It’s this time of year when gravel riders start wistfully peering out of their window and dreaming of adventures next summer. With perfectly serendipitous timing, the organisers of two of the UK’s most geographically dispersed grassroots gravel weekends have been in touch with details of their plans for 2023.
Dunoon and Dorset are almost as far apart as two related events could physically be in the UK. Dunoon is located in Argyll, west of Glasgow, whereas Dorset is down on the south coast. However, what the two events lack in geographical closeness, they make up for in terms of ethos. Both events are “self-supported bikepacking and gravel events, which come in two variations - the Dirt Dash 50/50 is a 2-day event, with 50 miles of cycling per day and a night camping under the stars. The Dirt Dash 100 is a challenging 1-day event, with 100 miles of cycling in a single day.”
The key similarity between the two Dirty Dashes is the grassroots vibe and the emphasis on fun. The events which are created by Charlie Hobbs (below, right) and Markus Stitz (below, left) offer participants the choice of either a one-day big loop or a more sociable two-day version with an overnight campsite. Both feature a great range of trails, varying scenery and a super-friendly, laid-back feel. “The camaraderie is one of the main reasons why they enter our events and that is fabulous to see” said Markus.
Both events feature “singletrack, gravel paths, forestry roads, public roads and cycle paths” and this makes bike choice interesting – Charlie & Markus recommend a minimum tyre width of 40mm but other than that anything goes – in previous years one of the participants entered both events on a Surly Big Dummy cargo bike.
The Dorset Dirty Dash and the Dunoon Dirty Dash are scheduled for the weekends of 27-28th May and 23-24th September respectively. You can find out full details about the two events here
If you’d like some more inspiration, Markus has put together a great short documentary film which looks at the background of the events and showcases the fantastic riding and locations that the two events feature.