Event Preview: The Dirty Reiver

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Dirty Reiver
The Dirty Reiver is a new gravel/back road event in the United Kingdom

Today we take a look at an event that isn’t taking place on the North American continent. This is something of a rarity for a gravel based or back road “grinder” type of an event, but that’s exactly what we have here. While it isn’t the first event to take place in the UK that took influences directly from the North American gravel scene, it does have some unique connections to the events here. But first, let’s get the particulars out of the way, and find out just what a “dirty reiver” is and why the event has such a name.

Dirty Reiver at a glance:

  • Distance: 200K
  • Date and Time: TBA, but look for this to take place in April 2016
  • Location: Kielder Forest in “The Borders” region of the United Kingdom
  • Event Organizer: Paul Errington
  • Cost: Free
  • Information/Website: http://www.dirtyreiver.co.uk

The Dirty Reiver is the brainchild of Paul Errington. Paul is no stranger to the gravel scene, or ultra-distance challenges. He has competed and finished the 200 mile Dirty Kanza 200, the 300 plus mile Trans Iowa, and other ultras. To say he has immersed himself in the world of gravel racing and long distance challenges is putting it mildly. These experiences left a mark on Paul, and he eventually decided it was high time the cyclists of the United Kingdom had the opportunity to experience the gravel scene in their home country. He created the Dirty Reiver as a 200 mile, single loop, rural challenge which takes some of its cues from the Dirty Kanza 200 and other events of its kind in the USA.

What Is A “Dirty Reiver” ?: The event takes its name from a band of roving raiders which were active in the Borders Region during the late 13th Century up until the early 17th Century. These ne’er-do-wells were dubbed “reivers”and were not loyal to either Scots nor the Anglos. Errington felt the history of the region was important to note and the “reivers” are a big part of that history in the Borders Region. He then added the “dirty” part as a way to indicate the nature of the roads the event will traverse. Thus “Dirty Reiver”, and the riders who take part in this event might fancy themselves as “raiders”, but hopefully with much better intentions than the scoundrels of the past!

The event will take place sometime in April, and Errington will be updating the Dirty Reiver website with particulars as things become clearer. This first time event will be a good way for curious UK riders to experience an “American Style” gravel event, and Errington adds, “The course utilises the numerous forestry logging roads that criss cross the area, warning this event will not be flat .. at all !”

Thanks to Paul Errington for sharing the details of this event with RidingGravel.com For more like this event – over 300 others- please see our Events Calendar.

Discuss and share your questions or thoughts about gravel bikes, gear, events and anything else on the Riding Gravel Forum


Author: Guitar Ted

Guitar Ted hails from Iowa. Home of over 70,000 miles of gravel and back roads. An inaugural member of the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame and Co-creator of Trans Iowa in late 2004- Guitar Ted has been at the forefront of the growth of gravel events and riding since then. Creator of Gravel Grinder News in 2008, he produced the premier calendar of gravel and back road events. GT joined forces with Riding Gravel in late 2014.

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