It is trendy, but not all cyclists know how to ride the bike on dirt roads. Here are some simple tips to get you started and have fun avoiding potential dangers.
Always look at what’s in front of you
Getting off the beaten path can take you to some beautiful (and distracting) places, but the terrain on gravel roads can change quickly, so make sure to keep your eyes on what’s ahead.
Bring lots of water
There’s a reason why gravel bikes have so many mounts. You’d be surprised by how much water you actually need when you head out on an off-road adventure, especially when you’re on remote roads where access to safe drinking water isn’t a sure thing.
This probably won’t come as a surprise, but gravel is not as smooth as the paved roads you’re used to. It’s natural for your arms and legs to get tense when you’re riding over rough terrain, but try to stay as loose as possible. You want to absorb the vibrations, not fight them.
Stay in the saddle, even when you come across a big climb
Looser terrain means less traction, and standing can cause your wheels to spin.
Consider investing in a GPS
Gravel events call for venturing out and exploring the unknown but getting back before sundown is essential too. That’s why a good GPS unit is recommended. You can download a map of the trail and get directions.
Always check the weather forecast before going on a gravel ride. If rain is expected, carry the appropriate gear. Keep in mind your phone battery and try to save it in case you need it later. If you’re riding alone, tell someone about your whereabouts.