5 August 2021

So you’re preparing for your first gravel race? No matter the distance, it’s never faster than a road bicycle race, but it’s faster than a mountain bike race. Here are are six key tips on what to do and to pack before you hit the gravel roads.

Author: Jacco Pelser

  1. A bit of training, go out on some long rides, not fast, not too hard. but enjoyable long rides to get your body used to that feeling and that you are comfortable on your bicycle saddle. 
  2. Bike bag, it might sound odd, but you need space for your arm-warmers once you take them off and your lightweight cycling jacket. Don’t forget, you might also have the extra spares. 
  3. Nutrition for on the bike. Gels and bars work, there’s no hiding that fact, but test what works best with your body and stomach. Don’t solely rely on gels and bars, real foods work too. Some people prefer fruits, nuts and even salty potatoes on a ride. Gels should be for the real race and for the last minute resort in ultra-distance riding. You don’t want to lift your energy and then dropdown (once you start with a caffeine gel, you have to keep it up until the finish line). Caffeine gives a good kick but often drops you really hard. Our tip is to avoid it during a long-distance event. 
  4. A warm jacket or some arm warmers. The weather can change a lot on these long-distance rides and you never know how the weather looks around the corner.
  5. Eat well the week before, but eat normally. Often we tend to eat a lot of carbs and fancy foods leading up to an event and this is when you end up with an upset stomach on the day. 
  6. Have your bike looked over. Tyre sealant most importantly, brake pads and for ease of mind, check your gears are running smoothly. 

We never know exactly what to expect on these types of rides, go out on one or two pre rides and see how your body reacts and what works for it. Also, test the gear that you’d want to take with or use. See what spare parts you need in case of a small crash on the bike.

Go prepared. Enjoy. Have fun.

We’re currently running a competition to win an entry to the Dirty South Gravel Race (SA). The winner will be announced on Tuesday the 10th of August 2021 and receives a Dirty South Race entry, Enduren Nutrition Hamper & a Killat Collective Bag. Visit our Instagram page to enroll.

The Race: 
📆1-3 October 2021
🏨 Lush hotel accommodation
🍴 All meals
🚑 Full en route support
🛠 Wash & lube
🎉 Party vibes


Jacco Pelser is Killat’s lead content creator but he spends most of his time on the bike.

📸 Zandi Rohrer

This post was written by killatAdmin

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