LONDON TO GLASGOW CYCLE RIDE - CYCLING EQUIPMENT AND KIT
Our London to Glasgow ride will be unsupported. We’re doing this to enable costs to be kept down, as well as to give riders a taste of the freedom of cycle touring. That means we will need to carry our own clothing, tools, water and snacks on our bikes.
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What kind of bicycle will I need?
We strongly recommend a road, cyclo cross or gravel bicycle, with drop handlebars. Other types of bikes will be slower over long distances, and we want each group to be able to ride together at an appropriate speed. Therefore if you wish to use a bicycle which doesn’t have drop handlebars, you must contact us before booking, at email@example.com
Our route will be 99% on the road, with potentially one or two short stretches of gravel cycle path. Therefore we recommend using road tyres rather than ones intended for gravel or cyclocross riding.
If you haven't cycled with pannier racks before, we suggest carrying your luggage on a rear rack rather than a front one, as your bike should handle better this way.
Do I need pannier racks?
Not necessarily! If your bicycle’s frame doesn’t have pannier rack mounts, or you prefer not to carry them, then there are a number of alternative options. These include:
It’s possible to mount pannier rack to a bicycle without pannier rack mounts with a combination of either seatstay mounting clamps or a seatpost clamp with rack eyelets, plus if your frame doesn’t have any eyelets near the rear dropout, a pair of mounts which fit to your rear quick release. This may all sound a little complicated, this article has illustrations of these items.
With the rise of bikepacking, there is a wide range of options available which don’t require pannier racks. These include:
This article contains a useful guide to the above items.
Seat post racks (sometimes known as beam racks) - this article explains the options well.
How will I carry my luggage?
We suggest that 2 small panniers, one large one or the equivalent should be enough for the six day ride. Aim to travel light - we’ll be staying in hotels and accommodation where a towel and bedding won’t be needed.
We strongly recommend using waterproof storage, such as that produced by Ortlieb. It is possible to use dry bags inside your luggage but obviously you could end up with your bags and any items not in the dry bags getting wet.
Carrying bags on your back is not practical or comfortable for the long distance we’ll be covering, so we aren’t permitting riders to carry their luggage in this way.
What kit should I bring on the ride?
A full list of the minimum kit you’ll need will be provided once you sign up to the ride. We recommend not bringing any more than necessary, as you’ll need to carry it with you. This will include:
Some tools, including spare inner tubes/tyre fixing equipment
of cycling kit (so you can wash one set and dry it while wearing the other)
A waterproof cycling jacket
A set of clothing to wear in the evenings
Snacks for the day
At least 2 x 750ml cycling water bottles
Sun cream and toiletries
For those staying on in Scotland after our arrival, we can provide recommendations for a courier service to deliver luggage there for your arrival.
We will also be recommending a bicycle courier service for those travelling by train from Glasgow, as space for bicycles on UK trains is very limited and needs to be booked well in advance.
Your local bicycle shop should be able to provide advice and help with fitting racks if needed.
We are happy to answer any questions - email us at bicycle firstname.lastname@example.org
We set out across the Humber Bridge, 12th-longest suspension bridge in the world and the longest single-span suspension bridge in the world that can be crossed by bicycle. Once in Yorkshire, we go through Anglo-Saxon minster town Beverley and across the Yorkshire Wolds, much beloved by painter David Hockney. We skirt round the base of the North York Moors - look out for the famous White Horse carved from the hillside at Kilburn.
As we travel up the beautiful countryside of the Vale of York, we pass through the market towns of Thirsk and Northallerton. When we meet the river Tees, we head west and follow it upstream into County Durham and towards the northern Pennine hills. Our destination for the day is Barnard Castle, famous for its medieval castle (and more recently as the destination for Dominic Cummings’ mid-pandemic trip).
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We climb steadily along the upper Tees valley, where the famous waterfalls of High Force and Cauldron Snout are found, along with a number of picturesque villages. As we pass into Cumbria we reach the highest point of our route, an altitude of 589 metres.
As we enjoy our hard earned descent, we even pass a small ski station at Yad Moss, and pass right above the dramatic waterfall Ashgill Force. 40km of mostly downhill roads bring us close to Carlisle and then across the border into Scotland, and Gretna, the marriage destination of choice for eloping couples.
Our final day’s ride takes us through Dumfries and Galloway, and then the picturesque hills of South Lanarkshire. We plan to regroup on the outskirts of Glasgow and make the most of its traffic free cycle routes into the city. We will arrive to a much-deserved warm welcome and a very special venue, where there will be food, drinks and selfie opportunities aplenty available!
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Locations of overnight stops are yet to be confirmed. The route may change due to unforeseen circumstances such as road closures or weather conditions.