Winding the clock back one week to the day, I found myself in Charlotte, North Carolina, attending the second annual Cyclofest Fall event, presented by Interbike. I missed the final Interbike trade show earlier this year in Las Vegas, and thought it important to attend this relatively “local” show. By local I mean it was less than 500 miles of driving, or about seven hours planted on my arse in the car. My good mates from BikeRumor.com would also be there – an entity I freelance for – so, another good reason to attend.
I’ll spare readers all of the ins-and-outs of the show, but watch this space for a bunch of techie goodness to appear soon. In fact, the first piece has already appeared, 3T’s Strada 1x road bike (totally relevant to gravel), so be sure to check out that article. Cyclofest is a relatively small show, and I figured I could cover everything I needed to see and photograph by 4pm, leaving me just enough time for a gravel ride before the fall of darkness.
I poked around on my usual internet haunts for internet mapping – see my tips HERE and HERE for that – and planned a 43 mile / 69 kilometre mixed surface ride that began and ended in Clover, South Carolina. Because the days in the Northern Hemisphere are getting short and shorter, my figured my ride would finish on the edge of darkness, so lights would be required.
This area features plenty of rolling hills, with a few punchy ones thrown in for good measure. Much as I’m not a fan of Strava, I did upload my ride so others can check out where I rode. See the bottom of this article.
Because of the limited time I had to ride around Clover, I plan to return again soon. I only scratched the surface of this area – nearby is Kings Mountain State Park, and there are plenty of sweet spots in and around there begging to be ridden!
Many of these gravel roads were so smooth, I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to use a road bike shod with 28mm tyres… particularly if that was the only bike I owned.
Sadly, my time on Orbea’s Terra gravel bike will be coming to an end soon. The video review is almost finished, after which, the bike will likely return to Orbea USA HQ.
When time permits (remember, I have a real job and that sort of thing), I’d like to assemble a short ride video. Most of these video captures don’t really do the area around Clover, South Carolina, justice. Additionally, I spotted the grand sum of TWO cars on the gravel sectors during the ride. Another reason to love riding bicycles on dirt and gravel roads.
Thanks for reading!
Check out my workout from the ride, sans heart rate data (left the strap at home), HERE.