Gravel - What the heck is it

I think gravel riding is the silliest style of all the ways to ride a bike.  A gravel bike is slow on the road, as many have said before it rides like a 90’s mountain bike and isn’t regulation for a cyclocross race.  You’re never equipped the right way.  But that’s the fun of it, it’s always wrong.  Maximum efficiency can sometimes come at the expense of fun. With these underlying facts let me lay out the rules ( which are all meant to be broken) for the world of gravel.

  1. You need full sleeves of sailor jerry-style tattoos. But you can’t have ever been on a boat. 
  2. If you own a Keurig please go home. You have to be willing to hand grind your coffee beans.
  3. Mustaches are standard practice and some might take offense if one is not grown.
  4. Fishnets and jeans are considered the most high-performance kit next to a speed suit.

Obviously, I am joking when I say these rules. We love the gravel riders, their circular glasses make me remember to update my prescription. They always have a growler in their frame which they are more than happy to give you a sip of.

Gravel riding is the pill that gets the mountain bikers hooked on curly bars (I can speak from first hand experience).  I think there are few things as fun as riding a gravel bike. All the rules of maximizing performance go out the window.  You’re never gonna dominate a strava segment or clear the big boy jumps so just have fun with it. 

- Ethan Simon

Recent gravel adopter