You don’t need to know where you’re going, just how to get there
GRAVEL LOOKBOOK BY ISADORE
A gravel state of mind
For us, cycling is largely about opening our minds on the open roads. Exploration and discovery are key. And the explosion of off-road riding with dropbar road bikes and slightly wider tires means that even wider ride options lay ahead of us.
We headed to Morocco not only to test our newest Gravel Jersey and accompanying kit, but to expand our understanding of what is known as gravel grinding. Sunup to sundown, our days were defined by two wheels, a new insight into ourselves, and a closer impression of the locals who live every day in this environment. It was amazing.
Martin, Katrine & Daniel
I have been to Morocco before. I knew it would be cold in the morning and evening, hot during the day. But it was the landscape and all the smiles on the faces of the people we rode by that was just heartwarming!
And covering the distances on a gravel bike enhances the whole experience. Time and average speed don't mean anything anymore. The gravel, the bike and you… that's it. It was an amazing chance simply to enjoy the silence that the nature around you is offering.
I expected beautiful views, silence, and a feeling of being alone in a very big world. I think the biggest surprise was how hard it was to find a path that was not frequently used for donkey traffic and shepherds.
We felt like we were miles away from civilization and suddenly out of the blue I could peek through the window of an everyday life that is so different from my own. And it is part of the joy I experienced in gravel riding, which is much more facetted than road riding for me.
Gravel is more complicated, and required more from me and my brain, but the challenges and the complexity made the impressions sink in much deeper. The memories are not polished and smooth, but rough and honest, almost like the experience has left a small scar.
I didn’t know much about Morocco in terms of cycling. The Atlas Mountains were just beautiful. It wasn’t so much a surprise, but I was just amazed by the nature surrounding us. And taking to the gravel, it’s kinda punk road cycling. When you have a bit of a skill, you can go really fast and have a lot of fun!
Moroccan gravel roads were the perfect definition of gravel riding for me. We were able to explore, and we experienced much more of nature than just from the roads. We met the local people from the hidden villages in the middle of the Atlas Mountains. With gravel riding you somehow enjoy and focus more on what’s around you.
There is a much bigger fun-factor in gravel riding than on a road bike for me. I don’t need to think that much about the speed or power. When I go for a ride on a road bike I always think about the effort and even though I don’t do a lot of training sessions or intervals, I always try to make more of it than just to spin the pedals.
I don’t have this feeling while riding a gravel bike and that’s the biggest difference. I don’t think I have ever had any ride about which I could say it wasn’t a success.
The purpose is to get my mind off everything and just to enjoy the thing that I love. If this purpose is fulfilled, any kind of ride, slow or fast, easy or hard, short or long, will be a success.
Gravel is different, it's not a race, it's exploration. It is a different story, it already starts when you put your ass on the saddle. The position on a gravel bike is already so different that your brain follows immediately!
More or less, every ride is satisfying for me, even when I'm freezing or get wet and dirty all over. It's just pure joy when I'm on my bike. It gives me balance, makes me calm and patient. I know my limits and can estimate them really well.
When I’m riding gravel the goal is to let go of my own needs and give in to the adventure. Let the adventure take the shape that it’s meant to take, without controlling training peaks and analysing power zones after the ride. It gives me a bigger perspective.
I used to be all about performing and very goal oriented. Not only in riding, but in everything that I do. Lately I find that I need to focus more on the process, and that happens to fit very well into this new-found passion for gravel riding.
Gravel riding definitely requires a multitool. You have to be able to fix anything on-the-go, or you’re not getting home. And I never ride anywhere without a banana or snickers. I find it especially important to be able to keep my blood sugar constant throughout the whole ride, so that I can enjoy the road home, and finish off strongly.
For me, the full experience of the ride includes a post ride tea, coffee, or cold beverage on stairs in front of my house, allowing the ride and the impressions to sink in.
Art direction and Marketing
Shot on Location