“A testing new string of bridleways, forest tracks, byways, field crossings and linking lanes born out of lockdown exploring, we were invited to the Brother Cycles HQ in Kent to recce a new event for 2021” – Advntr.cc
Like many of you out there we saw the travel restrictions in place this year as an opportunity to really explore some of our local trails, mostly around Brother HQ here in Kent, a quick train journey from London. We’re lucky enough to now have a workshop and warehouse on a farm which is a short ride away from coastal paths, forest tracks and some famous trails such as the North Downs Way.
The more we explored this area the more we fell in love with it, and the more we fell in love with it the more an idea for a new event started growing in our minds. Something to showcase our favourite lockdown discoveries and make use of our new space here at Brother HQ. Most importantly we want this to be a proper challenge, not losing the social elements that our events are known for, however with more of a focus on the ride itself.
Back in October we invited a small group of industry folk and friends to come see us in Kent and test out the ride, it was a 110km beta version of the route and we wanted to get their thoughts and feedback. It’s been a huge amount of fun mapping this route out over the last few months however would everyone share our enthusiasm for it?!
Katherine Moore of Advntr.cc was one of those to join and she wrote up a fantastic feature on the ride which you can check out below:
“A mix of local pals and riders like us that’d travelled much further, we split into socially responsible groups of six or less to tackle the 100 kilometre plus route ahead. The nerves were palpable; none of us had ridden much this year, at least not compared to normal, and challenging rides like these seemed to be easily replaced by hanging out at home in the warmth away from the worsening weather.”
“Will promised us that it wasn’t much further for the first pub. Of course, as a Brother Cycles ride, there were no less than three marked out on the route, and many more besides to pass.”
“we headed on in the fading light to what was my favourite part of the whole day; the exposed grassy bank of the Wye Downs overlooking the Wye Valley, struggling to keep upright in the barrelling crosswind nearly pushing us off-trail with every gust.”
“Riding on in the darkness, I started to remember how much fun night riding could be. Sure, we were only out for the day, but it was such a big and challenging day that it really felt like an adventure… this was just the end of summer ‘epic’ that I needed.”
Overall the day was a big success – the route will need some fine tuning however it provided a great day out with a perfect mix of tarmac, gravel and muddy forest trails. A proper challenge without being too brutal! Our plan is to open this up to everyone as a full blown event in the Autumn of 2021, with a basecamp at Brother HQ providing pre-ride coffee, post ride BBQ and drinks and a campsite for those that want to crash out at the end of the day.
We got this ride in just before tighter lockdown restrictions were enforced and it looks like we could now have a long winter ahead of us as we continue to battle against COVID-19. We hope you’re all staying as happy and healthy as can be out there, keep getting out and exploring on your bikes and we can’t wait to see you all around a campfire in the not too distant future…