Top 8 Gravel Riding Tips to Kickstart Your Off-Road Adventures

Gravel riding is becoming an increasingly popular way to explore landscapes on two wheels. If you’re considering venturing into this thrilling form of cycling, here are some tips to help you get started quickly!

1. Gravel Riding Preparation: Get Ready for the Experience!

Gravel riding can be tougher than road cycling due to the uneven surfaces, which require more power, especially uphill. Gravel bikes are built sturdier and have thicker tires to handle the terrain, which increases rolling resistance. But don’t let this deter you,the rewards of conquering these trails are immense!

2. Plan Your Gravel Riding Route Carefully

It’s crucial to verify your chosen route using reliable tools like Strava, Komoot, or Google Maps, which however might miss some lesser-known gravel paths. We at Ride Your Life meticulously review all routes to ensure they are optimized for gravel biking and accessible to riders of varying skill levels.

3. Choose Proper Shoes for Gravel Riding

We recommend SPD (Shimano Pedaling Dynamics) shoes for their versatility. They’re perfect for efficient pedaling and comfortable walking, essential for the varied terrain you’ll encounter. Steer clear of road racing shoes, as their rigid soles and tight clips are not suitable for walking.

4. Bring Friends Along

Gravel riding with friends can help manage any difficulties that arise and make the experience more enjoyable. 

5. Use the Right Equipment for Gravel Riding

Make sure your bike is geared up with the right tires and check the route’s terrain to adjust the tire pressure accordingly. Don’t forget essential tools and an emergency kit for unexpected repairs, like flat tires or a broken chain. A little extra weight could be a day-saver, especially when riding solo in isolated areas.

6. Pack Smart for Gravel Riding: Nutrition and Hydration

Gravel paths often lead through remote areas, far from the nearest store or café. Always carry sufficient water and snacks such as energy bars, which are compact and easy to transport. For added convenience, Ride Your Life incorporates high-quality, healthy food options from trusted brands into its tour packages.

7. Start Slow and Build Up

Gravel riding demands distinct skills, such as staying seated during climbs on loose surfaces. Begin with easier climbs and progressively tackle more challenging ones. Also, prepare for steep descents by choosing the safest paths to avoid obstacles.

8. Enjoy Your Gravel Riding Experience!

Prioritize safety! Start by simply enjoying the natural surroundings. Explore local shops, try regional foods, and immerse yourself in local traditions. Ride Your Life is dedicated to creating a balanced experience that combines thrilling safe rides with cultural enrichment.

Simone Oggioni
Tour leader

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