Updated: Aug 10, 2022
The Grinduro Effect
From the moment we arrived at basecamp - to be greeted by the friendly, welcoming volunteers - we know something special was brewing.
The smooth-running, efficiency and generally cheerful vibe has become a Grinduro trademark - and is in large part thanks to this fabulous ever-helpful and cheerful army of volunteers. This is what is behind the Grinduro Effect - which is kinda infectious.
The wholeheartedly fabulous Wales weekend experience was hugely enhanced by way of a generous test ride loan by 1816 Cycles. The L'Enfer du Nord (hell of the north) gravel bike is designed to eat up the trails .This carbon mean-machine was an absolute delight to ride and put it through its paces on a selection of superbly designed routes.
Time to catch up with our friends @stohkofficial - the bicycling, brewing bothers and relieve them of a pint or few stohk stocks of their delicious XPA. Thanks once again for having us along to ride, review and relish the experience.
So - signing on in the cavernous canvas canopy was as slick as it gets - and made all the more seamless by those lovely volunteer folk (Grinduro Effect).
Thought we'd have a go at the Friday eve "prologue" - a snappy blast up and back down the mountain - as you do in Wales. Surprisingly gnarly in parts - the 1816 L'Enfer Do Nord seem to be saying "cant you go any faster....?". Apart from a cart-wheel manoeuvre and close encounter with the bracken (havent told the guys at 1816 yet!) managed to keep it upright for most of the testy terrain and with a boulder hop and skip or 2 barrelled in to the start/finish zone with a rather large smile on my face.
Have to say - the catering at Grinduro is top-notch - and quite surprised to find that ALL meals (yes ALL) are fully catered and pretty darn delicious. Served with the customary Grinduro smile of course (Grinduro Effect)
Saturday's double stage up and into the mountains behin base camp was a perfect blend of climbing, breath-taking descents on super-smooth forestry roads, single track and slate.
The ride on le 1816 Enfer Du Nord was simply sublime and the SRAM Red shifters an absolute treat. For me - the acid test is how the bike behaves up (stupidly) steep gradients. Normally moving your weight further back to keep the traction on the back wheel = wheely'ing up the hill. Alternatively - shifting body weight forward to stop that happening = spinning out on the back wheel. None of that! The geometry, wheel base, balance and distribution is pure genius and in perfect harmony.
Not to mention the weight - with full carbon frameset and Zipp wheels - there is very little of it!
Bouncing down the sometime gnarly, rocky descents this superbly designed 1816 just takes is. No bouncing around - just quiet, confident trail handling - taken in its stride - almost effortlessly.
And just when you thought the Grinduro Effect was waning - high up on a misty mountain we encounter another happy, helpful volunteer - specially stationed to ensure our smooth passage - kindly holding the gate open for us.....:)
More Grinduro Effect high up on the mountain.
One of the most enjoyable rides of my life.
Back at base camp - the party was kicking into 2nd gear. After a mosey around the village - to chat to the lovely folk at komoot, WTB amongst others got into the business of refuelling on another fab Grinduro chilli and a stohk or few to complete the picture.
Time to party!
If you want a taste of Welsh gravel riding, come along to our very own summer Gravel Fest in the hills of RADnorshire - aptly named.
Join us in the Welsh hills this September 16-18 for a weekend of epic gravel riding, camping, live music, fireside vibes, great food and company. This is definitely not a race, soak up the spectacular mountain views and take it at your own pace on a choice of routes.
Our vision is to create an inclusive event atmosphere where everyone is welcome.
Our mission is to make nature and the great outdoors accessible through cycling to everyone, regardless of background.
Thanks again to Stohk for the invite up to this wonderful event!