Jay shares about preparing for Ends Cycling first ever gravel tour.
Next up…it's three hundred miles of GRAVEL. Yes that’s right, I said GRAVEL. As a cyclist we are taught that gravel is a very bad thing to come in contact with, let alone ride three hundred miles on. Why gravel, you ask? It’s very simple, you are away from the hustle and bustle of city traffic and you don't ride nearly as far or as fast as you do on pavement. This will be Ends of the Earth Cycling’s FIRST ever gravel tour. We will be traversing the C&O Canal and the Great Allegheny Passage trails. I am so excited for this ride!
The most important thing to remember about gravel is to stay loose on the bike and just let your wheels float over the trail. That can be very tricky sometimes as you come across some loose gravel that wants to take your front wheel one direction or the other. As challenging as that is, you have to go against your instincts and let the front wheel just go free. If you tense up and correct yourself, you could end up on the ground. I was riding this past Monday on gravel and forgot about the “staying loose” part and almost went down.
This tour is a smaller tour as far as participants goes with only 20-23 people including SAG support members. We are still riding 300 miles but gravel makes for longer days and not riding as fast as you would on pavement. My typical average on the pavement (road) is 16-18, my typical gravel pace is 14-15 mph. Another thing with gravel is that you have to stay more focused than you do on the pavement. Similar to ALWAYS keeping your head up looking for that next line on smoother gravel, the ministry we are riding for, Inca Link, does just that in spiritual ways. Focused on evangelism, discipleship, and reaching the 300 million youth of Latin America with Christ’s irresistible love, Inca Link is passionate about helping them keep their eyes up and on Jesus.
I’m super stoked to ride 300+ miles on gravel for this awesome cause.