After our Reportage from this year’s GBDuro, a 1200-mile fully self-sufficient bikepacking race the length of the UK, Josh Ibbett pulled together a self-filmed video from his experience out on the course. Thanks to our buddy Ryan Le Garrec for the edit!
Josh Ibbett just won the GBduro. A 2000 km mostly off-road Ultra Distance race from the most southern tip of the UK to the most northern in Scotland.
This is the second edition of this race.
The first one was won by Lachlan Morton last year.
The Racing Collective, organizers of the race, best described by themselves as “the UK’s flagship not-for-profit bikepacking club” had to change their race format this year. They did it, brilliantly.
There were no stages anymore, the race described as “a scrappy rolling picnic through Britain’s ever-changing landscapes” had that new daunting rule about it, you had to be “self-sufficient”, no stopping allowed in shops, cafe, restaurant or hotel, whatsoever, so you carry your own food, filter water from streams or sources and mind yourself and your bike ‘till the end. There is a new level in the game of Epic.
I first became aware of Cameron in 2019 whilst working at NRG Cycles in Great Ayton. A few regular customers had been in and asked if I knew of this local lad – ‘somebody’ Dixon was all I had to go on and that he rode his bike….a lot.
Working in a small North Yorkshire village you tend to know all the local cyclists and with my involvement with Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling, that knowledge is spread further a field into the race scene. I’d never seen him on a start sheet before, so who was he?
Jeremy Rubier is currently chasing his friend Keith across the USA, who is trying to beat the world record in less than 35 days! He is 60 years old, and has already ridden more than 2000 miles! Follow the trip at Keith’s Facebook.
Matt and Brad have been riding together for years, on increasingly difficult rides and races. This is unexpected for Matt, as he was told “no bikes for the rest of your life” by his doctor after an injury, only to take on Ireland’s Transatlantic Way, a 2500k route along the west coast of Ireland years later… Matt and Brad finished in 7 days, 15hours, and 43 minutes, finishing first place out of seven teams!
In 2017 German endurance cyclist Jonas Deichmann set the world record for cycling across Europe, fully self-supported, in an incredible 25 days. This is a 6500km journey, starting in Portugal on the Westernmost point, crossing a further 7 countries all the way to Ufa at the Easternmost point of Europe.
However, the world’s fastest cycling record is something that has eluded another endurance athlete for years. That of UK based and Zimbabwe-born, bearded adventurer Sean Conway. Sean has set other incredible records, including the first person to swim the length of Britain, and also setting a record for a full triathlon of the UK, where he cycled, ran than swam within a mile of the entire coast of mainland Britain. But a world’s fastest is something that came within his reach when he attempted the Europe crossing in 2017, the same years as Jonas’ record. Unfortunately for Sean, after just 1200km, when approaching the French Pyrenees, he had to pull out because of an injury.
Into the Rift is a deep-dive into what it takes to compete in and complete the Atlas Mountain Race:
“To simply finish the Atlas Mountain Race means navigating 1,200 kilometres of the most rugged and remote roads in Morocco. To win requires riding almost non-stop, night and day, for days on end. It is a combination of strength and sleep deprivation that only a few riders in the world can manage. Alone, unsupported and loaded down with supplies, each competitor must constantly battle mechanicals, heat exhaustion and saddle sores to get to the finish. There is no prize, no money, simply the satisfaction that comes from pushing oneself to the limit while exploring the forgotten corners of a beautiful country.”
From the East coast of Spain to the Western shores of Portugal, in October 2019, Jack decided he needed a challenge and so set about riding the route non stop…
A journey of 1,200 kilometers with 11,910m of elevation gain, Jack finished the ride in 56 hours, fresh and relatively unscathed.
As part of this challenge, Jack was eager to raise awareness about mental health, in particular the stigma that is often associated with such conditions. Talking open and candidly about his own struggles with drug use and depression and how the bike has allowed him to overcome these difficult times, ‘GP-1200’ looks to turn a chapter in what can only be described as ‘a silent killer that affects us all,’ be it directly or indirectly.
“Riding my bike from Girona to Portugal is nothing compared to my early teenage years and my struggles with mental health. I just hope that by sharing my story, I can inspire others to go about pushing their own limits in search of happiness.”
I arrived in Rwanda on the 26th of January and was greeted by a spooky line of doctors and nurses wearing masks, they were filtering us before border control, asking us to remain about two meters away from them while they would conduct a short interview.
The world was barely aware of the virus outbreak at that time, Corona was still a light Mexican beer, flying was no biggie and I was just happy I had managed to sneak in business class and have two dinners, champagne, and a screen to watch films.
My only concern was finding the next race I could cover. I hadn’t started enjoying that one and I was already thinking of the void after it.
Tugende is a film about the race around Rwanda, made by Ryan Le Garrec, produced by Ryan Le Garrec and Lander Deldime. Check back here on the 22nd of April for the full feature and photos.
Faces of Transylvania is a video series that looks at figures within the community of its fabled land. In this video, they profile ultra-endurance cyclist Levi Bagoly, who has been pushing his boundaries ever since he first got on a bike at age 6. Watch as he talks about the challenges cyclists face to make it to the finish line. Check out their Youtube channel for more interviews.
The Art of Escapism, an essay on an ultra-distance race called Bikingman Portugal.
So the only question that really matters is why?
Why do you ride more than you like?
Why do you let something you love hurt you so much that you start hating it?
Why do you finish it?
Why do you want to do it again then?
What’s the point?
Ok, you defeated your limits but then why again?
Are you so limited in your own life?
What is the outcome, what is the takeaway but most importantly why do you need this?
Here’s a film teaser from Race Around Rwanda, a 1000km race through the country of a thousand hills, by Ryan Le Garrec and Lander Deldime. It’s a bike packing race, non stop and unsupported, the fastest riders will finish it under 50 hours.
THE GREAT DIVIDE
Like my four-year-old son said the other day: “You can’t survive death.”
Somehow this made me think of this race. It’s all about surviving in the end. But it’s mostly about being alive, to the fullest.
Ryan le Garrec, one of our contributors here at the Radavist, followed cyclist Josh Ibbett during his 2019 Tour Divide attempt. This is his story. Watch this documentary here and be on the lookout for a photo gallery later this week.
On the 6th of July 2019, 84 riders arrived at the Scottish city of Inverness to take on the Pan Celtic Race is the longest ultra-endurance race in the British Isles.
“The Transcontinental Race is rarely a race against fellow competitors, nor against oneself. It is, primarily, a race for oneself.”
Onboard is a film that has been four years in the making, documenting the immense beauty that is the TCR. Be on the lookout for the full-length in the coming weeks!