If you missed the inaugural Beechworth Granite Classic gravel weekend in 2021, don’t make the same mistake this year! Held annually over the weekend closest to ANZAC Day (22-24 April in 2022), it’s a veritable festival of gravel cycling on some of the most rewarding backroads and forest tracks in the Ride High Country region.
Join Bridge Road Brewers in beautiful Beechworth for this weekend-long gravel cycling event, showcasing some of the Victorian High Country’s most picturesque back roads. Get dirty on freewheeling farm lanes, pick your way along bush tracks and conquer some classic High Country gravel climbs – the MAAP Beechworth Granite Classic needs to be a lock on your cycling calendar. Racing or riding, spectating or supporting, this is a weekend that celebrates cycling culture in what is fast becoming one of Australia’s adventure cycling meccas.
The weekend kicks off with a low key Friday evening bike expo in the Bridge Road Brewers brewhouse in Beechworth. Last year the vibe was chilled, the beer was cold and the many, many pizzas that kept materialising from back of house topped everything off. Expect to see stunning bikes by the likes of Tor, Prova and Bastion as well as a cameo from the original Specialized ‘Rock Combo’, a circa 1989 Gravel Bike. A truly Beechworth-y way to prepare for your big ride the next day.
Saturday sees riders suiting up at a respectable mid-morning hour and setting out from Police Paddocks on one of three new loops to cater for all levels of ability – a 45-50km option, a 90km route and a challenging 120km loop. 2022’s routes take in the champagne gravel of Mount Pilot National Park and its seemingly endless network of fast rolling surfaces and glorious, rugged vistas.
Late April is generally brisk in Victoria’s High Country, so pack your gloves and don a jacket, but be ready to shed those layers later when the gradients ramp up. You can race it, and some do, but for most folks the weekend is social and the Saturday ride will be about riding with your crew, tackling the climbs and trying to stay upright on the sketchy descents.
The festivities roll on through the evening with the dinner. There’ll be biked based entertainment (think Q&As, trivia and maybe a short film or two) as well as a full bar for all your rehydration needs. Tickets for the dinner are sold separately to the ride and book out quickly, so be ready to pull the trigger as soon as they go on sale.
Social “recovery” rides will again be on the agenda for Sunday morning, with 3 different options to choose from to suit your technical ability and endurance … or perhaps just to match how you’re feeling on the day. Registration is required for these rides, as numbers are capped at 30 per ride.
Whether you’re a seasoned gravel rider or only recently getting into the alt-road, this weekend is unmissable and Ride High Country is proud to be part of it. But be warned, you’ll have to be quick this year to secure your spot.
Head over to beechworthgraniteclassic.com.au and get your tickets sorted ASAP!