Here we have two videos for you that may have you asking a few questions. Have you got the wrong tyres? The wrong tyre pressure? Maybe you’re wearing the wrong shorts. Perhaps you need different bar tape. Because when you ride a gravel bike, it’s not like this, is it?
We suspect your reality lies somewhere along the scale that starts with ‘successfully dodging a big poo on the canal tow path’, moves up through ‘holding it together when the detour got a bit muddy’, on to ‘rode a trail previously conquered on a 2003 hardtail’, and up to the very pinnacle of success ‘bunnyhopped a squirrel and didn’t slip on that root’. These videos are not shot on that scale. These riders have a different unit of measure, that involves taps and gaps, whips, concrete and kickers. And sun, and dust, and riding without losing the feeling in your fingers.
Behold. And yes, they’re clipped in too.
It’s kind of Robin Wallner to try and make us feel a little less inadequate by wearing questionable footwear while shooting this video. Sort of roadie rave spats. And unlike Andrew Jackson he’s not somewhere nice and sunny. But it didn’t completely console us over our lack of skills.
Anyway, we’re off to invent a new niche at which we can excel. Canalduro maybe? Doesn’t look right. Micrognar – extreme Brompton riding? What about that special sort of riding you do when really cold and trying to breath without swallowing any puddle water – kind of the canal towpath rider’s version of free diving? Maybe we could be really successful at that.