UK Independent Time Trail Routes
ABOUT SELF-SUPPORTED UK
Self-supported UK provides a neutral and single source of information listing self-supported mountain bike challenge routes in the UK. There are undoubtedly different views on how far a route should be, but for inclusion in this list the benchmark is a route of 100 miles or more. The fastest time for the route is listed for information purposes, however historical records are not.
The guiding principle of self-supported riding is simply to ‘do it all yourself’, and the rule-set aims to provide equal and fair opportunity for all riders so times are comparable. The principle also eliminates any advantage gained by those who live near or have contacts along the route, and only allows the use of commercial premises for services, food and lodging. Respect must be paid to the honour system upon which this type of challenge sits, as ultimately it depends on each rider’s integrity. The ride may be a group start or an Independent Time Trial (ITT).
Have a go!
You don’t have to be shooting for a record to get out there and challenge yourself against the clock and the route. Immersing yourself in the personal challenge of completing a route as fast as you can will bring great rewards, through the training and preparation, the ride, and attaining your goal. Each of these routes require a different level of mountain biking skills, fitness, and outdoors experience, from the basic where services and exit routes are all around, right up to wilderness travel where a high degree of competency in the outdoors is necessary to safely travel fast and light.
* Indicates a formal route where a group-start involves some organisation and a fee
A route needs no officiator; if you have time-trialled an officially mapped route, or one of your own creation, and ridden within the self-supported rules described here, it can be listed for other challengers to attempt. Some sort of evidence of the ride will be required to recognise its completion to the claimed time. Only routes with a suggested start time or a time already recorded, and openly available gps track data or mapping information, will be listed (This site can host .gpx files for the route). If you have an idea for a potential route, please step up and put down a time.
To add a new route, make amendments, or update a fastest time – routes@selfsupportedUK.net
For a ride to satisfy the self-supported philosophy, it must comply with the rule-set listed below, and for the development of new routes a rule-set must be based around these key elements. Any other details related to the route or specific rules are up to the vision of the route director, normally the first person to step up and time-trial the route.
Complete the entire route, under your own power – no drafting
Be completely self-supported throughout the ride – absolutely no support crews, absolutely no gear sharing
Only use commercial services that are available to all challengers – no private resupply, no private lodging
If you have to leave the route, you must re-join it at the exactly same spot
No caches of any kind
No pre-arranged support, which means before you begin your ride – e.g. booking a B&B, arranging to meet a vehicle
No travel by any motorised means during your ride – by all means do so if necessary, but understand if you do your attempt is over
Note: A time trial completed with friends, family or media following the rider in a vehicle, effectively acting as a sag-wagon, is not a true self-supported effort. This style of ride with background support allows a rider to travel faster and lighter, adds complexity and cost, and is something not available to all attempts. Therefore rides completed like this are denoted with Vehicle Back-up (VB).