Of all the component options that you can put on a gravel bike, tires are the thing that causes the most stress and the most debate. What size, tread pattern, and pressure you choose can completely change how your bike handles in different conditions, and your tire choice can definitely make or break a given ride.
The last time a train rumbled over the Renslow Trestle was in 1980. Today, this bridge is part of the Palouse to Cascades Trail, and up until today, this span was one of the few major barriers left on the west side of the Columbia River. It is now open to the public.
If you’ve read my writeup on the Palouse To Cascades Trail, then you know that the stretch between Cle Elum and Thorp is one of my favorites. It’s a great experience for riders of all ages and skill levels, as long as they have a bike that is capable for the surface and you prepare them ahead of time for what to expect.
Stickers! Look Fast, Ride Slow is an ethos. How slow should you ride? It’s relative, and it’s entirely up to you. Can you ride fast sometimes? Yeah! It’s fun. But stop trying to race everybody all the time.
I want it all. I want the ability to ride miles of pavement at road speed, and then climb an 18% forest road while carrying all of the necessary supplies for an overnight trip. And I want to do all of this on the same bike.
There are a lot of people in the cycling world who want you to believe that if you just had that new component, shoe, or bike, all of your rides would be absolutely awesome and you’d always be happy. The industry as a whole has an awful lot to come to terms with. Cycling should be accessible and welcoming to all folks.
Get rad! 90’s rigid mountain bikes tend to make the best party bikes. They typically have massive tire clearance, they can be built with basically any components you want, and they’re pretty much indestructible. Plus, they’re cheap, easy to find, and usually come in some fun color schemes. 26 isn’t dead.
The 1000 Acre Wood is a large swath of privately owned timberland perched atop the eastern edge of Crescent Valley, just north of Gig Harbor. It contains a surprisingly large network of gravel forest roads, wide dirt trails, single track, and tight hiking trails
As the beautiful colors of fall give way to the dark and cold days of winter, it’s difficult to stay motivated and want to go outside; The daylight hours are short, the temperatures drop, and the weather can become a larger obstacle than any hill you may encounter. Winter riding requires a mental shift, asContinue reading “The Dark and Slow of Winter”
Riding on gravel can take a serious toll on your body. You have to work harder to pedal through it, and your bike is probably heavier than a dedicated go-fast road bike. Even on flat-ish rail trails, you can’t really stop pedaling because you will almost immediately come to a stop.
There just aren’t that many nice vintage bikes left out there. Thousands of them were turned into single speeds and fixies between 2005 and 2010. Braze-ons were ground off, frames were spray-painted, and many were crashed and destroyed. Finding a nice one nowadays is rare, and the odds of finding one that’s barely been ridden is even more rare.
When I was a kid, you could ride on pavement to the outskirts of town and then go ride up into the forest, hit a few trails, and bomb a fire road back into town… and you could do all of this on the same bike… and that’s all that gravel bikes are. Riding gravel isn’t new, and technically, neither are gravel bikes.
Capitol State Forest is an absolute wonderland of gravel. The nearly one hundred thousand acres of land is managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, and contains almost six hundred miles of gravel roads. It is a destination for hikers, horseback riders, campers, and dirt bike enthusiasts. It is also home to some amazing single track for mountain bikers.
The entire Westside on the Palouse To Cascades Trail- Rattlesnake Lake to The Columbia. How to plan and what to expect when you ride the Palouse to Cascades Trail.
Back in May of 2015, a friend invited me to a self-supported gravel ride in the hills around Elbe and Eatonville put on by a local frame builder. The ride was in its second year, and looked like it would be a fun chance to explore some places that I had never been on a bike. I figured that forty-ish miles with 4k of vertical would be hard, but well within my limits.
I was wrong of course..
What began as a seemingly ridiculous plan over beers at a dining room table in 2014, has grown into an annual ride across the cascades filled with gravel, good beer, and great friends.