If you’ve attended any large gravel event in the UK over the last few years, chances are you’ve seen Dan Monaghan. Usually briefly spotted jumping off his bike and scrambling up a hillside. Preferring to capture the moment from a high vantage point. To focus not on the cyclist, but the landscape in which they make their brief passage.

As a professional photographer and former Mark Gunter Finalist, Dan travels a lot. Covering the pro road scene is where he earns his crust, but it isn’t his first love. Gravel bikes have opened up the countryside to Dan and enable him to reach places you’d never see from a camera van. The ability to cover ground at a decent pace, whether on or off-road is only part of the appeal.

Like the rest us right now, Dan is stuck at home. His bike and the careworn Carradice bag in which he carries his camera equipment, taking an unscheduled rest. ADVNTR snapped the opportunity and asked Dan to list his 10 favourite adventure photos of all time.

The 3 Peaks Cyclocross, 2019

Dan Monaghan - 3 Peaks 2019

Riders scramble up Simons Fell.

DM Until you see the line of riders coming up Simons Fell, it’s hard to realise the sheer scale of the 3 Peaks. I always love to be here when the race arrives. There is no cycling event that is even remotely similar.


The Dirty Reiver, Northumberland

Dan Monaghan - Dirty Reiver

The Dirty Reiver and one it’s many endless roads.


This is one of my favorites from the Dirty Reiver. Riding the roads of the Reiver is tough. Even tougher when you’ve got to lug your camera gear too! I love the colours of the landscape in this shot and how the road heads off into the distance.


Ribblehead Viaduct, North Yorkshire

Ribblehead Viaduct

The mighty 400m Ribblehead Viaduct spans the Ribble Valley in North Yorkshire.

DM The Ribblehead Viaduct is an iconic backdrop for any shoot. I’ve been lucky to have worked with Lachlan Morton on a few shoots now. This was during a recon shoot before Lachlan’s first time racing the 3 Peaks Cyclocross.


Lachlan on the GBDURO

Lachlan Morton on the GBDURO

Even Superheroes like Lachlan can get tired.

DM Here’s Lachlan at checkpoint 1 of the inaugural GBDURO. After riding pretty much non stop from Lands End to Mid Wales. He’s a good excuse for looking exhausted!


Camp Vibes, Wales


Lachlan enjoys a spot of breakfast.

DM Another from the first checkpoint on GBDURO 2019. The family who ran the campsite were so sweet, and looked after all the crazy riders took part. You may spot the very small, new addition to their family.


The early bird… gets eaten by midges

The Midge Fest - Dan Monaghan

Listen carefully and you can hear the buzzing.

DM It was an early start to get this photo on Stage 2 of GBDURO. I was stood on the most beautiful stretch of road that steadily crumbled away into single track. I was eaten alive by midges waiting for this shot of Lachlan Morton riding up the hill.


Dark moments, GBDURO

Lachlan's darkest moment


DM This was at a very dark point in the GBDURO race for Lachlan. Nuff said.


Frontiers, Scottish Border Region

Frontier 300

Somewhere in the Scottish Borders, capturing images for the Frontier 300 pre-launch.

DM I worked with Focal Events to help with promo photos for their new event, the Frontier 300. A mixed terrain, 300km ride from coast-to-coast through the Scottish Borders.  The planned route has some incredible views and challenging climbs. This section felt so big and expansive, it was ace.


Old Coal Road, Lancashire

Old Coal Road

Riding into the sunset. Following in the tyre tracks of Lachlan Morton on the GBDURO.

DM After the madness of Lachlan, I headed back on myself to capture the other riders of GBDURO. This one was taken on the Old Coal Road in Lancashire, with Tom Probert riding into the evening sunset.


Grinduro, Isle of Arran

Grinduro Scotland

What’s your Party to Race Ratio?

DM This was my first ever Grinduro experience and it was immense. The ‘race’ was great, the party after was even better! I met a lot of lovely people and Arran just looks incredible when the sun shines. If you get the chance to go to a Grinduro event, go!


Profile of a Gravel Beard

Ondrej - Chimpanzee Nutrition

Ondrej – The man, the chimp, the legend. And all round nice guy.

DM One of my favourite portrait photos I have taken. This is Ondrej of Chimpanzee Nutrition. He’s the epitome of a gravel cyclist. Big beard, chilled personality, great rider. He’s done some epic adventures and never boasts about them, he just quietly plans the next one.

All photo credits: Dan Monaghan.

Last modified: 27th March 2020

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