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When it comes to our events here at the Gravalist, we get asked some amazing questions, but one that we often see asked is, “Should I treat the Gravalist event as a race or tour?” This is a fantastic question, and we can’t wait to answer it on the blog.

At each event, we have a great mix of people, and some want to be the first to finish, and others are just happy to enjoy the journey. Which is going to be the right way to go for you? In this article, we are going to discuss just that by speaking about:

  • What Are Gravalist Events?
  • Racing A Gravalist Event: What To Expect
  • Touring A Gravalist Event: What To Expect
  • Which Is For You, Race Or Tour?


What Are Gravalist Events?

The Gravalist events are ultra-cycling events where cyclists explore an amazing destination and discover more about themselves. We want to take you on a journey that will give you a memorable experience you will always remember. 

The events are 500 km long, and we only allow 13 participants per event. They are in unique locations around the world, and each route is designed by a local expert who has ridden the tracks and knows what you can expect. 

We keep the prices low so we can get as many cyclists on the journeys as possible, and we are constantly adding new events to inspire more people to go to different places and embrace new cultures. 


Racing A Gravalist Event: What To Expect

The first thing to mention is WE ARE NOT A RACE. WE ARE A BIKE RIDE! Some riders like to challenge themselves to be in the first place or even complete it in a certain time, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Here’s what you can expect from racing an event:

It’s Going To Be Tough

If you want to race a Gravalist event, it will be tough. You will have to ride a lot, take minimal breaks, and dig deep into your legs and your mind. You have to commit to giving your all and embrace everything thrown at you.

You Need To Spent A Little Time Off The Bike

When trying to get to the end of a 500 km event as fast as possible, where most people go wrong is taking too many breaks and taking too much time off the bike. The key isn’t how fast you ride but how little time you spend off the bike.

You Need To Eat And Drink A Lot

Cycling burns a lot of calories, and when you are racing, it’s a crazy amount. We have seen cyclists consume 10,000 calories a day, and still, it is not enough. Not eating and drinking degrades your performance and makes you feel terrible.

You Need To Be Mentally Tough

Many cyclists struggle more with the mental side of racing an event compared to the physical side. We hear many people say it’s 70% battling your head and 30% cycling, and I actually agree with this. Control the mind, and the legs will follow!

You're Going To Miss Some Amazing Sights

If you're planning on racing, it’s important to understand that you will miss out on some amazing sights. You will need to ride at night, and this can, for many, take away from the experience. You can also easily forget the ride when you're very tired. 


Touring A Gravalist Event: What To Expect

Many cyclists who come to our events choose not to race but to tour instead. This is where you will take your time, enjoy the journey, and just get to the end before the four-day cut-off. Here’s what you can expect:

You Can Enjoy The Destination More

If you are going slow, you get much more time to appreciate a destination. You can understand the culture better and enjoy the scenery, and we are even happy for you to ride in groups or pairs. 

It Removes The Competitive Element

It’s really easy to get lost in competing with others, which is not always a good thing in an event. It can make it stressful when it doesn’t need to be. There are no prizes in the Gravalist events.

You Don’t Need To Rush

When touring an event, you can take it much slower, and you will not need to be in a rush. This means slower pacing, much less stress, and a more pleasant overall experience on the bike.

You Can Enjoy Sleep

If you plan to race the event, there’s very little chance of you getting much sleep. When touring, you can slow down, stop camp, get a hotel, and enjoy much-needed rest. This sleep will lighten your mood and help you remember the memories. You are going to be in a better mood. 

You Have Time For Conversation

When you are touring, you have time for conversations. You are going to be on the same course as 12 other people and will cross them from time to time. Stop and talk to them, and share what you feel. It adds to theirs and your experience. 


Which Is For You, Race Or Tour?

When it comes to choosing between racing and touring, there’s a lot to think about. The easiest way to find the right answer for you is to think about the experience you want to have. I personally love to race, but there are times when I don’t want that experience. 

We recommend making a plan before going to the race. Switching between the two can ruin the ride. For example, going into a race and switching to touring will mean you gave too much and need to ease back, but you will still ache.

The same goes the other way. Starting touring and then ramping up the pressure to race means you have to create that mindset while at the event, and you will already be behind. 




A Final Note

The Gravalist is an amazing way to challenge yourself and discover who you are and what you are made of. You don’t need to race to get the best experience, sometimes it’s best to tour. It’s about the journey, and the Gravalist will take you on an amazing one!

Post by Robbie
Apr 7, 2024 1:07:55 PM