Final Report of the Dales Divide 2020 with words from Captain Chris.
Last man home Super Rod at the tender age of 70!
Rod Gemmell - your dot is bouncing!!!!!! We've were watching your dot loads in awe of the the ride you are rode. You've shown us all what's best about bikepacking.
Winner Alex Pilkington said Rod is a credit to the bike-packing community sticking at it and going steady away. The route throws a a lot at you! I’m just helping the organiser collate the results now and there is a high rate of attrition for the ride - everyone is now back in one piece I think! Thanks for watching us all and for the virtual cheers
Brilliant effort, well done.
Absolute Chapeau to you all and Sir Rod
This year the weather proved a bit harder than 2019. The trails were no longer dry and fast, and a strong wind blew for 2 days but somehow the ride was just as fantastic as last time and in some ways better. I was more than 5 hours faster this year, and would have been even fater but I wimped out on doing 8+ hours in the dark on Monday night. I take my hat off to the riders who chose to do that and make their last stretch a full 24hour riding day. Great to see such a broad spectrum of riders and the greatest kudos goes to the riders putting in the most effort, not necessarily the riders going fastest, but always the riders pushing themselves. The basis of the event is to maintain and lift UK bikepacking expertise and 2020 has certainly done that; from the few guys at the front, to those who raced til they blew up to the guy that put cardboard in his brake callipers when his pads ran out with 250k to go - and he finished with cardboard brakes working!. There were about 60/70 riders on the course with a few more riding ITT over a similar timeframe and a few starting/finishing at the East Coast. As the last riders are still getting to Arnside now, we salute them all. My own personal moment was the huge honour to have Pat Hall, Mike Hall’s mum at the start with us to see us off with a tear in her eye. The bikepack-race scene in the UK and overseas is built on the strong foundation he laid, with a mix of honesty, integrity, competition and kindness that comes with trying our hardest and celebrating success, for each other. I too shared a tear, when times were tough, energy low and having to dig deep in the early hours of the morning thinking about what he would think about our efforts and achievements. Our minds go to some far places on these rides.
Thank you all for making the Dales Divide the success it is and see you in 2021