The Dunoon Dirt Dash is a self-supported bikepacking event on the Cowal Peninsula near Glasgow, split over two days with an overnight camp on 25/26 September 2021. This is the perfect way to experience the rugged beauty of Scotland’s Adventure Coast with fine gravel riding, camaraderie, camping and castles.
Here is what 2019 participants say about the event.
'First time gravel biking and was worried it wouldn’t be that interesting, but the route and event created a real sense of adventure, camaraderie and amazing scenery.’
'Bikepacking is kind of new to me but everyone was so helpful and I have definitely come away learning from it. The whole event was very well organised by very friendly bikers and couldn’t fault any part of it. I will be back.’
'A truly awesome weekend, unlike any cycling experience I've had before, and Markus + Charlie should be proud to have created such a great atmosphere.’
The quotes, videos, blogs and pictures will give you a good idea what you are getting yourself into!
The basics you need to know before entering:
- When: Saturday 25 September to Sunday 26 September 2021
- Format: non-timed, self-supported reliability trial with overnight camping
- Route: around 132 km with 2750 m of climbing. PLEASE NOTE: Day 1 might include a section of 4.5 km which crosses steep, boggy terrain where pushing the bike is neccesary and there are NO obvious tracks. Route subject to changes. Here's an idea on Bikepacking Scotland's website
- Entries: £85 - Sign up here
- 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 and terrain without an obvious route choice
- Start: 9am at Dunoon Pier with a cannon shot!
- Finish: Sunday afternoon/evening at Puck’s Rest, 54 Victoria Parade, Dunoon PA23 7HU
- What is provided: Pre-ride party on 24 September, rider briefing, route/file for navigation, campsite & evening meal on 25 September, goodie bag, broom wagon
- Camping: We provide a suitable place to pitch your tent with other riders, toilets and a very basic shower, drinking water supply, catering. There are no other facilities (shop etc.) Check out pictures from the campsite here
- Food: Riders will be provided with a complimentary evening meal by Winston Churchill Venison. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free version are available on request. 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 and Transfers: You are able to insure your entry on EntryCentral, so we cannot offer refunds. You are able to transfer your entry to another person on EntryCentral.
The event in pictures
The route in pictures
How to get there
We highly encourage you to take the train or cycle to the event.
By bike: You can take both ferries from Gourock to Dunoon. There’s a regular ferry service from Hunter’s Quay to McInroy’s Point. Please check Western Ferries for timetables and fares. Alternatively you can take the passenger ferry from Gourock to Dunoon Pier, which has limited bike spaces. Please check the Calmac website for timetables and fares.
By train: Dunoon has no train station, but you can take the train to Gourock to connect with the ferry to Dunoon. For timetables and fares check the Scotrail website and Calmac website for ferry times.
By car: Dunoon is situated on the Cowal Peninsula. If you are coming from the South or East, there’s a regular ferry service for cars from Hunter’s Quay to McInroy’s Point. Please check Western Ferries for timetables and fares. From the North and West best use the A815 which takes you to Dunoon. Alternatively you can leave your car in Gourock and take the passenger ferry from there to the Dunoon Pier. Please check the Calmac website for timetables and fares.
Parking: Free parking is available in Dunoon - Information about parking can be found here
For accommodation please visit the Dunoon Presents website. For camping before and after the event: Unfortunately there is no campsite in Dunoon, but there are good spots outside of town, if you want to wild camp. Please stick to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code when doing so.
We recommend the following accommodation providers:
Puck’s Rest is run by fellow cyclist Josh and is a relaxed and friendly place to hang out. All riders and their friends and families are welcome. Josh has done a fair bit of cycling himself, with his dog Nero as a companion on the back of his panniers. Puck’s rest has paddle boards to hire, a cosy bar and café and rooms looking out to the sea. Puck’s Rest offers a special 5% discount for all Dirt Dash Riders and their families. You can book using DIRTDASH as discount code over the phone to 01369 702907 or on the website.
St Ives Guest House is only five minutes away from the town centre on the West Bay beach. Katia and Jon are looking forward to welcome you on Friday night, with secure storage for bikes, high speed Wi-Fi and delicious breakfast before the start on Saturday. Call them at 01369 704825 or book over the website quoting ‘bikepacker’ to receive a 10% discount.
Registration & Rider Briefing
You need to register for the event. Registration is open on Friday 24 September from 6 - 8pm at Puck’s Rest, 54 Victoria Parade, Dunoon, PA23 7HU or from 7.30 - 8.30am on September 25 at Queen’s Hall, 9 Argyll Street, Dunoon, PA23 7HH. All riders MUST attend a rider briefing at 8.30am at the Queen’s Hall.
Pre-Event Gathering & Finish
On Friday you can drop into Puck’s Rest (54 Victoria Parade, Dunoon, PA23 7HU) from 6pm for an informal pre-event gathering. The finish will be there as well, with coffee and drinks available. Puck’s Rest is run by fellow cyclist Josh and is a relaxed and friendly place to hang out. All riders and their friends and families are welcome.
The Campsite in pictures
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.
- Don’t be a dick.
- You allow us to film and photograph you and use those images for promotion or documentation.
For any queries email us at please use our Contact Form
The start and finish in Dunoon
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