Gravel Grit returns: Laguna, Hunter Valley, NSW

Gravel Grit has found a new home amidst the Hunter Region of New South Wales. Situated les…

Gravel Grit has found a new home amidst the Hunter Region of New South Wales. Situated less than two hours from Sydney, an hour and a half from Newcastle and barely a stone’s throw from the Central Coast, Gravel Grit Laguna is coming Saturday, 27 October 2018.

Last year saw the inaugural Gravel Grit Central Coast kick off with a bang. Over 300 riders, equipped with gravel, cyclo-cross, adventure, mountain bike and even a few roadies (who very like purchased a gravel bike shortly after the finish), battled their way into the Watagan and Olney State Forest for a choose your own gravel expedition route. We provided rider with options beforehand but on the day, if you were feeling good, you went long, if not, you cut it a little short. Don’t be fooled, even the The Low Road riders were put to the test. Overall, you deemed it a success. From the raging BBQ, the refreshing ales, premium rest stop coffees and even the bike wash station, all the elements came together just like we planned.

But there’s always room for improvement.

This year we’ve shifted our event site just over the ‘hill’ into the sleepy town of Laguna. If you haven’t ventured to this stunning part of the Hunter previously, you’ll be happy to hear the drive is nicer and the distance is around the same – if coming from Sydney. More importantly, we believe this year’s route are superior in every way.

More gravel, less tarmac, challenging climbs and a day out in the Olney State Forest you’ll be remembering for years to come. Together with Bicycle Network, we’ve created two route options for Gravel Grit Laguna that will put your lungs and legs to the test – just like last year. In keeping with the theme, the only race will be the one you enter with yourself. A day out with your riding friends, with no agenda but to soak it up, get a bit gritty and enjoy a deliciously refreshing and tastebud-tantalising lunch at the finish.

So, save the date, Saturday 27 October 2018. And in case Sydney is a little too far outside your postcode, we’ve also put together Gravel Grit You Yangs – because Melburnians deserve their own Gravel Grit too.

The course options:

The Low Road

Distance: 67km | Elevation: 659m

The low road is the perfect introduction into gravel riding. Start with a solid climb into the state forest, roll through pristine forest, before soaking up stunning farm land views views on the 20km descent back to the finish in Laguna.

Suggestion: tackle the ride with at least 28mm tyres on your bike to ensure you’re comfort. For maximum enjoyment fit tyres wider than 30mm. The ride will be smoother, you’ll enjoy greater traction and likely ride a little faster.

The high road

Distance: 76km | Elevation: 839m

If you’re looking for a little extra adventure, the high road is for you. The additional 10km loop incorporates more technical riding, two collapsed bridges, some laughs, tears and a whole lot of fun.

After rejoining the main route and tackling the ‘Rocky Horror descent’, you’ll have 20km of pure gravel heaven to enjoy on your ride back to the finish line in Laguna.

Suggestion: get the most out of the ride on a CX, gravel or adventure bike with at least 32mm tyres or a mountain bike.


For further details and tech tips visit the Gravel Grit Laguna microsite, or if you’ve seen enough Enter Now and receive early bird discounts for Cyclist readers and followers.

Not sure yet? Here are the dates you need to know or check Facebook to see if your mates have already signed up:

Cyclist readers and Bicycle Network members open till – Sunday, 1 July, 2018

Early bird entries open – Monday 2 July, 2018

Early entries close – Sunday 16 September August, 2018

Standard entries open – Monday 17 September, 2018

Event day – Saturday, 27 October, 2018

For those in Victoria, head across to our Gravel Grit You Yangs preview to get the scoop around our brand new gravel event just a short drive from Melbourne or Geelong.

Gravel Grit Laguna