I wonder where that one goes?
Surrounded on all sides by National Park, state forest, pine plantations and farmland, Beechworth is blessed with all the elements that make for an excellent gravel destination. Gradients are manageable (most of them), roads are quiet and the scenery ever-changing. The region is steeped in history, the weather generally pleasant, we have plenty of great cafes, food producers and wineries, and we have not one but two independent craft breweries, Bridge Road Brewers and Billson’s Brewery.
The Gravelmob concept came about after a happy meeting of minds and circumstances. Gravelmob founders Ian and Marty are two mates from Beechworth who love bikes. Riding them, tweaking them, experimenting with them, spending money on them. And also just looking at them. Originally XC-focused mountain bikers, we gravitated towards gravel riding when we discovered how neatly this new-old type of riding bridged the gap between road riding and mountain biking. One minute your gravel bike is rolling tarmac, the next it’s handling hectic singletrack. It’s pretty cool.
We figured that if we were having this much fun then others would too. So dots were connected, weird ideas refined, and we came up with a name we thought summed things up.
Marty started out on the gravel by making a 700c gravel bike out of his 20 year old hardtail 26er. That bike worked pretty well (ask him about it if you’re thinking of doing the same) and he spent plenty of time exploring Beechworth’s backroads and lanes on it. He now rides a steel Curve Grovel V2 and will soon complement that with a 29er hardtail adventure bike. Aspirations. Marty’s ideal day is a morning lap of the Beechworth MTB park, followed by brekky in town and a quick spin out to Stanley on the roadie, then lunch at a cafe in town and a long arvo gravel ride ending at Bridge Road Brewers. Fortunately he lives in the High Country, where that sort of day is possible…
Ian’s happiest getting lost in the bush, on bike or foot – and talking about it afterwards over a coffee or beer. He dreams of epic bikepacking adventures around the world, but the reality of a young family means more modest local trips for now, and sometimes dragging the kids along for the ride. Ian’s current bikes include a humble but very capable Giant TCX running some bigger rubber and gearing, and a Rocky Mountain Element MTB. Next in line? Either a steel framed hardtail for bikepacking adventures, or a gravel bike upgrade. But really he just wants more time to ride, whatever the bike.
We love a good bikepacking trip and, like all good bikepackers, we learn something new about our kit (and ourselves) every time we set out.
If you’ve never given gravel a crack, #rollonback to the High Country and we’ll show you what it’s all about. If you’re a seasoned gravelist, the Beechworth and High Country terrain and landscape will float your boat.