Our first GiRodeo, A devilishly delightful weekend of gravel riding, custom bikes and craft beer

Wait, what on earth is the GiRodeo? Well, the short answer can be found above.

And, the dictionary definition would read something like: GiRodeo. Noun. A portmanteau of Girona, Gravel and Rodeo. An end of summer celebration hosted by The Service Course, ENVE and friends, bringing together passionate cyclists from all over the world.

The back story begins with the Gravel Bonanza, a special event series hosted by The Service Course, originally in Girona and now also exported to their other locations.

Gravel Lovers Unite

The recipe is a tried and trusted formula: Step one: wake up, get ready and join the small army of gravel riders filling up on good coffee and tasty treats. Step two: disappear into the wild (riding as fast or slow as you like, this is definitely not a race). If you are lucky, there will be a mid-ride pit-stop in the woods, to load up on more good coffee, and more tasty treats. Step three: wiggle your way back to HQ, grab a cold beer and celebrate a day well spent, with friends old and new.

Throw into the mix some of the most inspiring gravel riding in the world*, and the generous support from some of the coolest brands in cycling (ENVE, CeramicSpeed, SweetProtection, Komoot, Rocket Espresso, to name a few…) and it’s hard to imagine a better way to spend €20.

*This is open to debate, but we’ve never heard anybody complaining…

Meanwhile, 8,000km west of Girona…

In tandem, our friends across the pond (Ogden, Utah to be precise) have been cooking up a storm of their own: the annual ENVE “Grodeo” (Gravel + Rodeo), dishing out a huge dollop of “FOMO” to those that cannot attend, every time June rolls around.

The Grodeo concept is a double whammy weekender: a custom bike showcase, bringing together dozens of the best independent frame builders in the world to present their finest two-wheel creations, followed by a monstrous gravel ride into the mountains.

ENVE are not only serious about their wheels, components – and now complete bikes – but they are pretty serious about their riding too: 150km and 2,500m of elevation, all off-road, a solid day out in anyone’s book.

International Dream Team

A handful of zoom calls later and it was agreed, the logical thing to do was to smash these two flag-ship events together. The Grodeo became the GiRodeo, and the rest is history!

With Correfocs / Fires de Sant Narcís (Girona’s annual fire-run festival) as the beautifully chaotic backdrop, the stage was set to showcase everything this magical city has to offer. Additional firepower was provided by brand partners joining us from all corners of the cycling world, Brooks, Buff, CeramicSpeed, Hutchinson, Komoot, Rocket Espresso, Sweet Protection, the list goes on. And the brains behind the bikes descended on Girona like never before: Argonaut, Belle, ISEN, Mosaic, OPEN, Repete, Rizzo, Scarab, travel-ling from Barcelona, Colombia, London, Madrid, Prague, the US and beyond.

With local legends Oniria, FUEL+, and DosKiwis Brewing making sure 150+ gravel riders do not go thirsty (using various techniques such as specialty coffee, carbohydrate sports mix and craft beer…) the only thing standing in the way of the post-ride pizza party was the GiRodeo “main event” ride itself.

A round of applause, please, for Peter “the Gravel Godfather” Gaskill, for creating an instant-classic route, plotting the off-road way up – and down – Girona’s famous road climbs of Mare de Déu del Mont and Rocacorba, forming a giant 130km loop and expertly show-casing the sheer beauty and variety of riding Girona residents proudly call home.

GiRodeo 2023 dates: 27, 28, 29 October. Find out more and book tickets.

This story is part of Nafent Magazine volume 5. Read the full story in our digital or paper magazine. Go to our webshop, or buy yours at one of our 120 partner places.

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