Glorious Gravel

Kielder Forest Gravel Epic

9th September 2023 | Kielder

Long Route

126km | 2300m

Medium Route

59km | 1100m

Ride Overview

The biggest gravel weekend of the year at the home of gravel riding in England. Take on the Kielder Forest Epic on the Saturday and the Kielder Borders Epic on Sunday on the smooth and wild fire roads of the far north of the country. Ride one day or make a weekend of it and stay in Kielder Forest for one or two nights taking in the stars with it’s dark sky zone & observatory. Check out Sunday’s Kielder Borders Epic HERE.

 

The Kielder Forest Gravel Epic takes in the best gravel roads in England’s largest forest with over 90% of the route off road. Choose between the full 126km route or the medium 59km option. Camping available in Kielder for £15 per night or in hotels near Kielder &  50 mins away in Hexham.

Highlights

  • The best gravel riding in England
  • Ride in England’s biggest forest on glorious remote trails.
  • Make a weekend of it by adding the Kielder Borders Epic on Sunday with camping and hotels available nearby & see the stars in this dark sky zone.

Included in Entry

Fully Signed Route

Our team work tirelessly to create the best gravel routes in the UK. All courses are fully signed so you can just enjoy the ride.

Checkpoints with Proper Food

An epic ride deserves proper support. We have tea, coffee and cake at the first feed and sandwiches & crisps at the main feed. Checkpoints are approx every 30 - 35km

Accurate GPX Files

A few days before the ride, we will send GPX files for all of the route options so you can follow the course on your GPS as well as the signs.

Mechanics Available

At the rider village & at selected feed stops we have mechanics available to help with any bike issues. We also have spare inner tubes, CO2 & more .

Rider Support Vans

We are here to make sure you have a great day on the gravel. If you have any major mechanicals or need collecting, support vehicles are a phone call away.

Beer at Finish Line

You will be greeted at the finish line with a beer & food available from our food truck. Perfect to chat about your day with fellow riders.

Event Program

7th September: GPX files and pre ride briefing video sent by email to each rider.

 

9th September – 7.45am: Ride village in Kielder opens next to the campsite. Collecting your ride number takes approx 10 mins.

 

9th September – 8am to 9.30am: Ride start. We will give you a short ride briefing and set you off in small groups.

 

9th September – 6pm: Food truck available for food & beers at the campsite.

 

9th September – 7pm: Link to ride times & rider photos sent to each participant by email.

Long Route

One of the highlights of the UK gravel calendar. The Kielder Forest long route is 90% on smooth gravel and gets about as remote as you can in England, miles away from the nearest town or car.

The ride starts out of the small town of Kielder, past the castle and straight into the woods on the appropriately named Forest Drive, a loggers gravel road Mon to Fri and cyclists’ playground at the weekend.

The climbing starts early (first climb comes at 5km) and the route is punchy througout. The first feed is at 35km by which time you have done a 3km and 4.5km uphill and two long descents.

From the feed we head back West towards Kielder Water and the flattest section of the ride with some lovely views. After another feed we head south beside Kielder Water &  onto more remote gravel. This second loop is more rolling with lots of small ups & downs rather than the longer climbs of the first loop until a fast finish back into Kielder.

Percentage of Route Off Road: 90%

Distance:

126km

Elevation:

2300m

Difficulty:

4.5/5

Medium Route

The medium route does the first loop only of the long route so it’s two long climbs (3km and 4.5km) before the first feed and then a rolling 24km back to Kielder with stunning views of the Water. Almost entirely off-road, this is a great gravel ride anyone looking for a wild, remote adventure without having to commit to a massive day on the bike.

Percentage of Route Off Road: 95%

Distance:

59km

Elevation:

1100m

Difficulty:

3/5

Short Route

The short route follows the medium for the majority of the day but cuts off a section in the middle and near the end to make this nearly 20km shorter. With some nice variety on the off road sections & very little climbing, this is ideal for riders of all abilities.

Percentage of Route Off Road: 55%

Distance:

47km

Elevation:

350m

Difficulty:

1/5

Bike Selection & Packing List

Bike Choice: The route is nearly all off road on smooth gravel (think Strade Bianche in Tuscany). Where the loggers have been working the gravel can be heavier. A gravel bike or hard tail MTB would be perfect. Road bikes are not suitable. E-bikes are allowed on all of our rides.

 

Tyre Choice: We will send an update on conditions closer to the ride. A 36 – 40mm allrounder gravel tyre should be ideal for this route.

 

Packing List: Bring equipment to be self sufficient on the route (inner tubes, sealant, multi-tool, pump or CO2 etc) as you will be without mobile signal for most of the day. 

 

Clothing: Likely to be mixed weather in early September, bring layers, arm / knee warmers and a lightweight waterproof jacket etc. Helmets are mandatory, you will not be able to ride without one.

FAQs

The ride starts and finishes in Kielder. There is free parking onsite as well as toilets & refreshments. We will send the ride village address by email. 

Yes, e-bikes are allowed on all Glorious Gravel ride. These must comply with UK law.

We have first aiders & mechanics at the feed stops. There will be a phone number on the back of your ride number – call this if you need collecting.

Yes, we start between 8am and 9.30am and set people off in small groups so the off road sections are not too busy. Please come to the start line with anyone you want to ride with, we will give a short ride briefing and set you off.