Ride Report - Photo Essay from the 2023 Dunoon Dirt Dash

As the 2023 UK gravel event season slowly winds down, organisers have been finishing off on a high. The Dunoon Dirt Dash was held at the end of September and saw a diverse group of riders heading to the west coast of Scotland to take part. Event co-organiser Markus Stitz sent in a fantastic selection of images and a short write-up of how the weekend unfolded.

The last weekend in September saw the Lezyne Dunoon Dirt Dash concluding the successful event series run by Charlie Hobbs and Markus Stitz for 2023. With new dates already announced for 2024, the final event for the year, the Lezyne Dunoon Dirt Dash, delivered a great atmosphere in a stunning setting on Scotland’s west coast.

The grassroots bikepacking event, now in its 4th year, attracted riders from across the UK and internationally, as far as the US, Canada and France, who enjoyed a new 62km route on the first day and another 46km of fine gravel tracks on the second day. A few brave riders also rode an extended version of the route in one day. For the overnight 50:50 event, the campsite was once again located at the scenic Carrick Farm, situated right next to a Scottish sea loch, with food served for dinner and breakfast by local catering provider Winston Churchill.

In 2024 the Lezyne Cateran Dirt Dash will be happening on 4/5 May, the Kinesis UK Dorset Dirt Dash on 25/26 May and the Lezyne Dunoon Dirt Dash on 21/22 May. 

Co-organiser Markus Stitz looks back to a successful 2023 and forward to the next year: ‘One thing that stood out for me this year is that we had a really nice mix of riders at all our events. While Dunoon has established itself as our main event in Scotland now, the Lezyne Cateran Dirt Dash was also really well received in the first year. We have made good progress attracting more women to ride the Dirt Dashes and we will continue to make the events more inclusive. Looking at the routes, there will be some small changes to next year's routes to keep the Dirt Dashes interesting for our riders who return year on year. We look forward with our regional partners and sponsors to growing the events organically.’ 

Mark Noble, Head of Marketing at Upgrade Bikes, was also very happy with this year’s events from a sponsor’s perspective: 

‘Another year of Dirt Dash for the record books and I’m glad we were able to sponsor the series with a couple of brands here at Upgrade, helping like-minded folks have a great time at some of the best bike-riding weekenders on the calendar. With Lezyne and Kinesis involved, we were able to give support where it’s needed – cycle events like this are vital for the scene in general and help get people out on bikes and connect with other good humans. I mean, look how good this event is! What’s not to love? And that’s what we’re all about here – roll on 2024 with more Dirt Dash events with support from Lezyne and Kinesis Bikes.’

More information about all Dirt Dashes can be found Entries for the overnight Dirt Dashes start at £90, the Kinesis UK Dorset Dirt Dash 100, a one-day event, costs £50 to enter. The events were supported by Kinesis UK, Lezyne, Komoot, Schwalbe UK as well as Paths for All and Inspiring Scotland.

Markus Stitz

Markus Stitz is a German-born route designer, filmmaker, photographer and writer, based in Edinburgh, Scotland. He caught the adventure bug while living in New Zealand and has explored Great Britain extensively since he moved here in 2009.

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