Keswick Mountain Festival Challenges Off-road Cyclists With New Gravel Event

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.

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.

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