It feels a bit odd writing about the “Best of 2020” gravel because it’s writing about the a glass of half-full fun in a year that’s been more than half-empty.
While 2020 started off with a bang with our Send it Sunday rides really picking up, by March we shut down our monthly get togethers and had to focus about what Gravel Bike California could do next.
Even though I had already started on some videos as recaps from our group rides, gravel guides seemed like the next logical step while I didn’t exactly have a plan how.
I wanted these guides to provide the amount of information I look for when I scan the interwebs: maps, elevation profiles, a sense of the scenery, road conditions, etc.
This is useful information, but after a few rides it’s easy to blur the distinction, so I realized adding in as much flavor about the local community and history helped bring everything to life, plus I really dig this context too.
Somehow under the circumstances of 2020, we did about twenty gravel guides which sounds like a lot from someone doing all this post production.
While we wished we could have expanded our travels deeper across the state, I’m still pretty impressed the great rides I covered mostly nearby the LA area.
My top three for “Best of 2020 Gravel” went like:
What I loved about them all was by the end of the day, these rides felt like a complete experience and the accomplishment of having an adventure.
Vic’s list featured Gibraltar Road followed by Refugio and Puerco Canyon which may reflect his preference of riding on the coast.
I’m more of a high altitude guy, but there’s still a lot to fawn over, as I also want to mention these superlatives:
- Toughest ride: Sisar Canyon
- Worst ride: Pilot Rock Truck Trail / Cleghorn Pass
- Most surprising: Quatal Canyon
- Best history: Mount Lowe
- Best for starters: Point Mugu State Park
For 2021, I hope to add a lot more to our Gravel Guide list, but while it might take a bit to return to normal, the great part is that the gravel will always be there.