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What's next? After gravel, what's the NEXT BIG THING?

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

What's next? After gravel, what's the NEXT BIG THING?

Old 08-05-19, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
I totally understand what you're saying. It's still a pretty blanket statement that isn't entirely true, at least for some people.

My experience is that while I encounter more cars on the road, I encounter more personal, intense interactions on gravel.

Case in point: I've never had a gun pulled on me on the road, I have on gravel.

I've never been bitten/attacked/taken out by a dog on the road, I have on gravel (and almost everyone I ride with has. Not true for road.)

I've never known a single roadie that packs heat. I know several gravel riders that do. That can't be coincidence.

Anyway, "not having to worry" about cars is well and good but it's not cars that I worry about, it's the sh*tbums driving them out in the middle of nowhere that can't been seen or tracked that I worry about.
sounds like straightly an American problem, guns are illegal in the rest of the world
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Old 08-05-19, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Chi_Z View Post
sounds like straightly an American problem, guns are illegal in the rest of the world
Oh, you're one of those, good day sir.
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Old 08-05-19, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
Oh, you're one of those, good day sir.
huh? one of what? guns are illegal in China and criminals who were caught with it usually face decades in jail. So the concept of worrying about getting blasted during a bike ride is very foreign to me
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Old 08-05-19, 09:23 PM
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Recumbents

I still think recumbents can become a thing. One day people will realise they can be faster due to aerodynamics and also comfortable.

Can you imagine an e-recumbent with full suspension and gravel tires? Lol.
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Old 08-05-19, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by HarborBandS View Post
And regarding the gravel trend, how many people are really in to crushing gravel vs. just owning a very versatile bike?

I worked in a bike shop when the hybrid trend came on strong in the 90's, and like gravel bikes hybrids are also quite versatile in terms of the mixed terrain they can handle. But hybrid owners were very quickly slapped with the label of "non-serious cyclist", and hybrids became the choice for soccer mom's and grandmas everywhere. Gravel bikes have a lot of the versatility of hybrids and touring bikes, but maintain a level of coolness.
Almost all of the most scenic roads here are dirt. Often hard packed dirt. Tens of thousands of miles of unpaved roads, many closed to cars entirely. I don't like riding on pea sized rock, but let me work some double track into a long loop and I'll be happy. I've even done ski trails in the summer.
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Old 08-06-19, 09:46 AM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
I totally understand what you're saying. It's still a pretty blanket statement that isn't entirely true, at least for some people.

My experience is that while I encounter more cars on the road, I encounter more personal, intense interactions on gravel.

Case in point: I've never had a gun pulled on me on the road, I have on gravel.

I've never been bitten/attacked/taken out by a dog on the road, I have on gravel (and almost everyone I ride with has. Not true for road.)

I've never known a single roadie that packs heat. I know several gravel riders that do. That can't be coincidence.

Anyway, "not having to worry" about cars is well and good but it's not cars that I worry about, it's the sh*tbums driving them out in the middle of nowhere that can't been seen or tracked that I worry about.
Originally Posted by Chi_Z View Post
sounds like straightly an American problem, guns are illegal in the rest of the world

Guns AND e-bikes - this is an AWESOME thread!!

I can't say that I've had any bad encounters - involving guns or otherwise - on the local dirt roads. But I am bracing for the inevitable yahoo coming the other way who doesn't slow down.

However, many years ago my wife and I were riding an out-and-back route on a national forest road. On the way back I could hear shooting - the rhythm sounded like target practice - and we had no alternate route. Sure enough, two guys set-up shooting across the road at targets on the other side. I taxi-whistled in advance and they stopped. We all said good morning to each other and my wife and I rode on. Felt a little weird because we were alone and about 3 miles from the main road.

Fortunately, that's my only guns and gravel experience.
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Old 08-06-19, 09:47 AM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by Chi_Z View Post
sounds like straightly an American problem, guns are illegal in the rest of the world
True. Anyone who has lived on multiple continents, including the US, realizes this is a strangely American problem. It ain't gonna happen in China or Europe (although there are other parts of the world).

Not an "emotional" comment just a fact. You don't need to worry about a gun being pulled on you in many places on this planet.
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Old 08-06-19, 09:48 AM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
I totally understand what you're saying. It's still a pretty blanket statement that isn't entirely true, at least for some people.

My experience is that while I encounter more cars on the road, I encounter more personal, intense interactions on gravel.

Case in point: I've never had a gun pulled on me on the road, I have on gravel.

I've never been bitten/attacked/taken out by a dog on the road, I have on gravel (and almost everyone I ride with has. Not true for road.)

I've never known a single roadie that packs heat. I know several gravel riders that do. That can't be coincidence.

Anyway, "not having to worry" about cars is well and good but it's not cars that I worry about, it's the sh*tbums driving them out in the middle of nowhere that can't been seen or tracked that I worry about.
Your observations are purely local to your area. Where are you? In middle Tennessee, our experience is the opposite. Almost all roadies carry small revolvers to deal with the problem of loose dogs (they don't load bullets, they load powdershot in order scare the dogs away). I don't know of anyone who has had a gun pulled on them on either type of road. But at the top of EVERY paved climb, you can count on there being at least one, and probably 3+ big loose dogs. On gravel? Not so much.
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Old 08-06-19, 09:50 AM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by Chi_Z View Post
sounds like straightly an American problem, guns are illegal in the rest of the world
Not completely true. There are many countries in which firearm ownership is legal. And in some countries -- Israel, Switzerland, others -- guns are mandated. (I would rather be in gun-mandated Switzerland than in gun-"restricted" Chicago on a Saturday night.)
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Old 08-06-19, 10:03 AM
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If you see anyone shooting across a FS road it's a good idea to report it when you get home. This is prohibited in all National Forests (and really almost everywhere), even one report will often get a trail camera set up to monitor and then patrols as necessary.

I don't think there's going to be a next big thing for a while. E-bikes are going to flash like gravel but neither are really reaching the same heights as the MTB boom, the explosion in the 70s or the roadie resurgence drive by Lance Armstrong. There's just too much variety to fuel one major growth trend right now. The popularity of a lot of these trends is obfuscated by the fact that most are based on a strict dollar comparison without sharing unit sales data or even adjusting for inflation. E-bike marketing it already playing this game attempting to jump-start viral behavior in consumers. I suspect this will work pretty well for a small subset of the population but will fizzle after trend-hoppers and early adopters have purchased their 1.2 bikes per person, or whatever.

If there is going to be a major growth area it'll probably be tied into the growth of NICA. Possible concurrent trend, continued reformation of the America diet to contract some of the massive weight gain that's been occurring nationwide since the 70s.
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Old 08-06-19, 10:35 AM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by Chi_Z View Post
sounds like straightly an American problem, guns are illegal in the rest of the world
A) completely false. And even in countries where guns are illegal, there are plenty of guns.

B) people invented many ways to hurt each other before firearms, those methods still work as well as always and I am just as concerned about being knifed or beaten as I am of being shot.
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Old 08-06-19, 10:39 AM
  #87  
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Hi, what's this thread about?
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Old 08-06-19, 10:57 AM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
I don't see it happening.

E bikes are expensive. I think e bikes are the ultimate niche bike. There will never be enough people interested in them to be the next 'thing.'
I'm no e-bike fan, but electronics and batteries are getting less expensive every day. What I think will be self-limiting on e-bikes though is that once there is a motor, people will want a bigger motor and eventually they just morph into the electric mopeds that they are. Maybe they stay pedal "assist" to satisfy some law about where people ride them, but with the wattage available in compact electric motors, that assist could easily be set to 95% .


Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
My hope - grass track racing. Won't sell a ton of bikes but could be a life changer for many. (I'd love to see inner city kids racing $600 Fuji track bikes on vacant lots. Another Nelson Vails?)

Ben
That sounds awesome. I wonder if they'd make a nice fixed gear gravel bike?


Originally Posted by wheelsmcgee View Post
My Midwest/rural USA perspective:

I don’t see a lot of gravel cyclists “moving on” to the next big cycling thing, at least where I live...maybe in other parts of the country. Gravel roads here are fun, challenging, abundant, offer great scenery, and in my opinion feel much safer than riding pavement (paved roads here are not designed with riding in mind, dedicated bike paths/MUPs are rare, and drivers are occasionally dangerous and inconsiderate)
I'm with you here. I didn't buy a gravel bike because I wanted to go somewhere and find gravel to ride. I bought it because I dislike driving somewhere to go ride, I was already riding gravel and the gravel bike was better at it than squeezing 38's into an old touring frame. Gravel bikes open up road cycling to the millions of Americans living in places where most of the roads aren't paved (the guys out west don't seem to understand midwest gravel riding). What would kill gravel riding here would involve millions and millions of dollars of asphalt.
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Old 08-06-19, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by sarhog View Post
I think I live where you live. Where are the best places to ride gravel? I just moved here last year and all my gravel rides so far have been at DuPont.
Thanks.
You do, I'm in Greenville.

Greenwood and Clinton have some good gravel. A lot of it is through Sumter National Forest, beautiful rides with very little traffic. Here's a few good routes, they're for events that SouthEast Gravel puts on. First one is in Feb, the next two are for a new event coming in Oct. They have a facebook page if you want to follow them, we did a preview ride for the Oct 100k route last month.

https://ridewithgps.com/trips/38169136
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30034091
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29865599
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Old 08-06-19, 12:05 PM
  #90  
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for the sake of my bicycles, I am hoping the next big thing is the not using salt on the roads!!

I love winter riding, but one way or another I hit roads that have had salt use.

Unfortunately I think my only option is to move locations.
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Old 08-06-19, 12:25 PM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
Not completely true. There are many countries in which firearm ownership is legal. And in some countries -- Israel, Switzerland, others -- guns are mandated. (I would rather be in gun-mandated Switzerland than in gun-"restricted" Chicago on a Saturday night.)


1. You can legally own guns in Chicago. The handgun ban that conservative media jumped all over about ten years ago has been off the books since 2010, when it was overturned by the Supreme Court. So was the ban on gun sales within city limits, which was basically useless since gun sales were always happening in the suburbs.

2. I lived within the city limits of Chicago for over a decade, and believe me, you are far more likely to get hit by a car or bitten by a dog when cycling than you are to get shot in Chicago, assuming you stay away from the worst neighborhoods in town and aren't involved in gang activity. Non-Chicagoans are incredibly ignorant about life in that city. Violent crime rates in Nashville (1,138 per 100,000 residents) and Memphis (2,003 per 100,000 residents!!!) are both higher than in Chicago (1,099 per 100,000 residents).

****
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Old 08-06-19, 09:16 PM
  #92  
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All this gun talk reminds me, I have seen mentions of bicycle biathlons but never had the chance to actually attend one.
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Old 08-07-19, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by jeffreythree View Post
All this gun talk reminds me, I have seen mentions of bicycle biathlons but never had the chance to actually attend one.
I would join one, sounds like fun! Maybe the next big thing is bikes with good mounts for holsters or rifle scabbards? Or kit with better accommodation for concealed carry would be nice.
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Old 08-07-19, 01:25 PM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
Your observations are purely local to your area. Where are you? In middle Tennessee, our experience is the opposite. Almost all roadies carry small revolvers to deal with the problem of loose dogs (they don't load bullets, they load powdershot in order scare the dogs away). I don't know of anyone who has had a gun pulled on them on either type of road. But at the top of EVERY paved climb, you can count on there being at least one, and probably 3+ big loose dogs. On gravel? Not so much.
I did a ride a few years ago, Strava have me a KOM because they'd never heard of anyone riding that road before. (Went doesn't Strava understand the concept of a first ascent?) Am older friend told me there's a guy who lives nearby, feels for some reason like the road crosses his property and or belongs to him a sand enforces his property rights with a pistol. So I asked around and in the 80s a few people have indeed had a gun pulled on them on that road. People said he was ancient back then and must have since gone to NRA heaven.

That's the closest I've come. Been chased by a dog, I threw a water bottle at it, missed, and the dog chased the bottle. I've had more problems with ankle sized yippee dogs, the kind that will run right in front of your wheel.

I've seen plenty of bears while riding. They're afraid of people. It's a treat to see one.
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Old 08-07-19, 03:04 PM
  #95  
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Yeah, I think there has been some misrepresentation of gravel riding on this thread as some kind of Jurassic Park, wild-west redneck playground. This isn't my experience here in the US deep south.

I can remember only one negative motorist encounter on gravel.

Hunters and outdoorsmen are usually really friendly. They typically ask if I've seen any wildlife and are eager to talk about trails, stream crossings, gravel/dirt roads and routes in general.

Dogs are no worse on gravel than pavement and there are fewer on gravel. Some are trained hunting dogs which obey their owner immediately.

Sunday I rode near a private hunting preserve. Guys were shooting shotguns just off the road. I stopped and walked over, asked if they minded if I watched. Everyone was super friendly and were pretty surprised by a carbon bike with hydraulic disk brakes and electronic shifting. Everyone was really chill.

The scene here in the south isn't huge but the riders are into gravel - not wide tire road bikes which might occassionaly stray onto dirt roads. Its about driving 1 or 2 hours to get to the mountains and hammer some forest service roads on 38's or wider.


-Tim-
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Old 08-07-19, 07:23 PM
  #96  
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Agreed, Tim. The downside is the drive to find unpaved roads. (There are none in my county.) I must admit envying those in rural Kansas / Nebraska who have to drive to find a paved road.
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Old 08-07-19, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
That's the closest I've come. Been chased by a dog, I threw a water bottle at it, missed, and the dog chased the bottle. I've had more problems with ankle sized yippee dogs, the kind that will run right in front of your wheel.

I've seen plenty of bears while riding. They're afraid of people. It's a treat to see one.
Come to Tennessee and let me introduce you to some paved road redneck dogs. They don't chase decoys. Always waiting at the top of the steepest climbs. I've had two dog attacks requiring medical attention. One pack attack where a pit got me. And one chow attack that required five surgeries and two years off the bike. They were both on civilized paved roads, though. I can't remember ever seeing a loose dog on gravel, whether in Tennessee or the midwest. (I'm sure they exist. I just haven't seen them.)
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Old 08-07-19, 07:36 PM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by softreset View Post

Personally, "gravel" bikes really only became a thing because people wanted to stuff bigger tires under their road bike. I see a lot of gravel bikes, pristine and with slicks on the local MUPs every weekend. No doubt, being loaded into or out of the owner's pristine SUV.

I bought a gravel bike because I wanted the utility and flexibility, there wasn't a single road bike that could achieve the results I wanted.
Thread seems to have taken a potential foo subforum turn but...

I will always take the gravel or dirt path given a choice. I go out of my way to include it. I use my "gravel" bike as my road and off road bike. I've had a pristine clean bike coming off my car at times like you mention and I've also done group road rides with the only mud and gray dust covered bike.

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Old 08-07-19, 08:46 PM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
Come to Tennessee and let me introduce you to some paved road redneck dogs. They don't chase decoys. Always waiting at the top of the steepest climbs. I've had two dog attacks requiring medical attention. One pack attack where a pit got me. And one chow attack that required five surgeries and two years off the bike. They were both on civilized paved roads, though. I can't remember ever seeing a loose dog on gravel, whether in Tennessee or the midwest. (I'm sure they exist. I just haven't seen them.)
In Kansas it seems like there are more loose dogs on gravel. But I also personally know several people who have either moved to the south or moved here from the south and they universally say that stray animals are a way bigger problem down there.

They're generally farm dogs vs junkyard dogs so maybe that accounts for it. I've only been bit once, fingers crossed, and it was a redneck dog and not a farm dog.

Originally Posted by u235 View Post
Thread seems to have taken a potential foo subforum turn but...

I will always take the gravel or dirt path given a choice. I go out of my way to include it. I use my "gravel" bike as my road and off road bike. I've had a pristine clean bike coming off my car at times like you mention and I've also done group road rides with the only mud and gray dust covered bike with salty dried sweat splatter mixed with dust on my head and top tube.
I would guess they took off in the rest if the country due to versatility. Here in Kansas it's also because we have a lot more gravel roads than paved roads, and they're usually more interesting and fun. I live in a mid sized city and I can leave my door and be on gravel in 5 miles.
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Old 08-08-19, 09:10 AM
  #100  
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Originally Posted by ksryder View Post
In Kansas it seems like there are more loose dogs on gravel. But I also personally know several people who have either moved to the south or moved here from the south and they universally say that stray animals are a way bigger problem down there.
When I was in college, I made drive from Mississippi State down to Tulane(New Orleans) to visit my now wife countless times. Probably averaged once every four weeks. Anyways, counting stray/loose dogs was one of the ways I passed the time. It was crushingly sad if I thought about all the systemic reasons why I saw so many dogs, but it was fun to superficially count them and see if I could find more than the previous trip.
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