Gravel Culture: Growing our community

Posted By Gravel Union On 8 February 2021

Can you imagine how excited you would be if you were at school in a small rural village in Kenya and a group of world-class gravel cyclists rode past your classroom? Think of the buzz we get from riding our gravel bikes and multiply that by a million and that’s probably somewhere close. What could we do to help spread that buzz and really grow the local gravel riding community? We’ve come up with a cunning plan…

The Migration Gravel Race is going to be run in the Maasai Mara, Kenya this year and we want to try and help pass on our love and excitement for gravel riding to as many of the local riders as we can. Gravel cycling, as we all know, is expensive – not only do you need a bike, but you need clothing, tools and spare parts. And then there’s the entry fees to consider – the list goes on and on. Competing in a gravel event, particularly a world-class one, has a pretty high barrier to entry.

The team at Gravel Union were so inspired by the idea of this event, that we decided we would do something to share our love of gravel riding with the local East African riders. Part of our aim at Gravel Union is to help grow the worldwide gravel cycling community, so we’ve decided to use some of the funds we normally put towards partnering with gravel events in Europe towards the entry fees for a small group of riders to allow them to race at the Migration Gravel Race. The event organisers have already put in place a two-tier pricing structure, with places for East African riders 50% lower than for international riders, but the cost is still unaffordable for many local gravel riders.

For the 2021 event, the team at Gravel Union have agreed to pay the entry fees for five local riders to be able to enter. We are going to work with the event organisers to find some local riders who will make the most of this opportunity and we will bring you their story – the Migration Gravel Race viewed through the eyes of an East African gravel rider.

We want to try and go further than this too. Although funding five local riders to enter the race is brilliant and will make a real difference to the gravel riding community in Kenya, Rwanda & Uganda, we would like to do more. Our plan is to open a crowd-funding scheme to try and raise enough money to fund the entry fee for additional local riders. If every Gravel Union reader gave the price of one take-away coffee to our crowd funding scheme, we could practically fill the race with local riders!

Crowd funding is quite complicated and we need to make sure we do it correctly in order to maximise the funds we can put towards growing the gravel riding community in East Africa. We’re still working on the details, but as soon as we have our scheme in place, we will post the details on the Gravel Union website.

For more details about the event, check out their website here. Keep an eye on the Gravel Union website over the next few weeks for details of our crowd funding scheme

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