Cyclists to tacklegravel rides

May 17, 2024 BY

Expanding: The Dirty Pig and Whistle cycling event has grown from about 300 participants to around 1000 since its establishment in 2021. Photos: SUPPLIED

BIKE tires are set to tread down the gravel roads of the goldfields for the fourth year in a row.

The annual Dirty Pig and Whistle event is returning this weekend.

Kicking off tomorrow, Saturday 18 May, and riding into Sunday 19 May at Creswick’s Hammon Park Oval, event manager Michael Hands said it’s about giving people an enjoyable weekend of vistas while keeping active.

“It’s a weekend of cycling and the epicentre is the gravel rides on Sunday,” he said.

“Gravel cycling is getting more popular all the time and Hepburn Shire’s a fabulous region to ride in, and there’s some really first-class gravel roads.

“We’re promoting, celebrating, and highlighting how good cycling is in the area.”

From 1.30pm, the Saturday will feature an evening of cyclo-cross with nine events available to participants, the majority of which will be accessible via a single-entry online fee of $35 or $40 on the day.

The day’s single-lap events for children and dogs are free.

Dirty Pig and Whistle Gravel Rides
This year’s event will debut a 160-kilometre circuit following the introduction of a 120-kilometre ride in 2023.


Four specialised gravel riding events will follow on the Sunday with the options to participate a 40-kilometre short course, 80-kilometre medium course, 120-kilometre full course, or the 160-kilometre, or 100-mile, circuit.

The majority of races will include a stopover in Clunes.

Proceeds from the event will go towards the Dirty Pig and Whistle’s annual charity partner, Big Brothers Big Sisters, which pairs young people with supportive mentors.

“They do really great work and it’s a great cause,” Mr Hands said. “While we like putting events on, we like for them to have a social purpose as well.

“It’s a good fundraiser and profile-raiser for the organisation. We’ve probably raised between $30,000 to $40,000 over the years.”

Mr Hands estimated more than 800 participants have signed up already.

Visit pigandwhistle.cc for more information or to register.