Formerly known as the Dorset Gravel Dash, the Dorset Dirt Dash offers two different events on the same route. The Dorset Dirt Dash 50/50 is a self-supported bikepacking event over two days, while the Dorset Dirt Dash 100 is the ultimate one day gravel grinder. Both take you around the amazing scenery on the Isle of Purbeck around Swange. Now in it’s 7th year, this is the perfect way to experience the rugged beauty of Dorset and the Jurassic Coast with fine gravel riding, camaraderie and castles.

Here’s what the media has to say about the Dorset Dirt Dash:

The Guardian
Road.cc
Cycling UK
Surly Bikes
Drunkcyclist 

And here is more:

Pictures from 2018 Day 1
Pictures from 2018 Day 2
Video from Dorset Dirt Dash 50/50 2019
Video from Dorset Dirt Dash 100 2016

The blogs, articles, pictures and video will give you a good idea what you are getting yourself into!

The Dorset Dirt Dash 50/50 is split over two days with an overnight camp on 29/30 May 2021.

The basics you need to know before entering the Dorset Dirt Dash 50/50

  • When: Saturday 29 May to Sunday 30 May 2020
  • Format: non-timed, self-supported reliability trial with overnight camping 
  • Route: around 152km with 2000m of climbing. Route subject to changes. Here’s an idea on Komoot
  • Entries: £85
  • Navigation: The route will be supplied electronically before the event. The course is not marked, you are responsible for your own navigation.
  • Bikes: mountain bikes & gravel bikes (e-bikes are allowed, but we cannot guarantee charging points) with a minimum recommended tire size of 40mm, which must be in good working order
  • Terrain: Singletrack, gravel paths, forestry roads, public roads, cycle paths
  • Start: 9am at the Red Lion, Swanage
  • Finish: Sunday afternoon/evening at the Red Lion, Swanage
  • What is provided: rider briefing, route for navigation, campsite & evening meal on 29 May, goodie bag, broom wagon
  • Camping: We provide a suitable place to pitch your tent with other riders, toilets, drinking water supply, catering. There are no other facilities on site (shop etc.)
  • Food: Riders will be provided with a complimentary evening meal. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free version are available on request (please let us know when you sign up). You need to bring your own bowl, mug, fork and spoon.
  • Minimum kit: Helmet, front and rear lights, sufficient water, emergency blanket or sleeping bag, waterproof jacket, first aid kit, phone or GPS for navigation, multitool, spare tube, tire levers, puncture repair kit, tent/bivvy bag/tarp. You need to carry all your own kit.
  • Insurance: You will need your own insurance.
  • Refunds: No refunds, but you can insure your entry. You can transfer your entry up until the closing date.

Registration & Rider Briefing
You need to register for the event. Registration is open on Friday 28 May from 6 – 8pm or from 7.30 – 8.30am on Saturday 29 May at the Red Lion. All riders MUST attend a rider briefing at 8.30am at the Red Lion.

The basics you need to know before entering the Dorset Dirt Dash 100:

  • When: Sunday 30 May 2021
  • Format: non-timed, self-supported reliability trial 
  • Route: around 152km with 2000m of climbing. Route subject to changes. Here’s an idea on Komoot
  • Entries: £45
  • Navigation: The route will be supplied electronically before the event. The course is not marked, you are responsible for your own navigation.
  • Bikes: mountain bikes & gravel bikes with a minimum recommended tire size of 40mm, which must be in good working order
  • Terrain: Singletrack, gravel paths, forestry roads, public roads, cycle paths
  • Start: 8am start at the Red Lion pub, Swanage
  • Finish: Sunday afternoon/evening at the Red Lion, Swanage
  • What is provided: rider briefing, route for navigation, goodie bag, broom wagon.
  • Minimum kit: Helmet, front and rear lights, sufficient water, emergency blanket, waterproof jacket, first aid kit, phone or GPS for navigation, multitool, spare tube, tire levers, puncture repair kit. You need to carry all your own kit.
  • Insurance: You will need your own insurance.
  • Refunds: No refunds, but you can insure your entry. Entries can be transfered up until closing date.

Registration & Rider Briefing
You need to register for the event. Registration is open on Sunday 30 May from 6am at the Red Lion. All riders MUST attend a rider briefing at 7.30am at the Red Lion.

Please refer to our Terms and Conditions for further information

How to get there

We highly encourage you to take the train or cycle to the event. If you cycle in, you’re extending your adventure by a couple of days, and don’t clogg up the roads. Pretty cool, eh?

By bike: Swanage is accessed from the east via the Sandbanks Ferry from Bournemouth and Poole area. It’s about £1 each way for a cyclist and runs until around 11pm. However, do check their website as it has been out of service for months in 2019. www.sandbanksferry.co.uk

From the west and north, just ride into town via Corfe Castle.

From the south…. Well that will be France then. Cross-channel ferries sail into Poole harbour daily.

By train: Swanage has no train station other than a steam train line that is about 4 miles long and of no practical use in getting to the Dirt Dash. You will find the nearest station is Wareham, about 10 miles to the north. Poole, Branksome and Bournemouth have stations around 10-12 miles away, but you will need to take the Sandbanks ferry across the harbour entrance and onto the “Isle” Check out the ferries times here. For rail enquiries check here.

By car: Swanage is accessed from the east via the Sandbanks Ferry from Bournemouth and Poole area. It’s about £5 each way for a vehicle and runs until around 11pm. However, do check their website as it has been out of service for months at time in 2019. As a driver you can also expect delays of up to several hours during peak bank holiday times. More info at www.sandbanksferry.co.uk.

From the west and north, just drive into town via Corfe Castle.

From the south…. Well that will be France then. Cross-channel ferries sail into Poole harbour daily.

Parking: DO NOT PARK at the Red Lion. Swanage is a tourist town and is geared up for short term/high price parking. Free on-street parking is all around. However, the area on the hill above Swanage hospital has wide streets, and plenty of parking. The north end, Northbrook Road, has on street parking, but can get busy on beach days. As you will be leaving your car for a day or two park considerately and keep your valuables out of sight.

Accommodation
For accommodation please visit the Virtual Swanage website, where you will find everything from camping to fine hotels.

Here are a few more rules:

  • Stay cool, be nice, don’t hurt yourself or others.
  • If you don’t know what is around a corner, assume it’s a steep drop-off.
  • Cycling on public roads carries risks and that you are aware of these risks.
  • All bicycles in your party will be ridden safely and responsibly at all times.
  • You will obey the law. Whilst using public roads, all riders must observe the Highway Code. If cycling off road, please stick to the route and exercise due care to all other users.
  • Cycling at night is more dangerous, all bikes will not be ridden at night unless lights are used.
  • A cycle helmet must be used at all times.
  • You understand that bicycling is a hazardous activity. You understand that the sport of bicycling and the use of this equipment involve a risk of injury to any and all parts of the user’s body. You agree to freely and expressly assume and accept any risks and all injury to the user of this equipment while bicycling. You understand that bicycle protective gear such as helmets and gloves are recommended, but they do not eliminate the risk and may not reduce the risk of injury in the event of an accident.
  • You agree that you will release the organisers from any and all responsibility of liability for injuries or damages or to any other person. You agree not to make a claim against or sue this organiser for injuries or damages relating to this event.
  • It’s not a race.
  • Don’t be a dick.
  • You allow us to film and photograph you and use those images for promotion or documentation.