Event: Gravelling down under – The Beverley Heroic
There’s a mythical land that’s largely portrayed as rock, sand and dust and in the far west of that land is a place that has red unpaved roads, roads that bring promise of adventure and something truly unique.
I happened across “The Beverley Heroic” only a few days ago, a thumbnail of an intriguing picture popped up on my timeline, a friend said she’d just been to recce a route, a route that glancing at the pictures looked incredible. Sarah put me in touch with event director Toby Hodgson who kindly filled me in with the details.
On the second weekend of October this year the quiet town of Beverley, Western Australia, plays host to a unique bike weekend that brings together a retro bike show, bike movies, a town ride, afternoon tea and mixed surface riding over long and short distance routes.
Beverley, named after the Yorkshire market town in England, is situated about 80 miles east of Perth with a population of just 1700. Established in 1831 the community has strong links to the agriculture that sustains the area and to aviation, it being the birthplace of Australia’s oldest aircraft and where gliders make much of the local thermals.
Back in 1897 the Rover Road Race was first run, a grueling 116 mile event traversing turn of the century rough roads across Western Australia and finishing in the then tiny town of Beverley. It proved to be hugely popular and was later re-named “The Beverley to Perth Race”, or simply “The Beverley” and ran for over a hundred years until 1999. It was widely thought to be the toughest bike race in Australia.
Resurrected in spirit as the centrepiece of the Beverley Heroic weekend the event promises 100 or 50 mile rides between Beverley, York and Northam up to 25 miles of which are over Western Australia’s finest gravel roads.
Now in its 3rd year the rides are run as Audax Randonneur (100 miles) and Brevet Populaire (50 miles) including categories for single, 3 speed, heroic (steel frame, down tube shifters). Whilst there’s a chunk that’s on the paved roads they’re Aussie back roads in tranquil rural countryside.
If I get a lottery win between now and Friday 23rd September, when entry closes, I’ll be on a plane for some of those stunning gravel roads and a weekend of fun in what will be glorious Aussie springtime!
More details at – http://www.theheroic.com.au