SURLY DUNOON DIRT DASH

Before we start, there are two things that you must know about the Dunoon Dirt Dash:

• It’s not a bloody race
• Don’t be a dick

Oh, and one more thing. Never assume a route created by Markus Stitz will just be a simple easy-going gravel ride.

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THE DIRTY REIVER 2019

These days if you haven’t tackled the Dirty Reiver can you even call yourself a UK gravel rider? The Dirty Reiver has become a gravel season opener here and a tough benchmark to measure how favourable the winter months have been to fitness. If you have been hiding inside from the grimness of winter the Dirty Reiver is going to quickly remind you of all those missed training rides. Even the diligent winter riders will find the 130km cut off to be very tempting, an opportunity to end the suffering by cutting the route short to find sanctuary and beer at the event village early. The full 200km demands some serious grit and determination from riders.

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EURO FIXED GEAR ODYSSEY BIKE CHECK

One of the things I like about bikepacking is that each setup is unique to the rider. Each person will have different requirements or preferences which are ultimately reflected in their kit. Shaped by experience, setups become dialled in and what works for one person might seem ridiculous to another. There is no rule book to tell you that a setup is perfect other than the conclusion of the ride and even then there are always new lessons learned for the next trip. Even on an adventure where two similar riders tackle the same route on the same bike there are is so much scope for different approaches. This could not be any better demonstrated than by the setups that Stu and I ran for a 1000+ mile fixed tour across Europe which saw us covering the wide range of terrain and surfaces that span between Barcelona and Rome.

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SNOW DAY!

I went for a gravel ride with Euan Camlin, Andrew Cullen and Christo Gallagher. We had planned out a route but when we saw that it had snowed over night we decided to scrap our plan, make things up as we go along and the ride worked out even better.

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EAST LOTHIAN ROUGH STUFF

As per Rich’s birthday tradition we go for a loop of the East Lothian Rough Stuff Audax gravel route. Some swoopy trails, standard pie stop and a top shelf selection of Rich stories.

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IS THE STOVE ON – OVER PHAWHOPE BOTHY MICROADVENTURE

The echo chamber of our group chat had tricked us again. With the woes of our Gameshope miss-adventure now in the past the idea of getting out for the first bothy adventure of 2019 had got us excited.

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TYPE 2 IS COMING – GAMESHOPE BOTHY MICROADVENTURE

The days of recent may have been doing their best to eek out every last bit of good weather but the tell tale signs are starting to show. There is no doubt that winter has already began.

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GRINDURO SCOTLAND 2018

Last years Grinduro was a biblically wet. Riders battled with a day long deluge and all the mud, grit and slippy bits that go along with it. Clearly undeterred, Grinduro returned for 2018 and it must have been a surprise when they stepped off the plane in all their waterproofs only to be met with scorching sunshine (at least by Scottish standards). For the last few months we have been at the receiving end of an incredible summer. Trails have been dusty and our jersey tans are now well cultivated.

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