A Gravel Ride in NSW

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by Hayley Blease

There is a newer style of riding in town and we were given the opportunity to test out some great gravel bikes by Grove Bike Co.

I had noticed the Grove van parked on my street for weeks, wondering what it was all about. A gravel bike is tough and powerful giving you the confidence to hit the technical trails like you would on your mountain bike.

Gravel riding is all about the adventure, not about capturing a segment on Strava, or grinding hard to race your friends up the next hill, and it isn’t about tucking in for that nice descent. Gravel riding is the journey you have in between one point to the next. It is about packing your bike up with the essentials in order to wake up the next morning and do it all again.

As we were out for a day, we didn’t need to have packs on the bikes. We utilised the easy to access and good-sized pockets from the kit we were wearing. There are no rules when it comes to what you wear on a gravel bike, you can wear the Aussie Grit performance tee in warmer weather or a long Sleeve Tempo top, which is what Mark wore. Personally, I feel you still need bike shorts that enable you to get out of your comfort zone and be in the saddle for hours on end. The range of Aussie Grit Apparel bike shorts are equipped with the comfortable endurance chamois. Feeling assisted in the saddle made the journey enjoyable, empowering us to look great when we were off the bike due to the lightweight tailored outer that is built for speed, durability and protection.

As the day warmed up, we hiked a mountain and really let the legs do the work. This gave us the opportunity to swap our gear for the men’s and ladies performance jerseys and for me to test out the streamlined women’s bike short. Like mountain bike riding, there are times you do need to hop off your bike in order to get to the peak and relish in the feeling of freedom with the wind in your hair as you make your way to the bottom - only to turn around and do it all over again.

We had a great day out exploring around Brooklyn, NSW and cannot wait to tackle a longer adventure together. The plan is to pack up a couple of gravel bikes, make our way from the Northern Beaches in Sydney and go as far north as the open dirt roads will take us. Until next time, keep riding.

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