This week we announced the Rainmaker RollerCoaster the world’s first 7 day point to point gravel stage race in the Western Cape, SA. Other than aging(!), the journey to get to this point was superb fun, but one thing stands out most of all; the people I met have all been cool and energized.
I have been a road rider and adequate MTB’er, but this next gravel phase has really relit a few fires and many riders that I have introduced to the genre have felt the same. It’s a bit like comparing skiing and snowboarding in the early days. One discipline older, more established, the other fresher, free spirited, friendly and slightly antiestablishment.
Three years ago explaining gravel riding drew a blank puzzled look followed by an inevitable “But why would…”. Now, I see the camaraderie groups forming at an amazing rate with adults smiling and laughing like kids again. “Fewer miles and more smiles”. The gravel wave has started. If you haven’t (yet), try it once for now. My biggest regret with cycling was that I wished I had started earlier, with gravel it’s more like I’m so pleased I started when I did.
by Sven Thiele, HotChillee Founder