My Gravel Bike: Stevil Kinevil
1. A loose aggregation of small water-worn or pounded stones.
2. Cover (an area of ground) with gravel.
3. Make (someone) angry or annoyed.
Who are we? What are we doing? Why was I asked to write about aggregation or aggravation? All questions perhaps worthy of being asked, and maybe with time, we will have answers. Firstly, my name is Stevil. I am one of the Gravel Alliance individuals who Shimano tapped to ride bikes and perhaps discuss a smattering of points related to piloting bicycles across varying forms of terra firma.
Way back when this whole Gravel Alliance project was just getting off the ground, I came to immediate terms with the fact that I wasn’t a gravel racer, or even a gravel rider. I don’t much care for labels. Just as it’s always been, I’m a bike rider who historically prefers to ride a cross bike on all manner of terrain, some of which of course happens to include dirt or gravel roads.
Certainly road bikes are fun on roads, and mountain bikes are fun on trails, but to my addled mind, a cross bike is fun everywhere. It wasn’t until recently finding myself in the throes of a long and lonely ride that I realize just how specific a gravel bike could be for the task at hand. It’s not a road bike, and it’s not a cross bike, and obviously, it’s not a mountain bike, but rather, I see it as an absolutely brilliant combination of the three.
In my decades of riding nearly all manner of bicycle, a gravel bike is what I’d rather spend a day on. And this coming from a person who has regularly and repeatedly noted that the only thing I’d rather do for multiple hours at a stretch is play in a creek and drink beer, though not necessarily in that order.
Whether I’m exploring trails, logging roads, paved roads, forest service roads, game trails, or wherever I happen to find myself, there is never a dull moment. Neither angry nor annoyed by the tired cliché regarding adventure being where one finds it, I eagerly anticipate many more years of ever only having to look as far as my gravel bike.