Explore the #gravellesstraveled
Ride all the Bikes
ERTC really should include a ‘silent g’ somewhere in it’s title. Many of our club members have embraced cycling’s latest phenomenon, - grave including many of our Women of ERTC. Why you ask? Well…
Very few cars, and the ones we see drive by with friendly waves, big smiles, and often drive in the ditch so we can have the whole road
Wide open spaces, in scenery and in proximity to other riders. For those new to group riding, the space offered on gravel can be more comfortable than a large road ride
Variety! There are only so many roads around Edmonton fit for cycling…but add in gravel and the options are now endless. Explore the Gwynne Valley, Strawberry Creek, a multitude of hidden gem lakes (Coal, Wizzard, Battle, and many more), and so many other beautiful areas you like didn’t know existed.
Training. By and large there is no drafting on gravel and outside of significant downhills you are required to put out constant and consistent power. This can be a fantastic addition to your training plan, or simply a funner way to get fitter, because honestly who really enjoys intervals around the Research Park all the time?
Formal and informal rides/events/races
With options ranging from formal ABA sanctioned gravel races (Ghost of Gravel) to large formal gravel group rides (Coal Lake Crusher & Cruise pictured on the right), and even informal meet-ups organized between members - our season is peppered with lots of great opportunities to explore a myriad of ‘Alberta pave’ routes. Whether new, or seasoned gravel expert, there are usually different pace/distance options built into each ride, making gravel a really accessible option to mix things up a bit.
For info on all sorts of gravel ride options, formal and informal, be sure to check out the Alberta Gravel Cycling Facebook Group
What do I need to try gravel?
Gravel set-up options are endless, but to enjoy a few hours exploring routes around Edmonton you’ll want to ensure you have:
A cyclo-cross or gravel bike with at least 32mm tires, although on gravel usually wider is better
Some sort of GPS navigation device. Don’t count on always having cell reception or that every small country road will have visible signage
Enough nutrition and water for longer than you expect - gravel can be slower than road, and the point is to take in the scenery, so plan to be out longer than if you were on the road
Tunes and snacks! This isn’t your usual group road ride - it’s often a more relaxed and chill atmosphere where road side elaborate snack breaks and breaking into song mid-ride can be normal occurrences.