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Preparing for your first Reggie Ramble

How to get ready for Warkworth’s famous gravel race

Reggie Ramble in action

The Reggie Ramble is coming up soon! The gravel race is on July 9 and 10 in Warkworth, Ontario. The course is unique in that there are three different loops, so you can increase your distance by doing the first, second or third. It’s not just three laps of the same course either. The three unique loops all start and finish at the Warkworth fairgrounds, with the shortest being 65 km, the second 130 km and the third a whopping 200 km.

Andrew Randell, former professional cyclist and 2002 national champion, has some tips for you if you’re jumping in for the first time.

“Reggie is a great race as each loop is harder as you go along,” Randell says. “It makes for some really challenging, but very rewarding racing.”


Randell encourages those who are trying their first gravel race to remember, it’s not just about unpaved roads, there’s often more technical skills needed. “Gravel racing isn’t just about using knobby tires on roads with rocks and dirt. You should try riding in some trails before the event, and working on corners and downhills,” He said. “It’s good to get used to how your bike feels so you’ll be comfortable in the event.


Riding within your limits is important, Randell says. “You have to remember that even the 65 km loop is still going to be 3 hours. Don’t follow riders that are too fast for you, or you’ll blow up.” Plus, since some of the course is challenging technically, you want to be fresh and focused.


Since Reggie is in July, it could be very hot. Randell says that nutrition and hydration are vital for a good ride at Reggie. “You want to try and eat around 300 calories per hour. Some need more, some less.” Since there are no feed zones until you get back to the fairgrounds, you’ll want to be prepared. For the 65 km loop, he suggests three bottles of water. He also says to consider liquid nutrition as opposed to bars. “It’s much easier to drink your food in a gravel race, then reaching into your pockets on bumpy roads and trying to get a bar out.”


If you’re new to gravel, you’ll quickly learn there are lots of different opinions on equipment. Tires, positioning, shoes. Randell underscores the importance of trying any new gear far in advance. “The biggest way to figure out what works for you can often be trial and error. You don’t want to try something new on race day,” he says. “So make sure everything is dialled in well in advance of race day and they’ll be way less stress.”

If you’re interested in riding this year’s Reggie Ramble, you can still register, but only until June 26.  You can do so at ReggieRamble.com