Kinesis Bikes launch The Distance - a gravel riding and bike-packing event in Scotland
Two-day event, described as 'self-supported with benefits', takes in a mixture of on and off-road terrain in Galloway Forest Park
by George Scott
Kinesis Bikes have launched a new gravel event in Scotland called The Distance.
The event, which will take place in the Galloway Forest Park on June 10 and 11, combines two fast-emerging trends in cycling: gravel riding and bike-packing. Organisers have billed The Distance as an event which is 'self-supported with benefits.'
The ride, created in partnership with organisers of the Dirty Reiver, a popular 200km gravel event, will take place on a mixture of on and off-road terrain, with the course remaining something of a mystery. As riders reach each checkpoint, they will receive a printed map of the next section of the route to complete (along with a GPX file if necessary).
Riders won't be told which variant of the route they are following - but the faster they go, the further they will ride, before everyone re-convenes at the overnight stop. Riders will also need to complete a brevet card and will be encouraged to photograph key points of interest en-route.
"The test of riders will come from trying to complete the full route, and the adventure from not knowing where you'll finish up," said Andy Williamson of Focal Events. "Several intermediate checkpoints will guide riders to longer or shorter legs (using time cut-offs), with the aim of all riders arriving at an overnight camp hopefully all within an hour of each other."
Entrants will be required to carry a sleeping bag and shelter (tent, tarp, bivi), but a hot meal and drinks will be provided at the Saturday evening stop (so there's no need to carry cooking equipment). There will be hot showers, bike spares for running repairs and a covered social area with a bar and music.
On the Sunday, riders will return to the start en-masse on a 40-mile route - with a schedule ice cream stop. Breakfast and lunch can also be provided at an additional expense.
Kinesis brand manager Bruce Dalton added: "Gravel riding challenges like The Distance mean that, thanks to bigger tyres and increased carrying capacity, coupled with the developments in sleeping and bike packing kit, adventure riding is becoming easier, simpler and lighter."
Entry is limited to 150 riders and will cost £60. You can sign-up from Monday March 27 - otherwise check out thedistance.cc for more information.