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Gravel biking is one of the fastest growing segments of cycling. As road riding becomes more dangerous with distracted drivers, cyclists are now seeking gravel. Gravel roads are less trafficked, more scenic and adventurous, and often more technically challenging when compared to road biking. 

What is Gravel biking? Gravel biking is a wide open segment in which the bikes are built not just for pavement, but also for fire roads, gravel roads, single track, adventure riding and bike packing. The bikes tend to have longer wheelbases than a traditional road bike, more upright positions, lower bottom brackets for stability, and clearance for wider tires. They are suitable for all but the fastest of road riding, while the wider tires and wider-range gearing make off-road trails and gravel more manageable. They are robust, comfortable and often can carry luggage making them ideal for light touring adventures or for those longer and faster commutes.

 Gravel biking can raise a smile in so many ways. The captivating scenery along the way makes gravel grinding one of the most aesthetically pleasing riding adventures possible. One of the great things about gravel is that you don't have to travel to remote trailheads to find good riding. Gravel can be found right outside your front door

Ryan Van Duzer: professional adventurer, wearing ElevenPine shorts on a gravel ride.

A trail from Roll Massif's Wild Horse Gravel in De Beque, Colorado.

Riders enjoying the rolling gravel roads at the Kandango in Salina Kansas.

Having fun is the name of the game. Camaraderie and adventure are two of the reasons we love this sport and are the core focus of gravel events around the country. Especially for rides like the Dirty Kanza, the nations most well-known gravel ride with over 3,500 riders every year. We recently spoke with our friends at Roll Massif, a group that has been putting on iconic cycling events such as Elephant Rock, Copper Triangle and Tour de Moon around our great state of Colorado for years, and Kandango, a group that has created an amazing multi-day event in Kansas that is becoming known as the RAGBRAI of gravel biking.

Roll Massif and Kandango gave us the inside scoop on their epic gravel events coming up. They emphasized that these events are not races like your standard cycling event. Everyone is a winner for just getting out there and adventuring. Join one or all of the below. You will not be disappointed.

Wild Horse Gravel
Location: De Beque Colorado
Date: May 11, 2019
This ride comes in a 50 mile and an 80-mile segment according to Roll Massif this ride "showcases the unique high desert-scape of the Western Slope...there will be a Colorado country party to accompany the ride. Participants benefit from exclusive access to this secret stash of top-shelf gravel."

The Kandango: Unpaved
Location: Salina, KS
Date: May 31- Jun 2, 2019

Kandango finds the most interesting back roads and designs their courses to take the roads less traveled and provide plenty of fun with towns hosting parties along the way with food, beer and live music. Kandango claims "this is is the only ride in the world to take riders through an active bombing range...through cowboy country with beautiful rolling hills and critters roaming the range. We might even throw in a cave. The ride ends for most at Mushroom Rocks State Park."

The Dirty Kanza
Location: Emporia, Kansas
Date: June 1, 2019
The nation’s premiere gravel ride with multiple distances ranging from 25 to 200 miles of mud filled, gravel grinding, through the Flint Hills of Kansas. This race may be grueling, but riders love it for its adventure and camaraderie.

Elephant Rock
Location: Castle Rock, CO
Date: June 1-2, 2019
This ride takes you through the beautiful Castle Wood State Park and is made to be your gateway into gravel riding. It comes in a 27 and 56-mile ride and is a great way to get into gravel riding if you have never done it before.

Crooked Gravel
Location: Winter Park, Colorado
Date: August 10, 2019

In this high mountain ride, you have a choice of a 68 and a 97 miles Roll Massif describes this event "with long, winding climbs up through aspen and pine forests, wide open descents under the massive Colorado sky and – on the long route – some secret tracks never before explored in a cycling event. If nothing worth doing is easy, then Crooked Gravel is certainly worth doing… Both routes tackle over 5,000 feet of climbing on gravel, beginning at 8,500 feet elevation."

If you want to learn more about any of these events, head over to and 

If you are looking for gravel events in your local area, check out the helpful gravel calendars below. ttps://

Now that you are hooked on gravel, it’s time to upgrade your gear. ElevenPine shorts are more rugged than your typical roadie spandex and they convert to form-fit to ensure you are aerodynamic, comfortable and looking good while riding. The shorts also feature air vents to keep you cool. With dual zipper pockets, you will be able to keep your belongings secure, no matter the terrain. A padded liner is included in the combo deal to keep you comfortable on the saddle for longer, more difficult rides. Use code: GRAVEL1O for 10% off our shorts below.