Dirty South-West is the Western Cape's autumn gravel bike race

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South Africa has so many great gravel roads. It’s a shame to not ride them. (Photo: Dirty South)
South Africa has so many great gravel roads. It’s a shame to not ride them. (Photo: Dirty South)
  • Dirty South-West is the next instalment of the Dirty South franchise.
  • South Africa has better gravel riding roads and venues than most global cycling destinations.
  • For decades, these ‘groads’ have been underutilized. But with the latest generation of gravel bikes, that has changed.

As the lockdown started easing in October 2020, members of South Africa’s burgeoning gravel riding community hosted the Dirty South.

Utilizing some of the Overberg’s treasured gravel roads, the three-day race from Stilbaai to Sandford has evolved into an authentic adventure cycling experience.

With themed food stops and the lack of saturation product and service marketing at the overnight venues, the Dirty South is remarkably different from most South African cycling events. The riders behind these gravel events have a simple philosophy: these are races for the explorers, rebels, ruffians and the refined.

Dirty South organizers have responded to rider input and created the Dirty South-West, a gravel race closer to Cape Town.

gravel bike race
Groads must be explored. And the Dirty South crew, makes this their mission. (Photo: Dirty South)
gravel race
Link some of the Swartland’s most iconic venues, with inspiring gravel roads. (Photo: Dirty South)
gravel bike
Terrific gravel riding terrain. Combined with trimmings and hosting, you won’t experience at most cycling events. (Photo: Dirty South)

Misverstand and mountains 

Scheduled for 8-10 April, the Dirty South-West starts and finishes at Riebeeck Kasteel, but loops through iconic Western Cape destinations such as the Bo Piketberg and Misverstand dam.

The first stage routes from Riebeek Kasteel to Club Elani, covering 74km. Riders will enjoy the facilities at Misversand dam upon completing the day.

Day two of the Dirty South-West goes westward, taking riders from Misverstand’s Club Elani to the Bo Piketberg, before finishing at the overnight venue, after 80km. 

The Dirty South-West finishes with a 64km Sunday, routing home to Riebeeck Kasteel, from Club Elani.

Entry for the Dirty South-West is R4500, which includes a standard tent and meals. Upgrade to a shared luxury tent for R5500, and if you don’t want to share that comfy tent, it will be R5900.

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