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President's Message


GSW Welcomes You

President's Message

Gravel Bikes the Next Big Thing

Looks like the next big thing is hitting the bike scene in NH and across the country. Gravel bikes sales are out pacing the conventional road bike sales as people look for new ways to explore. What is a gravel bike? Well, I took a quick look at some of the recent articles in popular bike magazines and here is what I found out .

Outdoor magazine describes it this way: “Bikes built for a variety of terrain (dirt roads, singletrack, etc.), not just pavement. These drop-bar machines tend to have longer wheelbases than a normal road bike, more upright positions, lower bottom brackets for stability, and clearance for wider tires . So if your looking for a versatile go anywhere bike, then a gravel bike might be for you.

What’s driving the change? First off people want a safe experience. For many riding on the road is a frightening experience. Distracted drivers pose a threat to anyone who rolls along roads today. Couple this with an overall misunderstanding of the concept of “share the road“ and you can see why some might want to avoid the streets.

We are fortunate in NH to have miles of trails in the state which provide an alternative to the roads. People including our own Dave Topham have been working for years developing rail trails access. A new piece of the statewide system was dedicated in Salem recently. In the years to come bikers will be able to ride for miles off road.

The NHDOT has, at the request of the club, added a new overlay which shows unpaved sections of roads where adventurous gravel bikers might want to explore. Thanks to Larry Kennison and the NH DOT staff.

This system of trails, however, is facing challenges. New demands are emerging from owners of the off-road vehicles who are requesting access. This mixed use could have consequences. Advocates statewide are coming together to insure their voices will be heard.

All this said there will still be lots of people who want to ride the roads in NH. Each day bikes from all over the state meet up to enjoy each other’s company and ride along the NH roads. To keep them safe GSW is joining with other groups in NH to improve road safety.

GSW education programs teach best practices providing cyclists with valuable tools and a better understanding of the rules of the road. Group rides lead by experienced club members continue provide ongoing training.

GSW members also participate on statewide committees working on making streets safer and fully incorporating biking into the transportation infrastructure planning.

Thank you to the members who have been contributing to this effort. New members who are interested in participating in the work are always welcomed. Let’s work together to improve the experience for all people who jump on the saddle every day.

Mark MacKenzie

Merchandise Chairperson , Social Secretary and Publicity Board Positions Open!

If you are interested in filling one of these positions, please contact

Granite State Wheelmen