I joined the Ribble Factory Test Team in Kielder Forest to tackle the Dirty Reiver - a 200km gravel sportive. The idea was to put the bikes to the test and get to grips with some serious off-road riding.
The Ronde Van Calderdale. Possibly the friendliest but hardest sportive in the UK. A true cobbled classic requiring some significant grit.
Gravel bikes are all the rage at the moment so in order to keep things trendy I’ve been getting hands on with the Ribble CGR and having an attempt at riding ‘off the beaten track’. I’m not going to lie, I’m a bit like Bambi on ice when it comes to leaving the tarmac but I’m steadily getting to grips with things. Over the last few months I’ve learnt a few things about gravel riding.
It’s been three years since Ribble first introduced a gravel bike to the market to satisfy the ever growing demand for ‘adventure’ bikes. Due to the popularity of the first model, Ribble decided to work on a new range of gravel bikes that were introduced to the market in autumn last year. They can be categorised into four main classes; carbon, aluminium and steel and titanium. I opted for the aluminium as my weapon of choice.
Cyclists across the UK are currently looking out from the sweaty turbo dungeons in state of utter bewilderment as a giant fireball blazes it’s way across the sky. Amidst random shouts of ‘ride on’ and ‘watts per kilo; they climb slowly up the stairs and out the door into the real world, horrified at the possibility of riding on open roads for the first time in 2019. It’s too early and the cyclists are yet to fully prepare for such scenes.
January is always a tough time for motivation. I can’t be the only person that finds this time of year difficult? At last we’re through what feels like the longest month of the year.
Where did the year go? It’s December already, and in between the pigs in blankets and present shopping, it’s that time of year when people take a look back at the last 12 months and determine whether they had a successful year or not...
Rewind twelve months and you’ll find me cruising the Yorkshire Dales, skipping in and out of snow drifts in a blizzard with a big smile on my face. Indoor training is still a sin to me and everything I do is outside.
Fast forward to present day and I’m sat in the garage avoiding the rain having bought a smart turbo and a subscription to Zwift.
What is the line between obsession and enjoyment in sport? As an individual we probably always argue it’s for enjoyment, but as an onlooker it’s easy to argue it’s obsession.