Compiling our Best of Gravel 2021 lists was daunting because of what an exceptional year in riding this has been.
It could be coming off of a 2020 was tempered a bit from the pandemic, but compiling this list was difficult because mostly everything landed in the very good to great range.
Case in point, we didn’t really have any consideration for worst ride of the year (although I would have voted Prairie Creek, but omitted this from the video because it was due to unlucky weather, not the route).
All things considered, my favorite ride of the year was Onion Valley Road which I didn’t make eligible for the list since it was all pavement, but considering the battle with the freeze joints on the way down, I think you’d be happy riding wider tires there as well.
What I love more about this year’s list is how we had a greater sampling of the diverse landscapes California has to offer and just how amazing it is to have such a wide range of experiences.
For me, I had a clear top six that I kept circling back that helped define this year, but they were so evenly matched, I considered not ranking them at all.
Nonetheless, I’m sure scanning our gravel guide page will help you understand why it was so difficult ordering these in any fashion:
Zack’s best of gravel 2021
Honorable Mention: Wilder Ranch State Park
6. Angelus Oaks
4. Figueroa mountain
2. Old Caz
1. Mount Tamalpais
Needless to say, Vic’s list is smaller because mixing in travel is hard to coordinate, but he still made about half of the rides featured in our videos.
Still, we shared the same joy on these adventures meaning he experienced the same difficulty trying to rank them:
Vic’s Best of Gravel 2021 #3: Gold Creek
vic’s best of gravel 2021 #2: Truckee
vic’s best of gravel 2021 #1: Angelus Oaks
On top of this list, we also came out with a few superlatives as there were a number of moments that were special and unique that couldn’t be over looked:
- Best Adventure: Onion Valley Road (Zack)
- Most Surprising Ride: Yankee Jims (Vic), Redlands (Zack)
- Toughest Ride: Figueroa Mountain (Vic), Gravel Bulldogs (Zack)
- Prettiest Moment: Truckee / Euer Valley (Vic), Yosemite / Glacier Point (Zack)
One last note is to mention the support we got from our Patreon subscribers.
While I try to plan efficiently, travel is arduous and expensive, so these contributions do help so thank you to those that care about this journey.
Already, 2022 looks even more promising and spreading our web even further, so we might have to have a best of the best of gravels at this point!