When the long road season finally comes to an end, a change of pace is always welcomed. Gravel ‘grinding’ is a great alternative to both road cycling and mountain biking. It provides the best of both worlds: great fitness with steady pace and gnarly sections of grit that require some bike handling skills. You totally get the adventure vibes when you are crushing gravel on the Ozark back-roads. This was my first big gravel ride and it did not disappoint.
If you’re going to test the waters, you might as well jump in with both feet! Ben C drew up an epic 90 plus mile route with a great mixture of gravel back-roads and twisty paved sections. The route took us northeast through Pea Ridge all the way up into Eagle Rock, MO near Table Rock Lake. It was littered with iconic Ozark scenery, rolling hills, and lots of flat tires. PRO TIP: don’t use glitter inside your tubeless tires. It played the culprit to numerous flats after the initial flat, the glitter lacerated multiple tubes. Regardless of the lack of air in our tires, we had an awesome adventure and went into the pain cave several times thanks to Duncan W and Eric H. If you haven’t taken the roads less traveled, then get out there. You’re missing out!
Kudos to ride organizer Ben C for dreaming this one up. 95 miles with very little pavement.
4 of 1o flats from 5 different riders.
Total climbing: 5397 ft
What brand and size tires was everyone using, and how much air pressure was being used in them? Was everyone using tubeless, or were there any clinchers being ridden on? Was anyone riding on cross bike tires? What would be the reason why and why not to use them?
I can’t speak for the rest of the group. But one of the best tires I have found recently is the Panracer Gravel King in 40C. I run them tubeless and they roll fast. Haven’t had a flat yet. I have found them to be pretty tough tires but I think I need to do some more rides. They are widely recommended by a number of gravel guru’s.