Mountain Bike Gravel Road X-Berg Challenge

Guy Pitman...Naturally Fit


So I don’t know if this will be much help as I don’t really do any specific training and just try to keep the fitness up.


The X–Berg falls a couple of weeks after the Argus cycle tour which I’m generally quite fit for. I try to keep that fitness up by training 4 times a week. Mid week I ride twice in the mornings at high intensity for 1h30 mins. Then on weekends I try to do two 3 hour sessions to get the endurance levels up. If you are not used lots of time in the saddle then I would suggest doing less intensity training and spend even more time in the saddle. The X-Berg requires one to be pedalling away for often over 12 hours a day.


I have spent many hours thinking about the best choice of bike to use. Given that probably over 200 km is on tar or gravel road, it is tempting to use a cyclocross bike. However over 3 years of competing I have settled on a 29er softail mainly for the comfort factor given how many hours you spend in the saddle. Other gear that is a must is a bike light, chain lube and general tools for puncture’s, chain breaks etc. A comfortable seat is also a must.


Then some other tips are.


1) Nutrition and hydration – keep yourself properly hydrated and fuelled up.


2) Navigation – plot your route out carefully and test that you know how to use your gps in the field, the lay of the land never looks like it does on Google earth.


3) Support crew – having a support crew helps enormously if you can rope someone in to help with setting up camp and organising food and water etc.


4) Enjoy it and prepare yourself for a challenging couple of days.