Gravel bike section

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As someone that is new to the forum as a "contributing member" but having read the forum for years, I would love to see a Gravel section added. The majority of my riding these days is on dirt and the only racing that I participate in anymore is mtb or gravel. Cheers.
So that's like 6 of us now! That's enough for a dedicated section, right?
 
I still think they should do it, maybe combined with ultra-races like the TCR, TAW etc. I'm far more interested in that stuff than road these days to be honest.

I've done this with an old MTB frame. Rigid fork, 26" wheels with either MTB tyres or big slicks and a bar end shifter for a 1x system. Only issue is the bar end won't get all ten sprockets so I have to run a big ring at the front. Apparently Microshift levers have enough throw to get all the sprockets, but I had the DA one already.
I'm following Tour Divide right now (there is a local rider doing it), and I'm paying more attention to that the Tour de Suisse. Right now, 2 people ahead of record pace.
 
I'm following Tour Divide right now (there is a local rider doing it), and I'm paying more attention to that the Tour de Suisse. Right now, 2 people ahead of record pace.
I had some friends racing the Transatlantic Way so was keeping an eye on that and always keeping an eye on the bigger races. I like the way you can check in over coffee in the morning and evening, akin to reading the papers about the old TdF, and still keep on top of what's happening. It's not instant, in your face, have to know what's going on kind of stuff. Far too much of that about these days.
 
I had some friends racing the Transatlantic Way so was keeping an eye on that and always keeping an eye on the bigger races. I like the way you can check in over coffee in the morning and evening, akin to reading the papers about the old TdF, and still keep on top of what's happening. It's not instant, in your face, have to know what's going on kind of stuff. Far too much of that about these days.
Man, there is a local rider in Tour Divide, and the broom wagon, which signifies people classified as racing, and the people who are just considered touring the route, is 95 miles per day. His current average is 94.4, and he has about 100 miles left. I think he will make it, but it's touch and go.
 
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While more of a bikepacking ride, rather than gravel (there were a lot of gravel roads), I finished Durango to Moab 3 weeks ago...that's the short story. The long story is that I started having throat issues and chest congestion the second day...turns out, I rode the ride with covid...I know, because when we got back home, 4 of the people I rode with got sick and tested positive for covid. I actually felt worse after I got back than I did on the ride (thanks Tylonol PM!). I am just starting to feel well enough to go on longer rides.

If you ever have the chance, I cannot recommend the ride enough. We did the singletrack options every day (I actually bailed halfway into the Whole Enchilada on the last day, and took Sand Flat road into Moab...because by then, I was freaking wasted tired). Still, it was 7 days where we had no cell service and no other people, and fantastic scenery.
 
I would also appreciate a Gravel section under off-road. There are more and more races - both for pro riders as well as for amateurs - that are worth a separate section for discussions.

The European Championship in Oud Heverlee was a great experience and it was very nice to see so many pro-riders attending.

Finally, there is a lot discuss / debate when it comes to equipment. Clearly Gravel equipment such as what tire threads, pressures, widths etc are optimal is more controversial than debating the next US election :eek:;)
 
I keep hearing/reading: "The spirit of Gravel"...that requires some definition IMO. The very fact that there are professional gravel racers doesn't seem to be in the spirit of gravel so the spirit means noting IMO.
According to someone (not sure who, probably some hipster with the last name Stetina) it is...........:rolleyes:

What is the spirit of gravel?
Neither ghost nor deity, the Spirit is a vibe, a sense of place and community. It's a friendly racing environment that scoffs at the seriousness, tactics, regulations and support of road racing. It's an atmosphere in which everyone is friends up until the very last meters to finish line — and again immediately after.
 
According to someone (not sure who, probably some hipster with the last name Stetina) it is...........:rolleyes:

What is the spirit of gravel?
Neither ghost nor deity, the Spirit is a vibe, a sense of place and community. It's a friendly racing environment that scoffs at the seriousness, tactics, regulations and support of road racing. It's an atmosphere in which everyone is friends up until the very last meters to finish line — and again immediately after.
So, as I said, the spirt has passed so using that as a discussion point is void.
 
I guess the true "spirit of gravel" for about 27 people, is a pay check. Oh, and collecting exorbitant entry fees from a couple thousand people if you're the promoter.
As a guy who got into dirt racing as it was blowing up $$$ in the early '90s, I enjoyed the "spirit of moutain biking" with the addition of a lot of money! The people who bemoaned the spirit were people who still enjoyed stopping for a bowl mid-ride/race. My contention was and is that if you're just in it for the group ride, why are you paying an entry fee to the man?
 
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I like the races. Sure, I am nowhere near the front, but it's nice to have aid stations, and ride with a few hundred people. I bikepack and coach HS mountain biking, but having an event and a longer distance is motivational for me. Plus, it's cool to be there with pros on the line as well. There's still a lot of people there for, lack of a better word, vibe. Our local races are fun, and I get to see people that live in different places in the state, and then find new people to ride with as well.
 
I like the races. Sure, I am nowhere near the front, but it's nice to have aid stations, and ride with a few hundred people. I bikepack and coach HS mountain biking, but having an event and a longer distance is motivational for me. Plus, it's cool to be there with pros on the line as well. There's still a lot of people there for, lack of a better word, vibe. Our local races are fun, and I get to see people that live in different places in the state, and then find new people to ride with as well.
So looping back around to my OP, when the pros draft does it change any of your experience?
 
I guess I felt that the spirit of mountain biking was the after party. The after parites at dirt races in the '90s were GREAT...lots of people, food, beer, prizes, occational nudity...! The races were races though to all but the beginer class. I doubt that the sport class, expert class, or pro class dampened the mood of the beginnners. By the time I stopped racing 10 years ago though, the begginers all had coaches, nutritionist, and at least two $10,000 bikes. Talk about a change in the spirit!

I don't remember where I read it so I can't give credit, but someone wrote that 'as soon as beginners started shaving their legs, the sport was doomed'.
 
I guess I felt that the spirit of mountain biking was the after party. The after parites at dirt races in the '90s were GREAT...lots of people, food, beer, prizes, occational nudity...! The races were races though to all but the beginer class. I doubt that the sport class, expert class, or pro class dampened the mood of the beginnners. By the time I stopped racing 10 years ago though, the begginers all had coaches, nutritionist, and at least two $10,000 bikes. Talk about a change in the spirit!

I don't remember where I read it so I can't give credit, but someone wrote that 'as soon as beginners started shaving their legs, the sport was doomed'.
What hasn't changed since the 90's? I did a bunch of the "big" gravel races multiple times each between 2015-20 and had a blast at all of them. They have changed so much in a short period of time that I have no interest in going back to any of them. There are a few races that my friends and I talk about taking a road trip and just riding the courses, but that is about as far as my interest goes.