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”
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”
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.
I had set the weekend aside for a bike adventure. I wasn’t sure what the plan would be but it would certainly involve a camp out in some shelter, ideally with a stove. Stu had planned a trip to the CTC hut and although laziness would stop me from riding straight from work on the Friday night I knew I would be able to piece together an exciting route of remote hills to fill the Saturday nicely. Having not yet visited, Thomas was also keen for a weekend pedalling and to get in on the hut experiences.
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.
Short lived but already well established, Grinduro has quickly become an unmissable bicycle event held in the spectacular and sun soaked Sierra Navada. The whole thing is rich with Californian vibes, big days, stunning mountains and party atmosphere. There is no doubt that the pressure was on when they announced that they were going to hold a second event, especially considering it would be held on international soil. The location was announced and they had chosen the Isle of Arran, a small Scottish island on the west coast.
I first read about the Grinduro last year while reading all time adventure trenders the Radavist.com, a 60+ mile gravel stage race with mostly social riding and mixed with 4 furious timed stages. A swirling frenzy of bikes, beer, sun, gravel and good times, my attention was caught but due to reality (money and location) the feasibility of actually ever entering were slim to day dream.