Tuesday, 19 January 2021 11:57

Keswick Mountain Festival challenges off-road cyclists with new gravel event

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Keswick Mountain Festival has announced details of a new gravel cycling event for 2021.

The DexShell Hell in the Fells will see riders tackle 72km of challenging ascents and descents on gravel routes in the North Lakes. Designed for riders of all abilities, the latest addition to the festival’s comprehensive outdoor sports programme will also be open to e-bikes. DexShell Hell in the Fells is scheduled to take place on Sunday 23 May and entries are open now.

Founded in 2007, Keswick Mountain Festival (KMF) is one of the UK’s best-loved outdoor festivals, attracting thousands of visitors to Cumbria for its unique mix of live entertainment, sporting events, outdoor adventures, high profile speakers, taster activities, exhibitor stands and camping for all of the family. This year’s festival will run from 21-23 May, based in the open air Festival Village on Crow Park, with the scenic backdrop of Derwentwater and the Lakeland fells.

The Keswick Mountain Festival Village with Skiddaw in the background 002

Sponsored by cycling specialist performance outdoor clothing brand DexShell and co-developed by experts at Cyclewise and Muckmedden, the DexShell Hell in the Fells course will follow a waymarked 72km gravel route that includes 2,000m of altitude gain. It will take riders on trails around the flanks of Skiddaw, the shores of Bassenthwaite, and in Whinlatter Forest, with viewpoints across that spectacular part of the Lake District National Park. The challenge will be suitable for all levels of rider, including those who use e-bikes. Each participant who completes the course will be given a classification based on their finishing time: Gold – finishing time under four hours; Silver – under five hours and 30 minutes; Bronze – under seven hours.

There will be water and Active Root feed stations along the course during the event, and a qualified medical team will be on duty, while a bike wash station and mechanical support will be available at the finish area in the KMF Festival Village. Organisers are offering an ‘early bird’ price of £55 for a place on DexShell Hell in the Fells. The cost includes an event t-shirt and access to the KMF Festival Village for the live music on Friday 21 May. The price will go up to £60 after 28 February. Around 200 riders are expected to take part in the first year.

Keswick Mountain Festival adds gravel trail bike event to programme with DexShell Hell in the Fells 002

Keswick Mountain Festival director Nicola Meadley comments: “We haven’t wasted the extra time that we’ve had to prepare for the 2021 Keswick Mountain Festival. As events start to return to the UK, it’s important that the public can look forward to new ideas and innovations. For our festival, DexShell Hell in the Fells is something new and exciting on the gravel trails that will appeal to a wide cross section of riders, and is a really neat addition to our programme of trail runs, open water swims, triathlons, aquathons cycling sportives and hiking challenges. We have been working very hard to adapt all of our plans for 2021, so that we can host a safe festival for everyone, welcoming visitors back to the open outdoor expanses and beauty of the Lake District.”

Places on the DexShell Hell in the Fells are available to book at www.keswickmountainfestival.co.uk/event/gravel-cycle-event. For full details of the 2021 festival, visit the website, www.facebook.com/KeswickMountainFestival and follow @keswickfestival on Twitter and Instagram. To find out more about DexShell visit www.dexshell.co.uk or www.facebook.com/DexShellOfficial, and follow @dexshelluk on Twitter and @dexshell_uk on Instagram.