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The Bill Bone Road & Gravel Series Schedule - And An Introduction to Gravel Riding

Bill Bone Road and Gravel Race Series

Bill Bone is proud to be the title sponsor of the Bill Bone Road & Gravel Series.  The Road & Gravel Series is the largest racing series of its kind in Florida.  It consists of 21 events held across the state, including criteriums, Gran Fondos, time trials, and gravel races.  These are all part of the Bill Bone Cycling Series. Upcoming events include:

Bill-Bone-Road-Gravel-Series-Schedule

Bill Bone Hill Top Criterium Series presented by Simon & Sigalos, LLP
March 24, 5:45 PM – May 5, 7:15 PM (every Wednesday through May 5)
West Palm Beach, Eshleman Trail, West Palm Beach, FL 33413
For further information and to register, click here.

Bill Bone Florida State Criterium Championship
May 15, 7:00 AM – 12:00 PM
St. Lucie Fairgrounds, 15601 Midway Road, Ft. Pierce, FL 34945
For further information and to register, click here.

Bill Bone Pursuit Series (Tradewinds Park)
September 1, 5:30 PM – October 13, 9:30 PM (every Wednesday through October 13)
Tradewinds Park (North Side), 3600 W. Sample Road, Coconut Creek, FL 33066
For further information and to register, click here.

Bill Bone FL State Championship & Gravel Grinder presented by CONTE’S BIKE SHOP
December 12, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Miami Brewing Company, 30205 SW 217th Ave., Homestead, FL 33030
For further information and to register, click here.

Bill Bone Burger Fondo presented by CONTE’S BIKE SHOP
April 18, 7:00 AM
Conte’s Bike Shop, 3150 N.
Federal Highway, Boca Raton, FL 33431
For further information and to register, click here.

Bill Bone Florida State TT Championships
May 16, 7:30 AM
Western Palm Beach County, PGGX+9F, Wellington, FL
For further information and to register, click here.

Bill Bone Gravel Fort Lauderdale presented by CONTE’S BIKE SHOP
November 14, 8:00 AM
Sawgrass Recreation Park, 1006 US-27, Weston, FL 33327
For further information and to register, click here.

Introduction to Gravel Riding

Gravel Riding

Gravel riding has been the hottest new trend in cycling the past few years.  So what is gravel riding?  The basic concept is getting on your bike to ride dirt and gravel (unpaved) roads and trails.  It really isn’t anything new; it combines elements of both road and mountain biking. 

Regardless of whether it’s dirt or gravel roads, trails must consist of non-technical and unsurfaced roads in order to qualify as gravel riding.  Because such trails are not usually found in cities, most gravel riding is done in more rural areas surrounded by plenty of natural beauty.  Canal paths, forest roads, and old wagon trails are some common examples of gravel riding trails. 

Gravel riding’s popularity has exploded with hundreds of events, tens of thousands of active gravel cyclists, and a steady stream of new gravel-specific bikes and equipment hitting the market.  And enthusiasts are flocking to gravel racing events across the country.

There are many reasons why gravel riding has enjoyed its meteoric rise in popularity.  But one of the most widely cited reasons is that it’s just plain fun and exciting.  Gravel riding adds an element of thrill and a sense of potential danger to the cycling experience.  Fans love it for the exhilarating discoveries while riding, and the natural scenery make it an esthetically pleasing journey.  With thousands of miles of unpaved roads, the possibilities for exploration and adventure are practically limitless.

Another reason many experienced cyclists give for enjoying gravel racing is that it’s a more relaxed environment than traditional cycling events.  Cycling as a sport has traditionally been taken very seriously by participants who show up for events and keep their game face on all weekend.  Socializing is not really part of the equation.  Typically, participants show up for their event, ride, and go home.  In contrast, although still competitive, gravel racing events place much more emphasis on having fun and building an inclusive and welcoming culture around the nascent sport. 

Similarly, some riders feel that road cyclists can be snobbish and cliquish, particularly if you don’t have the right gear.  They report feeling intimidated and unwelcomed.  But it’s a far more relaxed and accepting vibe with gravel riders.  You just show up and have fun.  Whether you’re wearing spandex or baggy shorts, nobody cares or judges.         

Furthermore, gravel riding is relatively safe compared with road cycling.  Cyclists on roads getting hit by vehicles is an all-too-common occurrence, especially in Florida which consistently leads the nation as the deadliest state for cyclists.  Many cyclists are understandably in a constant state of anxiety while riding on busy roads, hoping that today’s not the day calamity strikes while doing what they love.  In contrast, that’s not an issue while gravel riding.  Riders encounter relatively few, if any, vehicles on gravel trails, and any vehicles out there aren’t speeding past gravel riders within inches of their bike.  Gravel riders often comment on just how enjoyable it is to ride without the constant specter of getting hit hanging over them.       

Yet another reason for gravel riding’s popularity is its inclusivity.  Women in particular are joining the gravel riding craze in large numbers.  Traditional road cycling culture is viewed by many as inadvertently discriminatory against women.  Group rides are often very fast and competitive, which makes them quite daunting and unappealing for many women.  This is evident by the heavily skewed male to female ratio at many group rides.  Contrast that to gravel riding where the percentage of female participants is frequently much greater than the typical road cycling group ride.   

Gravel riding isn’t a passing fad.  It’s here to stay because it offers something for everyone.  For thrill seekers and the adventurous types, gravel riding provides endless challenges and riding experiences from fast-rolling dirt roads to potholed, blown-out jeep tracks to washboards, ruts, exposed rocks, and sand bogs to primitive double-track and machine-cut singletrack.  For others, gravel riding allows for a relaxed, safe, and thoroughly pleasant day on their bike without the anxiety of speeding vehicles only inches away.  Gravel riding isn’t about getting from point A to point B; it’s about the thrill or serenity of the journey itself.  That’s why more and more riders are “going gravel.”     

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