A hillclimb you say... Are you crazy??
For all you Gravel fanatics one common theme we get is questioning whether to do the Hillclimb and join the ‘Full Dukes Weekender’ event?.. Yet Ironically for us following last year the most common feedback from the weekend was ‘I wish I’d done the Hillclimb.’ So we thought we’d break it down for you and give you some more info on the event and in particular why the Hillclimb became the highlight of our inaugural event in 2018.
So taking it back to basics The Dukes Weekender Festival is made of 3 events….
The ‘Full Weekender’ is the flagship event with the most riders. However it is made up of the 2 following events which can also be entered individually;
The Dukes Hillclimb: A 1.2km ride up the infamous Dukes Pass road
The Dukes Gravel Enduro: A 70km Gravel Enduro that includes 6 timed stages.
So what is Dukes Pass and what is the event all about? Well…. the Dukes Pass is the breathtaking hill pass on the A821 between Aberfoyle and Brig O'Turk in the 'Glen' of the Trossachs. The section of this beautiful road we will be using is the bit that climbs out of Aberfoyle up to a plateau a little bit before the summit....Here are the statistics:
Distance you'll ride - Approximately 1.2km
Elevation gain - Approximately 142m
Average incline - 7%
The event is stand alone but also Stage 1 of the Full Dukes Weekender and this part of the weekend was undoubtedly the highlight of last year... With hundreds of riders of all shapes and sizes of bikes taking on the closed road route full of spectators, with chalk writing all over the road, music, beer and of course the official ‘Starter’ Graeme Obree. As Aberfoyle locals it was incredible to see our community come alive and deliver the good vibes. Personally my lasting memory was watching local rider Andy Stanford being chased up the hill by at least 15 local school kids through a crowd including riders, families and our local MSP.
The Hillclimb winds it's way up around some lovely hairpin turns and gives you some amazing views and the event itself blew away all expectations for us and 2019 is going to step up even more!… With more riders and a bigger atmosphere….It’s not a steep climb, a meandering, recently resurfaced (thanks Stirling Council!) climb up to 120m above Aberfoyle. If you choose to go full gas then yes it’ll be an effort, but if not then high five the crowd! Enjoy the support! Do your best and then climb off and cheer on the rest of the field!…….We’re so proud that it’s a special and unique event to the Scottish Cycling scene.