Tutti Gravel Inn owners Erin Yeo and Kelly Servinski travelled to Kansas last week to promote Clinton as a gravel cycling mecca. (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Tutti Gravel Inn owners Erin Yeo and Kelly Servinski travelled to Kansas last week to promote Clinton as a gravel cycling mecca. (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Gravel cyclists promote Clinton in United States

Kelly Servinski and his wife Erin Yeo competed in Unbound 2022

The owners of the Tutti Gravel Inn traveled to the “world’s largest gravel event” last weekend in an attempt to put Clinton on the gravel-cycling map.

Kelly Servinski and his wife Erin Yeo drove 3,300 kilometres west of Kansas City, where Servinski participated in a 200-mile race and Yeo pitched the highlights of the Cariboo and Clinton in the expo under their tagline “Gravel is the new gold.” The Unbound event was expected to have 28 countries represented.

“We say (Clinton) is one of the places globally to go,” Servinski said. “Gravel is very grassroots. This hasn’t been a thing for 20 or 30 years. It’s quite new and there’s a lot of excitement but people need a place to go. This is THE place to go.”

The couple, which started their gravel-cycling business in Clinton three years ago, maintain the area’s gravel roads are a mecca for the sport because of its varied terrain, mountains and friendly people. Its wide-open spaces and lack of infrastructure are also a huge draw for people, Servinski said, especially for those coming from major urban European centres.

He said they are already seeing more international customers booking with them, including those from the UK and Italy. The sport is just as it sounds, with bikers hitting the gravel or Forest Service roads around the region for a short- or long-distance spin. Riders use a bike similar to a road bike with drop bars and a lot of gears but with bigger tires.

“With this sport, you don’t need big infrastructure you don’t need a national park or a resort community. The less you have of that the better,” Servinski said. “Gravel biking is truly what makes this area around Clinton special. That’s what we’ve hung our hat on. We definitely feel we’re on to something.

“The roads weren’t always paved so people have been riding on gravel roads for many years. This is about escaping out into the countryside, seeing a horse, seeing a ranch, seeing a beautiful vista and getting away from it all.”

Yeo noted Tutti means “everyone” in Italian and they are open to everyone from beginner to elite gravel cyclists. The couple rents bicycles and also provides full programmed two-way radios and safety kits to all guests to ensure they are safe on the nearby resource and logging roads.

“People are not interested in road biking anymore,” Yeo said, adding gravel cycling “allows you to get out on these roads and get far away.”

The trip followed a Cariboo Gravel Rush charity ride in Clinton May 21, in which they raised $2,095 for the BCSPCA in Williams Lake and more than 150 pounds of food for the Clinton Food Bank.



kelly.sinoski@100milefreepress.net

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