, [...]

Introducing Salsa Bikes:

We couldn't be happier to announce that Salsa Cycles has joined our growing line-up of epic adventure bikes. Whenever we discussed how we could add more depth and diversity to our range of gravel, all-road, and adventure bikes, the name at the top of everyone's list was Salsa. Salsa’s strapline sums them up perfectly: “Adventure by Bike”.  They fundamentally believe that a sense of adventure makes life better – however you personally define adventure. Salsa view the bike as “a path to new places, new people, and amazing experiences”.  And who are we to argue! At a time when access to bikes is extremely limited, we're really excited to already have two of the bikes in this range coming [...]

The Gravel Diaries – Episode 5:

The week(s) in riding: It’s been a few weeks since my last installment of The Gravel Diaries. I’ve been busy preparing for the upcoming GBDuro, and it’s turned into a substantial undertaking. For those who don’t know about the event, I (and around 15 others) will be setting off from Land’s End on the 1st August to ride self-sufficiently all the way to John O’Groats, via Wales, over a mixture of road and gravel. In light of the current Covid-19 situation, we now have to carry everything we need with us from start to finish, and are not permitted to enter any building or go within 2m of another person for the entire event. All the food we’ll need [...]

Cross Cartel #1 – The Mortimer Round

The first Cross Cartel ride of 2020 is finally with us on Sunday 19th July - the 78Km Mortimer Round, and like all of our self-supported rides it is ideally suited to socially distanced riding.  Just sign up on-line, download the route, then 'rock up and ride'.  No fees, no mass starts, no support crew, just a cracking route through the Marches - and as this one doesn't quite cross into Wales, there's just one set of social distancing guidelines to stay within. All the information you need can be found here:

The Gravel Diaries – Episode 4:

The Week In Riding: After taking a few days off the bike, followed by a couple of shorter days to ease the legs back into it, I embarked on my biggest ever week of riding. I wanted to do a run of back-to-back long rides to see how my body adapted to the build up of fatigue. Having historically always stuck to a pretty regimented training plan, where I would take a recovery day every three days on average, I'm not that accustomed to getting back on the bike day after day and riding very long hours again and again. It definitely takes a shift in mindset, and an ability to keep going even when the legs tell you [...]

The Gravel Diaries – Episode 3:

Getting Into Gravel: For a lot of people, including myself, gravel riding is a pretty new concept. Coming from the road, I had to change my style of riding a lot, and embrace the fact that I was a beginner again. Bike handling was always something I felt confident with on the road, so I was surprised by how many new skills I was having to hone for gravel. When it came to making the transition into off-roading, or when I was heading out into some more difficult terrain for the first time, I went with the approach of less is more. I didn't go straight from riding for an hour on sedate woodland trails into 100km of far [...]

The Gravel Diaries – Episode 2:

The week in riding: Without planning on it, over the past week I spent more hours in the saddle than ever before. I might have trained harder in my former life as a full-time cyclist, but I've never ridden as much. And I've definitely never enjoyed myself on the bike more. It's taken a long time for me to unlearn my previous way of riding, and to be able to just kick back and have fun with it. There always had to be a strict plan, a watching of the numbers, and a constant analysis. There's definitely a place for that, but this isn't it for me. Riding gravel, and lots of it, simply because it makes me happy, [...]

Cannondale Topstone Lefty – In Review:

Since its initial launch last year, the Cannondale Topstone Carbon has been a genre-defining bike. Taking the world of gravel riding by storm, the innovative and reliable KingPin suspension allowed people to venture into new territory on the trails, whilst maintaining the speed and agility of a drop barred bike. We fell in love with the Topstone Carbon from the first pedal stroke, as it opened up a new world of adventurous fun. Given this bike's runaway success, it would have been easy for Cannondale to rest on their laurels. However, they've stepped up the gravel game once again with the release of the Cannondale Topstone Carbon Lefty. An already exceptional bike just got more extraordinary. Promising more capability, [...]

The Gravel Diaries – Episode 1:

Who am I and where am I starting from? Before launching into the riding, routes and reviews of this series, I realised I should quickly give a little background on myself. I was formerly a professional road racer, and spent all of my time on skinny tyres and tarmac. During my years spent riding in the World Tour, and those spent getting there, I barely touched the rough stuff. In fact I didn't even own a mountain bike, let alone a gravel bike, until the last couple of years. For the past six months I've been riding long distances on the gravel and trails, with an eye on ultra-endurance adventure racing, and learning everything from scratch along the way. [...]

Introducing The Gravel Diaries

We are really excited to introduce ‘The Gravel Diaries’; a series of weekly blogs that we will be hosting on our website. During the lockdown we’ve been seeing more and more riders getting out locally on their bikes, and in particular out onto the gravel. It’s inspired us all to ride more, and we’ve decided that we want to create more content based around actually being on bikes; from ride reports and kit reviews, to Komoot routes and lessons learned along the way. We’ve enlisted the help of ex-professional road racer, Molly Weaver, to document her journey into adventure racing. As one of our supported riders this year, Molly has made the switch from the road and onto the [...]


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