Nathan Haas's Favourite Gravel Rides

Role: FulGaz Ambassador and gravel cyclist

Hi there FulGaz-ers! Nathan here. I’ve spent most of my year this year exploring the gravel roads of the world. The best thing about gravel? It’s everywhere, and it’s either car-minimal, or car-free! I’ve been busy filming some of these spots for FulGaz, so you can enjoy them too. But here’s my list of my definitive, five favourite gravel roads of 2022.  

5) Skyline Trail – Canberra, Australia

Coming in at number 5 is the skyline trail at Mt Stromlo Mountain Park in my hometown of Canberra, Australia. This gravel trail forms part of the Centennial, which is a cycling-specific off-road trail network wrapping over 250km around the city. The Mount Stromlo section is by far the most technical and fun for pushing the limits of a gravel bike. I will be filming a long ride there for the FulGaz app early next year – so stay tuned for some stunning scenery, some super hard climbs and some really flowing downhills.  

4) Belgian Waffle Ride – North Carolina, USA

One of the best gravel races I’ve had the chance to do this season was the Belgium Waffle ride in North Carolina. With the Blue Ridge mountains as a stunning backdrop for the area, the deep, healthy green colours born of the humid climate were an amazing environment to ride and race through. Whilst the overall percentage of gravel to road wasn’t super high, it was the beauty of the area that made riding here so stunning. I’ve filmed the first 25 km of the race route, which is online via the FulGaz app to either be enjoyed from home or to inspire you to come race with me next year! 

3) Saint Daniel Valley – Girona, Spain

An Icon of Gravel in Europe, in the cycling city of Girona, is the climb from the base of the Saint Daniel Valley, up the fire service road to the top of the Sant Miguel hill. It’s short, but don’t confuse short with easy! I use this climb as a form check, somewhere to test my high-end power but still be challenged by a loose surface and technical steep corners. I’ve filmed this ride for the FulGaz app also, with some additional riding through the Gavares National park as a little fun bonus.  

2) The Iceland Rift – Hvolsvöllur, Iceland

The most incredible place I’ve been able to ride a bike so far was earlier this season in Iceland, racing the Iceland Rift. A loop which spins itself around one of the world’s biggest active volcanos, called Heckla, the terrain was simply wild. The river crossings, which were streaming from the fresh summer snow melt, were ice cold, and the stones loosely held in the sandy volcanic soil made for some very technical riding. I didn’t have time to film any riding whilst in Iceland, but I plan to get back as soon as possible to bring you some of the most epic off-road riding you could ever imagine.

1) Els Angels Climb – Girona, Spain

Coming in at number one might seem less epic, incredible or scenic than those listed above. However, the clear winner for my list of favourite places to ride gravel is the Els Angels climb in Girona, Spain. A true test of skill, endurance, power and concentration, this is the climb that I learned to ride fast on. At my absolute best, given a clear run technically, I can do this climb in just under an hour. So, the challenge for you all is to beat that! Good luck and enjoy. 

Have you got a favourite to add to my list?  Let us know on Facebook or Strava!