11 Nov 2019

Now here is a fun way to spend a weekend! The Gravel Grit Laguna was an event that really surprised us, it has to be the most inclusive event we've been to. If you've got a bike, can ride it a fair distance, you'll be right into this.

Presented by the Bicycle Network, the Victorian-based group responsible for getting a lot of people out riding bikes and hosting truly inclusive events, the Gravel Grit is a few days that brings quite a diverse bunch of cyclists together. It took place in late October 2019 looping out on a fine selection of 67km of roads with a huge variety of surfaces around the Onley State Forest, NSW.

Gravel riding is very on-trend, a somewhat new segment, with numerous brands releasing specific bikes for the demands of how you may interpret gravel riding. Some may argue that it’s simply what mountain biking was like in the early days, but whichever way you look at it, the specific bikes are super cool and any rides that don’t mix with cars and take us through nice scenes, we’re all about it.

This year Gravel Grit 2019 expanded from last year to include a social gathering on the Saturday, with a few ride options available, camping, and a dinner at the GNTP. We camped, did very little riding, ate great food and caught up with old pals. The vibes were mellow, and we felt full of food to fuel the day ahead.

With bushfire safety a real issue, the organisers made the call to remove the longer version of the day, leaving everyone to take on the 67km loop.

Enjoy the pics, and perhaps we’ll see you next year, too?

Dog, caravan, bike, sorted.
Some very fancy wheels on our Trek Checkpoint gravel bike, DT Swiss GRC 1400. Whoa!
Bike crew reunion, this event brought cyclists from all corners together. That’s what we liked about it the most.
Fuel up, tomorrow we crunch gravel.
Shimano had a couple of very nice bikes on display, showing off the new GRX components, built for the cause. The Grove R.A.D is a locally designed bike with a solid following, there were many about.

This titanium Baum was a real head-turner, maybe because the frame alone sells for over $12K! Yikes.

Mick, Chris and Dave before the start. Plus Asterix.
Heading out into the hills, through cattle farming land, olive groves, and hideaway retreats
Hold onto the fit guy! Chris half-wheeling his best.
A peculiar juxtaposition, old and new, same place at the same time.
Expired tubes and banana skins in the bin.
Some of the descents were ROUGH! Wishing for a mountain bike at times, until the surfaces changed to smooth again.
Where cars don’t go.

Pro roadies, even! Famous Brodie Chapman, before a massive crash over the bars.
Classic scenes from this part of the Hunter Valley, NSW.

All good rides finish with a beer.
Sore hands?
Spotted an amazing mid-nineties carbon Gary Fisher Procaliber converted into a very cool bike for any use.
Flow fans everywhere!
Six made it, one nearly didn’t. Fancy dress, optional.

Full-blown all-mountain mountain bike from Zerode with a purpose-built Cannondale gravel bike as a partner. An odd couple, but works just fine here.
Mick’s ride, the Trek Checkpoint, Shimano Ultegra RX rear mech, Ultegra double chainring, chunky bar tape and two water bottles.
The generous 24mm wide DT Swiss GRC 1400 wheels were a massive upgrade from the 17mm rims they replaced. A much smoother ride, with no flat tyres holding them back.
Maxxis Rambler tyres in 40mm width, pumped with plenty of Stans Sealant.
Back to the campsite!

We absolutely loved it, it felt like no event we’ve been to before and combines a delightful mix of social riding in a nice part of the world. See you next year!

For more information, head to Bicycle Network site here: Bicycle Network.

Photos: Mick Ross/Flow MTB, Tim Bardsley-Smith, Lisa Cugnetto, Dave Musgrove.