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Welcome to the Gravalist. We are an ultra-cycling events company that works in a unique way compared to others. Not only do we currently only run a 500 km distance, but we also have limits on how many people we let into our events. 

Our current rule is that we will only take 13 participants in each event. We often get questioned why this is the route we take, and in this article, we will discuss just that. Here’s what you need to know.

  • The Gravalist Ultra Cycling Events
  • Why Only 13 Participate In Our Ultra Cycling Events?
  • Are Gravalist Events For You?


A mountain landscape


The Gravalist Ultra Cycling Events

Before we tell you all about the participation level in our events, it’s good to explain a little more about them. As we mentioned before, they are 500 km each, and we limit the numbers to a small group. 

The events we currently run are in some incredible places, and we are adding more and more all the time. We try to keep them short enough to be completed in a limited time so they can be done over a long weekend and not require a month away from family or work.

They are events where you sign in remotely, all meet at the same time in the same location, and then go on your adventure. We don’t like to think of the events as a race but a journey into the unknown, to the edge of your limits, where you can discover more about yourself. 


A gravel A gravel road with a bridge


Why Only 13 Participate In Our Ultra Cycling Events?

There are many reasons why we chose only 13 participants instead of doing mass entry events. Here’s why:

Sense Of Community

When it comes to smaller groups, you get a much better sense of community. Not only do you get to cycle around fewer people, but it adds to the experience because you're sharing their journey, and they are sharing yours. 

Suppose you have been lucky enough to enter more than one ultra-cycling event. In that case, you will have experienced some that are very busy and chaotic and others, especially first-time events, that are smaller and more personal.

For the Gravalist, we wanted that small community to be at the start line. It's calm. You could come along, have a nice chat with other participants, and then all be on your way, sharing the same route but a completely different adventure. 


A field with rocks on



Another very important factor for us was cost. If we kept the participants down, it helped us keep the cost down. There are many reasons that costs can stack up from an event organizer's point of view, but to ensure great value for money, having only 13 ensures a much lower cost we can pass on.

Some ultra-cycling events can cost as much as $600, which is a lot of money. We aim to keep ours around the $120 mark but with better service. It’s easy to spend a lot of money on an event, but you don’t have to. 


Quieter Routes

The journey you are going to take, although with others, is going to be a tough personal challenge. With larger races where hundreds start, quieter routes are taken away from you, and for us, that isn’t an event we want. 

With the Gravalist, you are not constantly looking behind you to see who is chasing you, and you're not following a few people in front. Only 13 participants split the group up very quickly, and it becomes your own adventure and race against yourself. You may pass others, but much less often.

The routes are there to be enjoyed on these epic trips. The last thing you need is to chase others and be distracted, which will take you away from the place you may have traveled far to enjoy.


A rocky field off the road.


It Less Competitive

You race your own race when it comes to Gravalist events. You can go in wanting to attack and be the fastest around the course, or it might be more of a holiday or break for you. In larger events, people seem to be a little more competitive.

In smaller events, we have found people enjoy the journey more for the experience than to try to be on a podium. This is an easy trap for many riders to fall into and really does take away from the adventure that you should be getting. 


Opportunities For Building

Ultra-cycling events can be quite intimidating. Turning up to a hall with hundreds in often becomes very overwhelming. A big factor in running small events for us is that they could be used as an introduction to bigger events. 

You check in and see a small group at the start line, and you are off. The events the Gravalist offers not only challenges an experienced ultra cyclist but are a great stepping stone to riding longer distances in more competitive environments if that’s a route you wish to go down. 


A brown gravel road.


Are Gravalist Events For You?

Gravalist events are not your typical ultra-cycling events. They are much more personal, and we're trying to give you an experience that you will never forget. We highly recommend trying one of the many options and look forward to hearing from you about the journey you go on.

Post by Robbie
March 25, 2024