Traffic-free gravel routes
Lots of people (including me) enjoy gravel routes. Gravel cycling refers to a middle-ground between road cycling and mountain biking, and gravel bikes are generally dropped-bar bikes with chunky tyres. However, for gravel routes, I’m not at all fussed with the type of bike you’ll use to ride the routes. Instead, I’ll simply focus on the routes themselves.
Let’s try and nail down some sort of definition of “traffic-free”, shall we? There’s a clue in the name: it refers to routes not shared with motorised traffic. Having said that, many traffic-free routes I publish include some sections shared with cars. That’s not a failure of the definition, but rather a pragmatic way to address the reality. And the reality is that provision of traffic-free routes in the UK is poor.
Gravel routes are (mostly) along unsealed surfaces. In addition, gravel routes can include anything from self-compacting gravel, to mud (well, there’s a reason the UK is so green – it rains quite a bit) to single-track. However, it excludes MTB trails.
A new route category
Gravel routes will be listed using a Gravel category, which means you’d be able to simply click the Gravel category, to see all of them. Just remember, this is a work in progress, and it will take time to get many routes listed. The routes will be classified using the standard MTB route grading of Green (easy), Blue (moderate), Red (difficult) and Black (expert level). Having said that, most routes I publish will be green, some may be blue, but it will be unusual for me to list tougher routes.
Here’s where YOU come in
Do you know of a good gravel route? Remember, we’re not after gnarly MTB tracks, just basic gravel routes that almost anyone on a gravel bike, or hybrid can ride.
If you know of any, please use the form below to let me know? Please consider things such as points of interest, nearest toilets, cafés and an accurate description of the route surface. Please don’t simply say “good”, “average”, “gravel” or similar? Top marks if you can also give me a link to the route on RideWithGPS (or similar).