The Dirty Apple Ride started as an idea back in 2011 when WCCers Kate and Victor were riding the D2R2 and realized there are beautiful, quiet dirt roads in their proverbial backyard. They added the Dirty Apple Ride as a route option under the Golden Apple Ride umbrella, Westchester Cycle Club’s annual road riding event.
“The Dirty Apple is a dirt road ride designed to go through as many of Westchester dirt roads as possible. It was inspired by the (in)famous D2R2 (Deerfield Dirt Road Randonnee) put together by Sandy Whittlesey. While Sandy’s backyard is teeming with rural lanes that no one bothers paving because so few people live and drive on them, we had to look for the unpaved roads around here. The ride is truly beautiful and will make the riders wonder if they somehow got into a time/space warp and were transported to the past or at least to Vermont.” – 2012 Dirty Apple route marketing
The Dirty Apple found a core following over the next few years until 2015 when the Golden Apple Ride was canceled. In 2016, the Golden Apple Ride underwent an organizational change and the dirt routes were omitted.
In 2017, a few regular dirt road riders in the Westchester Cycle Club came together to revamp the Dirty Apple routes under the Golden Apple Ride umbrella, focusing the routes into northern Westchester. Only 2 routes were offered that year – a 40-mile and a 50-mile – with the goal of making gravel riding a challenge but accessible to those newer to gravel riding.
The biggest smiles were on the faces of muddy bike riders coming back from the Dirty Apple routes.
For 2018, the Dirty Apple has been spun off into its own marquee event. To further make gravel and dirt road riding accessible to all, four routes were created to cater to everyone from the dirt-curious (30-mile route) to gravel grinder veterans (60-mile route). The 30-, 40-, and 50-mile routes are designed to challenge riders without excessive climbing while the 60-mile route is designed to find as many hills as possible in northern Westchester.
In 2019, the routes were refined further and the number of routes reduced to three: a 40-mile route, a 50-mile route that add a few of our favorite hills, and a 63-mile metric that includes new roads that will challenge gravel grinder veterans.
We hope you enjoy the ride and look forward to making the Dirty Apple Ride a part of your fall gravel event plans.