|ROCK TO THE UK
A lot of the walking/backpacking blogs are giving coverage to the TGO Challenge. This is an annual self supported walking event across the Highlands of Scotland west coast to east coast. The event started in 1980 and is held in the month of May. This is the premier walking event in the UK.
I have walked across Scotland many times over the past 40+ years as well as walking north to south and south to north, but have never taken part in the challenge.
If you scan the cycling blogs you would see the Etape du Tour mentioned a lot. This is probably seen as the top European Cyclo Sportive . A one day event it enables the amateur cyclist to ride a stage of the Tour De France with closed roads - support and food stops.
As with the TGO challenge this is another event that I have never taken part in.
There are lots of one day sportive events in the UK - in fact during 'the season' you would have a choice of events every weekend. Some of these I have taken part in but there are lots and lots that I haven't.
During the coming year I will be riding quite a few of these either as a solo entrant or as part of a small group - but each one ridden will be part of my overall training plan.
My real love though are the multi-day sportives - rides like the 'Tour of Wessex'. This is a really popular three day event that takes place through a scenic but tough landscape- 329 miles of Wessex and Exmoor.
Land's End to John o'Groats tends to be completed as a do anytime touring ride with an average completion time of 14/15 days with lots of varied routes. Average distance is 930 miles. There is a history and tradition of attempting it at greater speed though. It has been completed in less than 2 days and 2 nights.
I was part of a small team that rode it in 2008 covering about 100 miles a day. It took us 10 days.
The Race Across AMerica (RAAM) is a multi day endurance ride that has become a major event. Now we have the Race Across Europe - simply known as RACE. This epic ride crosses 8 countries starting in Amsterdam in the Netherlands and finishing in Tarifa in Spain. I would like to do this ride but unfortunately the inaugural RACE is due to start on the 7th September 2011 and that is 7 days into my Rock to the UK event - still there will always be another year..!
Rock To The UK is an endurance ride that will start at The Rock of Gibraltar- cross Spain and France and bring us back to the English South Coast.
The route chosen will give us a total distance of 1500 miles to be completed over 15 riding days. It is generally accepted that 100 miles on a bike is roughly equivalant to the 26 miles covered by a runner doing a marathon. So what we will in effect be doing is a marathon a day for 15 days.
As well as crossing the Pyrenees our route will take us over a number of mountain ranges in Spain so it is not going to be a particularly flat ride. More importantly as well as being a tough ride it will be FUN.
At the moment we are getting together a small team to do the ride and it looks as if we will be looking for another one or two riders.Would you like to ride from the Rock to the UK ? Are you able to set aside three weeks from 1st to 21st September 2011 ?
If the answer is yes send your contact number to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will give you a call in the New Year to discuss details with you.