Solstice Explorer: Now THAT’S a proper Gravel Bike!

Don’t hate, but I went for a gravel ride. Yep. I indulged in some “grav-trav” or perhaps I “groaded” or whatever fancy term the cool kids of cycling are using this week. It was dirty and it was fun. I didn’t have one of those fancy carbon aerodynamic “gravel bikes” that the industry insists you need (depending on the grade of your gravel of course). In fact, I had the BEST gravel bike ever…

Now THAT’S what I call a proper gravel bike!

Last weekend some friends and I rented a cabin up in the Tasmanian wilderness where there was no WiFi, limited phone reception and very few other people. It was absolute heaven! Most of the roads out that way are gravel or dirt, so I took the trail bike with the intention of doing some exploring.

Will ride gravel for this view: Mid-winter in the Tasmanian wilderness!

My trail bike (a Scott Genius) is equipped with a “TwinLoc” switch to  adjust the suspension on the fly – lock it rigid for smooth roads, choose 100mm of travel for the gravel and dirt, then switch to 150mm of full-travel for downhill and gnar! Cruising around on large 29 inch wheels and tubeless tyres at a plush 18psi, it’s a bike that can handle anything.

A proper gravel road. Just gonna send it at full speed…

Dirt road fun and games.

Either side of the main roads were plenty of old logging tracks, gravel trails and long forgotten singletrack. There’s nothing quite like the simple pleasure of exploring, not knowing what’s around the corner or if the trail even goes anywhere!

Most of the time I had no idea where I was and it didn’t matter. No looking at distances or average speeds. Just riding bikes and taking photos. You never know what you might stumble across. Sure a “gravel” bike could take me most of the way, but probably not this far into the woods…

I wonder how long this has been here? Somebody loved this car once.

I can 100% relate to the call of the gravel road – the lack of cars and other people. The sounds, the sights, the adventure. The beauty of getting closer to nature. So yes, I’ll travel down the odd gravel road – as long as it leads to even wilder trails – and as long as I can take the right bike! ;-)


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