Gravel Cycling Rocks!

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I am crazy about riding gravel. Most of my cycling these days is on trails, paths, farm roads and super quite rural roads in and around where I live in northern Illinois. Out my door and in minutes I’m in dirt. In fact the trail system around here in Lake County, Illinois is just so fantastic there’s hardly a need to get on a busy road. I can do a hundred mile loop with less than ten miles of it on a road, and mostly just short connections or crossings. I love it.

I was a roadie.

Don’t get me wrong here, I love cycling on the roads with others, it’s just getting harder to find quiet roads with low traffic. I’ve ridden many miles on the edge of traffic and I’ve had my share of close calls, bumps and crashes. Lucky to say nothing ever major. And I’d like to keep it that way. I still ride road, just a little more picky about the time of day, the company and the traffic on the road.


emporia gravel capitol of the world, valenti, framed

Time alone in the woods.

For me, cycling has always been a think time, a time where I’m alone with my inner voice – gravel rides are perfect for that. Lots of time to go slow if I want, listen to the surrounding nature and just enjoy the ride. And since I can never seem to turn off the voice in my head, as I’m always looking for a new image, idea or solution to a problem, not looking over my shoulder for cars is a wonderful thing.


rough road 100 watercolor poster valenti

More gravel cycling art.

If you follow my work I’m sure you’ll see there is always a trail, or nature inspired watercolor or drawing getting posted. I do a lot of them because, well, I like to. As so many of my digital art posters are of iconic races like the Tour de France, or places like Alpe d’Huez, its good to find inspiration in the little every day things I see on the trail. Moving forward creating more digital work in the gravel category is definitely on my to-do-list. I’ve put a few example in this post but there are more to come as gravel is becoming more and more popular.


Join me in the woods.

If you’re on Strava, find me here – My Strava Page — and let’s go gravel riding together.

Follow Michael Valenti:

Michael Valenti is "The Veloist" - He is an avid cyclist and artist known for his Cycling Art work. Each year Michael chases the Pro Peloton at the Tour de France and other major cycling events. He is available for event and corporate cycling related projects as well as personal commissions for art.

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