Bikes Of Great British Escapades 2023

Bikes Of Great British Escapades 2023

1 June, 2023

An intrepid adventure covering the North and South Downs in the sunny South of England. Make sure you take a look at the bikes the riders have chosen to tackle this hilly off-road adventure.

Then, follow along via the tracking here.

Andy Topliffe

Name: Andy Topliffe

Age: 52

Location: Chelmsford

Bike: On One Free Ranger

Key items of kit: Restrap top tube bag, KTM saddle bag, oval chain ring, double wrapped bar tape,

Edward F

Name: Edward F

Age: 37

Cap number: 13

Location: Kent, UK

Bike: Mason Bokeh, Hunt x Mason 650b dynamo wheelset and Rene Herse Juniper Ridge 48mm tyres.

Key items of kit: Apidura bags, Alpkit bivvy bag with liner, Alpkit cloudbase mat. All the food!


Name: Rob

Age: 43

Location: Down south

Bike: Bombtrack HooK

Key items of kit: Tailfin Apidura top tube and frame bag Hunks Bivy and sea2summit SP2 sleeping bag SonDyno Klite lights Wahoo Roam

Jim barrow

Name: Jim barrow

Age: 55

Location: West sussex

Bike: Mason ISO

Key items of kit: Mason ISO, Hunt Search Dynamo wheel set, K lite light / charger, Garmin Edge 1030, various Apidura and Alpkit bags, tailfin seat pack, Alpkit hunka bivvy bag, Alpkit pipedream sleeping bag, Thermarest Neoair X therm mat.

Dale Warren

Name: Dale Warren

Age: 44

Cap number: Adventuresofadale

Location: Crick, Northants

Bike: Sonder Frontier, 27.5" on tubeless Goodyear Escape 2.6", comfort all the way. SRAM Eagle NX 11-50. 32T. SRAM Guide T brakes. Selcof Expedition bars with Ergon GP4s, more comfort.

Key items of kit: Restrap bags on the bike and Alpkit Skytrail with a bladder. Alpkit Hunka XL bivvy and Rig 3.5 tarp. Sea to Summit Spark bag with a Thermorest Neoair Uberlite pad and S2S pillow. Combination of Magicshine Monteer 8000S and Cateye Volt 800 to light the way. Garmin 530 for nav and couple of 20000mAh for power. A tonne of Clif bars and home blended trail mix for snacking.

Pete Critchlow

Name: Pete Critchlow

Age: 43

Location: Hope Valley, Derbyshire

Bike: Trek X-Caliber 9

Key items of kit: Pretty much stock bike, SLX/XT groupset, but switched to Continental Race Kings for the GBE. Restrap 7l Race Saddle Pack for sleep kit. Alpkit 3l Bar Bag for spare/warm clothes. Alpkit Top Tube Bag for electronics. 2 x Apidura 1.2l Food Pouches. Exposure Strada 900 with remote, and smaller Switch upfront, 2 x Moon usb rear lights at the back. SQ-Lab inner bar ends for change of position on roads and longer climbs. 1 x 1l and 1 x 0.8l bottles squeezed in by using adjustable cage mounts.

Dan Ricketts

Name: Dan Ricketts

Age: 39

Location: Essex, UK

Bike: Orbea MX50 Hardtail nicknamed "Rocinante" - I reckon the cheapest bike in the field!

Key items of kit: Moosetreks full frame bag - again super cheap! My Essex and Herts Air Ambulance jersey as I'm raising money for them through the ride The OnOne Geoff Alt bars - lots of hand positions

Jim Warden

Name: Jim Warden

Age: 47

Cap number: @jimdubleyou

Location: Twickenham

Bike: YT Izzo

Key items of kit: Alpkit Koala: sleep kit (bivvy + quilt) and a spare set of riding kit. Alpkit Large stem cell: quick access stuff - first aid, waterproof, chargers. Alpkit small stem cell: mostly empty, food and easy access bits. Restrap canister and top tube: spare gloves, battery pack, food, arm warmers, cable lock. Various small bags - spares and tubes, lots of tubes. Using a Garmin 1040 for navigation, and exposure lights. Will also have a hydration pack.

Tony Marvin

Name: Tony Marvin

Age: 69

Location: Ventnor, Isle of Wight

Bike: Salsa Cutthroat built by Woods Cyclery Lyndhurst.

Key items of kit: Front end, Revelate Designs bags. Top bar and rear, Tailfin bags and rack. In the middle, frame bag from Straight Cut Design.

Nath Manning

Name: Nath Manning

Age: 35

Location: South Wales

Bike: Titus Silk Road

Key items of kit: Zephyros Compact Tent Highlander Superlite Sleeping Bag Trekology UL50 mat

Martin Fabbro

Name: Martin Fabbro

Age: 43

Location: Colchester,

Bike: I'll be riding a Titus Silk Road Titanium. Maxxis 2.4" tires, Ikon at rear and Reckon at the front. Sram GX Eagle 12s. 50T/11-50 cassette. Expedition handlebar with Ergon GP1 grips.

Key items of kit: I'll be running Exposure lights and a combination of Alpik and Podsacs bags. Hydration backpack and 1-2 bottles in the frame. Garmin to get around.

Tony Mumford

Name: Tony Mumford

Location: High Wycombe

Bike: PlanetX Tempest

Key items of kit: GRX 1x with Garbuk cage & 11-48 cassette. Schwalbe G-one Ultrabite TLE Addix. 45mm Various bike bags to fit. Alpkit elan bivvi, lightweight sleeping bag.

Tom Foot

Name: Tom Foot

Age: 37

Cap number: @TFoot

Location: Chichester, West Sussex

Bike: Ridley Kanzo Adventure with custom paint job. Hunt 42 Limitless Gravel Disc Wheels with Vittoria Mezcals in 2.1. 1x Shimano GRX Di2 Groupset with Rotor inspider Power Meter and Shimano XT pedals.

Key items of kit: Tailfin Aero Pack with custom Racewaredirect Light mount and 0.5l Top Tube Bag. Apidura Frame Bag and Rapha Bar Bag. Garmin Edge 1040 Solar Computer. Exposure Toro Front light, Exposure Diabolo Helmet light. Exposure Boost R Rear light. Alpkit Hunka Bivvy, Alpkit Pipedream 200 Sleeping Bag.

Daniele Maestri

Name: Daniele Maestri

Age: 38

Cap number: Don’t know yet

Location: London UK

Bike: Canyon Grizl CF SLX 8 Di2

Key items of kit: Read rack with aero pack from Tailfin. Top tube, frame and handlebar bags from Restrap. Tyres are Pirelli Cinturato gravel 45 with tan wall obviously 😅 setup tubeless. Front and helmet Lights from Exposure. Magnetic water bottle from Fidlock.

Garrick McMullin

Name: Garrick McMullin

Age: 48

Location: Salisbury, UK

Bike: Holdsworth Mystique. SRAM Rival.

Key items of kit: Podsac saddle, frame and handlebar roll. Apidura top tube bag. Evadict hydration vest.

Steve Thurgood

Name: Steve Thurgood

Age: 60

Location: Crediton, Devon

Bike: Sonder Broken Road, with standard factory kit!

Key items of kit: Mixture of Restrap and Podsacs bags.

Plan to sleep in Alpkit Hunka bivvy, with Alpkit Cloud mat and Thermarest Space Cowboy Sleeping bag. Using Wahoo Roam navigation, Cateye lights, Alpkit Insulated jacket , Pocket Rocket waterproof optional!!

Christian Haw

Name: Christian Haw

Age: 50

Cap number: ?

Location: Harrogate, North Yorkshire

Bike: Enigma Escape, rolling on Mavic Allroad SL wheels with WTB 40mm Nano SG2 tyres - tubeless. With Campagnolo H11 / Record / Chorus groupset and a SRAM 11-36 cassette for a bit of extra range. Thomson finishing kit. Pro PLT carbon ergo bars with Lizard Skins 3.2mm DSP tape. Sella San Marco Shortfit Supercomfort saddle. 20 year old XTR SPD pedals.

Key items of kit: Garmin Edge 1030+ for my old eyes and loooong run times. Exposure Toro with support cell for extra burn time. Cateye and Lezyne rear lights. Restrap frame bag for all my food, Topeak saddle and top tube bags. 2 x 750ml bottles.

Justin Dean

Name: Justin Dean

Age: 55

Cap number: Deano

Location: Whitstable

Bike: Vitus Rapide Carbon Hardtail , Canecreek eesilk 30mm seatpost , 100mm Fork SID World Cup , mezcal 2.25 rear , and Barzo 2.25 front Full XT groupset 12 speed , ergon grips

Key items of kit: Tailfin rear bag , all my sleeping gear , Outdoor Research Bivi , sleeping bag and liner , Custom made Straight Cut frame bag for clothes, mainly merino , and my pump , and wash kit . Apidura bag under down tube for my tube and tools , Apidura Top Tube bag for electrics and Oveja Negra stem bags for food , finally my bottle cages on the forks using Tailfin clips

Phillip Lowry

Name: Phillip Lowry

Age: 42

Location: Warwickshire

Bike: Singular Ti Gryphon

Key items of kit: Straight cut design bags with Apidura seat pack. Bivvy, sea to summit sleep system.

Tom Stocker

Name: Tom Stocker

Age: 34

Location: New Forest

Bike: Trek Procalibre 9.6

Key items of kit: Exposure six pack so that it’s always daytime, a small chainring for the South Downs and SID forks which don’t bounce about when climbing.

Lee Stephenson

Name: Lee Stephenson

Age: 45

Location: East Yorkshire

Bike: Specialized Diverge

Key items of kit: Alpkit soloist tent. Spork Spare bib shorts

Matt Slater

Name: Matt Slater

Age: 48

Cap number: MATT_SLATER

Location: Devon, UK

Bike: Canyon Exceed CF 7

Key items of kit: Alpkit Hunka Bivvy, Mountain Equipment Helium Sleeping Bag, Exposure Toro + Joystick lights, Exposure Support Cell, Wahoo Roam v1

Adam Robbins

Name: Adam Robbins

Age: 43

Cap number: Unknown

Location: Chelmsford , Essex

Bike: Stanton Sherpa gen 2 Rigid surly forks Xt drivetrain with 11-50 cassette 34t oval chainring Raceface ride cranks Wtb i29 wheelset Wtb 2.25 ranger tyres Crankbros mallet DH pedals

Key items of kit: Alp kit deluge frame and seat bag. Moosetreks split level frame bag

Podsacs cockpit bags.

Alp kit soloist tent Alpkit ultra 80 sleeping bag

I'm a special needs teacher teaching boys 11-16 with social emotional and mental health problems.

I also volunteer for Essex sands (stillbirth and neonatal death society) I love to take on challenges and raise money to support others bereaved parents. As a keen mountain biker two marathons is enough so ultra distance off-roading is my new challenge. Escapades being the first.

Darren Blackwell

Name: Darren Blackwell

Age: 50

Cap number: 113

Location: Rutland

Bike: Trek Supercaliber 9.8GX

Key items of kit: Tailfin rack, Straight cut design custom frame bag, Conti race king tires, Exposure lights, Garmin 1030 + power cell, Big Agnes tent,

Phil Stubbins

Name: Phil Stubbins

Age: 51

Location: Cheshire

Bike: Stanton Sherpa with Ohlins fork, Shimano drivetrain & Hope brakes. Bags from Apidura and Alpkit.

Key items of kit: Bar ends from 1990s mtb, flat pedals and 3 litre hydration bladder. I’ll be fuelled by malt loaf, low expectations and misplaced optimism.

Phil Scott

Name: Phil Scott

Age: 55

Location: Redhill

Bike: Titus Silk road

Key items of kit: Wahoo Roam, blackburn frame back, planet x bar bag. apidura 1.5l bladder

Adam Colvin

Name: Adam Colvin

Age: 38

Cap number: N/A

Location: Colchester

Bike: On Free Ranger. (The Rooster) 650b, prime Audax wheels with WTB Sendero 47mm tyres. 1x 38t and 11-44 cassette. Dynamo Hub for power, and tri bars for comfort along with a specialized power saddle at 155mm. Pedals are Nukeproof Horizon fat/clipless.

Key items of kit: Wahoo x2 for Nav. Exposure rear lights and my Amazon special upfront. Bags are a mix of restarap half frame and 7l front, and zefal top tube with 2x feed pods. Spares in a tool pod under the frame. Ear pods for tunes at night and my bamboo trowel for emergencies. Finally a tooth brush to keep the smile white.

Koene Boverhoff

Name: Koene Boverhoff

Age: 49

Location: Doorwerth, The Netherlands

Bike: Canyon Grizl

Key items of kit: bags ortlieb and agu sleep system sleeping pad, quilt and tarp

Harry Johnson

Name: Harry Johnson

Age: 22

Cap number: ?

Location: Southampton

Bike: Specialized Hardtail (An old model from 2015, paint stripped by previous owner)

Key items of kit: 500ml Styrkr Bottle

Adam Cross

Name: Adam Cross

Age: 29

Location: Norfolk

Bike: Cannondale Supersix Evo CX

Key items of kit: Rockshox Rudy front fork, Hunt Gravel Carbon wheels, SRAM AXS Mullet setup, Restrap and Wizard Works bags, Lauf bottle opener

Steve James

Name: Steve James

Age: 54

Location: Ashford, Kent

Bike: Scott Spark 930

Key items of kit: Full sus, 130 front and 120 rear. 32t front chainring 10-51 12 spd cassette Vittoria Barzo 29 x 2.1 tyres

George Badham

Name: George Badham

Age: 33

Location: Abingdon

Bike: Sonder Frontier

Key items of kit: The Frontier is my budget adventure build. Bought second hand and then had upgrades carried out when needed.

Tyres: René Herse, Fleecer Ridge (29″ x 2.2″) Handlebars: Sonder Confucious loop bar with Restrap Bumper Bar Chimera Drivetrain: Shimano SLX Crankset, SRAM Eagle GX rear derailleur and chain with SX Cassette. Bags: Mix of Alpkit, Restrap and Blackburn Outpost. Fork bags are Army Surplus webbing bags. Cages: Fork cages and BB cage are Blackburn Outpost. Seat tube cage is Tailfin

Kit: Handlebar bag has my sleep roll - Alpkit Bivvy Bag and Sleeping pad, Mountain Hardware sleeping bag. Cockpit bags have food and water. Top Tube bag holds electronics. Frame bag has food. Saddle bag has clothing. Fork bags have my hygiene kit, first aid kit and some spares. BB cage with a repurposed saddlebag holding my repair kit.

Geoff Frost

Name: Geoff Frost

Age: 51

Location: Norfolk, UK

Bike: Surly Cross Check with mostly early 2000s Campagnolo groupset, bar Tektro canti's. H Plus Son rims on Royce hubs to roll along on.

Key items of kit: Tailfin aeropack for sleep and warm kit, and top tube bag for tech. Restrap frame bag for tools and layers and stem bag for snacks. Deda tribars to rest the back occasionally and somewhere to attach a bell!

James Clarkley

Name: James Clarkley

Age: 33

Location: Vigo, kent

Bike: Salsa warbird with grx800 2x, bontrager aeolus rsl wheelset, pirelli cinturato gravel m tyres 45mm

Key items of kit: Wizard works shazam saddlebags, alpkit hunka bivvy

Seb Baucutt

Name: Seb Baucutt

Age: 27

Location: Essex

Bike: Canyon Exceed Hardtail

Key items of kit: Tailfin, Brand X dropper post, 3T clip on bars, Muc Off Bam for quick puncture repairs.

Phil Andrewd

Name: Phil Andrewd

Age: 50

Location: Isle of Wight

Bike: Sonder Camino Ti GRX 1

Key items of kit: Alpkit big papa rear bag. Alpkit top tube, stem bag and handlebar bag. GRX 1 group set. Goodyear connector 45mm tyres.

Rhys Clarke

Name: Rhys Clarke

Age: 26

Location: Burgess Hill

Bike: Sonder Camino Ti

Key items of kit: Restrap aero handlebar bag Restrap top tube bag Lifeline frame bag Prime saddle water bottle cages Sram Force 1x with Sram GX casette

Jacob Joe McGuire

Name: Jacob Joe McGuire

Age: 33

Location: Farnborough, UK

Bike: Pinnacle Arkose, Shimano GRX, Prime Orra Wheels.

Key items of kit: Straight cut frame, top tube, stem bags, and handlebar harness. Altura saddle bag, Moon lights, Alpkit Kloke bivvy.

Stuart Caughlin

Name: Stuart Caughlin

Age: 50

Cap number: ?

Location: Stoke Newington - London

Bike: Singular Gryphon Ti

Hope Pro Fortus 29"

GRX 800


Ritchey Venturemax 44 Bars

Brooks Cabmium saddle

Key items of kit: Colin Caterpillar Sours

Tom Blight

Name: Tom Blight

Age: 36

Cap number: 007

Location: Wageningen

Bike: Kona Rove

Key items of kit: - Ortlieb 16l saddle bag & small frame bag

  • TopPeak handlebar front loader with sleeping kit in a stuffsack (Tarp, mat, sleeping bag)
  • Phone for navigation & tracking. 25mAh battery life
  • Jelly legs
  • Rookie mindset

Richard Lake

Name: Richard Lake

Age: 46

Location: Lincolnshire

Bike: NukeProof Digger Factory

Key items of kit: Garmin 530, Tailfin Aeropack with Tailfin cargo cage, Apidura Race Top Tube Bag, Toro MK13 Exposure Lights front light, 2xCate Omni 5 rear lights, AssSaver Win Wings rear mudguard, SKS front mudguard, 1x16000mAH Anker power bank + 5000mAH Anker power bank, Quad Lock bar mount, MucOff tool bottle

Christopher Hearne

Name: Christopher Hearne

Age: 35

Location: Oxford

Bike: Brother Cycles Big Bro

29 inch wheels 720mm Curve Walmer Bars Sram NX group set

Key items of kit: Ortlieb 6L framepack Ortlieb saddle pack Patagonia Fanny Pack Aonijie Hydration Vest

All filled with warm layers(fleece, puffer and waterproof jacket; tarp and sleeping bag) and food, respectively.

Chris Brown

Name: Chris Brown

Age: 53

Location: West Sussex

Bike: Reilly Gradient

Key items of kit: Tailfin bags on the back, Skingrowsback on the front

Johan Conradie

Name: Johan Conradie

Age: 33

Cap number: TBC

Location: Canterbury

Bike: Marine Nicasio

Key items of kit: Sleeping bag, bivy, loads of snacks, windbreaker, spares, lights, battery pack

Andrew Pledger

Name: Andrew Pledger

Age: 31

Location: Canterbury

Bike: On One Whippet SRAM SX with RockShox Gold RL 35 up front. WTB i35 wheels and Specialized Fast Trak Control 29x2.35" tyres. On One Geoff handlebars book-ended with Ergon GA3 grips. Finished off with Bontrager Line Elite pedals and Brooks Cambium C17 seat.

Key items of kit: Bags are a mix of Rapha, Decathlon and handmade frame bag. Navigating with a Wahoo Element Bolt.

Randal Davison

Name: Randal Davison

Age: 46

Location: Ashford Kent

Bike: Boardman Hybrid 8.9

Key items of kit: Tailfin

Francis Barnett

Name: Francis Barnett

Bike: J.Guillem Atalaya, 650b Parcours Alta Carbon wheels, Redshift stem & seatpost, Rene Herse 55 Umtamum Ridge tyres

Key items of kit: Full Restrap Race kit - bar, seatpack, frame, top tube and standard food pouches

John Hale

Name: John Hale

Age: 35

Location: Oxford, UK

Bike: A 2016 Charge Plug Ti. Forks are replacements for broken ones... SRAM Force/Rival groupset (but with Shimano cranks). Profile design gravel bars & Deda extensions. Pirelli Cinturato M in 45mm.

Key items of kit: Restrap saddle pack, Ortlieb top tube bag, Son dynamo & front light.


Name: Craig

Age: 37

Cap number: 92

Location: Cambridge, UK

Bike: Mason ISO (50cm), Wheels: Son/Hope5 - EX471. Tires: Teravail Sparwood 2.2 Finishing: Hope/RX4+ (finally fixed the pistons). Bars: Deda Parabolical.

Key items of kit: Bags: Restrap Race/Tailfin. Lights: kLite Gravel. Bell: Canyon. Barend: Dynaplug.

Matthew Cronin

Name: Matthew Cronin

Age: 32

Cap number: 68

Location: Canterbury, UK

Bike: Rose Backroad. Shimano GRX 600 (x1).

Key items of kit: Topeak frontloader for bivvy bag & mattress, Restrap race top tube bag for electricals and food, Restrap rack for everything else.