Those of you that follow the UK Gravel Collective social media channels may know that I recently started a podcast about……you guessed it, cycling!
I know what you are thinking, oh no, not another podcast and he’s about to say he wants it to be something different etc etc but, although you are correct and I do want it to be different I thought it would be one of the best ways to get the message that cycling, and I mean any genre of cycling, not just gravel riding, is GREAT!
Let me explain, because gravel riding is a relatively new thing (lets not over analyse the fact that riders have been riding “gravel” on all sorts of bikes probably since the bicycle was invented) it attracts people who either haven’t ridden a bike since they were little, want to dabble in some dirt riding without having to buy into the “moto” style of mtbing, all the videos you see are of full face helmets and jumps rather than a nice cross country ride which is probably because it’s boring to watch but awesome to do. Riders who have only ever ridden on tarmac, mtbers who just want to try something different and experienced riders who have ridden all types of bike and want to try the latest fad.
Now if you are new to gravel, or to riding in general, where do you go for advice on kit, bikes, where to ride, how to ride etc? I’d recommend your local bike shop but most people turn to the internet and social media. The internet is fantastic to find products and services but 99% of those websites are trying to sell you the product. So you join a few face book groups or forums dedicated to your sport of choice and this is where the problems lie. Social media can be an intimidating hell for a newbie or and old lag who doesn’t know the ins and outs of the new sport. Anyone who moderates forums or groups knows how quickly things escalate when someone asks an innocent question and then gets flamed for being new, not having “the right bike” or in the worse cases being the “wrong” gender or ethnicity. This makes me sad and disappointed that the cycling community, and I realise it only a few people and you’ll get idiots in every sport, isn’t welcoming to everyone who wants tp ride a bike.
The podcast is my idea to get knowledge out there to everyone who wants to ride a bicycle, from beginners to veterans, without prejudice or fear of asking an innocent question. When it comes down to it I’ll be happy and his goes for all the UK Gravel collective channels, this website, instagram, face book and youtube, if just one person decides to throw their leg over a bike. If that happens it’ll have been worth all the effort of setting it up.
So the first couple of episodes have been uploaded and I’m very pleased to say they’ve been well received. Just like the rest of the stuff I do, it’s not polished or slick, it’s just down to earth stuff that is meant to inspire. I don’t pretend to be an expert at cycling so I’m trying to line up guests who know more than me so that knowledge can be passed on to anyone who wants to listen.
The podcast can be heard on Spotify here anchor here and pocket cast here
Please give it a listen, any feed back or ideas fo future episodes is great fully received and if you want to be a guset drop me an email to Gary@ukgravelco.com