Gravel – probably the best bike in the world

Gravel bikes

I wrote about road bike and CX bike comparison about two years ago. I wrote also about comparison CX bike and mountain bike. In my opinion, CX bike can be good alternative for both of them. After these two years, my opinion is the same. I have some additional observations: gravel bikes are better. And it’s probably the best bike in the world, most universal, the best for most of the users. Especially for cyclist from my country, from Poland, when “MTB is the king”. But things change, and it seems that gravels will be the most popular bike type. Read to see why.

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MDL 2018 – Fantastic gravel, terrible weather

I started beginning of September in Lubin, on this year’s edition of Marathon Around the Lubin (in Polish: Maraton Dookoła Lubina, MDL). Some competitors (runners) started day before – they must run 100 kilometers… I started on Saturday morning with few friends – they decided to ride 75 kilometers distanse, I again ride 110 km. Everyone could choose distance and also choose path during day: we only must visit some checkpoints and get some stamps on received maps. 

As year before, it was again very nice time and great riding. A lot of gravel – on forest, on paths, sometimes on sands, and with some tarmac kilometers. Everything was great except weather. Forecasts said: it will be sunny… or it will be rainy day. It was pretty nice in the morning, but after few hours… heavy rain and we all completed race completely soaked. But it still was great. And gravel bike was also great again :) 

Okraj Pass – mountains teach humility

The plan was: go to Karpacz and Kowary by car, and then start riding on bicycle and attack Okraj Pass. But I changed this plan and decided to… ride to Kowary from home, then attack Okraj and just go back. This trip was long and difficult. Distance was shorter than on 305 km trip, but mountains… they teach humility, because it’s a completely different ride. I started ride real uphill after 122 kilometers… And totally damaged my previous results! It was fantastic, also downhill was very exciting and faaaaast. But after that I decided to attack another mountain: short, because only about 3,5 kilometers, but with 10-15% elevation. It was horrible and destroyed me mentally and physically: 34T on front 28T on back was not enough. Returning home was difficult, about 90-100 km to the wind. But… it was worth it!