How to Create Amazing & Fun Gravel Routes! (From Scratch)

how to create routes for gravel cycling
Way off the beaten track, having a blast exploring!

G’day Trendsetters, this video has been requested many times. Namely how do I assemble, fun, amazing, and more gravel routes often in areas I don’t reside.

how to create gravel cycling routes
More rural exploration

Note: Whilst there are many options such as my own route library to download and follow the routes of others, I prefer riding original routes of my own design. Most of the time, I prefer the adventure and exploration that comes with making my own routes. Clearly this is not a perfect science.

How to Create Amazing & Fun Gravel Routes Video

Alternative Video Link for those reading via email subscription.

To keep it interesting I do not leverage online resources such as Gravel Map and Strava. Some riders do, and I totally understand that, but for me, these resources take all of the fun and mystery out of exploring. Harkening back to earlier times of wandering, getting lost, and getting found again, is how I like to ride when exploring.

how to create gravel cycling routes
In this video, I create a route starting & ending in Grandview, Texas

My desire for route creation and exploration will not work if you’re on a time crunch, but there’s plenty of options depending on where you live, for a quick one to two hour jaunt.

how to create gravel cycling routes
Leveraging Google Street View

My Pre-requisites for Gravel Cycling Route Design

  1. Ensure you have a ton of time to explore, I hate having a limitation on time. Weekends, vacations, the perfect time to wander.
  2. My routes must include interesting small towns, which are fun to explore, and provide another option, leading to pre-requisite number 3.
  3. I design routes with plenty of resupply options, which isn’t always perfect, depending on where you are riding. Plenty of riders are into bikepacking / slackpacking / credit card packing and so on, but I don’t like to carry more than two litres of water on my bike most of the time. I prefer my bike to be somewhat svelte, versus riding like a laden down 47lb bike truck.
how to create gravel cycling routes
Satellite View, another helpful tool!

The plotting portion of this video demonstrates my somewhat tedious, but ultimately rewarding method for designing a route from scratch. In this example, I chose Grandview, Texas, just south of the Dallas / Forth Metroplex. There are a ton of mixed-surface roads in this area, and I only touched on the surface with my humble route. I will return to the DFW area and surrounds soon to ride this route, a variant of, or something completely different, soon.

create routes for gravel cycling
Google drove this mixed-surface road, handy!
create routes for gravel cycling
Keep an eye on the big picture
create routes for gravel cycling
Let’s explore the other Italy. Italy, Texas!

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