How to Get Started Riding Gravel

 

Gravel riding can provide a happy medium for cyclists who want a less technical ride than mountain biking or for those that prefer a longer ride without worrying about cars. Aside from that, gravel can be a great way to cover some longer miles and do some exploring. With anything, sometimes getting started is the hardest part to getting into something new, so here are a few tips to help you take the leap into gravel. 

1. Bikes

Having a gravel-specific bike is great, but really any bike can do. Don’t sweat if all you have is your mountain bike. The important part is you’re out on the bike having a great day. The Liv Devote is a gravel-specific bike that can tackle single track, paved roads, greenways, sandy roads, dirt roads and gravel roads. Plus, it’s well-equipped for bikepacking, offering ample mounting points for racks and additional water bottles.

Learn more about how to choose a bike for gravel riding

2. Choose a Route

If there is a local shop or riding club around, plan a visit. Shop staff will happily give some route suggestions. Starting off small is never a bad idea and can help get your gravel legs underneath you. It's important to remember most gravel routes have some sections of road or trail that connect all the dots, embrace the variety and see what you can find out there.

Learn more about how to find gravel routes near you

3. Gear

Bring the usual riding essentials. Flat tires and other mechanicals happen, so come prepared. You can carry your supplies in a saddle bag, handlebar bag, or frame bag. In addition to tools, fill your bags up with plenty of snacks and extra layers of clothing, like a jacket or extra gloves.

Learn more about how to pack bike bags

4. Try a race

One of the best parts of gravel riding is the community. At races, riders are all out there to help each other and enjoy a new route, so it’s a great way to meet folks, ride with total strangers and make some new riding friends. Aside from that, the route is marked and you have aid stations for snacks, water and anything else you need. You can take any race however you want - take it seriously and put in a hard effort if that’s what you’re after, but know, too, that many riders are there for a casual day on their bikes and you’re more than welcome to join at that pace.

Learn more about gravel racing

5. Have Fun

Don’t take gravel riding too seriously. Come as you are, with the bike you’re comfortable on, find some fun roads, and go exploring. Take your time, and enjoy taking the leap into gravel.

Content originally created with Kaysee Armstrong.

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