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Book in for new gravel riding race and festival in Scotland

If you are keen to give gravel riding a go, or you want to challenge yourself to a long off-road bike ride, you could head along to a new endurance gravel cycling event and festival.

The inaugural The Grand Old Dukes festival takes place on the weekend of April 29 and 30, 2023, in the Stirlingshire village of Aberfoyle, which is situated at the heart of Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park. Aberfoyle is the village at the heart of the so-called Gravelfoyle cycling destination.

Gravel riding is a great way to find out if routes such as the John Muir Way or the Badger’s Divide are for you.

What is Grand Old Dukes?

The Grand Old Dukes on Sunday April 30 is organised by Bike Trossachs CIC and offers solo cyclists and relay teams a chance to ride a 111-mile route with 10,000ft of ascent.

The waymarked and marshalled route will showcase some of the UK’s best gravel riding on an extensive network of off-road, multi-surface forestry tracks and trails, gravel roads, and paths.

Credit: Andy McCandlish

Two-day gravel riding festival

There is also a two-day community cycling festival (Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 April 2023), which is supported by the EventScotland Community Cycling Fund.

Other partners in the event are the Adaptive Riders Collective (ARC), Dirt Divas CIC and Trailcoach. You can expect a range of free cycling events and activities in the family-friendly Grand Old Dukes event village at Dounans Outdoor Centre, Aberfoyle.

Event Director Kerry MacPhee, from Bike Trossachs CIC, said: "The growth of Gravelfoyle as a Mecca for gravel riders across the globe has been special to watch over the last five years, as has the growth of special long distance gravel challenges.

"We know there is an appetite for both, so it felt like a no brainer to create our own concept event of climbing 10,000ft over 111 miles. It’s a truly beautiful and at times breath-taking route which should help riders get through the challenging length and elevation on offer and we’re stoked to be bringing this route to the masses."

Credit: Jered Gruber

Explore Scotland by bike

If you would like to find out more about gravel riding and off-road cycling, especially on famous Scottish routes such as the Badger Divide and the John Muir Way, you can contact us. We offer cycling trips that include accommodation and luggage transfer.

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