The Distance bills itself as a “self-supported event with benefits”. The first edition took place in the Scottish Borders, but event organiser Paul Errington of Focal Events got in touch to let us know that while it would return in 2018, The Distance would be at a new location… more on that a moment. First of all, what the hell is a self-supported event with benefits?
Well, first of all, think bikepacking, or rackless touring as The Distance calls it. You’ll need to carry your own sleeping kit, but you can expect a few more luxuries than the typical camp.
The event itself is not a race but more a sociable challenge. From a single start point each rider will visit a series of checkpoints throughout the day. How they get between the checkpoints will be dependent on their rate of progress… there are up to three route options at every checkpoint and your arrival time will determine which route option you are given.
Simply, the faster you are the further you ultimately ride… or the more sociable you are, the shorter the distance to the comfort of camp. Oh and you won’t know the routes until you get to the next checkpoint and you won’t know your ultimate destination until you get there. All part of the fun, we guess?
Some will ride 80+ miles, some closer to 50 miles, but all will arrive to hot food, a comfortable camp and even a gin bar – a gin bar!?! Count us in. The overnight gives an opportunity to relive the day with friends old and new.
Finally the second day is a more relaxed affair, with everyone following the same, relatively short route back to the start.
We now know what The Distance entails, where is this year’s event? 2018 is based in the Peak District, so is a little more accessible for many people, and we are sure that the organisers will be hoping for an even bigger turn out for 2018 than last year. The event will take place on 9/10th June… see you there. We’ll be the ones at the front of the queue for gin.
Head over to The Distance for more details and entries.