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When it comes to ultra cycling, there are a lot of choices of events that cover a huge amount of distances. A question we often get asked here at the Gravalist is, “Why are our cycling events all around 500 km?”

500 km is one of the best distances for ultra cycling. In this article, we'll tell you why. It was not all just luck that they ended up at 500 km. There's a reason why we do this. Here’s what's behind it!

Maloti Route Sign With A Road Next To It

Great Distance For Everyone

The first reason to mention is that it is a great distance for all riders to participate in. It is a good place for beginners to start their ultra-cycling adventures and learn life on the road and trails without the struggle of knowing they have thousands of kilometers in front of them.

It is also a great challenge for experienced ultra cyclists to push themselves on trying to complete the route in as little as one or two days. This could be a great opportunity to take their skills to the limit, test gear, or explore a new area while having a short break.


Can Be Done In Good Time

The next reason we keep our events to 500 km is that they can be done in good time. 500 km for some could be completed in a day, and for others, it might take four days, depending on the terrain or the conditions that you will have to ride in. 

That’s why our events start on weekend mornings, and we aim for them to be completed within a few days, depending on how much of a rush you are in. This means that it doesn’t take too much holiday time from work or time away from loved ones. 

There are many ultra-cycling races that are very long distances, as much as 5000 km. Preparing for these can take a lot of time and can be as long as a month away from normal life for many.

A Dusty Gravel Trail

Easier For Race Preparation

A big part of ultra cycling is preparing for an event or a race. This involves planning how far you want to ride each day, checking the terrain, and even plotting some resupply points to ensure that you can stay hydrated and fuelled throughout your adventure. 

500 km is a great distance when it comes to preparation. Not only does it help you estimate where you are roughly going to be throughout the event, but you can also put a proper race strategy into place and know what to expect when you start riding, although nothing is ever guaranteed.


Keeps Riders Close Together

When it comes to Gravalist events, we only allow 13 participants per ride. This makes it a very personal experience for everyone. On a 500 km ride, there’s a strong chance that you will pass these other riders. 

These riders are not there as your competition. They are a part of your adventure, and they will be sharing a similar journey with you. A shorter-distance event will bring everyone together, and knowing they are close will make the experience special for you. 

A Lonely Road In The Outback

It Doesn’t Require Huge Amounts Of Training

500 km is a great distance because not only the reasons above but also you don’t have to spend a huge amount of time training for that distance. 500 km over 4 days is 125 km a day, which is achievable for many cyclists. 

This means that, unlike longer events with super tight cut-off times, we believe that 500 km is achievable with much less training. Not only does that take the pressure off the rider, but it also makes the event much more enjoyable. 


The Cost Is Better

Ultra cycling can be expensive. At the Gravalist, we are huge believers in keeping the cost as low as possible so each rider can enjoy our events. Long events can start to get pricey when you add up the costs of food, accommodation, and much more. 

When doing 500 km events, not only does our price stay low, but your adventure won’t break the bank. You can travel more and enjoy more places on your bike throughout the year. 

A gravel road in the distance

A Final Note 

Thanks for taking the time to read our article on why 500 km ultra cycling events are a perfect way to test yourself no matter what your ability. We highly recommend from here to check out some of the amazing events we have.

Post by Robbie
March 29, 2024