The route promises to introduce even the most experienced navigators to a ride which spans lesser know paths and tracks across SW London. A mixture of passable off-road and gravel tracks, interspersed by quieter roads to link to one another. The 52km route (42km gravel), leaves Pearson Sheen store SW14 8AG where plentiful coffee and watering facilities are available.
The route will have staging posts where you will be able to access refreshments and mechanical facilities supplied by our partner company, Sportive Breaks. There will also be a roving mechanic for those in any difficulty on the route, a contact number will be provided in case of emergency. The ride finishes back at the store where our friends from Signal Brewery will be supplying light refreshments for everyone’s well-deserved efforts. The Wahoo team will also be at the start to help with downloads out on their bikes helping riders where required.
The route is not marked and for those who are not digital yet, we will be offering the chance the first 30 riders to borrow a new Wahoo GPS for the ride when entering online. Riders who are not equipped with the digital route will be unable to follow the course.
The nearest train station to our Sheen store is Mortlake, two minutes away, and there is also extensive free parking in the surrounding roads for those arriving by car. The route will be supplied ahead of the event to download into GPS devices and phones using navigation apps.
Some information about gravel riding.
Bike setup – ideally a gravel or cyclocross bike is best. Mountain bikes are also fine to ride but won’t be as quick (rider depending!). Road bikes with clearances for 700×36 tyres with knobbly tyres will be sufficient, but it is advised not to ride close tyre clearance road bikes for this event.
Any other kit required.
GPS or phones using navigation apps, 2 x spare tubes with inflators and mini tool. At least one hydration system, be it a drinks bottle or use of a backpack. A bell to forwarn people of your proximity, the easiest, most effective and polite way there is. LED lights if visibility is poor.
How gravel riding differs from road cycling.
Gravel riding is basically road riding on bikes with bigger clearances, larger tyres and with enough room for mud to pass through the space between rubber and frame. Although road bikes may look similar and some of the roads we use will be tarmac, the off-road and gravel sections will soon prove unpassable in damper conditions. Gravel bikes offer more grip on unmade paths and tend to be more upright for better control. Comfort is key, a good gravel bike will roll along well with higher volume tyres at lower pressures (usually much lower than a road tyre 40-60 psi versus 80-90 psi). Tyres range from 36 to 50mm and will vary in treads to suit different conditions.
Gearing is typically much lower (easier) than road machines, with many gravel bike riders opting for a single front chainring and a broad spread of rear gears. This reduces the chance of mud collecting around the cranks and is quicker to clean after a ride!
Pearson have three main models of gravel bike:
All models are supplied with a free bike fit sizing at the Sheen or Sutton stores. Please contact [email protected] to book a one to one appointment to get you started.
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