Self-supported UK

www.selfsupportedUK.net

Mountain Bike Independent Time Trial Routes

 

The object of this website is to provide a neutral and single source of information listing self-supported mountain bike challenge routes in the UK. There are undoubtedly different views on how far a route should be, but for inclusion in this list the benchmark is a route of 100 miles or more. The fastest time for the route will be listed for information purposes, however historical records will not.

 

Self-supported Philosophy

The guiding principle of self-supported riding is simply to 'do it all yourself', and the rule-set aims to provide equal and fair opportunity for all riders so times are comparable. The principle also eliminates any advantage gained by those who live near or have contacts along the route, and only allows the use of commercial premises for services, food and lodging. Respect must be paid to the honour system upon which this type of challenge sits, as ultimately it depends on each rider's integrity. The ride may be a group start or an Independent Time Trial (ITT).

 

Have a go!

You don't have to be shooting for a record to get out there and challenge yourself against the clock and the route. Immersing yourself in the personal challenge of completing a route as fast as you can will bring great rewards, through the training and preparation, the ride, and attaining your goal. Each of these routes require a different level of mountain biking skills, fitness, and outdoors experience, from the basic where services and exit routes are all around, right up to wilderness travel where a high degree of competency in the outdoors is necessary to safely travel fast and light. Hopefully this resource will encourage more mountain bikers into this style of riding and to push their comfort zone. For more information on skills, gear and lots of other good stuff, see US site Bikepacking, and UK site BearbonesBikepacking.

 

ROUTE DISTANCE CLIMBING START/FINISH FASTEST
BearBones200 124 miles 3,000 m Pennant 13 hours 8 minutes
Cairngorms Loop 186 miles 5,300 m Blair Atholl 22 hours 30 minutes
England-Wales-England (EWE) 1280 miles 35,000 m Plymouth to Tynemouth 11 days 7 hours
Highland Trail 550 550 miles 16,000 m Tyndrum 4 days 1 hours 43min
Lakeland 200 124 miles 6,400 m Stavely, Kendal 16 hours 45 minutes
Pennine Bridleway Double 193 miles 7,700 m Middleton Top 21 hours 39 minutes
Pennine Bridleway End to End 184 miles 6,700 m Middleton Top to Kirkby Stephen 26 hours 32 minutes
Ridgeway Double 175 miles 4000 m Avebury or Tring 13 hours 26 minutes
South Downs Double 200 miles 6,000 m Winchester or Eastbourne 17 hours 47 minutes (VB)
Tim Woodcock Coast to Coast 210 miles 8,141 m St Bees to Robin Hood's Bay 28 hours 31 minutes (VB)
Trans Cambrian ITT  100 miles 3,500 m Knighton to Dovey Junction 10 hours 18 minutes
Trans Cambrian Double ITT  200 miles 7,000 m Knighton - Dovey - Knighton 32 hours 33 minutes
Welsh Coast to Coast (WC2C) 204 miles 11,000 m Caernarfon to Cardiff 18 hours 41 minutes
West Highland Way Double 190 miles 9,000 m Milngavie or Fort William 38 hours 01 minutes
Yorkshire Dales 300 186 milesj 7,494 m Skipton  

 

* Indicates a formal route where a group-start involves some organisation and a fee

 

New Routes

A route needs no officiator; if you have time-trialled an officially mapped route, or one of your own creation, and ridden within the self-supported rules described here, it can be listed for other challengers to attempt. Some sort of evidence of the ride will be required to recognise its completion to the claimed time. Only routes with a suggested start time or a time already recorded, and openly available gps track data or mapping information, will be listed (This site can host .gpx files for the route). If you have an idea for a potential route, please step up and put down a time.

 

To add a new route, make amendments, or update a fastest time - routes@selfsupportedUK.net

 

Generic Rule-set

For a ride to satisfy the self-supported philosophy, it must comply with the rule-set listed below, and for the development of new routes a rule-set must be based around these key elements. Any other details related to the route or specific rules are up to the vision of the route director, normally the first person to step up and time-trial the route.

 

  1. Complete the entire route, under your own power  - no drafting
  2. Be completely self-supported throughout the ride - absolutely no support crews, absolutely no gear sharing
  3. Only use commercial services that are available to all challengers - no private resupply, no private lodging
  4. If you have to leave the route, you must re-join it at the exactly same spot
  5. No caches of any kind
  6. No pre-arranged support, which means before you begin your ride - e.g. booking a B&B, arranging to meet a vehicle
  7. No travel by any motorized means during your ride - by all means do so if necessary, but understand if you do your attempt is over

 

Note: A time trial completed with friends, family or media following the rider in a vehicle, effectively acting as a sag-wagon, is not a true self-supported effort. This style of ride with background support allows a rider to travel faster and lighter, adds complexity and cost, and is something not available to all attempts. Therefore rides completed like this are denoted with Vehicle Back-up (VB).