What is OFFRIDING?

OFFRIDING are multi-day gravel rides with the freedom to ride where your sense of adventure takes you, not bound by the asphalt roads or even by a fully pre-planned route. You see a small path you like; you go ahead and explore where it leads.

We did a test event in Amsterdam in 2015 which was a lot of fun, but lately we have been so busy that we’ve put the project on hold. We fully anticipate resurrecting it in the future with events in South Africa, Switzerland, Italy and elsewhere. If you want to be informed when we start up again, just follow us on twitter or facebook.

OFFRIDING brings a great group of like-minded riders together in an area with fantastic offriding routes. The OFFRIDING crew spend most of their days riding dirt, gravel and the paths less travelled in search for the best and most scenic options, and you can follow them to the millimetre or add your own spin.

In an OFFRIDING event, being able to look after yourself is important. You may have to fix your puncture on a remote trail, single-speed your bike till you get to the next pit stop or use the assistance of a fellow rider.

The route is merely a suggestion; you are free to explore. That also means the routes are not closed for other traffic and there is no broom wagon (after all, what route should it follow if everybody is free to make their own). We do have call-in support for serious mechanical & medical issues and pit stops for assistance whether it be for medical or mechanical help, water, massage or rest.

For lunch, we give you several suggestions along the advised route (or with a small detour) but in principle you are free to do as you please.

The events are structured to leave enough time for the social side. Catch a few sunrays on a terrace, grab a drink with your fellow offriders or relax by the pool. We make the suggestions; you make the choice.

OFFRIDING is:

  • Non-competitive cycling for the fun and experience: “just ride”.
  • Challenging courses which are a real achievement to conquer.
  • Routes that take you through beautiful and interesting scenery.
  • A relaxed atmosphere, where a photo-stop or a café-break are encouraged.
  • Inclusive: We don’t judge ride ability, equipment or anything for that matter. Of course these events aren’t easy and we’ll tell you if certain equipment or a particular fitness level is required. But aside from that, we just want everybody to have a really good time.

 

OFFRIDING is not:

  • It’s not a race; we don’t even have a mass start or keep time.
  • It’s not regimented; the fun of OFFRIDING is to be free and independent with all of the joy of comparing the experiences of the day at stops, drinks and dinner.

Who is OFFRIDING?

We’re just people who love riding. Anywhere, on any bike, with anyone. We’ve all done our fair share of road racing, mountain biking, grandfondos and gravel rides, some of us have decades of experience in event organization, others have been in the bike industry for eons. The bottom-line is, we love to ride and want to share our best experiences with you.

Gerard Vroomen

Co-founder of Cervélo & OPEN Cycle and co-owner of 3T. As a life-long fan of cycling in all its forms, my lack of talent to ride a bike fast naturally led me to the non-competitive art of offriding.

My favorite rides include any challenges that focus on the experience along the way and the joy of finishing rather than on how long it takes or who is behind me (unless it's Sven or Andy). To name a few: the Flanders and Paris-Roubaix cyclosportives, the Almanzo gravel ride (my short-lived tradition with the late Steve Hed), the Grape Escape mountain bike race in South Africa and if I may add a swim and a run, Ironman Canada (the old course, of course).

Last but not least, the amazing rides around Amsterdam, where I live with my family. These rides form the basis of OFFRIDING AMS.

Sven Thiele

Founder of HotChillee, the events company that lays on a series of road cycling events - “professional events for amateurs”. Like Gerard and Andy, all things in and around cycling are a constant attraction for new ideas and endeavours.

As a youngster in the 70’s, I converted my steel framed bike to ride off-road trails in and around my home in Cape Town. Whilst my friends rode Choppers, I realized that with a bit of skill and a bigger wheel I was able to cover the distance with less effort. That passion for riding the paths less travelled, no matter the surface or destination, will now be shared by setting up the OFFRIDING series with Gerard and Andy.

The research into rides and trails for OFFRIDING in the Western Cape has resulted in some of my most amazing days on a bike. No doubt our next crazy idea will be formulated at an OFFRIDING event somewhere…and involve many new friends!

Andy Kessler

Co-founder of OPEN cycle and ex-CEO of BMC. I have been involved in cycling for 30 years. After working for Scott, Cannondale, BMC and Cervélo, I left the comfort of a bigger company to start OPEN with Gerard.

For me, a day without riding is a day not lived. I raced in my early years but found out I don’t like to be forced into a schedule. I ride to experience nature, freedom and also to hit physical barriers (even if they get lower every year). I have done epic off-road rides like 2 weeks in Lesotho while seeing only 4 cars and road rides like Vancouver-to-San Francisco in 8 days. It’s all about the journey and not the destination. You will experience my special flavor of cycling at many OFFRIDING events.