Having already had a taste for Grinduro on a visit to California, the XPDTN3 team were at it once again, taking on the latest edition of the series off the coast of Scotland, on the Isle of Arran.
What’s the Grinduro concept? A combination of a gravel road race combined with a mountain bike-style Enduro, that results in one long loop of pavement and dirt. The race element is decided over four timed segments of between five to 10 minutes in length. Grinduro UK covered a mixture of double track, singletrack, paved roads and a few technical rooty sections, made more technical, treacherous yet terrific by the heavy rain that fell throughout the day.
Two of XPDTN3 Spanish contingent left the warmth of Barcelona this July with their 3T Enduro gravel bikes safely packed away in their custom Scicon AeroComfort ROAD 3.0 bike travel bags to head to the unpredictable climates of Scotland where a day of wet and muddy riding lay ahead.
“It’s funny how you start the day trying to avoid water puddles and rain, just to realize you are going to get wet to the bones anyway after a few hours on the bike, so you just relax and go with the flow…“
The tough weather conditions did little to dampen spirits, even when pushing on through muddy puddles as deep as the wheel hubs, and after one final 2km timed section the riders cruised into the finish where cold beers and warm food awaited.
“All the bikes on course were creating a symphony of creaking bottom brackets, grinding chain and cassettes and brake pads slowly disappearing into a metal to metal affair. But nobody cared…”
In total the one day event covered a distance of 77km, with 1300m of ascent, and a LOT of rain … especially given that it was July. The XPDTN3 riders tackled the race on their 3T Exploro gravel bikes with WTB 650×2.0 Ranger tires and a 1x gearing setup with 10-42t at the rear, given the course didn’t feature any really steep hills or long pedalling descents.
The XPDTN3 team travel around the world with their 3T Exploro bikes safely packed away in a fleet of Scicon AeroComfort ROAD 3.0 TSA Bike Travel Bags, riding, exploring and reporting back for everyone else to enjoy and be inspired by.
Words and photography by Marc Gasch.