I had a fun gravel ride earlier this week on Arroyo Trabuco Trail.
I did an out and back, which has an access point about a mile from my house. It’s actually a fairly technical trail for me. Yet, I felt really confident on this ride.
I recently changed out the tires on my Franco Grimes Bicycle to Gravelking SS Panaracer. That's a less knobby tire for dry riding and less rolling resistance when riding tarmac. Riding on this trial tested the gravel-ability of these tires! They did well, but I wondered about switching them out and going back to the Gravelking SK Panaracer, which is definitely a gravel tire.
On the return, I was moving fast and accurately reading the trail well. At one point the trail went down and across a dry creek bed that I didn’t read well – and my skinny slick gravel tires just sank into the gravel. Dead stop - I couldn't peddle out of it.
I should have gone across the creek bed just a few feet up, but I didn't see that option on the apporach. I had to push out. Which was fine. But there was a mountain biker on a Santa Cruz who I didn’t know was on my tail. He had to abruptly stop. We laughed about it and he told me that I was setting such a good pace for him.
He pulled around and moved on up the trail, which then had a steep ascent. Well – being on my Franco, I had to catch and pass him before he got to the top of the hill. I did it. When I checked Strava, I saw that my ascent set a PR for me on that climb.
It was so fun!