The gravel bikes are a bike with a racing frame, but with a more comfortable geometry and with tire covers ideal for pedaling on dirt roads and paths. They look a lot like old fashioned bicycles designed for use on dirt roads and asphalt.
In recent years, the gravel bikes have returned to fashion and are often seen into cities, cycle tracks and parks. At the same time, numerous events dedicated to this type of bike have also appeared.
These are racing on paths and dirt roads of considerable length and generally do not provide any kind of technical support. Participants must have everything they need to end the journey within a set time limit set by the organization. No timings are available.
To deal with the gravel bike competitions you need to follow a specific training plan. To get to the finish line you need:
- Endurance – that is the ability to stay on the saddle for many hours in a row, keeping an appropriate pace, allowing to end the race with still energy reserves.
- Ability to tackle climbs – gravel competitions are often characterized by short climbs that will need to be tackled with the right preparation. To train, you can cycle on climbs again and again, better if you choose climbs not too busy.
- Cycling skills – you have to get used to pedaling on dirt and gravel with the same safety as the asphalt. Having full control of the bike is in fact crucial in competitions.
- Deal with fatigue – the length of the gravel bike races requires some resistance to fatigue, being accustomed to tackling the problem is the first step to not surrender.
Not to be underestimated is also the setup of the bike. It is unthinkable to approach alone km and km of dirt road in the countryside without having first subjected the bike to a complete check up.
In addition, space, equipment, healthy snacks, supplements and liquid reserves must be provided. The full of energy should be acquired immediately before the race and with a good breakfast on the day of the race.
Along the way, however, to fight off sudden hunger strikes, you can eat a few energy bars, a banana or dried fruit.
Also drinking regularly, in small strains, is crucial for the duration of the competition.