Graz Social Ride - The Lynx Trail on tour

With Lemur Bikes and Bones and Coffee Ride we organized a talk about the Lynx Trail and a ride on the trails of Graz!

Wait… Trails? Yeah, we will touch on that later.

You might realize that we are coming to cities in person more often to talk about the Lynx Trail and gravgrav as a whole. To earn money?
No, you are free to come and we will not charge you. In the end we hear the sentence “That’s a nice blog you have.” more often than we would like to. And people are right: A community that only exists online is still just a website. More and more of our lives shifts towards the internet, and it is amazing to have this platform to provide information, connect people, express ourselves creatively… you know using this amazing invention to reach like minded people and inspire even those we would usually never encounter with!

Bikepacking athlete talking about the Lynx Trail bikepacking route in Graz at Lemur.

High goals and a complex project are hard to explain online

When we started gravgrav we had a huge goal in sight:
Foster the incredible power of Europe. The landscapes, the diverse culture, the privilege of living on a continent that is connected without border controls and even shares the same currency and allows you to use your phone across (most of) the continent without having your bank account robbed.
The tool for reaching people? Bikes!

Mike from Lemur Bike Graz showing us his favorite gravel paths around the city.

You might be a hardcore cyclist cycling 20000km per year, a weekend warrior or you just love to commute within cities and enjoy modern climate friendly infrastructure, but we are still all doing the same thing: Just cycling!
And the bike is an incredible tool to open a discussion. To show landscapes and inform about specialties in it or problems that exist. The bike has the perfect speed to discover your surrounding and it literally takes you everywhere!

With a (gravel) bike you can explore landscapes you usually wouldn't reach.

The Lynx Trail as a pilot project

The Lynx Trail is the first project along a never ending stream of ideas:
Using bikes to show the beauty, nature, culture of Europe and more to people. To start a discussion and get people to think and value our continent more.
Since starting to “lobby” for Lynx we see amazing progress in reinforcing the populations across the whole continent. But you know what? The gravgrav website is great but it is SO HARD to explain a complex topic like this over a website. And we’re not in school. We’re not forcing you to read, there is no (serious) test in the Lynx Trail. It just gives you baseline information and brings you on an amazing journey, maybe even an adventure to discover the Dinaric Alps and it’s carnivores by bike!

a muddy gravel ride didn't scare riders away from joining the Lynx Trail social ride in Graz.

And I can already tease you: There will be more projects like this. It is an absolute lifetime achievement to see the Lynx Trail come to life and I can't thank all the parties involved enough for making this happen.

Back to the talk - explaining the Lynx Trail

Connecting with people, explaining what The Lynx Trail is actually about and well… Showing our faces! The people behind. Connecting with cycling communities in real life…
That’s the purpose of traveling and coming to cities to talk about gravgrav and its projects.
Graz was the first Lynx Trail talk and ride in Austria, the country where gravgrav was founded and what we call our home. And honestly: The bar has been set REALLY HIGH.

Graz doesn't have high mountains but perfect terrain for gravel and MTB riding.

Mike and Michaela set up a great location and even breakfast and coffee at their shop. The shop is spacious and beautiful right in the center of Graz. Unsurprisingly a lot of people showed up for the talk. And we had a lot of questions and good feedback! It was amazing to see the excitement of people about this project and hear about their travel plans.
I will definitely rework the route description where it matters, to display more information where needed.

Gravel Grinderz Graz at Lemur Bike shop for the gravgrav - Lynx trail social ride

Also the Lynx Trail is not standing still. We are constantly working on the project and the route and hope we can attract you to come (maybe even more than once 😉).
It was amazing to meet all of you who came out (even from Vienna!) and rest assured: If you couldn’t make we are planning to come to more destinations.

“Gravel” social ride - not for beginners

I asked Mike if we should provide the GPX track to participants on the event page and before the ride in general. His answer: “There is no track. It’s in my head. But it will not be for Beginners.”
Shots fired! And I decided I would not switch to hardpack gravel tires. 😂

The gravgrav Lemur social ride in Graz, Austria was not for beginner gravel cyclists.

He didn’t lie for sure. Straight out of the city we climbed up a steep road towards the hills. From there on we just followed the ridge along the hills just outside of Graz. Along all sorts of terrain but nearly never on tarmac we were shaken to the bones on a mix of rough gravel, routes and rock trails and well… unfortunately a lot of muddy tracks.
It was a lot of fun. Really, I’m not kidding. Mike clearly showed us his perspective on a perfect gravel route as a mountainbiker! Surely not for beginners, but fun, playful, with lots of beautiful and really remote sections.

The Lemur gravel route for the gravgrav social ride was challenging in many ways.

In the second half he had mercy on us: A fast gravel piste along the river Mur guided us to our deserved coffee stop at the amazing Coffee Ride shop. Ever since getting in touch with Eva, who owns the coffee shop in the middle of Graz, I knew she must be an amazing human.

Coffee Ride best cyclist friendly café in Graz

And yes, i can definitely confirm this: She loves bikes, she has an amazing positive spirit and not even the fact that cycling will soon be banned in the street where her shop is in can disturb her mood. We enjoyed amazing coffee, cakes and toasts as well as some beers to finish up the ride and shelter from a short rain shower.
The pope approved our event inside the Coffee Ride shop as well.

Pope Franciscus will great you at Coffee Ride, Graz after your gravel ride.

The unofficial end and surely not a goodbye from Graz
For the unofficial end we grabbed some Pizza and went back to the Lemur Bikeshop and enjoyed some goooood Pizza and chat before cleaning our bikes and wavin goodbye. A long way back to Salzburg, but hey, we will surely come back to Graz.
The people are lovely, riding bikes here was really fun and next time the weather will hopefully be more on our side.

Muddy gravel roads in Graz are fun to ride.

Thank you to everyone who came out for the talk and/or ride and for all the positive feedback on the Lynx Trail and the work we put into gravgrav in general.
Should we come to your city as well? Let us know and we will happily arrange something and come out for a nice talk and ride.