Finding the right gravel ride
To help you find a gravel ride that is right for you, we define a couple of ride attributes. The first is ride culture. Ride culture defines the group dynamics for the ride. The other attribute is ride style. Ride style deals with the terrain.
All gravel rides are about getting off the beaten path, whether you like to get on the gravel for the adventure, quieter roads, trails, nature, or some other reason. Longer rides will commonly have a stop to restock nutrition. Details will be added to specific ride posts in the club’s Discourse Forums.
Every attempt is made to make our gravel rides no drop. As a rider, it is your responsibility to notify the ride leader as soon as you feel you may be at risk of falling off the group. If you are uncomfortable being dropped, the ride leader will adjust the group to accommodate. All riders leaving a group must report the departure to the ride leader.
What to expect on a fast gravel ride
What fast gravel rides expect of you
Strong, steady pace with a plan to work hard, and keep the group together when appropriate such as working a head wind. Although riders string out a bit, they are expected to generally keep the pace of the group. There will be occasional stops to allow hard-working riders to regroup.
What to expect on an intermediate gravel ride
What intermediate gravel rides expect of you
Relaxed pace and atmosphere. Riders can work together as a group when it is beneficial to do so. At other times the group can spread out as desired to allow a safe distance for you to enjoy our beautiful countryside.
What to expect of recreational gravel ride
What recreational gravel rides expect of you
Over time different styles of gravel rides have emerged. Rides will normally include the style in order to help you find the right ride for you. Within each style there are different cultures - see above.
These rides seek to find quieter routes, but all typically are firm surfaces that resemble maintained roads: graded, surfaced (firm gravel, rock dust, asphalt), at least two bikes wide, etc. In many cases these surfaces are better than most of the asphalt roads in the region. With slightly wider tires these rides offer a comfortable excursion into the wonderful natural environment we are lucky to have.
Because the gravel in the region continues to be paved over or is made less accessible, it is hard for shorter routes to contain more than 50%. We are hoping the term crossroad will communicate that although the surfaces may vary, if you are comfortable on a bike and looking to get away from some of the normal road traffic, these are rides you should consider.
Less used trail
This style includes all of Crossroad, but adds an element of exploration. It leaves no trail unexplored. This requires higher level of fitness and bicycle skill. You may encounter single track trails with rocks, roots, and mud. There can be steep climbs and descents. You may encounter loose surfaces like sand and pine needles. This is not a mountain bike trail ride, but is more advanced than our the a Gravel Crossroad ride. Most riders use a CX (cyclocross) bike for these rides.
Single track with structure
Ford a creek