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BAND OF CLIMBERS

UK'S TOUGHEST GROUP RIDES - GREAT DUN FELL

SUPPORTED BY

FREE GROUP RIDE - THE BIG ONE

After the success of our Summer of Steep group rides, which took us across the UK from Exmoor to Yorkshire, we're returning for one last event of the summer. And for this one, we're heading to our home roads in the North Pennines, to show you the very best of our region, and there's one climb in particular we want to show you. It's the highest climb in the UK, it's a closed road, and it's very, very hard. It's called Great Dun Fell.

For the last ride of the summer, we're going big. This ride is longer, higher and tougher than all the other rides we've run so far. It crosses 3 of the highest roads in the UK, and as a circular route, we can almost guarantee a headwind on at least one of those climbs.

The ride starts near the foot of the mythical Great Dun Fell. However, to get to the climb itself you first have to ride out of Cumbria, and into the Pennines. The route takes us over Hartside Pass, famous from The Tour of Britain and the classic Coast to Coast Route. A long climb in itself at over 7.5km at 5.3%, that is simply the warm up for the steep stuff that follows.

After we drop down into the town of Alston, we take on the fierce Killhope Cross, the 3rd highest pass in the UK. 5km over 5%, with some nasty 25% sections en route. After a fast descent into Weardale, we've packed in two smaller, butviscously steep climbs just before our feed stop and cafe stop at St John's Chapel. You'll have earned the rest by now.

After the feed stop, you're straight up the 2nd highest pass in the UK, Chapel Fell. It starts steep, backs off a little, then gets awfully steep again in the final KM. 2.5km at over 10%. After the descent to Middleton in Teesdale, we face a further steady climb over to Brough in Cumbria, before a welcome and rare 20km flat section, as we prepare for the big one.

Great Dun Fell hits us at 135km into the ride. We'vedeliberately saved the best climb to last. We rank GDF as the hardest climb in England. It might not be the steepest, but it's long, and with 25% sections, it's still a savage test. 7.4km at over 8%, on a closed road. Once you reach the 'giant golf ball' at the summit, it's all down hill to to finish line, to collect your goody bag.

WHERE AND WHEN

SOCIAL RIDE

This is a 150km social ride, which we hope to keep together in groups. There are multiple long, and steep climbs on the route, so we do expect splits to occur in the groups based on everyones ability levels. We will have several ride leaders on the course at all times, to help where needed.

THE START

The ride will start and finish in Knock, Cumbria. The route, timings, and full details will be emailed to you once you have signed up. We will be splitting the start of this ride into groups, based on an estimated average speed, with the hope that all groups will finish around the same time. You will choose which group to ride in after you sign up.

SELF SUPPORTED

As with all our other rides, this will be a no drop ride, and we'll ride in groups, and regroup at the tops of the major climbs (weather dependant) and at the feed stations. However, this is a longer and harder ride than any of our other rides, so we cannotguarantee to keep everyone in a group at all times, so by entering, you must be prepared to ride alone, and prepare accordingly if you are behind the main groups.

As this is a free group ride on open roads, there is no mechanical support on the course, and the route is not marked. There will be several Band of Climbers ride leaders on course to make sure the group completes the ride, and we will send the STRAVA Route 1 week before the ride to download onto your GPS computers.

You will need to bring your own tools, tubes and any spares in the event of a mechanical issue. Due to the severity of the gradients on the climbs and descents, we strongly suggest ensuring your brake pads and chain are in a good condition. Your bike and legs will be tested to the limit on this ride.

GROUP SELECTION

As this is a longer and tougher ride than the others, we want to try and make sure we all finish around the same time, and ensure no rider is left behind or riding alone at the back. To do this, we will split the riders into 3 groups. A quicker group, an intermediate group, and a casual group. You will choose which group you want to ride in AFTER you sign up to the ride.

We will start each group at 15 minute intervals. The casual pace group will set off first, with the quicker group setting off last. Our hope is that this helps us manage the ride over such a tough terrain, and helps our cafes, and feed stations to prepare for your arrivals, and give you a better experience on the day. After you sign up, we will email you asking you to choose your group.

FEED STATION BY OTE

All of our summer group rides will have a mobile feed station, kindly supplied by OTE Sports. The feed stations are stocked with water plus Electrolyte Drinks, caffeine bars and anytime protein bars to make sure you ride strong and complete each ride. You will also find exclusive offers and gifts in your BoC goody bag at the end of each ride.


ESSENTIAL INFO

These rides are completely free to enter, and by entering you understand that you are entering into a very challenging ride, on open roads. In order to take part you must:

  • Wear a helmet
  • Bring a front and rear light (in case of mist/fog on the higher climbs or moors)
  • Bring your own tools/tubes/spares in order to repair any mechanicals
  • Sign a Covid declaration before the ride to confirm you have no Covid symptoms
  • Ride within your limits, safely, following the rules of the highway code at all times

50 PLACES AVAILABLE

To join, simply click the register button and your free ticket will be added to your shopping cart. Then complete your free registration via our checkout. If you do not complete the checkout, your place will not be secured.

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