Down and dirty for gravel ride

May 24, 2024 BY

Endurance: About 150 riders took part in The Dirty Pig and Whistle's debut 160-kilometre circuit offering. Photo: SUPPLIED

THE fourth annual two-day Dirty Pig and Whistle cycling event took place over the weekend.

With more than 800 participants registered, event director Michael Hands said the recent offering marked another successful year of gravel road riding amidst stunning backdrops.

“We were really pleased for a few reasons. Everyone was safe and looked after on the days, and we had lots of great feedback around the courses and good numbers,” he said.

“The thing that’s biggest in my mind is we had lots of great support from the towns, Creswick and Clunes especially. We spent lots of money in Creswick and it was full, you couldn’t get a bed there.

“We really like the fact it’s good for the communities.”

The event saw nine cyclo-cross events take place on the Saturday followed by the 40-kilometre, 80-kilometre, 120-kilometre, and newly introduced 160-kilometre or 100-mile distances on Sunday.

Routes took riders along the gravel roads of the Hepburn Shire. Photo: SUPPLIED


Mr Hands said the long circuit addition has been a long-time goal for organisers and it was great to see it well-received.

“A century in miles is kind of a classic in cycling so it was always our goal to add that which we did,” he said.

“Great, beautiful, and tough, I think is how people summed it up. We think that’s it in terms of how big these distances will get.

“Our goal was to get to a 100-mile offering and we’re happy with where we’re at.”

Mr Hands estimated more than $20,000 was raised for the event’s charity partner Big Brothers Big Sisters Australia.

He hoped to continue to grow the Dirty Pig and Whistle event next year.

“We want to build on the things we think were good, improve on the things we can do better, and keep bringing in more numbers,” he said.

“We’d like things like more entertainment around the course and more community involvement around the aid stations with community groups.”