8th September 2019
8th September 2019
The emerging format of UK gravel events
The Swinley Gravel’duro is a hybrid event of a kind that is gaining popularity in the UK. They tend to be your typical mashup ride – part road, part gravel, or wholly contained within a forest setting. Akin to motorcycle or MTB Enduro events, you are timed, and placed, according to your speed around specific sections,
The joining sections are not timed so you can simply take your time and enjoy the ride. If you feel the need to stop for a brew, a chat or even a rest, it is up to you and will not affect your placing. Think part sportive, part enduro event.
I have ridden a couple of events in this format and can confirm they are great fun.
A significant increase in gravel riding in the forest persuaded event promoters Swinley Bike Hub that the existing Swinduro bike festival needed a gravel component. And thus was the Swinley Gravel’duro born.
Anyone familiar with Swinley Forest will automatically associate it with mountain bike riding but there is plenty of scope for gravel too. As well as the MTB trails, there are waymarked routes, and an extensive network of forest roads to explore.
The 2,500 acre forest sits between the M4 and M3 and is only an hour from London. The topography is described as ‘undulating’ so expect plenty of short, sharp climbs.
The 2019 Event
The 40 km route will take you out through the forest, along fire roads and singletrack, making the most of the forest’s contours.
There will be six timed sections testing your climbing, descending and singletrack skills. There is also a special ‘cat and mouse’ section where you can expect a little bit of everything!
The event village will provide:
- Onsite camping
- Toilets and showers
- A range of bikes, clothing and components to drool over and buy.
- Demo kit and a demo loop
- The catering (Street Food Village) will include wood fired pizza, BBQ and vegan or vegetarian options.
- Beer will be on tap from West Berks Brewery
- Amazing coffee from Drover Coffee
- Red Bull
- Kids events
Not only but also…
Swinduro is not just about a gravel event. The festival starts on Saturday so if you fancy heading up the day before, you can watch the enduro, night stage racing, beer, entertainment and maybe more beer!
We can’t think of a better way to round off the summer.
Last modified: 7th February 2019