Back in June 2019 I bought a gravel bike, and that is a decision that I definitely haven’t regret at all. When the autumn arrives in Denmark it’s usually with lots of rain and wind and when winter makes it’s entrance it becomes cold and slippery as well. And it is exactly in that kind of weather the gravel bike excels.
Before I started riding gravel I have been riding MTB for approximately 10 year, but one of the main problems with the MTB-trails in Denmark is that they very fast become too muddy and ruined to be ridden, because of the vast amount of rain we have in Denmark during autumn and winter. In addition to that I often had to drive to the cool MTB-trails by car, and I’m not a big fan of a muddy bike in the car. With my gravel bike I can just ride from home because it rides equally well on the tarmac as well as on the gravel.
For me gravel riding isn’t as about getting from a to b as much as it is about enjoying the ride in between, if I see a country lane or fire road that looks interesting, I can just deviate from the beaten path into the uncharted territory for new adventures . It is a great experience to ride gravel, because you really feel that you are one with nature and the elements, and you don’t have to mind about traffic like out on the roads, nor the noise, only the silence and maybe the birds singing which can only be considered balm for the soul.
Gravel riding is really growing these years in Denmark which can be seen by the increasing number of gravel races that is arranged with huge number of participants. For an example we have “En Forårsdag i Hell-singør” (a spring day in Elsinore) The race that is held north of Copenhagen is a homage to the spring classics and the route offers gravel and dirt roads as well as cobble sections and short steep climbs with names like “little Arenberg”, “De Kapel Muur” and “La Redoute Petite”. It is arranged by CK Kronborg and is raced the same day as Paris – Roubaix every year…The trophy is much like the trophy at Paris -Roubaix a big rock, but instead of a cobblestone it is a stone from when they renovated Kronborg Castle and is cut directly from the castles sandstone ornament.
Several cycling café’s has opened the last couple of years gathering cyclists around the things they love the most: bikes and coffee arranging weekly group rides, not only on road bikes, but also on gravel bikes during the offseason, where you can enjoy the open fields, the old forests and the scenic routes by the sea.
By Jakob @bikefulness.dk