UKgravelCO first mentioned the Dukes Weekender prepandemic but of course that dratted virus put paid to all the fun but now, hopefully things will go ahead this year with new entries released on August 11th and we hope to be there to enjoy the stunning scenery and atmosphere. Here’s what the organisers have to say…
September 2021 will see The Dukes Weekender in association with Santa Cruz Bicycles return to Aberfoyle and the surrounding Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. After a year’s hiatus the event organisers have announced plans to continue with the weekend long family focused event which includes Scotland’s largest ‘Gravel Enduro.’
Set in the heart of the village of Aberfoyle, the event is operated by local residents and has been a huge success, growing over the initial 2 years and bringing nearly 700 cyclists to the area to enjoy the weekend’s festivities. The Dukes Weekender is focussed on the growing trend of gravel cycling, a new discipline bringing the accessibility, physical benefits and non-technical aspects of road cycling to the safety, experience and landscape of mountain biking. The weekend, the biggest of it’s kind in Scotland, will see participants take on a forest road hill climb on the side of Dukes Pass (with local crowd, catering and music), a stunning 75km gravel enduro and also a 10km kids enduro and event village.
The event has been instrumental in establishing the village of Aberfoyle as a booming cycling destination, leading to the launch of a new destination brand ‘Gravelfoyle’ and will soon also see waymarked trails launched in Loch Ard forest as a collaboration between local community interest company Bike Trossachs, the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, Forth Valley Leader and Forestry and Land Scotland.
Event organiser, Bike Trossachs member and local resident Stu Thomson commented; ‘it’s absolutely fantastic to be able to bring the event back to the community after such a challenging last 18 months. The Dukes Weekender was established with the aim of bringing people to the village and showcasing the gravel riding on offer in the area and it’s been incredible to see the resulting explosion of Aberfoyle as a cycling hub.’
Stu’s partner in the event, well-known local cyclist Rob Friel added; ‘We’ve always put community right at the heart of the whole event, using only local suppliers, no outside catering and bringing the participants to the centre of the village. We’ve also used recently funded a selection of cycling equipment for the local primary schools in Aberfoyle and Gartmore too.’
As mentioned above, the organisers have announced some limited additional entries will be available on August 11th with the majority carrying over from the cancelled 2020 event. For more information on the event and entries please visit – www.dukesweekender.com
The scenery looks stunning and I really want to try and get there to experience the vibe!