Fresh format for Borders bike ride

A dedicated rider in the Borders settings.
A dedicated rider in the Borders settings.

There is a new format in 2019 for Bergamont Gritopia, the gravel event of next month’s TweedLove bicycle spectacular.

The ride, on Saturday, June 8, will consist of three more or less separate loops, of which participants can do one, two or all three.

The loops consist of Cardrona Forest, a 24km/350m descent, Elibank & Traquair, a 31km/790m descent, and section three, Leithen Water Forest, a 40km/795m descent.

Taking on the entire course will be a tough day out, covering over 90km, with 2000m of ascent across a variety of surfaces, from tarmac between forest sections to trail centre singletrack, grit roads and some rough forest access tracks.

But the idea of the new format is that participants can take on as much, or as little, riding as they want, and the gravel fun is more accessible to a wider variety of riders. All the loops will start and finish from within the Transcend Festival site.

“We’re so pleased about being able to do the event like this,” said a spokesman. “There’s a proper challenge for the experienced riders, as well as options for those who want to leave something in their legs for the festival afterwards.

“It’s a perfect combination of challenge, adventure and reward.”

TweedLove’s event partner Bergamont is offering the chance to take part using one of its Grandurance Elite gravel bikes, for a small charge.

From their ‘All Road’ range of bikes the Grandurance, said the firm’s Josh Gibson, is “a versatile bike designed to go anywhere your imagination allows, from tarmac to gravel forest roads. “Basically, the Grandurance is perfect for Gritopia and we are super-excited to be able to offer people the chance to demo one for the event.”

Everyone taking part gets a full weekend entry to Transcend Bike Festival with their event entry, to enjoy the festivities after the event.

Transcend partners Tempest Brewing Co are offering beer-festival style good times and there is a jam-packed line up of live music over the weekend too – a perfect accompaniment to the bike expo, demo, racing and other riding on offer. Onsite camping and a street food village is also available onsite, with more information and entries available at tweedlove.com