So, what’s a gravel fondo, you may ask?
Well, it’s basically a cycling event that takes place on unpaved or gravel roads in rural or remote areas. It’s not really a race unless you want it to be. It’s more about the experience of riding together in a safe and social way, with a mix of terrain that provides a unique and challenging adventure.
This was the second edition of goodnessgravel Glen Innes and the sixth in the series of gravel fondos in Gundy, Mogo and Glen Innes.
See the previous edition in Gundy, through the lens of Beardy Mc Beard; click here.
How did it go?
The event started with registration at the Grand Central Hotel on Friday, where the majority of riders signed up. This meant that they all stayed overnight in Glen Innes, supporting local restaurants and contributing to the local economy. Kudos to Will and the team behind goodnessgravel for organizing such an inclusive event that brings together people of all ages and a diverse range of bikes. Big wide streets, and beautiful old buildings set the scene, and vast country roads awaited riders.
On the main day, the weather couldn’t have been better, with crisp autumn weather and clear skies making for perfect riding conditions. It was a day to remember as riders tackled the undulating gravel roads around Glen Innes, enjoying the scenic countryside and the camaraderie of fellow riders, all to the soundtrack of crunchy gravel beneath their tyres.
There were three courses on offer:
- 125km with 1,700m of climbing
- 75km with 1,000m of climbing
- 35km with 450m of climbing, dubbed the ‘Piccolo’
Out of the 161 riders who joined the event, eight were from the local Glen Innes region, while 54 hailed from Queensland, and a whopping 99 riders came from outside the region. The laid-back atmosphere and inclusivity of the event were evident as riders of different abilities and backgrounds came together to hang out and ride.
The roads for the event were undulating, with few nasty climbs, allowing the pace to roll along smoothly. The team did a great job in planning the route, ensuring that it provided a challenging yet enjoyable experience for the riders, and not a turn-off for newcomers.
It’s worth mentioning that the event not only attracted participants from different regions but also created a sense of community among the riders. The inclusive nature of the event brought people of different backgrounds and bike types together, fostering a positive and welcoming atmosphere. There were mountain bikes, gravel bikes and a handful of e-MTBs which were more than welcome.
Overall, Will and the team deserve recognition for their outstanding efforts in organising a successful event in Glen Innes. Their attention to detail, diverse route planning, and inclusive approach made the event a memorable experience for all.
If you’re curious about gravel fondos, give one a try. It’s not just about the race but about the experience of riding together, exploring new routes, and enjoying the unique challenges of mixed terrain. It’s a chance to connect with fellow cyclists, immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, and have a blast on two wheels.
Cheers to goodnessgravel for putting together an event that brings people together.
Next up is goodnessgravel, Mogo, June 17. We hope to see you there!
Read more about the series here – https://flowmountainbike.com/post-all/goodness-gravel-nsw-2023/
Official website here – https://goodnessgravel.com/
All photos by – https://www.instagram.com/catherine_stephen_photography/