An Interview with Gourmet Gravel’s Kurt Stockton
Images Courtesy of Gourmet Gravel
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Run by former U.S. national road race champions Kurt Stockton and Robin Farina, Gourmet Gravel organizes cycling trips to Mallorca, Spain filled with great food and wine, and of course riding. We talked with Kurt to learn a bit more about their next trip May 2-9, 2020.
Peloton: Tell us why Mallorca is such a bucket-list location for cyclists?
Kurt Stockton: Mallorca is the most road-cycling friendly destination I have ever been to, period—and I have been a lot of places riding my bike around the world. Beautiful roads and courteous drivers greet cyclists from around the globe. Roads of all the major routes we ride seem to have been engineered with the cyclist in mind. The terrain is a perfect balance of flats, rolling and climbing. There are no huge mountains—like the Alps or the Rockies—but definitely enough to get one’s climbing fix. Breathtaking views abound no matter what daily route we choose and the roadside cafés & bakeries cater to all cyclists.
Peloton: What were a few of the highlights from last year’s adventure?
KS: We had cyclists from multiple states with varying levels of ability who did not all know each other and it absolutely didn’t matter. Everyone really enjoyed themselves and new friendships were made. Riders were able to push themselves beyond what they thought possible and were very supportive of each other while doing so. Also, post-ride beers and french fries almost daily with the accompanying stories of the day’s adventure.
Peloton: What should riders expect in terms of mileage, elevation, food and wine?
KS: Our routes in 2019 varied from 25 miles to about 90 miles with anywhere from 2,500 feet to 8,500 feet of climbing. We choose the routes based on the clientele, with the option of offering multiple routes most each day. And we can always add a little more if someone is feeling like they need that. Some riders are not used to seven days in a row, so fortunately there is plenty to do if one chooses to take a day off.
Five nights of dinner and wine are included, which allows for two nights on your own to explore. We work closely with local restaurants, most all within walking distance from our hotels, to provide cuisine for every palate, with a heavy Spanish influence. Wines are regional delights selected by [Gourmet Gravel’s] Robin Farina.
A splendid European breakfast buffet is provided by the hotels each day and lunches vary depending on the day’s route [both distance & time].
Peloton: What makes the Gourmet Gravel trip unique for Peloton readers?
KS: Being an avid Peloton reader myself, our trip strikes the perfect balance of riding, eating, drinking and exploring with an emphasis on fun, just like Peloton. By taking in the culture and interacting with the local population we create an experience beyond just a riding trip. Our on-the-ground team are locals. They know the back routes, when a detour might be needed and where to find the best café when out riding.
Peloton: How much time do riders have to sign up and start training?
KS: We still have spots available until February 28, 2020. Training starts now! But seriously, Mallorca has the perfect terrain and weather for early in the season riding regardless of how many miles one has in their legs over the past months
All the info can be found here or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re always looking to create new experiences on the bike, so we jumped at the chance to work with Gourmet Gravel to bring a gravel ride to the American Riviera—Santa Barbara, California. That’s coming June 20th, 2020, so save the date.