Opinion: Gravel ... You Must Have Rocks In Your Head

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Gravel this. Gravel that. It seems everywhere I look on Strava and social media these daysall I see are perfectly respectable roadies and trackies suddenly singing the praises of gravel, and often abandoning – or at the very least neglecting – their first cycling loves in the process. 

Fatter tyres. Lower pressures. Dropper posts. Single chainrings. MTB pedals. Hydration backpacks. Fire and rail trails. Seriously, is anyone out there not getting off the tarmac and on to the dirt these days? 

Senior Bicycling Australia journalist Peter Maniaty reckons he won't be riding gravel anytime soon. We have other ideas and are sure we can convince him about just how awesome it is. 

Well, let me just say I won’t be joining them any time soon, primarily for reasons of self-preservation. You see, I know if I was to try gravel riding, I’love it too.

Just like I’ve loved every other two-wheeled pursuit I’ve ever tried in my lifeBMX. Road. Track. Fixies. Motorbikes. 

Everything I hear and see about gravel riding looksfantasticThat’s why I’m so wary this time around. Bikes already consume a sizeable chunk of my waking hours andbeing a committed roadie who’s only recently dipped his toeback into the world of track ridingsimply don’t have the time to add another cycling bow to my life’s quiver right now. 

With 10+ bikes of varying types already under my roof, I don’t have the space for itNor, if I’m being honest, do I have the money to fund it without causing a few serious financial reverberations elsewhere. 

These are the brutal realities that need to be confronted well before succumbing to yet another form of cycling addictionDo I ever want to see my kids or partner again on weekends? 

Do I really want yet more bikes and parts strewn around my garage? Do I want to have at least some money left in my bank account?‘Life is short so buy the bloody bike, they say. Under different circumstances, at a different time, I very well may.

But for now, I’ll respectfullyalbeit somewhat regrettablydecline the abundant opportunity you continue to present to me dear Bicycle Industry. 

The road and I aren’t finished with each other just yet

Reckon you can sway Peter Maniaty into taking the plunge and experiencing the world of gravel? Have your say below!

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