After riding the South Downs Way Double last year (and breaking the then current record) Rob Lee will this weekend attempt to ride the Pennine Bridleway in both directions in under 24 hours.
It’s part of Rob’s Seven Deadly Spins series of rides and will be undertaken in the same manner as his South Downs Double ride last year, meaning he’ll be unsupported in his effort.
The Pennine Bridleway is a purpose-built long distance bridleway and as it stands at the moment consists of a main north-to-south trail and a loop, at the northern end, known as the Mary Townley loop. The goal of the challenge will be to start at the southern-most point, ride up to and then around the Mary Townley loop, before completing the journey by riding back to the start again.
In all the challenge covers just short of 200 miles. As is customary for these sort of long distance challenges these days, Rob will aim for a time under 24 hours. He’ll ride unsupported – carrying all his own food and spares, collecting only water from taps along the way.
Asked why this trail appeals to him, Rob points to mountain bike legend Nick Craig as his main point of inspiration: “Last year when we were looking for viable routes for inclusion in our series one of my team mates sent me a feature about Nick riding non-stop from South-to-North in under 12 hours, which got me wondering if it was possible to go there and back.
“Nick was always one of the riders who inspired me most when I was getting started racing in the ‘90s and reading about his ride inspired me a bit more. We had some correspondence about the route, location of taps and the like, and then I went up and did a few rides to see what the trails were like. It’s going to be an amazing, albeit tough day in the saddle. There is such a mix of terrain, I can’t wait to get on with it and hope that I can get through it unscathed and within the 24 hours.”
Rob’s ride will be tracked by a SPOT GPS tracker which means we’ll all be able to follow his progress live at www.the7ds.com/seven-deadly-spins. He’ll be heading off in the early hours of Sunday morning (26 July).