GENERAL NEWS: The Ride Gravel 2021

Posted By Gravel Union On 11 November 2020

Image @Irmo Keizers (Trek)

Beams of sunlight pierce the woodland canopy. The forest is alive with the sound of gravel tyres scrunching on dried leaves and filled with the happy chatter of riders following a sinuous route to their overnight stop. This is what adventure riding is all about – exploring somewhere new, with a group of friends, using a gravel bike as the perfect tool for the journey.

And this is exactly what the freshly-launched The Ride Gravel event promises. Departing from the Vosges mountain range on the eastern fringes of France and heading north to the infamous Cauberg, close to the southern tip of the Netherlands, the route promises 550kms of riding (with 60% of it on gravel trails), heading through five countries and taking in an impressive 8000m of climbing along the way.

Image @ Erwin Sikkens

While long-distance, multi-day cycling events are nothing new, most of them have been self-supported and rely on the participants carrying their own kit and having a good level of navigational skill, mechanical knowledge and the desire to be self-sufficient. Where The Ride Gravel event differs is that they’re offering participants the chance to be significantly better looked after – your luggage is transferred to each overnight stop, you can opt for breakfast and dinner to be provided for you and the organisers will even provide you with a pop-up tent every night.

If you’re a more self-reliant adventure rider, you can of course make the event more of a challenge and enter as a Rough & Tumble participant, but we suspect the magnetic attraction of a full-service adventure trip will be a big one for a lot of the riders!

Image @ Erwin Sikkens

Each night a travelling base camp will be set up which includes showers, toilets, WiFi, a Kwaremont beer sponsored bar, campfire, soul food, BBQ and music & entertainment. Add into the mix mechanical support from event sponsors Trek and a finishing party at the Shimano Experience Centre in Valkenburg and this has all the makings of an epic way to spend some time at the end of next summer.

Image @ Erwin Sikkens

The one thing the organisers can’t do for you of course is pedal! Each day is designed to be self-reliant – riders will be supplied with a GPS track and an extensive road book (and there will be mechanical & medical support, plus emergency rescue if necessary, all on standby) but it won’t feel too stage-managed – part of the thrill of a multi-day trip is not knowing exactly what’s around the next corner after all. Discovery and exploration are a big part of what will make this event so fun.

Image @ Erwin Sikkens

In order to help you prepare for the event, the organisers are laying on a series of on-line meetings in the run-up – you will get a chance to ask questions, find out more information, discover the daily schedule and get practical information about what to pack etc.

With a combination of beautiful scenery, challenging riding and slick organisation, The Ride Gravel event sounds too good an event to miss, so we’re hoping to have the Gravel Union team there to join in the fun.

For more details on the event, check out their website - https://www.the-ride-gravel.cc/ They’ve also got a Facebook page and an Insta account which will soon be populated with images to inspire and motivate you.

Hope to see you there in August!

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