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The Pennine Rally

500 kilometres, five days, off-road. Edinburgh to Manchester. June 15-19. Introducing the new highlight of our British riding calendar.

17 February 2021

Part long-distance audax, part multi-day stage race; half cross course, half hill-climb, the Pennine Rally is a mud-spattered mongrel of a ride. But for those brave enough to enter, all manner of rewards lie in wait high on the fells and deep in the forests on our self-supported gravel adventure along Britain’s mountainous backbone.

Only the hardy need apply, and with over 8,000 metres of ascent on the route from Edinburgh to Manchester, you best bring your climbing legs too. But fear not, five days is a long time and there are plenty of pubs along the way providing welcome respite and a well-earned pint.

The route


All riders on the Pennine Rally are expected to be self-sufficient but one thing you’ll never have to think about is the route. The route was created by bikepacking and UK riding advocates Outdoor Provisions. They produce a range of all natural energy bars and nut butters, all in compostable wrappers, for exactly this kind of venture where you're expected to be self-sufficient. The rally route has been meticulously researched and links up some of the most scenic roads, trails and byways around.

Starting out in Edinburgh, the route gets off the roads almost immediately in the Pentland Hills before winding its way south to take in some of the finest gravel roads, byways, drovers’ roads and bridleways that the Pennines have to offer. There’s only the occasional tarmac interruption and, trust us, you'll be glad for those.

You’re in for a tough week, but one of the best you’ll ever have on a bike.

Expect stunning scenery and remote riding as you navigate the length of the Pennine range, passing through the Scottish Borders, the North Pennines, the Yorkshire Dales and the Forest of Bowland before the final approach to the finishing party at Rapha Manchester.

The rules

 

This is a self-supported ride, with participants expected to arrange their own food and accommodation according to their pace and schedule. You’ll want to carry anything that you might need. We’ll signpost good options for accommodation along the route, though wild camping is encouraged where legal.

There will be three mandatory controls along the route, providing a chance to top up on supplies, have a coffee and steel yourself for the next section. The controls will be open at set times which will be shared with participants nearer the time.

 

Five days may seem generous, but this is a rally not a race. Riders are encouraged to enter with the spirit of adventure in mind, not a fast finishing time. The going will be tough at points so you might travel slower than expected on some sections.

We’ll split the route in five sections as a guide, though riders will be free to adapt this according to their plans and circumstances. However you choose to break down the route, we remind riders to respect the challenge and look after themselves. Sleep is encouraged, rather than penalised. As we said...

This is a rally, not a race.

Key details


- June 15th - 19th
- Riders must follow the GPX route provided
- Enter solo or as a pair
- All riders will be spot tracked, included in the price.
- All forward travel must be self-powered. If you take another form of transport (due to an emergency for example), you must return to where you left the route to continue
- Wild camping is encouraged, but only where it is legal
- Kick-off breakfast and finisher’s feast included (dependant on Government guidelines)
- Riders must obtain their own insurance
- Leave no trace

How to apply

Places on the Pennine Rally are extremely limited and available by application only. Tickets for the event cost £130 and include a donation to the Great North Air Ambulance – we hope nobody will need them but it’s nice to know they’re there.

This event is subject to change based on Government Covid-19 guidelines and restrictions.

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