Training Tips
Gravel Riding 101

By The Pelotonia Team|February 23, 2023

“I've been riding gravel for 10 years now and it's the bulk of the riding I do anymore.  I love the scenery, the lack of car traffic, and the challenge that unpaved roads add. As a 15-year Pelotonia participant, I couldn't be more excited to bring my favorite kind of riding into the event as a way to increase participation and generate even more funds for the fight to end cancer!” – Eric Tippett, 15-year Pelotonia participant and avid gravel rider

Gear up for Gravel Day 2023 on September 30! Learn more about how to prepare for a gravel ride below.
What is gravel riding?
Gravel riding is an increasingly popular style of cycling typically done with a drop bar bike on unpaved roads. It’s generally considered an option between road cycling and mountain biking – gravel riding is more remote with rougher terrain than road cycling but isn’t quite as remote or rough as mountain biking.
Why should I ride at Gravel Day?
It’s an adventure for a great cause! Gravel Day is an exciting, challenging way to get outside of Central Ohio and explore some unpaved miles. Gravel Day is perfect for experienced Riders hoping to take it up a notch, but, with proper preparation, new Riders can join the fun!
What kind of bike do I need?
We recommend a bike intended for gravel riding, but many newer road bikes can be outfitted for gravel riding. Tires of at least 32mm are ideal for Gravel Day’s unpaved, rocky terrain. Not sure if your bike is appropriate for gravel? Stop into your local bike shop and ask!
How should I prepare?
It’s often said that a mile on gravel is equal to TWO paved miles, so train up! Many routes in Ohio have significant elevation gains and our Gravel Day routes involve lots of climbing –– so be sure to train for hills! We also recommend Riders complete training rides, like these, hosted by roll: bicycle company, throughout the spring and summer.
If you live in Ohio:
Ohio has an expansive network of gravel roads to explore – check out this map from Ohio Gravel Grinders to see some of the many gravel routes in the state. The Ohio Gravel Race Series and the roll: training series may be helpful ways to prepare for Gravel Day by cycling alongside seasoned gravel riders.
What gear is appropriate for a gravel ride?
Because gravel riding often takes riders through remote areas, it’s important to have a well-stocked kit! Bring plenty of water with a secure cage for your bottle; extra food; spare parts including tire plugs, levers, and a multi-tool; and an inflation kit.
What should I wear on a gravel ride?
Normal cycling gear is appropriate, just remember to layer up! Weather along routes can vary.
Where can I find more information about gravel riding?
Check out Ohio Gravel Grinders’ Gravel 101 to learn more.
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