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Aberfoyle to host new endurance gravel cycling event and festival

The Grand Old Dukes…  climbed 10,000ft!

On Sunday 30 April 2023, Aberfoyle, the beating heart of the popular Gravelfoyle cycling destination within Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, is set to host Grand Old Dukes, a new gravel riding endurance event for solo riders and relay teams.  Event organisers, Bike Trossachs CIC, the cycling-focused community interest group behind Dukes Weekender, one of the most popular gravel riding events in the UK, will also stage a two-day community cycling festival (Saturday 29 & Sunday 30 April 2023) supported by the EventScotland Community Cycling Fund.

From a timed mass start on Sunday morning (30 April) the Grand Old Dukes will see gravel riders tackle a challenging 111-mile route, with 10,000ft of spectacular climbs, from Loch Lubnaig to Loch Arklet, and the most iconic hills and glens in between.  The specially designed waymarked and marshalled route will showcase some of the best gravel riding to be had in the UK across the Trossachs’ extensive network of off-road, multi-surface forestry tracks and trails, gravel roads, and paths, all in the most stunningly beautiful countryside.

Grand Old Dukes promotional video:

Thanks to generous support from EventScotland Community Cycling Fund in celebration of the 2023 UCI World Championships in August, Bike Trossachs, in partnership with Adaptive Riders Collective (ARC), Dirt Divas CIC and Trailcoach, will be staging the Gravelfoyle festival of cycling, a range of free cycling events and activities in the family-friendly Grand Old Dukes event village at Dounans Outdoor Centre, Aberfoyle, on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 April 2023.

The partnership team will offer adaptive e-assist bikes to demo as well as a series of ‘come and try’ gravel rides, guided long distance rides, female-led rides and female-specific cycle mechanics sessions. The event village will also include a range of stands, kids pump track and cargo bikes to try out.

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.

Event Director Beth Legg, added: “With something for everyone at the event village at Dounans Outdoor Centre all weekend, our new community focused festival of cycling, running in conjunction with the big ride-out on Sunday is guaranteed to have a very welcoming and family atmosphere.”

Robbie Clyde, Head of EventScotland, said: “EventScotland is delighted to be supporting the family-friendly Grand Old Dukes gravel riding festival, Aberfoyle, through the Community Cycling Fund which is enabling opportunities for more people to enjoy the benefits of cycling through a range of events and activity as we move closer to the inaugural 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships.

“Events play an important role in our communities, enabling us all to connect, enjoy and share memorable experiences – having them in our calendar further strengthens Scotland’s position as the perfect stage for events.”


Images to be credited to Bike Trossachs:

Various Gravelfoyle Images – Please credit as per file name –

 Images attached – credit as file name

Notes to Editors:

  • The Grand Old Dukes (‘the Gravelfoyle Gran Fondo’) is a one-day gravel riding endurance challenge staged by Bike Trossachs CIC on Sunday 30 April 2023.  It will begin with a timed massed start from Aberfoyle on the edge of the Trossachs at 07:00.  The 111-mile route, climbing 10,000ft throughout the day, will take riders into the heart of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park and showcasing Scotland’s premier gravel cycling mecca, Gravelfoyle.
  • Entries for Grand Old Dukes have opened with solo and relay entries (two to four riders) available ranging from £58 for a single entry. To book, go to
  • In conjunction with Grand Old Dukes a free two-day community cycling festival, supported by the EventScotland Community Cycling Fund in celebration of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, will be run at the Grand Old Dukes event village at Dounans Outdoor Centre, Aberfoyle, on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 April 2023. Go to for further information.
  • Bike Trossachs CIC is a cycling focused community interest group based in Aberfoyle.  All profits go back into promoting, supporting and enabling bike riding for everyone in the local area, under the destination tourism brand for Scotland’s premier gravel cycling mecca, Gravelfoyle.
  • Bike Trossachs CIC officially launched the UK’s first waymarked gravel riding trails in July 2022, 10km, 20km and 30km route options available all setting off from Aberfoyle’s main car park. The routes have been designed to encourage more cyclists to experience the joys and thrills of gravel riding in the area, while using Aberfoyle as a base.
  • The new Gravelfoyle brand is an evolution of a hashtag initially born out of Dukes Weekender, the hugely successful, community run, family friendly, gravel cycling festival, staged in and around Aberfoyle in 2018 & 2019 and 2021 & 2022, that encompasses the true spirit of gravel riding – adventure, exploration, wild countryside and the simple pleasure of riding your bike. The event is now operated by Bike Trossachs.  Following the inaugural event the hashtag #gravelfoyle grew in popularity, with visitors and the community using it year-round across social media channels while sharing gravel riding photos and adventures from the area. The tag now with thousands of shares across instagram was the obvious choice for the destination brand name.
  • Bike Trossachs ran the UK’s first ever integrated adaptive cycle category at Dukes Weekender 2022 with 14 adaptive riders participating alongside non-adaptive riders.
  • Bike Trossachs continue to focus on inclusion and equity with Dukes Weekender 2022 attracting over 200 female participants!
  • Scotland plays host to the 2023 UCI World Championships with 13 disciplines vying for the top spot. With generous support from EventScotland via their Cycling Facilities Fund, we have been able to provide a series of free to attend sessions throughout the festival weekend.

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