Better later than never: No one could argue that Gravel Riding is fun! If you’re still searching for an adventure and want to find out which events you should participate in 2018, we’ve compiled a list for you: Our Top 5 Gravel-Events in 2018.
Votec Gravel Fondo
Set to a Black Forest backdrop, this two-day challenge takes you away from the tarmac and onto beautiful, winding gravel roads. While it can be ridden on a regular road bike with wider tires, you’ll really want a gravel or hardtail mountain bike so that you’ve got the brawns to really hit the tracks with a bit more vigor. Votec also offer a selection of their own gravel bikes for hire at the event – we can highly recommend them. Not only does this two-dayer serve up the famous Black Forest Gateaux as the jubilant finish line reviver, there is also a party on the Saturday night for everyone, which guarantees a full weekend of fun.
Location: Black Forest, Germany
Date: 13. – 14. October 2018
Track: Day 1 90km/60km / Day 2 70km/50km
Costs: € 89
More information can be found on the Gravelfondo-Website.
This is a cross between gravel racing and enduro-style mountain biking, with heaps of fun and entertainment thrown into the mix. It is raced over 78 km with timed sections that determine the final classification. Each timed section lasts roughly five-to-seven minutes, making them easily conquerable for all fitness levels and ensuring your heart rate gets a decent boost. Both California, the flagship event, and the Scottish edition, held for the first time in 2017, come complete with feasts, drinks and a well-curated expo for a real party vibe. Although there are winners at the Grinduro, the emphasis at these events isn’t on the competition.
Location: Isle of Arran, Scotland or Quincy, California
Dates: Scotland: 14. Juli 2018, California 29. September 2018
Track: Scotland 80 km, California 100 km
Costs: Scotland: £ 150 / California $ 200
More information can be found on the Grinduro-Website.
Does anything beat gravel at altitude? This event goes high, skirting up around the peaks that encircle Lake Annecy, the classic French beauty spot. While it’s billed as a one-day event with two distances, there’s also the option to make a few days of it, by spending two days beforehand tracking over routes barely travelled and upping the overall distance to 360km with 10,000m of elevation! Take note: the first two days are unsupported.
Location: Lac d’ Annecy, Frankreich
Date: 22. September 2018
Track: 130 km / 90 km
Costs: € 70
More information can be found on the La Resistance-Website.
The Navad 1000
Now this one is a a bit of a cracker: The Navad 1000 takes you on a 1,000 km long non-stop journey from Lake Constance to Lake Geneva. Along the way, you’ll encounter 31,000 metres of climbing over beautiful mountains with amazing scenery. Tough but rewarding. Oh, and did we mention that you have to do it self-supported? The Navad 1000 is a mixture of gravel racing and bike-packing – we approve!
Location: Lake Constance, Schwitzerland
Date: 16. Juni, 2018
Track: 1000 km
Costs: 50 SFR
More information can be found on the Navad 1000-Website.
Your very own adventure
Racing is nice, isn’t it? But nothing beats riding your own route – either on your own or with your mates. What about that small peak on the horizon–have you been there yet? Or that lake that you heard about? Maybe it’s time to get up, plan your own adventure, and go riding! Our GPS group test offers invaluable advice when it comes to navigational devices, which – in our experience – are often pretty necessary when you get off the beaten track!
What is your favorite Gravel-Event? Feel free to shoot us an Email at email@example.com
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Words: Hannah Troop Photos: Various