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Gravel Riding Basics - 101

Gravel Riding Basics - 101


Gravel Riding, Groad, Gravel "Grinding", and All Road is popular and here to stay. Embarking on the trail can be intimidating when you don’t know what to pack, how to stay upright, and have no idea what 700c vs 650b is. With so many new riders itching to explore the vast unknown we thought that some tips on riding drop bar bikes on dirt could be useful. 

Enter our buddy Jake Stangel, professional photographer, and master gravel ripper/dancer.  Jake has a tremendous wealth of knowledge when it comes to gravel and adventure riding. Tag teaming with Jake is Caetie Ofiesh, a brilliant all-around cyclist who might rip our legs off all day long. Together, they share some of their tips on bike handling, cornering, line choice, and dancing.

We traveled north to Marin County and Mt Tamalpais, the birthplace of Mt Biking, and spent a Sunday afternoon shooting video, highlighting what we feel are some essential elements of gravel riding. The content was crowdsourced via social media where we encouraged our community to send in questions. What has vexed you most? What do you wish you knew how to do better? Am I doing this wrong because it never seems to work? What does tubeless mean and why is it better? Our video walks riders through common but tricky scenarios like cornering on a downhill, starting on an uphill, and choosing appropriate lines. We also explore planning and logistics questions such as, What do I need to pack in my saddle bag (hint: extra hair band, and Caetie has all of her bases covered)?

Looking for the Marin County Bicycle Coalition Bike map?? You can download it here, or become a member and they will send you a paper version.