IS 'SXSW' A COMPETITION?
It's a bikepacking adventure without any kind of prizes/classification. The publication of the time results and the live map geographical information is for recreational and safety purposes. We aren't responsible for any interpretation that our event is a race. Don't expect the traditional Gran Fondos and MTB/Gravel Challenges environments with loud music and bike brands tents. Our goal is to change the face of cycling, where people, riders, environment and communities are the center of all. Entries limited to 30 participants.
WHAT DOES THE PARTICIPATION FEE INCLUDES?
The value of the fee is €80. It includes the Adventure Guide & Roadbook (plus GPX file), briefing dinner (on Friday Sept. 8th), bag storage, tracking and live map system by 'WHIP' (via personal cellphone). The registration also includes the 'Gravosfera Pass' - access to all routes of Gravosfera 2023, including gpx, road books, adventure guides (Gravosfera 2023 routes will be available in spring). Organization will assure personal insurance for accidents (expenses for treatment, repatriation, disability & death) during the weekend (9-10th September). If you plan to take more than two days to ride the route you should assure your own personal insurance.
tell me more aboute the route!
The route starts in Aljezur and heading south along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and its impressive cliffs. Aljezur is a small village of Arab origin and with a cosmopolitan vibe. But, at the same time, close to the country side and to remote beaches. After the 'Carrapateira loop', the route goes to inland territories and the orography becomes more challenging, specially approaching 'Serra de Monchique'. Then, the route explores the territories of the lakes and encircles the mountainous area. Anyways, it's still a hilly challenge across the Western Algarve.
what type of bike is suitable for this journey?
The routes of the 'Gravosfera' project were designed for gravel bikes due to the balance between remote tarmac roads and smooth off-road tracks and trails. However, the best bike is your bike. Doesn't matter if you have a gravel bike or a MTB/BTT. There are some rocky sections and a MTB could give you some temporary advantages. But if you have both types of bikes, go gravel!
'Gravosfera' is a collection of gravel routes across Portugal. The aim of the project is to promote the discovery of the country through the eyes of 'gravel' trails. SXSW is the "queen stage" of Gravosfera and it will only be available to ride it during the event.
I AM AN INTERNATIONAL RIDER. TIPS?
The closest airport is located in Faro. Then, you can travel by train from Faro to Lagos (don't need to dismount your bike). Last step: an easy bike ride from Lagos to Aljezur (30KM). You can see it as a warm up. It is also possible and easy to travel by train from Lisbon to Algarve with your bike. Before you back home, think about resting for a few days in Algarve region, the land of sunshine. It's easy to get a bicycle cardboard box close to Faro Airport. We can also help you to find a place to storage your bike bag.
WHAT IS THE TIME LIMIT TO COMPLETE THE ROUTE?
Relax and take your time. Slow is okay. There is no time limit to complete the route. It means that you have enough time for a bikepacking experience with you friends (or making new ones along the route). However, If you plan to take more than two days to ride the route you should assure your own insurance (as a supplement). We will have two 'finishers parties': on Sunday and Monday evening! If you arrive later, no worries. It means party along the route!
WHICH ARE THE MANDATORY ITEMS?
Helmet, reflective vest (if you are planning to ride during night), frontal and rear lights, emergency blanket and your own personal insurance for accidents (expenses for treatment, repatriation, disability and death) if you plan to ride the route in more than two days.