These days if you haven’t tackled the Dirty Reiver can you even call yourself a UK gravel rider? The Dirty Reiver has become a gravel season opener here and a tough benchmark to measure how favourable the winter months have been to fitness. If you have been hiding inside from the grimness of winter the Dirty Reiver is going to quickly remind you of all those missed training rides. Even the diligent winter riders will find the 130km cut off to be very tempting, an opportunity to end the suffering by cutting the route short to find sanctuary and beer at the event village early. The full 200km demands some serious grit and determination from riders.Continue reading “THE DIRTY REIVER 2019”
As per Rich’s birthday tradition we go for a loop of the East Lothian Rough Stuff Audax gravel route. Some swoopy trails, standard pie stop and a top shelf selection of Rich stories.Continue reading “EAST LOTHIAN ROUGH STUFF”
Matt and I went on a Huckleberry Finn gravel adventure through some old railway tunnels and find an abandoned sawmill hidden in the woods.Continue reading “GRAVEL RIDE TO AN ABANDONED SAWMILL”
The echo chamber of our group chat had tricked us again. With the woes of our Gameshope miss-adventure now in the past the idea of getting out for the first bothy adventure of 2019 had got us excited.Continue reading “IS THE STOVE ON – OVER PHAWHOPE BOTHY MICROADVENTURE”
Since 2010 cycling trendsters Rapha have been throwing the Festive 500 gauntlet down and challenging all to ride 500km between Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. On paper this seems like a fairly straight forward challenge, broken down it’s only 62.5km for 8 days. With a bit of commitment this shouldn’t cause much of an issue for your standard club rider. A few rides with your normal group and a couple of solo missions and the milage will come easily. But it isnt that straight forward.Continue reading “RAPHA FESTIVE 500 SUPER LOOPER 2018”
If you are a follower of this blog or my Instagram then you will be well aware of my enjoyment of riding impractical bikes on inappropriate terrain. I am not alone. When it comes to planning bike rides, simpleton bike lover and mile muncher Stu Allan takes an approach of choose ratio first, ask questions later. We will be riding the Highland Trail 550 together and this is his bike, a custom sparkled Genesis High Latitude SS.
Gravel is the new frontier. The roads are clogged with speeding cars and the forests are crowded with artificial mountain bike trails yet miles and miles of gravel lie ignored waiting to be explored. There is an abundance of routes that are too bumpy for road bikes yet too far for mountain bikes which contain staggering views, lung busting climbs and ripping descents. It is no wonder that the gravel scene is exploding right now.
The goal was simple, we were to ride some bikes to commemorate the anniversary of our comrade Rich’s birthday. The route we set was 50 or so miles of easy East Lothian mixed surfaces following an Audax route. No hills paired with a gentle pace would assure a good time for all and that nobody would be broken physically and unable to enjoy evening beers and eats. What could go wrong, even the weather looked like it would cooperate.
It seems to be a running trend that if I need a day off work to go on an adventure something will get in the way to make sure that I can’t get it off. When the first group ride of the Badger Divide got arranged, I was fairly disappointed that I could not get the Friday off work to tackle the full route. The Badger Divide is the brain child of Stu Allan, a predominantly gravel route that connects up many pre existing tracks and trails to create a 220 mile route stretching between Inverness to Glasgow. Guaranteed to deliver on lots of dirty bike riding and eye popping views.