Explore the #gravellesstraveled

 
 
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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

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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.