OUR AUTHORS

Behind the amazing stories, videos and pictures that you see on the Gravel Union website are an incredible group of authors. They include bikepackers, party-pacers, route planners, guidebook writers, event organisers, cycling guides and elite-level racers (and most things in between). We’ve featured the work of authors from as far-flung destinations as northern Finland, South Africa, the former Soviet republic of Georgia and Western Australia. To see the different stories that each author has created, just click on the 'read more' button below their biographies.

FatPigeon.cc


FatPigeon are a small and passionate team of gravel riders from Holland who love taking their gravel bikes on adventures around the world.


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Nora Batterman


Bikepacking her way 1500 km across The Balkans with a riding partner she hardly knows could have been a recipe for disaster, but as Nora Battermann explains in her beautifully crafted story, it turns out to be the trip of a lifetime.


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The Bike Challenge


A cycling blog about cycling, travel, and cycling-related content. Follow us for bikepacking adventures, gravel shredding, mud swimming and the occasional road riding!


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Jo Burt


Author, illustrator and cycling guide, Jo is just as likely be found in his beloved South Downs as he is bikepacking through some of Europe's most off-the-beaten-track destinations.


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Antoine Collet


After years of running in the mountains and biking across the globe to cover races and adventures, Antoine Collet embarked on a new endeavor: MOOA STUDIO. As a photographer and filmmaker, he is dedicated to crafting compelling narratives that resonate with individuals and brands alike. Antoine Collet places a strong emphasis on collaborative partnerships with clients to create visually stunning and impactful stories. Sharing a common vision for a project is the cornerstone of producing exceptional work.


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Emmie Collinge


Going on a guided gravel ride might be anathema to some of you, but if you can get over your mental image of a tour guide waving a clipboard, you will find their local knowledge and ‘fixer’ skills are invaluable. Emmie Collinge heads to the centre of Sweden to test out whether guide gravel is the way forward or a step too far.


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Anke Eberhardt


Anke Eberhardt is a journalist in real life with an evil alter ego known as @anke_is_awesome cracking jokes on social media. You’ll also find her on YouTube doing bike tutorials despite having only changed one inner tube in her life. ‘Fake it until you make it’ meets ‘Look pro, go slow’, but always smiling.


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Ibai Fradejas


Ibai is based in Bilbao, Spain and is part of the Shimano Gravel Alliance. He loves heading out into the wilds of the Basque Country in search of adventures on his gravel bike, but he can be found gravel riding and racing all over Europe.


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Claire Frecknall


Based near the south coast of the UK, Claire can frequently be found exploring the singletrack of the South Downs or loaded up on long gravel bikepacking trips.


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Phil Gale


After 6 years racing full time in France, suffering in the gutter at 50 plus kilometres an hour week in week out, I am now happy to be following cycling in a different capacity. Now my time is filled with; herding words, snapping pics, riding bikes, sometimes even racing them, occasionally running, frequently travelling, drinking coffee, dodging life in the real world and spending far too many hours waiting in airports.


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Claudia Gerosa


A former footballer and softball player, I first started cycling in 2015. Gravel riding for me is the answer to the need to stay away from traffic and the desire to explore new roads and countries, cycling in nature with a hand always ready to take a photo. Cycling fun also starts from your front door!


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Tom Hill


“I still don’t know if I like gravel riding. I haven’t done any yet!” That was the utterance of a more road-inclined friend (who should go unnamed, eh, Oli) at the bottom of a twisting, green, cobbled descent that sported all the hallmarks of this little corner of the Pennines. There was more than a hint of hyperbole in his statement, but many a true word is spoken in jest, as they say… welcome to ‘Uddersfield lad. Crack on, there’s a pint waiting for you at the end.


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Chris Hunt


Based in Bristol, Chris is a freelance adventure writer with a penchant for bike rides that end in the pub. He's also the co-designer of long-distance bikepacking route The Old Chalk Way.


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James Ion


An Englishman in Germany. Mostly ok at riding bikes and knows how to spot a good Weizenbier. Is usually seen either hitting the vast amount of gravel trails just on his doorstep in and around North Germany and the Netherlands or badgering pro gravel riders about coffee stops and beer!


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Dalila Lecky


Having discovered her love of gravel in the patches of woodland dotted around South London, Dalila is truly in her element when things get a bit muddy. She loves a fast descent, with some small drop-offs to keep her on her toes and likes to head off-course just to find out if the path goes anywhere interesting. Her mantra when it comes to all things cycling is 'if it's not fun, I'm probably not going to be doing it', and that frames her approach to each new adventure.


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Florian 'Flo' Nowak


What would you do if you flew to the other side of the world to take part in a gravel event and your bike didn’t make it onto the flight with you? You could rant and rave at the airline. You could cross your fingers and hope it turns up in time. Or you could use the power of the gravel community to help get you back on the trail again. Shimano Gravel Alliance rider Florian Nowak had exactly this problem recently and, of course, the gravel riding community helped to save the day.


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Jorge Padrones


Jorge is based in Spain and is a regular on the start-line of different gravel events across Europe and further afield too.


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Henna Palosaari


Henna is from the far north of Finland, but she is not usually too long in one place. She lives for the outdoors whether it’s gravel riding and bikepacking in the summer and fall, backcountry snowboarding in the winter or surfing in between. For her a gravel bike is most of all a tool to explore and experience new places the best possible way, to go on an adventure that wouldn’t be possible any other way. Bikepacking has offered her some of her most unforgettable experiences and broadened her idea of what she is capable of last time on a bikepacking and snowboarding trip through the Dolomites.


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Saoirse Pottie


I'm Saoirse, I am a wildlife biologist. I got into cycling in my late 20s when I started working in research and was desperate for an excuse to get outside and away from my laptop. For me, cycling has always been about adventure, challenging myself and exploring new places with friends. In particular gravel and bikepacking have opened up a whole new world for me. It brought me a lot of joy and now I'm on a bit of a mission to help others share that experience.


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Timo Rokitta


Timo is an über keen gravel rider based in Germany. He's ridden all over Europe and mixes competing in long distance gravel and bikepacking events, with social gravel rides. He's an event organiser and can be seen riding on either a Moots, an OPEN UP, an Allied Able or a 1970s folding bike converted for gravel use!


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Sofiane Sehili


Record breaking ultradistance bikepacking rider Sofiane Sehili is based in the south of France. His forté is super tough multi-day events which he manages to complete despite barely sleeping for days on end.


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Erwin Sikkens


Erwin is a Gravel Alliance veteran and early gravel adapter gone bikepacking, gone ultra racing, gone back to party pacing. He's the one you invite when you want to bring the party into your gravel fest, shooting pictures with his right hand, drinking a beer with his left - all while on the bike.


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Rachel Sokal


Former British 24hour solo MTB champion, Rachel is now often to be found on her gravel bike instead.


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Markus Stitz


Markus Stitz is a German-born route designer, filmmaker, photographer and writer, based in Edinburgh, Scotland. He caught the adventure bug while living in New Zealand and has explored Great Britain extensively since he moved here in 2009.


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Valerio Stuart


Striking the balance between making an off-road cycling event fun and challenging is a difficult one, but some events have a reputation for making the fun aspect low down the list of reasons to sign-up. Last October Valerio Stuart signed up for the Bearbones200 event in mid-Wales and just about survived to tell the tale. Was it actually fun? You’ll have to read on to find out.


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Olly Townsend


Helps steer the good ship Gravel Union. He can normally be found riding inappropriately challenging trails on a drop bar bike or propping up a coffee shop bar somewhere.


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Julian Velasco


Morocco. A country that I really wanted to get to know. A country that I expected would be full of contrasts but which you couldn’t imagine until you saw them. A country where you can pass in 60km from desert and sandy landscapes to mountains of 4,000 meters in altitude. A country where you can easily climb two vertical kilometers in one go. This is what we hoped for by riding in Morocco in April with two bike crazy friends like Toni and Xabi. Julian Velasco and his friends took advantage of the Easter holiday to squeeze the maximum out of 6 days on their gravel bikes.


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Jesko Von Werthern


I love discovering the world from a bike, whether it's a racing bike, mountain bike or gravel bike. To balance things out, you hike or even run. For me it's less about speed and more about seeing as much new stuff as possible. I'm particularly fond of long distances: I love brevets, bikepacking tours or ultra-distance races - the longer, the better. In the last few years I have covered more than 150,000 kilometers across Europe on my bike.


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Janosch Wintermantel


Was it possible to ride a gravel bike to the 5000m summit of Africa’s second highest mountain, Mt Kenya? That was the question that was keeping elite-gravel rider and event organiser Janosch Wintermantel awake at night. With the help of two local Kenyan riders he was determined to try and find out the answer.


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Ed Wolstenholme


“Adrenaline and purity of purpose are addictive bedfellows when escaping our everyday responsibilities, but I found equal satisfaction in a weekend of volunteering and social riding”, so writes Ed Wolstenholme in his piece about literally putting something back into the gravel riding world. Ed travelled north with the Bike, Bees and Trees Rally earlier this year and sent in this thought-provoking story.


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Liam Yates


A lifelong cyclist from the Ashdown Forest in the South of England, Liam is not one to turn down a new opportunity or adventure and has cycled his bike as long as he can remember with everything from BMX to racing road, time trials and fixed-gear crits and more recently bikepacking and a more adventurous way of seeing the world. As well as adventures of his own, he also has started his own event and cycling team to help give back to the community and encourage bikes and an outdoor lifestyle to people in his local area.


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